Support for Mood Swngs:Emotional Seizures

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 7/18/2009 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been experiencing mood swings off an on since beginning treatment 11 months ago. I never recognized a pattern or the specific nature of these emotional outbursts but now since beginning intravenous Claforan and weekly Bicillin injections I am seeing that these mood swings are more and more like seizures, in that they come out of the blue, often come with a brief forewarning or ‘aura,” and leave me worn out but not truly depressed.

I was amazed when I recently learned that Dr J (SC) routinely uses the anti-seizure medication Lamictal to help stabilize moods in his Lyme patients.

I will describe what last happened to me last night and how I plan to treat this.

Last month I developed a serum sickness like reaction to my treatment (my liver function tests rose and my WBC fell to very low levels). This was accompanied by severe mood swings and uncontrollable crying/panic/suicidal thoughts/depression. My moods became so unpredictable that I was referred to a neuro-pharmacologist who specializes in mood disorder associated with brain infections/trauma/Lyme disease.

She shared my understanding that mood disorder associated with brain infection or trauma can be due to erratic leaky membranes and electrical instability.

We discussed using Lamictal, but because this medication is associated with a rare skin disorder (more common in children, known as Steven-Johnson syndrome) it must be given in very low doses and requires about 6 weeks to become therapeutic. So we decided to start using low dose Paxil (an anti depressant that is also very good at reducing anxiety).

I began a very low dose (compounded in 1 mg capsules) of only 2-3 mg/day. I had some mild headaches but did feel that my mood was more stable on this.

Last night, my 8-week mark (my second 4 week cycle on IV, and one day after Bicillin injection)- I had a bizarre episode occur. I was in a crowded noisy room that felt overwhelming. I began to feel as though I was out of my body, or watching myself (dissociative reaction, not uncommon in Lyme). Then I felt spacey, and. Fortunately, I took someone with me and began about 20 minutes of uncontrollable crying/panic/overwhelmed/suicidal….I stayed labile for another hour or so. Eventually it passed and I felt myself again albeit tired.

I share this as I now understand that I have been having such reactions intermittently for many months and I believe they represent a seizure like reaction to Lyme/Bart die-off.

My doctor and I plan to continue the low dose Paxil and slowly add in Lamictal to prevent these from recurring.

It has been great to have a doctor added to my team that I can call to when feeling emotionally unstable. I have always been so against the idea of using anti-depressants in the past-but I do feel this has helped me and I wanted to share the idea of using compounded very low dose medications that can be used gradually, while minimizing side effects that would be difficult to discern from die-off reaction.

Hope this helps people.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1304
   Posted 7/18/2009 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
pcpc -- Gosh, I am so very sorry you have been going thru this!

I relate to what you describe, altho not near as bad as what you are experiencing! My mood swings are almost unbearable, esp since there's never any 'high' experience, only degrees of 'low'.
I don't know that I can relate exactly to the feeling of a seizure, however, for the past few weeks, almost daily, I am hit w/ a rock bottom depression, exactly as you describe above -- with those same feelings. Often, a horrible anxiety type feeling (do not know how to describe) hits also. All my muscles get tenser and tenser -- my whole body feels rigid. It was so bad last evening -- the rigid feeling -- that I wondered if I was going to have a seizure or something. I have never had a seizure in my life, so I don't know what it feels like. I just felt like my body was turning into a stiff board and that I had no control over it.

I do take antidepressants, and a xanax helped relieve these feelings last nite.

The depression seems to hit out of the blue and your feelings of overwhelmed, crying, and the s word are exactly how I feel. Then it will pass. But these episodes seem to last for hours, not minutes, altho it is a gradual build up.

pcpc, your post helps in that I've been wondering if I have a new infection or if this might be the beginning of herxing. I don't feel that I've been on a high enough dose of doxy to herx, but maybe it's possible that I am.

It also helps to know that someone else is feeling something similar. Because when this comes on, I am feeling like the most worthless, hopeless, defective human being there ever was, and then I will despise myself.

Thank you for sharing, and again, I am very sorry.

Suspect TBI in 1972.  Attacked tonsils (recurring high fevers, constant low grade fevers, chronic tonsillitis) , pregnancy (miscarraige), appendix, heart (mitral valve prolapse), hypoglycemia, depression, chronic acute neck and back pain.  

Next suspect Mother's Day 2007.  Diagnosed w/ Lyme and Bart June 2009. (awaiting more test results)

In treatment for recurrent depression, anxiety, low thyroid.

Bit again 7/1/2009, began Doxy 200 mg /day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 7/18/2009 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Oh my gosh hun! I was wondering where you had went. I'm so sorry you are dealing with all of this. We all have to put up with enough as it is.

That feeling you got in the over crowded room is what I used to get all the time. I had to stop going anywhere with friends because of it. I now take klonopin when this happens. It is also prescribed for seizures.

My gosh, I sure hope everything gets better soon. Please come here when you are feeling down. This forum has helped me sooo much. I am on late too if you ever need to talk.

So, what are they going to do next? Do you think you may need a break from IV and try to detox?
I have Lyme Disease; Lyme Disease DOES NOT have ME!

**You never know how STRONG you are....until being STRONG is the ONLY choice you have**

Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

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