Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The problem with DOP

DOP is Delusions of Parasitosis (the irrational belief that one is infected with parasites). People who think they have a condition called "Morgellons" sooner or later get an diagnosis of DOP.

This has led to a tendency to equate Morgellons with DOP. I think this tendency is not helping, for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, not all Morgellons sufferers claim to have parasites. Many claim that it's complication of Lyme disease, or other bacterial infection. Some claim a virus, some claim a depressed immune system for a variety of reasons, some quite outlandish (chemtrails, biowarfare, etc.)

The common elements of a "Morgellons" case are fairly simple:

1) Fibers found on the skin that are thought to be associated with their health problems.
2) Some Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms
3) A belief in misdiagnosis by their physician.

The fibers are generally real objects, although sometimes the patient reports fibers that jump in and out of the skin, and even fly around the room. However most "fibers" are real, and generally resolve to lint, hair or sebum excretions.

Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS) is nothing new to the medical world, and treatment of MUPS has always been a problem. One thing that complicates MUPS is when a patient becomes "difficult", and begins to self-diagnose in an irrational manner. If the MUPS is suggested to have some somatic or psychological component, the the patient is often very resistant to any kind of psychotheraputic treatment, as they tend to vehemently reject any connection between their mental state or lifestyle and their physical ailments.

Which brings us back to DOP - if the tendency is there to equate Morgellons with DOP, then the patient is far more likely to enter into a diagnostic dialog in a highly distrustful and defensive state of mind. Their conviction in their own self-diagnosis will only become stronger as they mentally reject and retreat from the possibility of a somatic component, or any kind of delusion.

Thus, although it is tempting to equate Morgellons with DOP, it is both incorrect and potentially harmful. Diagnosis of DOP should be reserved for specific cases where an irrational belief in parasites is present. Other cases self-diagnosed as Morgellons would better be described as MUPS, as this is a more accurate description, and less polarizing for both patient and physician.


At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Tinfoil Hat Merchant said...

The underlying issue is still (in both cases) mostly factitious. What should be made clearer is that people with factitious diseases do suffer. Nobody denies that they suffer horribly. The argument is over what they actually suffer from.

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Smileykins said...

That is so true. One woman on a morgie board said that her doctor had diagnosed her with Munchausen syndrome. Another one admitted, very openly, to having been diagnosed with psychosis.

It's very hard understanding the refusal to accept legitimate, and serious diagnoses like lupus, for example, and their saying that their doctors are wrong, and that it's "morgellons".

It's terribly perverse to see morgies say that they wished they had cancer, or AIDS, instead, and that either of those things is nothing compared to "morgellons".

It's so strange, too, that it seems as though quite a few, of the female morgies, in particular, don't understand their own bodily functions.

But, none of them understand that their skin has a living layer of epidermis, that is shed on a regular basis, and that its integrity has been breached. Their epidermis is not being adequately shed, and the many layers upon layers of oils, and other preparations and homemade concoctions, that they keep on applying, is only serving to suffocate it more and prolong their misunderstandings.

Some of them may have no more wrong with them that that, but they aren't interested in those words, for thinking that they have a fake disease called "morgellons". They refuse to even want to learn proper skin care, due to that, and get quite ugly talking over it.

Now, if a doctor had time to waste, explaining things that they, no doubt, assume that all people know already...

I feel that, maybe, there wouldn't be so many DOP diagnoses in this group of people.

But although they claim to be suffering so, and that they don't want to have this "thing" that they "think" they have....

oh, here's fitty-cents. Gimme one of those cute little tinfoil hats, I fank I need one.

At 5:33 AM, Blogger Tall Cotton said...

Delusional People

There may be a few "so-called" Morgellons sufferers that do not have delusions of parasites, but it's obvious that most of them do. This belief is a form of psychosis, not backed up by reality. But in addition to the many that suffer from delusions of parasites, there are also many "Morgies" that suffer from paranoid delusions. These are unwarranted beliefs of a suspicious nature. In my opinion, most of them suffer from both.

Given the nature of their problems, people with paranoid delusions are often very suspicious about receiving treatment. Often they don't believe anything is wrong with them, mentally, and asking them to get some help via a doctor or a hospital usually only serves to bolster their paranoid delusions and make things worse.

Many of them suffer from persecutory delusions, wrongly believing that they are being picked on, or threatened by someone or something else. This can be their doctor, the Centers for Disease Control, the CIA, or any other entity or group.

