Chronic illness support group bans Lyme misinformation to protect patients

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In June 2022, moderators of the Reddit support group /r/ChronicIllness announced that they would be taking steps to stop misinformation about Lyme disease. The subreddit was founded in 2012 and grew to 41.5k members.

Advocates for pseudoscientific diagnoses like chronic Lyme and toxic mold illness can be very evangelical. They often use deceptive psychological tactics to recruit people on social media, especially those who need better answers to health problems.

Below is a copy of the announcement, with minor grammatical edits approved by the moderators:

Posts Regarding Chronic Lyme


Going forward all posts regarding chronic Lyme will be removed due to an uptick in medical misinformation regarding Lyme in this sub.

Lyme disease itself is very real, as are post-treatment Lyme disease symptoms which can occur following Lyme disease recovery. Unfortunately there has been a push in alternative medicine circles to diagnose “chronic Lyme” among individuals with no history of Lyme infection, and no detectable Lyme antibodies or other evidence of past infection.

These providers frequently target individuals who have a history of chronic illness who have been unable to find a diagnosis and are desperate for answers, preying on desperation by charging thousands of dollars for tests, tests that often need to be repeated multiple times in order to get even one positive result. After sinking thousands of dollars in to testing, those providers then charge thousands more for “treatments” that can be harmful and offer no benefit in terms of treatment.

Chronic Lyme is not recognized as a diagnosis by either the CDC or any major medical organization. Due to this and the necessity to provide the safest possible environment for the vulnerable patient population within this sub, we must treat chronic Lyme and the alleged co-infections as misinformation when brought up.

We want to be incredibly clear: none of us are doubting that you are genuinely Ill and suffering, but based on current evidence it’s more likely that chronic Lyme is a misdiagnosis.

Literature regarding Chronic Lyme:

Mistaken Identity: Many Diagnoses are Frequently Misattributed to Lyme Disease

Chronic Lyme – no evidence for Lyme / unsafe treatments