What is the Munchausen syndrome?

The disease with the interesting name actually goes back to the famous model Karl Friedrich Hieronymus Freiherr von Münchhausen (1720-1797), also called the "lying baron".


Those afflicted with a serious personality disorder try to get attention by feigning illness. They are concerned with medical treatment, preferably hospitalization. Even unpleasant or painful examinations or operations are not spared in this context.

Since the sufferers read a lot of medical knowledge during their illness, they are very convincing in describing their symptoms. Often they also bring themselves injuries. The attending physicians often realize very late that it is a mental illness. Especially since those affected often leave the facility in case of imminent discovery in order to set the medical apparatus in motion in another clinic.

Munchausen Syndrome Proxy

This disease is a variant of the described syndrome. The parents bring their children to the doctor with feigned illnesses and request treatment. It is a special form of child maltreatment, as it is not uncommon for children to be previously injured or to be given medicines that produce specific symptoms.

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