May 20, 2010

"If you really want to help someone who suffers from Morgellons or any other psychogenic condition..."

"... you can't only rely on telling them they're wrong and depending on them to take all the steps. But you also don't have to dishonestly pretend their self-diagnosis is true."

21 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Are you making a sly sardonic reference to libertarians?

Moose said...

Sounds alot like how you should treat someone who wants sexual reassignment surgery. Or someone who wants their legs amputated.

c3 said...

There is a long history of such diseases. One could see it solely as an individual issue (i.e. delusional thinking) but the social aspects of it (collective empathy/sympathy, suspicion of orthodox medicine, knowing the "unknown") are what intrigue me. Hopefully we don't create a "Mogellons Center of Excellence" within the NIH.

Pogo said...

Useful advice. I've even given that recommendation.

But you can only lead a horse to water.

TMink said...

Whether the dx is an bona fide illness or not, the suffering is real. Even hypochondriacs get cancer.

Trey

ironrailsironweights said...

This Morgellon's thing may be imaginary, but my tapeworm is definitely real.

Peter

clerk said...

"Even hypochondriacs get cancer."

Yeah, but I don't have to nod along with the nutter until it's true.

WV: finvit = quick end, as in "let there be a finvit to the unimpeachable moral authority of mothers."

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I have hundreds of gray and brown fibers growing out of my face. Oh wait, I haven't shaved in three days.

Alex said...

the fibers the fibers ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

ironrailsironweights said...

I have hundreds of gray and brown fibers growing out of my face. Oh wait, I haven't shaved in three days.

And it's even better when women have hundreds of fibers growing out of their ... oh, never mind.

Peter

Fred4Pres said...

I have hundreds of gray and brown fibers growing out of my face. Oh wait, I haven't shaved in three days.

Reminds me of 30 Rock's Lemon's dormant mustache named "Tom Selleck". That was very funny.

jimspice said...

I feel the same way about AGW deniers.

Fred4Pres said...

This is not exactly on point, but in a way it is when you have two parties talking past one another and one party has a lot of power.

Radley Balko, while you guys were guest blogging at Insti, raised the question on why taping law enforcement officials is important? Here is a border guard getting some attitude and overreacting for a stupid question posed by the same border guard.

Having been in similar situations in the past, all I can say is you just cooperate and get through this humiliation (or face some time in the clinker). Which is exactly what these guards were engaging in. Okay the Canadian guy is cocky. That does not justify what these guards engaged in. The question posed to him was stupid and was not done to try to find a terrorist. This Canadian couple is unlikely to come back and spend money in the US after this (to be fair, Canadian boarder guards do this occasionally too). I have seen TSA officers do equally stupid and wasteful things at airports--not because they fear any terrorism, but purely because they are so thin skinned when you question their authoritah.

Seriously, you train these people to triage and act like professionals, they do not need to get in contests over their ego and waste time and resources (beyond acting like a complete asshat).

Mitch H. said...

jimspice: as one of those skeptics, my instinctual response to this nonsense-disease gives me pause, and I try to give them an honest hearing. But they're the ones who have the burden of the doubt; when it comes to AGW, the promoters are the ones who bear that burden of doubt.

From my point of view, the AGW promoters ('warmists', if you're going to throw around pejorative terms) are the ones who, crazily, insist that there are strange multi-colored fibers growing out of the earth which is caused by CO2 and is going to kill the planet dead. Except that the signs they proffer are much less tangible than scab contaminates, and it's all computer models and manipulated data-sets and... anyways. Not to get on my hobby-horse.

And Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy - didn't that turn out to be a nast invention by some officious asshole in the British NHS about thirty years back?

EDH said...

I see a theme here. From the link:

An Internet search today reveals that Morgellons has become conflated with chemtrail conspiracy mongering. Some believe that contrails left by airplanes are actually the government spraying toxins to sicken the population with Morgellons. An article on the conspiracy theory web site Rense.com compares two pictures, one claimed to show a fiber from a Morgellons sufferer, and another claiming to show a fiber from chemtrail spraying. It says:

Common characteristics of both types of fibers appear to be similar size and chaotic, uncontrolled growth. If these fibers are the result of highly advanced nanotechnology then we have found the disease, and possible who is behind it. But what would be the purpose of forcing this ailment on the population? Torture? To create a new pandemic in order to sell a new drug for a "treatment?"


Wasn't "SURRENDER DOROTHY" written in the sky by the contrail of the Wicked Witch of the West's broom?

