Factitious disorder is a mental disorder in which a person acts as if they have a physical or psychological illness when they themselves have created the symptoms. People with this disorder are willing to undergo painful or risky tests to get sympathy and special attention.
What is factitious disorder?
Factitious disorder is a serious mental health disorder in which a person appears sick or produces physical or mental illness. People with factitious disorder deliberately produce symptoms of an illness for the purpose of receiving care and attention in a medical setting. The symptoms aren’t intended to get them practical benefits — the gain is believed to be mainly psychological.
Factitious disorder is considered a mental illness. It’s associated with severe emotional difficulties and patients’ likelihood of harming themselves by continuing to produce more symptoms, resulting in getting themselves unnecessary procedures and surgeries.
What are the types of factitious disorder?
Factitious disorders are of two types:
- Factitious disorder imposed on self: This type includes the falsifying of psychological or physical signs or symptoms. An example of a psychological factitious disorder is mimicking behavior that is typical of a mental illness, such as schizophrenia. The person may appear confused, make absurd statements, and report hallucinations (the experience of sensing things that are not there; for example, hearing voices).
- Factitious disorder imposed on another: People with this disorder produce or fabricate symptoms of illness in others under their care: children, elderly adults, disabled persons or pets. It most often occurs in mothers (although it can occur in fathers) who intentionally harm their children in order to receive attention. The diagnosis is not given to the victim, but rather to the perpetrator. read more