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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » sex addiction a lyme symptom?

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Author Topic: sex addiction a lyme symptom?
glittergirl34
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my husband claims the lyme disease turned him into a cheating sex addict over the past year. any truth to this?

after i got real real sick with seizures from lyme last summer when he turned to porn and prostitutes at strip joints.

his lyme has only gotten really bad this past winter. i am unsure what to do with him. he has been drunk since he started doing this awful stuff and only stopped a few weeks ago.

he does have encephalitis, but nowhere near my severe encephalitis that had last summer and up until recently.

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Lymeorsomething
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perhaps...i think that i saw some studies that suggested lyme can increase testosterone in some animals....and i would imagine this precedes the HPA axis crash that seems to happen with lyme...

i'll look for actual citations....

--------------------
"Whatever can go wrong will go wrong."

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Patrick
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Since Lyme is known to effect the brain and nervous system and causes mood swings, rage, depression and other mental issues I think it is theoretically possible.
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chamade
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There was a House episode about an old woman with Syphilis who turned sex addict. It is very possible.

Then again, I wold look at the big picture and try to figure out if it's just an excuse.

--------------------
Why me? Well, why not me???

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lymebytes
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Sorry I don't buy that for one minure...no loss of sex drive is a symptom and I haven't heard otherwise until now.

Ask your LLMD - but this sounds like a very good excuse for a very perverted addiction....so sorry this happened to you...just sick.

Addiction of any kind is a choice in the beginning.

He needs to seek help,maybe your LLMd can advice a good LD therapist.

You are home sick? And he is out at strip clubs, porn and who knows what else? I am a fairly upfront person and put things they way they are, that would last one time here and he'd be sent packing, until he proved he got therapy and was well.

I feel for you..

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Angelica
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I think LD and probably bart can make one obsessive at times but that is still no excuse for what he has been up to.
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Dawnee
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Sorry, I don't buy it.
And even if it did boost sex drive... it doesn't drive someone to porn and hookers or what-have-you.
Lyme doesn't make you lose all your common sense or morals.

Now on the other hand...I have absolutely NO libido. THAT can be caused by Lyme.

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Keebler
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-

once or twice or even three times, "ooops, so sorry, so very sorry - I do really love you. "


Beyond that, for this length of time and to this extent, I'd say he's trying to get away with something and toss tremendous guilt your way.

Do not buy it. Do not accept the guilt, whether implied or otherwise.


If he is sick, suggest he see a LLMD as you change the locks on your home and find a counselor.


You - and your husband - also need to be tested for all the STDs, although you've probably already done that.

Hepatitis C can take a long time to develop though but there may be some sort of markers that can help lessen the fears about that.

Your LLMD should know that you've possibly been exposed as your treatment plan may need to be changed.


The fact that is he has been drunk but is not now - does that mean he had made a conscious effort to take charge of his health? That is a very good sign. And, if he is getting treatment for lyme, perhaps as the brain fog lifts, so will the mood.


I hope you can get individual and joint counseling sessions.

Then you can discuss feelings and fears that lead to this.

Then you can discuss your collective and individual hopes for a future and an action plan.


Understanding is delightful but you might need some space right now to sort this out.


Best of luck to you - really. I hope you have good friends and I do hope you can find peace and happiness.


You both may have physical illnesses, but be sure to claim your right to be treated with honesty and respect.

I have a friend whose husband spent thousands on prostitutes for years. She found out by mistake. They lived apart then for about two years - and went to counseling - each on their own and also together.

This nearly destroyed her health from the stress, so be sure you get adrenal support and take really good care of yourself.


It was a very hard and long road back, but they are back together and happy. It can work out if the love and respect can be found again. Trust, though, can take a long time, so just know this won't repair itself overnight. Like lyme, this may take some time.


Take really good care of yourself, now.


-

[ 19. August 2008, 02:54 AM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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sparkle7
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I'm not one to moralize about people's behavior...

Maybe he's doing this as a way to escape being ill & dealing with the whole issue...? Going through an illness like Lyme is very difficult to really comprehend. It's scary as hell.

Many people do have hyper sex drives & porn is everywhere & easily available. Some people have sex as a way to dealing with anxiety or it can be a compulsion or a way to escape reality.

