Factitious disorder, which is sometimes called
Munchausen syndrome, is where an individual fabricates or exaggerates physical or psychological
symptoms because they enjoy being in the “sick role”. These symptoms are sometimes faked, but may
also be induced, for example a person might take something to cause themselves to vomiting. Factitious disorder is listed in the DSM 5-
the 5th edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental illnesses, as a somatic symptom
disorder. But unlike other disorders in that group,
individuals don’t experience any symptoms, nor are they concerned that they will develop
any symptoms. Factitious disorder can happen as a single
episode, but generally individuals have recurrent hospitalizations, and are very knowledgeable
about the symptoms they are trying to pass off as real. Individuals with factitious disorder are generally
motivated by the attention and sympathy that they receive when pretending to be sick. These motivations are often subconscious,
which is to say that individuals often don’t even realize why they fabricate their symptoms. Importantly, individuals with this disorder
are usually not faking their symptoms for money, time off of work, access to medications,
or any other obvious external reward, if this were the case it’d be a psychological condition
known as malingering. A related diagnosis is ‘factitious disorder
imposed on another’ which is also called factitious disorder by proxy or Munchausen
syndrome by proxy. In this form of the disorder, one person deliberately
makes a second person ill without his or her knowledge. Once again, the motivation is to vicariously
experience the sick role, rather than to cause harm to that second person out of malice. This second individual is then falsely presented
as being ill, impaired, or injured to the healthcare system. Often this is done to someone that they are
responsible for, like a child, an elderly family member, or even a pet. For example, a person might deliberately poison
the individual and then call for help when they start vomiting. However it’s done, the second person, the
one who is sick, is not complicit in the deception. In other words, they’re not aware that their
symptoms are being caused by the first person, so it’s the first person, the perpetrator,
who receives this diagnosis. Now, there’s no known treatment for factitious
disorder, but family therapy is often helpful in helping them understand the illness and
the motivations underlying it. In cases where a second individual in their
care is being harmed, that child, spouse, or elder is separated completely from the
person with the diagnosis. The individuals who are being harmed not only
have to be treated for the illness or injuries that were induced, but also for the emotional
trauma that has taken place. All right, as a quick recap, factitious disorder
and factitious disorder imposed on another are conditions that are characterized by a
person fabricating or induces medical symptoms on themselves or someone in their care in
an effort to get the attention and sympathy that is often given to someone who is sick. Thanks for watching, you can help support
us by donating on patreon, or subscribing to
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73 thoughts on “Factitious disorder (Munchausen syndrome) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

  1. hey, osmosis thanks for the interesting fact… 😆😆 never heard about such disorder during my biomedical undergraduate study

  2. I have a friend who was working in the ER and got a case. It's also probably the nastiest thing I ever heard. This woman showed up with her 9 month old daughter presenting hematemesis. After various tests on the blood and CBC coming up without any drop in hemoglobin or hematocrit, they suspected something was amiss. Turned out that woman was making her child drink her diva cup to make her sick and get attention. Worst case of Munchausen I ever heard of. It was also premeditated, as she had given fake names and ID in admittance.

  3. Yup, I know a few of these people. Every time people stop paying attention to them they suddenly get really sick, and their online friends reinforce them by rushing in with well-wishes and sympathy. It doesn't help that the internet can always produce a support group that explains why their illness can't be diagnosed or treated.

  4. My theory is that this disorder evolved so that a woman could manipulate men into looking after her and her child. This would be beneficial to their survival, despite it being inhumanly cruel to the child at times, which is why it would evolve. Having been in a relationship with someone who has it, I can say it can be very deceptive. Also I don't think it's a coincidence it's always women who have it.

  5. If you don't go so far as to try to convince others that you have something, but you still really want a mental disorder for some reason (even after a ton of research and hearing people say how awful it is to live with one), is that a narcissistic personality/complex, or a milder version of Munchausen syndrome, or is it simply an obsession?

  6. My mom suddenly falls 'ill" whenever i have an important event at work coming up. I would tell her i'd just stay with her coz i know she'd make a fuss about it when i come home. She'd be "its okay" then when i come home. She'd be like "no one in this family takes care of me. I'm alone.." And so on…

  7. I think a family member of mine has this disorder she literally says she hurt her arm by opening a window, or picking up her four pound dog, and it's always her hand or she just gets hit with an object and unlike any other person she has to tell everyone about it and drag it on for weeks so people can give her attention and feel bad for her.

  8. Can you do a video on conversion disorder, I was just diagnosed and can’t find a good video for it to show my friends

  9. Yes! Osmosis is really a good source of information for quick recap for medical students like me. I hope you will continue to upload such videos those helps us a lot! Thanks a lot!!! 😀 <3

  10. Wow, so most of the internet has Factitious Disorder? It seems like everyone wants to be depressed, despite how awful it is to live with.

  11. I used to have this when I was 12 or so. My depression was very strong when I was younger and I really wanted to get attention and stay away from bullies in school. I know how to make my self throw up by simply contracting my throat muscles, and I used that to be admitted in the hospital for weetks at a time. I weighed only 93 pounds when I was 13. I'm 20 now and doing much better. Great college grades and a house. This disorder is so hard to ignore and at times I feel like I want to be in the hospital again. College motivates me, however, to stay out of the hospital. If you have this too, I promise if you find the right distraction, you too can overcome it.

