Often Pretending To Be Sick Could Be A Sign Of Munchausen Syndrome

Munchausen syndrome is a psychological condition characterized by frequent faking of illness on purpose and often claiming to experience certain symptoms. People with this disorder lie and admit to being sick in order to get attention from others.

Usually, when someone pretends to be sick and leaves work, college or school, there is a reason that drives this behavior such as being on vacation or needing to do something. Some people also pretend to be sick to gain financial benefits from insurance. However, if the reasons above are not the cause of a person claiming to be sick even though they are not, it could be that the person has Munchausen syndrome.

What is Munchausen syndrome?

Munchausen syndrome is a psychological disorder in which sufferers often pretend to be sick or create false symptoms to look like they are sick with the sole purpose of seeking attention or wanting to be pitied.

People with Munchausen Syndrome often show signs such as lying by pretending to have certain symptoms. In fact, to convince others that they are sick, people with this syndrome can hurt themselves or deliberately manipulate the results of the examination.

Causes of Munchausen syndrome

The exact cause of Munchausen syndrome is not known, but there are several risk factors that increase a person's chances of developing this mental disorder, such as:

  • Childhood trauma due to physical, emotional, or sexual violence
  • Personality disorder
  • Depression
  • History of severe illness as a child
  • Have you ever received imprinted attention when you were sick?
  • Losing the closest person, can be due to death or being abandoned
  • Have a strong desire to be close or related to health workers

This is a rare syndrome and until now it is difficult to know the number of sufferers. The reason is that people who often intentionally pretend to be sick often fake their identities to get medical treatment multiple times or deliberately move around health facilities.

Symptoms of malingering syndrome aka Munchausen syndrome

Not everyone who likes to play sick has Munchausen syndrome. For more details, let's look at what kind of feigning illness is a symptom of this syndrome.

  • Pretending to be physically ill, for example complaining of abdominal pain, chest pain, or pain in other body parts. This behavior is most often shown by people with Munchausen syndrome.
  • Pretending to have a mental disorder. Sufferers will act as if they are able to hear supernatural voices or see things that are not visible to the naked eye.
  • Deliberately making himself sick, for example taking certain drugs or chemical compounds to cause stomach pain or rubbing the wound with soil to cause infection.

  • Has a dramatic, but inconsistent history of illness.
  • Experiencing symptoms of the disease that are not clear, can even get worse as treatment measures for these symptoms.
  • The emergence of new symptoms. But when the laboratory tests were carried out, the results were negative.
  • Shows symptoms of illness only when being examined or with other people.

  • Confessing his illness has relapsed, even though his condition seems to be getting better
  • Have extensive knowledge of medical terms, such as descriptions of diseases and drugs.
  • Has some surgical scars.
  • Very enthusiastic when suggested to undergo surgery. They do not even hesitate to ask for surgery even though they know that this is not necessary and can actually endanger their lives.
  • Have a history of visiting different doctors or hospitals, even to hospitals outside the city or abroad.
  • Have low self-confidence.
  • Reluctant to bring doctors together with their parents, spouse, relatives, or doctors who have treated them.
  • Doctors and other medical personnel may be deceived by the patient's charade and finally agree to their request. The reason is, people with this syndrome are very manipulative.
  • Generally, when the lie is exposed and caught by the doctor or the hospital, the sufferer will immediately leave. After that, they will find another hospital to repeat the same procedure. Can Munchausen syndrome be cured?
  • Even if they want to get better, people with Munchausen syndrome generally can't help but pretend. They are also known to be manipulative and like to lie.

In addition, there is no medicine that can cure this mental disorder. However, the doctor may prescribe antidepressant drugs to reduce anxiety or excessive worry if that is the source and cause of this mental disorder.

The only way to relieve the symptoms of Munchausen syndrome is to rely on therapy from a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. Although there is no standard for the treatment of this syndrome, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

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