Friday, June 09, 2006

Medical Student Syndrome

Medical Student Syndrome is an unusual affliction that affects people in medical training. The student reads about a novel disease, and finds they have some symptoms of this disease, and then imagine they have this disease.

Here's a brief audio account from NPR, entitled: "The Challenge of Knowing Too Much, and Too Little"

People with inexplicable skin conditions, or itching, or people who simply worry a lot about their health, might resort to performing research on the Internet. It seems quite reasonable that they might find Morgellons, and since the range of symptoms is very broad, they would recognize some symptoms. They would then decide they have Morgellons.

Not that their problems are imagined, if people are sick, then they are sick, they have real problems, physical and/or mental. They are not sick with "Morgellons" but they might be suffering from a recently discovered form of MSS known as Cyberchondria.


At 4:58 PM, Blogger Smileykins said...

Our subconscious minds control us...

Our thoughts, and not just our actions, create our reality. Even though most people believe that it is what they DO or do not do that is creating their reality, the thoughts of our subconscious mind is what's really creating our experience of life.

There have been numerous books written about how we live in a field of infinite possibilities that is essentially waiting for us to decide what we want to create in that field.

In the meantime, our subconscious mind is deciding for us and since over 85% of our thoughts are coming from our subconscious mind instead of our conscious mind, our subconscious mind is really running the show in our lives most of the time.

In fact, studies have actually shown that our subconscious mind is 30,000 times more powerful than our conscious mind and that the majority of the thoughts held in the subconscious mind are limiting.

The truth is that the subconscious mind is actually serving in an attempt to protect us from things it fears. The problem is because our subconscious and even our conscious mind is focusing on what it fears, it therefore actually creates exactly what it is fearing.

Where our subconscious fears come from...

These fears come from a variety of sources and they have been programming our subconscious since the moment of our conception.

Actually it's even before we were conceived, because quantum physics has shown that memories are stored in our cells and then passed on through DNA, in the same manner that memories such as eye color or hair texture are passed on.

When the student is ready--the teacher will appear...

Our thoughts are what actually create our reality and thoughts are living things like you and me. They have a consciousness or mind of their own.

It may seem hard to imagine for some, but quantum physics has actually discovered that this is indeed the case. The smallest unit of consciousness is actually in the cell stored as a unit of memory or thought form.

In fact, every thought that we've ever had, every thing we've ever seen or heard, and every experience we've ever had is actually stored in our cells as cellular memory.

That's really deep when you stop to think about it. And not only do we have our own thoughts stored in our cells, but we also have inherited certain thoughts from our ancestors through our DNA because the same was true for them.

If you want to experience an example of how your brain does this, all you have to do is close your eyes and think of someone you know well, like your mother or your father.

Picture them in your mind's eye. The reason that you are able to bring a complete picture of someone into your head is because a memory of them is stored in your body, and you are simply calling upon that memory from your body to bring to your mind.

The fact that thoughts are living things has a significant impact on our lives. This is because we are motivated to do certain things, or to not do certain things based on our memory of our experiences.

For example if a child touches an iron and gets burned, it is unlikely that the child will ever purposefully touch an iron again. The memory of that experience creates a fear of getting burned that will impact the child's future behavior.

The fact that we are also susceptible to the memories of even our distant relatives, means that we are spending a lot of our time doing things based on underlying fears that we may not even be aware of.

For instance, if someone had a great-great-great grandfather who survived a plane crash and went on to have a family, thus passing on that memory, it may explain why a person has an "unexplainable" fear of flying.

What inexplicable, limiting, fears do we have?...

We may not even ask ourselves what it is we’re afraid of on a regular basis, but psychologists have proven that it's our subconscious fears that are controlling most of our lives.

However, this isn’t new news. In fact, in the book The Power of the Subconscious Mind, written in 1963 by Dr. Joseph Murphy it states:

"Once you learn the truth about the interaction of your conscious and subconscious minds, you will able to transform your whole life. If you want to change external conditions, you must change the cause. Most people try to change conditions and circumstances by working on the conditions and circumstances. This is a terrible waste of time and effort. They fail to see that their conditions flow from a cause. To remove discord, confusion, lack, and limitation from your life, you must remove the cause. That cause is the way you use your conscious mind, the thoughts and images you encourage in it. Change the cause, and you change the effects. It is just that simple."