Not everyone is a model citizen & can deal with the implications of Lyme. I'm not saying this as an excuse but some people just can't handle difficulty or chose to handle it in different ways than others.

You have to figure out how you want to deal with it & if you can still deal with him. It's something you have to discuss between yourselves. It's a difficult issue.

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treepatrol
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Its possible because lyme messes with hormones but he still is responsible for his actions.
God said he wouldnt let us be tempted passed what we could bare.

--------------------
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Remember Iam not a Doctor Just someone struggling like you with Tick Borne Diseases.

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Wimenin
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The real question is, what was he like before lyme?

If he has encephalitis/meningitis, personality changes are common. Its not unusual to have bursts of rage, euphoria, depression, basically bi polar like.

From what Ive read on lyme, loss of libido is more common then an escalation. If he's having wild testosteron swings, the lyme could be involved, or it could be hormone/thyroid related.... but more then likely, its an excuse.

But as I said...what was he like to begin with? Perhaps all of his inhibitions have been removed now. Ive known many people with lyme who suddenly exhibit terrible spending sprees and profanity laced tirads because of the inhibition meltdown.

Id suggest a marriage counselor, and some therapy. Also...if he does indeed have enceph/menin...he shouldnt be drinking any alcohol, none..as is brain is already damaged and needs to heal.

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Clint31
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just speaking from experience, and I think what your husband did was wrong. Im a 25 year old male and since I recovered from feeling 'deathly ill' I've noticed an increase in my sex drive for sure. It is not a question. I have been in the mood non-stop since then. Thought it was a little weird.

I don't know... Just my personal experience.

--------------------
DX'ed Lyme Disease: 7/7/2008
DX'ed Babesia, Epstein Barr, Liver Parasite 8/15/2013.

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nyjohn
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no way
if anything lyme makes us less interested in nookie since it tends to mess with our hormonal balance.
i am definitely less interested than before i got sick. it's hard to get in the mood when you don't feel well.
booze, well, we know what booze does. just visit any college bar.

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JasonK
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I doubt it from my experience Lyme and Bart drives your sex drive down. The only time i can say sex drive increased was after taking antibiotics and the bacterial load dropped dramatically and hormones started to work normally again. But even still becoming a sex maniac is a little extreme, i think he needs to take responsibility for his actions and not make poor excuses.
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Geneal
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I'd have to have a LLMD tell me it is so.

Then I probably still wouldn't be able to "accept" it. [shake]

Did he turn to you first?

Or used your illness as a reason to turn to someone else?

That is one tough situation.

I don't think Lyme gives us the "permission" to act out on impulses and wants.

Maybe one time, but on a continual basis?

Sending you prayers and hugs.

I can only imagine how you must feel regardless if there is a medical explanation or not.

Hugs,

Geneal

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LymeMECFSMCS
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Here's a case of Lyme related to hypersexuality:
http://sci.tech-archive.net/Archive/sci.med.diseases.lyme/2004-06/0877.html

And this article, "When to Suspect Lyme Disease" by John D. Bleiweiss, M.D. mentions hypersexuality:
http://cassia.org/essay.htm
"Limbic encephalopathy elegantly embraces the preceding observations in Lyme encephalopathy. It is a potential mechanism to explain my suggestion that LD can be responsible for anorexia nervosa/bulimia. Anorexia was documented in earlier studies on LD. Uncinate fits and are characterized by hypersexuality, rage states and vulgarity, are compatible with LD. Indeed, disinhibition, the release of the usual brakes on behavior, would be part of limbic dysfunction. "

I think it's possible, due to the effects of disinhibition.

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Gert
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I have read many article on this so I say yes but heed with caution. Like someone else said, there is not reason for him to cheat on you.
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Keebler
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-


While I mentioned my thoughts above that he has failed in responsibility and trust, I do hope he is seeing a LLMD and that this matter has been addressed on a medical level as well as a psychological level.


While rare, sometimes a brain tumor can cause dramatic change in someone's personality.


Just good to rule that out.


-

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lymeHerx001
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Well with me the opposite is true, though I do crave the enorphins released by sexual arousal.

So the answer is yes and no.

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Angelica
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I have a friend with Hep C. He has never given it to his wife and they do not use protection. He has a few friends with Hep C and they have never given it to their wives either.

