Thursday, January 19, 2012

Student Life: Munchausen's Syndrome

Munchausen's Syndrome is the name given to people who fake illness or disease in order to gain attention or sympathy from others. 

Those who suffer from it deliberately seek medical attention and in some cases will have unnessary surgeries just to feel cared for. Unlike Hypochondriacs who really do believe they have something wrong with them, those suffering from Munchausen's Syndrome know that they are perfectly fine and well. 

The most common diseases and illnesses that are faked are: depression, anemia, joint pain, seizures, sexual abuse and cancer!

You may be wondering how someone could actually fake such conditions physically. Well there was a story in my psychology textbook that explained the case of one woman who faked cancer. Apparantly she knew the symptoms as her neighbour had just died of the disease. She then joined a therapy group, took laxatives to loose weight and even shaved her hair off to make it look as if she'd undergone chemotherapy. After a while she was caught out though. I'm assuming because she didn't die.

How crazy is that though? How sad and lonely must these people be to go to such lengths just to be noticed?!


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