Lyme Disease and depression

Depression. It isn't all in your head. Some of the symptoms related to the brain and nervous systems that have been observed in Lyme patients are headache, tremor, facial paralysis (Bell's palsy), tremor, burning or sharp stabbing sensations, numbness, irritability, dementia, and mood swings. Depressing, huh? Yet not all Lyme sufferers experience all these symptoms. Clearly, they are not only related to Lyme; they may also be indicative of another condition. Especially during the holidays, it can be tough to manage the stress brought on by financial pressures, travel, and a busy social calendar.

If you're healing from Lyme, you must slow down and nurture yourself first. Stick your regular routine as much as possible, and cut down on work if you can swing it. Cook nutritious meals, get plenty of sleep if you can, and cultivate a practice of relaxation through gentle Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. If you're a mom, or accustomed to being the caretaker, it can be difficult to ask for help, but you need to get over that. Recruit help from your family and friends. This is a good time to learn how to ask for assistance when carrying in the grocery bags, making beds, or tidying up for your relatives' visit.

Brain and nervous system involvement is usually a sign of late stage, or what is referred to as chronic Lyme. Get professional medical help if you suspect you may have Lyme, even if you have not tested positive for it. Most of the tests for Lyme disease are notoriously unreliable at this point. If you are unusually depressed, or your mood swings are worsening, and you also have some of the other symptoms associated with the disease, such as crushing fatigue, fever, rash, or arthritis, it is very important to consult a Lyme-literate doctor with experience in recognizing Lyme symptoms.

In the meantime, nurture your spirit as well as your body. Spend time with folks you really love. Rent funny DVDs, look for the humor in your everyday situation. It's there, even in our suffering. Take inspiration from other people who have survived serious diseases and recovered to live happy lives. Above all, during the holidays and beyond, don't let depression get you down! Bear in mind these wise words: This too shall pass.
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