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Do I have factitious disorder?

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Do I have factitious disorder?

Postby cleanstart » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:16 am

Hi, I'm new here. I'm trying to work out whether there's a possibility I might have factitious disorder. Please bear with me while I try to explain and any thoughts would be much apreciated.

If you'd suggested to me 1 year, 5 years ago that I might have factitious disorder I'd have bitten your head off. To be honest the idea still terrifies me and makes me a bit angry. But it's now been suggested by various people at my college and I'm thinking I need to think about it. Also I'm scared if people are suggesting me with it they'll diagnose me but it might not be that at all and then what do I do?

When I look back now I'd say I've had strange things with wanting attention, attachment issues (often very close to 1 or 2 people at a time) and inability to form balanced "normal" seeming relationships, and problems with being untruthful.

I grew up in a troubled house: maternal mental illness lead to what I now suppose could be called emotional abuse, I was always told I was bad and knew I wasn't wanted. My mum would say that hurting me would make her feel better as I'd been awful, but nothing major just some cuts, slaps, pushing, hot things etc. I also experienced touching and slightly inappropriate photography from a male figure in my life. That is all true. But given other untruths I have told I am worried others will not even believe this too. I've only just started to dare to talk about things and even now it is so hard.

I remember wanting people's attention right from a young age, less than 10. I was very clever and suppose I got some attention academically but that was not enough, I wonder if actually it was that I wanted people to care for me. I lied about moving away in junior school, I have for the life of me no idea why, but probably for the attention. At that point it wasn't a specific individual but just my class mates in general. Although even then I would only tell a select group. I remember lying about emotional difficulties in my teenage years. I did have real eating problems and I did cut myself, but I wonder if some of the cutting was for attention. I would never show my mum, when she found out she was mad, but I did show my best friend and another adult. I liked that they cared for me. Again at various times there were issues with a couple of teachers and me being part truthful (trying to start about stuff at home) but also untruthful, this was the first time I was untruthful about my health - said I had brain problems (I did have a head injury but not a tumour). I have no idea what possessed me to say that but I did get the attention I wanted and I did not have a conscience.

Probably each year or two years I could identify a new person I almost became "obsessed" with, regular contact, craved their attention, told them so much: often starting in truth but often then descending into lies.

In the last year things got really bad. I was confiding again in pretty much just one person at college. I have got myself into telling huge terrible lies about my health though: that I have massive life threatening illnesses, that I'm terminally ill, all about the procedures. I know it must sound hard to believe but I honestly didn't realise I was lying at the time. I did also tell some conscious lies about my family, for fear because I was worried people would make me take action about the abuse, and this has got me into even more trouble. All through it was this one person's attention I really wanted - a few other people got to know but only because she said I needed to tell them, and I was always careful what I said. I think the escalation was each time I felt she might be losing interest, I needed something new. I really really cared about this person. She was so good to me, and was before I started being untruthful. I feel awful for how I've hurt her, messed with her emotions and life, what I've done. I'm not allowed to speak with her now so I haven't even been able to get over that. And yet I can't explain why I did this which angers me so much.

Now I've been "accused" of these behaviours for the first time in my life I do feel something has changed. It has potentially huge implications for me and so I am desperate to stop this behaviour, whatever the cause is. How likely do you think I am to be successful at this? I'm also in a huge pit of depression (real) at the moment and often feeling very suicidal which I think is not helping.

However I am not sure if this is factitious disorder? I am aware I meet some of the criteria. I am aware I have said I have illnesses I do not and that I have done that to gain care and affection now I look back. However I have never ever fabricated illness in myself at all, never pretended I have symptoms I don't or done things to affect the two medical conditions I do have (although one particularly has been difficult to control, and I'm really worried they might use that against me and claim I'm making it all up and there will I be, such diagnoses are hard to shake and I know I'm not doing that). I'm not sure if this is therefore a factitious disorder or something else.

I'm due to see a specialist and I know I should just be patient but I'm not, so I'd really appreciate any comments, advice, or just to hear from anyone else with a similar story - about what they have and also how they manage it. Has it affected job prospects, family life etc..

Sorry this is so long.
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Re: Do I have factitious disorder?

