Factitious disorder: Need To Be Ill

Doctor holding Munchausen syndrome book

The feeling of being taken care of is a very strong motivator. It is the motivator not only for healthy people, but people with factitious disorder are searching for exactly that feeling.This pathology leads people to fake symptoms of diseases to get the label of a patient or a sick person. 

Those people typically would alter their blood or urine samples to receive a diagnosis of a health problem. They would lie about any subjective symptom which would point to diagnosis of severe disease. They could even injure themselves so that they can be admitted to a hospital. 

It might be hard to identify a person with factitious disorder, as those people practically specialise in faking their symptoms. Moreover there is a similar disorder in which people lie about their symptoms to get some material gain, referred to as malingering, which may be misdiagnosed or can cover the diagnosis of factitious disorder. 

However to make the diagnosis easier it is important to identify signs for factitious disorder. People with this disorder typically have a rich medical history, their documents may come from multiple hospitals and specialists, as they try to diminish the possibility of being detected of lying. Moreover people with this disorder often have very broad and detailed medical knowledge and use very advanced medical terminology. They also may be very willing or even happy to start treatment or even get surgery. However this treatment or surgery would not result in the patient getting better. 

Even though psychologists do not typically detect factitious disorders, maybe except health psychologists, the knowledge concerning this disorder is highly useful for clinicians and especially forensic psychologists.

Promises Behavioral Health. (2013, August 8). What Is the Difference Between Malingering vs Factitious Disorder?. https://www.promisesbehavioralhealth.com/addiction-recovery-blog/what-is-the-difference-between-malingering-and-factitious-disorder/.

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