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Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

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Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

Postby mazajo » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:58 pm

I've recently been researching Munchausen, but I most of what I have read has been based on physical and not psychiatric. I believe my sister is making up PTSD and dissociative identity disorder, among other mental illnesses. This has been going on since her teenage years, and she's in her early 40s now. I also believe she made up the trauma that she says caused the PTSD. I am afraid to get to get too specific because in the past I have been harshly criticized for doubting her. If she does has Munchausen, it makes since to me that she would fabricate a mental illness since it can't be proven or disproven by blood tests, ect, like a physical illness.

This has literally torn our family apart. I love my sister dearly, but I don't know whether I can or want to have a relationship with her. I want to help her but don't know how. Even if I can just arm myself with more information and understanding, it would be a big help.

Thanks for reading, and any words you can offer will be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

Postby CrackedGirl » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:43 pm

Hey

It is really really difficult to know if someone is deliberately faking illness. Munchausens imo should only be a last resort diagnosis and also one where you have as much as you can proof of what is going on tho this cant always be done because of the nature of the illness. Have you talked to anyone else in the family about this to guage their opinion on what is going on? That might be worth doing. The thing is that it may well be she has genuine MH issues, but equally if something is telling you that is not the case then listening to that voice is important. I would ask others what they think without trying to push them for a certain answer. If you do decide to confront her then you need to do it very gently but just be careful because it might be that she is telling the truth - it is very difficult to know.

Sorry - that is a whole lot of nothing in terms of advice but just some thoughts

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Re: Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

Postby angelina4 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:37 am

Boy are you in a minefield. DID is a controversial diagnosis. Plus questioning someone's allegations of abuse is always rough even if you're right. God forbid you're wrong. If she does have Munchausen's - it's unusual for a person with Munchausen's to admit or accept the diagnosis. So again, even if you're right you're guaranteed blowback.

Plus there are a ton of unknowables you're dealing with. What happened decades ago, whether your sister has DID/PTSD and if not, what does she really understand, and if she does understand she doesn't have DID/PTSD, what are her motivations?

I think you're just going to have to live with those unknowables. And certainly nobody here can know at all. But as someone who does have factitious disorder with psychological symptoms I do have a few thoughts.

The main thing is that - even if you're dealing with "abnormal illness behavior" - I'm not sure why you're assuming Munchausen's - which would mean a level of awareness and conscious intentional deception that I see no evidence of from what you said. Even people who don't believe in DID or recovered memories and what not - usually don't assume factitious disorder. Typically they think that most cases are about the patient being suggestible etc. That it's more about psychotherapy gone wrong than it is about a willfull attempt to deceive.

I've seen a lot of posts here by people who think a family member has Munchausen's because they have a long history of thinking or saying they have illnesses that turned out to be unreal. My usual gut reaction is that that mostly those phenomena are totally explainable by more "ordinary" psychosomatic disorders like hypochondria or somatization disorder. There are also lots and lots of people who become intensely identified with their diagnoses and even if it's "real" that can be an abnormal illness behavior. Especially if the real illness is mild or vague, etc.

So when you say you think she's faking mental illness because it can't be disproven - well maybe you're right, but to me the simpler explanation is that it's easier to deceive yourself that you have a mental illness too and to latch onto a psychiatric diagnosis like a barnicle if it's presented to you if that's the way you're built. Especially for people who have always felt there was something "wrong" with them and didn't know what it was - which probably describes 75% of the world.

The term "Munchausen's" is really reserved for situations where the person clearly and consciously deceives others. It's when the person injects themselves with insulin and denies it. Or claims to be hearing voices when they know they're not hearing anything at all. They say they've lost a loved one who's actually perfectly healthy. That sort of thing.

The other thing is this. Say you're right and she's intentionally faking all this. Then it's factitious disorder probably. But guess what - factitious disorder is almost always associated with severe psychopathology - in particular borderline personality disorder. Guess what another term for borderline personality disorder is? Complex-PTSD. Guess what a lot of people think DID is? A severe form of borderline personality disorder. What is wildly common in borderline personaliy disorder? Childhood abuse.

So you're sort of back where you started - even if it's factitious disorder.
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Re: Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

Postby mazajo » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:21 am

Thank you both so much for your replies!

