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Joni Mitchell Says Battle with Rare Morgellons Disease Makes Her Feel Like She's Being 'Eaten Alive'

People logo People 10/12/2017 Jeff Nelson

Legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell opens up about her private world — and why she’s shied away from the spotlight — in the new biography Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, by David Yaffe.

According to a Daily Mail report, Mitchell, 73, reveals her battle with Morgellons disease, a mysterious illness, in the new book, due Oct. 17. © LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Joni Mitchell attends Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons Ho...

“I have this weird, incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space,” she says of her illness in the book, the DM reports. “Morgellons is a slow, unpredictable killer — a terrorist disease: it will blow up one of your organs, leaving you in bed for a year. … Fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral.”

© Amazon

Mitchell also reveals in the book that she sometimes wouldn’t wear clothing because she felt like she was being “eaten alive” — and that the disease left her confined to her house for several years.

There is controversy in the medical world about Morgellons. Described by the Mayo Clinic as an “uncommon, unexplained skin disorder characterized by sores, crawling sensations on and under the skin, and fiber-like filaments emerging from the sores,” it is not acknowledged as a disease by some health professionals; the Centers for Disease Control notes that “the signs and symptoms of Morgellons… are very similar to those of a mental illness involving false beliefs about infestation by parasites (delusional parasitosis).”

© Jack Robinson/Getty

The “Big Yellow Taxi” singer has largely remained out of the public eye in recent years. In 2015, she made headlines for a series of health scares, including a stroke. Mitchell made a rare public outing in February, attending Clive Davis’s annual pre-Grammys bash in L.A.

Reckless Daughter will chronicle Mitchell’s extraordinary life, from her tumultuous childhood growing up in Alberta, Canada (she was diagnosed with polio at age 9) to her rise to music fame in the ’60s and ’70s.

Related slideshow: The most infamous love triangles in rock history GEORGE HARRISON, PATTIE BOYD, ERIC CLAPTON: <p><a href="">George Harrison</a> first met 19-year-old model Pattie Boyd in 1964 on the set of <a href="">the Beatles</a>' first film, A Hard Day's Night. He was instantly smitten, and the pair were married less than two years later. Though reasonably happy throughout the '60s—Harrison wrote the classic track "Something" in her honor—their marriage began to deteriorate by the end of the decade, around the same time he became close friends with fellow guitar god <a href="">Eric Clapton</a>. Clapton also fell in love with Boyd, ultimately confessing his feelings to the couple. She initially refused his advances, sending him spiraling into a drug-fueled depression. Amid the haze of his growing addiction to heroin and alcohol, he penned the tracks that would become his opus, 1970's Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. The album's title track directly addresses the unrequited love in its lyrics: "I tried to give you consolation / When your old man had let you down / Like a fool, I fell in love with you / Turned my whole world upside down." Several years later, Boyd left Harrison for good, and she and Clapton began living together in 1974. "Eric was very attractive and persuasive," <a href="">she later said</a>. "George and I had many problems in our relationship that had a great deal to do with the enormity of his fame and his increasing passion for meditation and the spiritual life. He frequently simply wasn’t there for me, and there were other women.” Clapton immortalized her in song yet again, penning the gentle "Wonderful Tonight" for her. The former Beatle bore no ill-will towards his friend, jokingly referring to him as his "husband-in-law." Harrison even attended the pair's 1979 wedding. "I’d rather she be with him than some dope," he told Rolling Stone at the time. Sadly, their union didn't last and they divorced in 1988.</p> The Most Infamous Love Triangles in Rock History


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