Mental Health Munchausen’s?

Munchausen syndrome is a factitious disorder, a mental disorder in which a person repeatedly and deliberately acts as if he or she has a physical or mental illness when he or she is not really sick. Munchausen syndrome is considered a mental illness because it is associated with severe emotional difficulties. (Links don’t work, just a copy and past job.)

An article sparked this line of thought in which it claims some mental health patients exaggerate their symptoms, in an effort for attention and sympathy. While I don’t dispute society does have hypochondria, attention seeking behaviors, as well as Munchausen syndrome, is it really that prevalent or is this an excuse they use when patients prove med resistant and therapy doesn’t cure them?

I can only speak from my own personal perspective and I can assure you…There is NOTHING exaggerated about my long battle with mental health issues. I am in introvert, very private (unless, ya know, using a pen name on the internet) so if it’s bad enough for me to cry uncle and actually seek treatment and splay myself open that way…It’s the real deal.

With the stigma attached to mental disorders, it is unfathomable to me that anyone would choose it as a way to seek attention. The only attention it gets you is negative and hindering. Admitting you have a mental illness, can in some cases, be as good as confessing to leprosy. They haven’t sent us to an island YET but, you get the gist. I’m tied of having my intelligence questioned, as if bipolar depression somehow negates me being anything but below average in intelligence. So it’s just not easy for me to imagine anyone, no matter how disturbed, CHOOSING this as a way to get attention.

There has not been a moment in my struggles with this mental shit that made me feel anything but degraded, isolated, and somehow tainted. Is there really a dignified way to confess to anyone that your anxiety is so bad, you can’t go out because diarrhea keeps you tied to a bathroom? Is it so awesome to go on a date and get so nervous, you puke over the side of a boat? Does showing up to a job interview drenched in nervous sweat in spite of six applications of industrial antiperspirant seem like a way to impress someone?

How about the six plus month long depressions in which you stop bathing, stop grooming, wear clothes you slept in, and either stare off into space or curl up in a closet bawling? I mean, how much pride can one take in admitting that? You lose friends, jobs, significant others because you’re so far down the rabbit hole they either can’t cope or they’re getting dragged down by their inability to do anything to help you so they flee the scene.

Oh and the pleasant manic episodes. Oh, yes, your energy boils over. You’re to the moon with happiness even when your grandpa dies, your car breaks down, and you have to eat ramen for a week. Nothing can get you down. You are ten feet tall and bulletproof. You are riding around on a pegacorn, touching the clouds and taking nibbles like it’s cotton candy. You talk too fast, you have big ideas, you spend money you don’t have. There is NO tomorrow, only this moment where you feel like motherfucking Godzilla  on steroids and could stomp major cities with a single foot. Oh, and the added bonus of hypersexuality where you flash your boobs at a concert, wake up with some troll you’d otherwise have told to die in a fire…Then there’s ya know, failing to show up for work for a couple of days and you forgot to call but it’s okay, ‘cos nothing is gonna bring you down!

And the added bonus is..YOU GET TO LIVE WITH THE SHAME OF YOUR BEHAVIOR, AND ITS REPERCUSSIONS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!

Why anyone would choose to fake or amp up mental illness is beyond me. But I guess that’s the thing. They get to choose. The rest of us didn’t get a choice, we just got smacked upside the head with the slab of concrete that is mental illness.

Ya know, if you wanna by a ticket for the doubledecker suck bus of life with mental illness, whatever moves your furniture.

But when you do shit like that…It’s harmful to those who truly have a disorder and it makes you an asshole.

 

 

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36 Responses to “Mental Health Munchausen’s?”

  1. Great stuff. I feel the same way. I know that until I started seeing a therapist, there were some family members and close friends of mine who thought I was overdramatizing my anxiety and depression and didn’t really have a problem. I can tell they definitely still look at me and treat me differently, and it sucks sometimes. Why anyone would want to be questioned like that and looked at so differently is beyond me as well, because it makes the struggles the rest of us go through minimized.

  2. I’m sure you know there’s also a similar disorder Munchausen by proxy in which usually the person aflicted (most often mother) of an individual (child/sometimes spouse) makes the child Ill by giving meds, injections, heavy metal poisoning slowly over time in order to gain sympathy/attention for themselves from others (family, Drs, etc,,,) **not really relevant to your post but just an FYI/BTW because you said you watched different shows & forensic themes, 🙂 GOOD LUCK TONIGHT!!

