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Parasitic Infection Flummoxes Victims and Doctors

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the if-you-need-me-i'll-now-be-up-all-night dept.

Medicine 581

Toxictoy writes "Imagine having a disease that is so controversial that doctors refuse to treat you. Individuals with this disease report disturbing crawling, stinging, and biting sensations, as well as non-healing skin lesions, which are associated with highly unusual structures. These structures can be described as fiber-like or filamentous, and are the most striking feature of this disease. In addition, patients report the presence of seed-like granules and black speck-like material associated with their skin. Sound like a bad plot for a Sci-Fi channel movie? Think again - it could be Morgellon's Syndrome."

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581 comments

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370821)

wtf?

wow. (-1, Flamebait)

Dogun (7502) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370826)

Gee. Pictures of dust mites and bits of crap pulled off of velcro. Someone's been eating their Wheaties.

frosty filamenty pist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370827)

yea!

Don't panic (4, Funny)

AlaskanUnderachiever (561294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370828)

Don't worry, I'm sure it can be cured with aromatherapy, reflexology, homeopathy and a large dose of serpentes lipids. . .

Re:Don't panic (4, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370871)

The success will be similar to what dermatology proper can achieve anyway. Modern dermatology cannot cure eczema. Most varieties of psoriasis are uncurable as well. Add in neurodermatitis and a few other skin conditions and you get a fairly long list of conditions which the doctors cannot deal with. They poke at it from different angles like tribal shamans and the success rate is about the same. The reality is that we know so little about the human skin, it is not even funny. Just take Pimecrolimus and eczema. Nobody has even the faintest idea why it works. Staph and eczema? What is the cause and what is the effect? So on so fourth. I read the RTFA and I can understand some of the patients described in it who are taking a gun to a dermatologist appointment. I have wanted to do that on couple of occasions myself.

Re:Don't panic (2, Funny)

turbosk (73287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370921)

"I read the RTFA and I can understand some of the patients described in it who are taking a gun to a dermatologist appointment. I have wanted to do that on couple of occasions myself."

Man, you and I are the reasons they invented restraining orders.....

Re:Don't panic (2, Interesting)

AndreiK (908718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370910)

Reading the article, of course it can. It's the placebo effect.

Re:Don't panic (4, Funny)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370923)

House would have had this cleared up during one of his clinic duties. It wouldn't even warrant a full show.

Mental Illness is a Real Illness (3, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370992)

Though mental illness may prompt laughter from some quarters, mental illness is a serious issue.

In the issue at hand, there may be a common, tangible factor causing the numerous instances of Morgellon's Syndrome. Given the horrendous amount of chemicals that accumulate in non-organic foods, would anyone be surprised that these chemicals may be affecting the operation of the human brain?

Has anyone done an analysis of the types of food that victims (of Morgellon's Syndrome) eat? Is there a pattern?

Ohmygod (-1, Offtopic)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370829)

Thought I'd surfed to Digg for a mo!

Re:Ohmygod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370979)

When did Slashdot get taken over by the Weekly World News?

looks like lint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370831)

Looks like pictures of lint to me.

Where's the story? (5, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370833)

If you have strange sores, or another infection, a biopsy will reveal abnormalities. The fact the CDC has not been sent any sample by a trained medical professional (or so the article claims), leads me to question the validity of the claims. There -are- procedures in place to deal with undiagnosed infections.

I'm not seeing the story here, and I'm reluctant to believe there is a grand conspiracy keeping a single sample from making it to the CDC.

Re:Where's the story? (0, Troll)

AndreiK (908718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370925)

Oh, I see a story. It's mainly mental, as the article states. The article says there are many people who report as having this illness, but every single doctor could not identify. Some treated it one way, others treated it in another, and in every single case - including mind-altering drugs and a cast over perfectly fine skin - the "disease" dissapeared in a few weeks.

Re:Where's the story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370956)

They don't care. The standard procedure in the USA is called a walletectomy. The determatologists creed is "If it is wet make it dry, if it is dry make it wet". The typical reaction form a dermatologist to a condition they have not seen before is to hurry you out of the office.

before calling the CDC... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370967)

Partially off topic: I have an undiagnosed skin infection that's flummoxed more than a dozen real doctors in real clinics and hospitals for more than a year. BUT it's not spreading, only verly slowly leaving soem ugly scarring on the affected skin. I've been through viral id and fungal tests (all negative) but since they determined only by elimination that the cellulitis must be bacterial, I can't get any of the GP or dermatologists to do anything but throw antibiotics at me. More than 10 courses of antibiotics later (including Cipro and topical Clindamyacin), I'm basically just containing the infection and slowly accumulating more scar tissue.

...But I can't seem to get anyone to do a damn culture. I've never before been refused a referral, but I get the brush-off or referral to unavailable doctors when I request the one thing that could simply identify the problem. Short of calling the CDC and sounding like a kook, what's a guy to do when the local medical resources just aren't interested in your weird condition because you're neither particularly interesting, nor actively dying?

How to get attention; (4, Informative)

xtal (49134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15371008)

Step 1: Get a written statement from one, two, or perferably, three GP's or dermatologists you have an undiagnosable skin condition or other aliment that is not psychological in nature.

Step 2: Get a phone book or google and find out the nearest university medical research center in your geographic area.

Step 3: Armed with the affadavits in Step 1, contact professors at the university specializing in pathology, dermatology, biology.. just about any -ology except geology, or phrenology, haha. You might have to try a couple, but you WILL find someone interested in your case. Those people have the training, resources, and credentials to find out if there is something novel about your condition. They will pay you no mind without Step 1.

Good luck.

Attention! Attention! (2, Funny)

BlackMesaLabs (893043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370837)

The infected are known to be hostile and will attack you on sight! Do not take chances! Use extreme caution!
The only way to stop the infected is by destroying the brain or severing the head from the body!
The government advises all citizens to return to their places of residence and begin stockpiling water and food. Do not make contact with any infected persons!

Re:Attention! Attention! (4, Funny)

chiller2 (35804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370882)

No problem mate. I'm off down the Winchester ;)

By the way, you've got red on you!

