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Psychiatric symptoms of Lyme

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Old 01-11-2007, 03:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 63
Jarlena HB UserJarlena HB User
Psychiatric symptoms of Lyme

I was wondering if anyone here experienced psychiatric symptoms of Lyme and if they cared to talk about them. This is the worst feeling of anxiety, depression, panic and mental illness I have ever experienced and I dont know what could have brought it on and especially these specific sypmtoms as hard as they've hit me. First I noticed a slow depression creeping up, that turned to a complete loss of sex drive or even physical closeness with my significant other, then rage intermittent with crying spells and the feeling of just "losing it". The depression is now much heavier with constant anxiety and that edgy nervous feeling like you had too much coffee...along with this I have felt a loss of memory, not short term, but my long term memories which were once a source of healing and comfort, I can barely remember them now. Everytime I try to go back into my mind and think about something or someone in the 3-d version of a memory, its like my mind hits a brick wall and shuts off and I can barely make out even a picture let alone a smell or a feeling I had associated with the memory. Does Lyme do this? I have never in all my life felt this before and I am so frightened. I need a NJ Lyme literate doctor and I dont know where to turn. I tried Dr. E and Dr S and didnt feel that either of them were on the right path with me so I moved on and havent been back to see anyone. Maybe I made a mistake, but if anyone can recommend anyone who had effectively treated this horrible illness, is there anyway you could point me in the right direction. I can't live like this another moment.

Thank you,

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Old 01-11-2007, 04:42 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 119
lymesgal HB User
Re: Psychiatric symptoms of Lyme

Hi Jarlena,

I am so sorry to hear you're having so many problems, that is such a HORRIBLE feeling and I know EXACTLY what you are going thru! Your story sounds just like mine. I thought I was going out of my mind, and then my doctor put me on a low dose of Prozac and it helped my crying spurts and those uncontrollable feelings. I still have the anxiety like crazy and I don't think prozac really treats the anxiety symptoms, mainly just the depression and the mood swings. (boy, did I have mood swings!) But it has helped tremendously.

You should check into some anxiety or depression type meds., I don't know if you are up for taking something like that but with the way you feel, it's worth a try. You need to get help, it's not something you can control on your own, or at least that's been my case. I know some people are really against these drugs but I say Bring Them On!

My memory and thinking is still really bad, I deal with it on a daily basis it seems. I'll have spells where it is worse and I can feel it coming on. I feel so stupid sometimes and lose track of what I am saying and then I panic cause I know it's happening and then the anxiety flares up and the palpitations start going! It's miserable! I was talking to my mom on the phone today and at least 2-3 times I had to ask "now what were we talking about?" cause my mind seems to wonder and I can forget a thought in the middle of the sentence. I told my Mom to bear with me cause I'm having a bad day, she is so understanding. I can't find the right words and it makes me feel like an idiot. I feel like I'm not very smart anymore! I just keep praying that it goes away, it's so frustrating.

And SEX?! What is that, I forgot?! I have had no sex drive for about a year now, it's just gone, disappeared, it has checked out. I know the prozac can have those side effects, too, but I would rather be sain then have sex right now! LOL

Oh, I feel so bad for you, Jarlena...
I hope you have friends and family who support you cause that is so important. After a while, it seems people give up on you and it's actually embarrassing to be so sick all the time. People get sick of hearing about it so I try not to talk about it, and if I'm asked I don't go into it a whole lot cause they don't understand. Unless they do research on the lyme disease, they have NO IDEA what we are going thru. I've had problems with my husband, although my family and friends are so supportive. I'm lucky in that way, thank God.

Hang in there, go see your doctor and let him/her know how you are feeling, you really need some help before it drives you bonkers.

I wish you well,

Old 01-11-2007, 06:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,247
Pearlscale HB User
Re: Psychiatric symptoms of Lyme

Jarlena and lymesgal
I was thinking of this thread and the constant headache I have had this past week. I know it is associated with swelling of the vessels in the brain (even my PCP says so) so if the swelling is causing the vessels in the brain pressure that could also explain the depression (I have some but not as bad as yours). I was put on fluid tablets (diamox) for fluid. This past week I have had to double, 1 in am and pm. I am starting to get some relief. But it is time for my pm dose and my headache is getting worse.

Does this make any sense. Would it be worth it to see if a fluid pill like diamox would help the depression if it is from the pressure on the vessels.

I do have some problems with dealing with this, but who doesn't. I'm one of the blessed ones that has a loving compassionate husband and kids that somewhat understand. But Larry (and the Lord) is the one who gets me through this horrible illiness.


Old 01-12-2007, 06:45 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 119
lymesgal HB User
Re: Psychiatric symptoms of Lyme

Hi Marsha!

Yes, it does make sense to me! And with all my neuro problems lately, it's true that I have had many more headaches. I've woken up for the past 4 days with a headache.

