If you’ve read the comments left on either of these two blogs: I’m Back and Stronger Than Ever, or I Am Down, But I am NOT Out, you know there are people that think I self-diagnosed my post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
So, for the purpose of this blog, I’m going to give the nay-sayers the benefit of the doubt and say that I am making all of this up. I’m going to pretend for a moment that their intentions are honest and that what I actually have is Munchausen syndrome and not post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Before we start though, I’m going to clear up the name of the illness because it isn’t called Munchausen syndrome, or Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) anymore. It’s now called factitious disorder (FD), or factitious disorder imposed on another (FDIA) and it’s a mental disorder in which a person seeks attention by inducing or feigning illness in another person, typically a child.
The nay-sayers, pessimists, and cynics are claiming that what I have is FD. That all of the illnesses/injuries I’ve had throughout my life have been self-induced or are figments of my over-active imagination, so I’m going to focus on FD; not FDIA.
In people with FD, the presence of symptoms only occurs when the person is alone; never when they’re with a physician. In fact, most people with FD end up going to multiple physicians and or, hospitals trying to get people to believe them and their forged symptoms.
Their medical history is inconsistent, yet extensive and most people diagnosed with FD are unwilling to allow family or friends to meet with their medical professionals. The professionals believe that the reason for this reluctance is that people with FD are concerned that their deception will be uncovered and people will find out that they’re lying. Consequently, people with FD always make sure to go to their appointments alone.
People with FD are willing and eager to go to the hospital to have tests done, and they will go to multiple physicians or clinics to obtain treatment if their own physicians don’t believe them.
People with FD have identity and self-esteem issues and I believe it’s because the risk factors for FD are having a personal or family history of neglect, abuse, serious illness or other maltreatment.
The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK identified possible causes of FD to be:
· Emotional trauma or illness during childhood – this often resulted in extensive medical attention
· A personality disorder – a mental health condition that causes patterns of abnormal thinking and behaviour
· A grudge against authority figures of healthcare professionals.
The NHS also believe that FD may be caused by childhood trauma, such as parental neglect or abandonment and as a result, the child’s unresolved issues with their parents cause them to fake illness. The NHS isn’t really sure why a person reacts this way, but they believe that it could have to do with masochism; a compulsion to punish themselves because they feel unworthy and undeserving.
FD is a fictitious illness, and for the most part, the disorder has no physical manifestations or appearances. So, when a person is constantly saying there’s something wrong, and there’s never, ever a definitive diagnosis for their ailments, it’s pretty easy to figure out that a person has FD.
The only illness that I’ve been diagnosed with that doesn’t show itself physically is PTSD and theoretically, I could be making that up, but illnesses like shingles, Type II diabetes, Reynaud’s syndrome and torn rotator cuffs are visible and pretty hard to forge.
But and it’s a huge but, let’s just say that what I have is FD…
FD is associated with severe emotional complications and people that are diagnosed with this disorder are at risk of death or other health problems because of their purposeful actions of trying to harm themselves.
Subsequently, people that are diagnosed with FD are at a higher risk for substance abuse, as well as suicide attempts and I believe that survivors of FD don’t need ignorance or bullying, they need help and support.
In conclusion, whether I have PTSD, FD, or some other mental illness, it’s still an illness; whether I’m making it up or not. In addition, if these people really do love and care about me; like they claim, why aren’t they offering me a hand up instead of constantly kicking me while I’m down?
Stay safe and stay strong. Thanks for following.