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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » bipolar illness and Lyme

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Author Topic: bipolar illness and Lyme
Shosty
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I would like to hear from anyone who had had, or has had a teen with, bipolar illness that improved with Lyme treatment.

Our daughter has had Lyme, was treated for 3 months, and has been fine since. However, she had a sudden onset episode of mania this past summer, while away from home at a summer program, and this was followed, this fall, by a deep depression.

There is a family history of bipolar disease, as well as migraines and epilepsy. She has now been diagnosed with bipolar 1, which is being treated with Lamictal.

We discussed the possible contributions of Lyme to this picture with the psychiatrist yesterday, and agree for now that Lyme would not be a priority to consider, but this MD is very open.

The MD felt that anxiety, depression and cognitive problems were more likely to be Lyme, but that this kind of classic bipolar picture was not.

Thanks.

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lightparfait
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I have been researching this topic and believe that Pyrolria is a big component in bipolar developing. It appears that all with lyme disease also have a level of pyroluria. I suggest you test her for this.

My teen does not have bipolar...but I believe this could develop. I have witnessed many symptoms improve...like lyme and co-infections are finally gone...but the toxic burden still exists and gives her the mental issues of anxiety and depression. She had those all along...but I do not believe they were from lyme alone. IT was the mix of all the toxic load.

She is getting better on the Allergie-immun therapy, but has her ups and downs. I will post on how she is doing after the A.I. is complete. She is so much better, as well as me...that i wil shout it from the mountaintops to help all , especially with teens..we need to help our kids!

I would highly encourage you to look into A.I. for your teen. IT helps the dysregulations to finally naturally happen, where the immune system works correctly and the body can finally begin to balance on its own. Her's is balancing each month in ways she recognises and can share with me. My neighbor also has her teenage son on it...and finally she is seeing major imporvments in his physical and mental health...his behavior, his good choices..and his academics.

I understand why you would use the Lamictal...but those drugs only supress the problems, and will never cure them. IT will be a lifelong struggle for her when you start these types of meds. None of these MD's truely know...they just want to help manage the main behavioral symptoms, but can not tell us what side effects will hapen in the future. And we parents just want them to have a good and happy life, so what can we do?

I have been avoiding giving her any psych meds for depression and anxiety...as I know if she takes whole food and natural supplements and can finally absorb the minerals and nuturents naturally, she may naturally improve without the major psych meds. Psych meds will be her last line of defense.

The problem is absorbing the correct nutreints. We all with chronic ilness have the "leaky gut". This is the problem. Need to correct this for other things to start healing in our bodies. Without this we will not get completely better.
A.I. works on this link...getting rid of intolerences of foods and our bodies ability to finally recognise good things as good for our body and absorbing them. Then it begins to regulate. Then the brain will finally get fed, and finally begin healing. To what extent it heals is to be seen individually I believe. Depending on how long it is deprived possibly?

Our kids have a much better chance of improving quickly.

The mental portion is the last piece my daughter is working on...all physical problems have regulated...(except for the cystic acne and skini breakouts) amazing as she had so many physical problems that are now gone....and I will post the level of mental success on the A.I. and when her pyroluria gets cleared. She is not taking the pyroluria protocol while on the A.I. We are aiting to see if she even needs it after the A.I> is complete...we are taking little steps and documenting it all!

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lymeHerx001
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I say that lyme makes bipolar worse to the point where its not bi polar any more. Its a mish mash because the bug gets into your brain and nerves and changes YOU!
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jkmom
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My daughter is not a teen yet and she was dx'ed with mood disorder-nos instead of bipolar. Another, natural health type psychiatrist (MD), said she would eventually get a bipolar dx. I think he meant if we went to a mainstream doctor.

Lyme treatment has helped her mood issues. I am pretty sure it is the doxy. Every time we put her on doxy, her emotional volatility goes away quickly. It was probably her first symptom from Lyme, but we also had somewhat of a family history and thought she was following along with that.

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tick battler
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Shosty,

Sorry to hear your daughter is dealing with this. I can't give you personal experience with the bipolar diagnosis but I have read about this and seen it often listed as a lyme symptom.