Re:Attention! Attention! (1)

Bush Pig (175019) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370941)

You forgot about the duct tape.

...or not (4, Insightful)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370838)

Or it could be the crazies have found one of the internets again.

My local hospital had a patient reporting something very similar - claimed that bugs were eating her and her son, and she was itching all over. Examination showed she did, in fact, have rashes - from direct self-inflicted skin irritation - and the 'bugs' she'd captured in a little baggy were most definitely lint.

She got told to stop scratching and put some cream on it, and she got a nice friendly psych consult.

Never, ever underestimate how many crazies there are. Just ask anyone in retail or another customer-facing industry if you don't believe me.

Re:...or not (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370867)

Yep.

Heard about this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusional_parasitosi s [wikipedia.org] many years ago on a medical radio show.

J.K.

ObPKD (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370894)

Once a guy stood all day shaking bugs from his hair. The doctor told him there were no bugs in his hair. After he had taken a shower for eight hours, standing under hot water hour after hour suffering the pain of the bugs, he got out and dried himself, and he still had bugs in his hair; in fact, he had bugs all over him. A month later he had bugs in his lungs.

Having nothing else to do or think about, he began to work out theoretically the life cycle of the bugs, and, with the aid of the Britannica, try to determine specifically which bugs they were. They now filled his house. He read about many different kinds and finally noticed bugs outdoors, so he concluded they were aphids. After that decision came to his mind it never changed, no matter what other people told him ... like "Aphids don't bite people."

They said that to him because the endless biting of the bugs kept him in torment. At the 7-11 grocery store, part of a chain spread out over most of California, he bought spray cans of Raid and Black Flag and Yard Guard. First he sprayed the house, then himself. The Yard Guard seemed to work the best.

As to the theoretical side, he perceived three stages in the cycle of the bugs. First, they were carried to him to contaminate him by what he called Carrier-people, which were people who didn't understand their role in distributing the bugs. During that stage the bugs had no jaws or mandibles (he learned that word during his weeks of scholarly research, an unusually bookish occupation for a guy who worked at the Handy Brake and Tire place relining people's brake drums). The Carrier-people therefore felt nothing. He used to sit in the far corner of his living room watching different Carrier-people enter -- most of them people he'd known for a while, but some new to him -- covered with the aphids in this particular nonbiting stage. He'd sort of smile to himself, because he knew that the person was being used by the bugs and wasn't hip to it.

"What are you grinning about, Jerry?" they'd say.

He'd just smile.

In the next stage the bugs grew wings or something, but they really weren't precisely wings; anyhow, they were appendages of a functional sort permitting them to swarm, which was how they migrated and spread -- especially to him. At that point the air was full of them; it made his living room, his whole house, cloudy. During this stage he tried not to inhale them.

Most of all he felt sorry for his dog, because he could see the bugs landing on and settling all over him, and probably getting into the dog's lungs, as they were in his own. Probably -- at least so his empathic ability told him -- the dog was suffering as much as he was. Should he give the dog away for the dog's own comfort? No, he decided: the dog was now, inadvertently, infected, and would carry the bugs with him everywhere.

Sometimes he stood in the shower with the dog, trying to wash the dog clean too. He had no more success with him than he did with himself. It hurt to feel the dog suffer; he never stopped trying to help him. In some respect this was the worst part, the suffering of the animal, who could not complain.

"What the fuck are you doing there all day in the shower with the goddamn dog?" his buddy Charles Freck asked one time, coming in during this.

Jerry said, "I got to get the aphids off him." He brought Max, the dog, out of the shower and began drying him. Charles Freck watched, mystified, as Jerry rubbed baby oil and talc into the dog's fur. All over the house, cans of insect spray, bottles of talc, and baby oil and skin conditioners were piled and tossed, most of them empty; he used many cans a day now.

"I don't see any aphids," Charles said. "What's an aphid?"

"It eventually kills you," Jerry said. "That's what an aphid is. They're in my hair and my skin and my lungs, and the goddamn pain is unbearable -- I'm going to have to go to the hospital."

"How come I can't see them?"

Jerry put down the dog, which was wrapped in a towel, and knelt over the shag rug. "I'll show you one," he said. The rug was covered with aphids; they hopped up everywhere, up and down, some higher than others. He searched for an especially large one, because of the difficulty people had seeing them. "Bring me a bottle or jar," he said, "from under the sink. We'll cap it or put a lid on it and then I can take it with me when I go to the doctor and he can analyze it."

Charles Freck brought him an empty mayonnaise jar. Jerry went on searching, and at last came across an aphid leaping up at least four feet in the air. The aphid was over an inch long. He caught it, carried it to the jar, carefully dropped it in, and screwed on the lid. Then he held it up triumphantly. "See?" he said.

"Yeahhhh," Charles Freck said, his eyes wide as he scrutinized the contents of the jar. "What a big one! Wow!"

"Help me find more for the doctor to see," Jerry said, again squatting down on the rug, the jar beside him.

"Sure," Charles Freck said, and did so.

Within half an hour they had three jars full of the bugs. Charles, although new at it, found some of the largest.

It was midday, in June of 1994. In California, in a tract area of cheap but durable plastic houses, long ago vacated by the straights. Jerry had at an earlier date sprayed metal paint over all the windows, though, to keep out the light; the illumination for the room came from a pole lamp into which he had screwed nothing but spot lamps, which shone day and night, so as to abolish time for him and his friends. He liked that; he liked to get rid of time. By doing that he could concentrate on important things without interruption. Like this: two men kneeling down on the shag rug, finding bug after bug and putting them into jar after jar.

"What do we get for these," Charles Freck said, later on in the day. "I mean, does the doctor pay a bounty or something? A prize? Any bread?"

"I get to help perfect a cure for them this way," Jerry said. The pain, constant as it was, had become unbearable; he had never gotten used to it, and he knew he never would. The urge, the longing, to take another shower was overwhelming him. "Hey, man," he gasped, straightening up, "you go on putting them in the jars while I take a leak and like that." He started toward the bathroom.

