Lyme disease and violence

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 389
   Posted 3/11/2009 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
i am sure everyone has seen the story on the pastor who was shot to death on sunday by a young man whose mom says he suffered from lyme disease.  and of course, there is the story about the chimp having lyme.  these stories need to be confirmed, i agree, but the infectious disease docs couldn't wait to use this as an opportunity to deny lyme - this from WebMD:

"I don't know of any convincing evidence that Lyme disease can cause violence or psychosis," Gary Wormser, MD, tells WebMD. Wormser is director of the Lyme Disease Center and chief of infectious diseases at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y.

"We can be clear Lyme disease does not lead to psychotic and violent behaviors," William Schaffner, MD, tells WebMD. Schaffner is president-elect of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and chair of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

"In that part of Illinois, that this person lived in, it would be almost unheard of to have true Lyme disease," he says. "But so many people get misdiagnosed because of doctors sending samples to labs that give unreliable results. I would not be surprised if this individual were misdiagnosed."


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/11/2009 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
This makes me so mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 3/11/2009 9:03 PM (GMT -6)   
There was a quote from Eugene Shapiro in our local paper that the thought that Lyme Disease could make someone go out and shoot someone else is ridiculous. Where are all of the quotes from the psychiatrists that have successfully treated mentally ill Lyme patients?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 3/11/2009 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
In the book Cure Unknown, the author writes about a man who viciously attacked someone. His defense was that he was insane from lyme disease. He is in jail. I have neruorlogical lyme and I know it can make you crazy. It affects my mind and I am sure if I went untreated I would be in a mental institution or nursing home. I am much better than a month ago but when my electric blanket was set on "3", I thought it was "E" and meant it was on empty (not working). Seems funny now but at the time I was bewildered.
I think it just depends on what part of the body is under attack and if it is in your brain, what part of the brain.
I hope IDSA comes to their senses about how to treat this disease. Maybe one of them will get sick.
Whenever anyone goes on a violent shooting rampage, like today, it makes me wonder.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/12/2009 12:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I once had a 17 y/o pt in Ct that was being treated for neuro-psychiatric LD. He apparently presented initially with seizure-like activity and was seen hacking ice in his yard with a pick axe. He then got in his car, drove to some fairly remote neighborhood, knocked on a strangers door and attempted to assault the man with the axe when he answered. Fortunately the man was able to fight him off. He stated that the attacker had no expression or emotion, left his back pack with all his ID and the weapon on the porch, calmly walked to his car and drove away. The young boy called his family from Rhode Island the following day (where he had never been before) and told them that he didn't know how he had gotten there, but he thought he might have done something bad. He was being treated by Bernard Raxlen at the time, who suspected it was lyme related behaviour. I think everything worked out ok for him and his other drs testified on his behalf. I think he saw Brian Fallon as well. Both docs have been published extensively on the neuro psych effects of LD. Bizarre stuff. Very sad.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 346
   Posted 3/12/2009 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Yesterday in the news they talked about the student killings in Germany and in Douthan Alabama. I started to think about the neuro-phsyciatric aspects of Lyme disease. I wondered when the press might start talking about this aspect of tick borne infections - or is the Infectious Disease Society more powerful? Maybe our LLMD's are afraid to speak out in this climate of persecution.

I had these thoughts even before I saw this thread on the Healing Well Lyme forum. I am getting an uneasy feeling about some of these random acts of violence. Not all of course, maybe just some.

If anyone knows a web site where all the scientific articles are kept that discuss this very real aspect of tick borne diseases, then we should send them to the reporters of Time Magazine and Newsweek and ask them to do a news piece.

This information needs to get out there. Many of us felt we were "losing it" when we got sick and if treatment had not started who knows where some of us would be.

This is indeed a very bizarre disease.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 375
   Posted 3/12/2009 9:51 AM (GMT -6)   
It is very openly spoken about the neuro-phsyciatric aspects of Lyme here since a couple of years, even on the web, i.e in the summary of a Lyme conference in Swizerland (2000) they explain the Lyme- psychiatrc- syndroms - one of them is outrages/ violence.

Question may be: will that open anybodies eyes before we will have to face more such tragedies ??

Sorry that I can not come up with more documentation in English (I always look for a translation - they are rare).
But I have found an article "aggression & Lyme Borreliose" from a Robert C. Bransfield, M.D. with a link to Lyme Disease Neuropsychiatric Assessment Database: There should be the original English version.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 389
   Posted 3/12/2009 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
here is what ilads says about physciatric symptoms:

Patients with late-stage Lyme disease may present with

a variety of neurological and psychiatric problems,

ranging from mild to severe. These include:

Cognitive losses including:

o Memory impairment or loss (“brain fog”)

o Dyslexia and word-finding problems

o Visual/spatial processing impairment (trouble

finding things, getting lost)

o Slowed processing of information

• Psychosis

• Seizures

Violent behavior, irritability

Rage attacks/impulse dyscontrol



Panic attacks

Rapid mood swings that may mimic bipolarity


Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Sleep Disorders

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

(ADD/ADHD)-like syndrome

Autism-like syndrome

Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing infectious


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 423
   Posted 3/12/2009 3:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe the infectious disease doctor I took by the lapels and shook like a dog in 2006 will speak up ? He certainly SAW Lyme could cause aggression !!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 3/12/2009 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Before I was diagnosed and treated, I threw a knife at a friend's head because he wouldn't go out and get ice cream. I got mad at another person and drove home to get my shotgun. I was halfway back before I realized what I was doing. Thank goodness I had a 45 minute drive each way, if the drive was shorter, I would have shot him. I chased a person with my car up over curbs, through a public park, drove at high speeds through town, going through red lights. When we stopped our cars, I attacked him with a screwdriver. Fortunately, he was a lot stronger than I was and I calmed down. These are just the highlights.

Except for that year, I had never done anything like this. Once treatment began, I never did anything like that again.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 1161
   Posted 3/13/2009 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   

about 3-4 years ago, before i started treatment. I used to be very moody and mean. Anything would set me off. Everyday, at about 2-4pm i would get this very mean and bad attitude. I would have to go home and get a nap. I remember how i would just want to run cars off the road to get out of my way. Such a horrible way to live.

Now fast forward 3 years. I only did antibiotics and antimalarials. I never took any anti depressents or phsycological type drugs in my entire life. But i'm 100% better now. Calm, happy and laid back. I don't get the insane nap urgency feeling anymore. So what made me not act like a mean jerk anymore? Antibiotics and antimalarials.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 273
   Posted 3/14/2009 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh man, I could go on and on (and on...) about what it was like to live through hubby's Lyme/bart *rages* To this day I am surprised no one got hurt (besides himself) during this rage attacks. My walls/cabinets got a beating (literally) and I know he ran cars off the road.

our llmd told us from the very beginning how common this is.

and the crazy thing- he was always the laid back one- pretty easy going until all of this started.
Chris: Diagnosed Lyme, Chronic Mono
Married to Lyme in NJ aka Gary: Lyme, Bartonella
Mom to Scott: Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella
Mom to Caitlyn: Lyme, Bartonella
My Blog:

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