Factitious disorder (Munchausen syndrome)

Factitious disorder (Munchausen syndrome)

Cover image: The Baron (Münchhausen) travels underwater, illustrated by Gottfried Franz.

Introduction

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=719a0kAzeo4

Munchausen Syndrome (aka Fabricated Illness or Hospital Addiction Syndrome) (Criddle) is a psychiatric disorder that causes an individual to self-inflict injury or to fabricate symptoms of physical or mental illness in order to receive medical care or hospitalisation.

In a variation of the disorder, Munchausen by Proxy (MSBP), an individual, typically a mother, intentionally causes or fabricates illness in a child or other person under her care. (Ford-Martin & Longe)

The name originates from the 18th-century German militarist called Baron Karl Freidrich von Munchausen who was known for fabricating outrageously farfetched stories of his adventures. The diagnosis itself was created to describe patients who would invent symptoms, sometimes to dangerous extents, for the sole purpose of being hospitalised for attention. Thus far, no concrete cause for Munchausen has yet been discovered; it could be due to a myriad of reasons such as a traumatic past, neglect, lack of affection from others, or an existing personality disorder.


Clinical Features

1408pt_bursch_tab1
Warning signs of illness falsification | Brenda Bursch, P. (2017). Munchausen by Proxy and Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another | Psychiatric Times. [online] Psychiatrictimes.com. Available at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/special-reports/munchausen-proxy-and-factitious-disorder-imposed-another [Accessed 5 Jul. 2017].
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVLqADEdrig


Diagnosis

Differential Diagnosis

1408pt_bursch_tab3
Differential diagnosis for suspected abusers | Brenda Bursch, P. (2017). Munchausen by Proxy and Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another | Psychiatric Times. [online] Psychiatrictimes.com. Available at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/special-reports/munchausen-proxy-and-factitious-disorder-imposed-another [Accessed 5 Jul. 2017].

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