Here is a Hep C transmission study at the bottom of the page

http://tinyurl.com/5b9qv4

I think Hep C is the least of your worries.

I did notice one poster on this board did say that LD was making them very sexually active since contracting it. I think LD and bart effect everyone differently.

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METALLlC BLUE
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Yes, it's been listed in the literature as a problem. It's not extremely common. Dr. Robert Bransfield, apparently has produced peer reviewed work discussing the subject.

Sex and Lyme Disease

By Robert C Bransfield, M.D.

How does chronic Lyme disease affect sexual functioning, and how can it be treated? Lyme can affect sexual functioning by its effect upon the central nervous system, the endocrine system, the autonomic nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, and/or the body.

It is well recognized that Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) causes depression, obsessiveness, panic disorder, and phobias that are functions of the emotional aversive pathways of the brain. However, we can also see dysfunction of the reward pathways as well, which affect capacity for pleasure, feeding, bonding and sex. Since Lyme disease alters the aversive pathways which affect what and who we are repelled from, it is understandable that Lyme can also alter sexual attraction and behavioral patterns as well. With this in mind, I shall begin with some patient accounts and observations.

Sexual arousal:

Most patients report a decline in both libido and overall sexual functioning. Some state that their interest in sex and sexual functioning remain normal while a few report increased libido. One such patient described a greatly increased libido, but was frustrated because the multitudes of chronic Lyme disease symptom made it painful to be touched and/or hugged. Others describe increased libido associated with hypnagogic hallucinations. A patient with this symptom was described in the medical literature two years ago. She displayed sexual obsessions, sexual hallucinations, and a tendency to compulsively masturbate in a dream-like state eighteen hours per day if left undisturbed.*

Some patients develop an obsessive compulsive disorder with sexual obsessions, compulsions, intrusive images, and vivid dreams following the onset of chronic Lyme disease. Of particular interest, a few patients report a change in the content of sexual imagery. A change to more violent sexual themes is sometimes noted. This, in turn, sometimes altars sexual behavior.

Could Borrelia burgdorferi or other infectious diseases sometimes alter sexual orientation or contribute gender dysphoria, or altered patterns of sexual arousal? There is evidence that sexual functioning is altered by a number of other parasites, including Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, Rickettsia and Microsporidia. When Bb infections begin in childhood, are there some cases where it may have an effect upon sexual development? Is infectious disease one of the many factors that may affect sexual development? When changes in sexual imagery occur in adults, most are upset by the changes, which result in a decline of sexual interest. However, there are times when some individuals act out these fantasies.

*Stein Sara L., MD. Et al, American Journal of Psychiatry 153:4, April 1996, Clinical Case Conference ``A 25- Year-Old Woman With Hallucinations, Hyper sexuality, Nightmares, and a Rash.''

Fertility:

Patients complain of infertility with surprising frequency. Is infertility more common in chronic Lyme disease patients?

Atrophy of genitalia:

A few patients who have been infected for over ten years report atrophy of the genitalia. Males have reported atrophy of

the penis and testicles, a change that is reversed by IV antibiotics. Females report lack of vaginal lubrication, painful intercourse, and anorgasmia. One female patient reported atrophy of one breast.

Anesthesia of genitalia:

On occasion, some patients complain of a loss or sensation of the genitalia. I have also seen this symptom in a few chronic fatigue patients.

Orgasm induced migraine headaches:

Although uncommon, this is seen in chronic Lyme disease patients.

Lymphocytoma of the nipple:

This has been reported In Europe, but I have never seen such a case in my practice.

Menstrual irregularity:

A common symptom in about 50% of menstruating patients.

Breast swelling, tenderness, and lactation:

Some patients complain of this symptom.

Premenstrual Syndrome:

There is a significant tendency towards worsening of the chronic Lyme disease symptoms in the premenstrual period.

Besides these symptoms associated with Lyme disease, there are many other symptoms which indirectly affect sexual functioning, i.e. - fatigue, chronic pain, depression, paranoid, hyper vigilance, mood swings, low frustration tolerance, temper outbursts, apathy, etc. These mood symptoms often alienate their partners. It is no surprise that many chronic Lyme disease patients report marital discord.

