Morgellons disease first appeared at the start of this century. Sufferers have a crawling sensation under their skin that itches and causes sores. Thin threads grow out of their skin. Symptoms also include loss of hair, loss of concentration and joint pain. Medical science has no explanation for the disease. Specialists insist it’s a psychosomatic complaint, labelling it ‘delusional parasitosis’ or even 'google-chrondria'. Patients apparently convince themselves of the illness, often after having heard about it on the internet. They often share their experiences via YouTube.
Previous documentaries by Penny Lane have also been screened at IFFR, including Our Nixon and NUTS! She compiled The Pain of Others entirely from excerpts from often emotionally-charged short films. That increases sympathy for the misunderstood patients, but also shows how the internet can encourage self-diagnosis. This can result in unnecessary medicalisation and the increasing of already present psychiatric problems. Contemporary media usage leads to mass psychosis.