Let me give a little more information- My sister says that she was sexually abused by our father all throughout her childhood. I know it's taboo to doubt somebody that says something like that, but it does so happen occasionally that people make that up. My reasons for not believing her are, one, we are only two years apart in age and grew up together in the same household with the same father who had equal access to both of us, and he never harmed me in any way. He also would have had access to three stepdaughters and a granddaughter (my sister's daughter who has been raised by her father) all of whom are adults now and insist that they were never abused. How likely is it for a child abuser to be satisfied with abusing only one child during his entire life? My sister even tried to sue him in court over this but the judge threw the case out because of lack of evidence to support her accusations. By the way, she was in her early 20s when she first accused him, and said that she did remember all of this through dreams. Now she has vidid recollections. I know in practically every case there are people that say the abuser would never do that, but everyone that knows my dad... She also says our mother knew of this while it was happening but did nothing to stop it. Anybody that ever knew my mother would know that she wouldn't do that.

Because my sister claims this childhood abuse that she suffered caused the PTSD & DID, and I don't believe the abuse story, therefore I assumed she was making up having PTSD & DID.

My sister does have a history of making up things to get attention, dating back to when she was in kindergarten and she told her teacher one day, in tears, that her little sister died in an operation and her daddy moved out. The teacher believed her completely and called my mom and was shocked to learn that nothing of this sort was going on at all. Was this an early sign? Looking back, my mom says she wishes she had taken in more seriously but this was the 1970s and they just said my sister had a very active imagination and brushed it off.

Another reason that I have doubts is that although my sister has been treated for various mental illnesses for over 20 years, she only seems to get worse and worse, never any improvement. She has attempted suicide a few times (ie she calls somebody up and says she's taken a bottle of pills or something like that), she's been in psych wards more times that I know, she is a cutter, she's on disability, she's had ECT, she just got a service dog. She has more knowledge than any text book on every type of mental illness, and treatment, out there.

I do believe she has some type of mental illness for sure, I am just doubting it is actually as she says it is. I guess the bottom line is I do not believe the abuse accusations and I am looking for a reason as to why she would make something like that up.
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Re: Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

Postby lyra83 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:02 pm

I know this is an old post but I felt I had to reply.

There are people out there who make stuff up, you are right. My very own sister uses 'my story' as her own as a means of getting attention (we were brought up separately). I find this incredibly hard and insulting. I have learnt to bite my tongue and leave her to it. I try and understand and be patient.

It's hard if you truly believe your sister is making these things up.

I guess what you need to ask yourself is why she would make these things up. Any happy, stable individual would not feel the need to do this. Even if your father didn't abuse her, what is it that makes her so unhappy in herself she feels the need to grab attention through these means? Everyone attention seeks, it's how we do it that can be the problem. Why would she make things up about a man the rest of the family know, love and trust? What is it in your sister that makes her say these things?

I guess (this is going to sound blunt, sorry) that if she is making up DID/PTSD, then that's her look-out. You say the rest of the family don't believe her so no harm has come to your father - in fact, he has proof that he 'didn't' do anything, the case got threw out of court. So your sister is pretty much alone in all of this - yet she still continues to maintain these accusations.

I've made $#%^ up in the past. Usually because I couldn't cope with the reality of what had happened to me; I would make up things like miscarriages. It gave me a sense of purpose, it got me attention as a victim and it distracted me from my reality (which is very painful). I feel my sister uses my stuff as her own as she feels invalidated next to me - I was abused, she wasn't. She still has her own hurt, though - we were both abandoned by out mother. It's just that my stuff sounds so much more extreme so she thinks people will ignore her and her pain.

They are my theories, anyway.

xxx
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Re: Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

Postby zrcalo » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:50 am

I really wanted to comment on this (I sometimes lurk forums other than the DID one but never post. I typically only stay there.) as there's a high probability I, myself, have DID.

Now one thing that I wanted to expand upon is I myself was abused. Not sexually by my father. But one of my alters was sexually abused by *their* father. I understand where the lines are and I understand which one is canon to reality and which one is canon to Serev, but more often than not, a person with DID does not know when different alters "take over".

If she is unaware or even unwilling to work with her other alters, things like this can happen.