"Okay," Charles said, his long legs wobbling as he swung toward a jar, both hands cupped. An ex-veteran, he still had good muscular control, though; he made it to the jar. But then he said suddenly, "Jerry, hey -- those bugs sort of scare me. I don't like it here by myself." He stood up.

"Chickenshit bastard," Jerry said, panting with pain as he halted momentarily at the bathroom.

"Couldn't you --

"I got to take a leak!" He slammed the door and spun the knobs of the shower. Water poured down.

"I'm afraid out here." Charles Freck's voice came dimly, even though he was evidently yelling loud.

"Then go fuck yourself!" Jerry yelled back, and stepped into the shower. What fucking good are friends? he asked himself bitterly. No good, no good! No fucking good!

"Do these fuckers sting?" Charles yelled, right at the door.

"Yeah, they sting," Jerry said as he rubbed shampoo into his hair.

"That's what I thought." A pause. "Can I wash my hands and get them off and wait for you?"

Chickenshit, Jerry thought with bitter fury. He said nothing; he merely kept on washing. The bastard wasn't worth answering ... He paid no attention to Charles Freck, only to himself. To his own vital, demanding, terrible, urgent needs. Everything else would have to wait. There was no time, no time; these things could not be postponed. Everything else was secondary. Except the dog; he wondered about Max, the dog.

Re:...or not (4, Interesting)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370908)

I've known people with this "disease" for almost 20 years. You know what else these people had in common? They were all speed freaks, crystal meth addicts. These people need a visit to the rehab (or puzzle palace, if they're not on drugs), not the dermatologist.

It's also in the opening chapter of A Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick.

Once a guy stood all day shaking bugs from his hair. The doctor told him there were no bugs in his hair. After he had taken a shower for eight hours, standing under hot water hour after hour suffering the pain of the bugs, he got out and dried himself, and he still had bugs in his hair; in fact, he had bugs all over him. A month later he had bugs in his lungs.

        Having nothing else to do or think about, he began to work out theoretically the life cycle of the bugs, and, with the aid of the _Britannica_, try to determine specifically which bugs they were. They now filled his house. He read about many different kinds and finally noticed bugs outdoors, so he concluded they were aphids. After that decision came to his mind it never changed, no matter what other people told him . . . like "Aphids don't bite people."

        They said that to him because the endless biting of the bugs kept him in torment. At the 7-11 grocery store, part of a chain spread out over most of California, he bought spray cans of Raid and Black Flag and Yard Guard. First he sprayed the house, then himself. The Yard Guard seemed to work the best.

        As to the theoretical side, he perceived three stages in the cycle of the bugs. First, they were carried to him to contaminate him by what he called Carrier-people, which were people who didn't understand their role in distributing the bugs. During that stage the bugs had no jaws or mandibles (he learned that word during his weeks of scholarly research, an unusually bookish occupation for a guy who worked at the Handy Brake and Tire place relining people's brake drums). The Carrier-people therefore felt nothing. He used to sit in the far corner of his living room watching different Carrier-people enter--most of them people he'd known for a while, but some new to him--covered with the aphids in this particular nonbiting stage. He'd sort of smile to himself, because he knew that the person was being used by the bugs and wasn't hip to it.

        "What are you grinning about, Jerry?" they'd say.

        He'd just smile.

        In the next stage the bugs grew wings or something, but they really weren't precisely wings; anyhow, they were appendages of a functional sort permitting them to swarm, which was how they migrated and spread--especially to him. At that point the air was full of them; it made his living room, his whole house, cloudy. During this stage he tried not to inhale them.

        Most of all he felt sorry for his dog, because he could see the bugs landing on and settling all over him, and probably getting into the dog's lungs, as they were in his own. Probably--at least so his empathic ability told him--the dog was suffering as much as he was. Should he give the dog away for the dog's own comfort? No, he decided: the dog was now, inadvertently, infected, and would carry the bugs with him everywhere.

        Sometimes he stood in the shower with the dog, trying to wash the dog clean too. He had no more success with him than he did with himself. It hurt to feel the dog suffer; he never stopped trying to help him. In some respect this was the worst part, the suffering of the animal, who could not complain.

        "What the fuck are you doing there all day in the shower with the goddamn dog?" his buddy Charles Freck asked one time, coming in during this.

        Jerry said, "I got to get the aphids off him." He brought Max, the dog, out of the shower and began drying him. Charles Freck watched, mystified, as Jerry rubbed baby oil and talc into the dog's fur. All over the house, cans of insect spray, bottles of talc, and baby oil and skin conditioners were piled and tossed, most of them empty; he used many cans a day now.

        "I don't see any aphids," Charles said. "What's an aphid?"

        "It eventually kills you," Jerry said. "That's what an aphid is. They're in my hair and my skin and my lungs, and the goddamn pain is unbearable--I'm going to have to go to the hospital."

        "How come I can't see them?"

        Jerry put down the dog, which was wrapped in a towel, and knelt over the shag rug. "I'll show you one," he said. The rug was covered with aphids; they hopped up everywhere, up and down, some higher than others. He searched for an especially large one, because of the difficulty people had seeing them. "Bring me a bottle or jar," he said, "from under the sink. We'll cap it or put a lid on it and then I can take it with me when I go to the doctor and he can analyze it."

        Charles Freck brought him an empty mayonnaise jar. Jerry went on searching, and at last came across an aphid Jeaping up at least four feet in the air. The aphid was over aP inch long. He caught it, carried it to the jar, carefully dropped it in, and screwed on the lid. Then he held it up triumphantly. "See?" he said.

        "Yeahhhhh," Charles Freck said, his eyes wide as he scrutinized the contents of the jar. "What a big one! Wow!"

        "Help me find more for the doctor to see," Jerry said, again squatting down on the rug, the jar beside him.

        "Sure," Charles Freck said, and did so.

        Within half an hour they had three jars full of the bugs. Charles, although new at it, found some of the largest.


