The Reaction to Justin Bieber's Lyme Disease Proves Just How Misunderstood the Illness Really Is

justin bieber lyme disease
credit: @justinbieber/Instagram

Justin Bieber came forward on Wednesday and bravely revealed to the world that he’s been suffering from Lyme disease over the past few years. 

On Instagram, he wrote,

“While a lot of people kept saying Justin Bieber looks like shit, on meth etc. they failed to realize I’ve been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my skin, brain function, energy, and overall health.”

He continued,

“These things will all be explained further in a new docuseries I’m putting on YouTube shortly… It’s been a rough couple years, but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back better than ever. “

Many fans were quick to show their love and support to the “Yummy” singer, but others felt like this was the time to make fun of Justin and the severity of Lyme disease. Some even claimed that his diagnosis was “karma” for not taking Selena Gomez’s lupus diagnosis seriously. 

The trolling comments got so bad that Justin’s wife Hailey Bieber had to take to Twitter to defend him. She wrote,

“For those who are downplaying the severity of Lyme disease. Please do your research and listen to the stories of people who have suffered with it for years. Making fun of and belittling a disease you don’t understand is never the way, all it takes is educating yourself.” 

justin bieber hailey baldwin

In a later tweet, she thanked the Hadid family (Bella, her brother Anwar, and her mother Yolanda all suffer from the disease) for educating her on Justin’s diagnosis, and for giving her the tools she needed to help her husband.

Regardless of how some people might feel about Justin, the lack of empathy being shown towards him is not okay and is incredibly disturbing. And it shows just how uneducated many people are on an already misunderstood disease.  

According to the CDC, there are at least 300,000 cases of Lyme disease diagnosed every year in the United States. Lyme disease is spread through deer ticks that carry the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria and, in its early stages, it can be curable.

Unfortunately, most Lyme disease sufferers exhibit flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, fever, chills, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph glands. These symptoms make it harder for doctors to diagnose their patients with the disease, and by the time they do, it’s often too late for antibiotic treatment. In the later stages, most patients will develop arthritis, chronic joint swelling and pain, and even sleep disorders. 

A lot of these symptoms are internal and that’s probably the main reason why Lyme disease isn’t taken seriously, which means that people diagnosed with the disease have to suffer in silence. 

But luckily for Bieber, and the millions of people who suffer from Lyme disease, they’re not alone. 

Avril Lavigne, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2014, expressed her support for Biebs on Instagram

“Today @JustinBieber shared that he has Lyme disease. There are too many people that have this debilitating disease! People I love and care about and many friends and fans I have crossed paths with. To everyone affected by Lyme, I want to tell you that there is HOPE. Because Lyme is a daily struggle, for the better part of two years, I was really sick and fighting for my life.”

She continued,

 “The Avril Lavigne Foundation supports people with Lyme Disease, serious illness or disabilities. We raise awareness and aid PREVENTION of the Lyme epidemic. We impact the lives of individuals and families affected by Lyme Disease through TREATMENT grants administered by our charitable partners, and we’ve aligned with @globallymealliance to accelerate scientific research. Please, JOIN US as we endeavor to educate people, prevent the spread of Lyme and find a cure. Our initiatives enable us to provide HOPE and expand the number of lives we’re able to transform. TOGETHER we can do this.”

Justin has a long and tumultuous road ahead of him, but he can beat this. And while it shouldn’t take a celebrity diagnosis to get people to care about Lyme disease, hopefully, people will finally understand just what Lyme disease sufferers go through.

Justin’s docuseries Justin Bieber: Seasons premieres on YouTube on January 27, 2020.


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Alysia Stevenson
Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she's not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.