Since the discovery of the subconscious mind and its ability to control our lives, many methods of transforming the mind have been developed and have had plenty of time to be tested.

Unfortunately time has shown that almost invariably, most self-help programs designed to positively address the subconscious mind are either totally ineffective, or take too long for most people and so they never really change.

Desire to overcome fears, is a beginning.

At 4:22 AM, Blogger QueenBugB said...


I'm a psychologist, and I'd disagree with your statement about the subconcious controlling us, but I think that's neither here nor there.

I think it was Wilson and Miller in either there 1946 paper or 1955 paper that described how people with DP implicate bugs about which they know, such as chicken mites for people who live on a farm, to be the cause of their medical malady.

So, it's more likely people are drawing from things in their active, concious thought to pinpoint their condition, or pin it on something else.

At 5:22 AM, Blogger Tall Cotton said...

I have a fear of snakes, but I'm not sure if it is because of the Blue Racer that chased me as a child, or because of the chicken snake that trapped my grandmother in the outhouse before I was born. I just know it has big eyes.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Smileykins said...

Queenbugb, I think you've misinterpretted the reason and the meaning of my comments.

I don't know how familiar you are with this phenomenon called "morgellons disease", and all its background, but it's obvious we're not even on the same page.

I'm not making that superficial assumption, like you've inadvertently stated, that everyone who thinks they have "morgellons disease" has DOP.

Without going into a lengthy explanation, I believe there are biological processes at play, in people who think that they have this "disease", that are misunderstood.

I base my opinions upon having had the symptoms of "morgellons disease" and of never having heard of such an invention.

If I were a person prone to suggestion, and I "had" heard of such nonsense, I may have just allowed myself to lay right there and die, believing I had some mysterious, deadly disease.

It appears to me, that through one woman's misinterpretations of her son's eczematous skin condition (combined with other emotions she experienced when humilated by her son's doctors), she spawned a disease over the internet.

Getting others with the same types of misunderstandings, of the processes in their skin to enlist, and tell of all their other health related problems, "her disease" took on newer and larger proportions.

Pictures of cellular and environmental debris, from people who think they have it, are all displayed all over the internet, and their argument is that they are "specimens" with too much in common, from too many people, for it to not be a real disease of a parasitic nature. It's just crud from members of the same species, though, and that's why it all looks the same.

I'm not looking at where we are now, but at the reasons for it. In my opinion, the subconscious mind plays an undeniable role in influencing people, and the fears that exist among a certain population have been expanded upon through mass media.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Smileykins said...

Whoop! Just in case a morgie sees that and misinterprets it, I mean the "same species", homo sapiens!!!

At 3:31 PM, Blogger JeeezeLouise said...

Here's my issue with the "Morgellons community" ...

Over the last several days, a very active member of that board has been authoring increasingly alarming missives, suggesting that she has discovered the cause of Morgellons and that her life in is danger, because "They" know that she knows. Where I come from, that looks like an impending psychotic break, much as Travis Wilson's writings did before he committed suicide. If that were someone I knew and cared about, I would be frantically trying to get her under medical supervision - even if I had seen the black helicopters landing in her backyard with my own eyes! She is clearly in crisis, even if everything she believes to be true, is in fact true.

But the Morgies are so adamantly opposed to any suggestion that there may be mental health issues involved, NO ONE is saying - Get help now! That should have been said to Travis Wilson, it should have been said to Tall Cotton (just being honest here, TC, you were in serious trouble too), and now it certainly should be said to London.

Even if Morgellons is real, it is inexcusable to watch a trainwreck in progress and do nothing to prevent it.


At 5:55 PM, Blogger Smileykins said...

It is akin to watching an impending train wreck, and all sorts of other train wrecks in progress.

I don't have any issues with those poor misguided people who are all in the same boat, one way or another. All their boats were capsized before they even arrived on those message boards, and I don't think other drowning people can be expected to do too much towards helping another drowning person.

My big issue is, that through Mary Leitao's creation of "morgellons disease", and the Morgellons Research Foundation, she's played around and messed with the vulnerabilities of a particular group of people. I think it's a outright crime against humanity, but in this free country, anything goes.

There are a lot of accounts from morgie people who have blamed "this disease" on destroying the families they once had. It's been blamed on taking everything of value that they'd once had in their lives. Many of them may not have anybody in their personal lives to assist them.
Many have though, and claim to have been locked up in mental wards.

