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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2011 Jun;13(3):178-86. doi: 10.1007/s11920-011-0188-0.

Ekbom syndrome: a delusional condition of "bugs in the skin".

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  • 1Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, 120 Cedar Street, Athens, GA 30602-2603, USA.


Entomologists estimate that more than 100,000 Americans suffer from "invisible bug" infestations, a condition known clinically as Ekbom syndrome (ES), although the psychiatric literature dubs the condition "rare." This illustrates the reluctance of ES patients to seek mental health care, as they are convinced that their problem is bugs. In addition to suffering from the delusion that bugs are attacking their bodies, ES patients also experience visual and tactile hallucinations that they see and feel the bugs. ES patients exhibit a consistent complex of attributes and behaviors that can adversely affect their lives.

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