Munchausen's Syndrome is a form of psychological disorder. As of yet there are no recognised causes for this, but it has been proven to be common among families where at least one of the family members suffers from chronic illnesses such as manic depression.
Munchausen is described as a factitious disorder in which sufferers fake disease, exaggerate, or create symptoms of illnesses in order to gain investigation, treatment, attention, sympathy, and comfort from the medical profession. It is commonly diagnosed when the sufferer fakes so many illnesses it begins to interfere with their everyday life. The role of "patient" is a familiar and comforting one, and it fills a psychological need in people with Munchausen's.
Munchausen was first recognised in 1951 by Sir Richard Asher. Sir Richard Asher came across a patient who continually faked symptoms and remembered back to Baron Munchhausen,1720-1797, who along side Rudolf Raspe wrote a series of fantastically impossible tales, and with this is mind named the illness Muncheasun Syndrome.
There is also a disorder of a similar name known as Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. This is where an adult (usually a parent or care giver to a child ) fakes illness, symptoms or diseases in a child in their care, again for the same benefit as Munchausen.
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