Can Lyme Disease Cause Depression

Can Lyme Disease Cause Depression?

Erin was just 9 years old, but she had already been plagued by depression and other issues for years. She had taken antidepressants and other medications, but they hadn’t helped her. In fact, they made her worse. When Erin started talking about suicide, her parents knew they had to do more for their daughter. They took her for a brain imaging test called SPECT that looks at activity and blood flow in the brain.

Erin’s brain scan did not look healthy. It showed notable overactivity, which can be an indicator of inflammation. Blood tests and lab work revealed that the young girl had Lyme disease as well as other issues. Antidepressants would never heal the underlying infection.

Lyme Disease in the Brain

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick. Untreated, Lyme disease and other infections can interfere with the immune system and lead to inflammation. They can also cause changes in the brain that impact moods, learning, and more.

On SPECT brain scans, infectious diseases like Lyme disease can make the brain look like it has been exposed to toxins. A toxic appearance is a sign of a troubled brain.

The Lyme-Mental Health Link

Many people are surprised to learn that infectious diseases, including Lyme disease, are a major contributor to mental illnesses and cognitive issues. Research shows that children who have had an infectious disease are significantly more likely to have mental health problems as they grow up. In a study that followed over 3.5 million people, scientists found a 62% increase in the risk for mood disorders if a person had been hospitalized for any type of infection.

Why Don’t Most Doctors Test for Lyme?

Unfortunately, few healthcare professionals are aware of the connection between infections like Lyme disease and psychiatric problems like depression. If you go to your doctor and tell them you have symptoms of depression, you’re likely to walk out of the appointment with a prescription for antidepressants. But it is unlikely that they will do testing for infectious diseases or brain imaging. Because of this, Lyme disease often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, allowing the immune system disruption, systemic inflammation, and brain changes to worsen.

This needs to change.

Getting a comprehensive evaluation that includes brain imaging and lab screening tests helps provide a more accurate diagnosis, which is key for zeroing in on the proper treatment. As more people in the medical community become aware of the problem, infectious disease psychiatry is likely to emerge within the next 30 years as a major discipline of psychiatry.

Targeting the Infection to Help Treat the Depression

When it is caught early, Lyme disease can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics. When it has been present in your system for months or years and is accompanied by depression or other psychiatric or cognitive problems, additional treatments may be necessary. A comprehensive treatment program worked for 9-year-old Erin, who went from having depression and suicidal thoughts to experiencing a remarkable turnaround.

At Amen Clinics we have treated hundreds of patients with treatment-resistant psychiatric symptoms like depression who tested positive for Lyme disease. When their treatment plan included targeted solutions for the infection, they finally got the help they needed. If you or a loved one has symptoms of depression that aren’t responding to treatment, speak to a specialist about getting a full brain-body evaluation to discover if infection like Lyme disease might be the root cause. For more information, call 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit online.

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  1. Susan says:

    This kind of information needs to be sent to all doctors to make them aware of how Lyme effects people.

  2. Patricia A. Edwards says:

    As a victim of Lymes disease for most of my life I know what kind of effects it can have on all of your systems. To answer the question yes vey Definately it cam cause depression as well as many other things medically,physically ,mentally and emotionally. I know what helped me was to take a yeast supplement along with a multivitamin and a B complex.

  3. Diane Supowit says:

    It’s very worth mentioning that mainstream Lyme tests are GROSSLY inaccurate, with an accuracy rate of 50-60%. That’s totally unacceptable and wouldn’t even be used were it a test for HIV or another illness. The lying CDC, NIH, WHO and other agencies are aware but continue to put out FALSE info about Lyme and late-stage Lyme, which is totally debilitating!

    What tests do you use to confirm Lyme?

    Most ppl can’t afford brain scans btw.

    God’s grace and help are the only reasons I’ve lived to tell about my 20 YEAR nightmare with late-stage neuro Lyme disease.

  4. Abby Hunsberger says:

    Can Lyme disease still cause depression after a diagnosis? I know someone who had a serious case of it and was treated with antibiotics interveinously.

  5. Charles Abbiner says:

    Try doing some research on the Plum Island facility off the coast of Long Island NY. The CDC doesn’t give a damn about Lyme disease because they were some of the idiots trying to weaponize it back in the 70’s. True it has existed in nature for thousands of years, however, it has not been as concentrated as it had been after the 1970’s. Strange how it probably passed from ticks to sea birds that nested on the island. Low and behold the first documented outbreak occurred in Lyme Connecticut right across from where the facility is located. Please understand I am a rational person and I don’t believe most conspiracy theories. But it seems to me that the complete lack of information on Lymes and the fact the CDC has no interest in preventing or completing a vaccine makes me wonder. It’s time to stop believing the stupid lullabies they have been feeding us for years and start asking for help with this obvious epidemic.


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