Let's face it, once in a while we ALL love to be the center of attention. Whether it is by one person or many, people enjoy feeling loved. And what better way for someone to show you all of their love and kindness than by paying special attention to you. It is not a crime, nor is it bad when someone is seeking attention or affection from a loved one. However, there are some individuals who take seeking attention to an "unhealthy" level. They will use any method that they can to convince others that they are sick, dying or need help, in order to receive attention from anyone. It is not uncommon to see these people constantly at the hospital. This issue, known as Munchhausen Syndrome (or factitious disorder), can become so serious that an individual will risk their life with surgery at the cost for attention or sympathy. In many cases, a person who has Munchhausen Syndrome is extremely intelligent, therefore knowing medicine to a point where it becomes easier for them to fool others. This is a serious mental disorder that many medical authorities are baffled as to how it occurs in certain people. Regardless of the cause, this can often lead to a premature death for those who are suffering from this mental disorder.
Those who may be suffering from this illness, must seek help immediately. The doctor will probably run different health tests to ensure that there is nothing physically keeping an individual from functioning properly. With this syndrome, there runs a high possibility that the person may be suffering from another form of mental illness or mood disorder. If it is concluded that your mental health decline is caused by a psychiatric problem, your doctor will probably interact with a mental health care specialist, In order to to help treat the underlying mood disorder as well as to avoid countertransference, therapeutic and medical treatment is centered on the underlying psychiatric disorder. In addition, a medical professional will evaluate the patient for a history of childhood abuse or neglect. Some of the most common symptoms are the following (EMedicine Health):
- Medical History that is inconsistent with the details/problems.
- May fit specific symptoms "perfectly" without the side affects.
- Symptoms may change after treatment has begun.
- Multiple scars from previous surgeries.
- Has a history of seeing several doctors in the past..
This illness is extremely hard to diagnose and treat, however, an intervention must be made immediately. Munchhausen Syndrome is life threatening.
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"Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They will keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you (Hebrews 13:17)."