Postby psychquestion » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:22 am

Hi there! Today I stumble across this disorder online, and was so relieved to find it. I read your story, and mine is nearly identical! I am a college student, studying nursing. I can recall craves for attention going back t elementary school. It began seeking academic help, but soon realized that I wanted something more. I wanted someone to care for me directly, and would even have fantasies of being hospitalized and having friends visit. I have made up so many lies, including faking a sickness and faking having surgery a few times. Recently I have become obsessed with a particular person for about a year, tell them how I'm sick, or how I just had a family member die ecd, anything looking for attention. When I moved to college last year I thought I would have a fresh start, but immediately met a girl who is a big sister to me, I have told her so many lies and I feel so guilty. I just loved the attention of having someone care for me. I need advice on how to stop these thoughts and craves for attention! I would love to talk with you
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Re: Do I have factitious disorder?

Postby ZHare » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:29 am

Okay, it's late for me and I only skim-read so I'll keep this brief...

As the caring type of person I've frequently ended up being taken advantage of, and one particular liar definitely did have heavily exaggerated stories about what he thought, had done, and suffered from.

After being stressed out for a while I suddenly just withdrew (I can't remember what set it off, but I already knew how unlikely some of his stories were and I just couldn't handle the stress of looking after him).

That was years back and more recently he reappeared in my life; much the same in appearance but clearly more under control and admits how much he lied. Not everything, but a lot of it...

...And now he doesn't stress me out. We don't hang out much but when we do end up at the same club or whatever it's a more relaxed fun than I ever had with him before.

So yeah... Basically what I'm saying is that it's not impossible to pull yourself out of that behaviour, and it doesn't mean you'll forever lose your caring friends. They're allowed to be angry but as caring people they'll probably have had worse treatment and at some point you might get to try at a true friendship with them.

The lies were a lot more annoying than when my friend started telling the truth. I'm not sure you can dodge the lies you told in the past but it couldn't hurt to apologise for them.

I wish you both the best of luck!
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Re: Do I have factitious disorder?

Postby BrokenAndConfused » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:03 am

I know what this is like. I was lying so much and I couldn't stop, so I just . . . well, I sort of . . . okay, so I stopped socializing completely, gave up on having friends, and stopped talking to people at all. I was tired of lying and it was the only way. I hope you find a better way.
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Re: Do I have factitious disorder?

Postby pifsurm » Tue May 03, 2016 5:33 pm

Not saying you have it, but some of the behavior sounds like BPD, and I'd look into that as well. Could be factitious, though.
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Re: Do I have factitious disorder?

Postby PlaceofRage » Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:19 am

Like the above poster, I was thinking BPD as well. You have all the classic symptoms of that. I admit, I know very little about factitious disorder though and just stumbled over here from the Asperger forum to find out what it was from curiosity.

Good luck to you! Borderline doesn't make you a bad person and with a good counselor, you will do well.
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Re: Do I have factitious disorder?

Postby pifsurm » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:03 am

other people have mentioned it above, but i would look into BPD.
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Re: Do I have factitious disorder?

Postby nerdmaufia » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:14 am

Mental Disorders = An illustrative Analogy.

Normally, the word "sick" describes something like a viral or bacterial infection. Sometimes something caused by a gene.

The mind cannot 'literally' be sick. Or best to say, diagnosing someone with any disorder, can neither be proven nor disproven, besides in a legal context.

The statements: "You might have BPD, not Facticious disorder" are examples of this misunderstanding.
So I will respond to your story without any psych terminology.

Yes, of course you are lying. The only other possibility would be that you are delusional. A delusional person does not go on psychofrums.com and find a sub forum devoted to a mental disorder called "facticious, etc."

I can -likely- get a gut sense of whether someone is delusional vs. lying based on observing the pattern of what PROMPTS their seemingly unreal statements. After a while, if their happens to always be some immediate reward for the statement, which is basically the theme of your entire post, then it is A VERY GOOD IDEA to assume it IS lying.

When you say you didn't realize you were lying, let's just think of it as Method Acting. Ask yourself "If I had asked myself "Am I lying", would I know it was a lie?

I'd gamble "Of course I would" is the answer.

I try to only focus on the matter of 'likely or unlikely" vs. "true or false", thus, indeed I think you're likely lying about your mother abusing you, etc. etc.
No I cannot prove it. No I am not 100% certain. But my life experience is that people who lie a lot almost ALWAYS claim to have been abused in similar ways in their childhood.

My Advice: Don't look into 'BPD'. Some so called disorders I find to be sometimes useful concepts for illustrative reasons. Borderline Personality DIsorder is one of the most useless and confusing, unproven(unproveable) conceptual models I've ever encountered

Probably going clean and self-help culture is your best bet.
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Re: Do I have factitious disorder?

Postby RamadanSteve » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:17 pm

^Dude you are a complete fool
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Re: Do I have factitious disorder?

