On finding another illness with little or no basis

One headline struck my consciousness as curious in recent weeks for exposing certain blatant weaknesses in current biological psychiatric theory. WebMD covered the story with an article titled, CDC: Morgellons Disease May Be Psychiatric Disorder. The truth of the matter is a little more profound than this headline suggests.

Extensive study of people suffering from Morgellons disease — including analysis of their mysterious “skin fibers” — finds no underlying cause of the illness.

If no physical cause to a disease can be found then it is deemed to be psychological in nature or, in other words, a “mental illness”. Now going from saying that it is “all in the head” to claiming it is a “disease of the brain”, and that it has a “genetic basis”, is quite some leap, but this is precisely the kind of leap, in presumption more than theory, that modern medical-model psychiatry is so adept at making. “Brain disease” being a physical cause, if “mental illness” were found to stem from a “brain disease”, psychiatrists would need to find another profession. Literally, a “mentally ill” person is a person who is suffering, or not functioning if you prefer, for a reason that has no known physical basis.

So just what the heck is Morgellons Disease?

Morgellons symptoms are as creepy as the name implies. Patients report slow-to-heal sores that often feel like bugs are crawling under their skin. They often scratch themselves raw. And they also report that mysterious colored fibers, granules, worms, eggs, fuzzballs, or other stuff comes out of their skin.

Somebody should make a list of dubious diseases someday, from fibromyalgia to restless leg syndrome, that give people with weak constitutions and temperaments an easy excuse for demanding special and specialized attention. I would wager it would become quite an extensive list in time if one looked long and hard enough into the matter.

Disease has not been ruled out in the case of Morgellons, but, and a long but it is…

They suggest that the patients’ symptoms and histories are similar to those of patients with a psychiatric condition called delusional infestation — the delusional belief that one is infested with parasites.

Now if these diseases, as there is no disease at all present, actually represent beliefs, it is actually this perceived need for a special or specialized attention that is the thing with which we must contend. I suggest that our society is not nearly as hearty as it once was due to the harboring of so many of these fallacious beliefs, and the humoring of so many people who have been so persuaded. When 1 in 5 people in the USA at the present date, according to recent reports, are said to be have contracted a “mental illness”, perhaps our efforts would be better directed at diverting a few more of this number from making such a radical conversion in faith.