10 Munchausen Syndrome Symptoms

By nigel
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Munchausen syndrome is a certain type of mental disorder referred to as a factitious disorder. These disorders are different than other mental disorders because they seem to be, to a degree, self-inflicted—they are categorized as mental problems in which a patient acts as if they are struggling with a medical condition, either physical or mental, when they are not actually ill. Munchausen syndrome is still classified as a mental illness because the patients often experience serious emotional problems as a result of their behavior. The condition is named after Baron von Munchausen, a German officer who lived in the 1700s. Munchausen syndrome is the most intense and debilitating form of a factitious condition, and patients can experience psychosomatic symptoms as a result—they will develop actual physical and mental symptoms that can be observed as a result of placing themselves under physical and mental stress.

It’s important to note that while Munchausen syndrome usually refers to a sort of factitious illness that manifests as physical symptoms, in some cases, people will use the term to refer to any and all factitious illnesses. Whatever the case, people with Munchausen syndrome are known for overly exaggerating both physical and mental symptoms. The reasoning behind this can vary between different patients. They may pretend to have certain symptoms, develop emotional instability as a result, and thus manifest actual physical symptoms in turn.

If you think that one of your loved ones is struggling with Munchausen syndrome, it’s important to make sure that they are before deciding what to do. Check with a medical professional to identify the possibility of them actually suffering from an illness. Below are some of the most common symptoms of Munchausen syndrome. If you or a loved one are experiencing many of these symptoms, you may want to change your action plan and seek psychological help to identify the root cause of Munchausen syndrome.

Symptom #1: Inconsistent Medical History

Many patients with Munchausen syndrome are known for having a fairly intense but relatively inconsistent medical history. As they come to believe that they are suffering from various conditions and illnesses, these patients often seek medical help as quickly as they can. The doctors will record their complaints into their medical history.

Many people with Munchausen syndrome report that they’re experiencing one severe illness one week or month, and the next month report that they’re experiencing something entirely different. One of the reasons for this is the hypochondria that can be induced by reading descriptions and symptoms as detailed online on medical websites.

Munchausen Syndrome

Symptom #2: Unclear or Changing Symptoms

Another thing that patients struggling with Munchausen syndrome tend to experience is a great variation in their symptoms. Many patients are observed having symptoms that are not manageable or responsive to medication, and other doctors report that their patients have symptoms that seem to change as soon as they begin their treatment.

This suggests that these symptoms are not a result of any disease itself but more as a manifestation of their mental state. Psychological help is often more useful for reversing these symptoms

Symptom #3: Extensive Medical Knowledge

Many people with Munchausen syndrome experience relatively thorough and extensive medical knowledge despite having no formal medical training. They may be familiar with many different medical terms and try to educate their doctors about their alleged condition.

Again, this indicates that the patient has spent a lot of time on the internet reading up about symptoms and illnesses and has thus convinced themselves that they are suffering from a problem when, in reality, they are not.

Munchausen Syndrome

Symptom #4: Predictable Relapses

In some cases, people with Munchausen syndrome do respond to their treatment. Their symptoms may dwindle after they begin taking medication.

However, in many cases, these patients will soon experience a relapse after they have begun to improve. If this pattern continues, it can be easy to predict that the patient will have a relapse a certain amount of time after seeing improvement.

Symptom #5: New Symptoms after Testing Negative

Another indication that a patient may be suffering from Munchausen syndrome is the development of new symptoms after testing negative for a disease or an illness.

After a doctor performs blood work or a diagnosis and determines that the patient is not struggling with an acute physical illness, patients with Munchausen often develop new symptoms shortly after.

Munchausen Syndrome

Symptom #6: Symptoms Only When Being Observed

Some patients with Munchausen symptom only experience symptoms when they are with other people or if they know that they are being observed.

This is an indication that, on a psychological level, they are working to make their symptoms present.

Symptom #7: Excited to Take Medical Tests

Many patients with Munchausen syndrome show excessive excitement and eagerness to take medical tests or undergo surgery or other medical procedures.

They may spend an excessive amount of time booking medical treatments or communicating with doctors in an effort to help them cure their psychologically induced symptoms.

Munchausen Syndrome

Symptom #8: Identity Problems

Many people with Munchausen syndrome experience some issues with self-esteem or identity problems. In serious cases, some of these patients identify more with their self-made medical problems and symptoms than they do with their own personality identity.

Again, this is a sure sign that their problem is more psychological and can be better treated with mental help than physical help.

Symptom #9: Reluctance for Family to Meet Doctors

Many people with Munchausen syndrome show an extreme reluctance when doctors attempt to meet their family. They are worried about their family discovering that the doctor has not discovered any observable medical problems.

In other cases, patients are equally as reluctant for doctors to meet their friends or other doctors that they have worked with in the past.

Symptom #10: Seeking Treatment in Different Places

Another thing that people with Munchausen tend to experience is a tendency to seek treatments from different places and people. It is not uncommon for patients with Munchausen to look to different doctors for different diagnoses.

It’s not uncommon for patients to go as far as seeking treatment in different cities, at different hospitals, or to bounce from doctor’s office to doctor’s office in a constant effort to get more or different diagnoses.

Munchausen Syndrome

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