Treatment

A well-planned treatment approach for chronic Lyme disease can help the overall prognosis, thereby possibly helping any of these symptoms. The treatment of sexual dysfunction is one of the last frontiers in medicine. Three new drugs for male erectile dysfunction are approaching approval for marketing. The first will be Viagra, developed by Pfizer. Loss of libido and a loss of sexual functioning are treated by a number of methods Testosterone treatments are sometimes effective for loss of libido in both men and women. Dopamine agonists such as Wellbutrin and Parlodel are also used as treatment modalities.

More interesting than the treatment of sexual dysfunction is the question - can some individuals with abnormal patterns of sexual arousal be treated with antibiotics?

- Robert Bransfield M.D.

--------------------
I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

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blaze
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I know an alcoholic/sex addict, and as much as I despise his behavior, it makes no sense to me why he would destroy his body like that, but still he does it.

Some of you are pointing fingers as this guy, judging his morals, just because most Lymies have no libido. I don't think you can really do that when Lyme is involved, nor can you generalize hormonal effects.

The brain is where all thoughts arise - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Therefore, I don't think it is fair to judge this guy for making poor choices when spirochetes are swimming through his head.

Now once he is cured of Lyme...?

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nwisser
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But no matter what the source of his actions, is he a safe, good, trustworthy, nurturing mate to have? I would say that MY Lyme symptoms cause me to compulsively need a divorce.

It's not morals I'm talking about here, it's self preservation and most of all, self respect. Don't allow your life to be degraded. You deserve better!

--------------------
Just because it' s not nice doesn' t mean it' s not miraculous.
--Terry Pratchett

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sometimesdilly
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what an awful and draining thing to be dealing with, on top of what sounds like your own major battle with Lyme.

you've already received a lot of good answers here, and lots of good advice.

for whatever its worth, IMO i would guess that the answer to what is causing your husband's behavior is not simple, and there is likely not just one cause

Neuro-Lyme (encephalitis) frequently does change one's personality, in small to large ways and in totally unpredictable ways.

There is very little dispute about that in the medical evidence.

It is also possible for Lyme and co-infections and/or Lyme meds to make one off the wall whacko for a time, and yes, to behave utterly unlike oneself in ways that could cause harm to oneself or to others.

To further complicate things, throw in what sounds like in your husband's case might well be major depression, which might be why he was drinking heavily? If that kind of drinking was not something he did before?

An angel's interpretation is that perhaps in your husband's case a small problem became larger and then was complicated by other (directly Lyme related or not) destructive behaviors that compounded the problem and took him down lower, a difficult cycle to break out of.

On the other hand, a good friend of mine once told me that to understand a problem was good, often necessary, but that in the end, understanding it changed nothing.

Which is to say, it doesn't matter whether or not Lyme has contributed to your husband's behavior.

His behavior is harmful to you and to himself, and he IS responsible for that behavior.

Wishing you luck, and sending you hugs- dilly

edited- [hi] Tin-Tin [Smile]

[ 20. August 2008, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: sometimesdilly ]

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lymemomtooo
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Evergreen, I agree with you. lmt
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Tincup
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FYI-

We are under attack by some porn promoters on the board at the moment.

Please keep that in mind before spending a lot of time on a post of this nature (first post) by a person who doesn't reply.

And a reminder- please don't post personal information about yourself or your family on the board that you don't want the whole world to have access to.. and which could be used negatively elsewhere.. against you and/or your family.

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Clint31
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quote:
Originally posted by Tincup:
FYI-

We are under attack by some porn promoters on the board at the moment.

Please keep that in mind before spending a lot of time on a post of this nature (first post) by a person who doesn't reply.

And a reminder- please don't post personal information about yourself or your family on the board that you don't want the whole world to have access to.. and which could be used negatively elsewhere.. against you and/or your family.

If that is the case... they're defnitely going the extra extra mile to promote whatever they're promoting. I hope it isn't the case. That would be equally sad and pathetic.

--------------------
DX'ed Lyme Disease: 7/7/2008
DX'ed Babesia, Epstein Barr, Liver Parasite 8/15/2013.

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Tincup
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Please don't think that I think posters aren't sincere. Normally posters are very sincere and need your help... even with this topic.

