Most people who strongly believe they have Morgellons will complain that their doctors dismiss them as “DOP”, a common abbreviation for “Delusions Of Parasites”.
The Morgellons activists seek to portray their plight as a struggle of genuinely sick people against an uncaring medical profession that dismisses their symptoms as “all in your head”. Any suggestion of anything like DOP is reviled, and the believers wander from doctor to doctor, seeking those who will look beyond this.
To understand the Morgellons community, you need to understand DOP. One of the worlds leading experts on DOP is Nancy Hinkle, PhD. Hinkle is not a physician, she is an entomologist, so if anyone can find the bugs, it’s going to be her. Back in 2001, before the MRF got off the ground, she had an interview on this subject with the Discovery Channel in Canada.
If you are interested in Morgellons, I highly recommend you watch this video (it’s only about six minutes long), as it provides a simple overview of DOP, as well as the varied causes, which are mostly physical in nature. She also makes the distinction between those who are simply mistaken, and those who are delusional.
Out of the hundreds of samples that people have sent Dr. Hinkle over the years, NONE had insects in them. Her most telling quote: “If they are desperate enough they will usually find something”.
Dr. Hinkle also wrote a highly lucid paper on the subject in 2000:
Scratching may produce papular eruptions. Any
repeated skin irritation produces a friction blister.
Repeated rubbing of an area often produces a bleb
(small blister) which, when ruptured, yields an open
sore that may become infected. Once the sore
begins oozing plasma and a scab forms, hairs and
cloth fibers become entrapped in the sticky fluid.
These flecks are dislodged and called mites or
insects because they look like they have “antennae”
and “legs” (Fig. 2). Hair follicles often are pulled
out; the follicle accompanied by the associated
sebaceous gland looks like a worm.