A Scanner Darkly, Copyright 1977 by Philip K. Dick

Re:...or not (5, Interesting)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370933)

Ah HAH. The movie Scanner Darkly is coming out soon. It's a viral marketing gag. Although I guess in this case it's a parasite, not a virus ... ;-)

Re:...or not (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15371012)

OK, if this whole disease is a viral marketing gag for ASD, I've got to hand it to the people who put it together. First they have you thinking it's a real disease, then you realize it's delusional in nature, then you realize it's deliberately delusional. Nifty.

Re:...or not (4, Interesting)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 8 years ago | (#15371017)

Both of the websites I've been linked to today, morgellons.org and morgellonsusa.com, are registered by anonymous DNS-by-proxy companies.

It reeks to high heaven of marketing hoopla.

Re:...or not (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370938)

"Never, ever underestimate how many crazies there are."

Why assume that there's something defective about the people's machinery, rather than habitation of a pathological state inherent in the machine? Given the de-education that American children receive in school, I wouldn't be surprised that these people don't know the first thing about falsification of the hypothesis that the dust bunnies are alive and are causing rashes. Give the people a fucking break when they're agitated and trying to describe things as best as they can.

Re:...or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15371007)

"Never, ever underestimate how many crazies there are."

While this is true and I too have doubts about this condition, there are people who suffer from real crazy-sounding conditions that are quickly written off as being crazy because they don't have garden variety illnesses. This happens all the time which is why we should neither arbitarily write someone off as being crazy any more than we should unquestioningly take their word for it.

What the.. (3, Insightful)

ElScorcho (115780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370840)

This website reads like timecube. What's with the baby blue background, gratuitous overuse of "quotation marks", and broad statements about the medical community willfully ignoring the person? Can we perhaps get some authoritative sites? Seriously, doctors are just as curious as the rest of us and if there were really something here I'm sure there would be papers on it. All the evidence this site presents are out-of-context photos of some fibrous stuff. For all I know that's your belly button lint.

Re:What the.. (1)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15371011)

Horrific website design should be added to the lists of schizophrenia symptoms. I don't know why it is, and I hate making broad and offensive generalizations like this, but it seems to be so.

News? (5, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370841)

More like tinfoil-hat bullshit. Sorry folks, but Morgellons is a particularly sad expression of schizophrenia, not a strange space-age malady that makes you break out in deep-pile shag.

It's particularly telling that the 'big' sites that 'cover' this 'malady' don't actually show pictures of symptomatic sufferers or anything noteworthy like that. No, instead we get useless SEM photos of fibres, bits of dust and ECU shots of cat scratches.

STD? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370842)

Wow... should have used a rubber!

New story title ... (4, Funny)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370848)

Grow Your Own Sweater.

Re:New story title ... (1)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370995)

Note: Hand wash only. Do not place in drying machine.

Lyme (0, Troll)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370850)

There are all sorts of illnesses that doctors refuse to treat because "it doesn't exist in the area". Lyme disease isn't recognized to be in certain states, so doctors there can't or won't diagnose it, lest a political fallout ensue. Of course there are rumours too that Lyme is some engineered bug, and so the CDC doesn't want word that it's widely spread to get around for that reason...

Re:Lyme (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370881)

You don't give any sources to back up your claim that doctors in "certain states" refuse to diagnose Lyme Disease -- and yet, isn't it funny that I've read articles about Morgellons syndrome that link it to Lyme disease?

This has all the makings of a crazy disease-conspiracy theory to me. I'm sorry, but no matter how bad the American health care system may have become, I can't believe that every doctor in America who encounters this supposed syndrome refuses to treat it. That's just asinine. Believe it or not, there are a few people who go to medical school because they want to help people. Maybe more than a few.

Until I see some real medical research on this, I'm going to assume that wearing a magnetic bracelet for a few weeks will clear it right up.

Re:Lyme (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370891)

I can't give a link to a personal conversation with a Lyme disease sufferer I had. She tried to seek treatment in her home state in the south, but had to travel to another more northern state to get useful help from a doctor. The CDC's recommended antibiotic course is completely inadaquate, since the timeframe for taking the drugs is much too short, as experienced by my friend who had to be on drugs for months before the disease didn't come right back.

not Lyme... but a similar Example (1)

bloodstar (866306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370909)

Having had someone I know go to Guatemala in 97 for some Amnesty International work, come back having contracted Maleria (She was living in Georgia at the time). IIRC it took the Staff a good month before they came to the conclusion that... oh, you have Maleria. This despite her own research of the clockwork fevers and weakness. This despite knowing that she had recently returned from a part of the world where Maleria was pervasive.

Doctors aren't perfect, and if something is outside of their experience, oftentimes they're not going to know what is going on. And to compound the problem there are some doctors who look for additional help, at least not right away. That's not a slam on Doctors, simply a point of human nature. I don't see the issue being a political one, more of a, 'but that doesn't happen here, so that can't be what's wrong' issue.

Not the Docs fault (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370851)

There is an awfully accusatory tone in much of this directed at doctors and the medical community at large.
You can't blame the doctors for being skeptical about a mystery illness in which nothing can be detected
by even the most sensitive diagnostic tools. They are simply following the old medical axoim of

"When you hear hooves, think of horses not zebras"

Whats more likely? A mysterious undetectable problem, or that it really is in these peoples heads?

Re:Not the Docs fault (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15371003)

Most of us refer to this as Occam's Razor [wikipedia.org] .


Of course, that may just be because we're pretentious nits.

So, is that a race or a specific space tyrant? (5, Funny)

djSpinMonkey (816614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370854)

"Morgellan's Syndrome?" Dude, that still sounds like the plot of a bad sci-fi movie. Do they cure it by reversing the polarity of Jordie's visor and routing a graviton particle beam through Data's knee?

Re:So, is that a race or a specific space tyrant? (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370873)

Do they cure it by reversing the polarity of Jordie's visor and routing a graviton particle beam through Data's knee?

Nope. It's a verteron pulse.

Re:So, is that a race or a specific space tyrant? (4, Informative)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370951)

I think it's a viral campaign for an upcoming Robert Downey Jr movie ... :)

This is science? (2, Insightful)

stoneymonster (668767) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370855)

Perhaps you should change the icon from Einstein to Miss Cleo.

