Interesting Theory and Article I Find IMHO

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Howlyncat
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   Posted 3/14/2009 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Munchausen Syndrome

 
 
 

Munchausen syndrome is a type of factitious disorder, or mental illness, in which a person repeatedly acts as if he or she has a physical or mental disorder when, in truth, they have caused the symptoms. People with factitious disorders act this way because of an inner need to be seen as ill or injured, not to achieve a concrete benefit, such as financial gain. They are even willing to undergo painful or risky tests and operations in order to get the sympathy and special attention given to people who are truly ill. Munchausen syndrome is a mental illness associated with severe emotional difficulties.

Munchausen syndrome -- named for Baron von Munchausen, an 18th century German officer who was known for embellishing the stories of his life and experiences -- is the most severe type of factitious disorder. Most symptoms in people with Munchausen syndrome are related to physical illness -- symptoms such as chest pain, stomach problems, or fever -- rather than those of a mental disorder.

Note: Although Munchausen syndrome most properly refers to a factitious disorder with primarily physical symptoms, the term is sometimes used to refer to factitious disorders in general. In this article, Munchausen syndrome refers to factitious disorder with physical symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Munchausen syndrome?

People with this syndrome deliberately produce or exaggerate symptoms in several ways. They might lie about or fake symptoms, hurt themselves to bring on symptoms, or alter diagnostic tests (such as contaminating a urine sample). Possible warning signs of Munchausen syndrome include the following:

  • Dramatic but inconsistent medical history
  • Unclear symptoms that are not controllable and that become more severe or change once treatment has begun
  • Predictable relapses following improvement in the condition
  • Extensive knowledge of hospitals and/or medical terminology, as well the textbook descriptions of illnesses
  • Presence of multiple surgical scars
  • Appearance of new or additional symptoms following negative test results
  • Presence of symptoms only when the patient is alone or not being observed
  • Willingness or eagerness to have medical tests, operations, or other procedures
  • History of seeking treatment at numerous hospitals, clinics, and doctors offices, possibly even in different cities
  • Reluctance by the patient to allow health care professionals to meet with or talk to family, friends, or prior health care providers
  • Problems with identity and self-esteem
What causes Munchausen syndrome?

The exact cause of Munchausen syndrome is not known, but researchers believe both biological and psychological factors play a role in the development of this syndrome. Some theories suggest that a history of abuse or neglect as a child, or a history of frequent illnesses requiring hospitalization might be factors associated with the development of this syndrome. Researchers also are studying the possible link with personality disorders, which are common in individuals with Munchausen syndrome.

How common is Munchausen syndrome?

There are no reliable statistics regarding the number of people in the United States who suffer from Munchausen syndrome, but it is considered to be rare. Obtaining accurate statistics is difficult because of dishonesty in representation. In addition, people with Munchausen syndrome tend to seek treatment at many different health care facilities, which causes misleading statistics.

While Munchausen syndrome can occur in children, it most often affects young adults.

How is Munchausen syndrome diagnosed?

Diagnosing Munchausen syndrome is very difficult because of the dishonesty that is involved. Doctors must rule out any possible physical and mental illnesses, and often use a variety of diagnostic tests and procedures before considering a diagnosis of Munchausen syndrome.

If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, he or she might refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist -- mental health professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use a thorough a medical history and physical, laboratory imagery, and psychological assessment tools to evaluate a person for Munchausen syndrome. The doctor bases his or her diagnosis on the exclusion of actual physical or other mental illness, and his or her observation of the patient's attitude and behavior.

Questions to be answered include:

  • Do the patient's reported symptoms make sense in the context of all test results and assessments?
  • Do we have collateral information from other sources that confirm the patient's information? (If the patient does not allow this, this is a helpful clue.)
  • Is the patient willing to take the risk for more procedures and tests than you would expect?
  • Are treatments working in a predictable way.

The doctor then determines if the patient's symptoms point to Munchausen syndrome as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), which is the standard reference book for recognized mental illnesses in the United States.

How is Munchausen syndrome treated?

Although a person with Munchausen syndrome actively seeks treatment for the various disorders he or she invents, the person often is unwilling to admit to and seek treatment for the syndrome itself. This makes treating people with Munchausen syndrome very challenging, and the outlook for recovery poor.

When treatment is sought, the first goal is to modify the person's behavior and reduce his or her misuse or overuse of medical resources. Once this goal is met, treatment aims to work out any underlying psychological issues that might be causing the person's behavior or help them find solutions to housing or other social needs.

As with other factitious disorders, the primary treatment for Munchausen syndrome is psychotherapy (a type of counseling). Treatment likely will focus on changing the thinking and behavior of the individual (cognitive-behavioral therapy). Family therapy also might be helpful in teaching family members not to reward or reinforce the behavior of the person with the disorder, but often the person is estranged from his or her family.

