Münchausen

Münchausen syndrome: Benzo Buddies members want to be sick

Münchausen syndrome, is a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention, sympathy, or reassurance to themselves. It is also sometimes known as hospital addiction syndrome, thick chart syndrome, or hospital hopper syndrome. True Münchausen syndrome fits within the subclass of factitious disorder with predominantly physical signs and symptoms, but they also have a history of recurrent hospitalization, travelling, and dramatic, untrue, and extremely improbable tales of their past experiences. Officially, Münchausen syndrome has been renamed “Factitious Disorder”, with specificity either as “Imposed on Self” or “Imposed on Another” (formerly “by Proxy”).

Münchausen syndrome / factitious disorder is related to Münchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP/MSP), which refers to the abuse of another person, typically a child, in order to seek attention or sympathy for the abuser. It is an obsessive want to create symptoms for the victim in order to obtain repeated medication or even operations.

In Münchausen syndrome / factitious disorder, the affected person exaggerates or creates symptoms of illnesses in themselves to gain examination, treatment, attention, sympathy, and/or comfort from medical personnel. In some extreme cases, people suffering from Münchausen syndrome / factitious disorder are highly knowledgeable about the practice of medicine and are able to produce symptoms that result in lengthy and costly medical analysis, prolonged hospital stay and unnecessary operations. The role of “patient” is a familiar and comforting one, and it fills a psychological need in people with this syndrome. This disorder is distinct from hypochondriasis and other somatoform disorders in that those with the latter do not intentionally produce their somatic symptoms.

Münchausen syndrome / factitious disorder signs and symptoms may include:

  • Clever and convincing medical problems
  • Frequent hospitalizations
  • Vague or inconsistent symptoms
  • Conditions that get worse for no apparent reason
  • Conditions that don’t respond as expected to standard therapies
  • Eagerness to have frequent testing or risky operations
  • Extensive knowledge of medical terms and diseases
  • Seeking treatment from many different doctors or hospitals, which may include using a fake name
  • Having few visitors when hospitalized
  • Reluctance to allow health professionals to talk to family or friends or to other health care providers
  • Arguing with hospital staff
  • Frequent requests for pain relievers or other medications

How those with factitious disorder fake illness

Because people with factitious disorder become experts at faking symptoms and diseases or inflicting real injuries upon themselves, it may be hard for medical professionals and loved ones to know if illnesses are real or not.

People with Münchausen syndrome / factitious disorder make up symptoms or cause illness in several ways, such as:

  • Exaggerating existing symptoms. Even when an actual medical condition exists, they may exaggerate symptoms to appear sicker or more impaired than is true.
  • Making up histories. They may give loved ones, health care providers or support groups a false medical history, such as claiming to have had cancer or AIDS. Or they may falsify medical records to indicate an illness.
  • Faking symptoms. They may fake symptoms, such as stomach pain, seizures or passing out.
  • Causing self-harm. They may make themselves sick, for example, by injecting themselves with bacteria, milk, gasoline or feces. They may injure, cut or burn themselves. They may take medications, such as blood thinners or diabetes drugs, to mimic diseases. They may also interfere with wound healing, such as reopening or infecting cuts.
  • Tampering. They may manipulate medical instruments to skew results, such as heating up thermometers. Or they may tamper with lab tests, such as contaminating their urine samples with blood or other substances.

People with factitious disorder are willing to risk their lives to be seen as sick. They frequently have other mental disorders as well. As a result, they face many possible complications, including:

  • Injury or death from self-inflicted medical conditions
  • Severe health problems from unnecessary surgery or other procedures
  • Loss of organs or limbs from unnecessary surgery
  • Alcohol or other substance abuse
  • Significant problems in daily life, relationships and work

A health care provider may suspect factitious disorder when:

  • The person’s medical history doesn’t make sense
  • No believable reason exists for the presence of an illness or injury
  • The illness does not follow the usual course
  • There is a lack of healing for no apparent reason, despite appropriate treatment
  • There are contradictory or inconsistent symptoms or lab test results
  • The person is caught in the act of lying or causing his or her injury

To help determine if someone has factitious disorder, mental health providers conduct a detailed interview and run tests for possible physical problems.