HTH, HAND.

Uh, this part's telling: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370856)

Lynch's preferred treatment: the antipsychotic drug risperidone--which works, he says, in as little as two weeks.

Yeah.

You ever hear of Koro? It's a "disease" that happens in some areas of east Asia, where the victim has the constant sensation that his penis is retracting into his body.

Sometimes things that aren't there seem to appear, for no reason other than that we have given them a name.

quackery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370858)

This disease does not exist. The people who have it have mental issues and the "doctors" who treat them with expensive medicines and quackery are snake oil salesmen.

Okay then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370863)

Perhaps it might be useful to tell such patients they suffer from a parasitic infection called psychstimulbugitus. Its where they get infected by small parasites which grow off the nutrients found in amphemetmines, cocaine and other psycho-stimulants. The cure? Stop feeding them the nutrients. By the way. By coincidence, the captcha human validation code below is cocaine...

It's grey goo! (1)

Angelwrath (125723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370866)

Maybe it's a nanotech experiment gone wrong. Grey goo that reacts with cellulose or cell walls has leaked into the water system after an animal came into contact with it at a subdermal level, and then died of its injuries, and is now spreading the material particle by particle into the water system of a nearby town.

I am a dermatologist, and I see patients with this (5, Informative)

NXIL (860839) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370868)

This is referred to as "delusions of parasitosis".

http://www.emedicine.com/derm/topic939.htm [emedicine.com]

The *sensation* they have is "real", not to sound like Morpheus: feels like bugs in skin. The sensation goes away quickly when Pimozide is prescribed.

It's not all that uncommon.

It's very hard to convince patients that they need Pimozide, and not a can of "Raid" to spray on themselves.

There's another web site that has been around longer relating to the same issue:

http://www.skinparasites.com/ [skinparasites.com]

They misinterpret lint, fibers, dust, and other debris as parasites; sort of a variant of hearing voices/OCD/other disorders where sensations are spurious or can't be correctly decoded.

I'd mod you up if I had poist (2, Interesting)

Critical_ (25211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370892)

I'd mod you up if I had points. I'm a medical student and I got the chance to take a history on a patient claiming to have this syndrome. It ended up that we gave him risperidone. If I'm not mistaken, pimozide has some fairly bad side effects and isn't normally prescribed these days. Then again, I'm only a med student.

Don't worry (5, Funny)

DoubleRing (908390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370934)

Don't worry, I have mod points! Oh, wait...

Re:I'd mod you up if I had poist (4, Informative)

NXIL (860839) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370964)

What's the difference between a medical student and dog crap?

                        No one goes out of their way to step on dog crap.....

You are quite correct--best to get an EKG/watch for extrapyramidal side effects, but, I have found that very low doses of Pimozide are effective, on the order of 1 or 2 mg a day, not a full antipsychotic dose.

Most difficult therapeutic maneuver is building trust--not at all easy to get them to take anything at all. I just try to be very honest, reassuring, kind--sort of like Mr. Rogers.

UCLA Med School: awesome....congrats.

Re:I am a dermatologist, and I see patients with t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370906)

Check for sinus infection. This could be caused by insufflation (snorting) of cocaine, amphetamines or heroin.

Re:I am a dermatologist, and I see patients with t (4, Informative)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370958)

The *sensation* they have is "real", not to sound like Morpheus: feels like bugs in skin.

Yes, this is (IMO) one of the more bizarre aspects of psychosis - it's not just the the people suffering from it *believe* in things that aren't true, they actually experience some of them directly.

I've known a couple of people with schizophrenia, and while it's a terrible condition, it gave me a lot of respect for the power of our minds.

Re:I am a dermatologist, and I see patients with t (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370998)

do you people even read the article or just look at the pictures in the last link? Some of these people have been inflicted for over 15 years, and everytime they go to a doctor, the doctor thinks they're crazy and sends them home.

When several hundred stories start popping up at the same time, and all the patients suffer the same symptoms, at least listen and research more on the subject. You people act as if you've discovered everything already, and that anything new is instantly fake unless someone smarter than you(like scientists) verify it.

See, my problem with "doctors" is that they're book smart. New medicine and new techniques to cure diseases come from scientists. But the only way a scientist know about a disease is if a doctor tells them. Except when you have a bunch of doctors who are book smart, they instantly think anything remotely weird means the patient is crazy.

It just sounds 'neuro'..... (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370874)

When it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it must be a duck.

When there's no evidence that it's a duck, it's delusional. What motivated this late night posting? Perhaps additional delusion.

Not to discount the earnest sentiments of real people, I'll agree that it's a little 'tin-hat' to be taken seriously. But then the medical community has done bad things before, like missing the value of "Lorenzo's Oil" and other odd-but-true associations.

That fact still doesn't explain the posting.

Tag story fud (1)

DoubleRing (908390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370885)

Tag the story fud, stupid, etc. As the previous posters have pointed out, this just sounds like a load of bs. And a link to Popular Mechanics!?!? I stopped taking them seriously when I saw one cover that said "Secret Government Plane!!!111 Exclusive details inside!!!1111!!!" (ok, sans the exclamations, but really, seriously--come on!) It borders on yellow journalism, and whatever it is, it's not the most trustworthy resource.

Yes, but ... (1)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370903)

Popular mechanics may not have the most credibility, but surely the facts published on a web site that features presentation as professional as this one's [morgellonsusa.com] pushes the story beyond reproach.

Don't be such a skeptic.

hoax (4, Insightful)

dan14807 (162088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370887)

It's a hoax. Notice how all of the images of exotic multi-colored fibers are close-ups where you can't see the person or the sores they talk about. The pictures of people with sores on them show people with plain sores.

Different colors? (1)

Sargeant Slaughter (678631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370888)

So, these little creatures crap out fibers in all the different colors of the rainbow? She should make a scarf out of them.

Man, these people are freakin nuts! What a waste of time. How did this ever get on /.?

