Munchausen’s syndrome

A chronic factitious disorder in which the sufferer complains of physical symptoms that are pretended or self-induced in order to play the role of patient. Most afflicted people are repeatedly hospitalized. The usual complaints are abdominal pain, bleeding, neurological symptoms, rashes, and fever. Sufferers typically invent dramatic histories and behave disruptively in hospital. Many have detailed medical knowledge and scars from self-injury or previous treatment. In Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy, parents cause factitious disorders in their children. Treatment consists of protecting sufferers from unnecessary operations and drug treatments.


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