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Mass Hysteria diagnosis for teen girls' mystery illness

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January 20th, 2012, 07:23 AM
L-SBB's Avatar Bébé Cowgirl
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Texas
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TODAY Health - Teen girls' mystery illness now has a diagnosis: mass hysteria

Not really a debate, I was curious what everything was thinking about this news story.

If you were one of those girls' parents, would you be satisfied with doctor's diagnosis of conversion disorder/mass hysteria or would you worry that there might be some environmental issue at play that perhaps is not identified through the standard environmental tests that were run at their school?

There've been enough documented cases of mass hysteria that I believe it's real, and my gut says that's whats happening with this one....but the parent in me wonders if it were my kid suffering, would i just accept that diagnosis or keep looking for other explanations just in case the doctor is wrong?

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January 20th, 2012, 08:39 AM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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Location: NYC
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I witnessed mass hysteria sickness. I was in the 6th grade and kid brought in an entire box of lemon heads and gave the individual boxes to the class. Some ate them some didn't. Yet, almost the entire class ended up in the er that day due to vomiting and other issues.

It turned out that the lemon heads were sprayed with pesticide. The store owner had the store sprayed for bugs and never removed the candy from the places that were going to be sprayed.

Now, I know a lot of us that day did in fact eat them and were actually sick. But a lot of students who didn't eat them also went in. We made the news that day. DOH!

So, I guess the mass hysteria diagnosis could be the real one. As a parent, I would want to find out for sure, but once I was told mass hysteria, I would probably drop it. Unless my child continued to show symptoms for a long time after the initial outbreak of issues.

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January 20th, 2012, 10:01 AM
*Jennifer*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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As a parent, I don't think I would be satisfied with the answer. It very well may be mass hysteria, but it would be difficult to accept that as the answer.
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January 20th, 2012, 10:12 AM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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I never just blindly accept ANY diagnosis. I'm the parent who will consider any and all options, research and discuss at length with my children's doctors about things.

But sometimes, there isn't a better answer. There isn't another possibility. Sometimes you do have to accept that what you see before you, is exactly what it seems to be. Sometimes that diagnosis may end up being wrong, way down the road. But no one can really forsee that sort of thing.

That's exactly how dd2's GAL got misdiagnosed for a while. It's something that should show up in the newborn screen, but on a rare occasion, it doesn't, and can take weeks to show up on ANY test. It's baffling, mind boggling, and while waiting for a diagnosis, you can easily be stuck watching your child literally die in front of you. I know that feeling all too well. Had they not redone that test more than once, she never would have gotten the diagnosis either. It's not a test commonly redone, repeatedly. But her doctors and I were persistent.

I do understand the parents' frustrations and I understand how hard it is to accept that there may not be an answer to something. Dd still has other issues that to this day have no rhyme or reason, no diagnosis. I'd be grateful if they DID, to be honest. The not knowing anything is sometimes worse than getting a diagnosis you just don't agree with. Hard not to displace your anger too, when you're dealing with that sort of thing.

Nothing at all wrong with continuing to look for answers. As long as you keep in mind that, there may come a time, when you have to accept what's right in front of you. Sucks, but, sometimes life is that way. Taking yourself, your child and your child's doctor(s) on a wild goose chase for something that very well may not exist, is no picnic. Always have to remember the impact it's going to have on your child. Sometimes finally reaching the end of that road, you realize the journey wasn't worth it, too.
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January 20th, 2012, 12:52 PM
WineKeepsMeSane's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Since treatment is psychiatric (rather than a potentially toxic drug) I would start treatment, but I would keep looking for answers to make sure we weren't missing something else.
Ashley, mommy to Mackenzie 01/01/08

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January 20th, 2012, 01:02 PM
Repti.Mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm a doubter, and I would certainly pull my children out of the school and assume they missed something.

I saw this on the news, and I *did* like how there was a doctor on the show that met two of the girls, and though it obviously wasn't enough time to diagnose them, she said that if it was a psychological thing, that doesn't mean it's fake, or not real. Some parents probably don't want to assume that it might be a mass hysteria type thing because they assume that mental things ARE fake. A lot of people think that way.

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January 20th, 2012, 03:43 PM
HappyHippy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would probably still look for answers. I usually get a second opinion.
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January 20th, 2012, 04:57 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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I don't know much about mass hysteria.. but I do know tic's suck.

I think the parents should keep looking, there are things that can be missed. Another option would be to remove the kids from the environment.
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January 20th, 2012, 06:27 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
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I don't know. It may be real but the mass hysteria diagnosis for girls just rubs me the wrong way. Makes me feel like we're back at 1800's where women were treated as the weaker sex and real illnesses were written of as hysteria. If it were my child, I'd continue to look for answers while I got her phsychiatric help.

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