The Mental Toll of Lyme Disease

lyme disease mental toll

The Mental Toll of Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is an infection caused by a tick bite. The condition may start to manifest as a fever, strong and persistent headache, a rash, and unexplainable fatigue. If not treated early, it can result in the infection spreading throughout the body affecting the heart, joints, and nervous system.

Those who are diagnosed with this disease may not only experience physical symptoms but they can also be affected psychologically.



Studies have shown that individuals who have Lyme Disease have a 28% higher risk of developing a mental disorder. One of the most common psychiatric conditions is depression. It can be brought on by many things like struggling to cope with their physical symptoms as well as external factors that the disease has caused, which can impair their everyday functions.


Suicidal Ideation

Current research also suggests that the inflammatory manifestations brought about by Lyme Disease can also be linked to an individual’s likelihood to experience suicidal ideation and tendencies. Statistically, they are 75% more likely to take their own life compared to the average person. The numbers go higher if those affected experience more than one bout of the disease.



Those who suffer from this condition may also feel embarrassed by their diagnosis. Additionally, there can be a negative stigma surrounding Lyme Disease which may affect people in the workplace and within their communities. This results in low self-esteem and poor psychological health which may lead to more serious conditions if not monitored.


How to cope

Create a positive routine

Those experiencing negative mental effects of Lyme Disease can focus on living life more centered on positivity. Our past article on Reiki explains that integrating this healing technique into one’s lifestyle can help foster emotional (and physical) healing. The practice, which originated in Japan, has been seen to help many people suffering from different chronic illnesses by balancing their energy and creating a sense of calm and relief. Those with Lyme Disease can make use of this technique when they are feeling especially brought down by their condition to change into a more positive mindset.


Seek professional help

Another thing people suffering from Lyme Disease can do to take charge of their mental health is to seek the help of a professional. While it may be hard to do so because of the stigma and because of busy schedules, there are alternative avenues they can take to get the aid they need. Telehealth solutions provider Wheel’s write-up on remote therapists highlights that virtual consultations can easily be done through a digital medium. These professionals have the same credentials and qualifications that traditional mental health workers have with the added benefit of convenience for their clients. Those diagnosed with Lyme Disease will be able to easily schedule an appointment and receive personalized care for their struggles with personalized strategies.


Attend support groups

Another thing those affected by Lyme Disease can do is to attend support groups. They will be able to meet people who are experiencing a similar situation as them and understand that they are not alone in their struggles. Health website HelpGuide’s article on support groups explains that those who attend these meetings may feel less ashamed of what they are going through and may form deep friendships with people who can sympathize with them. There are also online options for those who cannot attend physical meetings. Ones mediated by healthcare professionals can prove to be even more fruitful as there is someone there to guide them through the session.

Lyme Disease is difficult to deal with but it is made even harder by the psychological implications it can pose. It is important for those diagnosed with this condition to seek the help they deserve and know that they should not be ashamed of their condition.



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Come Heal with Me! XX, Mimi