I have no idea what your sister has, but I'm just putting this perspective forth. What really needs to be done is you, or other family members, need to talk with her and instead of saying "wow that could never happen." Just listen to her side of the story. It could be that instead of making this up knowingly, she did it unknowingly and needs help with being grounded to reality.

It could also be that she WAS indeed sexually assaulted, but not by your father, and she could be unknowingly projecting blame on him.

It's difficult to know with what you've posted.
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Re: Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

Postby smithywise » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:20 pm

mazajo wrote:Thank you both so much for your replies!

Let me give a little more information- My sister says that she was sexually abused by our father all throughout her childhood. I know it's taboo to doubt somebody that says something like that, but it does so happen occasionally that people make that up.

Sure some make it up, but quite a few people these days, are convinced by non-legit 'therapists' that they have 'repressed memories' of abuse. The 'therapy' basically is to convince a very suggestible person, that they were abused. If the person hasn't seen a therapist they may have been convinced of this by reading 'books' or magazine articles.

Repressed memories do happen, but they're nothing mysterious. People tend to lay down distorted or inaccurate memories when under stress. We know that from research. These memories are usually partial or vague. When prompted the person recalls more...but often they'll never remember all of it.

Impressionable people very often are convinced by therapists that they were abused sexually.

HOWEVER....there's a big huge flaw in your reasoning as to why you think she wasn't abused. Read on please.


My reasons for not believing her are, one, we are only two years apart in age and grew up together in the same household with the same father who had equal access to both of us, and he never harmed me in any way. He also would have had access to three stepdaughters and a granddaughter (my sister's daughter who has been raised by her father) all of whom are adults now and insist that they were never abused. How likely is it for a child abuser to be satisfied with abusing only one child during his entire life?

In fact it's not unlikely at all. Quite a few sexual abusers hone in on one child in the family. They MAY also abuse others, perhaps outside the family but simply are never caught. But in fact, yes, some men abuse only one child for quite some time.

My sister even tried to sue him in court over this but the judge threw the case out because of lack of evidence to support her accusations.

There rarely are witnesses to ACTUAL abuse, so that's not really a legitimate reason to disbelieve her either.

I'm not saying she must be telling the truth. I'm saying that you have no grounds to believe she's making it up, because your reasons just aren't valid. Abusers VERY often are only caught with one child, and they VERY often have no witnesses to corroborate the child's story in court. That's because they deliberately timed it and planned it so there would be no witnesses.


By the way, she was in her early 20s when she first accused him, and said that she did remember all of this through dreams. Now she has vidid recollections. I know in practically every case there are people that say the abuser would never do that, but everyone that knows my dad... She also says our mother knew of this while it was happening but did nothing to stop it. Anybody that ever knew my mother would know that she wouldn't do that.

Bull. Many very nice women wind up not stopping abuse. Some have no idea it's going on (if they have a 'normal' sex life with the man, and especially if he's the usual abuser - charming,, convincing and very smooth, they believe their husband and not the one claiming sexual abuse.

AGAIN...not saying he's guilty, but AM saying that all of your 'logic' is not logical at all and flies in the face of 99% of the cases of child molestation.


Because my sister claims this childhood abuse that she suffered caused the PTSD & DID, and I don't believe the abuse story, therefore I assumed she was making up having PTSD & DID.

Again, not a valid assumption...n...not exactly.

She may, for example, have an awful lot of mental distress, and simply has seized on childhood molestation as the explanation. Just because someone makes things up, doesn't mean they are well and happy.

For example, many of my friends who have psychotic disorders, believe with all their hearts, that they were abused. This MAY BE a delusion - a thought that is actually a neurological symptom of a neurological disease, like dementia, or schizophrenia. Those are brain diseases. The person isn't 'making it up for attention'. They truly believe it.

But....studies of abused children, whether it's emotional, physical or sexual, simply do not find that they suffer from dissociative disorders. No, they don't. People with dissociative disorders say they were abused, but the inverse(abused children showing many dissociative symptoms) is actually not been found in research. They often suffer from anxiety, depression and bitterness, lack of trust, sexual promiscuity, substance abuse, and many other problems.


