Hey guys, how many of you belong to Lyme Disease Facebook groups? Oh my goodness there are some interesting people with odd ideas out there. Wow, it can be so rough that it makes you think that being a jerk is a symptom of Lyme, but let's be honest… those people would have been jerks even without Lyme.
So let's look at a few things that ARE Lyme related and a few things that are NOT.
These things are unfortunately common in the Lyme world.
Depression and Anxiety
It's hard to know that you are living with an illness that is both painful, weakening, and misunderstood. Living with a chronic illness is scary. But it is also a chemical reaction in the brain. In people with chronic inflammation issues, like Lyme Disease, the brain's own chemistry along with neurotransmitters are affected by infections and neurotoxins that are all connected. When you have chronic infections you almost always have chronic inflammation. This causes depression, anxiety and mood alterations.
According to Medicine.net, “Researchers have also found that anxiety and depression occur with an increased rate in people with Lyme disease.”
There are going to be moments of fear and frustration with living with this disease. Because of this, it is imperative to have a good support system, psychiatric therapy, and an understanding of what your triggers may be.
“When you have Lyme it is not a bad mood it is a neurological response to thousands of bacteria in your brain. So I get away with it. ”
Ummm… NO. Lyme Rage is not a thing. Being a rude jerk is all you.
“You don't know what I'm going through, so back the hell off before I go Lyme Rage all over you.”
Aaahh… no again. You might have a diagnosis, but I'm sure that it isn't just Lyme disease that's making you terrible.
Lyme disease is hard and very frustrating and sometimes everyone gets to a point where they want to be upset about their diagnosis. However, Lyme Rage is a copout. Get control of yourself, and don't use your diagnosis as an excuse for bad behavior. Many people get pissed off, a lot of people have mental illnesses, and most of them don't have Lyme disease.
Now don't get all raged out on me for saying this, but take accountability for your actions. There is no proof that you would be a nicer person if you didn't have Lyme disease and no proof that your anger issues are because of Lyme and nothing else.
Side note: Some medications like steroids can alter your mood, make you more irritable, anxious, or moody. So if you are seeing a sudden shift in your character, talk with your doctor or mental heath therapist.
There are days when I wake up, try to roll over, and everything hurts. I swear that even my hair hurts. Inflammation is a constant problem for Lyme Disease Survivors. We are always trying to mitigate the pain, resolve inflammation, and boost our immune systems.
This unexplained pain and stiffness is so common in Lyme Disease patients, that it is one of the first reasons that people seek medical attention. Doctors have found that Lyme Arthritis can be severe and cause permanent joint damage.
I have seen so many posts asking if their dry wrinkly hands are because of Lyme disease.
Wrinkles, dry hands & brittle nails. These are normal things! Get some good hand cream, drink more fluids and stay hydrated, and accept that everyone gets older. Even better, it sounds like a good reason to take some time and go to the spa for a mani-pedi day of relaxing and rehydration.
Here are a few more tips to better-looking hands.
Palpitations, POTS, and irregular heartbeats are all symptoms of Lyme disease and should be monitored carefully by a cardiologist. Don't play games with heart issues. Sometimes it can be controlled simply with magnesium and B vitamins. But knowing exactly what's going on with your heart is a must.
I have actually seen where parents have claimed that their children have become autistic because they believe their child contracted Lyme disease.
There is NO PROOF that Lyme disease causes autism. However, there has been some speculation about autism being triggered by the Lyme bacteria being passed down from mother to child. It is understandable for parents to try to seek out treatable answers to their child being on the Autism spectrum, but placing Lyme disease in the mix isn't always the right answer either.
Living with Lyme is still living. Keep learning!
I know it's easy to get on the discussion boards and seek out people who agree with what you believe. But you have to also keep in mind that there are a lot of people out there who want you to believe that they are experts and try to make you believe that you can't trust your doctors and therapists. There are a lot of really great medical professionals who not only treat people with Lyme disease but have some great information on how you can live a long and healthy life.
No, you might not always want to hear what they have to say. I hate it when they remind me of how much better I would feel if I lost some weight and was able to find more time to workout. I know they are right, but my body doesn't want to agree. That doesn't make them wrong either. Find a doctor that you can have a good dialog with, and keep your support team up to date with your needs and fears.
I always suggest talking about your fears and concerns with someone who knows and understands your medical and mental issues. There is no shame in talking about your fears and weaknesses. This is how you are going to fight harder!