Münchausen syndrome is a psychiatric factitious disorder where the affected person fakes being ill. Often times, the faux symptoms are concocted to gain attention or fulfill the wish to be taken care of. The people listed below are the extreme, but even mild cases of the syndrome involve a lot more than running a thermometer under hot water to feign a fever. People will literally attempt to hospitalize themselves. It’s hard to wrap your mind around.
Take a look at just how complex the stories those suffering from Münchausen syndrome are able to come up with:
After complaining of neck pain that stemmed from an automobile accident, a 38-year-old woman was given a CT scan. Everything appeared to be fine until doctors noticed that the patient had nails near her spine–nails that she had put there herself.
A Colorado woman raised over $60,000 that was to go towards her treatment for the cancer that she didn’t actually have. No, there was no misdiagnoses here–she had completely made up the story to garner the attention and affection of her friends and family.
A man who was diagnosed with celiac disease after claiming to have lost 44 lbs in seven months. When his health did not improve after changing his diet so as not to upset the small intestine that celiac disease affects, doctors were perplexed. It was thought that he possibly had an immunodeficiency, until it was discovered that he was abusing drugs with the intention of obtaining the previously mentioned symptoms.
4. “Bacteria in the Bloodstream”
When a woman was admitted to Baylor University Hospital with bacteria in her bloodstream, the doctors performed many tests to see what they were dealing with, as it can lead to several serious infections. After the tests revealed that nothing was wrong, the staff grew suspicious–especially after discovering that she too worked in the medical field. While searching the patient’s room, they found a Petri dish and a syringe that she may have been planning to use to inject bacteria into her veins.
5. “The Wanderer”
A man in his early twenties made stops at hospitals all over New Mexico complaining of chest pain. After doctors discovered that nothing was wrong, he made trips to hospitals in other states and was eventually sent to a psychiatrist. Even so, he turned up in Ohio with a new story of a fictitious heart transplant he underwent in Germany. It took some time, but one of the doctors in Ohio finally realized that they had been seeing this patient for years and that they had been using numerous false names and birth dates to get unneeded treatments.
6. “Ms. J”
“Ms. J” is a young woman who really does have diabetes, but would purposely deprive herself of the proper amount of insulin while her husband was away so she could receive attention. By doing this, she was putting herself in danger of acute kidney failure and swelling of the brain.
7. Wendy Scott
Wendy Scott was able to overcome one of the most severe cases of Münchausen syndrome to be documented, but before her recovery, Scott had been a patient at over 600 hospitals and over 40 needless operations. Few suffering from Münchausen syndrome go public with their story, but Scott was very open with people and even reached out to those who also wanted to recover from the syndrome.
8. “Multiple Heart Attacks”
A 67-year-old man who claimed to have had two previous heart attacks arrived at a hospital with symptoms that would suggest he was undergoing his third. After being treated, he was released and no one ever heard from him again… until four months later, when he showed up complaining of the same symptoms… and the day after that when he did it again.
9. “Finger Pricker”
A Utah man claimed to have been dealing with nausea, pain in his right side, and blood in his urine when he arrived at University of Utah Medical Center. Because he said he was allergic to intravenous contrast dye, there was only so much the staff could do to see what was going on with his body. Lupus was briefly considered as the cause of his symptoms, but a physical examination revealed pin pricks on his fingers that tipped doctors off to the possibility that he was drawing blood from his digits to place in his urine. This was confirmed when a former doctor of his called to say that the patient had a history of fabricating symptoms.
10. “The Note”
In Texas, a woman arrived at Baylor University Hospital to receive chemotherapy. When the woman, who gave herself scars and shaved her head to make it look as if she’s received treatment before, was asked to provide medical records that proved she had cancer, she produced a forged note that was riddled with spelling errors and by no means resembled something someone working in the medical field would write.
It’s hard to understand anyone with this condition… but it blows me away that there are people everywhere who are hurting themselves for attention. It’s common for people to have cries for help, but this? It’s just insane.
Click below to share this strange disorder. I hardly believe it really exists.