Lyme Disease – Can it Cause Mental Illness?

What is borrelia? 

Borrelia is a genus of bacteria that includes species that are known to cause lyme disease in humans, these include: 

  • Borrelia burgdorferi – found in Europe and North America 
  • Borrelia afzelii – found in Asia and Europe 
  • Borrelia garinii – found in Asia and Europe 
  • Borrelia mayonii – found in North America 

 

How is this infection transmitted? 

Borrelia is passed on by vector transmission, specifically through being bitten by infected ticks. The exact strain of the infection and species of tick involved varies depending on where in the world a person lives. An infection of a species of borrelia in a person is referred to as borreliosis or lyme disease. Individuals who spend a lot of time outside are considered to be more at risk of catching this disease. 

 

How is borrelia diagnosed? 

A doctor may identify the infection by taking a blood test and looking for borrelia antibodies in the blood. Alternatively, it is sometimes possible to diagnose borreliosis by analysing a person’s symptoms and medical history. 

 

What effect can it have on physical health? 

In the first few days of infection, borreliosis can lead to fever, rashes and head and neck pain. Infection with borrelia mayonii may also cause nausea and vomiting. A few weeks after having caught the infection, some people develop symptoms of arthritis. Other symptoms that may appear later on include joint pain, nerve pain, muscle weakness and fatigue. 

In the long term, lyme disease can negatively affect the immune system and be detrimental to the metabolism. It has been also been reported to contribute towards sleeping problems and to compromise cognitive function and development.  

Some people experience particularly serious reactions to tick bites and may have symptoms such as irregular heart rate, breathing difficulties and seizures. Various complications involved in severe cases of lyme disease have even led to fatalities. 

 

What effect can it have on mental health? 

There is a lot of evidence to show that lyme borreliosis can cause mental health symptoms. Psychiatric problems may develop gradually, rather than appear immediately after infection. Some people experience mood swings or are more irritable or aggressive. Their behaviour may seem to be out of character. 

According to one report analysing recent information on lyme borreliosis, links have been found to a wide variety of different mental health issues including schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and eating disorders. This suggests that lyme disease can contribute towards, or at least exacerbate, these conditions. In extreme cases, lyme disease has been implicated as a possible contributing factor in suicides. 

The sleeping difficulties and stress that can be caused by a chronic lyme infection can in themselves contribute towards the development of mental and emotional problems. This impact can we worsened if a person does not feel that their symptoms are being taken seriously or if they are not able to establish the cause. 

 

What is the current treatment? 

The appropriate course of treatment can depend on how recently the person was exposed to the disease. Since this is a bacterial infection, antibiotics can help to bring a new infection under control. Cases of borrelia mayonii infection have been successfully treated with 2-4 weeks of administering doxycycline. Antibiotics may still be effective in a persistent case, though this will likely not reverse all of the effects of the disease.  

Given that there may be many different symptoms, it may be necessary to decide which ones are the biggest issue and start by targeting these. Mental health symptoms are often treated with the use of antipsychotic medication, especially if these symptoms are severe. BICOM® bioresonance therapy can help to eliminate the toxins from the body and support the immune system in fighting off this infection. 

 

Conclusion 

Borrelia is a genus of bacteria spread via ticks that can infect humans, sometimes causing a serious reaction and chronic health problems. As well as the physical health effects, there is much evidence to suggest that chronic lyme borreliosis can contribute towards psychiatric symptoms and mental health problems. Antibiotics may be used to control the bacterial infection, while antipsychotic medication may be needed to target severe psychiatric issues. Bioresonance therapy can help support the body, enabling it to fight this bacterium more effectively.