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Lyme disease is a relatively well-described infectious
disease with multisystem manifestations. Because of confusion over conflicting reports, anxiety related to vulnerability to
disease, and sensationalized and inaccurate lay media coverage, a new syndrome, "chronic
Lyme disease," has become established. Chronic
Lyme disease is the most recent in a continuing series of "medically unexplained symptoms" syndromes. These syndromes, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity, meet the need for a societally and morally acceptable explanation for ill-defined symptoms in the absence of objective physical and laboratory findings. We describe factors involved in the psychopathogenesis of chronic
Lyme disease and focus on the confusion and insecurity these patients feel, which gives rise to an inability to adequately formulate and articulate their health concerns and to deal adequately with their medical needs, a state of disorganization termed aporia.