There are no medicines to treat factitious disorders themselves. Medicine might be used, however, to treat any related disorder -- such as depression, anxiety, or a personality disorder. The use of medicines must be carefully monitored in people with factitious disorders due to the risk that the drugs might never be picked up from the pharmacy or might be used in a harmful way.

What are the complications of Munchausen syndrome?

People with Munchausen syndrome are at risk for health problems (or even death) associated with hurting themselves or otherwise causing symptoms. In addition, they might suffer from reactions or health problems associated with multiple tests, procedures, and treatments; and are at high risk for substance abuse and suicide attempts.

What is the prognosis (outlook) for people with Munchausen syndrome?

Some people with Munchausen syndrome suffer one or two brief episodes of symptoms. In most cases, however, the disorder is a chronic, or long-term, condition that can be very difficult to treat. Further, many people with Munchausen syndrome deny they are faking symptoms and will not seek or follow treatment. Even with treatment, it is more realistic to work toward managing the disorder rather than to try curing it. Avoiding unnecessary, inappropriate admissions to the hospital, testing, or treatment is important.

Can Munchausen syndrome be prevented?

There is no known way to prevent this disorder. However, it might be helpful to begin treatment in people as soon as they begin to have symptoms.

THis is from a copy right .........google and you will see .........LYN

.........This is so my DIL from Hades..........NO kidding at all


 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 3/14/2009 11:07:07 AM (GMT-6)


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/14/2009 9:49 AM (GMT -7)   
AM NOT implying that anyone here has this I just thought this very interesting
There is also M by Proxy which is worth a read as well if you care too .........

.........Just anothe tidbit from the ole bag here lol
Luvs
LYN
Love
Big sis
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


Green Grove
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 3/14/2009 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
This is really interesting and very scary Sis. . . I could not imagine faking symptoms or hurting myself to get attention though. I don't think many of us would with our health anxiety so high about hospitals and such. Most of us go through enough.

Hope you are having a good day :)
~Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort~
Your Bro. . . Sam Of Green Grove
~Co-Moderator HW Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"When it is dark enough. . . You can see the stars."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
Not a professional. Please consult your physician before making changes to you meds or lifestyle.
~Please find ways to help HW & check out all of the great resources~
Anxiety 20+ years, Asthma, CF, Costo & Arthritis that requires the use of a cane.
Clonazepam, Ventolin HFA & Probiotic.  Exercise, nutrition, herbs & supplements daily for health.
 


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/14/2009 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
This is so my DIL from Hades it is really scary I tell you
My son believes it all
She is an addict plain n simple

Sis

** I do agree that we have enough on our plates to do this to selves

Thats only my opinion on the article bro.....NO reflection on anyone here


 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 3/14/2009 11:15:11 AM (GMT-6)


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/14/2009 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   
M by proxy is usually connected to a parent mostly the mothers that have some nursing knowlegde and inflict illness of a type that wil not harm child to death but it very well can get close enough
There is more if you wish you can read it
Just google it

Sis
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


Green Grove
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 3/14/2009 10:18 AM (GMT -7)   
I'll check it out cause it is fascinating :) Sorry about your dil, sounds like a nightmare situation.
~Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort~
Your Bro. . . Sam Of Green Grove
~Co-Moderator HW Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"When it is dark enough. . . You can see the stars."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
Not a professional. Please consult your physician before making changes to you meds or lifestyle.
~Please find ways to help HW & check out all of the great resources~
Anxiety 20+ years, Asthma, CF, Costo & Arthritis that requires the use of a cane.
Clonazepam, Ventolin HFA & Probiotic.  Exercise, nutrition, herbs & supplements daily for health.
 


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/14/2009 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks
It truly is
I worry t death about my GB's all the time when they are with her
She is right out of this page believe me .........

I am sending to son as he is getting fed up with paying for RX'x and other ways of getting ya Know

Sis
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 3/14/2009 10:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I could not imagine. I would feel the same if I was in your shoes sweetie. . . So sad people making up stuff when this world is full of suffering.
~Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort~
Your Bro. . . Sam Of Green Grove
~Co-Moderator HW Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"When it is dark enough. . . You can see the stars."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
Not a professional. Please consult your physician before making changes to you meds or lifestyle.
~Please find ways to help HW & check out all of the great resources~
Anxiety 20+ years, Asthma, CF, Costo & Arthritis that requires the use of a cane.
Clonazepam, Ventolin HFA & Probiotic.  Exercise, nutrition, herbs & supplements daily for health.
 


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/14/2009 11:18 AM (GMT -7)   
AIN'T that the truth ..............
I find  it not only sad it is so wrong and hurts many ppl IMHO

Sis


 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 3/14/2009 5:58:53 PM (GMT-6)


stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/14/2009 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   

I worked with a nurse that had this and she was always getting ill and having infections break out on her limbs.  After many hospitalizations it was discovered she was injecting  urine under her skin to get the attention she was seeking and would then be hospitalized as our Docs did not know what was wrong but they suspected after awhile.

