Munchausen: Mental Disorder and Century German Officer Essay

Submitted By APerkins1
Words: 765
Pages: 4

Munchausen In this essay I will explore Munchausen Syndrome and Munchausen by proxy. Munchausen and Munchausen by proxy are terms for psychiatric disorders known as factitious disorders. Munchausen is the most severe type of factitious disorder. Munchausen syndrome is named after Baron von Munchausen, an 18th century German officer who was known for embellishing the stories of his life and experiences. Munchausen Syndrome is when an individual feigns disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention or sympathy to themselves. The individual exaggerates or creates symptoms of illnesses or diseases. In some cases, individuals suffering from Munchausen’s syndrome are highly knowledgeable about the practice of medicine and are able to produce symptoms that result in extended hospital stay and unnecessary operations. People with Munchausen syndrome are aware that they are exaggerating. Some of the illnesses and conditions commonly falsified are; AIDS, Cancer. Bipolar disorder, Depression, Eating disorder, Pregnancy, suicide attempt, and many others. Individuals with Munchausen deliberately produce symptoms in several ways. They will hurt themselves to cause the symptoms or alter diagnostic tests. There are many warning signs such as; Willingness or eagerness to have medical tests, operations, or other procedures, inconsistent medical history, history of seeking care at numerous hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices. The exact cause is unknown, but psychological factors are believed to play a role. Some factors include a history of abuse or neglect as a child. Diagnosing Munchausen syndrome is difficult because of the dishonesty. Doctors must also rule out any physical or mental illnesses before diagnosing a patient with Munchausen. If a diagnosis of Munchausen syndrome is made the patient will be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, where an evaluation will take place. Munchausen syndrome can be very challenging to treat because the patient is often unwilling to admit to and seek treatment for it. This also makes the outlook for recovery poor. As with other mental disorders, the treatment consists of psychotherapy, counseling. There are no medications to treat factitious disorders. Munchausen by proxy is when care-givers deliberately exaggerate, fabricate and/or induce symptoms of illness or disease in others. It is also a form of child abuse. The syndrome usually involves a mother abusing her child and seeking unneeded medical attention. Symptoms that are commonly faked include asthma, diarrhea, infections, and failure to thrive. These children are often hospitalized with symptoms that don’t fit any known illness or disease. Often these children receive unnecessary tests, surgeries, or other uncomfortable procedures. Munchausen by proxy occurs because of the mental disorder in the adult and can be life-threatening for the child. Symptoms do not fit an illness or do not fit together, child’s symptoms improve at hospital only to return when home, parent is comfortable in hospital and may be too helpful, physical and laboratory findings are unusual or clinically impossible, and parent is often involved in a health-care field. The cause of Munchausen by proxy is unknown but is linked to childhood abuse in the adult, mentally or physically. Once a diagnosis of Munchausen by proxy is given, the child needs to be