LYME DISEASE AND MENTAL HEALTH
Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease that is likely to be caused by the bacteria named Borrelia Burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-coloured legged ticks. Some Lyme disease symptoms can be fatigue, headache, fever, skin rashes called Erythema Migrants. If the disease is left untreated it can lead to infections that can spread to joints, heart, and the nervous system.
A new study, confirms that Lyme disease affects the mental and physical health of the sufferers. This Research report, also confirms that patients hospitalized for Lyme disease have 28% more incidents of mental disorders and are more likely to commit suicide than people without Lyme disease. Dr. Brain Fallon, a psychiatrist with NY State Psychiatric Institute and also the director of Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Centre at Columbia University, NY said the necessity for greater awareness in the medical community that Lyme disease is at increased risk of mental disorders and suicidal thoughts and behavior most commonly in the first year of the diagnosis. Joseph Trunzo, Chair of the department of psychology at Bryant University said the linkage between Lyme disease and mental disorders is not clear. It may be because of other symptoms of Lyme disease. He explained that Lyme disease can have disturbing effects on medical as well as psychological effects. Creates disturbances in the quality of life, relationships, cognition, emotion, daily routine functioning, etc. He added there’s a long history of infectious diseases causing mental health issues and behavioral challenges.
About half of a million people in the United States of America are treated for Lyme disease annually. This condition is caused by bacteria carried by deer ticks that bite people. In studies of medical records, it is found that nearly 7 million patients in Denmark over 22 years suffer from this disease. In this research mental health of patients suffering from Lyme, disease is compared with the ones who never have Lyme disease. The investigation found that folks with Lyme disease had a greater risk of mental problems and suicide attempts. People suffering from Lyme disease have 42% higher incidents of mental health problems like depression, bipolar disorder and 75% higher rates of death by suicide compare to people without Lyme diseases. The researchers noted that the majority of the cases are often cured within few weeks of antibiotic treatment but 10% to twenty of individuals suffer from symptoms like pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking these symptoms can last for months. In severe cases, people experience sleep disorders, painful nerve dysfunction, poor concentration, irritability, and poor memory retentions and encoding.
It’s a fact that people who suffer from Lyme disease have a chance to suffer from mental health issues but not all people who are victims of Lyme disease suffer from mental health issues as the study says nearly 7% of people with Lyme disease have symptoms of mental health disorders. It has also been found that people who seek health care help were gas lighted and were told that the idea is in their head even their family doesn’t support them. The patients became hopeless, feel despair, and even had a high risk of suicidal thoughts. It has also been reported that many patients who were not able to work don’t have enough treatment options.
Lyme is not a simple disease it causes serious dysfunctions in the life of an individual. It hampers the daily routine of an individual, with serious health issues like neurologic, psychiatric, psychological, etc. the need of the hour is to spread awareness about this disease and seek mental help from professionals as this bacterium infectious is dangerous, alarming, challenging leading to serious consequences, physical as well as psychological.