To be diagnosed with factitious disorder, a person must meet the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM criteria for factitious disorder (previously, when severe, called Munchausen syndrome) include:

  • Making up physical or psychological signs or symptoms or causing injury or disease with the deliberate intention to deceive
  • Pretending to be sick or injured or to be having problems functioning
  • Continuing with the deception, even without receiving any visible benefit or reward
  • Behavior is not better explained by another mental disorder, such as a delusional disorder or another psychotic disorder

The DSM criteria for factitious disorder imposed on another (previously called Munchausen syndrome by proxy) include:

  • Making up physical or psychological signs or symptoms or causing injury or disease in another person with the intention to deceive
  • Presenting another person to others as sick, injured or having problems functioning
  • Continuing with the deception, even without receiving any visible benefit or reward
  • Behavior is not better explained by another mental disorder

See also

abilify works for me..
« on: September 26, 2014, 04:13:03 pm »

edenhazard

Hello ,
after 16months off benzo’s I still have some symptoms. I’m allot better, I will start to work pretty soon.
But I am still pretty depressed and have some psychotic like symptoms wich I did not had before benzo’s (paranoia/anxiety). I’m 100% sure its still due the healing gaba receptors.
Now the psychiatrist told me I should be healed 2 months after I quit valium wich I used for 1 year. I pretty lolled inside.
I told him about this forum and he told me this ‘everything on the internet is bullshit’.
I wonder why a smart man with a porch / jaguar and villa told me this..
He gave me abilify.
I refuse to take it everyday because it makes me like a vegetable. I only take 1-2mg every 3-7 days. And it does work for depression.
I dont have any side effects but I’m scared of it.

question:
Does my mind still heal while using abilify? Is abilify withdrawal on the same lvl as benzo’s?

I really dont want to take it but it works and its helping my life pretty good atm.
After a long long time I’m getting my life back on track.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2014, 04:16:06 pm »

Challis99

Senior Moderator

I don’t think the Abilify will hurt or hinder healing. As far as whether or not to take it, if it’s working for you and helping you get through this withdrawal, I would go with it for now. You can always taper off of it later. We’re expert taperers after this, aren’t we.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2014, 04:48:19 pm »

Luigithepug

Quote from: edenhazard on September 26, 2014, 04:13:03 pm
I told him about this forum and he told me this ‘everything on the internet is bullshit’.

said every doctor ever.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2014, 04:52:20 pm »

edenhazard

The best part of the story is that my parents now believe I’m psychotic and thinks it can be permanent :’).
They dont believe in benzo withdrawal.

Thug life.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2014, 05:00:19 pm »

Challis99

Senior Moderator

Quote from: edenhazard on September 26, 2014, 04:52:20 pm
The best part of the story is that my parents now believe I’m psychotic and thinks it can be permanent :’).
They dont believe in benzo withdrawal.

Thug life.

My daughter is a nurse and thought I had early onset Alzheimer’s. She didn’t see me very often when I was in acute withdrawal and when she did visit, I tried my hardest to appear normal so it wouldn’t upset her. I’ve talked to her about it more openly now that I’m obviously functioning normally again, but she still doesn’t ‘get it’. I hope that someday she may be better educated in benzodiazepine withdrawal…not by her own personal experience but by job training…

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2014, 05:08:37 pm »

WiseWomanWithIssueS

While Abilify is considered an atypical antipsychotic, it’s also considered a major tranquelizer. To my knowledge it does not work on gaba, like benzos do so that shouldn’t impact you. I don’t believe that abilify is helping you because you have any psychotic tendancies. I think it helps you because it quiets down the glutamate some. The doctor is an idiot. Do what works. Ideally, when symptoms start to quiet down, you will be able to taper off this med.

Best,

WWWI

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2014, 05:19:52 pm »

Luigithepug

Quote from: edenhazard on September 26, 2014, 04:52:20 pm
The best part of the story is that my parents now believe I’m psychotic and thinks it can be permanent :’).
They dont believe in benzo withdrawal.

Thug life.

rofl.

Abilify is an anti-psychotic AND an anti-depressant. It’s quieting down your anxiety because it’s blocking your dopamine/norepinephrine (this leads to the vegetable feelings) and making you happier because it’s giving you more serotonin.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2014, 05:25:41 pm »

eastcoast62

Moderator

Challis, don’t wait on your nurse daughter being taught about this! They aren’t. I have been a nurse a long time, and am in contact with a few student nurses and they are just as ignorant as I was.