Might that explain everything?

dbp said...

jimspice said...

I feel the same way about AGW deniers.

Me too. Skeptics of AGW are much like skeptics of Morgellon's.

CareMan said...

Morgellons is a systemic disease that has not yet gained widespread acceptance in the medical community, yet it actually exists just as AID/HIV existed 30 years ago before Medical science recognized it. It is similar to scabies, which is a contagious skin disease in which parasites burrow under the skin and lay eggs. These parasites belong to the arachnid family. Symptoms vary from one patient to another. Others, such as skin lesions and a “crawling sensation” in the skin are consistent. Areas of the body where the disease seems to be most severe are on the hands, behind the knees and arms, on the chest and back. Other common physical symptoms are rashes and pain that is similar to fibromyalgia. Severe depression often leading to suicide is all too common. The Morgellons Research Foundation located at Oklahoma State University, has identified 93 symptoms common to Morgellons sufferers. A complete list of these symptoms can be viewed here: http://www.morgellons.org/symptoms.htm along with a complete case definition: http://www.morgellons.org/case_definition.htm
When seeking medical help, Morgellons sufferers are nearly always diagnosed with Delusions of Parasitosis (DOP). Currently, there is no known test for Morgellons disease so patients are always told "it is all in your head" and are prescribed physo-tropic drugs and occasionally antibiotics. Neither provide any relief whatsoever from these horrible symptoms . The patient's family often believe the doctor and withdraw their support. Morgellons patients begin to feel hopeless and continue their descent into severe depression.
Many patients have reported trouble concentrating while constantly experience fatigue. When affected areas are viewed under a microscope, many Morgellons patients have clusters of multi-colored fibers beneath the unbroken skin. These fibers may or may not be visible with the naked eye. The fibers have been tested in several labs. They will not burn until they reach 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit and are covered in some sort of high-density polyurethane. A recent study has found microscopic parasites in some patients. This parasite is known to feed on algae, bacteria and decaying organic materials. They thrive in wet or damp surroundings. Unfortunately, there is no meaningful research being conducted since the Morgellons population, while increasing daily is still statistically insignificant.
The results are inconclusive as to the cause of Morgellons Disease. The Centers for Disease Control refers to it as an unexplained dermopathy and they are currently conducting an investigation at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California. Many dermatologists and psychiatrists consider this a psychological disorder, rather than a physical disease. Medical doctors generally treat the condition by prescribing antibiotics, antifungals or herbal supplements. These methods are considered treatments rather than cures, as the symptoms return when discontinued. Colloidal silver has been marketed as an alternative medicine for this condition as well as many others, from fibromyalgia to E. coli. From a medical standpoint, there is no proven effectiveness for this treatment. Until now, that is.

Regardless of official reports, many Morgellons sufferers have found relief when NutraSilver is used. They state that the lesions begin to heal after a week, with the sores dissipating completely within three weeks. The severe cognitive issues generally resolve in about two weeks. The bouts of stinging and biting sensations that plague sufferers are reduced or disappear altogether. The most severe symptoms are debilitating and in many sufferers, their quality of life is reduced. When taken as suggested, these fortunate Morgellons sufferers actually get their lives back; their energy returns, their brain-fog reduces and they begin to feel like themselves again. For more information on NutraSilver, visit the web site at www.nutrasilver.com.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

believe that contrails left by airplanes are actually the government spraying toxins to sicken the population with Morgellons.

Doesn't this disease affect, like, a 1/100th of one percent of the population, which, presumably, is almost universally exposed to contrails from airplanes?

Government inefficiency strikes again!

Mitch H. said...

[modern snake oil considered]

Wow, what an on-point spam come-on. At first I dismissed it as another Morgellons obsessive ranting, but now I see it's somebody trying to sell expensive placebos to Morgellons obsessives. Which, admittedly, is sort of the point of the original linked article, but somehow I suspect the original author wasn't envisioning the recommended stress-reducing placebos to be part of a snake-oil scam.

Parker Smith said...

DON'T get the generic placebos - they are not nearly as effective.

Annie Newcombe said...

There is a huge concern among many sufferers that they are going to be rounded up and put in a camp like lepers, so they don't report. The sufferers are frenzied, and scared. With utmost certainty, at this point in the syndrome there is not a state of US large enough to hold all the sufferers. The people with this disease are so secretive and opaque. I feel sorry for them.