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Medical Student's Disease and Bed Bugs

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  1. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed May 6 2015 5:28:50
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    "Medical students' disease (also known as second year syndrome or intern's syndrome) is a condition frequently reported in medical students, who perceive themselves to be experiencing the symptoms of a disease that they are studying...

    The reference[1] suggests that the condition is associated with immediate preoccupation with the symptoms in question, leading the student to become unduly aware of various casual psychological and physiological dysfunctions;

    -- Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_students%27_disease
    ------------------------------

    Does this remind anyone of something? Maybe thinking they have bed bugs? Maybe being CONVINCED they have bed bug? When in fact there isn't any real evidence?

    Like the medical students, the more I learned about bed bugs, the more I thought I had them. Ironically, "google", and to some extent being here in this forum, fueled my fears with more facts than I was able to properly assimilate, especially in the beginning. After all, symptoms were everywhere. It was so OBVIOUS.

    Those spots on my sheets-- bed bug bites! Those marks on the wall -- fecal! Those red dots on my arm -- bed bug bites! That stuff under my couch cushions -- cast skins! That trip I took last month -- bed bugs! My visitor from a foreign country -- bed bugs! That movie theater -- bed bugs! That furniture delivery -- bed bugs! Bed bugs! Bed bugs!

    But of course, like these medical students, I didn't have what I was fixated on (bed bugs in my case), I just convinced myself I did.

    Not sure what the cure is for Medical Student's Disease -- maybe they just graduate alive and figure they didn't have the deadly disease they thought

    But the cure for the bed bug version is to focus and act on some very narrow but important facts, that sometimes get lost among everything else. And that is that bed bugs leave signs -- the bugs themselves, cast skins, eggs and fecal. No signs, no bed bugs. Everything else, including bites, is smoke and mirrors. It's our version of Medical student's disease.

    Richard

  2. ItsJustABug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed May 6 2015 7:59:51
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    As PJB would say It's Head Bugs.
    Is there any difference when some one finds bedbugs and signs then gets rid of them, but the head bugs remain as a long term problem? I think not . Just as people whom have a heart attack often have a panic attack at the onset of any type pain in the chest, even if tums clears it up.Cancer survivors will always have a deep seeded fear of remission being only temporary. We are only human after all, we are only as weak as our greatest fear.

    Always do what you are afraid to do.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
    Sun Tzu

    I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
    Rosa Parks

    Pick the day. Enjoy it - to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come... The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.
    Audrey Hepburn

    There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment.
    Hunter S. Thompson

  3. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed May 6 2015 8:11:24
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    Very interesting and helpful post. I can't guesstimate the number of hours, days etc. that entomologists, pest control professionals and others spend trying to convince people they don't have bed bugs or at least not at a identifiable level yet. Unfortunately some people get the idea and run with it. Then when professionals won't or can't properly resolve the issue they embark on a DIY regimen which at times can be dangerous. I have dealt with folks who keep finding a succession of one in ten thousand buts to justify their fear. I have seen people spend unnecessary funds on overkill,
    of course I have also seen bed bug farms as well. But getting back to the point BBs have a way of getting into peoples heads which is perhaps their most malicious effect. Not to mention the medical condition of delusory parisitosis a.k.a. Ekboms syndrome which some people may suffer from.

  4. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed May 6 2015 10:10:15
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    Very interesting and helpful post. I can't guesstimate the number of hours, days etc. that entomologists, pest control professionals and others spend trying to convince people they don't have bed bugs or at least not at a identifiable level yet.
    Unfortunatelly the first answer (and could be totally incorrect) is the one that is hard to let go.
    But getting back to the point BBs have a way of getting into peoples heads which is perhaps their most malicious effect. Not to mention the medical condition of delusory parisitosis a.k.a. Ekboms syndrome which some people may suffer from.
    Yes, delusory parasitosis (aka Ekbom's syndrome) is real, but it is often one of the first diagnoses from pest management professionals, medical personnel, and helpful people until the actual insect or mite is finally located. Some of the symptoms may also derive from drug interactions (prescribed or otherwise), food interactions, environmental contamination/dusts/fibers/etc. Ruling out items and reasons are indicated.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  5. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed May 6 2015 10:25:03
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    This is an interesting part, also from Wikipedia. Suggests that this is actually a"normal" (but obviously misleading) process, as opposed to some of the other medical conditions discussed, that may have more psychiatric undertones. The last sentence is really right on. We see it here. I've seen it in the past with myself.

    "Hodges went on to describe work by Moss-Morris and P├ętrie who saw medical students' disease as " a normal perceptual process, rather than a form of hypochondriasis." Learning about a disease "creates a mental schema or representation of the illness which includes the label of the illness and the symptoms associated with the condition. Once this representation is formed, symptoms or bodily sensations that the individual is currently experiencing which are consistent with the schema may be noticed, while inconsistent symptoms are ignored."

    Richard

  6. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed May 6 2015 10:40:10
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    Winston O. Buggy -  » 
    Very interesting and helpful post.

    Yep. Thanks Richard56!

    . . . We've seen posts/threads written before along these lines (that the mind is a very powerful thing and can make your body do/react to all kinds of things) . . . but the connection with the "Medical Students' Disease" is very interesting and makes sense!

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed May 6 2015 16:33:00
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    I agree, it's a helpful analogy.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."

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