Emotional Aspects of Lyme

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Too much stress or fearful negative thinking can actually play a big part in disease formation and in recovery. This mind body connection is often overlooked in modern medical treatments. Often doctors treat patients for chronic conditions that start out fairly mild but evolve into more serious conditions, but can become worse because negative emotions affect your health. This may seem far-fetched, but the body becomes vulnerable to germs and viruses when the immune system becomes impaired.

A weak immune system equals an acidic environment. Lyme LOVES acidic environments. They thrive! Negative feelings, stress, sadness, and worry also cause a spike in the hormone cortisol, which in turn suppresses the immune system. A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine reported that HIV patients who wrote about their worries for 30 minutes a day four days in a row experienced a drop in their viral load and a rise in infection-fighting T cells. Another study, in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, found that breast cancer patients who talked about their feelings regarding cancer had to schedule fewer doctors’ visits for cancer-related problems. 

In life we carry around past hurts, fears, anger, frustration, sadness, grief, inner secrets, and more. When we carry these emotions we find ourselves getting sick physically and mentally. We also do not live our life to the fullest. We limit our success both in business and in our personal life. 

How can I overcome my emotional burdens?

What can you do to help yourself eliminate these negative emotions? All you can do is start peeling away the layers of the onion. Peeling the onion is all about peeling away the built-up layers of which your negative emotions are comprised: inaccurate negative information about yourself, unhealthy habits, early imprints, old hurts and past failures.

Ideas for ‘peeling the onion’

  • 7 nights in a row: write an entire page worth of a constant stream of consciousness. Do not lift your pen, keep writing whatever thoughts come to mind for an entire page. This is different than a diary. Just let go and let the emotions flow through your heart and mind, right onto your paper.
  • Do yoga or Tai Chi or other light exercise. Exercise has been called soul food for the mind & spirit. (aerobics or other high impact exercises are not a good idea in Lyme according to Dr Burrascano’s Protocol!)
  • Write a letter to release feelings of anger and frustration. You don’t have to worry about sugar-coating anything, because you are not actually going to send it to anybody. This is incredibly freeing.
  • When you feel down in the dumps, instead of drinking alcohol, stuffing it down with comfort food, watching a movie to get your mind off it, look at it in the face. How? Take a bath, meditate, go for a quiet walk. Allow the feelings to manifest and fully embrace them. Cry, yell, scream… just allow whatever needs to happen, happen.
  • Lastly write down an affirmation when going through an emotional detox and read it before bed or first thing in the morning:  example: “I have the courage to release toxic emotions in a positive and constructive manner.” or “I am killing the Lyme and my body is healing.” – It can be anything you like.
  • Seek spiritual guidance from your pastor, rabbi, etc.
  • Pray or meditate.
  • Get counselling.
  • Join a Lyme support group – although some groups are full of super inflated internet egos, be careful. This can exasperate the issues. The first sign of drama, LEAVE.
  • Eliminate ‘happiness vampires’. This is very hard to do, I know! Even if they are family members, sometimes you have to say enough is enough and cut ties. You will be so much happier and your body will heal faster when you do. You cannot be surrounded by drama queens, liars, naysayers, gossips and expect to heal fully! I am not saying be nasty about it. You don’t have to create more issues, by trying eliminate issues! Do what you have to do for you! Change numbers, switch jobs, move, deactivate your Facebook or Twitter accounts, or delete the person that is causing you grief.

Does Lyme Rage exist?

Absolutely! This is not normally discussed in Lyme groups. People are often too embarrassed. I started noticing that my temper was ‘short’ soon after I was bitten. I assumed it was hormonal. Over the past few years it has become progressively worse. It’s like I have no filter and no fear at times. It can come out of nowhere! You can go from normal to a raging homicidal lunatic over minor things. It’s frightening at times. The best advice that I can give on this is to see a Lyme literate psychologist or counselor if possible, speak to your minister or other faith leader & try the above suggestions. I keep a journal, which helps tremendously & I have eliminated every single toxic person that I know from my life. I also pray A LOT!

Here are a few interesting articles about Lyme Rage:

http://actionlyme.50megs.com/neuroborreliosis%20aggression.htm

http://www.nowhealing.com/lyme-rage-and-irritability/

http://www.mentalhealthandillness.com/Articles/AggressionAndLymeDisease.htm

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/MindMoodNews/story?id=8205087&page=1

http://lymeconnection.org/news_publications/meet_the_lyme_disease_experts.html/title/lyme-disease-and-the-brain-with-psychiatrist-dr-robert-bransfield

https://globallymealliance.org/its-ok-to-be-angry-lyme-disease/

http://diaryoflymegirl.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/lyme-aggression-rage.html

https://fireflydance.net/lyme-disease-why-i-need-to-blog-so-others-arent-alone/crazy-or-just-the-lyme-disease/

 

Mickie Stacey is the founder of Stop the Lyme Lies; a patient advocacy and information website for Lyme & MSIDS (Multisystemic Infectious Diseases Syndrome). She holds a BA (Hons) Arts & Humanities degree and is also a qualified Naturopathic Nutritionist. Mickie freelances for several online publications. When she’s not writing she enjoys printmaking and spending time with her family.

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