It was two years ago that I finally broke down and called my mom asking recommendations of a Psychiatrist. The Lyme bacteria had been invading my brain for a couple years by that point and was not only affecting my ability to think, retain information, etc, but had also caused a decline in my mental health.
Fact is, psychiatric symptoms are quite common in the Lyme disease community. The bacteria often invade the brain and cause all sorts of issues from depression to paranoia to symptoms that mimic diseases like Schizophrenia, OCD, ADD, Bi-Polar and much more.
Going from a perfectly (mentally) healthy person to a depressed, panicked, paranoid individual was hard to accept. Not only had the bacteria been attacking my glands, which were throwing off my hormones, which were causing weight gain – and attacking my muscles, causing them to be weakened, and causing pain, and major fatigue, which kept me couch ridden, and attacking my brain causing twitching and tingling and a lot of cognitive issues – it had now started causing my personality to change. I used to be a silly, happy, fun girl – slowly I began to grow depressed and sad and lacked the energy to be silly and happy.
My previous doctor was of no help when it came to those symptoms, even though many Lyme patients suffer in this way, he was of very little help. The bacteria were raging, my brain was inflamed, I was slowly losing my mind. I got the recommendation, saw the doctor, got on anti-depressants, and slowly began to stabilize. It wasn’t a cure. I still needed to take my brain back from these bacteria. It was a band-aide for my symptoms. It helped. It didn’t make me bound through life joyous but it took the edge off the depression and paranoia.
I’ve since come to realize that anti-depressants are not a cure. They help. But don’t expect to feel like your old self because you probably won’t. However, if you’re “losing” your mind, as I like to call it, reach out for some kind of help. There’s no reason to live with the symptoms of a hurting brain if you don’t have to.
What I’ve come to realize, for myself, is that natural treatment might just be a better alternative than drugs like Zoloft. I’ve been in treatment for over two years. In those two years I’ve experienced quite a bit of healing, including healing in my brain. I have a long ways to go but I am moving in the right direction. I’m now seeing a Naturopath for my adrenal glands and Lyme infection, so it only makes sense to use his services to help my mental health symptoms. Not to mention the drugs I’m on could be the source of my hair loss!
My experience with natural medicine has been positive. The herbs I’m on are just as strong and maybe even more effective than the antibiotics I lived on for almost four years. The medicine I’m on for my adrenal glands is far superior than the cortef my traditional medical doctor had me on for a couple of years, not to mention better for my body. I just can’t help but feel that using my Dr. R for the depression and mood would be a better fit for me now than staying with my Psychiatrist.
Having said all of that, it’s still scary to make the decision to get off these strong drugs and hope my body doesn’t rebel. And what if I find out I actually do need these drugs I’m on? What then? Go back on them? Start the process all over again? That would be the logical answer. It all makes me a little nervous because, really, who likes to make big changes in their health care? But, I have to follow my gut and my gut is telling me to do this and not look back. Just like leaving my traditional medical doctor was nerve wracking, this will be too, but just like it was worth it to go natural for my health, it will likely be for my mental health too.
Pray for me. I need peace. I need wisdom. And a sound mind.