Edenhazard, if Abilify is helping, take it. You will get off it when the time is right. And try not to worry about what your parents think – they have no experience with things like this. Just smile, and keep on going. Im glad your depression is a little better – that’s huge.
east

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2014, 05:31:38 pm »

edenhazard

Quote from: Luigithepug on September 26, 2014, 05:19:52 pm
Quote from: edenhazard on September 26, 2014, 04:52:20 pm
The best part of the story is that my parents now believe I’m psychotic and thinks it can be permanent :’).
They dont believe in benzo withdrawal.

Thug life.

rofl.

Abilify is an anti-psychotic AND an anti-depressant. It’s quieting down your anxiety because it’s blocking your dopamine/norepinephrine (this leads to the vegetable feelings) and making you happier because it’s giving you more serotonin.

But in really low dose it defiantly helps lowering the anxiety lvls! No vegetable feeling at all.
It almost works so well I’m afraid of it.
The only things that work like benzo’s is the devil.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2014, 05:55:03 pm »

eastcoast62

Moderator

Just be careful that you don’t find yourself increasing the dose much over time. And, be sure you look up its side effects.
east

Acidhead told to change name of secret Facebook druggie group to “I’m addicted and in denial”

MORAN

Kooky Monday: Childlike buddies unable to do anything but feel sorry for themselves

The mind of a child.
« on: February 16, 2014, 09:01:13 pm »

[Buddie]

In some ways, I feel like I have the mind of a child. I am afraid of everything. going for a walk, going anywhere…talking to people…talking on the phone. It is as if my self confidence will have to be relearned. The confidence to go back to work…I’ve gotta relearn it. the confidence to go to the store, where all those people are, I must relearn that. That pounding in my chest…I must relearn that it’s ok, it means my heart is doing it’s thing, just as it always has.

Re: The mind of a child.
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 09:16:15 pm »

[Buddie]

You won’t have to relearn it. It comes back naturally and gradually. It just takes time. It can take up to five years but it will come back! It helps to accept that it’s a part of the process. It will happen and you’ll be so grateful for every new sign of returning mental and physical health.

HOOKED LIKE A CRACK WHORE

My name says it all
« on: September 14, 2013, 12:31:02 am »

[Buddie]

Five days after the birth of my last child, I had a post-eclamptic seizure from toxemia, almost died and was put on life support. I’ve never been able to sleep a night since without some form of medication. I was put on Klonopin for 9 years. Experienced tolerance multiple times. Tried to withdraw multiple times with and without doctors help, but could never break the bonds. Finally, I found a website like this, crossed to Valium, tapered for 9 long months, and was finally free from benzo hell. Hardest thing I have ever done, but I can vouch the process works!

I was benzo free for 7 years and starting to live again, when suddenly I completely stopped sleeping again. After six nights of zero sleep, I believed I was going to die again. I was given 7 pills of Temazepam. It was like giving alcohol to a recovering alcohol addict.

I was diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety. Four days later I was ready to admit myself to the psych ward because I was manic. I have never felt so out of control. My nerves felt electrocuted. I have never been so sick. I lost over 15 lbs in 6 weeks. The doctor tried four more SSRIs before I found another doctor who said I was SSRI intolerant and put me on 100mg Seroquel and Xanax. Meanwhile my only escape from the anxiety surges was to sleep using Temazepam and the Seroquel.

After four weeks on the Temazepam, the doctor who helped me with my first withdrawal helped me cross over to Valium. I saw a psychiatric and a neurologist who both agreed the toxemia seizure from 18 years ago destroyed the chemicals in the brain needed to sleep and that Valium and Seroquel were my only options…for the rest of my life. When you are so sick, you get dumb or numb, and I was tired of fighting. I was prescribed 20 mg. Valium and 100mg. Seroquel with the assurance that I would never have a problem getting refills as long as I kept coming to them. I asked them about tolerance, they both told me it wouldn’t happen for years. They lied.

So this is an introduction that I never thought I would ever write. I have been here before and never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be here again. I know that I can’t stay where I am. I know this is not a drug you can stay on for life. I know my only hope is in getting off…again.

I’ve been reading here for a couple of weeks. It is painful to remember the suffering and pain withdrawal can cause. I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who could just step away the first time and I don’t imagine it will be different this time. I am not sure that “experience” helps in this case because I know what probably lies ahead having gone through this before. I needed support then, and hope to have some again this time around. The only thing that I do know is that after being off Benzos for the 7 years I was free, this process does work, and there is a better life after the pain and suffering of withdrawal. Knowing that is the only reason I can do this again.