Taking a Closer Look at Münchausen Syndrome Essay

Taking a Closer Look at Münchausen Syndrome Essay

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Münchausen syndrome is a psychiatric disorder that is distinguished by the patient causing or faking physical or psychological ailments for the sole purpose of being admitted to the hospital. A psychiatric consult nurse sees about one or two Münchausen cases a month (Interview with John Hauber, RN). Out of the entire United States population, only half to two percent of people have the disorder (medicinenet.com), but the number is probably higher than that because the statistic shown only represents the number of people diagnosed, and not everybody that has Münchausen is properly identified as having the disorder. (Interview with John Hauber, RN). The numbers are higher in certain subpopulations, such as people who have been diagnosed as having psychosis or fever of unknown source (medicinenet.com). It is also extremely difficult to get accurate statistics due to dishonesty and the tendency of patients to hop from one healthcare facility to the other (my.clevelandclinic.org).
Münchausen Syndrome has been described since at least Biblical times. An example of historical documentation would be that people during the medieval era have been recognized to scrape their skin off and put leeches in their mouths to cause bleeding (medicinenet.com). Münchausen syndrome was given its name in 1951 by Richard Asher (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov), for Baron Karl Friedrich von Münchausen. Baron was born in Germany during the year 1720 and deceased in 1797. He was known to tell extravagant stories about the battles he fought against the Ottoman Empire while he was enlisted in the Russian military (ncbi.nlm.gov).
Many people mistake Münchausen syndrome and Münchausen syndrome by proxy as the same thing. While it is true that they are very similar, they are...


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...en medication to treat the underlying cause of Münchausen syndrome, which can be depression, anxiety, or other reasons. Such medications can include Prozac or Wellbutrin, and others.


Works Cited

“Munchausen Syndrome.” my.cleavlandclinic.org 27 December 2010. Cleveland Clinic. 21 Feb. 2014. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/factitious_disorders/hic_munchausen_syndrome.aspx

“Todd S Elwyn – Factitious Disorder Imposed on Self.” emedicine.medscape.com. 2014. 10 March 2014. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/291304-overview

R, Olry. “History of a Strange Mental Disorder.” Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 08 Apr. 2014. http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/12422889/

Dryden-Edwards, Roxanne. "Munchausen Syndrome." MedicineNet.com. 01 08 2012. Web. 13 Apr 2014. http://www.medicinenet.com/munchausen_syndrome/article.htm

Interview with John Hauber, RN.

Interview with Anonymous.

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