What is Lyme Literate Therapy(TM)?
You probably already know how important it is to have a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD). Why wouldn't you want the same for your mental health? When I was recovering from Lyme, I tried to find a psychologist who understood what I was experiencing. I went from expert to expert and they all had the same opinion. "You are having a nervous breakdown." they said. "You just need Prozac." they said.
It wasn't until I found an Osteopath who was also a psychotherapist who ALSO understood the power of systemic infections that I really started getting the mental healthcare I needed.
So what makes a provider Lyme Literate?
Currently there are no licences or formal certifications which make a provider Lyme Literate. For now, look for providers (like me) who have experienced Lyme, have written about Lyme disease or other chronic illnesses. But most importantly, use your judgement. When picking a therapist, the most important thing to consider is your relationship with the person. Make sure you feel you can trust this person to understand the ebbs and flows of this complex illness.
Ruschelle Khanna, LCSW
Having suffered from chronic illness for many years, I know first hand the frustration of trying to find medical answers to Lyme and co-infections. Years of insomnia, anxiety, weight fluctuations, anxiety and depression were written off by physicians as psychological and treated with things like Xanax.
It wasn't until March of 2014 when I began having seizures, vision loss, severe memory loss, muscle spasms and many more bizarre symptoms that I knew there was something much more serious happening. I began to take a different approach to my health. One that ultimately led to a full recovery from Lyme disease.
Often, clients will tell me that no one understands what it is like to have the bizarre symptoms associated with Lyme and co-infections. I understand these symptoms all too well including brain fog, memory loss, inability to read, anger, rage, and even thoughts of suicide.
Lyme disease changed my life and the way I practice therapy. Lyme opened my life up to a world I never knew possible. For me, Lyme was a vehicle for the physical and spiritual healing that I was so desperate for in my early twenties. This is my intention for you.
Through a mixture of research and keen intuition, I found a team of clinicians that understood and were invested in my recovery. I know that chronic illness is not something that you can wish away. It takes help from a team of skilled professionals with thorough understanding and experience in treating your infection.
One aspect of your recovery which is often neglected is your mental wellness. I want to offer you support in this way.
Through my healing, it was very difficult to find competent mental health care. But I knew that I needed it because I was at times full of rage and suicidal thoughts due to the active Bartonella infection I had at the time. With some research I found a psychotherapist who utilized Internal Family Systems Therapy. This allowed me to stabilize all the mental pain I was experiencing in my darkest days.
It is my goal to provide you with the tools you need to regain your health, improve your relationships and get back into the life you love. I look forward to meeting with you soon!