©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Munchausen Syndrome


Please describe your experience with Munchausen syndrome. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Helpless, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 05

Wonder if it is possible to bring on a heart attack on yourself purposefully! My family member has never been able to make it a week without some health problem; many surgeries, many doctors, and many different ailments. In the middle of all these she actually had an incident where she had a heart attack in her early thirties. We started taking her more seriously after that. The stream of problems is so diverse and so constant that I am beginning to wonder about the heart attack and wondering if it is Munchausen syndrome.

Comment from: TiredMom, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 08

My daughter has been 'sick' since she was a teenager. I have been dealing with her Munchausen syndrome for many years. She now has gastroparesis; despite being told by the clinic that her results were normal. She has built up an entire Facebook community on this premise that she has this issue. It's not true. She has had multiple unnecessary surgeries on her back. She engages in insane attention seeking quests that are too numerous to list here. She has a husband who enables her, and spends her life on opiates asleep.

Comment from: Brad, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 18

My dad poisoned me for years and it wasn't until many years later I realized what he was doing. A real nightmare, he is still alive and I am scared of him. I feel violated and betrayed with no course of recourse or way to get justice. I wonder if this is Munchausen syndrome.

Comment from: Curious, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 01

Three people in my life I suspect have a form of a Munchausen syndrome. One has an unending string of illnesses and injuries, all rare and bizarre, faithfully reported on social media. Another gets constant reinforcement reporting in exhaustive detail on her daughter’s rare and invisible illnesses. The third mostly lies about her children’s rare illnesses and injuries. All 3 are overweight white women. All 3 also vary the story by reporting on their dogs’ illnesses, I don’t know if it is coincidence or type.

Comment from: atalossxx, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 14

I think my mother-in-law has Munchausen syndrome as well and I'm at my wits’ end. I'm currently waiting to join my husband (military) and in the meantime I'm sharing a unit with her. Anyway, she's been sick twice to the point where she was dying. My poor husband was young then, we are still young now but he was just a little lad back then. Now, after our marriage and talk of me moving with him and leaving she's sick again. I am not sure what you look for, like telltale signs of the syndrome.

Comment from: Lona, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 22

My sister has done had Munchausen syndrome since we were young. I'm youngest and she is four years older. We come from an extremely dysfunctional home. She has always craved any kind of attention. My other sister and I said, that if you told her you had leprosy she would say she had it and it was twice as bad. Or she was coming down with it also! I have arthritis, and fibromyalgia. She now gets injections for these. My brother just died of lung cancer. Guess who has it now! I can't believe she would say this. Upsetting me.

Comment from: ALittleHelp, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 18

Thank you for your story. I believe that my partner has Munchhausen syndrome. He has only been to the doctor one time, and this doctor could not find anything wrong with him. He says it is skin-related, but will not see a dermatologist. I have been dealing with him/his ailment for over 10 years. I need to know how one can make him willingly attended a psychiatrist/therapist. I know that there is no way that I could even suggest this to him without an outrageous reaction on his part. He keeps saying that he's almost better, depending on his mood. This has hurt me, and hurt my son and I do not know what to do. It's easiest for me to go along with it. I will keep looking for resources where I can try to get help. I suppose in the mean time I will check back to this website and see if any replies are available. Thank you all.

Comment from: Maryanne, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: May 02

Munchausen syndrome involves more than constant, unsubstantiated claims about health conditions, it also includes lying about others, (relatives and friends), in an effort to gain pity. As a caregiver to my mother-in-law who has Munchausen syndrome, (she sees a doctor at least once a week with some fictitious illness), I have to say that it is extremely difficult to be sympathetic to someone who constantly fabricates stories to get attention, someone who happily tells horrid lies about you just to get sympathy. People leave my home, after visiting her in her granny flat upstairs, looking at me as if I am a monster. She knows she can't cope without me, and she constantly tells me she loves me and appreciates what I do; but she will happily destroy me in the eyes of others just to have them fuss about her. I love her, and tell myself she is ill with a mental disorder, but sometimes I wonder if that is so. She is normal in every other way, she successfully raised a family, had great jobs and achieved much in her life. She is bright, has great fashion sense, is interested in current affairs and is always reading books. So I wonder if Munchausen syndrome really is a mental disorder or just the behavior of a self-centered person who revels in attention.


