Munchausen’s Syndrome is a psychiatric disorder where the person afflicted feigns medical illness to get attention or some sort of psycholoical need met. To them, having medical attention and support from doctors, nurses, hospital staff is soothing and taking on the role of “patient” is comforting.
Unfortunately, some go to the extreme in order to get this attention. They will often have unneccary surgeries, procedures, and even inject themselves with medications and/or fecal matter to get sick so they will have to get medical treatment. An even more extreme variation of this is Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy where a parent will produce illnesses in their children in order to get their “needs” met.
People with Munchausen’s Syndrome are often very knowledgeable about the medical field and are likely to be a medical professional themselves.
Diagnosis is challenging, because the illnesses they feign often have vague and non-specific signs and symptoms.
Treatment includes psychiartric care for concomittant mental illness such as depression or anxiety. Psychotherapy, if the person is willing, is usually recommended to explore the motivations for such behavior and to work through any past traumas that may have contributed to the development of the syndrome.
The information provided in this post is intended for WRITING PURPOSES ONLY and is NOT to be construed as medical advice or treatment.
Be sure to check out Lydia’s post for Medical Monday!