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Lyme Patients That Pose A Suicide Risk Need Better Treatment

August 1, 2017




Letter To The Editor

Lyme Patients That Pose A Suicide Risk Need Better Treatment

Many thanks for the excellent educational article in your paper on July 19 (Suicide: Lyme disease's less understood outcome, a new study says) about Lyme disease and suicides. The author, John Ferro, obviously did his research and had a good understanding of the problems prior to writing. That journalistic quality is rare in the media these days and is also very much appreciated.

Contributing to the high number of Lyme patients who are suicidal are the restrictive treatment guidelines published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) that recommend against treating sick patients past their arbitrary short term protocols and proclaiming these patients are instantly “cured,” or are only suffering from the “aches and pains of daily living” when they remain chronically ill and become disabled.

The fact the IDSA's partner, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), continues to allow these 11-year-old treatment guidelines to remain on their website and have refused to replace them with the latest scientific-based guidelines by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) is not only contributing to the deep despair felt by those who suffer daily in pain, it permits insurers to deny payment for necessary treatment, causing serious financial hardships.

After assisting thousands of Lyme patients who reported being suicidal, I am pointing my finger directly at the IDSA and CDC for allowing this egregious situation to continue. 

Again, my thanks to you and my sincere condolences to Mr. Sluscavage for his tragic loss.

Lucy Barnes 
Centreville, MD

Director, Lyme disease education & support groups

www.MarylandLyme.org











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