    • Oh, Deadly Women is the hallmark of Munchausen by Proxy moms. Plus, R’s ex wife was the same way, always creating some ailment the kid’s have to get them all upset and make his life miserably. Not being a sadist, I don’t have a Munchausen by proxy bone in my body and I hate medical people prodding me, so not that, either.
      Maybe one day it will occur to them that I am, just ya know, bipolar.

      • Not a thought on my head (haha we already knew that!) Seriously I would NEVER think that of you, I just brought it up cuz you & me talking about those shows (£0¥€ em!) & my (idiot savant) medical background ;-*

      • Meh, not you. I’m just on a tear cos I read something about people who are med resistant are obviously faking it because there’s no way that many meds can fail…I want the pegacorn to slice them to shreds with his badass wings.

        On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 1:08 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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      • I knew what you were talking about, I think I know you well enough,,, that never to even pop into my head. It’s all BS with most people unless they’re selling with it

      • What gets me is that me, my sis, my brother- all diagnosed bipolar with anxiety issues. He buys that they have legit issue cos my sis was remedial in school and my brother is special ed…But me, I was in advanced classes and honor roll, no way could someone intelligent be anything but a malingerer. I swear sometimes I wish I was an orphan or it’d come to light that I was actually born to a pack of wolves.

        On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 1:22 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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      • That really SUX, guess if ya have cancer, organ failure from congenital defect, etc,,, you can’t have any kind if MI, right!?! OK! WOW! SMDF! Sorry your family’s that way, bad enough society’s a Bitch

      • And now you know why my biggest dream aside from stability has been to get the fuck out of this place far far from them. I’ve got nothing positive tying me to this place. It always comes back to that bitch money, though.

        On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 1:45 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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      • Yeah, I hear ya, at least my family’s pretty good, I got alot of shit too, most people don’t realize that. really SUX, money big time, maybe we could run away?!?

      • Sorry, I could really go on & on about that BS!!

      • By all means, go on and on. I like talking to you, you cheer me up.But ssshh, don’t let it get out that I have an iota of cheer left in me, then it will become expected 😉

        On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 1:46 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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      • Haha! I’m not a stitch (snitches get stitches HAHA)

      • I thought it was bitches get stitches…

        I say running away is an understatement. Let’s escape our imminent doom!

        On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 2:00 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

        >

      • Nah it’s snitches, thank God, coz I always say (proudly) i’m a bitch, so are my two sisters! =D

      • Ohhh…I bet I saw that “bitches get stitches” on some wife beater wearing local…

      • ,,, or maybe they didn’t know it was snitches & beat the fuck outta some undeserving, unsuspecting ‘Bitch’ OOPS!

      • Sounds about right. I asked Kenny, the king redneck, if he masticates daily and he said, “Now that’s just too personal to be askin’.”

        Yep, chewing your food is definitely taboo. Idget.

        On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 2:44 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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      • You should tell him you masticate everyyywhere,,, outside, McD’s, picnics, movies, with friends & your kids,,,

      • I did and so did R, we were both like, “Oh, no, I masticate daily in public, in front of people, in front of kids…” It’s so funny to troll those with a limited vocabulary. Not to be a snot but as an avid reader being insulted by Kenny who told me reading is for people who don’t have lives…He earned my trollage,

        On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 2:51 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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      • Hahaha! *my phone just auto corrected that to Jäger ~ no lie!! I changed it before I sent it!! Drunk phone!!

      • Android’s Anonymous, dude.

        On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 2:58 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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      • Telling ya!! I hardly drink anymore, so I’m not an influence,,, (I used to drink ALOT!)

  3. Faking any illness is an asshole move, but sometimes it’s probably due to idk…. Awful background factors or something. Munchausens is a “mental illness” anyway, right? Fucken doubledeckersuckbus.

