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On August 14, 1989, Time reported the sad story of a man from East Detroit who died of fear. He had taken a number of fur-trapping expeditions over the years and had been bitten by his share of ticks. Then he heard about Lyme disease, which is carried by deer ticks. He became obsessed with the fear that he had been bitten in the past by a tick with the disease and that he had passed the disease to his wife.

Doctors tested him and assured him he didn’t have Lyme disease and that, even if he did, the disease was virtually impossible to transmit to his wife. But the man didn’t believe the doctors. Paranoid, because of the disease, the man killed his wife and then himself.

The police found the man’s mailbox jammed with material describing Lyme disease and a slip confirming a doctor’s appointment for yet another Lyme-disease test.

Worry can actually distort a person’s sense of reality. It can consume a person’s energy and thoughts.

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