Is Your Mind Failing You…or is it Lyme Disease?

Is Your Mind Failing You…or is it Lyme Disease?

In this final article of our Lyme Disease series, I want to address a very important underappreciated symptom: mental, emotional, and brain health issues.

When you have chronic or even acute Lyme Disease, it is not uncommon to experience brain fog, memory loss, severe mood swings, depression, anxiety, hallucinations, and other psychiatric issues as a result.

This isn’t talked about enough and it needs to be, because so many heart-breaking mental and emotional ailments have their roots in Lyme.

How Lyme Disease Affects Mental, Emotional, and Cognitive Health

Lyme affects your mental, emotional, and cognitive health in two specific ways:

  1. By attacking your nervous system,
  2. and by attacking your gut microbiome/digestive tract.

Let’s start with the nervous system.

Research shows that up to 40% of Lyme Disease patients will develop neurological involvement of either the peripheral or central nervous system[1]. This is often labled as: neurological Lyme disease or Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB).

The result of this can manifest as the following psychiatric conditions:

  • Paranoia
  • Dementia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Major depression—25-65% of chronic Lyme sufferers experience depression
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

I believe the number of people affected is actually much higher due to the amount of undiagnosed chronic Lyme cases. I would also add eating disorders, addiction, and phobias to this list based on my experience.

Acute cases of Lyme can also impact your mental/emotional health, and typically show up in the form of:

  • Brain fog
  • Memory lapses
  • Mood swings

The other often overlooked factor in Lyme and brain health is how the disease impacts your gut health.

Over the last ten years, there have been great scientific breakthroughs in our understanding of the gut-brain-connection via the vagus nerve.

Your vagus nerve is a long, meandering nerve that runs from your brain all the way to your gut.

It acts like an information superhighway, shuttling nerve impulses and information between your gut, your brain, and everything in between.

We also now know that your gut is chock full of nerve endings and neurotransmitters—hence it’s new nick-names: the “enteric nervous system” and “the second brain”[2].

And if your neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, are out balance, you’d better believe you will not feel mentally or emotionally “right”.

This new understanding has led progressive psychiatrists and psychologists to include gut healing protocols as part of their standard patient care.

And there has been new research surfacing, as reported by the American Psychological Association, about the effectiveness of “psychobiotics”—a type of probiotic gut bacteria specific to mental and emotional well-being[3].

If only they knew the role Lyme disease often plays in mental health issues!

But, progress is progress so I digress…

Due to its damaging effects on gut health, many Lyme disease patients wind up with digestive co-infections such as leaky gut syndrome, SIBO, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Thus, if you’ve been experiencing chronic digestive disorders I’d highly recommend getting checked out for Lyme.

Meet Danielle, Amanda, Alex, Jonah, and Shea—five patients who overcame chronic Lyme and recovered their mental and emotional health.

I’ve changed the names of these patients to protect their privacy, but here are there real-life stories:

Danielle: 40 yo female whose chief complaint was sudden onset insanity-producing anxiety, which emerged after being given a high potency homeopathic remedy.

Borrelia tested as a cause on BioEnergetic testing, time-checked to 2 years prior. On questioning, the patient recalled that she had been bitten by a tick 2 years prior, had gone to ER, they removed it and gave her an antibiotic.

The homeopathic remedy had pushed out the Lyme microbes (in an attempt to cure) which caused a her new bouts of anxiety.

We began detox of Lyme microbes. She required an intense plan of many remedies. Symptoms began to subside over the course of the first treatment plan, but still persisted until she rounded a corner at about the 5 month mark.

She required many rounds of detox and repair. The end result was resolution of the anxiety with eradication of the Lyme microbes. Patience paid off for Michelle.

Amanda—38 yo female originally on healing plan for hormone imbalance, in particular headaches related to her menstrual cycle.

During her detox, though her headaches went away, she developed suicidal inclinations (although she did not report this to me at the time they developed) and also an eye infection.

She contacted me for help with the eye infection, for which I recommended a bacterial detoxification regimen (not knowing about the suicidal inclinations at this point).

On her next follow up she reported to me the bit about the suicidal inclinations and said that with the implementation of the bacterial detox they had resolved (as had the eye infection).

What showed at that visit on BioEnergetic testing were Lyme microbes. Our hormonal detox had kicked out Lyme microbes which had contributed to the eye infection and suicidal inclinations.

The bacterial detox had lessened the impact of the Lyme microbes on the brain. We continued on with Lyme-specific detox and over the initial couple of months, the suicidal inclinations intensified at times, but were completely resolved after about 3 months. Her mood and all other health issues were resolved after Lyme microbes were completely eliminated, a process which took about 8 months.

Alex—11 year old boy, on autism spectrum, highly functioning.

This patient’s issues were mostly emotional/behavioral—poor self-regulation, outbursts, impulse control issues, also significant sleep issues and fatigue, and some abdominal pain.

Initially on BioEnergetic assessment revealed the need to detox heavy metals from vaccines and methylation repair came up.

There were long intervals between appointments, and after a long gap in between appointments the mother reported on follow up that he always talked about how she would be better without him and one day when she was walking around their property had caught him trying to jump out a second story window (in an attempt to kill himself).

He admitted that he had suicidal inclinations. Lyme microbes presented on his next BEA and as we began to detox them theses tendencies resolved.

We are still in the midst of treatment, but his sleep and fatigue issues are resolved as is the abdominal pain. We are still working on the self-regulation, although I feel he is much improved.

Jonah—5-year old boy suffering from outbursts.

Colby’s mother shared a video of him she had filmed as he was having a melt-down in the car, which ensued because he felt he had made the wrong selection of a toy he had been allowed to chose.

In this video he is crying and saying he didn’t want to be here anymore and he wished the angels would come and take him and that he would jump off a tall tower.

The mother was questioning whether this was normal behavior. On BEA Lyme microbes presented and we began detoxification. After about 10 days improvement was noted in his ability to regulate his outbursts.

After completion of one round of detoxification which took a few months to complete his Lyme microbes were erradicated and his behavior is stable.

Shea—11 year old girl (my daughter)

Had a tick bite Memorial Day of 2017. No symptoms arose.

April of 2018 after simulated Harry Potter ride at Universal, I noticed her eyes were not tracking and she felt very out of it (anyone could chalk this up to the ride itself).

I did cold laser reflex integration session on her and it seemed to help her symptoms. She continued to feel out of it however and described it as a nausea in her head. Anxieties and sleep issues developed.

On BEA we saw Lyme microbes (from the tick bite the previous year). The brain stimulation of the ride had activated a response to the microbes. With detox all symptoms resolved (after about -3-4 months)– only to return when she had lice not long after.

She acquired Bartonella bacteria (and another form of Borrelia) from these bites. Another symptom was a feeling of burning up from the inside. This detox process was 7 months long. I should note that my daughter is more compromised because of genetic and methylation issues.

She is still a work in process.

I share these stories with you today to illustrate just how devastating Lyme can be on our mental and emotional health. There are so many more I could share!

However, as you can see from these case studies, there is great hope for healing when we use an integrative approach.

And yes, this may include psychological support or counseling along with a Lyme detox, especially if you’re feeling suicidal. Do not take this type of thing lightly or try to tackle it on your own.

So, if you’re dealing with unexplained mental, emotional, or cognitive health issues I would strongly urge you to get checked out for Lyme disease by a Lyme literate doctor or practitioner.

Given the new research out there on the neurological and gut-health implications, it’s not an unlikely causal factor anymore.

In health and hope,

Dr. Joy

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