Lyme Disease Can Wreak Havoc on Mental Health

brain with the words "mental health" written on it

The mainstream media is finally reporting what we in the Lyme community have known for decades: Lyme disease can cause psychological and neurological complications.

Recently, U.S. News and World Report reported “patients hospitalized for Lyme disease had a 28% higher incidence of mental disorders and were twice as likely to attempt suicide than people without Lyme.”

Lyme pioneer Dr. Leo Shea (Tick Boot Camp Podcast episode 192) established the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral impacts of Lyme disease in the mid-1990s, but his findings were ignored by the mainstream media for decades.

Supporting Dr. Shea’s findings from over 25 years ago, Joseph Trunzo, chair of the department of psychology at Bryant University, is quoted in the article as saying “it is almost certain that people can develop psychiatric symptoms as a result of the problems Lyme disease may cause in their lives, but the idea that infection itself may be driving psychiatric symptoms should not be dismissed.”

Joseph Trunzo added, “Lyme disease can have devastating medical and psychological effects, wreaking havoc on relationships, finances, cognition, emotions, quality of life, and all aspects of daily functioning.”

Citing the findings of study author Dr. Brian Fallon, director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University, “these findings highlight the need for greater awareness in the medical community that patients after a serious case of Lyme disease are at increased risk of mental disorders and suicidal behaviors.”