Here is a fabulous article about Lyme disease and suicide which the author wrote in response to some recent suicides in the Lyme community. She bring up some great topics and explains why the Lyme disease suicide rate is so high.
It is hard for those who haven’t been there to understand. It’s one thing to be sick, but it’s a whole different thing to be sick and to have no one believe you are sick. There is a lot to be said for community support, and you don’t get much when you have Lyme. Your life is spiraling out of control as you lose even basic body functions and meanwhile you’re being told that you’re crazy, that you should just get over it, that you’re seeking attention, that you’re depressed and should see a psychologist not a doctor. Your friends and family are somewhat supportive, but can’t understand why you won’t get up out of bed since the doctor says you’re fine. Meanwhile they go on to live their lives while you are left at home trying to put the broken pieces of your life back together. Your friends soon accept that you can’t go out with them so they stop calling. You are totally isolated. You have all day and night to think about the life you lost and the fact that no one will believe there is something wrong with you. With each new doctor appointment causing more humiliation and never finding an answer your faith in yourself gets lower and lower. Soon you start to wonder if you are crazy, you start thinking that all these educated doctors must be right. You try to ignore your symptoms and live a normal life, but you quickly fail as your body refuses to function. What is left for you do to? What is the point of even being alive when everyone thinks you’re lazy or nuts? How is there ever going to be a way out?
As you can see, it’s pretty easy for me to imagine how someone with Lyme might be driven to suicide. I can honestly say I’ve never been there, but I can see how someone else might. There are no words for how dark a place you find yourself in when things like this happen. What has kept me from that dark place is my kids. They don’t give me many chances to be alone to revile in my pain and they keep me smiling day after day. Also, I have an amazing support network of family and friends who do believe me and who do their best to understand what I am going through. Not everyone is so lucky.