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Munchausen by Proxy

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    Munchausen by Proxy

    For some reason this term has been appearing quite often in the news recently. Or maybe I'm just picking up on it more than others....

    Can someone provide some definition? What is it about? Who was Munchausen(sp?)?

    Interesting. I had never heard the term so after reading the post, searched the web a bit and came up with following:

    Munchausen's syndrome is an extreme and severe form of factitious disorder, a psychiatric condition in which a person feigns physical or psychological illness for emotional -- rather than financial -- gains. The person may also actually induce illnesses or conditions, or manipulate existing medical conditions, in order to receive emotional rewards such as attention, support and care from health care professionals, friends and coworkers. (People who consciously fake medical or psychiatric illnesses for other than emotional gains -- such as to receive disability benefits, worker's compensation or the like -- are considered to be "malingering" rather than suffering from factitious disorder or Munchausen's.)

    (,00.html )

    The term "Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy" (MSBP) was coined in a 1976 report describing four children who were so severely abused they were dwarfed. In 1977, Meadow described a somewhat less extreme form of child abuse in which mothers deliberately induced or falsely reported illnesses in their children. He also referred to this behavior as MSBP.

    Over the years, alternate terms, such as "Polle's syndrome" and "Meadow's syndrome," have been suggested; however, these terms never gained popularity. In contrast to its adult namesake, the American Psychiatric Association's DSM III-R does not consider Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy a psychiatric disorder.

    Tragically, MSBP victims are usually children, and the perpetrators are almost always parents or parent substitutes. If and when victims are hospitalized, they may be subjected to multiple, and at times, dangerous diagnostic procedures that invariably produce negative or confounding results. When the victim and abuser are separated, however, the victim's symptoms cease. When confronted, the abuser characteristically denies any knowledge of how the child's illness occurred.

    ( )


      Quite an extensive definition What do you call those psychos who like to mentally torcher others on either chat sites or even on forums? This is really a problem for the children who are just experiencing the net for the first time and have no clue about the possible nature of the world out there. We really need to do something about this.

      [This message has been edited by Dopey (edited July 15, 2000).]
      Life is only a dream.


        Thanks Roman. That's a very good definition. I was hoping that Nova would have something to say about it too.

        It's interesting how much you can pick up by simply investigating the terms that you hear.