Why Is It So Hard to Get a Lyme Disease Diagnosis?

Avril Lavigne opened up again this week about her struggle with Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness she says left her bedridden for months and desperate for answers. The 30-year-old singer told Good Morning America this week that she saw many doctors and underwent a battery of tests in the last year, but that it wasn’t until she found a Lyme disease specialist that she was given a correct diagnosis.

“I was in Los Angeles, literally, like the worst time in my life and I was seeing, like, every specialist and literally, the top doctors. It’s so stupid,” Lavigne said in an interview televised yesterday. She says that some misdiagnosed her symptoms—debilitating pain and fatigue—as chronic fatigue syndrome or depression, while others told her she was simply dehydrated or exhausted from touring.

“This is what they do to a lot of people who have Lyme disease,” she said. “They don’t have an answer for them so they tell them, like, ‘You’re crazy.'”

Lavigne began to suspect she had Lyme disease—the number-one insect-borne disease in the United States—a few months after she began feeling exhausted and lightheaded. Her symptoms eventually got so bad she felt like she couldn’t breathe, talk, or move. “I thought I was dying,” she told People in April.

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