I have also seen psychiatric issues from lyme/bartonella in my children, especially my twin 5 year old boys. One has almost entirely resolved his psychiatric issues after 1.5 years of treatment and the other is much better but still has a way to go.

If it were me, I would rule out Lyme first. In my mind, there are some red flags as to why I would do that:

-others in your family have had lyme, so it is very possible she could have it

-your daughter was only treated for 3 months, which is a very short treatment time unless her infection was caught in the very early stages

-physical symtoms tend to disappear first, before the psychiatric ones, thus your daughter may have appeared to be well after 3 months, but the infection had not been yet fully cleared from her brain

-your daughter may have been reinfected and it either could be a new infection, or could have reactivated the older dormant infection

- as lymeherx said, lyme gets into the brain...it is a disease of the brain....psych issues are very, very common with it. See:
http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/Psychiatric_Brochure_08_08.pdf
and
http://www.thehumansideoflyme.net/

I agree with lightparfait about using the psych drugs as a last line of defense. Why use a band aid if there is even a small possibility that it can be eradicated?

If it were me, I would do the following:

- extensive testing to see if you can pick up bartonella or Lyme or mycoplasma.

-an evaluation by an experienced LLMD to see if other perhaps less obvious symptoms are found

- a trial of a lyme/bart abx combination for 1 to 3 months to assess whether she herxes (sign of lyme) or whether any improvement is noticed.

- consider doing electrodermal testing to see if it can pick up any infections (see my recent post)

I hope this helps. Good luck and I hope she feels better soon.

tickbattler

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Shosty
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Thanks all.

Her recent Lyme IgM was negative but her IgG had 3 positive bands, two of them Lyme-specific. In the past, her IgM was fully CDC positive.

She has absolutely no other symptoms, and bipolar runs in the family, so it really is murky.

Her previous treatment was stopped by an LLMD who usually treats for years. Her symptoms were completely gone.

It is possible that the stressful dance program she was in last summer, retriggered the Lyme, but it is also common for that kind of stress to trigger bipolar. Her sudden onset mania was very classic bipolar 1, and is now followed by a very classic bp1 depression.

Her LLMD said trying antibiotics was reasonable, and she made it to 3 weeks (no herx at all, nothing, though that is not a lot of time) when she said she really wanted some relief and wanted to see a psychiatrist. This, from a 17 year-old, an age when they often want to avoid psychiatrists! She herself said she did not want to take antibiotics, and I am letting her decide, for now.

My other daughter had very psychotic bipolar symptoms while ON antibiotics. She got better off the abx!

I am very cautious about antibiotics for psych. issues because of that experience, I think.

Right now, she is trying Lamictal. It can have a healing effect on the brain, and barring side effects that we are vigilant on, won't hurt her. I don't think it is a band-aid, exactly. And it can be combined with antibiotics, if we decide on that.

This Lyme thing is so hard. It haunts us all. I should be on abx, and my other daughter too, but years of treatment did a number on our bodies, with not all that much improvement. We all have positive ANA's and HLA-DR 4, so our Lyme, if it is still there, is probably "intractable."

We could speculate that many brain disorders are caused by organisms: OCD is triggered by strep (PANDAS). We'll just play this as it goes along...

tickbattler, so glad to hear your sons are improved/ing, and jk mom, glad to hear your daughter improves on doxy... keeping all this in mind!

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lightparfait
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Shosty,

My prayers are with you.

I know that our teens are also going through hormonal changes that effect their moods.

And the stresses they are under are far more stressful than we had growing up. School, sports, activities, social!

When my daughter goes through depression episodes...she says that nothing is causing it...it is just there.

After the fact, I find there was a major stresser going on that she was hiding from me.

There is always a reason and a situation that sets off these major mood swings. Although I know she is predisposed mentally to get majorly depressed from any bad situation.

Therapy helps this as they will not tell their parents what is going on. My daughter admits she does not want to be judged by me when she makes a foolish decision.

When she makes poor choices in friends or situations and does not think of the consequences. And there have been many!

A counselor helped my daughter through a tough time...and she needs to see one now...although she is not while in college...this is a concern for me.

I agree with you about the bacteria and viruses possibly causing mental issues. Abx do not eradicate these...but only push them deeper or move them I have found, and they hide for awhile and fool us that they have gone...in remission for a little. Then symptoms recur.