My sister does have a history of making up things to get attention, dating back to when she was in kindergarten and she told her teacher one day, in tears, that her little sister died in an operation and her daddy moved out. The teacher believed her completely and called my mom and was shocked to learn that nothing of this sort was going on at all. Was this an early sign?

It's an 'early sign' that you see her behavior as lying! LOL. It's not a sign of anything else. For all I know, those were early psychotic symptoms, and she's now suffering from a psychotic disorder, and seeing therapist who encourage her to believe that she's been abused and has DID.

You see, DID and PTSD are both kind of 'cool' disorders to have, so many people believe they have these and plenty of therapists are willing to accommodate them. Some of these people are suffering from psychotic depression, others from schizophrenia, others from other disorders. They are often accused of 'lying' or 'trying to get attention'. And they often fall prey to non-legit charlatans who are very charming and convincing.


Looking back, my mom says she wishes she had taken in more seriously but this was the 1970s and they just said my sister had a very active imagination and brushed it off.

Maybe not really imagination at all. Maybe delusions. These can go along with depression or other disorders I listed.

Another reason that I have doubts is that although my sister has been treated for various mental illnesses for over 20 years, she only seems to get worse and worse, never any improvement.

Now we get down to it.

Just because she's 'getting worse', it doesn't necessarily mean 'the treatment didn't work, so she must be faking it'. VERY often, it means the person is so sick they don't keep taking their medication. So they continue to worsen.


She has attempted suicide a few times (ie she calls somebody up and says she's taken a bottle of pills or something like that), she's been in psych wards more times that I know, she is a cutter, she's on disability, she's had ECT, she just got a service dog. She has more knowledge than any text book on every type of mental illness, and treatment, out there.

And guess what? If multiple psychiatrists have diagnosed her with mental illness, and she's tried to kill herself and been hospitalized over and over, and she's a cutter, you know the old saying, right? If it walks like a duck, if it talks like a duck, it's probably a duck. I'm going to bet your sister simply has a serious mental illness. SERIOUS.

Her behavior may be annoying and offensive, but that doesn't mean she's not suffering. And it doesn't mean she's lying, and it doesn't mean she's telling the truth!

Your family may NEVER have been told her real diagnosis - the docs can't share that information with you without her permission, and if she's fallen under the thrall of one of these unscrupulous charlatans she's not going to give you permission to see her real records....same if she's psychotic. When these jerks get ahold of someone who's psychotic it makes for a really bad situation and many very ill people believe these jerks and stop taking the medication that IS helping them.


I do believe she has some type of mental illness for sure, I am just doubting it is actually as she says it is. I guess the bottom line is I do not believe the abuse accusations and I am looking for a reason as to why she would make something like that up.


You can believe whatever you want - there's no reason to believe father DID abuse her, and there's no reason to believe he DIDN'T. None of the reasons you gave are valid reasons for doubting her...OR believing her.

My guess is that your sister is a very, very ill person, and has been for a long time, and desperately needs treatment, especially for her self harming tendencies.

If she IS delusional and psychotic, you cannot talk her out of her delusional beliefs. No amount of facts or argument can do that. It's a medical symptom, just like a seizure or a rash. You can't talk them out of it.

Further, if she's been off medication or wasn't diagnosed or treated for a long time since symptoms started, the medication may only be able to stop new delusions from forming, or simply 'cool down'' the delusions she has, rather than completely make them go away. If she's that severely ill, medication may help keep her safe, but her recovery may only be partial.
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Re: Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

Postby smithywise » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:51 pm

angelina4 wrote:Boy are you in a minefield. DID is a controversial diagnosis.

That's for sure, many mental health care providers feel it doesn't even exist. Those who do believe it exists, often don't believe it happens at all frequently, and very few believe it exists in the popular culture form - with fairies, animals and mythical beasts and dozens of personalities.

Part of the problem is that the same organization that started the 'moral panic' in the 1980's about widespread demonic cults and demonic rituals and slayings, has taken up the cause of DID, and now insists it's very common and has symptoms that usually accompany other disorders.

The other problem is more complex. We are told that DID is caused by child abuse. So...if that's true, wouldn't you expect to find a lot of DID in a group of severely abused children?

In fact, you don't. People with DID are supposed to have been abused or believe they were abused, but then why, if you evaluate and diagnose either young or adult people who were abused, why don't you find the high rates of DID?

