One of the more embarrassing symptoms of Neurological Lyme is the sudden onset of anxiety and fear. Sometimes, severe panic attacks can rise out of nowhere in an otherwise self-controlled person.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor and this post is for informational purposes only and not intended to take the place of your doctor.
The Fear Stigmatism
In a society where mood and neurological disorders abound it often seems that anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders are not tolerated. In Christian circles mood disorders are sometimes labeled as a lack of faith.
Of course, fear and anxiety can be a result of not trusting God but most often it is present because of a very real physiological problem.
Fear is a built-in mechanism given by God so that we can protect ourselves from dangerous situations but sometimes the brain isn’t working well because of infections, injury or other health reasons. Fear and anxiety greatly impacted our lives as a result of tick-borne infections, heavy metal toxicity, and mold exposure.
Each member of my family experienced fear and anxiety differently. Five of us had neurological Lyme disease, Babesia and Bartonella. These infections invade the brain and disrupt the ability to think rationally. Heavy metal toxicity is also a contributing factor as is mold exposure.
These infections together create a perfect storm in the brain. They have been studied and reported to cause mild to very severe psychological disorders including schizophrenia.1
One of my children developed a crippling fear that kept her from being able to function normally. She had severe panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety. She was unable to discuss certain topics, complete her school work, or watch normal television shows and when she was much younger she couldn’t leave the house or be away from me.
This was a real eye opener for me and for the rest of my family. At first, we had no idea what she was going through. When we finally realized the severity of her illness we had to learn new ways to relate, parent, and live everyday life with her.
Day to Day Life with Anxiety
Homeschooling took on a whole new meaning and I had to dig deep and seek help for her and me just to get through the day.
Before my daughter became ill, I experienced episodes of fear and anxiety. My anxiety occurred soon after my Lyme infection.
I became fearful and had panic attacks over having Lyme bacteria inside my body. I was afraid to eat anything that might feed the bacteria. My fear then progressed to being afraid of going outside because of the possibility of getting another tick bite and I certainly didn’t want my children outside. When driving through areas that were heavily wooded, I found myself holding my breath. Sometimes, I felt panic inside but had no idea why.
Living in fear is no way to live and it certainly isn’t how God wants us to live. He tells us more than 365 times in the Bible to “fear not”, “don’t be anxious”, and “do not be afraid”. My daughter and I believed God could and would protect us. We did not lack faith and felt we had no control over what was happening. We didn’t understand it and our attempts to overcome the anxiety never seemed to work.
Getting Rid of Anxiety and Fear
How do we get rid of anxiety and fear when it’s not just a matter of our own thoughts controlling us? What do we do when there are physiological causes for the neurological disorders that cause fear and anxiety? These symptoms will not resolve unless those underlying conditions are taken care of. Sometimes that means medication.
I fully understand that there are situations where medication is absolutely necessary. I’m not a doctor and cannot give medical advice but in our experience medication was not helpful! The side effects were severe, scary, and only caused more problems. In children and teens, certain medication for anxiety and depression can dramatically increase the risk for suicide and aggressive behavior. These medications are also very addictive and do not address the root cause of the problem.
We found that using homeopathy to treat the underlying cause, which was the tick-borne infections and heavy metal toxicity, along with excellent nutrition, exercise, and some very key supplements were more helpful and long lasting than prescription medication.
Responding to Fear and Anxiety
God certainly wants us to seek Him, to have faith and trust Him, but He also wants us to be wise and get the help necessary to heal, especially when your fear is not because of a lack of faith.
It might be hard for you to understand what your friend or loved one is going through if you’ve never experienced anxiety or uncontrollable fearful thoughts. Making minimizing statements such as “get over it”, “stop overreacting”, or “you just need to have more faith” will not help and could only make matters worse.
First, identify the root cause and address infections and environmental triggers. Eliminate foods that increase anxiety. Find a qualified therapist who can help teach coping skills. These skills will help you recognize triggers in order to stop the pattern and will also help you learn to calm yourself in the midst.
Tangible Action Steps
Learn to create a calm environment, not only within your home but also within yourself. People who struggle with fear and anxiety are often very sensitive to the stress around them.
Be kind, gentle and soft-spoken to the person who is in the midst of a panic attack. It will pass, they need your support and rational strength and love.
While all of the above helped my daughter none of them alone helped her to have freedom from the anxiety, fear, and OCD that consumed her.
We sought God, prayed earnestly, meditated on scripture and sought prayers from others.
These all work together to provide the necessary healing protocol for neurological Lyme symptoms which sometimes manifest as fear and anxiety.
I hope that our experience will help you to see that fear is real but it doesn’t have to control your life. Don’t be afraid to get the help you need.
Here are some of the scripture passages that we have come to love and use during anxious times. We hope they encourage you.