They also suffer from induced psychosis. These people may be many miles apart, but through the internet they are very close and dependent on each other emotionally. As a result they share the same delusion. It seems obvious that most of these individuals would still be delusional even without the belief that they are infested with parasites. These people, for the most part seem to have lost touch with reality.
Most of these people have real physical problems, but many of them are far less obvious than their mental disorders The cult leaders that prey on the suggestibility of their followers are the real parasites. They need to be exposed for what they are, yet they are usually sicker than those they deceive.

It's sad but the "Morgies" have more than delusions of parasites. They are delusional people. It's in their natures. Some of the members of these groups can still be helped by things such as Antipsychotic Medication, and possibly psychotherapies such as Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), but it isn't likely to happen unless they want to get well.

Tall Cotton

At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Tinfoil Hat Merchant said...

For some, it may be the general pattern of neurochemically aggravated psychosis, but I think at least some of the problem with somatization lies in being unable to ask for what you want in the way of nurturing.

It's easier to believe you have this horrible disease that you need yearsandyearsandyears of long, involved, and expensive treatment for, than to ask for some "me" time on a regular basis without thinking of yourself as bad and selfish. Morgellons means you get "me" time and nurturing without any guilt.

The real issue is, why should you feel guilty for wanting what usually is a normal and healthy amount of "me" time and nurturing from others?

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Margellons said...

Sure, a lot are delusional - just look at this thread on what happens when you get your hair blown about in a car. But my general point is that Morgellons does not always equate with DOP. DOP is a symptom of a subset of those who self-diagnose with Morgellons.

With the current blog storm, it's very likely that people with simple eczema, etc, will see a story on Morgellons, then find a fiber on their skin, and conclude they have this "new disease". They are not really delusional, just a bit hypochondriac.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Smileykins said...

It's sad, and interesting, to bear witness to all types of the various behaviors inside the walls of their inner sanctum, and to see that what holds them together is the thing that they claim to be destroying them.

(Which it is)

Yet, the fairy tale book ending that they're all going to live happily ever after, brainwashing themselves, and anyone who signs onto their "beliefs", into accepting that their "leaders" are doing something of value to benefit them, appears to be the only bright spot in some of their lives, somehow. They don't even CARE to know the facts of the matter behind their "leaders".

One knows that some of them aren't as badly affected by this, physically, as they claim to be, to still be able to go out into society and earn a living. It's so easy, also, to lose sight of the fact that it's pointless to try conversing with the largest portion of them.

I think they require deprogramming more than anything, as a first step, and that surely will never happen.

In the meantime, "morgellons disease" probably will, someday, be put on the books as a new mental health syndrome, because it IS something we otherwise wouldn't be witnessing if Mary Leitao hadn't created it.

She's getting plenty out of it, as twisted as it is, one way, or another. Ginger & Dr. Harvey might very well keep prescribing unnecessary antibiotics, until they create a super-resistant pathogen, to come up with what they want.

Mary's blind followers are just what she ordered, no matter which way you slice it.

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous infinitywaltz said...

Interesting testimonial from someone who was eventually able to come to terms with her illness on NUSPA's message board:

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Tinfoil Hat Merchant said...

Care to C&P, Infinitywaltz?? I try the link and it says topic doesn't exist.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous infinitywaltz said...

Try this link:

"Loved ones don't see what we do...why?"

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Tinfoil Hat Merchant said...

Ah. That works. Well, thank goodness, and gods bless the lady. Looks like she is doing well.

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Smileykins said...

That is wonderful, and thank you so much for sharing that here, infinitywaltz!

Look at how sad this one is, rather than looking to see that her cat(s), have fleas, or allergies, and that they need to be treated, or taken to the veterinarian.


Child and animal neglect crimes are the worst symptoms this illness creates, and the world is privy to it on their message boards. They let their pets die of neglect to reinforce their beliefs. God knows they can't help it, but I hope this one won't, like so many others I've read.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Smileykins said...

This was not my idea, which I think is an excellent one, but I've been given permission to state it...

They need to rename DOP "Morgellons Disease", and people would take the meds.

At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check this out -- its a real, verifiable illness with the same symptoms as Morgellons and the patients, in most cases, were diagnosed with DOP. maybe this is what all the morgies actually have.


At 12:36 AM, Blogger Margellons said...

NCS is neither real, nor verifiable.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me ask you something smileykins.

Did you go to a therapist for your "previous condition"?

Were you prescibed physcotropric drugs?

Two simple questions for ya.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Tall Cotton said...

Maybe God didn't mean for it to.


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