Travis had been writing about his life and suicidal tendencies for years, in journals on the internet, which are so revealing, and he lived at home with his mom.

Trying to put this as diplomatically as I can, it may only be that those of us who are not caught up in it, are able to see it. I've gotten my shit jumped, and actually been accused of "handing out mental health diagnoses", as you may have seen, on this blog!!! The general conclusions are just too easy to arrive at, though.

Aside from a lot of other things we can see from their writings, there are several that just scream to us that they are of a definite schizophrenic nature. Oftentimes, they're the ones who are heralded among the other believers and develop a big following!!!

It ain't funny, I know that much, and I hate Mary Leitao's creation of "her disease" and how it's helped move an already vulnerable set of society into the positions they've found themselves in.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger JeeezeLouise said...

No, you're right. It's not at all funny.

But I must disagree with you, that all their boats were capsized before they arrived on that board. A *lot* of newcomers arrive with questions about troubling symptoms and are NOT asked .. well, could it be something more pedestrian? Like eczema? Allergies?

No, because every possible health symptom just happens to fall into the Morgellons range. They are advised to buy a powerful microscope, suffocate their skin in layers of Vaseline and Vicks, experiment with veterinary medications, and of course come back every day for "support".

No, they didn't all arrive on capsized boats. Some arrived in leaky dingies that COULD have been patched up and sent on to safer harbor. Instead, they are now Morgies, because every possible physical distress IS Morgellons.

What a freaking black hole.

Smileykins and Tall Cotton, I don't know how you got out. Perhaps your personal conflicts with the "community" saved your lives.

Good for you.


At 8:56 PM, Blogger Tall Cotton said...

Personal conflicts didn't help us get over "Morgellons". Getting over Morgellons caused the personal conflicts. Anyone can get well that wants to be well. They are staying sick because they choose to. Their boats are more than leaky. They've been swamped for years. People like that are easy prey for the alligators.

Tall Cotton

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Smileykins said...

I'd found that message board three years after I was over my bout with symptoms comparable to "morgellons disease", jeezelouise.

Tall Cotton and I might both have more of a little something along the lines of fortitude, I don't know. We both had God to get us back among the living, for certain. It was pure survival time for us, and we're pretty tough cookies.

Nobody who thinks they have it wants to hear of anyone that survived "morgellons". That was one of the freakiest things to me, when I found that place after hearing about it on the radio last year.

Instead, they pull everyone into it. Like the nurse who came there reporting she had skin tuberculosis, and was seeing a pulmonologist in a few days. Why, they got on her like a chicken on June-Bug, telling her she had "morgellons disease". I prayed for her health and that she never came back there, and she didn't, but too many did. Way too many have.

It's sure not my idea of a "health support" message board, because let me tell you, if somebody had been around and told me when I was sick, that they'd been through it, and what to do to get out of it, I would have grabbed onto it for dear life. The last thing I would have thought about would be to tell them to be glad they're healed, and to go away and leave me alone.

But my psyche wasn't consumed and infiltrated like theirs is, because I had not heard of this "invented disease" when I'd had all those classic symptoms of it

You're absolutely entitled to disagree with my opinions on the already capsized boats. Being a member there for about six months and trying to talk any reason to anyone, is what I base my opinion on, and I just don't happen to think that a sound mind in a person's head would lead them into the direction of those particular types of message boards. I think they'd listen to their doctors and treat whatever they had, instead.

If anybody could mess with reading the lower half of my story on the top part of our blog, they might have a better understanding, but since Tall Cotton's and my stories there are so long, I imagine that also has a lot to do with it.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger ridiculous_fish said...

Hello Margellons,

If you don't mind a little prying, I'm curious what prompts you to start and maintain this blog. The interest of those who believe they are suffering from Morgellon's is obvious - the interest of those who doubt its existence, such as yourself, is less clear. Mind sharing?

Apologies if it's been answered before,

At 10:54 PM, Blogger ridiculous_fish said...

Hello Margellons,

If you don't mind a little prying, I'm curious what prompts you to start and maintain this blog. The interest of those who believe they are suffering from Morgellon's is obvious - the interest of those who doubt its existence, such as yourself, is less clear. Mind sharing?

Apologies if it's been answered before,

At 11:58 PM, Blogger JeeezeLouise said...