Postby stargazer47 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:18 pm

cleanstart wrote:Hi, I'm new here. I'm trying to work out whether there's a possibility I might have factitious disorder. Please bear with me while I try to explain and any thoughts would be much apreciated.

If you'd suggested to me 1 year, 5 years ago that I might have factitious disorder I'd have bitten your head off. To be honest the idea still terrifies me and makes me a bit angry. But it's now been suggested by various people at my college and I'm thinking I need to think about it. Also I'm scared if people are suggesting me with it they'll diagnose me but it might not be that at all and then what do I do?

When I look back now I'd say I've had strange things with wanting attention, attachment issues (often very close to 1 or 2 people at a time) and inability to form balanced "normal" seeming relationships, and problems with being untruthful.

I grew up in a troubled house: maternal mental illness lead to what I now suppose could be called emotional abuse, I was always told I was bad and knew I wasn't wanted. My mum would say that hurting me would make her feel better as I'd been awful, but nothing major just some cuts, slaps, pushing, hot things etc. I also experienced touching and slightly inappropriate photography from a male figure in my life. That is all true. But given other untruths I have told I am worried others will not even believe this too. I've only just started to dare to talk about things and even now it is so hard.

I remember wanting people's attention right from a young age, less than 10. I was very clever and suppose I got some attention academically but that was not enough, I wonder if actually it was that I wanted people to care for me. I lied about moving away in junior school, I have for the life of me no idea why, but probably for the attention. At that point it wasn't a specific individual but just my class mates in general. Although even then I would only tell a select group. I remember lying about emotional difficulties in my teenage years. I did have real eating problems and I did cut myself, but I wonder if some of the cutting was for attention. I would never show my mum, when she found out she was mad, but I did show my best friend and another adult. I liked that they cared for me. Again at various times there were issues with a couple of teachers and me being part truthful (trying to start about stuff at home) but also untruthful, this was the first time I was untruthful about my health - said I had brain problems (I did have a head injury but not a tumour). I have no idea what possessed me to say that but I did get the attention I wanted and I did not have a conscience.

Probably each year or two years I could identify a new person I almost became "obsessed" with, regular contact, craved their attention, told them so much: often starting in truth but often then descending into lies.

In the last year things got really bad. I was confiding again in pretty much just one person at college. I have got myself into telling huge terrible lies about my health though: that I have massive life threatening illnesses, that I'm terminally ill, all about the procedures. I know it must sound hard to believe but I honestly didn't realise I was lying at the time. I did also tell some conscious lies about my family, for fear because I was worried people would make me take action about the abuse, and this has got me into even more trouble. All through it was this one person's attention I really wanted - a few other people got to know but only because she said I needed to tell them, and I was always careful what I said. I think the escalation was each time I felt she might be losing interest, I needed something new. I really really cared about this person. She was so good to me, and was before I started being untruthful. I feel awful for how I've hurt her, messed with her emotions and life, what I've done. I'm not allowed to speak with her now so I haven't even been able to get over that. And yet I can't explain why I did this which angers me so much.

Now I've been "accused" of these behaviours for the first time in my life I do feel something has changed. It has potentially huge implications for me and so I am desperate to stop this behaviour, whatever the cause is. How likely do you think I am to be successful at this? I'm also in a huge pit of depression (real) at the moment and often feeling very suicidal which I think is not helping.

However I am not sure if this is factitious disorder? I am aware I meet some of the criteria. I am aware I have said I have illnesses I do not and that I have done that to gain care and affection now I look back. However I have never ever fabricated illness in myself at all, never pretended I have symptoms I don't or done things to affect the two medical conditions I do have (although one particularly has been difficult to control, and I'm really worried they might use that against me and claim I'm making it all up and there will I be, such diagnoses are hard to shake and I know I'm not doing that). I'm not sure if this is therefore a factitious disorder or something else.

I'm due to see a specialist and I know I should just be patient but I'm not, so I'd really appreciate any comments, advice, or just to hear from anyone else with a similar story - about what they have and also how they manage it. Has it affected job prospects, family life etc..

Sorry this is so long.


Don't worry, I have the same problem with being concise.

Get yourself some help-don't ask an instructor for help, and this is the advice I would give myself, if you think you may have a FD (I figured as a student, "this also could be anyone").


Talk to someone. A professional.

The treatment is mental health-CBT, DBT, dual diagnosis, if indicated, medication. No shame in that.

Consider changing your major.
Diagnosis: Human
Meds: The Word

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." -2 Corinthians 12:9
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