How Does Having Lyme Disease Affect Your Relationships?
Lyme disease is an infectious illness that is diagnosed in 476,000 Americans every year. This disease is caused by the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi and is usually spread through deer ticks. Common symptoms of the disease include a flat, circular rash, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, fever, difficulty concentrating, joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. While Lyme disease can be successfully treated through a course of antibiotics, some folks still continue to experience symptoms of the disease. This is also known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, and about 5-20 percent of Lyme disease patients will fall victim to this.
Aside from inducing debilitating symptoms, Lyme disease can also impact your relationships and quality of life. Here we will talk about how Lyme disease affects your relationships — as well as what you can do about it.
Lyme disease has a very complicated nature. According to experts who specialize in treating the illness, Lyme disease has a ton of different strains. In one person, symptoms may manifest as headaches, and in others it can reveal itself as joint pain. Because none of the symptoms of the disease is specific to it and no test is 100 percent accurate, there can be a delay and misrepresentation in diagnosis.
With that in mind, your loved ones maybe prone to casting doubt on the validity of your symptoms and illness. This, in turn, can greatly impact the relationship you have with your loved ones and make you feel as if your illness is invalid.
Feelings of Isolation
Some people` who suffer from Lyme disease may isolate themselves to prevent other people from invalidating their feelings, as well as not place the burden of their disease on their loved ones. This can further degrade the already precarious state of their mental health, as Lyme disease is known to cause neurological and psychiatric conditions. In addition, some symptoms of Lyme disease can be physically debilitating and prevent you from being able to physically interact with your loved ones. Not being able to overcome your feeling of isolation can put a huge strain on your social life, render you unable to enjoy the company of your loved ones, and even decrease your treatment options.
Seeking Treatment to Stop Lyme Disease From Taking Over Your Relationships
To reduce the impact of Lyme disease on your relationships, it's important that you communicate your symptoms and feelings clearly to your loved ones. Thankfully, advances in medical science are now revealing more effective ways of diagnosing and treating the disease. In fact, a recent study shows that treatment involving the drugs cefotaxime and azlocillin can soon replace tetracycline antibiotics, and lessen a patient’s chances of developing post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. These new treatments could soon be widely available to hospitals and medical practices. Healthcare administrators, who are hospital or nursing home directors, will be able to keep you updated on whether their practice offers these new treatments as well as providing advice on current treatments. Together you can work with your doctors and loved ones to tackle this disease and prevent it from taking over your relationships.
Aside from seeking validation from medical professionals, it can also be helpful to work with a relationship counselor, especially if you feel like your relationships are hanging on a thin thread. These experts can help you better communicate your ordeal, and guide your loved ones on how to become a solid and reliable support system.