This is why I have mentioned the A.I. therapy in my previus post. Going deeper to why dysregulations occur and why viruses/bacteria take over our bodies...and working on that level first with the young people. This is working for many.

AS I say my daughter is not diagnosed with bipolar...she could be if seeing a different md. Has had the list of symptoms for it! NO improvement there yet.

She will soon be on "CORE" which is a mineral supplement for those with kryptopyrolia...that all of Dr. K"s patients with lyme have! WE get this from Biopure.

Interesting that the minerals lacking in her body, and not being able to be absorbed for years, are the ones that feed the brain and cause depression and anxiety when lacking.

Core contains: Vit B6 P5P, Biotin, Zinc, Maganese, Chromium, Molybdemun.

I will report her results after a month on these. She could not take any supplements before A.I. therapy as she was just passing them undigested in her stools. Any pills caused major digestive issues.

Now she can digest food, so she is able to finally absorb supplements. We are hoping for a chance for her neurons to finally get fed mega doses of what she has been lacking for the healing to begin in the brain!

She wants to try this before psych meds as well as she knows about the side effects...but truely is crying out for help.

I share what we are doing with you as an alternative approach, and will candidly post all positive and negative findings as things progress...on the A.I. site or if others post for help with their teens.

My prayers and support are with you and all who read this and your children...we are in this together!

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lightparfait
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To those who PM"d me about Phyroluria...here's a brief synopsis on the effects:

PYROLURIA

Pyroluria is a genetically determined chemical imbalance involving an abnormality in hemoglobin synthesis. Hemoglobin is the protein that holds iron in the red blood cell. Individuals with this disorder produce too much of a byproduct of hemoglobin synthesis called "kryptopyrrole" (KP) or "hemepyrrole." Kryptopyrrole has no known function in the body and is excreted in urine.

Kryptopyrrole binds to pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and zinc and makes them unavailable for their important roles as co-factors in enzymes and metabolism. These essential nutrients when bound to kryptopyrrole are removed from the bloodstream and excreted into the urine as pyrroles. Arachidonic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) also becomes deficient.

The effect of pyroluria can have a mild, moderate, or severe depending on the severity of the imbalance. Most individuals show symptoms of zinc and/or B6 deficiencies, which include poor stress control, nervousness, anxiety, mood swings, severe inner tension, episodic anger (an explosive temper), poor short-term memory and depression. Most pyrolurics exhibit at least two of these problems. These individuals cannot efficiently create serotonin (a neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety and depression) since vitamin B6 is an important factor in the last step of its synthesis. Many of these persons appear to benefit from SSRI medications such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, etc. However, as with all mind-altering drugs, side effects occur and the true cause of the mental difficulties remains uncorrected. In addition these individuals often have frequent infections and are often identified by their inability to tan, poor dream recall, abnormal fat distribution, and sensitivity to light and sound. As you can imagine an SSRI will not correct these metabolic effects. More healthful benefits may be achieved by giving the appropriate supporting nutrients.

Pyroluria is detected by chemical analysis of the abnormal pyroles in urine detectable as a purple (on testing paper) metabolite in called "the mauve factor." Most persons have less than 10mcg of KP per deciliter. Persons with 10-20 mcg/dl are considered "borderline" pyroluric and may benefit from treatment. Persons with levels above 20 mcg/dl are considered to have pyroluria, especially if the above symptoms are present. The chemical analysis for KP is difficult due to the tendency for this chemical to decompose. Sometimes it is necessary to repeat the urine test to properly determine the level of KP being excreted. To make the initial diagnosis, no vitamins or minerals should be taken for two days before the urine is collected (This is to avoid false negative results). The specimen should be handled properly as well - collected and frozen immediately and protected from any light by being placed in aluminum foil. A repeat test to determine if the condition has been improved may be helpful.

People with mild-moderate pyroluria usually have a fairly rapid response to treatment if no other chemical imbalances are present. People with severe pyroluria usually require several weeks before progress is seen and improvement may be gradual over 3 - 12 months. Features of pyroluria usually recur within 2 - 4 weeks if the nutritional program is stopped. Thus, the need for treatment is indefinite.

