Munchausen’s Syndrome, also known as factitious disorder imposed on self, is a mental illness. A person diagnosed with Munchausen’s Syndrome repeatedly acts as if they have a physical, emotional, or cognitive disorder when the opposite is true. The person with Munchausen’s Syndrome is the one causing the symptoms.
People cause the symptoms of a physical, emotional, and cognitive disorder because of an inner desire to have others see them as ill or injured. However, they do not act this way for any financial gain or any other concrete benefit involved. To get sympathy and special attention and care from others, they are willing to endure painful, intensive, or risky operations and tests.
Some even go as far as injuring themselves to draw blood such as having blood in the urine or cyanosis of a limb where they cut the blood supply off to a certain part of the body, causing the skin to turn a shade a blue. Therefore, a person suffering from Munchausen’s Syndrome is dealing with severe emotional distress. Munchausen’s Syndrome can occur in children, but young adults are more likely to develop it.
The symptoms of Munchausen’s Syndrome include:
Even though researchers have not been able to determine the exact cause behind Munchausen’s Syndrome, they think that both psychological and biological factors may have a part in the development of this.
Some researchers have even theorized that a history of neglect and abuse as a child or a history of falling ill and being hospitalized may be responsible for its developments. Researchers are also trying to find links of Munchausen’s Syndrome with personality disorders, which people with this syndrome commonly suffer from.