Our culture has a stigma attached to mental illness, but we pity the physically ill. People who have a disease of unspecified origin would much rather believe that it comes from their bodies than that it comes from their minds, and doctors who are willing to say that it's a body problem—no matter how far-fetched their reasoning —stand to rake in the bucks. Some clinical ecologists claim that as much as 15% of America's population has MCS to one extent or another. That figure is a hypochondriac's dream, and also a dream for those who make their living treating hypochondriacs for imagined illnesses and psychosomatic symptoms.

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