You might have faked being sick to avoid doing something unpleasant. However, for people with the factitious disorder, faking illness isn’t quite so straightforward.
Hosted by: Hank Green
Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow
Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters—Kevin Bealer, Mark Terrio-Cameron, KatieMarie Magnone, Patrick Merrithew, Charles Southerland, Fatima Iqbal, Sultan Alkhulaifi, Tim Curwick, Scott Satovsky Jr, Philippe von Bergen, Bella Nash, Chris Peters, Patrick D. Ashmore, Piya Shedden, Charles George
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?
There's a lady that I know who seems to have this as she even has a fake service dog too....its really sad but what's creepy is she gives off a really bad vibe and she manipulates people to feel bad for her but also to the point she puts people in a position of "a rock in a hard place" it's such mind games...sad really
My mom was a nurse in the 80s, and she told me about a patient she had with factitious disorder who had been injecting feces into herself to cause infection. I think she ended up losing a leg or something.... serious business
Do the patients even know that they're faking it, or is it just extreme hypochondriasis where they truly believe they're sick but that nobody believes them? I imagine if they feared that they were sick but had no visible symptoms, they might try to prove it in order to get the help they think they need.
people with chronic and rare diseases often get pegged as someone who is faking by many doctors. Its truly horrible to be told that when you are suffering! I have HAD TO hop from doctor to doctor because some dont believe me, and others dont know how to help. I have been willing to undergo scary procedures because I have tried so many other things, and am willing to try ANYTHING to feel even slightly better. And I tend to be calm talking about this stuff, because I have already been through so much, and getting worked up about things makes me feel worse.
First of all, what I'm going to write now is not directly about this video, but more generally about the way factitious is usually presented. I've always taken issue with the fact that factitious is only described from an external point of view (sort of like: "how to spot someone with factitious disorder), instead of explained from the Inside, i.e. the emotions and thought patterns, the feelings, that may lead someone to act that way (emotions, thought patterns, feelings, what any mental illness is about, roughly.) I do understand there is an apparent lack of studies on the subject. I just think the whole category ("factitious disorders") is poorly conceptualised. Also, the "lack of control" aspect is never stressed, leading people to think factitious is just some hobby anyone could decide to engage in. If that is acceptable to the medical community, that something classified as a mental illness should be some sort of activity a person has full control over, DECIDES to bring upon themselves, what does it say about the way mental illnesses are viewed in general? (yes, it just adds to the whole "get yourself together" "you're lazy" "you're not willing enough" bullsh** Gee, an illness is an illness and when we actually discover more and more about the brain we might find the barriere between "physical illness" and "mental illness" to be much thinner than what was innitially believed...And what makes an illness, whichever it is, is precisely that it is something beyound one's control) Now I DO believe that factitious is a real disorder and not some bizare, selfish hobby, and I do believe there is a "lack of control" aspect, some sort of emotional and/or cognitive struggle that leads to such a behaviour. That's what should be stressed as the symptomes, because those would be actual sympotmes, not just external signs. That's what makes an actual disorder. Sure, "underlying psychological issues" are often mentioned, all right, but it remains very vague. There might be more specific emotions/thought patterns (specific to the condition), and just like in any other disorder (or most of them), there might be "steps", "stages". It might take a whole lot of internal struggle and developpment before you actually end up in a hospital room having had an organ removed. Yeah, just my two cents..
How is this different (if it is different) from Illness Anxiety Disorder (AKA formerly "Hypochondriac Disorder")? I know that IAD patients genuinely believe they're sick and nobody can convince them, is there any form of deliberateness in Factitious Disorder?
I.e. binging and purging for attention results in damage to vegas nerve results in gastroparesis and autonomic disorders but refuses to manage with diet and healthy eating habits insists on finding a doctor to place a feeding tube. Now patient is also dehydrated which is unacceptable with placement of feeding tube insists on placement of central venous line for hydration and nutrition. Doctor shops for treatments surgeries etc. Parents are enablers for dysfunction. Family tires out and refuses to visit in frequent hospital stays. Medical illness and hospital stays can be avoided but patient and family do things that cause ER and hospital visits. Patient and family look happiest on social media when they can post pictures of them at ER, hospital, or doctors office or receiver new DX. Consider themselves medical professionals without going to medical school. Burn people out around them for constant demand for attention, sympathy or pity. Refuse practical help because they are truly just attention seeking. Profess to be championing a cause but again just attention seeking. END RESULT IS DEATH OF PATIENT and BLAMING EVERYBODY OUTSIDE THIS DYSFUNCTIONAL CIRCLE.
