Munchausen’s syndrome is a psychological disorder. A person with this disorder will pretend to be ill or make sure they have the symptoms of an illness. 

The reasoning behind these actions is to receive care from people, making them the centre of attention. 

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm, 365 days of the year.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

Those with Munchausen’s syndrome do not pretend to be sick so they receive financial help, they do it to get attention. 

Behaviour 

People with this syndrome can behave in a variety of ways, including:

  • Making active attempts to become ill. For example, someone might deliberately try to infect a wound
  • Pretend that they have physical symptoms such as a stomach ache
  • Pretend that they see things that aren’t there, hear voices, or experience other psychological symptoms

Those with Munchausen’s can be manipulative and visit hospitals feigning illness. In some cases, they might undergo surgery even if it isn’t necessary. 

To find out about the causes of Munchausen’s syndrome click on this link.

Diagnosing Munchausen’s

Medical professionals can find it hard to diagnose this syndrome. This is because people with Munchausen’s are very good at manipulating others.

If a patient is suspected to have Munchhausen’s their medical history will be examined. Doctors and other medical professionals will search for evidence that could show that injuries were self-inflicted. They can also take blood so it can be check for traces of medication that the patient shouldn’t be taking. If traces of medication are found, it could explain the patient’s symptoms. 

Munchausen’s syndrome could be diagnosed if:

  • There is no other explanation or reason for the way they are behaving
  • There is clear evidence that the patient is inducing or fabricating symptoms
  • It’s clear that their main motivation is for others to see them as being sick

Treating Munchausen’s

It can be hard to treat this syndrome as most people will say they do not have it. If treatment is offered, they may refuse to cooperate with it. 

Some people with Munchhausen’s have a genuine mental illness but it’s likely that they will only admit to being physically ill. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often used to treat this syndrome as it could help to control the symptoms. 

Psychoanalysis can also help has it attempts to resolve unconscious motivations and beliefs. 

Family Therapy 

People with Munchausen’s who still have contact with their family might benefit from this type of therapy. Discussing how the syndrome has affected the family can help to promote positive changes. 

There is mental health support in Selby for Munchausen’s syndrome. If you are concerned that someone you love has the syndrome, help is available. 

 

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm, 365 days of the year.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

Interested in helping those who are struggling with their mental health? We offer Mental Health First Aid training in Selby. Contact us at info@communitea.org.uk