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Munchausen's Syndrome (and Munchausen's By Proxy)

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Updated August 31, 2011

Definition: Munchausen's Syndrome is the popular name for what the DSM-IV calls Factitious Disorder. Factitious Disorder is characterized by a person intentionally harming or making themselves ill in order to gain attention and care. In Factitious Disorder By Proxy, a person intentionally harms another person, also presumably to gain access to the sick role and the attention that sickness brings. A new twist on this disorder is the person who enters Internet chat rooms and forums and pretends to be ill in order to gain sympathy and attention.
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