Ristro44 no hypochondria is when someone is fearing/actually believes they are ill even though they are healthy. But factitious disorder is someone who knows they don't have a particular illness but goes to the lengths to pretend they do, just for the sympathy/attention. These people usually have underlying issues that makes them fake an illness.
Devantejah Kids do that all the Time! It's normal. Then they stop when they find that they can't get away with it any longer! I tried to pull that when I was a Kid, my Kids tried it, my Grandkids try it too. Lol!😄
My 'friend' has facetious (I'm 100% postive) whenever we talk about anxiety (which me and three of my frieds have) or depression (which I have)he startes to get angry and say he has all these random things. He took paracetamol to get rid of a headaxhe and said if he didn't take it he could die (he was serious) he always claims he has 'important medication' in his bag (which he doesn't) and when we were talking about glasses, which most of us who were talking about it had, he claimed he had even though he said he never had them before, and when I asked him what prescription he said the one every one has. And other things that I can't be arsed to mention.
You never mentioned why people would fake illnesses in other people, though.
I have a friend with an absolutely horrible mother who forces all these mental illnesses onto him (and succeeds in some cases due to the sheer mental trauma it causes) and I have absolutely no clue why.
Sure it can be explained with "the mother is mentally unwell herself", but what does she gain from it?
What's dangerous is you could be someone like me, I was actually physically ill and the damned doctors kept throwing psych meds at me. Turns out that prolonged brain damage that goes untreated for years makes you act just a wee bit crazy and kills your optic nerve, which turns you FREAKING blind. Welcome to world of hydrocephalus.
So basically attention seeking and quite honestly especially strange behaviors of people that i have seen over the years seem to come from that: Like the girl that ate (foam) mattresses or the guy that ate bricks.
When I was in high school I couldn't quit vomiting and doctors kept thinking I was making myself vomit, which I wasn't. I ended up having severe stomach pain as well and I finally saw a doctor that was able to help me and advised me to sleep at an elevated level to my stomach acid wouldn't keep on seeping up into my esophagus and between that and some pills they gave me my body was able to heal itself in time and everything was fine.
When I was little I barely lied about being sick because I knew that I couldn't trick anyone and I was sick a lot anyway. The few times I did fake it was after I got over an illness and just wanted another day at home.
Lately, have often wondered if am hypochondriac and/or experiencing this factitious disorder. Problem is, when getting to the eldar years, a lot of additional medical problems DO arise, and eventually factitious disorder symptoms become real health disordars. For several years, was told by my GP doctar that blood tests werr showing mild anemia, low Vit D, othar puzzling symtoms of unknown cause. Recently went to endocrinologist who ordared more extensive tests that show hormone levels are way off, and potential celiac disease. Still, suspicious some symptoms are quite possibly psychosomatic.
It's important to note that this _is_ still a disorder. People often try to claim that unhealthy people, especially people with mental disorders, are "just doing it for attention" in order to invalidate any struggles that the person may be having, but the fact is that those kinds of behaviors are still an indication that the person is not healthy even if they're not happening for the reason that one would normally think of them as happening for. Healthy people don't feel the need to go to such extreme measures just to get some attention.
I saw something about this in the Sixth Sense and was curious as to the details behind it, since things in movies usually aren't presented with perfect accuracy. What does it mean to say that the motivation behind faking an illness is unconscious? Does that mean that they do not realize that they want sympathy and attention?
hypochondria: you don't want to be sick, you're afraid of being sick, you worry you might be sick because all you want is to be healthy, it's more like an anxiety disorder with a focus/obsession on health. Factitious is almost the opposite: you don't want to be healthy, you want to be sick, you have to be sick, you're making yourself sick as much as possible (and because most illnesses cannot just be brought upon, you create the external factors of them, so you end up fabricating and faking what cannot be fabricated). That's what I understand.
Hank you ended by saying you hope people won't have to need to fake being sick anymore.
Hank I don't think you meant to say you hope they get sick so they don't have to fake it.
Hank I think you meant to say you hope they don't feel the need to be sick anymore.
sadly-people with chronic illness (esp rare, severe, or difficult to reat disorders) are often eventually abandoned by friends and family for a whole host of reasons (not that any of them are acceptable)-its a very common topic in support groups for various illnesses...and so very sad. Sometimes it gets so bad that the sufferer is mentally abused by those who supposedly "love" them, often being accused of being malingerers and the like,
Those supposed indicators that you mention, all apply to many chronic and rare conditions, because finding treatment is so difficult. "dr shopping" as that one is called-is a necessity when your current dr has eitehr a) no clue whats wrong with you, or b) hor to treat it (or both). Drs are so busy now that 9 times out pho 10, they wont help you find an appropriate specialist. so you have to just keep trying, sometimes picking at random.
