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Does my friend have MbP? And what should I do?

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Does my friend have MbP? And what should I do?

Postby wonderlisa » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:43 pm

My friend "Kay" has two small children. Her first, was diagnosed with mild autism, SPD, therefore eating disorders, and the list goes on. After first I pitied her, but soon it became evident from her extremely detailed FaceBook posts that the child had no problem eating and playing and being normal with the multiple therapists (occupational therapists, feeding therapists, speech therapists), but wouldn't eat or behave at home. I thought it she was simply overreacting to normal "child" things but that the therapists would help.

Then, she had her second child. She claimed that Baby was choking/retching/spitting up/aspirating/had reflux and not getting enough food down. She was diagnosed with failure to thrive because of how low her weight had gotten. Baby never choked or retched while she was in the hospital. Kay had to take a video to prove to the staff that it was even happening. Baby was placed on a feeding tube, which, many of you may know, comes with an exponential number of problems. The tube would get clogged and the machine would beep all night, or she would get reflux from being fed too much, etc etc. She is now about 18 months old and has already had at least 3 different feeding tubes.

Because none of the doctors have ever found anything wrong with her (beyond symptoms of the mystery missing "main" diagnoses), they discharge her. So Kay will go to a new group of specialists out of state, who also don't find anything. Baby has had multiple genetic tests which have all come back negative. She's had dozens of procedures and surgeries that I can't even enumerate here. All negative. There are pictures of her looking healthy, eating real food, and walking. As she grows, the problems evolve. She was put in orthodics to correct something wrong with her ankles. Kay says that she has "low muscle tone" on one side of her body and has problems staying balanced (she's not even 2...I don't know a 2 year old that I would say has good balance). She claims that there is "undigested food" in her diaper. The list goes on. Still no diagnoses, still keeps getting discharged.

The family lives several states away and we are not close friends. My heart can't bear reading her stories, so I have unfollowed her posts. I'm very concerned for these kids, but not sure that they are in any real physical danger, or if it's my place to say something when there are already so many professionals involved, or even who to call if I did. Do you think this is actually MbP? What should I do?
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Re: Does my friend have MbP? And what should I do?

Postby Terry E. » Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:47 am

Firstly welcome and thank you for coming here and thank you for caring.

I am not a clinically trained psychologist. I am a MBP survivor. Some of my details have been discussed with other survivors and forum visitors here on the site. At some time scroll through and you will see examples and patterns emerging.

To correctly make an assessment on your friend would require me to know much more than she is sharing on her facebook. Certain things you have provided however would lead me to say Yes if I was only given a yes or no based only on what you have set out.

MBP behaviour is attention seeking. The people involved vary. The very smart ones are very hard to label. The medical profession is also aware of this and I would be very surprised if this scenario has not been discussed. Unfortunately in our society many unfortunate things can befall a child, which falls short of the authorities taking action.

and also Munchers and MBP are among the most hated people in hospitals. Hard enough to get it right normally but for doctors and nurses having someone screwing around there with someone's life, well they hate them. Most would deny but who blame them.

Now I was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me and I will be able to judge better.

Is she married.

How important is the husband in the home. Does she dominate.

Is there someone she is seeking attention from. Father, husband ??

Does she appear fixated on doctors. Obsessed with doctors and hospitals.

Is she possibly a narcissist ??

and the big one is - does she glow, thrive, appear in her element when her child is admitted with these mystery problems. Is this what she lives for, is the rest of her life boring and mundane.

Sometimes they have a background in nursing and I have read this is an issue but from talking to other survivors I rate this one as very minor or misleading and out of date.
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Re: Does my friend have MbP? And what should I do?

Postby wonderlisa » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:29 am

Thank you for your sweet reply, Terry.

She is married, but her husband is in the military. She almost never mentions him and it seems that it is mostly her dealing with her childrens' issues, even when traveling out of state to a specialist for long periods.

The major attention-seeking thing that I can think of is the "internet". She has written a book about being a military wife, and she has a blog which I think she makes money from. She advertises herself as being someone who can "help you with your blog too". All she ever talks about on her personal FB is her kids' problems, progress, and how busy she is taking them to doctors and therapy appointments. She has a FB group dedicated to her daughter's updates.

She doesn't strike me as a narcissist. Of course, it is hard to tell long-distance as it is easy to manipulate your online presence. She doesn't have a background in nursing. She went to school for a teaching. But she has definitely been known to use very big medical words/jargon when discussing the kids' problems at length. I'm fairly certain she is mostly self-taught from the internet, based on things she's said.

Interesting, I just came across these "fun facts" she posted a while ago:
- I have such dry skin that I've had to get a prescription for it.
- I am a hypochondriac.

Question back for you, Terry. Since she's been around so many doctors and specialists with no diagnoses, do you think they might have entertained the thought of MbP already?
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Re: Does my friend have MbP? And what should I do?

Postby Terry E. » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:17 pm

wonderlisa wrote:


Question back for you, Terry. Since she's been around so many doctors and specialists with no diagnoses, do you think they might have entertained the thought of MbP already?



I will reply later today at greater length but yes I am guessing that is when she moves on and searches for another doctor.

And from what else you described I would lean towards MBP

Is her husband away from home military or works all day on base military ??

More later
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Re: Does my friend have MbP? And what should I do?

Postby wonderlisa » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:33 pm

Terry E. wrote:Is her husband away from home military or works all day on base military ??


I believe her husband was deployed for the first year of their marriage (hence the book she wrote about it). I believe he is at home now, but works full time (or more) on base.

I find the fact that she admitted to being a hypochondriac interesting. Not sure if that's indicative of her behavior or indicative that she is self-aware enough to probably not be MbP?

Either way, the crux of the matter is this: if we do decide that she is likely MbP, what should my course of action be, if anything?
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Re: Does my friend have MbP? And what should I do?

Postby Terry E. » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:36 am

MBP perpetrators/abusers (will not cause it sufferers - it may be a disorder, but they are not the ones who wind up suffering) are an extension of people who suffer from Munchausens syndrome.

These people differ from hypochondriacs. The hypos believe they are ill. The munchers at some fundamental level know they are not. To all intent from the outside they appear the same.

The muncher can however pull back. As an example on one occasion my mothers medical issues took her to hospital. The triage nurse was much smarter than mum gave her credit for and she wound up in the back of an ambulance in a straight jacket where she was taken to a high security mental facility and put in a padded cell.

After she got out she again pushed the envelope but never went so far again. She had learned from her mistake.

Sorry enough about me, but munchers at some level know they are not as sick as they are trying to appear and it is about out smarting people. Family doctors, it is about proving they are smarter.

I am guessing she may be a low level muncher.

The MBP is a worry though.

I will seek guidance and come back to you.
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Re: Does my friend have MbP? And what should I do?

Postby Terry E. » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:27 am

you have a PM
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Re: Does my friend have MbP? And what should I do?

Postby BiB » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:24 pm

You cant include a person exactly in a case history standard.

She may not match each symptom or signal.
Or she may have a comorbidity.

"Hypocondriac" sounds to me like an alibi. Or else she could be a borderline personality. It seems she likes be center stage in a lot of way.

The baby is always bad except when out of home and no doctor informed social service? Very bad.
-------

Sorry for my English, Im not a native.
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Re: Does my friend have MbP? And what should I do?

Postby wonderlisa » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:08 pm

Thank you, BiB.

I'm starting to feel that my fears are not unfounded. Do you have any experience with what I should do? Obviously I can't/shouldn't talk to her about it in person. Should I call Social Services or a therapist or a doctor or do you have another suggestion?
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