  4. I think that it would be too hard to draw a line. I saw a video on Youtube about this same topic recently and the person talking about it really annoyed me because they were making definitive sweeping statements such as “if someone is trying to prove they have a mental illness, they don’t have a mental illness” (because of course, people with autism would NEVER fixate on something and tell everyone ever about every detail of it) and “people with real mental illnesses know they don’t have anything to prove” (HELLO??? THE NHS!!!) as if every person with a mental illness has that confidence and lives without fear of stigma, and as if nobody has a fight on their hands to get a definitive diagnosis (and that diagnosis can change as clinicians get more evidence). The general problem is that it would be impossible to distinguish between someone who was fighting to get a diagnosis and terrified of what they might do in their state (e.g. with Pure O type OCD) and someone who was making shit up. Then there’s also compulsive liars, people with antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder, those with hystrionic personality disorder, all of whom might latch onto something else and compulsively try to exploit it for different reasons and different satisfactions (or deflection, rather than attention). Although I am aware that there are loads of people all over the internet who LOVE to say “oh well I have anxiety and OCD and depression and it’s really hard but I stay positive and cope now read my sponsored post about lipstick then go buy it,” and they just want the attention, I actually suspect there’s a trend in highly paid beauty blogging management agencies to get these people to do it to make them more “relatable.” But it pisses me right off. At the end of the day, we can never know that anyone we speak to genuinely is who they say or has what they say they have, but I choose to believe the majority of mental health bloggers because the alternative (for me) would be extreme paranoia.

    • Oddly, I wasn’t the one who declared myself as having anything wrong with me other than a dysfunctional home life and being bullied in school. It was only after years of talk therapy that the counselors started picking up on the patterns that signify bipolar and anxiety disorder, as well as seasonal affective. So if anyone is lying here, it’d be the ones who slapped the label on me though I’m not really malleable so doubtful I’d buy into the party line.

      On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 2:02 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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      • And when it fits it just fits doesn’t it? I think I am wary of clinicians sometimes because I got misdiagnosed for ages as depression. I started saying I was bipolar in about March or April this year after I first got diagnosed (before they rediagnosed me and confused everything and I had to get a second opinion from a third psychiatrist as a tiebreaker so I can get meds soon) because it just fitted. Before that, I didn’t believe I was continuously mentally ill, I thought I just went through phases, but I wasn’t really sure what was going on, and they kept telling me I was depressed, but I knew that wasn’t the whole story.

      • I watched something awhile back that said it takes the average bipolar patient ten years and four doctors to get a proper diagnosis. Mine was 13 years and five docs. Fitting. And sad as well, all those years lost to what didn’t have to be.

      • Yup. It’s the most frustrating thing, that they just don’t seem to move fast enough and unless full blown mania is involved they seem to be good at missing it or telling you it’s all in your head. It’s so frustrating, it’s like being on permanent pause until they hand out a label, only to then be told they don’t work to labels.

      • My counselors knew for over ten years that I was bipolar ‘cos they saw me once a week whereas the doctor saw me once a month and by then, the mania had cycled to depression. They tried to talk to him but he just rejected their input thus I spent 13 years as “dysthymic”and “depressed” being fed anti depressants only and that set off the mania. Sad statements about mental healthcare, no matter what country.

        On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 2:46 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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      • Yeah I think doctors reading the background information could have gone a long way in my case too. Or listening to a word I said. I only had a counsellor for 6 weeks of last year and she wasn’t remotely interested in questioning my “anxiety disorder.” It was 2005 when I first refused anti-d’s, but they didn’t diagnose anything at all until 2010 when they put me down as GAD. I agree it’s a problem everywhere, I don’t know what the solution is, but the way things are, it’s no wonder so many people fly under the radar around the world.

  5. I think it’s more exotic to romanticize the idea that people are faking than to just admit that mental illness doesn’t fit into perfect little boxes. My disorder (DID) has been written about extensively as a malingering or factitious disorder and there are no known cases of anyone actually faking the disorder. People just SAY they’re faking because it’s easier to wrap their small brains around than what’s actually going on. Plus we do a great disservice to the millions of people WITH mental illness when we focus on the few people who are “faking”.

    • Agreed. For all my griping about today’s lack of true progress toward treatments and removing stigma…I have to admit after watching several shows about how mental illness was perceived and “treated’ a hundred years ago…(Hysterical paroxysm for female hysteria), cold water baths, etc…I’ll keep my pills no matter how seemingly ineffective they may be. Perhaps in another fifty years DID will be recognized as the serious illness that it is rather than dismissed as malingering.

      On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 7:19 PM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

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      • True. We have made a lot of progress. Still so far left to go. I have similar hopes for the future (and I have a feeling that posts just like this are all part of the impetus for change).

      • If I weren’t so anti social media and triggered by trolls, I’d link my blog and publicize posts more. Unfortunately, much as I want to shine light on mental illness, I don’t particularly want to become the focus of some net troll’s flame war. Sad everyone can celebrate even their latest bowel movement and a thousand people like it yet you try to float a subject as education and get trolled.

      • Hahaha true that! I think your audience is probably the one that matters the most, anyway 🙂

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