Factitious Disorder

- Health & Fitness

Why Does a Person Always Feign to be Sick? Factitious Disorder

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All of us have pretended to be sick at one point of time in life, especially when we didn’t want to go to school or to get back home early from office. That’s a normal human tendency to lie about being unwell to escape a situation. But what if you come to know about a person who always pretends to be sick? It can get really frustrating when it is clear that they are not telling the truth. This kind of behaviour is termed as Factitious Disorder, a mental illness.

People with factitious disorder mentally create symptoms of being unwell to garner sympathy and attention. They don’t mind undergoing painful treatments and expensive tests.

A person affected with this kind of disorder feels an urge to hurt themselves intentionally to appear injured or create symptoms of being sick. They often exaggerate the symptoms to be seen and heard by their family or friends for sympathy. They jump from one clinic to another for medical treatment.

General Behaviour of Factitious Disorder Patients:

  • Exaggeration of symptoms
  • Dramatizing the sickness
  • Inconsistent medical history
  • Coming up with new symptoms if the test results show no sign of illness
  • Willingness to undergo operations or risky medical treatments
  • Showing no signs of illness when not being observed
  • High knowledge of medical terms and sickness symptoms
  • Does not want to get discharged from the hospital
  • Refusal to meet a psychologist

Factitious Disorder

The main cause behind factitious disorder is social isolation or being left alone at home, neglected by family members. By pretending to be sick, a person may get all the attention turned to them and make them feel wanted. Ignored by their loved one’s may lead them to depression and the need to be felt special increases within them.

There is no specific treatment or medication for this disorder however, people suffering from it will be referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Counselling sessions will be given to the person affected by this mental disorder as well as their family members. The person may undergo cognitive behavioural therapy or psychotherapy to change their behaviour to reduce or stop feigning illness.

Pretending to be sick may seem normal, but repeated behaviour of such is a sign of a factitious disorder. Sambav also aims to educate its readers on the psychological problems a person may suffer due to isolation or less interaction. Check out the Sambav’s Health Wallet App for the numerous helpful features now!