Morgellons Disease: Is it a Delusion?
January 27, 2012 5 Comments
WARNING: While writing this I became very itchy. You may also become itchy when reading it.
In 2002, stay-at-home-mom Mary Leitao discovered strange sores under her two-year-old sons lip. He started to complain about “bugs”, but Mary did not see anything.
She later examined the sores and found red, black, and white fibers around the sores. She took him to multiple doctors who couldn’t find anything. There was no rash, disease or ailment regarding his symptoms. Even the best doctors could not find anything wrong with her son.
Doctors actually recommended that Mary should have psychiatric evaluations.
They told her that she might suffer from “Munchausen’s by proxy, a psychiatric syndrome in which a parent pretends a child is sick, or even makes them sick to get attention from the medical system.”
Since no medical professionals can figure out what was wrong with him, Mary and husband Edward Leitao named it Morgellons Disease, and diagnosed their son with it.
Morgellons Disease is a “skin disorder” that consists of symptoms such as biting, crawling, and stinging sensations in the skin. Skin lesions form with multi-colored fibers under them. People suffering from these symptoms say that there are bugs under their skin, but when examined, nothing is found but the strange fibers.
Some believe it is a “Delusional Infestation”
The first government study of this condition stated that it is not infectious and it probably isn’t caused by the environment.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently had a study regarding this matter. Researchers said that Morgellons disease is rather a mental illness which should be treated with the same medication given to people who suffer from delusions.
Recent studies actually show that in a lot of the cases, those strange fibers are only cotton from clothing.
Obviously, people suffering from Morgellons don’t want to hear this, especially 49-year-old Cindy Casey.
Casey was a nurse for 16 years in the California Bay Area where multiple cases of Morgellons have been reported. She recently went on disability from Morgellons, and now runs a research foundation for it. She simply stated:
“We Just want to be acknowledged. This is not a delusion. We would really love to understand the etiology and be able to hope for some kind of treatment. A cure is really too much to ask for at this point, but to be able to manage the symptoms would be good.”
Some believe it is in fact a biological disease, and it needs more work
“If you had these fibers coming out of your skin, wouldn’t you go a little nuts?”
This was an obvious but great point made by Dr. Raphael Stricker, a Lyme disease specialist.
He has treated more than 60 people in the Bay area that claim they have Morgellons.
He has seen these strange fibers growing out of the skin of some people, and he says that it is much more than a mental illness. Stricker has been working hard on his own research regarding this skin ailment, and has come to one conclusion:
“We need to do more work, because we don’t really understand this disease.”
So is Morgellons a real biological disease, or is it a delusion caused by the minds of the psychologically ill?
For more detailed medical information on this issue see WebMD Health News article “Morgellons Disease May be Psychiatric Disorder”