Psychology disorders

Essay by tbizkit2011 October 2006

download word file, 2 pages 1.0

Factitious disorder is a mental illness in which patients intentionally act physically or mentally ill. They intentionally create or exaggerate symptoms of an illness because they feel the need to be seen as ill or injured for various reasons. It is hard to diagnose factitious disorder for this very reason. Often times, a doctor will utilize a variety of diagnostic tests and procedures to rule out the possibility of the patient having an actual physical or mental illness. Additionally, many patients with a factitious disorder display certain traits. They have extensive knowledge of hospitals and medical terminology, usually only show symptoms when they think they are being watched, and they typically have a long medical record with many admissions at different hospitals in different cities. These are just a few of the many symptoms that patients with a factitious disorder display.

An extreme and long lasting form of the factitious disorder is Munchausen syndrome. In general, this syndrome refers to a factitious disorder with physical symptoms. Munchausen syndrome was named after Baron von Munchausen, an 18th century cavalry officer who traveled from tavern to tavern, telling his fantastical military adventure tales. While the exact cause of Munchausen syndrome is unknown, researchers feel that a history of abuse or neglect as a child or a history of frequent illnesses requiring hospitalization could be factors associated with the development of this syndrome. Another similar disorder is Munchausen syndrome by proxy. In this syndrome, an adult leads their child's physician to believe their child has an illness when in reality their child is not suffering from any of the fabricated symptoms. This causes the physician to perform unnecessary diagnostic procedures to the child. The child is raised to believe they are sick when they are perfectly healthy.

Another disorder that affects patients...