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We all make impromptu, impulsive decisions now and then—like the time you told your broth-er-in-law what you really think about his political views...at the Thanksgiving table! Of course, that’s not inherently bad. Impulsivity only becomes a problem when it happens repeatedly, starts to screw up your life, or leads to self-destructive acts. Problematic impulsivity includes making poor, rash decisions without thinking about the long-term consequences, acting self-destructively (skipping work, flunking school, or picking fights with friends), or acting violently towards yourself or other people. So, if your impulsive behav-ior comes totally out of nowhere—or if it was always there but is starting to feel out of control, like a train off its tracks—it may be time to ask yourself what’s going on. You probably already know that severe or chronic impulsivity is a hallmark of personality disor-ders like bipolar, ADHD, and certain addictions. But it can also be a sign of infectious and chronic conditions that affect the brain, like Lyme and mold illness. And while you can’t deter-mine the root cause of your impulsive behavior on your own, you can decide to do something about it. If you’re concerned about your impulsive behavior, it’s important to get help. Talk to your prac-titioner about your symptoms, and be sure to ask about the connections between impulsivity and chronic conditions like Lyme. Remember that you may not be able to gauge your own be-havior changes as well as a friend or family member—so don’t take offense if someone you love tries to gently approach the topic with you. It can be hard to hear, but chances are, they just want to help. And by the way, if your personality includes a streak of spontaneity and you like it that way, don’t fret—no one is trying to clip your wings. This isn’t about changing who you are deep down—in fact, that’s not it at all. Instead, it’s about making sure that the great person you are isn’t being negatively affected by chronic illness. Ultimately, you are still you—don’t forget it!

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