A 14-year-old boy whose name hasn’t been revealed was left suicidal after he caught a mind-altering infection from a cat that scratched him.
He was hospitalized four times within 18 months, believing he was an “evil, damned son of the devil.”
The teen, who feared his feline companion was going to kill him and had been having suicidal thoughts, was diagnosed with rapid onset schizophrenia.
His condition progressed, leaving him with outbursts of rage, irrational fears, and severe hallucinations. His mother had to resign from her job so she could take care of him.
Two years after symptoms appear, a doctor finally recognized marks on the boy’s skin linked with ‘cat-scratch disease.’ It is caused by Bartonella henselae, a bacteria found in the claws and mouth of cats.
The teen tested positive for the infection, and after taking antibiotics, he made a full recovery.
Bartonella infection is known for ‘hiding’ in the linings of blood vessels. If left untreated, it can result in devastating consequences, such as heart infections, and brain swelling.
Researchers said such rare case was interesting for many reasons. Lead author of the case report, Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, said: “This case is interesting for a number of reasons.
“Beyond suggesting that infection itself could contribute to… schizophrenia, it raises the question of how often infection may be involved with psychiatric disorders generally.”
It was in October 2015 when the teen experienced symptoms including confusion, depression, and feeling agitated. He wanted to take his own life and became more dysfunctional that he couldn’t go to school.
He also developed chest pains, panic anxiety, daily headaches, and a constant need to urinate.
The report also said: “In addition to persecutory delusions related to his pets, he developed auditory, visual, and tactile hallucinations and began refusing to leave the house.”
In early 2017 a doctor managed to connect the dots and blood tests showed there was an infection of cat-borne bacteria.
After agonizing for two years, the teen returned to his normal self by the end of the year.
What’s your take on this? Let us know in the comments section and SHARE this with your family and friends!
Recommended Video – “A Cat Saved The Life Of A Young Ex-soldier By Making Him Realize A Very Important Thing”