I just happen to know we are having a problem with porn promoters right now.... and want to be sure everyone is safe until the situation can be handled.

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www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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Mo
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speaking in general, and from personal experience with a child with obsessive-compulsive and other symptoms of that sort reactive to lyme encephalopathy:

major problems with addictions and compusions always stem from some sort of psychological problem or underlying mood disorder.

lyme disease can cause all sorts of psych and mood disorder symptoms. so can allot of other things.

my understanding is that sex addiction is no different than drug addiction.
the end result is the same, escapism, self-medicating... the rush from the activity both physically and mentally is like a drug when not used in a way where you are lovingly connecting with a partner.

therefore, to my mind.. sex addiction can definately be reactive to lyme, or directly caused by it if centers or the brain that govern compulsivity are not functioning properly.

that said, whether it is lyme in this case depends entirely on the person. sex addiction could be related to serious neurological issues, or for some it could be a way to escape more basic generalized anxiety over life's struggles that is simply not being dealt with in a healthy way.
so the person grabs a beer, a drug, or something else and escapes life.

regardless, the addict needs to know what these symptoms mean, stop all rationalization and justification, and want to seek help.
then they might discover the true cause and heal.

mo

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sometimesdilly
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good point- where IS the glitter poster?
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lpkayak
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i have been reading a lot of dr bransfields work

you can get a bunch bt googling his name

more than once he mentions hyper-sexuality as a symptom

another friend told me years ago that it happened to her teen age daughter

look up bransfield for info-it's research and may help with tx . good luck

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

Posts: 13712 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cadames62008
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I would ask your llmd, but I know as for me I have no sex drive at all

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Christina

Posts: 102 | From Lacey Washington | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lymeHerx001
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Drop and run with 4 posts and no THANK YOU!>

Im only keeping those threads going in which I know people wants to exchance theorys and techiques and ideas. I have problems with Lyme and this topic in my personal life.

I dont need another hollow poster.

I like to talk to real people.

Posts: 2905 | From New England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
METALLlC BLUE
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I have come to the conclusion, that with Lyme Disease, and other biological neurological, and psychiatric manifestations of tick-born disease, once certain parts of the mind are affected, the personality -- or the "you" -- no longer has full control over many things.

You'll say things you don't mean, you may lose your ability to even think in specific ways (How's your math skills?)

You may start screaming and want to kill someone who cuts you off in traffic, or lose your temper and start smashing or throwing things.

And it didn't happen once. Most of us afflicted with Lyme have done absurd "crazy" things, over and over -- especially while misdiagnosed.

The fact is, biology is a major control switch for everything a Lyme patient does. Psychology becomes almost irrelevant. We have "spotty" control. If the infection suddenly were to evaporate, this entirely new person would emerge in many severe cases of Neuro psychiatric Lyme Disease.

Sure Douche bags can get Lyme too, someone who simply had a history of hurting people, could hurt people even worse with Lyme Disease. That's possible too, but I'm not quick to assert that when the person was sane and reasonable one moment, and suddenly ill the next -- which circumstantial testing and blood tests confirming that possibility.

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I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

Posts: 4157 | From Western Massachusetts | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
glittergirl34
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thanks for all the good research and advice. knowing he did all the cheating post-lyme makes it easier to deal with even though it is still awfully difficult. i am leaning towards believing the encephalitis along with the alcoholism could have fueled this awful situation. at this point, the only reason why i am giving him another chance is that he is in rehab for alcohol and sex addiction. so far he has not had a drink in 30 days now and the only sex he's had is with me. i did throe him out twice and tear up our wedding pictures at the start of rehab when he thought not doing these things would be enough. i told him he had to try and win me back. so far so good.
Posts: 6 | From sf | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
herbalfrog
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Your post and the many responses have reminded me of a time long passed.
I emphathize with your pain and frustration and urge you to seek support and opt to acquire all information about sex addiction, you can put your hands on.
This addiction is baffling and progressive!
Look in the paper for local support groups for spouses of sex addicts. After some meetings, which will be an eye opener, you will be better equipped to make decisions regarding your life.
I support you; you have so much to deal with, already.
You can send me a private message, if I can help you in any way.

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Else

Posts: 82 | From Florida | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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