Connection Between Lyme, Cognitive Issues, and Psychiatric Disorder

I told you it was going to be a two parter! I discussed Lyme rage, but there is many other psychiatric issues that Lyme can cause. I apologize in advance if there is any grammatical errors of sorts or slight dyslexia, I am having a really hard time being able to focus, look at the computer screen, and read long paragraphs, but I am still trying to do my best. The start of my treatment protocol sucks. Oy. Anywho… 


Once again, Europe is more “on the ball” with things, and are less oblivious to the fact that Lyme disease is a frequent cause of psychiatric disorders.  It should not be a surprise that Lyme can cause all these impairments, issues, and psychiatric disorders as Lyme’s closest relative, Syphilis, is known for its neurological manifestations.


A 2002 study in Europe showed that out of 1,900 patients suffering from a psychiatric illness, 30% tested positive for the Lyme bacteria. That is a decent chunk of change!  I feel it is extremely important for those who live in highly endemic areas to consider Lyme disease in many psychiatric disorders as many could be prevented and reversed with the right treatment. 


Some of these disorders that can be associated with Lyme disease include dementia, schizophrenia, auditory and visual hallucinations,  anxiety, depression, panic attacks, rapid mood swings (bi-polar), anorexia, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADD/ADHD, autism-like syndromes, among others. 


Some cognitive issues that are also associated with Lyme include memory impairment, dyslexia, visual and spacing processing issues, and a slowing of processing information. Yup, yup, yup. and yup. LOL That is one of the reasons why I at least try to keep each paragraph and short as possible and double space. It is hard to read big paragraphs, for me anyways. I am sure many can relate. 


Depression is fairly common among Lyme patients, with a large range of percentages estimated between 26-66%. That seems like a huge gap to me, but I think that one of the reasons for this being could very well be that a lot of us don’t necessarily like to seem like we are depressed. It can be just another stigma that people are afraid to have since Lyme is already “poo pooed” by society, so no one wants people to think maybe they are depressed or in a funk, and that is why they aren’t getting out of bed. 


Unfortunately, this depression can be severe. Suicide is the number one cause of death among Lyme patients. Talk to a friend, a psychiatrist, the leader of your local church, join a forum or group.. anything, if you are dealing with these types of feelings and know you are never alone. 


However, research has shown that patients with Lyme disease have a higher rate of depression than those who are not ill, and those who suffer from other chronic illnesses. 


As I have mentioned in a previous post,  90% of children diagnosed with autism in fact have tested positive for the borellia burgdorferi (Lyme) bacteria and has been given the term “Lyme induced autism”. Bartonella has also been shown to be responsible for causing autistic spectrum disorders. Unfortunately, American psychiatrists as a group are completely ignorant, as most mainstream doctors are, and have not accepted the facts and multitude of research done, so it is not being considered as a factor to rule out. 


Those numbers are astonishing and it makes me so unbelievably angry that many people could improve dramatically, as this one hits me especially hard since my brother has Asperger’s and has struggled in a lot of ways throughout his life. 


Other disorders that usually develop during childhood, also with extremely high percentages, according to Dr. Charles Ray Jones, are ADD and ADHD. He has treated his pediatric patients and they improved completely. With the information given on autistic spectrum disorders and ADD/ADHD, why not consider Lyme as a possibility? Take your kid to a Lyme literate specialist and rule it out.


One cause is what is known encephalopathy. There are many types of encephalopathies, but one specifically refers to Lyme borrelia, Lyme encephalopathy. 9 out of 10 neurological patients with Lyme disease have suffer from this.  Encephalopathy is the malfunction of the brain can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from fatigue, seizures, involuntary movement, and cognitive impairment (specifically brain fog), irritability and personality changes (Lyme rage) and in more severe cases dementia. Encephalopathy can also be caused when toxins keep on building up in the brain. Treatment can obviously cause a great deal of toxicity. Maybe this explains some of the newfound issues that many of us have faced during our course of treatment.


Encephalomyelitis, is a general term for inflammation of the brain or spine. When suffering from persistent neurological Lyme disease, especially untreated, you are more likely to have inflammation of the brain or spine to some extent. Not only can it cause several symptoms such as weakness, vertigo, and back pain, it can cause a plethora of psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, panic disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and derealization syndrome. 