If you study abused children, you just don't find high rates of dissociative disorders among them. You just don't. Why is that? It throws into question the most basic assumption the public has about DID - that it's the product of severe child abuse. But the fact is, you simply do not find high rates of DID among abused children, even if the study follows them for years and years.

The brains of people with DID have been scanned and examined with extreme detail, even during times when 'alters' (additional personalities' are supposed to be 'out'. Finally today's technology now allows such investigation. There isn't any separate picture of the brain or its function, of people with DID - it looks identical to brains with Borderline Personality Disorder. Some researchers feel those with DID really have Borderline, or have a psychotic disorder, depression or combination of these or other disorders.

So (contrary to what this poster says later in this post), I'd disagree that people who have munchausens or DID also have borderline - many people feel both munch and DID are in actuality - borderline PD.

Getting it right really matters. Some of these disorders improve dramatically with correct treatment, so it's very important to 'get it right' - getting a diagnosis wrong can be a matter of life and death.


Plus questioning someone's allegations of abuse is always rough even if you're right. God forbid you're wrong. If she does have Munchausen's - it's unusual for a person with Munchausen's to admit or accept the diagnosis. So again, even if you're right you're guaranteed blowback.

Here's the thing though....Munch Synd is no less controversial than DID - many feel it does not exist as a diagnosis, and is merely depression or other well known - and less glamorous- disorders.

Plus there are a ton of unknowables you're dealing with. What happened decades ago, whether your sister has DID/PTSD and if not, what does she really understand, and if she does understand she doesn't have DID/PTSD, what are her motivations?

I think you're just going to have to live with those unknowables. And certainly nobody here can know at all. But as someone who does have factitious disorder with psychological symptoms I do have a few thoughts.

The main thing is that - even if you're dealing with "abnormal illness behavior" - I'm not sure why you're assuming Munchausen's -

I think she assumes since her sister claims to have DID it must mean she's has Munchausens -- and that's not actually true.

I think she's also assuming her sister pretends to have mental illness to get advantages - perhaps family's attention, money or help.

I've met many, many women who are deeply resentful of their sister's or brother's mental illness, and are CONVINCED it's all a big act, and yes, very often, they tell me that brother or sis told a lie in kindergarten, so that's why they must be faking mental illness.

I've heard this a jillion times already. Usually they're wrong - utterly wrong. They seem to think that all people with 'genuine' mental illness simply sit quietly in a corner and look tragic, or take medicine and are miraculously cured - in fact quite often mental illness is disruptive and the person looks more selfish than tragic and more stubborn than helpless. And quite often people refuse to take the very treatment that would help them, and simply get worse and worse.

Sometimes it's jealousy for attention, pure and simple, or anger at seeing the family constantly in chaos over their sibling's problems.

Sister may simply have been manipulated by a therapist or so dislikes the doctor's actual diagnosis that she feels it must be something else - or she's psychotic.

Or - sister may have a severe mental illness, and truly believes it's DID, or that's the only diagnosis she can accept.


which would mean a level of awareness and conscious intentional deception that I see no evidence of from what you said. Even people who don't believe in DID or recovered memories and what not - usually don't assume factitious disorder. Typically they think that most cases are about the patient being suggestible etc. That it's more about psychotherapy gone wrong than it is about a willfull attempt to deceive.

This is very often true - those with 'fake' recovered memories who have been convinced they were abused, often aren't trying to deceive anyone...they're utterly taken in and convinced by these charming charlatans.

Some are so suggestible that they simply read a book or article and start to fervently believe they were abused.

Others, as I mentioned, are actually psychotic and have delusions. The memories of psychotic people are often very damaged by psychosis. They may be sure things that never happened, did happen.

Or they may forget horrible things that happened. One of my friends was psychotic and couldn't figure out why his mother divorced his father. As far as he could tell, his mother had simply driven his dad away. He had no memory of being beaten so badly almost daily, by his father, that he had permanent brain damage and seizures.

I was very struck by your description of 'the first lie' - when your sister said that someone had died of a horrible disease.

I can think of four people with psychosis, right off the top of my head, who, as children were quite sure one or more of their friends had died of disease. Therefore from my experience it's a common thing for a person who's psychotic or prepsychotic, to believe.