Pyroluria is managed in part by restoring vitamin B6 and zinc. The type of replacement therapy is very important as zinc must be provided in an efficiently absorbed form. Vitamin B6 is also available in several forms. Both zinc and B6 supplementation need to be directed by the doctor as too much can be toxic, use of the wrong form will be ineffective, and avoiding competing minerals and supplements may be necessary. Other nutrients may assist in pyroluria include niacinamide, pantothenic acid, manganese, vitamins C and E, omega-6 fatty acids and cysteine. Food sources and nutritional supplements containing copper and red/yellow food dyes should be avoided.

Because pyrolurics are stress intolerant, they seem to be especially vulnerable to cumulative stress over many days. For example, parents of a pyroluric child should use discipline that is "short and sweet" rather than "long and lingering." It is not unexpected that pyroluric patients are prone to relapses, especially during illness, injury, or emotional stress.

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David Miller
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If you google "Brian Fallon" or wander over to ilads.org you can find material on neuroborrealis (sp). In a nutshell, lyme can cause all sorts of neuro-psychiatric effects including OCD, bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression.

Successful treatment of the lyme and purging of the neurotoxins can restore some/all of ones pre-lyme mental capacity.

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Shosty
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Thanks lightparfait and good luck with your daughter. I will watch for your posts.

David, I actually talked with Brian Fallon 7 years ago, on the phone, about our other daughter.

We have been dealing with Lyme for 10 years now and are not newbies. I handed out all this info to our schools years ago, etc. Thanks though, and hoping others will read this.

I really wanted to hear from actual people, particularly people whose kid had clear-cut bipolar one (manic episode that is obvious), took antibiotics, and actually got better. It helps me to make decisions to hear "all sides."

Lithium would make her better in days, Lamictal in weeks, but in our experience, antibiotics won't give that much improvement over years. The fact that Lyme bacteria could contribute is plausible, but the best direction of treatment not so clear. There are alternative directions we could go, which I like to read about- thanks - but right now, our daughter is going to take an anticonvulsant.

My father was bipolar, and committed suicide in his 40's. I do not want to fool around with this for long.

Luckily, this daughter has no other health problems (her digestion is fine, she exercises daily as a dancer, etc.). Also luckily, she tells me just about everything, if not before, sometimes a little time afterward. Some of it might not be very comforting for me to hear, but at least, so far, I know.

Lightparfait, your daughter is in college. Mine is on the cusp of 18, and after that, I will have little ability to influence her, unless invited. Having a daughter with such problems, away at college, can't be easy, and congratulations on your nerves!

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mixxster
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This sums me up to a T!

I'm 20 years old, family history of bipolar. Was diagnosed with bipolar at age 18, but had symptoms well before, especially mania and anxiety.

Initially,(May 2009) the doxy was the best mood stabilizer I've ever been on.

But then I got very irritable, so we went after Bartonella and Lyme together(Sept 2009), and things got a little better for a while.

Then I got very emotional and was having crying spells for little reason, if any at all.

So we are now going after Babesia and Bart( starting late November). I am doing so much better! The best improvement is my insomnia is gone, my awful headaches+ migraines are almost gone, my motivation is better. Most of all my mood is stable. I don't need any mood stabilizers. Though I still take a little Klonopin every day.

I have been able to return to school and am feeling worlds better.

The only major symptom I have left is CFS. The depression got really bad on Mepron at first, and it gave me a fever of 102 initially. I really think Babesia destroys emotional control, especially if other infections are involved.

I wish your daughter well. But I think it was a real mistake to treat her Lyme for 3 months and then ignore all possible co-infections. You need to take her to a real LLMD. I learned this myself. After 3 months(Aug 2009), I went one week without antibiotics and sure enough, I had a manic episode.

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tick battler
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mixxster - I have seen the same types of symptoms in my children and I agree that the babesia destroys emotional control...when my kids start crying at the slightest thing, I expect the babesia is back. When they are angry or irritable or violent, I would think it's bart. Not sure if anxiety and insomnia would be bart or babs, but they have had that too in the past.

Like in your case, I have observed that when you knock down one coinfection, the other coinfection symptoms appear.