I just friggin hate the "attitude" of teh patient issue too. If i am in chronic pain and i act like its no big deal-then i may not be believed to be in pain at all. If i cry and scream and beg for pain pills-then i am seen as making it up as well....you cant win. This can happen with nay symptom or condition of course, but since you cnat do much to prove pain, its one that is particularly common (that and teh DEA and their dumbass regulations...)
Lastly-yeah if i am suffering horribly, i am prtty likly to be willing to undergo a whole host of tests and proceeedures...people typical wants answers, and preferably sol.untions as well. and medicine is VERY far from perfect in reating the myriad of things that can go wrong in the body.
I used to have factitious disorder, not really sure where it came from, buy I knew that if I were sick or acted ill people would treat me well. I used to act like I had autism or Asperger's syndrome because I wanted to feel different and if I did something wrong, people would know I am mentally ill and not judge me. I was able to overcome this disorder by myself somehow. Most people fake mental illness or illness in general for attention as I admitted to myself years ago, I did it for the attention even though I was a shy kid I wanted some sort of attention from parents and friends. I feel like I got the disorder from being isolated and unable to really make good friends so I wanted someway to make people nice to me without them even attempting to hurt me emotionally.
are you sure there's no underlying depression, sometimes people who go out of their way to get attention are suffering from some sort of depression or sadness, maybe anxiety disorder PTSD/CPTSD, neglect or abuse/disorganized family/exposure to toxic friends or family etc.
I had to deal with someone like this for 6 months. He faked a rare blood disorder and cancer. his research was astonishingly thorough and he was very smart. He could tell me textbook definitions of his illnesses and understood all the interworkings of them. He even knew who the only specialist in the state was that treated his disorder. He shaved his head and his body to simulate chemo symptoms. He made small incisions in his chest and side to simulate biopsy sites. In the end he even drilled a hole in his scalp to simulate a burr-hole to relieve cranial pressure. He didn't want anything material from me, he wasn't getting any benefits from work, and it really seemed like an overall burden to him. I was his support network for 6 months before I could prove he was faking it; but although I think part of him knew it wasn't real, I think that overall he had genuinely deluded himself into thinking he was sick.
Yes he did. I ended up taking him to a mental health hospital when I found out the extent of everything he was faking. That was the last I ever heard from him, but his parents contacted me and told me thank you and that he was doing much better and had been abused by a friend's father when he was a child.
I wonder if there is any correlation between factitious disorder and narcissistic personality disorder? In pondering that, I mean that I wonder if those with NPD are more likely to exhibit symptoms of factitous disorder.
When you have insecurities about your own personality so you wonder if you have factitious disorder but you don't wanna seem like you're faking something cuz that's terrible but what if you DO have it and you just don't know but you know you're not faking your anxiety disorder because this internal conversation is giving you anxiety but is that just self induced or is this anxiety about not having anxiety actually factitious disorder acting up or is it your anxiety boiling to the surface well i guess we'll NEVER KNOW HUH???
I love science and I hate to do this but I have to unsub from all scishow channels as long as they are linked to you and your brother after your support of harassment, bullying, and lies at VidCon this year. I am also disliking this video on those grounds not anything wrong with the video itself.
my father has this disorder , and its very disturbing . He started taking 3 tablespoons of salt everyday saying it helps with his constipation and now he has enlarged heart and other heart problems . He also took medication for parkinson and now he has become a bit crazy ...
So if you really really feel bad even though there's nothing really wrong, are you faking it? Does someone who actually experiences symptoms of something, which is definitely a mind-over-matter thing due to perhaps wanting people to pay attention to them, but not consciously ACTING ill when they really feel physically fine, is it still factitious disorder? Or, if people harm themselves physically because they do not believe their bad emotions are valid unless they are experiencing physical ailment (ie people will think "wow they must be going through a hard time if they are driven to physically injure themselves") is it factitious disorder?
