A U.S. doctor who reads True was distressed over the story last week (7 June 1998 issue) on “exploding head syndrome”.
“Dr. Robert” wrote:
I hope to be the first of likely many physicians and others to inform you that “exploding head syndrome” is, in fact, not a hoax, but is a real, recognized clinical entity.
Since you are likely to remain skeptical, I provide below a list of some of the medical journal articles dealing with this syndrome, a list I just pulled off of Medline.
I believe that in this case it is *you* (and Ms. Murray, and apparently an AP reporter) who deserve to be made fun of, since none of you apparently bothered to check whether this “hoax” might actually be true. I look forward to seeing your egg-faced retraction. Feel free to use my name.
Bob, it’s sad to consider how much education was wasted on you that you are unable to read critically. *I* did not say that the web site in question was a hoax; I wouldn’t, since I haven’t seen it.
Have you? Do you always rely on unseen signs and unreported symptoms to make your diagnoses? Does the university hospital chief of staff know this?
All I said was “caveat surfor”* — good advice in any case, but certainly good when looking at suspect medical information published on unknown web sites! “Egg-faced” indeed.
*(Please let me know if you’d like a translation of this ‘Latin’ phrase. 😉 )
Sure, a syndrome by that name does exist, but it is not the brain-splattering event that its name implies — and as shown with graphic animations on numerous gag web sites. The one the story refers to is, rather, a anxiety-based malady treated with anti-depressants.
So, if you think you have “exploding head syndrome,” by all means consult your physician — This is True should not be considered your primary source of medical information. (There — happy, doc?)
P.S.: As I expected, no other medical professionals, let alone “many physicians and others,” wrote to suggest I “retract” the story. I hope Dr. Robert appreciates that I didn’t accept his invitation to identify him fully.
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