Glad to hear you are doing so well. Can you share your protocol?

Shosty - the fact that your daughter has only two bands now rather than the full positive makes sense since I have read that if you have had the disease a long time, you are less likely to get a full positive. This happened to my husband as well.

One more thought - if you are totally against trying abx, you could try the Cowden protocol...not sure if it would be as effective, but it could be worth a try.

tickbattler

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Shosty
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I'm not totally against anything. If I were, I would not have posted this! I can be 49% versus 50% and still have to make a decision...

We do have a 'real" LLMD who is quite famous and testifies at all the hearings etc. But he is not big on coinfections. We also visited Jones at one point, with the other daughter.

This daughter was treated for 3 months, 7 or 8 years ago, and has been healthier than the average person. I mean, very, very healthy. Her original main symptom was in one eye, so brain involvement is conceivable.

For those who are reading this, I will also say that when our other daughter was psychotic/bipolar on tetracycline, both Jones and Fallon said it was urgent to get her on psych. medication. They advised treating the psych. condition while also treating the Lyme etc. So anticonvulsants/mood stabilizers/antipsychotics would have been used on her if I had followed their advice.

Instead, I took her to the PCP and insisted that she be taken off tetracycline. She was back to her old self within days.

I have had a zillion experiences over the last 15 years, like this. I trust noone, particularly MD's (including LLMD's) but listen to everyone!

In any case, antibiotics and mood stabilizers etc. are not mutually exclusive, and relief can
be obtained with the bipolar meds while waiting for the abx to work. According to Fallon, Jones et al.

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jkmom
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What about taking her to Dr. B in NJ for her psych meds or a consult? He is a LL psychiatrist. He does not prescribe abx, as far as I know, but could give an opinion about whether to treat for Lyme & cos.
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Jane2904
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Our daughter had horrible anxiety. The Drs. kept blaming it on a bad year. Her age, etc, etc...

She had one sickness after another. Finally, I demanded a Lyme test.

She was treated for 8 weeks, then the fun began. She still was not well.

Long story short... finally went to a LLMD and she is being treated for Lyme, Bart, Erlichiosis.

I decided to stop the low dose anti that her pediatrician put her on. dep/anxiety med. Too many side effects. Even a Psych. nurse was at a loss on what to give to her.

Once we stopped the dep/anxiety med and the Rifampin kicked in. Many things improved. Her moods, anxiety etc.

I know this is not any help., but wanted you to know that Lyme and Co treatment has improved anxiety, moods so far for our daughter.

I wish you luck in your research and hope you get lots of information to help make you decision.

Her Bart test was Igg post, but regular drs. would not treat. They felt it was a past resolved infection.

Best of luck your doing a great job.

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PinchMe
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Hello,

I had a clear cut manic episode (twice) while i was not treating my lyme. Its tough to wrap your head around what is actually causing the mania. I was drinking heavily and being rather unhealthy. I most certainly have a complex case of bartonella, babesia and lyme. My cognitive issues are my biggest battle. Anyhow, after being released from the psych ward 7 months ago, and insisting to pyschiatrists that the untreated lyme was causing my mania i began treating again. Minocycline and mepron. I began to come down from cloud 9 so much more obviously and directly than on any of those anti pyschotics. The herx on mino was aggressive. I began to feel like a fragile lyme patient again - and as wierd as this sounds it was a relief. i'd rather feel fragile than dangerously manic. i've been treating for 7months now since my mania and have been off all pysch meds. i need to figure out the best way to attack my bart and eliminate my remain neuro/ cog issues.

heres my thinking - i have always been a bit of a whipper snapper. i have always been emotional and passionate. untreated lyme can put one who has the right emotional landscape over the edge. its a dangerous place to be. if i were your daughter i'd be demanding minocycline - just to see if it had any effect whatsoever. go easy on it - the herx can be an emotional rollercoaster as well. - but at least you know.

hope this helps

pm me if need be

--------------------
Bit in March 2005.

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PinchMe
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after looking into the marshall potocol - sometimes i question if reg bipolar is caused by pathogens. but i haven't tried it.

--------------------
Bit in March 2005.

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Shosty
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Thanks all. This is all a lot to think about. She die try tetracycline again, for a month, with no herx at all.