I'd love to see an episode contrasting this with Conversion Disorder and other Somatoform disorders where the person *isn't* faking their symptoms, but those symptoms have a psychological origin, rather than a a physical one. As someone with that type of somatoform disorder, the pain, paralysis, muscle spasms, night sweats, etc. that I go through are very real and definitely debilitating, even though they're the result of repressing my emotions, and not any direct physical cause. It may start in my head, but it certainly isn't fake, and it's not my choice. It would be nice to have some more awareness of this, especially since it's pretty common for people to conflate malingering, Factitious Disorder, and Conversion disorder as all being the same thing.
That would be a great contrast. I think one of the main differences between the two would be that people with conversion disorder experience pain and WANT to get rid of their pain whereas people with factitious disorder neither experience symptoms nor do they want their "illness" to end.
Thank you very much for making this video after I asked you to. In the future it would be good to hear more about Munchausen syndrome by proxy MSBP. No one in my family believes me when I tell them that my mother has it. Maybe because she was so good at hiding it, and they have cognitive dissonance. They are intelligent, but they say they are 100% sure she does not have it. And they were not around her all the time, so that is just being willfully naive because they are too scared to even entertain the possibility that she does have it. Then she makes me into the scapegoat and the family joins in, because that is easier than hard truths. They didn't keep my medical records from 20 years ago when my mother accidentally admitted to my doctor to fabricating my illness and starving me. Now my brother has Stockhlom syndrome and I have agoraphobia and we depend on our mother like little children even though we are adults. I really think more people need to better understand MSBP from the signs to the symptoms and how it's hard to imagine such crazy behavior, but it is still very real! Hopefully in the future we can identify this aberrant behavior in its early stages so we can remove the children from these sick people before it ruins their whole life.
Sadly, there's lots of people with actual illness that are made to feel like they are making things up. And sadly there are loads of people who HAVE to hop from doctor to doctor because of lack of care, insurance issues, etc. I'm glad the script mentions there are plenty of people with symptoms that match that actually ARE sick.
Exactly. I doubt this is even a real disorder, more like a way for lazy drs to wash their hands of patients they can't diagnose or don't want to deal with. Unless someone's injecting themselves with toilet cleaner or paying a sick person to go for their tests there's no grounds for them to be making such an inflammatory and stigmatizing accusation, they're denying sick people care, branding them and traumatizing them. They should ban this so called diagnosis, even if it exists the label does more harm than good and those who apparently have it just duck and weave anyway, it's innocent people who bear the brunt of it. By proxy is child abuse plain and simple, catch them in the act lock them up, someone that disturbed will never change.
Actually, I'm a little bit disappointed this one is hosted by Hank, and not Brit. She's too god only for SciShow Psych, I'd love to see her on a main channel one day, or maybe narrating another series.
so your talking about people who know they're faking it. some people probably are unaware of it. i think they really think they are sick and that is the problem.. btw your jacket is nice but over sized, get a small size.
My "best friend" lied about having bone cancer and also said that she had leukemia as a child. Confronted her, because cancer runs in my family and because I was really mad at her for lying about such a serious topic. She ended our friendship and called me names. Couldn't forgive her and I was apparently the only one who knew. She didn't even tell her boyfriend or parents about her fake illness.
I know there isn't any faking of illness for me, it's just the moods and the anger. But everything is tied into the social life, and while there is a present symptom going on, it's highly mental. And that's what I'm working on fixing.
But here is a full breakdown of everything that remains: Lack of social life, irritability at times (especially due to hormones), emotional trouble with criticism. The rest, just all of the physical problems. I wish we could talk to each other and get to know everything that goes on. But as we know it's not very simple, the mental illness. Or rather the mental side. And it seems very true, that you can bring yourself out of your emotional problems, maybe to a certain capacity, I don't know. But one thing I know is that I'm making it, and especially when I understand things or get support, I get better.
Antidepressants are medications that can help relieve symptoms of depression, social anxiety disorder, anxiety disorders, seasonal affective disorder, and dysthymia, or mild chronic depression, as well as other conditions.
They aim to correct chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain that are believed to be responsible for changes in mood and behavior.
Depression Medications (Antidepressants)
These are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant.
Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are used to treat major depression, mood disorders, and possibly but less commonly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, menopausal symptoms, fibromyalgia, and chronic neuropathic pain.
SNRIs raise levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters in the brain that play a key role in stabilizing mood.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. They are effective in treating depression, and they have fewer side effects than the other antidepressants.
SSRIs block the reuptake, or absorption, of serotonin in the brain. This makes it easier for the brain cells to receive and send messages, resulting in better and more stable moods.
They are called "selective" because they mainly seem to affect serotonin, and not the other neurotransmitters.