- Factitious disorder with mostly psychological symptoms—For example, the person may pretend to have schizophrenia.
- Factitious disorder with mostly physical symptoms—For example, the person acts as if they have chest pain or abdominal pain. The term "Munchausen syndrome" is sometimes used to refer to this type.
- Factitious disorder with both psychological and physical symptoms.
- Factitious disorder not otherwise specified—Factitious disorder by proxy (or Munchausen syndrome by proxy) fall into this category. This involves a parent using his or her child to get needless medical attention for the child.
|Receiving Medical Treatment|
|People with factitious disorder seek unnecessary medical treatment.|
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- Having frequent illnesses early in life
- Being abused or rejected by a parent
- Identifying with someone who had an illness
- A lengthy, conflicting medical history
- Vague symptoms that cannot be managed
- A illness that returns after it is controlled
- Strong knowledge of hospitals and medical terms
- Multiple surgical scars
- New symptoms that appear after test results come back negative
- A medical history at many hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices
- Blocking contact between previous and current doctors, and between doctors and family members
- Symptoms that appear only when patient is not being observed
- Demanding medical tests or procedures
- Eagerness to have medical tests or procedures
- Self-inflicted or artificial symptoms of disease
American Psychiatric Association http://www.psychiatry.org
American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org
Canadian Psychological Association http://www.cpa.ca
Cleveland Clinic. An overview of factitious disorders. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/Factitious%5FDisorders/hic%5FAn%5FOverview%5Fof%5FFactitious%5FDisorders.aspx. Updated June 11, 2013. Accessed September 24, 2014.
Huffman JC, Stern TA. The diagnosis and treatment of Munchausen syndrome. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2003;25:358-363.
Munchausen syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 28, 2014. Accessed September 24, 2014.
Munchausen syndrome. Patient UK website. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Munchausen's-Syndrome.htm. Updated September 17, 2010. Accessed September 24, 2014.
Somatoform disorders. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/somatoform-disorders.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed September 24, 2014.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/24/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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