Factitious disorder may be a serious mental disturbance during which someone deceives others by appearing sick, by purposely getting sick or by self-injury. Factitious disorder can also happen when relations or caregivers falsely present others, like children, as being ill, injured or impaired.
Factitious disorder symptoms can range from mild (slight exaggeration of symptoms) to severe (previously called Munchausen syndrome). The person may structure symptoms or maybe tamper with medical tests to convince others that treatment, like high-risk surgery, is needed.
Factitious disorder isn't an equivalent as inventing medical problems for practical benefit, like getting out of labor or winning a lawsuit. Although people with factitious disorder know they're causing their symptoms or illnesses, they'll not understand the explanations for his or her behaviors or recognize themselves as having a drag.
Factitious disorder is challenging to spot and hard to treat. However, medical and psychiatric help are critical for preventing serious injury and even death caused by the self-harm typical of this disorder.
Factitious disorder symptoms involve mimicking or producing illness or injury or exaggerating symptoms or impairment to deceive others. People with the disorder attend great lengths to cover their deception, so it's going to be difficult to understand that their symptoms are literally a part of a significant psychological state disorder. They continue with the deception, even without receiving any visible benefit or reward or when faced with objective evidence that does not support their claims.
Factitious disorder signs and symptoms may include:
Ø Extensive knowledge of medical terms and diseases
Ø Vague or inconsistent symptoms
Ø Conditions that get worse for no apparent reason
Ø Conditions that don't respond as expected to standard therapies
Ø Seeking treatment from many different doctors or hospitals, which may include using a fake name
Ø Reluctance to allow doctors to talk to family or friends or to other health care professionals
Ø Frequent stays in the hospital
Ø Eagerness to have frequent testing or risky operations
Ø Many surgical scars or evidence of numerous procedures
Ø Having few visitors when hospitalized
Ø Arguing with doctors and staff
Factious disorder imposed on another
Factitious disorder imposed on another (previously called Munchausen's syndrome by proxy) is when someone falsely claims that another person has physical or psychological signs or symptoms of illness, or causes injury or disease in another person with the intention of deceiving others.
People with this disorder present another person as sick, injured or having problems functioning, claiming that medical attention is required . Usually this involves a parent harming a child. This form of abuse can put a toddler in serious danger of injury or unnecessary medical aid.
When to see a doctor
People with factitious disorder could also be cognizant of the danger of injury or maybe death as a results of self-harm or the treatment they seek, but they can not control their behaviors and they're unlikely to seek help. Even when confronted with objective proof — like a videotape — that they are causing their illness, they often deny it and refuse psychiatric help.
If you think that a beloved could also be exaggerating or faking health problems, it's going to help to aim a mild conversation about your concerns. Try to avoid anger, judgment or confrontation. Also attempt to reinforce and encourage more healthy, productive activities instead of that specialize in dysfunctional beliefs and behaviors. Offer support and caring and, if possible, help find treatment.
If your beloved causes self-inflicted injury or attempts suicide, call 911 or emergency medical help or, if you'll safely do so, take him or her to an emergency room immediately.
The cause of factitious disorder is unknown. However, the disorder may be caused by a combination of psychological factors and stressful life experiences.
Several factors may increase the risk of developing factitious disorder, including:
Ø Childhood trauma, such as emotional, physical or sexual abuse
Ø A serious illness during childhood
Ø Loss of a loved one through death, illness or abandonment
Ø Past experiences during a time of sickness and the attention it brought
Ø A poor sense of identity or self-esteem
Ø Personality disorders
Ø Desire to be associated with doctors or medical centers
Ø Work in the health care field
Because the cause of factitious disorder is unknown, there's currently no known way to prevent it. Early recognition and treatment of factitious disorder may help avoid unnecessary and potentially dangerous tests and treatment.
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