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Factitious Disorders


Overview :

Patients with factitious disorders produce or exaggerate the symptoms of a physical or mental illness by a variety of methods, including contaminating urine samples with blood, taking hallucinogens, injecting themselves with bacteria to produce infections, and other similar behaviors.

There are no reliable statistics on the frequency of factitious disorders, but they are more common in men than in women. The following conditions are sometimes classified as factitious disorders:

Munchausen syndrome

Munchausen syndrome refers to patients whose factitious symptoms are dramatized and exaggerated. Many persons with Munchausen go so far as to undergo major surgery repeatedly, and, to avoid detection, at several locations. Many have been employed in hospitals or in health care professions. The syndrome's onset is in early adulthood.

Munchausen by proxy

Munchausen by proxy is the name given to factitious disorders in children produced by parents or other caregivers. The parent may falsify the child's medical history or tamper with laboratory tests in order to make the child appear sick. Occasionally, they may actually injure the child to assure that the child will be treated.

Ganser's syndrome

Ganser's syndrome is an unusual dissociative reaction to extreme stress in which the patient gives absurd or silly answers to simple questions. It has sometimes been labeled as psychiatric malingering, but is more often classified as a factitious disorder.




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