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Munchausen syndrome

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Munchausen syndrome
ICD-10 F681
ICD-9 301.51
OMIM [1]
DiseasesDB 8459 33167
MedlinePlus [2]
eMedicine med/3543 emerg/322 emerg/830
MeSH {{{MeshNumber}}}
This article is about the self-inflicted factitious disorder. For the type of abuse commonly known as Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, see Fabricated or Induced Illness.

Munchausen syndrome is a psychiatric disorder in which those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma in order to draw attention or sympathy to themselves. It is in a class of disorders known as factitious disorders which involve "illnesses" whose symptoms are either self-induced or falsified by the patient. It is also sometimes known as Hospital addiction syndrome.

Munchausen syndromeEdit

In Munchausen syndrome, the affected person exaggerates or creates symptoms of illnesses in himself or herself in order to gain investigation, treatment, attention, sympathy, and comfort from medical personnel. The role of "patient" is a familiar and comforting one, and it fills a psychological need in people with Munchausen's. It is distinct from hypochondria in that the patient is aware that he is exaggerating, while sufferers of hypochondria actually believe they have a disease.

There is some controversy on the exact causes of the syndrome, but an increased occurrence has been reported[How to reference and link to summary or text] in healthcare professionals and close family members of people with a chronic illness such as manic depression.

Individuals with the Munchausen pattern of behaviour may be admitted to many hospitals under many medical teams.

Origin of the nameEdit

The name derives from one Baron Münchhausen (Karl Friedrich Hieronymus Freiherr von Münchhausen, 1720-1797), to whom were ascribed a series of fantastically impossible tales written by Rudolf Raspe.

In 1951, Sir Richard Asher (father of Jane Asher and Peter Asher) was the first to describe a pattern of self-harm, where individuals fabricated histories, signs, and symptoms of illness. Remembering Baron Munchausen, Asher named this condition Munchausen's Syndrome. Originally, this term was used for all factitious disorders. Now, however, there is considered to be a wide range of factitious disorders, and the diagnosis of "Munchausen syndrome" is reserved for the most severe form, where the simulation of disease is the central activity of the affected person's life.

Comparison to Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII)Edit

Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) is the formal name of a type of abuse in which a caregiver feigns or induces an illness in a person under their care, in order to attract attention, sympathy, or to fill other emotional needs. It is aso known as Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP), due to its similarity to Munchausen syndrome, in which a person feigns or induces illness in themselves for similar emotional reasons. While a person can be said to be "suffering" from Munchausen syndrome, it is incorrect to state that a caretaking person who perpetrates abuse is "suffering" from Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Feldman M.D. 2004. Playing Sick? Untangling the Web of Munchausen Syndrome, Munchausen by Proxy, Malingering, and Factitious Disorder. New York: Brunner-Routledge.
  • Fisher, Jill A. 2006. Playing Patient, Playing Doctor: Munchausen Syndrome, Clinical S/M, and Ruptures of Medical Power. Journal of Medical Humanities 27 (3): 135-149.
  • Fisher, Jill A. 2006. Investigating the Barons: Narrative & Nomenclature in Munchausen Syndrome. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 49 (2): 250-262.

Further readingEdit

BooksEdit

  • Ayoub, C. C. (2006). Munchausen by Proxy. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group.
  • Leamon, M. H., Feldman, M. D., & Scott, C. L. (2003). Factitious Disorders and Malingering. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

PapersEdit

Abed, R. T. (1995). Voluntary false confessions in a Munchausen patient: A new variant of the syndrome? : Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine Vol 12(1) Mar 1995, 24-26.

