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23 Apr 2004

munchausens revisited
thanks for your reply
is there any relationship between this and pathological/compulsive lying? the thing is, the things they claim are wrong are actually medically impossible and those that are possible there is no way a doctor would not hospitalise them?
Re the lying, I used to question the lies but they never blinked an eyelid so now i just take them with a pinch of salt. How do I handle this - I don't want it being imprinted on my child. Because of all this too, my husband poo-pooed whenever i was sick and the last time turned out the scan showed a tumour in my tummy (only a neurofibromata though so nothing scarey) and it worries me that becuase they fake it he thinks i do.
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CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Not quite the link you might expect. A pathological liar lies about everything, a Munchausen lies only about one thing, their health and tall stories related to that, and they lie in three dimensions, as it were, for instane they may get animal blood from the butcher's, and swallow it, so they can rush into a hospital and dramatically vomit blood on the floor. They often research their "illness" pretty well, and seldom if ever, except perhaps by acident, imitate a non-existent or impossible condition. I ran into one who subscribed to the British Medical Journal, and gained fame by fooling a number of doctors for years by pretending to have a very rare disease he read about there, and did it so well he actually had a paper written about him published in the journal a couple of years later, as an example of this rarity. And of course it's a Very Bad Idea,. as they often end up having operations they don't need, and unpleasant and dangerous treatments, unnecessarily ; and when they get discovered, the doctors and nurses are usually very angry at being fooled, and reject them, without offering the help they may need ( even though it's different from the hlep they were asking for ).
And as you mention, the "boy who cried wolf" story applies --- such folks may be disbelieved even when they are indeed seriously sick, and may even find it had themselves to be sure whether a symptom is real or faked.
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