I'm glad your husband is so supportive, it's nice hearing a good story once in a while!

hope your feeling well


Old 01-12-2007, 09:19 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7
yort HB User
Re: Psychiatric symptoms of Lyme

I used to scoff at people who said they had anxiety attacks. The woman who used to sit next to me at work suffered from anxiety attacks and she took medication to treat it. Maybe since I'm a man I used to think this was just a female condition that could be controlled with a strong mind and some self control. Then I got Lyme!
Anxiety was a condition I never experienced in my life - oh maybe some mild anxiety from time to time. But after I became infected with lyme I now have severe anxiety attacks. Anything or any thought can set it off. During a meltdown my heart begins to race, I feel dizzy, I break out into a sweat, and alot of times I'm convinced I'm going to die. It is the most god awful feeling. I have learned to control it somewhat. I try to tell myself that the lyme is doing this to me. It scares the hell outta me to think that not only does the lyme cause debilitating symptoms but it can also effect your mind.

Old 01-12-2007, 05:07 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NorCal
Posts: 36
Lymekicker HB User
Re: Psychiatric symptoms of Lyme

Hey there Jarlena! Your symptoms are VERY similar to mine. Mine started with severe panic attacks(ugh!) and depression, felt like I was totally nuts, was nervous alot, started to get reclusive,etc. I also would rage about inconsequential things which really bothered me because I was always a really mellow, happy go lucky type. The mental issues are probably what irks me the most about this disease. Since I started the abx my wife has noticed a pretty big difference in my demeanor--yea! So hang in there, you'll get better and you'll get your life back. This disease seems to slowly steal your soul. Take care and peace.

Old 01-16-2007, 10:04 AM   #7
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delmarva area
Posts: 728
Re: Psychiatric symptoms of Lyme

Hi Jarlena,

Neuro-psychiatric effects of this disease are among the most frightening becuase it can really feel as if your mind has been taken over. And it has been, in the sense that the spriochete organisms actually do get into brain tissue.

Columbia University has done some excellent research into the effects of neuro-borreliosis (neuro-psychiatric Lyme). Some of the confusion and memory impairment that patients experience is the result of brain hypo-perfusion, the restriction of blood flow to certain parts of the brain. SPECT scans (which measure blood flow in the brain) of patients with neuroborreliosis are often very similar to those of Alzheimer's patients or those of heavy drug users. Some Lyme patients also develop brain lesions, which has sometimes led to misdiagnosis of diseases such as MS. Fortuantely, Lyme neuroborrelosis can be relieved by appropriate antibiotic therapy of the correct type, dosage, and duration.

Lyme disease can produce a number of emotional and psychological effects, from anxiety and depression to confusion and even hallucinations. This happened to reknowned author Amy Tan, who has described some of the ***arre psychological effects produced by the disease.

In one article I read, she reported calling people in the middle of the night and speaking in a strange, hoarse whisper and having no recollection the next day and of having thrown laundry all about the room but not remembering having done it. After extensive i.v. antibiotic treatment she has been able to resume her writing career.

I myself can recall getting lost in my own neighborhood (where I have lived for over 20 years) and driving around and around because I couldn't remember where I was supposed to be going. So yes, Lyme can do some very strange things indeed.

I was successfully treated at the Jemsek Clinic in NC. I was on a very long term regimen of antibiotics (over a year and a half), prescribed in combinations, which treated both the Lyme and co-infections. Be aware, it takes a LONG time to see results. It took about 7 or 8 months before I noticed a significant difference. At times during treatment it is normal to feel worse as the spirochetes produce neurotoxins as they die off. The important thing is that you MUST continue. The progress is very gradual with a lot of ups and downs and at times it can seem as if you aren't going anywhere with it and may wonder if you are ever going to get better. But it sneaks up on you, and you DO start feeling better and you CAN get your life back.

Old 01-17-2007, 10:14 AM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kansas City, KS
Posts: 405
KeyLyme HB User
Re: Psychiatric symptoms of Lyme

Dittos here. I used to be a very "sane" even tempered person. After I got bit by the tick, I've felt like I'm losing my mind. I have everything mentioned by others...especially the panic attacks and bursts of extreme rage. My mother keeps saying that my personality has changed and that I'm very short tempered. I feel like I can cry at a drop of a hat...maybe I should go into the acting business and tap into my crazy emotions! Just kidding

I'm taking an antidepressant of course and also I do a lot of praying. I really don't talk to my family members or husband about my mental issues b/c I don't want to scare them.

I had an EEG done by a neurologist and he said I had an abnormal brain wave (Mid Temporal discharge). After researching it further, the temporal lobe controls emotions so if I am having abnormal discharging in that area of my brain, it would probably explain my crazy mood swings.

I just have to keep telling myself that this is all symptoms of Lyme and that I am NOT crazy.

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