Factitious disorder is a formal (DSM-IV) mental health diagnosis in which people deliberately exaggerate, fabricate, or induce physical or psychological health problems in themselves in order to get attention for themselves or gain some other form of internal gratification. Munchausen Syndrome is sometimes described as one sub-type of factitious disorder; others say it is another name for this disorder. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (also addressed here) is a pattern of abusive behavior in which a caretaker deliberately exaggerates, fabricates, or induces physical and/or psychological health problems in another person. This pattern of behavior manifests as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, or a combination. The primary purpose of this behavior is to gain some form of internal gratification (such as attention) for the perpetrator.

Related categories 3

A Dangerous Kind of Maltreatment
Presents information on Munchausen by Proxy, a knowledge quiz, and links to further resources.
Dr. Marc Feldman's Munchausen Syndrome Page
Deals with factitious disorders, malingering, Munchausen by proxy, and related conditions.
eMedicine - Factitious Disorder
Article by Todd S. Elwyn, MD, covers history, causes, symptoms and clues to recognition, prevalence, differential diagnosis, and treatment of this condition, which can be very challenging for busy physicians.
Factitious Disorder with Psychological Signs and Symptoms
Abstract with case studies. Andrei Szoke, M.D.
Munchausen by Internet: Faking Illness Online
Article about people who join health support groups, chats, and message boards and fake a serious illness. Includes tips on how to spot this type of deception.
Munchausen by Proxy and Sexual Abuse
An article intended for the education of people involved in forensic investigations of child sexual abuse and related allegations.
Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy
Two physicians from the SIDS Network present descriptions of this disorder.
Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy Resources
Small collection of annotated links to news articles and other resources.
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