Factitious disorders: symptoms, causes and treatment

the factual disorder it is a condition in which the patient consciously and deliberately acts as if he has a physical or mental illness when nothing is really happening to him.

Patients with this disorder they create and exaggerate the symptomatology of a disease in different ways. They can lie about their symptoms, injure themselves to create visible symptoms, or modify medical tests (for example, a urine sample) to make them look sick.

In fact, they are able to go through painful tests or risky operations to gain the sympathy of those caring for really sick individuals.

These are usually people with emotional difficulties

This behavior is considered a disorder because it is associated with severe emotional difficulties. But in addition, people who suffer from this psychopathology often suffer from other mental health issues, such as personality disorders.

In other words, these individuals they tend to have enduring thought and behavior patterns that differ from what society considers normal. In addition, they also tend to have low coping skills and severe problems with others.

Differential diagnosis between factitious disorder and somatomorphic disorder

Factitious disorder is similar to another psychopathology called somatomorphic disorder, which also includes the presence of symptoms that have nothing to do with actual illness. however, people with somatomorphic disorders do not pretend symptoms or cheat on othersBut they think they have illnesses that they don’t really have.

Characteristics of a person with a factitious disorder

People with this disorder usually have these characteristics:

  • Dramatic but inconsistent medical history
  • Unclear symptoms that cannot be controlled and become more severe or change once treatment is started
  • Predictable relapses after disease improvement
  • Presence of numerous scars
  • The appearance of new or additional symptoms after negative results of a medical or psychological test
  • Presence of symptoms only when the patient is with others or is observed
  • I want to perform tests or operations
  • Reluctance of patients to allow healthcare professionals to talk to family, friends and former physicians

Types of factitious disorders

According to the different symptoms, there are four types of fictitious disorders:

Factitious disorder with predominantly psychological symptoms

People with this psychopathology mimic the typical symptoms of schizophrenic disorder. Therefore, they often fake confusion, make absurd statements and claim to have hallucinations or delusions; for example, listening to voices.

Factitious disorder with predominantly physical symptoms

People with this disorder report having symptoms related to a physical illness, such as symptoms of chest pain, stomach problems, or fever. This disorder is also known as Munchausen syndrome.

Factitious disorder with psychological and physical symptoms

People with this disorder are said to have symptoms of physical and mental illness.

Factual disorder not specified

This type includes a disorder called Factual Power Disorder, also known as Munchausen Power Syndrome. People with this disorder make up the symptoms of the disease in another person in their care. This happens more often in mothers (although it can happen in fathers) who intentionally harm their children in order to receive care.

Causes of factitious disorder

The exact causes of this disorder are not known, however researchers believe this is due to biological and psychological factors.

Some theories claim that these patients suffered abuse or lack of affection during childhood that can lead to serious emotional problems associated with it, as well as a medical history that is characterized by the frequent presence of illnesses requiring hospitalization.

Studies suggest that this condition is more common in men than in women, while factual power disorder is more common in women.

Treatment of the sham disorder

The most important goal of treatment for this disorder is change patient behavior and eliminate or reduce the misuse of medical resources. In the case of a factual disorder by the powers, the primary objective is the protection of any potential victim.

Once these goals have been achieved, the next step is to understand the psychological reasons behind the patient’s behavior. The treatment par excellence is psychotherapy, preferably cognitive behavioral therapy, thus acting on the thought and behavior of the patient.

Family therapy can also be helpful so that family members do not reward the patient’s harmful behavior. In severe cases, antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs are given

Leave a Comment