A Rose with Starry Eyes











{February 8, 2010}   my analysis of Shiney’s condition

Excerpt from an ana blog addressing Munchausen’s; my personal analysis of the parallels to Shiney

Friday, February 5, 2010

Munchausen’s

Appropriately, I have a bunch of research I’ve saved on Munchousen’s! (Me and my research!)

First things first: most people don’t understand the difference between Munchausen’s Syndrome and something called Malingering. They are two different kinds of Factitious Disorders (FDs).

The general thought is that these people are “playing sick”, are faking illness, but actually aren’t sick, and that they do it for attention, or fame, or money, or gifts, or to shirk responsibilities, or to feel power over people. That is Malingering. I read a story once about a woman who pretended to have cancer, and friends and family threw her fund-raisers and gave her gifts. In reality she’d just shaved her head and drew surgery wounds on with marker, and when friends would bring her in for “chemo”, she’d just go hide in the bathroom for a while. Obviously, malingering is its own kind of mental illness, because obviously there’s something wrong with a person who thinks this is an acceptable way to get benefits.

Munchausen’s is different for two reasons. First, even though the illnesses suffered by the patient are of self-induced origin, they are real. Symptoms are not imitated or imagined – the person really does make themselves sick, for example by forcing a wound to get infected, and then not seeking treatment until it’s serious. I read of one woman who had her arm amputated because for some mysterious reason, the infection wouldn’t heal – it turned out she had been injecting fecal matter into her arm. She denied it completely when confronted.

Secondly, the motivation behind Munchausen’s isn’t to receive external benefits – it’s not to “get stuff”. The purposes are internal – these patients are compelled to make themselves sicker in order to satisfy some mental malfunction. They’re not sure exactly why – not enough studies have been done – but possibilities include emotional validation, comfort in the “sick role”, etcetera.

It is interesting to note that patients with Munchausen’s continue to deny causing their illness even after confrontation and irrefutable proof has been presented. They simply cannot (for the sake of ego protection, I’d assume) admit it.

I ran across quite a number of studies in my research just in the last week, of women with co-morbid FD and eating disorders. (I’ve added them to the links.) For these women, it was a blurry line as to whether the ED came first and them was exacerbated by the FD, or the other way around. Either way, once sick, these women continued to try and make themselves sicker.

Sound like anyone you know?

Also note that Factitious Disorders have an association with Borderline Personality Disorder, due to the strangely “manipulative” behaviors seen in both disorders.

link: http://yummy-secrets.blogspot.com/2010/02/munchausens.html

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My analysis of how it relates to Shiney: First off, of the two types of Facetious Disorders, or FDs, that she has, she is not a malingerer. To me, that would almost imply sociopath. (Just look at the woman who faked cancer!) But she is definitely Munchausen’s. I shall address the parallels between each point the author brought up & Shiney’s behavior.

  1. Munchausen’s patients make themselves sick; it’s not imaginary, but rather self-induced. This fits Shiney to a T. When she sliced up her arm and cried in the bathroom stall just because her crush left lunch early, she didn’t seem very fake. She wasn’t fake crying, and there was no fake blood; she was truly suffering. At the same time, she enjoyed the attention and milked it for all it was worth, confusing Xang and I as to whether or not we should try to help her. She most likely dropped weight from her crash-dieting, unhealthy eating habits, and adderall; just not as much as she claimed. Had she just stopped taking her medication or eaten better, her health would’ve come back. Some symptoms, of course, were totally fake, such as her “shivering” and dizziness. She also brought attention to herself at every opportunity, picking a long, drawn-out feud with me, posting emo statuses, latching onto the “Little Mermaid” as a fucked-up cry for attention, & doing things without “knowing why”.
  2. Munchausen’s patients are compelled to make themselves sick due to mental defect; anything from emotional validation to comfort in the “sick role”, etc. This point fits her even better than the last. It is exactly what she wanted when she phoned me, faking suicidal thoughts; the same thing she wanted when Mr. Codependent let her wear his jacket, spoon-fed her morsels of his meal, and told her she looked great and needed to eat more. The attention she got for posting her “lowest goal weight” online, the worry from Xang, the countless facebook comments telling her “not to do anything stupid”, and that “everyone loves her”. The lies she told about being able to take multiple shots of hard liquor and not get drunk were not only obviously fake (she was even caught in the lie later on by Mr. Codependent!), but obviously seeking attention. Her hypocrisy in claiming I examined mental illnesses and drugs for glamour when in fact she had faked having “2 Shineys” (schizo/multiple personalities), an eating disorder (anorexia), and self-injury issues. Perhaps all this stems from the need to be accepted by others, since the S.I. and E.D. were the same as Xang’s, and the “2 Shineys” only emerged when a girl with Schizophrenia was around. When Xang joined a facebook ED Recovery group, Shiney joined the same one. If she has the same issues as you, how can you possibly reject her?

Of course, people with Munchausen’s never admit it. Ever. Even when confronted with solid evidence, they never give up the game. Whether the FD or the ED came first, either way, the individual makes themselves sicker and sicker. There is also an association with Borderline Personality Disorder due to the “manipulative” behaviors found in both disorders. (If there was any doubt, it is assuaged the moment “Shiney” and “manipulative” are mentioned in the same sentence!)



et cetera
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