She was caught in the act.  It is another serious mental health problem.  What a sad thing to have to do for attention.

I am sorry your DIL may have this problem, Big Sis.

Hugs to you

Lil Sis


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Hibee
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6501
   Posted 3/14/2009 2:16 PM (GMT -7)   
This is interesting I had a friend a few years back who used to hurt herself then she would come and show me what she had done, I got quite involved and really tried to help her out as I was really concerned but every time I said she should go and see somebody like doctor or therapist she would keep making excuses and made me promise not to tell anyone about her hurting herself. It was weird because she was very up and down and I quite often stayed up into the early hours reassuring her that she would be ok as she often said she was depressed, this was not doing my own anxiety and depression any good and was in a bit off a mess about the whole thing. The weird thing was she would come to me in tears feeling really down and I would talk to her and tell her things would get better and the next thing she was high as a kite running all over the place and I was drained and feeling really down myself. Eventually I managed to get her to see a therapist and as far as i know things have improved for her, I was wondering if she might of had this syndrom as when I read the post a lot of thing I could relate to this person.

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/14/2009 5:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I also know of a woman that had M by proxy and her babe was getting sick all the time
'Doc's found out she had been using an non poisonous but damaging enough substance to make babe lethargic and very ill
It even happened at the hospital when she was left alone in room
Injjections given in the tiny tots ankles and between toes
Or as well in the IV itself...........
She was charged and babe taken away

Yes it is a Mental illness
Sad and very harmful IMHO
More needs to be done on this as far as I am concerened

Love
Big sis
Luvs
Sis
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/14/2009 5:04 PM (GMT -7)   
....Thanks for sharing all
I believe we dont know many things yet about ppl and what goes on in there heads
Just my opinion of course

LYN
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/15/2009 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   
There are many books on this very subject as well as M By Proxy
Just a thought in case ya want to read up on it

Luvs to all
Lyn
'Love
Big sis
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 3/15/2009 9:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree. . . It takes a lot to establish trust when there are people out there that suffer from this disorder. I hope all of our family here feels comfortable enough to be honest and loving to each other, and not be like this. . . Cause I know it can be hard to put faith into online "faces." This is the first place I ever made deep connections with my family here and it has been a blessing! I am grateful to be surrounded by loving and honest people here :)
~Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort~
Your Bro. . . Sam Of Green Grove
~Co-Moderator HW Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"When it is dark enough. . . You can see the stars."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
Not a professional. Please consult your physician before making changes to you meds or lifestyle.
~Please find ways to help HW & check out all of the great resources~
Anxiety 20+ years, Asthma, CF, Costo & Arthritis that requires the use of a cane.
Clonazepam, Ventolin HFA & Probiotic.  Exercise, nutrition, herbs & supplements daily for health.
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/16/2009 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   

There are several mental health disorders considered to be factitious disorders. These disorders may vary from the Attention-Seeking Personality Disorders.

Attention-seeking is particularly noticeable with females.

Attention seekers commonly exploit the suffering of others to gain attention for themselves. Or they may exploit their own suffering, or alleged suffering. In extreme forms, such as in Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, the attention-seeker will deliberately cause suffering to others as a means of gaining attention.

With the Internet we now have The online victim. This person uses Internet chat rooms and forums to allege that they've been the victim of rape, violence, harassment, abuse etc. The alleged crime is never reported to the authorities, for obvious reasons. The facelessness and anonymity of the Internet attracts this type of attention seeker.
 
This mental health disorder is very interesting to study Lyn and thanks for the info.  I have met more then one of these people in person.  One was a Borderline Personality Disorder who would be the victim until I would ask her for the truth and then she would burst into tears and apologize and admit she was just wanting attention and beg for forgivness.  It is a very sad disorder and hard not to get drawn into.
 
I am still friends with this lady but I confront her behavior when I sense she is acting out for attention that others may be getting.
 
Great info.................
Kitt



 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Post Edited (stkitt) : 3/16/2009 4:28:21 PM (GMT-6)


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/16/2009 1:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I totally concur Bro with you and I am sure our lil family does as well........Sis

Lil sis
Yes this is so sad isnt it but yet again another mental illness that is not looked into enough IMHO

Now if they suspect M by Proxy they will put cameras in room to catch the person doing the deed......

WE will keep trodding along finding new things daily I am sure to discuss ..........
Love
Big sis .

The DIL is the one that has lupus lke SX and was supposedly DX with Pyoserma after seeing a dermy the first time......Not on maintenace meds but sure is on alot of opiates ....Has the one doc in town she just left losing licese and now has another doc believing her crud out in Calgary .........OY VEY.  nono

AS you know it took me yrs and yrs to be DX with the PG.........

Love you

Big sis


 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 3/16/2009 2:35:49 PM (GMT-6)

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