Munchausen syndrome

A psychiatric illness isn’t nearly as sexy as a physical one. Being in physical pain, bearing with it, is considered laudable - Dr. Marc Feldman

Munchausen syndrome
Munchausen syndrome

image by: Elizabethtown Community & Technical College

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When People Seem to Want to Be Sick

The probably exaggerated adventures of an 18th century baron gave Münchausen's syndrome its name.

"Syndrome" is derived from Greek roots, meaning "to run together." A syndrome by definition consists of diverse findings that seem at first glance to have nothing to do with each other -- such as severe obesity, low oxygen levels, and a propensity for falling asleep at odd times. The three are indeed related, though; known as Pickwickian syndrome (after a Dickens character).

Uncovering a syndrome is as though we entered a room and found the pieces of a hundred different puzzles scattered all over the floor. To define their relationship is to recognize that a few of the pieces…

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 When People Seem to Want to Be Sick

Ironically, some people are so starved for attention and sympathy that they would rather make themselves sick than carry on feeling so ignored and underappreciated. Regardless what syndrome we call it, there is something deeply sad in the fact that a person's life could be so empty.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

This page is here to promote understanding and highlight cases of medical child abuse, also known as Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. There are numerous misconceptions about this criminal offense that are covered in an earlier post. The offender doesn't believe her child is sick. This isn't the "doctors' fault." This is a premeditated act done to inflict harm on the child for the emotional gain of the offender, usually the mother.

Secrets Unraveled: Overcoming Munchausen Syndrome

Secrets Unraveled: Overcoming Munchausen Syndrome presents a skillfully documented case of recovery through psychotherapy. But this book is also unique in that it is co-written in alternating sections by patient and therapist, which gives it an amazing authenticity and an unusual slant.

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