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Posts Tagged ‘psychosis’

AP reports that “leading disease specialists say there’s no convincing evidence linking” Lyme disease to “violent behavior.” Dr. Eugene Shapiro, a Lyme disease specialist at Yale University, said that while there are isolated reports of hallucinations and psychotic illness blamed on Lyme disease, these are controversial.” Dr. Shapiro noted that “these cases likely involve people with pre-existing mental problems or who were misdiagnosed and never had Lyme disease.” Dr. Paul Auwaerter, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins medical school, added that “mental illness is much more common than Lyme disease, and it would be ‘extraordinarily rare’ to develop a true psychosis from the disease.” Nonetheless, “some patient-advocacy groups use the term ‘Lyme rage’ to explain aggressive psychiatric symptoms.”
        FOX News (3/9, Pouliot) reported, “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, which normally lives in mice, squirrels, deer and other small animals. It is transmitted among these animals — and to humans — through the bites of certain species of ticks.” The Sydney Morning Herald (3/10) also covers the story.

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The Boston Globe (2/9, Anthes) reports that last year, psychiatrist Robert Salo, M.D., of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, documented “the first known instance of ‘climate change delusion'” in a 17-year-old boy who refused “to drink water” for fear of causing “millions of people” to die. Since then, Dr. Salo has “seen several more patients with psychosis or anxiety disorders focused on climate change.” Already, “there is evidence that extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, cyclones, and hurricanes, can lead to emotional distress, which can trigger such things as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, in which the body’s fear and arousal system kicks into overdrive.” According to Joshua Miller, Ph.D., of Smith College, “After a disaster, people can feel…like outside forces are taking control of their lives.” He explained that “severe disasters also destroy the infrastructure needed to provide mental healthcare, and forcibly displace people, severing social connections when people need them most.”

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