I've seen a lot of posts here by people who think a family member has Munchausen's because they have a long history of thinking or saying they have illnesses that turned out to be unreal. My usual gut reaction is that that mostly those phenomena are totally explainable by more "ordinary" psychosomatic disorders like hypochondria or somatization disorder. There are also lots and lots of people who become intensely identified with their diagnoses and even if it's "real" that can be an abnormal illness behavior. Especially if the real illness is mild or vague, etc.

Other reasons are possible too - I already mentioned some.

So when you say you think she's faking mental illness because it can't be disproven - well maybe you're right, but to me the simpler explanation is that it's easier to deceive yourself that you have a mental illness too and to latch onto a psychiatric diagnosis like a barnicle if it's presented to you if that's the way you're built. Especially for people who have always felt there was something "wrong" with them and didn't know what it was - which probably describes 75% of the world.

On the other hand, 50% of people who will have a serious mental illness, are aware that something is very wrong, by the time they are 14. They may not know what it is - the average time to CORRECT diagnosis after emergence of symptoms of severe mental illness is, after all, 10 years.

The term "Munchausen's" is really reserved for situations where the person clearly and consciously deceives others. It's when the person injects themselves with insulin and denies it. Or claims to be hearing voices when they know they're not hearing anything at all. They say they've lost a loved one who's actually perfectly healthy. That sort of thing.

Munch is done with awareness, in other words.

The other thing is this. Say you're right and she's intentionally faking all this. Then it's factitious disorder probably. But guess what - factitious disorder is almost always associated with severe psychopathology - in particular borderline personality disorder. Guess what another term for borderline personality disorder is? Complex-PTSD. Guess what a lot of people think DID is? A severe form of borderline personality disorder. What is wildly common in borderline personaliy disorder? Childhood abuse.

So you're sort of back where you started - even if it's factitious disorder.


On the other hand, many with factitious disorder have no pathology - they want to avoid responsibility, get medical benefits, or sympathy or family financial support, etc.

Some people who are diagnosed with factitious disorder, have borderline, or severe depression...and not all have a history of child abuse.

Same with Munch. Some of them have been abused, but quite a few have absolutely no 'reason' for having Munch.

Some do, some don't. Some aren't trying to be deceptive at all, and some are consciously being deceptive, some have actually deceived themselves, they aren't actually trying to deceive people, they truly believe what they say.
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Re: Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

Postby angelina4 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:16 am

On the other hand, many with factitious disorder have no pathology - they want to avoid responsibility, get medical benefits, or sympathy or family financial support, etc.

Some people who are diagnosed with factitious disorder, have borderline, or severe depression...and not all have a history of child abuse.

Same with Munch. Some of them have been abused, but quite a few have absolutely no 'reason' for having Munch.

Some do, some don't. Some aren't trying to be deceptive at all, and some are consciously being deceptive, some have actually deceived themselves, they aren't actually trying to deceive people, they truly believe what they say.


You wrote some interesting stuff, but this part isn't really right. If the person is faking illness for any sort of material gain or to avoid responsibility, by definition that's not factitious disorder -that's malingering. Factitious disorder is done to satisfy some sort of internal emotional need to be sick - and it's virtually always associated with comorbid mental disorders.

Alternatively if the person believes themselves to be sick, that's also not factitious disorder - that would most likely be some kind of somataform disorder like conversion disorder or hypochondriasis or somatization.
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Re: Could my sister have a psychiatric form of Munchausen?

Postby smithywise » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:39 am

you're right. :D

But I was trying to point out that some with factitious disorder are misdiagnosed and have something else.

I also failed to mention actual medical diagnoses being misdiagnosed as factitious, munchausens or malingering. In the past, some with factitious disorder could have been diagnosed has 'neurotic' or as 'hypochondriacs' or with 'hysterical personality' or 'conversion disorder'(maybe equivalent to today's somatization disorder). My mom was diagnosed as hypochondriac, and actually had a severe internal tear from child birth...was in immense pain. The docs who 'couldn't find anything' sent her to a psychiatrist, he was immediately VERY alarmed, sent her to an internist, he finally found the problem, which required immediate surgery.
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