Beware: Lyme Disease has a high prevalence in Austria and may cause depression

Lyme Disease (Borreliosis) is a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks and has a high prevalence in Austria. While early signs of infection may go unnoticed, chronic infection may lead to depression - which often is not properly diagnosed.

In typical cases, you will see a red circle around the spot where the tick bites. The ring-shaped redness can, in typical cases, migrate through different regions on your skin. However, in many cases, you will not notice anything and the redness may be absent.

If not treated early, the bacteria will sometimes spread to different organs and may cause serious damage. In later stages, the central nervous system is infected, which may lead to a plethora of possible symptoms including therapy-resistant depression.
In early stages, antibiotics taken orally will suffice. In later stages, intraveneous application of antibiotics will be necessary to eradicate the bacteria from the central nervous system.

Depressive patients who have been travelling in/through Austria and may have had an exposure to ticks should get checked for Lyme Disease if they
- remember being bitten by a tick
- suffer from therapy-resistant depression and show possible signs of infection
1. Fatigue, Sleep disorder,
2. Tachycardia (fast heart beat), even if resting
3. Pain in multiple body regions
4. Swellings (edema), particularly around joints (ankles, knees,...)

 

Please notice:
Diagnosis of Borreliosis is difficult. In some cases blood/liquor tests will be (falsely) negative, even if you are infected. Doctors may not be aware of that fact.

Therapy:

In early stages, oral antibiotics will do the job.
Later, if your central nervous system has been infected, you will need intravenous application of antibiotics throughout weeks.

Beware:
1. Blood tests and liquor test may be falsely negative.

2. Some doctors are NOT aware of the negative impact of untreteated infections, especially the impact on mental health and pain symptoms. If you are in doubt:

GET A SECOND OPINION!