Morgellons disease: Real or imagined?
Published: Thursday, May 31st, 2012
I’m not crazy.
That’s the line Teresa Eyrich of Custer has had to learn as a mantra over the past year as she deals with an ailment she says is all too real, but many in the medical community—including the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has dismissed as mental issue, not a physical issue.
“I am very secure that I’m not crazy, and I’m very secure that my mom and aunt aren’t crazy,” Eyrich said.
What Eyrich is also secure in is that her family has a history of the ailment, knowns as Morgellons disease, dating back to three years ago when she says her mom got it.
Morgellons disease is the popular name for an unexplained skin disorder characterized by disfiguring sores and crawling sensations on and under the skin. The disease also features fibers or solid materials emerging from these sores, according to Mayoclinic.com.
Researchers at the CDC have concluded that Morgellons disease, which they refer to as an unexplained dermopathy, isn’t caused by an infection or parasites. The CDCâ��contends the fibers found in the sores are usually wisps of cotton thread, probably coming from clothing or bandages. CDCâ��experts also note that the signs and symptoms of Morgellons disease are similar to those of a mental illness involving false beliefs about infestation by parasites called delusional parasitosis.
Eyrich said her mother went to a variety of doctors and dermatologists, and they all told her she had delusional parasitosis, that she was imagining the disease and planting the fibers. Through three states and many doctor visits, the answers have always been the same.
“There is nothing there. You are making this up. You are making your sores,” Eyrich said. “Quit picking yourself.”
Available only in the print version of the Custer County Chronicle. To subscribe, call 605-673-2217.
Click Here To See More Stories Like This