All the hits generated will only help confirm that lady's crazy ass halucinations to herself...

Hate to break it to you (0, Redundant)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370889)

Those dark filaments coming out of your skin? Us norms call that "body hair."

A new low (4, Insightful)

davidoff404 (764733) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370890)

I've been reading /. for years and have noticed a general downward trend in the quality of stories posted, but this represents an all-time low. Seriously, do any of the admins even bother reading submissions before posting them any more? Apart from the ludicrous Wikipedia entry, the sole basis for this story seems to be a Popular Mechanics article (Popular Mechanics for Christ's sake!) and a bizarro TimeCube [timecube.com] -like website.

Seriously dudes, this is the worst story I've ever seen on /. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Mod Parent Up, Remove OP from /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370917)

'Nuff said!

Re:A new low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370942)

I've seen worse but only on April fools day.

Re:A new low (4, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 8 years ago | (#15371000)

Even the article makes it abundantly clear that an infection is not the problem. The real story here is the stigma attached to anything relating to mental health. That is not to say these people are not suffering. The problem is they refuse the professional's opinion out of hand. These people are so frightened of being considered "delusional" that they act in ways that make the rest of us think they are nuts:

When Miles Lawrence sped to the hospital, he was told he had delusional parasitosis and that the weird spines were "just dirt." But over the next week his symptoms got worse. He scratched at his elbows and noticed more fibers, and little black specks. "It was like they were fighting back," he says.

It is more important to Lawrence to insist he is not delusion (or perhaps there are some other incentives, such as being special enough to be written into a Popular Mechanics article, or the attention one receives when one has a scary-sounding disease such as "Morgellons Syndrome") than to end his suffering through several apparently effective cures. Those that allow treatment see the alleviation of symptoms within weeks!

Re:A new low (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15371021)

Bitching about it won't make it change.

Trust me - you just get ignored.

I wish I could use my mod points on this story (1)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370896)

-1 Paranoid ravings

Who let the slashdot editors start posting stories without parental supervision again? This whole story is crap.

This seems a little bit weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370900)

I am still confused by all this, it ressembles more like lint than a disease.

Then, I'm no doctor.

These people are in need of attention (2, Interesting)

SirFlakey (237855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370902)

..One way or another. Ok, so I laughed at the "Grow your own sweater" comment =) but let's face it Only two options here - it's fake an in their heads or it's real and it's a problem. In the latter case, there are a LOT of strange diseases out there, we have procedures and people to investigate this and so they should. In the former case they still need help, though arguably of a psychiatric nature.

The healthcare professionals (Doctors/etc) should really not be turning these people away quite so easily imho. Yep we have a lot of 'crazy people' out there but it probably doesn't help having them sit in the corner of their houses spraying themselves with Raid/Baygon.

Re:These people are in need of attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370924)

Sure it helps. They eventually die from absorbing vast amounts of insecticide through their skin, and do not provide either their genetics (nature) or their personal strangeness (nurture) to future generations. There's a lot to be said for letting these problems weed themselves out.

Re:These people are in need of attention (4, Insightful)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370971)

The healthcare professionals (Doctors/etc) should really not be turning these people away quite so easily imho.

It's very difficult to properly treat someone who is delusional. In most of the US, patients cannot be forced into treatment unless they are actively suicidal or homicidal. In my experience, it's not that doctors turn them away, it's that they refuse to accept what's really going on and leave on their own.

Re:These people are in need of attention (1)

SirFlakey (237855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370982)

It's very difficult to properly treat someone who is delusional. In most of the US, patients cannot be forced into treatment unless they are actively suicidal or homicidal. In my experience, it's not that doctors turn them away, it's that they refuse to accept what's really going on and leave on their own.

Hmm good call - Whilst being somewhat ethically reprehensible (Paging Dr. House!) I wonder wether this might not be a good place for palcebo's combines with whatever drugs help ?

   

Sounds like Parasitosis (1)

Pinefresh (866806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370911)

Re: also sounds like viral marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370959)

From the parent's link:
Fictional accounts
A fictional account of delusional parasitosis is given in the opening chapter of Philip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly.


Who wants to bet this part of a "viral marketing" campaign for the upcoming movie?

S'funny (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370914)

I stopped drinking for a few days ago, and hadn't done any meth in about a week, so I know my mind was really clear for a change. And all of a sudden they were on MY SKIN! They were UNDER IT TOO! LITTLE CRAWLY THINGS! YAAIIIIIIGHHHH!

So I started drinking again, and they stopped. They don't like alcohol--figured that one out myself. Don't need no stinkin' CDC, sheeoot.

Jesus Christ, Zonk! Grow a brain! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370919)

You're such a dipshit you make me nostalic for the days when Michael Sims was still 'editing' here.

Hoax? (1)

thehickcoder (620326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370922)

Could this just be a hoax website (a la Bonzi Kittens)? I think Pop. Mech. just got suckered into this one.

Obligatory Simpsons quote (3, Funny)

D H NG (779318) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370930)

Dr. Nick Riviera: "Sir, calm down, you're going to give yourself skin failure. The symptoms you describe lead me to believe that you are suffering from bonus eruptus, a rare disorder in which the skeleton tries to jump out of the skin. The only way to stop it is through transdental electromicide. I'll need a golf cart motor and a thousand volt capacimator, stat."

The one that really scares me... (5, Insightful)

rdmiller3 (29465) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370931)

One of the links for this "disease" talked about a woman who was taking her two-year-old son to the doctor because she thought he had it.

Since these fibers are obviously ordinary textile fuzz and lint, that means that the poor kid's delusional mom is inflicting the condition upon him. I hope that their doctor had the sense to contact someone in Social Services.

Re:The one that really scares me... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15371016)

I think what you have there is a case of MSP -- Munchausen Syndrome [wikipedia.org] by Proxy [sids-network.org] .

brain parasites not skin (1)

MonkeyBoyo (630427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370937)

Yeah the disease may be mental because drugs [mentalhealth.com] for schizophrenic patients alleviate it. But Morgellons seem to be on the uprise. Maybe people are not being infected with skin parasites, but instead are being tainted with somethin that makes them think they have skin parasites. Possibly people are being infected by some parasite that infects/affects their brain. There are numerous examples where some parasite that infects say an insect or mouse alters the behavior of the animal so that it is easy for a predator to catch it, eat it, and become infected.

