Factitious Disorder was founded by Richard Asher, originally known as Munchausen, which was named after Baron von Munchausen. Baron was a German officer from the eighteenth- century, which was known for his exaggerated stories of his life experiences.
Factitious disorder, is a disorder where a person is seeking a “sick role” and will intentionally tell false information about their health. When a person with this disorder goes into the hospital, they may tell exaggerated symptoms, or an illness they do not have, in order to get attention. The people who show Factitious Disorder will more then likely have a knowledge about medical terminology and possibly hospital routines. After the patient has come in, they usually complain about some type of physical or psychological problems and once they have been tested or observed and they come back negative, they more then likely come back with a new type of physical or psychological problems that they are feeling to continue to have your attention. People who show Factious Disorder may go to different hospitals, or different physicians, or name even go under a different name, so they can continue to get the attention. Factitious Disorder is actually more common in males then women.
When looking at Factitious disorder there is different severities of this disorder. Like we have talked in class about there can be different levels to every disorder which can at times be difficult to diagnose. When looking deeper into Factitious disorder, according to the DSM-IV, Factitious disorder is characterized by physical or psychological symptoms. (1995, 471). For instance, a person that is showing it as a physical or psychologically, could take something or put some type of drug into their body to allowing their body to react to the drug which will then cause problems, which then they would go to the hospital and then have all the tests done. When they are asked by a doctor this, they had taken something or this to occur they will deny having done anything to their self. As this is all happening, they are getting the attention that they are striving for, which then motivates themselves to keeping doing this. There is also another way you can show a Factitious Disorder, it does not always have to be doing something to yourself or making illnesses or symptoms up about yourself. You can also have something called Munchausen by proxy, which is where you are a primary care giver for someone and you begin to take them into the hospital and start making up symptoms for the person you are caring for, which then causes them to possibly undergo testing which at times can be painful. This can also be a form which allows them to get the attention they want. According the DSM-IV, Factitious Disorder is distinguished from acts of Malingering. Malingering is an individual that produces symptoms intentionally, but they have a goal that can be recognizable when needed. (1995,471). They intentionally produce symptoms to avoid jury duty, standing trail, or conscription into the military.
There are different criteria to diagnose for Factitious Disorder. According to the DSM- IV, Factitious Disorder is the productions or feigning of physical or psychological or symptoms, another is that they have a motive for having behavior that makes them seen as a “sick role”. Also, when people avoid legal responsibility, or that they are improving physical well-being, which is called Malingering are absent.
Prevalence is limited, according to the DSM-IV, Factitious Disorder is a rarely reported disorder, but it is not always recognized. In other terms, this may end up being over reported because the individuals go to many different hospitals, or physicians, because the are under a different name. (1995,473) Course is also limited, according to DSM-IV, when looking into the disorder, it is limited to one or more episodes, but that are brief but are chronic. This usually occurs in early adulthood and are often hospitalized with a general condition or a mental disorder. When Factitious Disorder becomes more chronic, a person becomes successful at this they may get into this pattern and this may become a lifelong issue for them.
There can be different diagnosis, according to DSM-IV, Somatoform Diagnosis, is where one complains about physical things but are not fully comparable to the true general medical condition, but the symptoms are not made up. As I have talked about before Malingering differs from because the person may be making up their symptoms, but they are making them up because they are looking to get out of something verses having someone run tests on them asking about them. You can also distinguish between Factitious Disorder from a true general medical disorder and a true mental disorder. As the person who is with this person when trying to diagnose, needs to pay close attention with how they are saying what is wrong with them and listen to see if they are coming up with new things after asking if they had done something, or taken something that could cause them to come to the hospital. This will allow them to figure out if they are dealing with someone that has Factitious Disorder or someone that is actually in need of medical attention.