Munchausen by Internet: The Lying Disease that Preys on the Heart - page 6

by tnbutterfly 31,680 Views | 70 Comments Admin

For decades, people have heard of Munchausen syndrome, a disorder characterized by people taking extraordinary measures to fake illnesses or psychological trauma for the sole purpose of attracting attention and sympathy from... Read More


  1. 4
    I certainly have shared some of my medical experiences with AN.
    I wonder if people think I made them up...
    OCNRN63, herring_RN, sharpeimom, and 1 other like this.
  2. 3
    Quote from tewdles
    I certainly have shared some of my medical experiences with AN.
    I wonder if people think I made them up...
    I think the OP gave a good outline as to what to look for in a fraud....most people, at one time or another, DO have medical problems--either themselves or a relative or friend--and I don't think we need to suspect most people of such posts.

    It's when it becomes overly dramatic, fantastical, involves multiple people posting "on behalf of" and such that the red flag should be raised.

    Personally, I've been involved with a number of online social groups over the last 17 or so years, and have had my own experiences with the occasional wingnut who poses as a normal person--and is anything but. Unfortunately, such people can wend their way through online societies with relative ease, since we really *DON'T* know what they really look like, their actual age, and frankly, even if the gender is correct. I've been a victim of fooling, and thankfully it didn't cost me anything financially--but the anger it created among those of us who found ourselves caring for a fictitious person in a fictitious situation left a sting I still can feel.
    herring_RN, tewdles, and tnbutterfly like this.
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    Thank you to the OP for an insightful article on what, sadly, appears to be a insidious problem.

    I went nursing school with a student who it was discovered, shortly before graduation, was not only telling a few online communities that she actively HAD breast cancer but was passing herself off as a nurse practitioner and doling out advice (which was how she got busted) online. I don't remember what the consequences were for her because this transpired days before graduation but I hope she got help she clearly needs.

    As a cancer survivor, I try very hard NOT to get mad when people lie and say they have cancer but I will be forever confused what it is about cancer that sounds so darn glamorous. I am completely baffled why it becomes the go to disease of choice for attention seekers. It sucks. It sucks when you're diagnosed with it...while you're being treated for it...what it does to your peace of mind and your family and then even when it is gone you worry about it coming back. Why in the world would anyone, exercising free will, WANT that??
    jadelpn, herring_RN, leslie :-D, and 4 others like this.
  4. 1
    Quote from TeleRN44
    As a cancer survivor, I try very hard NOT to get mad when people lie and say they have cancer but I will be forever confused what it is about cancer that sounds so darn glamorous. I am completely baffled why it becomes the go to disease of choice for attention seekers. It sucks. It sucks when you're diagnosed with it...while you're being treated for it...what it does to your peace of mind and your family and then even when it is gone you worry about it coming back. Why in the world would anyone, exercising free will, WANT that??
    Exactly!!!!
    herring_RN likes this.
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    Quote from tewdles
    I certainly have shared some of my medical experiences with AN.
    I wonder if people think I made them up...
    I too have shared some of my medical history on allnurses and have wondered whether people now question my veracity. Can't help it if they do. I have a neurological history so unusual that parts of it appear in medical texts. What a heckuva way to be immortalized!
    OCNRN63, herring_RN, tewdles, and 1 other like this.
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    I must commend the writer of this article, for taking out time to write this piece. A fantastic article it is I must say. Thanks for raising the awareness about this menace, and enlightening the mind of some of us who absolutely have no idea of what it is. I well know that allnurses.com has proven to be a haven for nurses, many persons get support and encouragement from this forum, even in their lowest of lows, that includes but is not restricted to some genuine terminal ailments, with d support and help of nurses on this forum they have been able to pull through or cope with it. Please may this not hinder us in any way from expressing our innate abilities to show compassion and love to one another genuinely from our hearts, which this forum is known for. However our well meaning concern, is to identify symptoms of this psychological disorder, how to handle or cope with individuals who exhibit them,but not to fall prey to unsolicited attention seekers. Or be unusually suspicious of ourselves, doing so will be far from the motive of the writer. Thanks again Tnbutterfly.
    herring_RN and tnbutterfly like this.
  7. 2
    Quote from opjewel
    I must commend the writer of this article, for taking out time to write this piece. A fantastic article it is I must say. Thanks for raising the awareness about this menace, and enlightening the mind of some of us who absolutely have no idea of what it is. I well know that allnurses.com has proven to be a haven for nurses, many persons get support and encouragement from this forum, even in their lowest of lows, that includes but is not restricted to some genuine terminal ailments, with d support and help of nurses on this forum they have been able to pull through or cope with it. Please may this not hinder us in any way from expressing our innate abilities to show compassion and love to one another genuinely from our hearts, which this forum is known for. However our well meaning concern, is to identify symptoms of this psychological disorder, how to handle or cope with individuals who exhibit them,but not to fall prey to unsolicited attention seekers. Or be unusually suspicious of ourselves, doing so will be far from the motive of the writer. Thanks again Tnbutterfly.
    And thank YOU for this most excellent post. I agree with this 100%!!! Thank you for understanding the objective of the article.

    One of the worst things about this disorder is the fact that is often wreaks havoc in its wake. It tends to cause a questioning and distrustfulness after its exposure. But hopefully, armed with the information about this disorder and its symptoms, we can continue to offer a safer haven for those who are truly suffering with real illnesses and challenges.

    I echo what opjewel has said:

    Please may this not hinder us in any way from expressing our innate abilities to show compassion and love to one another genuinely from our hearts, which this forum is known for.
    herring_RN and mariebailey like this.
  8. 2
    I won't mention names but my fiancée had a kid with someone whoexpresses these character traits. Luckily, my analytical mind, plus my intuitionkicked into gear and was able to detect her sinister ways. Conversely, she hada web around my ostrich fiancée for quite sometime, before I could get him tosee her true colors. I am a firm believer in that the truth always comes out.By the way loved this article, it was nicely written! It was like light burstingout of darkness.
    herring_RN and tnbutterfly like this.
  9. 4
    Quote from Yolandalee
    I won't mention names but my fiancée had a kid with someone whoexpresses these character traits. Luckily, my analytical mind, plus my intuitionkicked into gear and was able to detect her sinister ways.
    bolding by me.

    i see "munchausen by internet" as a mental illness that deserves the same consideration as all the others.
    maybe this girl was "sinister" but not everyone that does this, is an evil/sinister person.
    they are sick...and it warrants compassion, imo.

    leslie
    OCNRN63, herring_RN, sharpeimom, and 1 other like this.
  10. 1
    Quote from TeleRN44
    As a cancer survivor, I try very hard NOT to get mad when people lie and say they have cancer but I will be forever confused what it is about cancer that sounds so darn glamorous. I am completely baffled why it becomes the go to disease of choice for attention seekers. It sucks. It sucks when you're diagnosed with it...while you're being treated for it...what it does to your peace of mind and your family and then even when it is gone you worry about it coming back. Why in the world would anyone, exercising free will, WANT that??
    congrats on being such a survivor, tele.

    i don't think the 'storytellers' "want" cancer per se...
    but it is undoubtedly THE disease that evokes a powerful, attentive, and supportive response from most people.
    i agree wholeheartedly, that it is something you don't deceive others with.
    karma is a tricky phenomenon.
    and one's actions can and will invite an unwanted/unexpected response from the universe.

    i seriously sympathize and pity those who go to such lengths in constructing then living their lies.
    their deluded needs are far more serious and damaging than the insult it creates for others.
    and i continually pray these tortured souls find the solace they so desperately seek and need.

    leslie
    herring_RN likes this.


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