Like I said in yesterday’s “Lyme Rage” posting, it is very likely that you suffer from one of the co-infections of Lyme if you have the severity of symptoms. Bartonella and Babesia are the two most common co-infections to play a part in the major personality shifts.  


Severe nutritional and mineral deficiencies, as well as toxins can cause severe neurological manifestations. Hormone imbalances can also cause these disorders that are misdiagnosed. Proinflammatory cytokines (a word to describe a diverse group of proteins, peptides and glycoproteins that help with cell signaling), increases indoleamine (neurotransmitters that effect mood and sleep, mostly serotonin and melatonin), decreasing these hormones, which contributes to the neurological and cognitive deficits. A deficiency in 5-HIAA, a product of serotonin, in the cerebral spinal fluid is a reason for severe depression and impulse disorders. 


Another interesting thing I found while doing research was a product of our metabolism of amino acid l-typrophan, kynurenic acid, or KYN. This acid that occurs naturally in our bodies acts as an antiexcitotoxic and anticonvulsant, and can act against these amino acids. High levels of KYN have been associated with tick-borne encephalitis and many psychiatric disorders, specifically schizophrenia. 


In chronic Lyme, brain lesions can occur, causing many different problems that can lead to permanent damage without appropriate treatment. Fortunately, with the right treatment, these lesions can decrease in size or completely. An example of damage from brain lesions is the hippocampus in the temporal lobe that can cause depression and dementia. 


I have personally had many obsessive compulsive tendencies, from the time I was a little kid. Always wanted to be clean. Things have definitely changed now as sometimes I can’t remember the last time I washed my hair. LOL As I grew older, it turned into gambling and shopping habits and having thoughts in my head that I need to do or want to do and I can’t get them out of my head until I act upon it.


 I have dealt with an eating disorder during my adolescence. 


Since treatment, I have had an intense state of paranoia, worrying about what everyone thinks of me, being afraid that my friends are going to be mad at me, that my husband (who you all know is pretty awesome) is going to leave me. I have had hallucinations, mostly insects that cause me to itch. I get panic and anxiety attacks. I have felt depersonalized, almost like I am watching myself and can see and hear everything around me but I have no control. And of course the Lyme rage. 


I wonder now if some of my issues that I have struggled with were Lyme related. It is entirely plausible, as I have likely had Lyme since I was a kid, as I had no reflexes from the time I was 3 or 4 years old, but I will never know. My family is prone to mental illness, but maybe the Lyme exacerbated the issues. I have also dealt with trauma that could have also exacerbated the issues. 


Once again, there is no way of telling. All I know now is that I have lost a lot of control of my mind, between “the crazy” and losing a lot of my cognitive function.  


Hope this brought some information to you. At least it gives some sort of explanation. I think we all like to hear one, anyways. After reading, diagnosed with Lyme or not, if you or a family member were diagnosed with an illness like I shared above, please consider seeing a Lyme literate doctor. Everyone with Lyme exhibits different symptoms. It should be something to consider.


Happy Monday everyone!,,,,,,,,,,

10 thoughts on “Connection Between Lyme, Cognitive Issues, and Psychiatric Disorder

  1. Pingback: Staying Positive | kimmiecakeskickslyme

  2. My 5 year old went undiagnosed for at least a year (it’s so hard at that age) as far as we know until someone finally listened when I told them something was wrong with her over and over and over… She recieved the diagnosis at age four and was subsequently treated and seemed she’s been ok ever since. I had always thought once treated that’s it- it’s gone. I’m told it can be reoccurring? I have often times said to my fiance that I want to have her evaluated because I believe she has some psychiatric and mood issues as well as A D D; however, I feel awful for thinking my daughter has mental problems. I just dont know where to start to have someone listen-once again. Reading this gives me a sense of relief as to maybe I am right, and maybe it is related! As for myself, I have had a litany of the other symptoms that you referred to and diagnosed with several-hormone disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive, and several other things. I have always been dismissed on telling people things are wrong when in actuality half the time I feel like I’m seventy or eighty and feel as though I am dying with no explanation. I think that is enough to make someone want to kill him or herself. I have been tested for Rocky Mountain fever and for Lymes disease with both negative results, can there ever be a false negative? Sorry to ramble but this really sparked my brain. You have a very inspirational way of conveying your thoughts and insights. I’m grateful I stumbled upon your Blog, Thank you! ♥

  3. Pingback: Connection Between Lyme, Cognitive Issues, and Psychiatric Disorder | Slices Of Lyme Pie

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