In the case of the Münchhausen Deputy Syndrome, which fortunately is an extremely rare, modified form (also called Münchhausen-by-proxy syndrome or MSBP), mothers deceive children into illnesses and thus expose them to constant hospital stays, painful examinations and lengthy therapies. They acquire detailed knowledge about diseases and understand how to simulate the symptoms in their child or trigger them with sometimes cruel methods.
A pain for the children
In the case of the Munchausen syndrome, mothers autonomously treat non-existent diseases, sometimes with lethal drugs. They cause convulsions, fever, vomiting, skin rash, cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory arrest - tortures that more than 10 percent of children do not survive.
The fathers of the children are often absent or tolerate the sick behavior of the mothers, especially by pretending not to notice.
Signs of Munchausen syndrome
It is typical that such mothers show a very committed, social behavior, caring publicly and lovingly for the child or other patients and looking for a close relationship with nurses and doctors. They willingly agree to painful or complicated investigations or even actively request them.
It is also striking that they refuse to leave their child alone and do not consent to any treatment of the child during their absence. They often change doctors and state that the others did not seek and treat enough and thoroughly enough.
Causes and treatment
Why the sick women show such cruel maternal love is still unclear. It is believed that there is an association with neglect or sexual abuse in one's childhood. The therapy of sick mothers is almost impossible; In some cases the (temporary) separation of mother and child helps.