Ekbom Syndrome: The Challenge of “Invisible Bug” Infestations

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Abstract

Ekbom Syndrome is synonymous with delusory parasitosis, a belief that one’s body is infested by invisible bugs. Persons suffering from this syn- drome often claim to feel dermal sensations and to visualize the bugs, although no one else can see them. Ekbom Syndrome is a delusional condition; it is intractable and cannot be corrected by argument or evi- dence. Ekbom Syndrome sufferers exhibit a range of predictable behav- iors in their attempts to eliminate their infestations, including seeking identifications and treatment from physicians and entomologists. Fre- quently they also experience comorbid psychological conditions. Be- cause this is a delusional affliction, successful treatment typically re- quires neuroleptic medications, necessitating intervention by medical professionals.

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