Remission and Your Mental Health
The daily struggles of living with Lyme disease can be a lonely, isolating experience.
Looks can be deceiving
Many Lyme patients often look well despite debilitating symptoms. Family, friends, and medical professionals may not understand the intense suffering most patients have gone through to improve their health. Months or years of treatments can be expensive and harsh on the body and mind. Because there is no cure for Lyme disease in the later stages, if a treatment fails to yield results, the grueling process repeats all over again. For patients who achieve remission, many of them will live in fear of their symptoms returning.
The endless, traumatic cycle of fighting symptoms, dealing with healthcare professionals who may not believe patients are sick, and the constant dread over symptoms returning may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other traumatic stress disorders. Some patients who reach remission might even experience a sense of guilt, known as “survivor’s guilt,” for regaining their health, while others they know continue to struggle.
Do not be scared to ask for help
If you need mental health services to cope with the past traumas and anxieties from a difficult journey to overcome Lyme disease, please seek help. Feelings of anxiety, guilt, fear, and dread can develop in all types of people. They aren’t a reflection of your inner strength or how tough you are. Ask your doctor, a trusted friend, or a support group for recommendations. Once you’re in remission, mental health professionals can be integral to coping with a range of emotions that arise from years of Lyme disease treatments and symptoms and helping you live a fuller life.