Re:brain parasites not skin (1)

SirFlakey (237855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370970)

Actually I quite like that idea, of course Moregellons may simple be on the up due to the "me-too" effect. The delusions are capable of being spread some external factor could explain it (could also be chemically induced ?).

Hmm, hey this could be a cool little story line for ReGenesis [regenesistv.com] - someone call NorBac =)

A Joke Right? (1)

MrRuslan (767128) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370943)

LoL April Fools has passsed along with the pink ponnies!

You have got to be kidding me (1)

gravitypulls (976031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370948)

I've been lurking on Slashdot for years and seen some pretty asinine things put up, but this tops all. As if sitting here at 2am wasn't enough of a waste of my time... ;) There should be a new section named whackjobs.slashdot.org for posts like this. On the other hand, if this is part of a campaign to get people to register congratulations you succeeded.

Noone likes the internet. (1)

Plautius (626357) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370949)

Ironic that I feel lame linking wikipedia for a school report and she's citing this garbage for a news report with national coverage.

Very real to some people, sadly.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370954)

It's not exactly a hoax - altought there are a few people who might be considered to be quacks, they really seem to believe in it. Here's the board the wackiest post on: http://lymebusters.proboards39.com/index.cgi?board =rash [proboards39.com] And here's a pretty comprehensive set of articles debunking the whole thing: http://morgellonswatch.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Schizophrenia is a serious disease (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15371004)

I thought it was finally gonna kill me....
  Thread Started on May 17, 2006, 3:33am [Quote]
Hi guys

My girlfriend wanted to show off her new car so (as always) insisted I go with her and get out of this house. The car is too bitchin.........a convertible with an amazing sound system. Even though I tried to tell her (and other friends) how I won't feel comfortable in her brand new car because I'm afraid of contaminating it....they always tell me to stop worrying about it. If they don't have it by now, they must be immune to it. There are too many times they don't want to hear it and won't let me use it as an excuse not to go somewhere. This disease hurts in more ways than one. We put some good tunes in the cd and headed off for town.

I' m 52 yrs. old, but I doubt I'll ever grow up and out of doing stupid kid stuff sometimes. Before we got into the city, we were pushing 90mph (therefore doing stupid kid stuff was already on the menu), so I stood up in my seat, stretched out my arms and started singin' some stupid song about flying. I'd pretty much forgotten how good it feels to feel that free. I love anything anyway, when it gives you the feeling that you're flying... I've always wanted to be able to! It took my mind off of all of this sh*t we're living in too.. for awhile anyway.

We got into town and she talked another good friend of mine into going for a spin. This time, I let him ride up front and I got in the back seat. It was alot more windy back there than it was up front! We head out towards the country and (duh), I decided I might as well stand up from the back seat too, since it made me feel like a kid on the first run. But this time it was more like being in a tornado. Soon after, I started feeling like my hair was being tied in knots with live electrical wires. I didn't want to say anything so I just stayed low to lessen the wind as much as I could.

By the time we got back to Mike's house, I was feeling very strange. I got out of the car and all of a sudden I felt like I was gonna pass out. I got my wit's about me, but then I started having the most frightening sensations in my head.

I got inside and went into the bathroom. When I looked at my reflection in the mirror, I pretty much went into a state of shock (no pun intended). I felt like I was on an island...totally and completely alone and I couldn't do anything but stand there, frozen. I could actually see what was taking place UNDERNEATH my scalp! I don't ever remember being so petrified and I felt like the inside of my head was being electrocuted.
What happened will be difficult to put into words..but I'll try the best I can.

I'll use the words "masses" and "wires", to make it easier (I hope) to understand how I felt. Just try to imagine...

Inside of my head closer to my brain than to my scalp, located on top and above my ears on each side, it feels like 4 or more masses crackling with electrical energy. "Wires" with the same electro magnetic properties feel like they're weaving in and out of each mass. The wires begin to crawl around inside of my head. There's an enormous amount of static and the top of my head is crackling. These "wires" seem frantic and confused, like they need some sort of guidance. All of a sudden, each individual mass from inside of my head begins pushing up from underneath my scalp with an incredible and frightening force. There is so much force coming from each individual mass as they push, that I can actually SEE each one move my scalp up and down! The static and the crackling is even more extreme than earlier. I got so pale as I stood there holding on to the sink. I couldn't believe what I was seeing...and I was terrified from what I was feeling. I thought it was gonna kill me. The episode lasted about 1/2 hour. I still can't believe this happened.
A bit later my girlfriend took me back to my house, but on my way home I stopped and bought a can of "Static Guard" (stuff you spray on clothes to reduce static electricity). I sprayed myself head to toe with it and it actually seemed to help, but it took me until the next day to come out of the stuper I was in. Finally, things began to "settle down" enough to let me know I'd made it through.

The only reason I can think of that would've caused this to happen is....
The Morg "hairs" could've been unwillingly twisted and un-twisted from each other, wound up together, disrupted and displaced because of the force and energy from the extreme amount of hot, dry wind hitting my head. Also there were long periods of time that I was in the car, continuing to "let the wind blow through my hair"..... not a good phrase to me anymore. And I'm sure the static properties from all of that wind played a tremendous part in causing the results of what took place with me.

If anyone has ever felt sensations like this before, please, please let me know. If you haven't felt anything like this, I pray to God you never do.

Since I've had morgs, there've been some scary events take place, but nothing can top this one. My God, I pray nothing will. As it is, it's getting more and more difficult to even feel like a human being anymore. It was an experience I don't ever want to go thru again.....ever, ever, never!!! I'm really afraid now. I don't enjoy being this dramatic when I write about something that takes place with this disease, but it was a very dramatic experience to me. I know it's neccessary to continue to voice all of the experiences we have from it. Our voices need to be heard in order to fit the pieces of the Morgellons puzzle together, so I'll keep on writing about them, no matter how much more bizzarre they seem to be getting. Like I say, telling of our experiences just may turn a light on somewhere out there.

