Munchausen syndrome is a mental disorder in which a person feigns a disease or exaggerates the severity of an existing disease. Some patients artificially induce symptoms of this or that disease in order to undergo examination, treatment, hospitalization, etc.
Munchausen's syndrome belongs to the category of simulative mental disorders. The reasons for its occurrence are still unknown. It is believed that the simulation of a particular disease allows an individual to attract additional attention to himself, to feel care and support. As a rule, women are more susceptible to mental disorders.
In the usual conscious simulation of a particular somatic disease, patients are aware of the fictitious nature of the disease and the simulation has a specific goal (to get sick leave, avoid military service, etc.). Munchausen's syndrome is different in that patients imagine the disease and really believe that they are sick, and even when presented with evidence that testifies to the absence of the disease, it is very difficult to dissuade them.
Typically, patients with fake disorder have a very long medical history. As a rule, they often go to a doctor, are hospitalized in a hospital, and even often undergo numerous interventions, including surgical ones. If a person with a mental disorder does not receive enough, from his point of view, attention to his "illness" or he is denied medical assistance, he reacts very aggressively. And then he turns to another clinic, to another specialist.
Individuals with fake disorders can either simply imagine the disease and believe in it, convincing doctors of the existence of their disease. Or they can, with the help of various actions, for example, taking medications, cause themselves quite obvious symptoms of the disease.
There are a number of states that are easiest to simulate. First, it is vomiting and diarrhea. Patients who are able to purposefully eat spoiled food or take special drugs that cause vomiting and diarrhea. Bleeding is also easy to simulate, for example by taking a large dose of anticoagulants. Convulsions, seizures, and seizures are the most common and easiest to execute variants of a fictitious illness. Persons with fake disorder should receive qualified psychiatric treatment.
There is another form of the disorder - delegated Munchausen syndrome. It differs from the classical version by the object of the projection of an imaginary disease. Very often, this mental disorder suffers from mothers or adoptive mothers who constantly feign illness in their child. This disorder can affect people who are caring for people with disabilities who cause symptoms of a particular disease in their carers. The purpose of the simulation remains the same, a person suffering from a mental disorder strives to draw attention to himself, to get an additional portion of sympathy, support from others.
Disease simulation methods can be very diverse. Disease imagined or caused can take any form. The most common symptoms caused are bleeding, seizures, poisoning, diarrhea, vomiting, infections, fever, choking, allergic reactions, and sudden infant death syndrome. To simulate shortness of breath in a child, the mother is able to cover his mouth and nose with her hand, plastic wrap, and a pillow.
Some people with a mental disorder are able to manipulate medication by giving unnecessary drugs or overdosing.As soon as the moment comes when there is a threat to the life of the child, the mother can take actions aimed at saving him, hoping to receive an additional portion of the praise as a savior in the future. Artificially induced diseases are very poorly treated, often children are exposed to unnecessary manipulations and even surgical intervention. Repeated treatment and actions aimed at creating symptoms of the disease negatively affect the mental and physical health of children.
Sometimes there are nurses with delegated Munchausen syndrome. As a rule, they are even more dangerous for others as they have some stock of medical knowledge and are able to leave no evidence of their harmful effects. They take care of patients and in various ways cause them various symptoms of illness. When a patient dies, the nurse receives additional attention and praise as a kind and humane person who until the last days took care of a seriously ill patient.