Yes, this is a real physical condition. I had this infection several years ago and beat it. It was an agonizing experience, and if you can encourage more scientic, objective research into this condition through your programme, you will be doing a very good thing for all sufferers past and present.
My infection set in after an encounter with lice in a hotel room while traveling. The lice were eradicated within one day but the resulting infection remained. After a few months of seeing several doctors and dermatologists, I pursued help through a nutritionist. My main symptom was sharp biting pains all over my body. I also generated the black specks from my skin. I did not experience any itching. The sharp biting pains were extremely severe and occurred 24 hours a day.
It took me about a year to eradicate this condition. I fully recovered and have not any any sort of symptoms for a few years. These are the factors that I believe helped me beat this condition:
1. Anti-candida diet followed (under supervision of nutritionist) for 6 months
2. parasite cleanse completed (under supervision of same nutritionist)
3. Use of organic products for bathing and personal hygiene, and household cleaning. Avoided use of harsh chemicals in an effort to boost the immune system, which I believe was compromised...
4. Hydrogen peroxide soaks in the tub.
To this day, I do not know if the symptoms were caused by a biting parasite or if a fungal overgrowth or reaction to the chemicals used to eradicate the lice (Lindane, Permethrin) caused the symptoms. I do believe that some sort of fungal overgrowth in the body was a factor in the condition.
Unfortunately, I think it is important to note that I have no history of mental illness. I have advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering fields and am a successful business executive. During the few months that I sought medical help for this condition, I was ridiculed by doctors and dermatologists and did not dare disclose this condition to my colleagues. I only hope for others that have / had this condition, that a medical explanation is identified.
I would not be surprised if the condition is an overgrowth of common species (ie candida) that manifests after an assault to the immune system by certain chemical agents or other antagonists(?)... I do know that the symptoms are real.