Factitious disorders

A group of disorders in which a patient’s symptoms mimic those of a true illness but which have been invented by, and are controlled by, the patient. There is no apparent cause for a factitious disorder other than a wish for attention. The most common disorder of this type, Munchausen’s syndrome, is characterized by physical symptoms. In a second form, Ganser’s syndrome, there are psychological symptoms. These disorders differ from malingering, in which the person claims to be ill for a particular purpose, such as obtaining time off work.


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