TC and SK, I did not mean to come off as combative. The fact is that there are loads of people who itch and pick at their skin, who might have seen the alarming news stories and the first "support" site they found was, well, that site. The correct thing to do would be to suggest to those newbies that they see a dermatologist, an allergist, and maybe even have a psych evaluation. But that is not what is happening. They are being embraced as "morgies" and sucked into the "community".

I don't even know "London" but I am seriously concerned about her state of mind. How anyone can sit and watch a psychotic break in progress and do nothing, is beyond me.

At 5:13 AM, Blogger Smileykins said...

Oh, jeezelouise (hey, that was fun saying) I didn't take you to be combative. I'm sorry, I see looking at my post that I came off bad without meaning to.

I'd gone there as someone who'd recovered from those symptoms, and wanted to try helping people, being a sucker and believing the ones there that were always pleading for help. But no, they certainly don't greet people with current skin issues with any assistance. They don't know any other ways to be, than how they are.

I'm in agreement with all you've said. I based what I'd said on what I'd seen when I was a member there. I noticed, then, that anyone who stayed, had already been to numerous doctors and gotten an unsatisfactory diagnosis.

Oh, and the ones with the really serious health problems, too, just killed me to read about, because they are ignoring it and saying their doctors are nuts, because its "morgellons disease".

"Can" a cognizant person sign onto their beliefs? Some used to come and go fairly quickly, back then, so they must have been all right.

But yeah, with the news spreading the propaganda, it's going to stir up and spread the fear around more and newcomers will find that place, and other ones like it. If they don't have all the symptoms when they drop by and get sucked in, they'll work on trying to get them.

I've read, there, "Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough, because I'm not seeing what everyone else is." (Yikes.)

It's real upsetting seeing someone losing it. I've seen suicial people getting on there, and spilling their guts, and some of the other ones use it as a platform to tell how bad they have it, instead of focusing on that person and also posting the 800 suicial hotline number up for them.

They may do better with that now, though, because I haven't been around there to have seen any of those types of posts. At least I hope so, and that I'm not deluding myself, in thinking it may have improved.

"Freaking black hole"? My gosh, is it ever.

At 4:05 PM, Blogger here_to_comment said...

Hello, Margellons.

This is very compassionate project, and your approach deserves respect. Stating your own ideas, research, and conclusions, as a layperson, should not be objectionable to anyone. You're not claiming expertise-- you're just thinking without restrictions. I think that there are many people who will open their minds as a result of your blog.

It's great that you encourage people to explore all possible physical and mental causes of their symptoms. It's especially sensible advice that people should explore known and treatable conditions.

Very few have the patience and compassion to do what you are doing. You are never hostile, and you willingly discuss your ideas and those of others. Thank you.

At 7:25 PM, Blogger Aherah said...

Ironic, isn't it "here-to-comment", how he paints the "suffers of Morgellons" into a hole of naive, stupid sickos, yet he does not want to be painted an antagonist of people who beleive they have the disease. Don't tell me who I am, and I won't tell you who you are Marg.

JeeezeLouise did you miss the part where the people with this disease have a least one bizarre element in common--the fibers? Perhaps we don't all have the same thing at all, but we do all have fibers embedded in our skin. Until we figure out what may be causing that, we only know that we are receiving the same lame non-answers from the medical community.

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Margellons said...

I have fibers on my skin as well. I've even taken microscopic photos of them.

Maybe you do have fibers embedded in your skin - but that seems like it should be easy to demonstrate. All the photos I've seem have been of fuzz balls, individual fibers, or fibers in scabs and lesions, where they would naturally gather. Nowhere have I seen photos of fibers in unbroken skin. Why are there no photos of fibers embedded in skin - if this really is the one common element in Morgellons sufferers, then surely it would be of great benefit to them to focus on it. Yet where is the evidence?

Even if you do all have the fibers in common - are all the fibers the same? Some are microscopic, and now some are spaghetti sized. All different colors. Some clump into balls, some wave in sync, some jump in and out of the skin, some move autonomously, some glow, some wax, some wane. I've got lots of fibers on me too - what's the special thing about Morgellons fibers again?

And, "here-to-comment" (who is not me) thanks for the comments, much appreciated.

Aherah - I don't know who you are, or what you have, but you sound like a reasonable person.


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