Munchausen Syndrome: The Art of Self-Inflicted Illness

Munchausen Syndrome: The Art of Self-Inflicted Illness

Munchausen syndrome is a psychological condition where one pretends to be ill or produces any kind of symptoms of any kind of illness just to seek attention and sympathy from people. An individual with this symptom will tend to lie about the medical test or try to home to seek attention by pretending or taking the role of being sick, which is center of attraction. So people can care for them. A German aristocrat named Baron Munchausen named it, and he told about certain unbelievable actions and wild approaches in his life. Munchausen syndrome is a mental illness, that forms abused word skills by caretakers, mostly mothers who fake symptoms of making a child sick. Various emotional factors are associated with Munchausen, which causes mental illness. Most of the time Munchausen syndrome is trying to prove the physical illness than the mental illness.

How common is Munchausen’s syndrome?

Estimating how many people have been affected by Munchausen syndrome is difficult. People with this syndrome are mostly secretive and often use fake or false identities. This factor is mostly seen in the men aged between 30 to 50 with uncleared reasons.

Most individuals are not ready to accept any psychiatric treatment for this thought process, and there is a variant of Munchausen’s syndrome called Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy, where an individual induces illness under individual care, usually a child.

  • Often visiting hospitals in different places
  • Claiming to be under serious medical conditions with no proper documentary evidence
  • A common statement of claiming to have spent their time in another country
  • No relation between symptoms and results
  • Very good medical knowledge
  • Individuals usually receive fewer visitors and adopt a solitary lifestyle
  • No second thoughts about any dangerous tests or procedures
  • Confrontation might lead to aggressive behaviors and try to escape from that place
Patterns of behavior in the syndrome.

Individuals with Munchausen syndrome commonly use the following induced illnesses:

  • Lying about certain symptoms, such as severe, headaches, seizures, or pass-outs.
  • Tempering the test with results: heating thermal meters, suggesting fever, adding blood to urine samples
  • Self-infliction: harming themselves by consuming poison, drugs, or overdosed medication, trying to eat contaminated food or having a burn or a cut.
  • Aggravate, pre-existing conditions: rubbing, dirt, or any other unusual solids into the wounds to cause infection or to reopen the previous wounds.
Causes of Munchausen syndrome

Most people with this syndrome refuse to deal with psychiatric or psychological profiling. There is very little evidence causing such conditions. This symptom is marked under personality disorders. Personality disorders. Are there mental health conditions, which has distorted thoughts, and beliefs about themselves or others, which lead them to behave in a certain way, which is not acceptable by the society and is labeled as disturbed or abnormal?

They have antisocial personality disorder, which causes them to take pleasure in manipulating and saving doctors. Tricking the doctors gives them a sense of power, pleasure, and control. Individuals have very little contact with their family and friends, but they tend to attempt to form relationships witches socially accepted and will adopt the role of patient to have human contact and emotional warmth. There are possibilities that people with this room, clean, physical, and sexual abuse during childhood, where it is hard to say if it is true or not in all cases.


Due to the accomplished lying skills or the manipulation skills, it would be challenging for doctors to claim the patient with this disorder. Hence, the investigation would help in figuring out the actual cause. When a health professional suspects an individual, a detailed study regarding a person’s health and any medical history or family background, would help. A run of clinical tests to check the evidence of the illness and tampering is to be done.

  • Clear evidence regarding the symptoms is to be noted
  • The prime motivation of the individual is to be sick

Usually, it is difficult for an individual to accept and cooperate with The treatment suggested, due to this some professionals adopt non-confront approaches so instead of lying directly, an individual might try to accept the complex health needs to visit a psychiatrist or a psychologist. To the individuals accepting the problem can be easy to continue with the treatment procedures. There is no particular treatment for this condition, but psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral therapy have relatively successful rates in control of this issue. Psychoanalysis is it theory under the statements of Sigma Freud, who believes in unconscious motivations from early childhood, which is the root cause of psychological issues.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been helping with various psychological and behavioral issues, according to the patterns. These therapies usually help in replacing the beliefs and have more realistic approaches.

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