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Observations placeholder

A theory of parasites and mental illness



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


I don't think he is right, but that is not a reason to exclude the hypothesis, especially as he makes the link between mental illness and parasites which in itself is a big step forward


A description of the experience


Med Hypotheses. 2013 Aug;81(2):360-5. doi:  .1016/j.mehy.2013.04.015. Epub 2013 May 29.  Myiasis (fly disease) and insectal disease generally are causing mental illness. Clarke KJ.

Mental illness by which psychosis is meant here is known to be caused mainly by imbalances of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. But, what is causing these imbalances?

There has been a recent flurry of interest focusing on the possibility of parasitical disease.

The appropriateness of this is based on the fact that organisms of the animal kingdom produce the same neurotransmitters. In fact stinging insects release them in their venoms. The proposal here is that insect larval parasites acting on the human brain and body may release such neurotransmitters and cause imbalances and altered mental states and is supported by the occurrence of previously unexplained physical symptoms such as; diarrhoea, constipation, spasms, anaemia, bloating, insomnia, headache, migraine, weight loss, low blood pressure, low grade fever, amnesia and signs of allergy which may accompany mental illness.

Some of these symptoms have been previously attributed to the medications prescribed to alleviate the psychotic symptoms but, many are also parasitical signs.

It is proposed that the minute larvae may make sudden movements and may be highly motile and may move from pressure, hence evading the phlebotomist's needle. There is also the testimony of those with delusional parasitosis and related addictions, I propose the regularity with which humans are bitten, stung and have their foods infected with insects at all stages as a demonstration of how insectal disease may have the potential for common infection and disease; mental and physical.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 23726691

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps





Brain damage