  12. I am just curious if someone suffers from Munchausen Syndrome or Factitious disorder, does it qualify as being a hypochondriac or does this disorder qualify as form of hypochondriasis? Because I have heard of people in past who felt the pathological need to be at the doctor’s office, so they’ll constantly pretend to be sick 🤒 or make up some illness in their mind and actually convince themselves that are indeed ill 🤒. I have been told that these people are called hypochondriacs.The Difference between what I hear about most hypochondriacs & these kind of people is that a lot of hypochondriacs I hear of are not necessarily saying that they need to go to the doctor’s office for attention but for some other reason and that a lot of hypochondriacs don’t exactly poison them selves or do something to them selves to make them self sick. But I do notice a similarity between what would be considered a hypochondriac & these people for these people are still looking for an excuse to go to the doctor or seek medical care, even if they are doing for a specific movitations or take extreme measures, in order to get the doctor’s office. So does the first mental disorder in what in which one keeps himself sick or claims to be sick in order to get attention Qualify or fall into this spectrum of hypochondriasis?

  13. I suspect this is epidemic because those who are able bodied and willing to work are treated like pond scum compared to those who can "successfully" fake illness.

  14. This is my aunt all the time. She’s always sick, always dying, there’s always something
    She self diagnoses herself and my cousins weekly. (1:58) She calls my cousin autistic for acting out on her, but I’ve talked to my cousin and she acts out because her mom neglects her, which she very obviously does. She diagnosed my younger cousin (her 4yo son) with dwarfism, and he’s,,, really really not, he has some characteristics to make him look something like one but he’s also 5. She grew up one of the youngest of 8 sisters, she grew up craving attention, and brings my other aunts down for “not paying more attention to her”.

    What she does have is a bad thyroid problem, she needs to be on thyroid medicine, but neglects to accept anything. She’ll go to an appointment with a doctor (not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, just a regular check up doctor) and refuses to leave until she gets medicine for something. She got into adderall because she has extreme anxiety and so on. Her weight loss is extremely rapid and she’s putting herself in danger. 3 of my younger aunts (the only ones that graduated high school or went to universities, to become psychiatrists etc) give her advice, but she doesn’t take that advice and only digs deeper into her problems and keeps self diagnosing. It rubs off on her daughter / my cousin and is now affecting her and her kids.
    The thing is, I don’t think she’s fully aware of what she’s doing. I’ve learned over the years that despite the endless advice we could give her or the things she could be doing but aren’t, is more than hopeless. I really just pity her now, she’s putting herself in danger and negativity affecting other people. I’m trying to cut my ties from her and her influence but it’s hard when I still want to care about her well being.

    Just a moral to live by, instead of saying;
    “I have…!”
    “I think I have…”

    It makes a difference

  15. This is a wonderful video!! Abosultely amazing.i am male, trans, FTM, being pansextual. I’ve suffered a lot of trauma in my life, main one being harassment and being touched at a young age.Dont really wanna get into it. I personally suffer from Factitious Disorder. Sometimes it can be hell, you feel as if the attention is almost never enough, as if your craving something more, at least for me personally. I feel a sense of guilt between me and my partner when I tend to get needy, or attention seeking. Going through drastic measures as to saying I have seizures and or I’m gonna cut. Sometimes I’m oblivious to the fact this is even going on, times it’s uncontrollable and it just comes out. This feeling of doing things for attention and even still it’s almost not enough gives me a sense of lost, as if there’s something missing. Me and my partner are very strong, and I promise and swear to keep them safe with everything I have so we have a good relationship. Thanks so much for reading this and making this video! If you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask,.

  16. My ex wife is like this. My kids ALWAYS have something wrong with them as well. I despise her and don't know what I can do to combat this.

  17. I know someone with this. She’s been in a wheel chair and fully milked the system claiming to have ME. Now her son has ‘a foot disorder’ so munchausens can turn by proxy once they have children.



  19. I didn't realise this until recently but I actually have this. I always think/want to have a condition/disorder even if I don't have it yet I don't feel there is any reason for me wanting to have them.

  20. If she gets mad at you for not giving you money, if she pretends to be sick when you have something important to do, if she manipulated you to stay home, if she ruins your relationships and friendships just throw the whole mom away!

  21. I told my wife I wanted Children. She all of a sudden has twitching and seeing a neurologist and they can find NOTHING!!!!! I am tired of this shit. Just be honest. You don’t want kids because you don’t want kids. About done

  22. So I have a friend who just had a major surgery. Almost a month an half later he still acts like he’s in the same pain he was the first day of recovery. We have sent him back to his doctor, taken him to multiple clinics and nothing is wrong. I’m not too sure I believe him anymore and I notice he enjoys thing being done for him. If refused or denied any kind of service he goes into a fit of rage or desperation. At this point I realize he’s desperately in need to be “cared” for. I can’t put my self into this situation. I cannot be taken advantage of like this and I could lose my job due to having to care for someone that no longer needs caring for. Please help. I don’t know how to relieve myself of these slave like duties without losing a life long friend of mine. I hope to get him help.

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