Sarah Bione

Does this family have Morgellons?

Does this family have Morgellons….

… and not even know it!?


Recently I stumbled across, and a review of the Eyeclops Bionic Eye magnifier, a toy camera that magnifies live video feed 200x. Here’s what the Rob, the author, said:

One of the things we found out rather quickly is that there are strange fibers all over the place. You probably don’t think that you have any little fibers on your hand right now, but you probably do.

You can’t spot them, but the folks down at the crime lab can, and the eyeclops can.

Strange fibers? That made my antennae go up, but then worst was yet to come:

Here is a red one, stuck to one of my eyebrow lashes. I realize it looks like a curious little worm, inching his way towards unibrow canyon, but it isn’t moving. Boy, that would have been creepy.

It is just a dead little fiber, stuck to a single lash.

Does someone need to call this family and tell them that indeed, it is a worm-like creature that spawned from a genetic mutation by evil scientists? Or just cut to the chase and call out a hazmat team, to rescue this family from years of torment by a mysterious disease plaguing the nation (that has until now been silenced by medical and government conspiracy)?

I wrote an email to Rob, and asked, “If someone told you that indeed, that red fibers was alive and a worm, what would you say?” He responded,

Well, it wasn’t moving. It was a uniform color. It was a little translucent, and did not appear to have internal structures. It looked like it may have been red gel of some kind. Fibers were on everything we looked at, not just ourselves. Cookies, socks, diapers.”

That made me curious. After using a powerful magnifying camera, Rob asserts that fibers are on everything. In fact, in the article, he says point blank: fibers are everywhere. He seems almost a little pedantic in his response to my question, perhaps suggesting that my suggestion that the red fiber was a living creature was a little silly.

Rob’s article describes what allegedly thousands of Morgellons sufferers see: little fibers. But somehow, the author is able to come to the conclusion that though it looks similar to a creepy little inching worm, the fiber is, in fact, just a fiber.

How is it that one person can see these fibers as just fibers being everywhere, and others see them as an infectious plague, spawned by the tinkering of evil geneticists?

Read Rob’s article about the Eyeclops here.

Factitious Disorders

Psychological Implications in Morgellons Disease, Part II: Factitious Disorders

Sarah Bione-Dunn

In Sickened, a memoir of Münchhausen syndrome by proxy by Julie Gregory, Dr. Marc Feldman writes: “Münchhausen by proxy may be the single most complex– and lethal– form of maltreatment known today. It is formally defined as the falsification or induction of physical and/or emotional illness by a caretaker of a dependent person. In most cases, the perpetrator is a mother and the victim is her own child.”

Factitious disorders such as Münchhausen syndrome (MS) and Münchhausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) may be factors for some cases of Morgellons disease. Symptoms of factitious disorders include intentional production or feigning of physical signs or symptoms, and physical symptoms motivated by a desire to assume the sick role (DSM-IV-TR). Depression, need for a sense of community, and unsupportive parental relationships are suggested causes of MS/MSBP, though the precise cause of factitious disorders are not understood (Ozden & Canat, 1999).

Many Morgellons sufferers and MS/MSBP sufferers have behaviors in common. MS/MSBP sufferers research their supposed ailments and are knowledgeable about medicine (Miner & Feldman, 1998). People with MS/MSBP eagerly undergo or offer to partake in painful testing or treatment (Stern & Cremens, 1998), as do Morgellons sufferers. Both conditions continually reject known explanations for their health; Morgellons sufferers notably reject diagnoses such as eczema, environmental factors, poor nutrition, side effects from medication, side effects from illegal substances, etc. as the agents of their illness. The two conditions also share negative attitudes toward the medical community, strong aversion to mental health, and doctor-shopping behaviors for someone to find something– anything– wrong with them.

Communication on an internet message board is indirect and impersonal. Lymebuster’s policy of banning anyone who questions another’s health, symptoms, or motivations, makes it a dangerous breeding ground for the few who suffer from MS/MSBP. Having MS/MSBP may not have been why they began to seek Morgellons as a new disease to fabricate, but because of the isolated, “no one allowed who doesn’t agree” attitude, it is a safe haven for people to continue in their deviance. MS/MSBP sufferers and perpetrators can then join the media pressure and participate in a “mysterious, emerging disease” to satisfy their psychological issues, as they already feel on the fringe from their continual rejection by physicians.


Somatoform Disorders

Psychological Implications in Morgellons Disease, Part I: Somatoform Disorders

Sarah Bione-Dunn

Many sufferers of Morgellons complain that doctors won’t “open their eyes and see” that “something” is wrong with them. When physical illnesses have no apparent medical cause, physicians may suspect a somatoform disorder. A somatoform disorder is a pattern of physical complaints with largely psychosocial causes (Tayler & Mann, 1999). People with somatoform disorders do not purposefully induce their symptoms (as with Munchausen syndrome, a condition where people intentionally induce or feign illness) but believe that their problems are truly medical.

Preoccupation somatoform disorders involve people who are healthy, but become preoccupied with a mistaken belief that something is physically wrong with them. The DSM-IV-TR describes symptoms include a history of many physical complaints, usually beginning before the age of 30, that occur over a period of several years and result in treatment being sought or in significant impairment, physical complaints not fully explained by a known medical condition or drug, or extending beyond the usual impact of such a condition.

Some people with Morgellons disease have these symptoms. A history of treatment being sought for lesions, sores, crawling sensations and bugs emerging from the skin or body orifices, fatigue, fibers, and more, is typical of a Morgellons sufferer. Impairment includes people quitting their jobs, moving, staying in a hotel, withdrawal from family and friends. These complaints are not fully explained by a known medical condition or drug, and that is most significant, as it is that way with somatoform disorders. Morgellons sufferers are quoted as going from doctor to doctor for ten years without one finding cause for the complaint (Savely, 2006).

Morgellons sufferers will often admit to becoming hypersensitive or hyper vigilant regarding their skin, as is common with preoccupation somatoform disorders. This hyper vigilance creates an illusion of fantastic situations in what would normally be recognized as the usual and then dismissed. These mis-attributions snowball into a person engaging in dangerous self-medication and rebuffs from doctors, similar to Morgellons disease. In Morgellons disease, sufferers often self-medicate by bathing in bleach (or other caustic materials), ingesting mordacious concoctions, and cutting their own skin.

Even though self-proclaimed experts on Morgellons cite mental health problems as common correlates of Morgellons, the sufferers have a strong adverse reaction to the suggestion of mental health being involved in their condition, which is symptomatic of somatoform disorders. Because of this strong reaction to mental health, it is unlikely that a person who does not feel mentally ill would seek mental health assistance.


  • Savely, V., Leitao, M., & Stricker, R. 2006. The mystery of Morgellons disease: infection or delusion? Am. J. Clin. Dermatol. 7(1), 1-5.
  • Taylor, R., & Mann, A.H. 1999. Somatization in primary care. J. Psychosom. Res. 47(1), 61-66.