  • Amarilli, P., & Patris, M. (1995). The Munchhausen syndrome: An inquiry concerning a "patient" above suspicion: Annales Medico-Psychologiques Vol 153(7) Aug-Sep 1995, 433-440.
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  • Brady, M. M. (1994). Munchausen syndrome by proxy: How should we weigh our options? : Law & Psychology Review Vol 18 Spr 1994, 361-375.
  • Bulik, C. M., Sullivan, P. F., Fear, J. L., & Alison, P. (1996). A case of comorbid anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and Munchausen's syndrome: International Journal of Eating Disorders Vol 20(2) Sep 1996, 215-218.
  • Burge, C. K., & Lacey, J. H. (1993). A case of Munchausen's syndrome in anorexia nervosa: International Journal of Eating Disorders Vol 14(3) Nov 1993, 379-381.
  • Callegari, C., Bortolaso, P., & Vender, S. (2006). A single case report of recurrent surgery for chronic back pain and its implications concerning a diagnosis of Munchausen syndrome: Functional Neurology Vol 21(2) Apr-Jun 2006, 103-108.
  • Carek, D. J. (1995). The Munchausen by proxy controversy: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Vol 34(3) Mar 1995, 261.
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  • de Menezes, A. P. T., Holanda, E. d. M., Silveira, V. A. L., de Oliveira, K. C. d. S., & Oliveira, F. G. M. (2002). Munchausen's Syndrome: A case report and literature review: Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria Vol 24(2) Jun 2002, 83-85.
  • Defontaine-Catteau, M. C. (2005). Pain and perversion--factitious disorders--Munchausen's syndrome: Pictoral: Douleur et Analgesie Vol 18(3) 2005, 107-112.
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  • Diefenbacher, A., & Heim, G. (1997). Neuropsychiatric aspects in Munchausen's syndrome: General Hospital Psychiatry Vol 19(4) Jul 1997, 281-285.
  • Eaton, J. S., Jr. (2006). Review of Playing Sick? Untangling the Web of Munchausen Syndrome, Munchausen by Proxy, Malingering, and Factitious Disorder: American Journal of Psychiatry Vol 163(2) Feb 2006, 334-335.
  • Fehnel, C. R., & Brewer, E. J. (2006). Munchausen's Syndrome With 20-Year Follow-Up: American Journal of Psychiatry Vol 163(3) Mar 2006, 347.
  • Feldman, M. D. (1994). Denial in Munchausen syndrome by proxy: The consulting psychiatrist's dilemma: International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine Vol 24(2) 1994, 121-128.
  • Feldman, M. D. (2004). Munchausen by Proxy and Malingering by Proxy: Psychosomatics: Journal of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Vol 45(4) Aug 2004, 365-366.
  • Feldman, M. D., & Peychers, M. E. (2007). Legal issues surrounding the exposure of "Munchausen by Internet." Psychosomatics: Journal of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Vol 48(5) Sep-Oct 2007, 451-452.
  • Fisher, J. A. (2006). Investigating the barons: Narrative and nomenclature in Munchausen syndrome: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine Vol 49(2) Spr 2006, 250-262.
  • Fisher, J. A. (2006). Playing Patient, Playing Doctor: Munchausen Syndrome, Clinical S/M, and Ruptures of Medical Power: Journal of Medical Humanities Vol 27(3) Sep 2006, 135-149.
  • Folks, D. G. (1995). Munchausen's syndrome and other factitious disorders: Neurologic Clinics Vol 13(2) May 1995, 267-281.
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  • Garrett, T. (2005). Review of Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen By Proxy Childhood: Journal of Sexual Aggression Vol 11(1) Jan 2005, 120-121.
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  • Jaghab, K., Skodnek, K. B., & Padder, T. A. (2006). Munchausen's Syndrome and Other Factitious Disorders in Children--Case Series and Literature Review: Psychiatry Vol 3(3) Mar 2006, 46-55.
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  • Johnson, B. R., & Harrison, J. A. (2000). Suspected Munchausen's syndrome and civil commitment: Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Vol 28(1) 2000, 74-76.
  • Jones, D. P. H. (1994). The syndrome of Munchausen by proxy: Child Abuse & Neglect Vol 18(9) Sep 1994, 769-771.
  • Kent, J. D. (1994). Munchausen's syndrome and substance abuse: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Vol 11(3) May-Jun 1994, 247-251.
  • Krahn, L. E., Lee, J., Richardson, J. W., Martin, M. J., & O'Connor, M. K. (1997). Hypokalemia leading to Torsades de Pointes: Munchausen's disorder or bulimia nervosa? : General Hospital Psychiatry Vol 19(5) Sep 1997, 370-377.
  • Libow, J. A. (1995). Munchausen by Proxy victims in adulthood: A first look: Child Abuse & Neglect Vol 19(9) Sep 1995, 1131-1142.
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  • Masanori, N., Shin-Ya, S., Aki, M., Tsutomu, K., Yoritsuna, Y., Yuji, T., et al. (2005). A Case of Munchausen Syndrome with Repeated Factitious Hypoglycemia: Its underlying hypervigilant type narcissistic personality disorder: Seishin Igaku (Clinical Psychiatry) Vol 47(1) Jan 2005, 69-76.
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