I love you all ~~~~bannanny

P.S. To anyone out there reading this who thinks I'm delusional, I'm not..... but I wish I were.

Yes... and... (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370957)

Finally, in 2001 diagnosed by Dr. Theresa Yang (brilliant woman) with Lyme Disease, Bartonella Henselae, and Babesia Microti.

And Yang is brilliant because she made a diagnosis that supported the author... typical pseudoscience IMHO.

Please don't get me wrong, this may indeed be a disease or syndrome. But reporting like this does nothing to help reach a considered, objective or sane decision.

/. morons - It could be a actual condition (2, Interesting)

Vskye (9079) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370965)

Mod me down, that's fine. First off, most of the comments here did'nt even RTFA and just looked at the pics. Yet most answers should be modded down to 0. Why is this far fetched? Never woke up getting bit, had a cockroach in you're mouth, (never lived down south heh?) or had other weird bug experiences? Some people have extreme reations to stuff, like.., trees, grass, anything non-concrete, mold, and insects. (list can go on and on.) So, why is so *ucking impossible? I used to think that carpal tunnel was bs, but a few months ago I had a sharp pain in my right arm, and now I'm due for surgery in June. Poof!

Re:/. morons - It could be a actual condition (1)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370976)

Right, just because weird stuff happens, and you didn't believe in carpal tunnel syndrome, we should believe any quack who comes along. When a doctor investigates this and comes up with something better than wide-spectrum antibiotics, I might start believing it. I've had bed bugs before, and I've been bitten by quite a few things. I've had unexplained allergic reactions. I still think this story is total crap.

Re:/. morons - It could be a actual condition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370988)

Yes, it could be an actual condition. But half hysterical articles such as (at least one) of the caliber cited in the article head do nothing to convince objective readers of its reality.

"Posted by Zonk on..." (1)

bigt_littleodd (594513) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370978)

Taco must be having a vacation.....

Check all of today's stories to verify.

Too many humans (1)

karmavDogma (911769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370984)

In "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors", Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan write of a study done on overpopulation in animal societies. Rats went nuts, apes held out a little longer, and chimpanzees held out the longest. It looks like, thus far, humans hold the record. The point is, there's a lot of this type of thing floating around these days, it seems. Perhaps because of the media we just happen to pay more attention to it, or are just now realizing what's been with us all along. Or perhaps this is all a sign of an overcrowded population doing a bad job of coping with a crowded habitat and diminishing resources.

I have this... (1)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370985)

It is called belly button lint. I am glad I am not alone.

Snopes Bound (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15370987)

This is so obviously some sad scam - weasels ripped my flesh ... bah

Particularly Disturbing (5, Interesting)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370989)

This isn't surprising at all. As someone who has been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia with affective symptoms(schizoaffective disorder) because I brought myself into the emergency room with tachycardia, panic, and what appeared to me to be some kind of neurodegenerative illness(I literally could not think), I doubt that the patients in this story are making up what they feel. They certainly must feel the sensation of itching, scratching - it is just as real to them as the breakfast they eat. In my case, it was neurological Lyme disease, which the doctors in question failed to test for and failed to diagnose, prescribing an antipsychotic medication - claiming I was delusional - which made my symptoms much, much worse. However, after seeking out the help of a psychiatrist and neurologist, I was offered correct treatment for the Lyme disease that I was originally diagnosed for in 1989 - when I was six years old - and for which I had been treated inadequately. After intravenous treatment with antibiotics and immune-modulating drugs, my brain became sharp again - indeed, sharper than it has been since I was a small child, before my brain had fully developed. Schizophrenia doesn't go away with antibiotics, and usually neither does severe cognitive decline - Lyme disease does.

In this case, there's a suspicious connection reported on multiple web sites about people with this disease being co-diagnosed with Lyme disease. While this "Morgellons" parasite-disease may be a delusion, it probably has a neurologic, organic cause, due to suddenness of onset and other factors. I wouldn't be surprised if the cause turned out to be Lyme disease, which can have a wide range of neuropsychiatric effects including delusions, hallucinations, memory problems, suicidal and homicidal ideation, thought disorder, and severe cognitive deficits . One quote from TFA is quite telling:
Ginger Savely, a nurse practitioner in Austin, Texas, says she has treated 35 patients with symptoms. "Everyone tells the exact same story," she says. "It's just so consistent." Savely prescribes her patients a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics. "If I knew what I was dealing with," she says, "it would be easier to treat." Yet, she says, her patients--including Lawrence--improve within weeks.
. The fact that it may respond to antibiotics may indicate some relation to a bacterial illness, in particular Lyme. It's truly an insidious disease that can go undetected and undiagnosed for many years while patients' lives deteriorate - and no doctors are literate enough in the treatment of this disease to treat it adequately.

In any case, the medical establishment is often too quick to diagnose a patient with a complaint it does not understand as a primary-onset psychiatric disorder. By doing this, they cause a great deal of harm by delaying treatment in the case that the disease is *not* a psychiatric disorder. In order for medicine to be able to heal people, it needs to stop this trend and start taking earnest, persistent reports of people's pain seriously - even if it is delusional. If all of the possible organic causes have been researched and exhausted, only then is it time to take out the prescription pad for anti-psychotic or other psychiatric medication.

Late or early? (1)

Eyeball97 (816684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15370991)

Is this story 50 days late or 315 days early?

Subject probably not Real, but this is (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15371009)

While I think the site is a joke, this reminds me of a story where a couple was infected with worms that caused lesions all over the skin. They went to different hospitals, which all the doctors think they're a little nutty and probably drug addicts that hallucinate about worms under their skin.

After the third or fourth hospital, they luck out with a Russian doctor who saw it before and treated them. The moral of the story is ... a lot of doctors are kinda dumb about what's not in the book, and will not listen after they deal of a particular symptom.
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