What's Your Biggest Fear? Phobias See Slideshow
Comment from: mariaaugustus, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 29

I first came across the term Munchausen syndrome in her folder. I checked the meaning online and started recalling symptoms she was exhibiting. Her husband said he would transfer her to the psychiatry ward because he does understand why she is behaving like she does. She was pointing to the veins on brachium while the ones on her wrist was clear, palpable and visible. She claims to be a known peptic ulcer disease patient but consumes beverages rich in caffeine. She looks weak and appears not to be making any significant improvement. She requested that I change her ward for no good reason. Relations troop in to visit her. One of her relatives requested for discharge, this assumed is their unanimous decision. They assume she is not getting enough medical attention. Now I understand why the doctor discharged her without hesitation.

Comment from: bullock, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 14

I checked caregiver as it seemed to be the closest. Actually, my daughter is the Munchausen syndrome patient and she no longer lives at home. She is 48. Since the age of five or six, she has had a series of physical issues, including numerous trips to the emergency room, more than 30 operations, etc. She says that she has many physical issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, scoliosis, sleep apnea, chronic fatigue, migraines, thyroid problems, back and knee problems. She also says that she suffers from bi-polar, severe depression, schizoid effect, borderline personality disorder, etc. She takes a multitude of prescription drugs. The list of her ailments has no end. I am physically and emotionally exhausted from trying to cope with it. I don't know what is real and unreal. I also feel guilty that I don't have more patience with her.

Comment from: Alone2, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 20

My mom is 70 and has Munchausen syndrome I think. Since she lost her job she has convinced the doctor that she is in pain. She has had so many surgeries. She flat out told the doctor she would rather have surgery than to blink her eye after having a prosthetic eye. Now she wants neck surgery. If she fears something will be taken from her (medicines) she will act normal. If she wants something she acts like she is dying. She goes to the hospital monthly by ambulance because she doesn't want to sit and wait.

Comment from: over it, Published: October 21

That sounds like my sister; she swears all her children have some sort of ailment. No peanuts, citrus, or dairy for the oldest one. No wheat or sugar for the youngest. She tells them that it will make them itch. Both children have eczema which of course has to be caused by foods, not that they have ever been properly tested. The other child was adopted from another country; she was shopped around until a specialist said she has thyroid disease because she "gets cold after she eats". After 3 years, this is a new problem. She also complains how tired she is being a stay at home mother, even though all kids are in school.

Comment from: R, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 13

I have Munchausen syndrome. I don’t think it is me anymore. Maybe I am doing the same thing in another way. It’s not just about attention. I am more ashamed than you can ever imagine.

Comment from: dogmom, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 01

I have a husband who decides to have to some kind of health issue after I have had a real health problem. One time after I had a heart attack he decided not to take his blood pressure meds and insulin and ended up in the hospital. Another time he fell in a mole hole and broke his foot. A third time he found a piece of bathroom floor to slip on and broke his ankle in three places and ended up in a full leg cast. He was in a wheel chair. I was getting ready for some serious spine surgery. I broke my foot and couldn't drive. He fell a couple of times, blood pressure and blood sugar spiked really high. He ended up in the hospital. Every time I had a health issue he seemed to one that required my attention no matter what was going on with me. My doctor shared this pattern and I think he's on the right path.

Comment from: Tab, Male (Caregiver) Published: February 29

My granddaughter’s mother has been to at least six different hospitals since January. Two weeks ago she claimed that my granddaughter had fallen out of a second story window, although my granddaughter did not have a scratch, bump, or bruise on her. They had to stay overnight in the hospital and my granddaughter was subjected to all the trauma and fear that experience would have had on any two-year-old. I am very concerned!

Comment from: Jeanne, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: August 08

My mother-in-law has ALL the symptoms of Muchausen syndrome. She fakes seizures, falling, abdominal pain, and other ailments. She takes medicine constantly -- over-the-counter laxatives, etc. She claims she is in constant pain due to nerve damage after each and every procedure she has ever had done. She had a hysterectomy in the early 80's and told everyone afterward that the doctor said her insides were so grossly twisted that it was no wonder she was in such pain all the time. My father-in-law told us the doctor said there was NOTHING wrong -- but he did the surgery to ease her mind. She also had a double mastectomy after finding a cyst in her breast -- NOT cancer, but she was convinced that it was and insisted on the surgery. She has been telling us that she is not going to live long for the past 40 years. I am fed up!!!


Laughter feels good because… See Answer
Comment from: nurse85, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 11

About a week ago I finally told my psychiatrist that the 23 overdoses I had in the past 7 years were carefully planned out. I knew how much aspirin I needed to get into the ICU. Being a nurse I had a lot of medical books at my disposal. I just wanted to be treated the way I used to treat my patients -- with empathy, care and respect. When I was small I don’t remember any affection at all, from either parent. I feel that plays a big part of this. I was also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I hope that more people will come out about this illness, and hopefully get some help. I know you can do it.


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors