Morgellons, Disease or Hysteria?

From the Washington Post:

Every morning, Sue says, she found little black specks all over her side of the bed. Then she discovered droplets of blood where the specks appeared to be coming out of her skin. “I looked like I had paper cuts all over,” she says. She began washing the sheets in ammonia every day. Next, her chest, neck, face, back, arms and legs broke out in painful, red gelatinous lesions that never seemed to heal. To get some relief, she stayed in the shower for hours. She bathed in vinegar and sea salt and doused her body with baby powder. Nothing really helped.

Her joints began to ache. She lost all her energy and became forgetful. She says she would comb her hair, and tangled clumps of what looked like hair, fibers, dust and skin tissue would fall out. Then, she says, her actual hair began to fall out and her teeth began to rot. She refused to let anyone in the house and stopped going out. She didn’t know what she had, but she was afraid she might be contagious.

One day, she says, a pink worm came out of one of her eyeballs and she coughed up a springtail fly. “That’s when I thought, ‘I’m really going to kill myself,'” she says.

Sue visited a dermatologist, who said he didn’t know what was wrong. In time, Sue, 51, came across a condition on the Internet that sounded exactly like her own, and joined 11,036 others from the United States and around the world who, as of earlier this month, had registered on a Web site as sufferers of what they say is a strange new debilitating illness. Some call it the “fiber disease,” but most refer to it as Morgellons, a name taken from a similar condition of children wasting away with “harsh hairs” described in the 17th century. A frustrated mother, Mary Leitao, then living in South Carolina, happened upon the description in an old medical history book in 2002 after doctors didn’t believe her when she told them that her son had fibers growing out of his lip.

(Thanks Critic)


  1. So, you’re hair is falling out, your teeth are rotting, you’re bleeding all over your bed and you have worms crawling out of your eyeballs. I guess hanging around the house is your only option, eh? Going the the hospital surely isn’t an option!

    How long was this supposedly going on? Your teeth rotting out seems like it might take a while to even get started. Worms out of your eyeballs? Did you think “Oh, this is bad. I should probably preserve his and take it with me to the hospital. After all, I have a hole in my eye where the worm came out.”

    I have a sibling with pretty severe paranoia and she has been making these sorts of claims for years that she has spots and fibers and bleeding coming from her hands, and they are fine. There are not spots, or fibers, or bleeding. She’s just delusional.

    Honestly, WORMS COMING OUT OF YOUR EYE should get your ass to the fucking hospital, worms preserved in alcohol and if you can, photos of the damage as close to when it happened as possible.

    This all sounds like hysteria to me.

  2. As a Family Doc, I must chime in. The real condition is called Hallucinatory Parasitosis (ICD-9 293.82 Psychotic disorder with hallucinations in conditions classified elsewhere
    Transient organic psychotic condition, hallucinatory type). These folks have brought in bags of lint, skin scrapings, etc. They routinely will come multiple time a week with the same conviction as to the validity of some foreign body that grows from them. Hey, whose not to say that sometime in the future, we’ll find that it was related to Xenu!!! Maybe we could channel Tom Cruise for advice. In the mean time, if you google the morgellons research foundation, you’ll find that it was started by the mom (I think) of some morgellons sufferer. Link to the photo’s page. It’s telling.

  3. Yes, I just leared recently the origins of the word “hysteria”. Until the 19th century western medicine didn’t recognise the possibility that women have a sex drive and can be sexually frustrated. They were diagnosed hysterical and had to come to the doctor for a digital stimulation. Treatment ended when the woman had a paroxysm, because she couldn’t possibly have an orgasm!
    Oh heavens!

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