Luckily, her new, amazingly wonderful psychiatrist appears to be very Lyme literate, and when she looked at our daughter's testing, even brought it up. She felt that Lyme usually causes more anxiety and depression, and/or cognitive issues, than classic bipolar. But it is still on the table, so to speak.

Lamictal is the drug our daughter is getting onto. It has fewer side effects than most meds, but takes months to get onto. Being on Lamictal does not mean she can't do antibiotics, but first, we have decided to stabilize her on the Lamictal, and not muddy the waters with the abx approach.

Then, we can think about abx and think about all this some more.

My other daughter's medical issues are still murky about Lyme, and so are mine. Like I said, I think that no matter how many years we do treatment, Lyme is going to cast a long shadow over the years...Good luck to all, because that is not true for everyone!

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David Miller
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Shosty, if you've already spoken to Brian Fallon there's not much we'll have to offer. I wish I could.

I'll just remind all that while lyme and company can cause a wide variety of mental illnesses those illnesses exist in those who never had lyme - and who once had lyme but no longer do. IE, everything is not necessarily lyme.

I'll also add that in my humble, layman, non-medical opinion we'll find over time that a tremendous number of chronic and mental issues have infectious causes. We see it all the time with lyme, but I think we'll find other bacteria that cause alzheimers, MS, ALS, CFS, bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, etc, etc.

I'm sorry I can't offer more help.

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lymebytes
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From what I understand these symptoms can usually be related to a co-infection, Bartonella, although LD can cause them too.

Here is a flier put out by ILADS: http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/Psychiatric_Brochure_08_08.pdf

My son experienced many psych symptoms, but with long term heavy dose abx treatment is doing much better.

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lightparfait
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My daughter also sees Dr. B, famous lyme psychiatrist in NJ...He is very helpful and is open to many treatments.

I do believe the psych meds are necessary for some but for others they do not work well enough to use. It is individual depending on severity.

I also recommend while on psych meds...protect her liver with a liver supportive milk thistle product and take chlorella to pull out the toxic waste and to limit side effects in the future.

Shosty...thanks for your support as well...it IS nerve racking to have a daughter in college far away...and dealing with all this. As lyme and co's were gone and the physical illness was finally gone, I was willing to give her a shot and not steal her dream. It is up to her now!

And quite honestly, I am healing more now, as I have weeks that things are going smoothly, and I am at peace somewhat for the first time in years as I am not dealing with the underlying stress of her illness with mine! I am trying to learn to somewhat let go...but to be available to help her when needed. I want her to take some control of her health destiny as her responsibility. This is not easy for me, but I know this is what I need to do for her to be on her own totally someday soon.

Keep us posted...as you always have my support.
lp

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Shosty
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David, thanks for your offer of help and I agree with you completely that not everything is Lyme, and also that infectious causes may be behind many things. Strep has been proven to cause OCD, for instance. I talked with Brian Fallon many years ago, about a different daughter, by the way, and he pretty much just said to do paych. meds. I was surprised.

Lightparfait: you described our mutual situation perfectly. I completely relate to your description of getting a few weeks of peace, after many years...I was getting there with my older daughter, and now my younger one developed bipolar illness...but I will get there with her too!

Good luck to our daughter as she takes on responsibilities that go with her exciting new freedoms. And to you as your peacefulness grows!

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lightparfait
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I agree with you David about the possible cause of many mental disorders being bacterial/viral in nature. I am also a caregiver for my two inlaws with alzheimers. Finally had to put them both in a nursing facility as their symptoms have progressed and too dangerous to care for them both in a home environment.

But each time they worsen their symptoms, I find they each have a urinary tract infection...and always a different bacteria! After IV antibiotics in the hospital...they get cognitively and physically much better....amazingly so that to me it shows bacterial involvement with their mental decline.

I can always tell when to ask for a UTI test...when they dont recognize me, cannot eat on their own, have lower back pain, and talk in babble. After IV...that is all gone. although mental degeneration still continues and never gets fully back...it's like a roller coaster of ups and downs with treatment.

I follow the research for all these mental conditions as I hope we have preventative therapies for our future generations from what we share and learn.

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