Controversial Diseases

Morgellons is sometimes described as a “Controversial Disease”. I was wondering what other controversial diseases there are, so I did a little Googling to find a few.a-cervical-collar-vc11.jpg

I was quite surprised when something that turned up was chronic Whiplash – yes, that bad neck you get when involved in a car accident, now an $18 billion industry. Surprisingly some studies show that demolition derby drivers do not ever suffer from chronic whiplash. In Lithuania (where car insurance is rare) chronic whiplash is unknown. Chiropractors dispute these findings.

Some symptoms of whiplash: headache, dizziness, abnormal sensations such as burning or prickling (paresthesias), or shoulder or back pain. In addition, some people experience cognitive, somatic, or psychological conditions such as memory loss, concentration impairment, nervousness/irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue, or depression.

Also controversial: Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Factors of compensation and legalities play a factor here too:april-carlisle-in-mask.jpg

“Whatever its physiologic, toxic or psychiatric origins are, MCS has become the focus for great efforts to support a particular set of beliefs about its mechanism and manifestations. MCS is discussed in an array of patient support groups and clinics, by clinicians, hotlines and lawyers, in journals and other media, and on World Wide Web sites. It has become the subject of disability laws and settlements”

Some Symptoms of MCS: Headache, Fatigue, Dizziness, Nausea, Irritability, Confusion, Difficulty concentrating, Memory problems, Muscle pain and/or stiffness, Skin rash or hives, Mood changes.

a-mad-woman-soutine34a.jpgHere’s another: premenstrual dysphoric disorder, (PMMD), which was listed as treatable by Prozac, but later, in Europe, described as “an invented illness and a strong example of the medicalisation of ordinary life.”. There is some suggestion that PMDD has been “marketed” by drug companies. Again, money plays a strong role in defining the disease.

Some PMMD Symtoms: irritability, nervousness, difficulty in concentrating, lethargy, depression, severe fatigue, confusion, paranoia, emotional hypersensitivity, crying spells, moodiness, sleep disturbances, acne, neurodermatitis (skin inflammation with itching), other skin disorders, including cold sores, numbness, prickling, tingling, or heightened sensitivity of arms and/or legs, and a whole load more.

I think the situation is too complex to draw any simple parallels between these kinds of conditions and “Morgellons”, but there are obvious aspects here and there – notably the smorgasboard of symptoms. Read the articles above. It’s fascinating stuff.