Munchausen by Internet: The Lying Disease that Preys on the Heart - page 7

by tnbutterfly 32,265 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


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    I didn't know what to make of that football guy and his drama. Now the catfisher behind it all was a man?
    This whole 'catfish' situation is very new to me.
    I find it beyond weird that someone would go to such lengths. I don't see the big deal with the internet, I guess. I really don't even have a facebook page. It usually never makes sense to others when I say this, but I just don't see the point in it unless I'm going to play the games. I don't really 'get' twitter, either. LOL I don't know of anyone who twitters, either. Is that a high-school/middle-school thing? To me? Unless you're a business owner or brand-building, who the hell cares about what you're thinking about 24/7?
    OCNRN63 likes this.
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    Quote from netglow
    I like to help and support, but there is a line not to cross.I have to add that many members here have had horrible medical problems and I will continue to support them.
    Wonderful.
    herring_RN likes this.
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    Quote from tewdles
    munchausen by internet is preferrable to munchausen by proxy...
    I agree because they are not using resources that can be life saving for other people.
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    I agree with the above.......At least with Munchausen by internet, there is usually not another innocent victim (usually a child) involved, as is the case with Munchousen by Proxy. And the person using the internet for this ruse is generally not inflicting pain/harm on themselves to make people believe they are ill. They just use words with the help of the internet to gain sympathy and attention.
    Esme12 and NRSKarenRN like this.
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    I unfortunately had the experience of encountering one of these people, who actually was suffering from Munchhausen By Proxy in real life. Her child was the victim, and so were we, the members of her on-line support group. My child had some health issues and I joined this wonderful group on-line to share experiences and vent after a difficult day to those who understood. There was one mom who was on quite frequently. Her child was preschool aged but very very small and weak. She had several disorders including multiple UTI's, severe feeding intolerances, and other chronic infection-type things. In the course of her being a member of our group, her child underwent a Nissan Fundoplication, exploratory bowel surgery, several scopes, several kidney and bladder studies, had a g-tube put in, then a G-J, then went to TPN via PICC line. She was constantly in the hospital. One day one of the members of the group posted a link to a news article in the local paper that identified the women in our support group and said she had been arrested! We all felt so sick and betrayed. The posts were used in court as evidence along with the evidence collected at the hospital.

    Here's the case:

    Mom gets 15 years for hurting daughter - US news - Crime & courts | NBC News
    tnbutterfly likes this.
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    I know a family member with this and was unfortunately fell victim as a child. Its horrible when all you can do is watch and have no control over the situation. Luckily i was able to release the grips of this person but they still suffer with it.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
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    I had this experience by a former member several years ago. I was being attacked personally, and didn't understand why. She was banned after several posts to me and to others.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
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    Thanks you tnbutterfly for a great article. I am the founder of and researcher on a website for support of people with breast cancer and in the early stages of the online community detected a member who fits your description of MI. However a definitive diagnosis of MI is elusive due to the transitory nature of support group membership and best left to the mental health professionals but nurses should be aware of this condition and perhaps, in the future, online information will be included in their everyday nursing practice!
    tnbutterfly likes this.
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    Quote from netglow
    tn, thanks for this article. I think a lot of us were not even thinking about this possibility regarding a member here. I had thought possible inconsistencies in posts were a consequence of a particular disease progression. But thank you for watching over everybody here. I simply was not going to fact hunt through all the posts, so I would not have known. Surprisingly when I read your notice, I was not at all mad - I guess it's just a sign of the times.

    I would not be one to give out my personal info to this person, and, I have never had a facebook account, etc. I like to help and support, but there is a line not to cross. I think the older nurses here understand that the "interweb" LOL is often for fools. The younger ones who have grown up with it are a lot more trusting.

    Edit: I have to add that many members here have had horrible medical problems and I will continue to support them.
    Very true, netglow. I approach the interwebs with a healthy dose of skepticism.

    I experienced this here with another member (still posts). I just give that member a wide berth and avoid any posts he/she makes.
    Last edit by OCNRN63 on Mar 24
    tnbutterfly and Esme12 like 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've never thought that. I've shared that I am fighting cancer, and that I had to stop working because of the side effects of treatment. If people choose to disbelieve me, I can't do anything about that. I rely on friends and family for support, though I have appreciated kind words from several members here.

    Anyway, tewdels, no...I don't think anyone believes you're faking.
    Last edit by OCNRN63 on Mar 24
    tnbutterfly and Esme12 like this.


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