Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Munchausen's syndrome


"Psychosomatic disorders are conditions in which a person suffers from significant physical symptoms (causing real distress and disability), that is out of proportion to that which can be explained by medical tests and physical examinations."

Karl Friedrich Von Munchausen, the "Baron of Lies" gave his name to the syndrome. Munchausen's syndrome (now more correctly called factitious disorder in DSM- 5 classification of somatic symptom and related disorders ) refers to patients who imitate illness (may be in an exaggerated form ) for medical attention and care and may even expose themselves to life- threatening operations, amputations, unnecessary medications and toxic treatments.

Lets take an example: A woman presents to hospital with a headache and a dilated pupil. On investigations, scans were normal and no other systemic abnormality seen. Then, a nurse walks into her room and finds the patient self- administering dilating eye drops into the affected eye.

The person has an awareness of the lies they are telling but they surely do it to seek medical care and attention, being unaware of their own motivation and uncontrolled behavior.

Upto one- third of patients in neurology ward suffer from psychosomatic illness and most often, an emotional cause is suspected.

Thats all
- Jaskunwar Singh

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