What is Munchausen Syndrome?
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Munchausen syndrome is a complicated mental illness in which a person pretends to be sick to get attention and sympathy from others. Since it's self-inflicted, it's difficult to treat. Get details on Munchausen syndrome in this video.
Transcript: Munchausen syndrome is a factitious disorder, meaning it's made up or self-inflicted. A person with Munchausen...
Munchausen syndrome is a factitious disorder, meaning it's made up or self-inflicted. A person with Munchausen syndrome pretends to be sick, or makes himself sick on purpose. People act this way to fulfill attention and sympathy needs, not for concrete benefits, like time off from work or financial gain. Munchausen patients make up illnesses, fabricate phony medical histories and create long lists of fake "symptoms." They may even make themselves sick by taking medications that ultimately mimic disease, like blood thinners, and by cutting, burning, or injuring themselves. Munchausen patients are so desperate to come off as sick that they'll even tamper with lab tests and equipment. Their behaviors mean unnecessary loss of organs to surgery, severe injury and even death. Unfortunately, people with Munchausen syndrome are so adept at deception; it can be hard to diagnose them. Some peculiar symptoms to look for include: eagerness to undergo frequent testing or risky procedures, very vague or inconsistent symptoms, and frequent hospitalizations, often at many different institutions. People with Munchausen syndrome may tell dramatic stories about medical history, yet appear to have few supportive visitors at the hospital. They may appear evasive when doctors ask to speak to their loved ones. If a doctor notices these things and does diagnose Munchausen syndrome, it can be difficult to treat. That's because the best treatment is talk therapy, but most patients won't admit they have an issue. Those who do get treatment often do so at the urging of family and friends. If you're concerned a loved one is faking illness, consult her about the issue. If gentle prodding doesn't help, your next step is to speak with her doctor.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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Instead of being frightened or angry with their captors, people who develop Stockholm syndrome develop compassion towards them. Watch this video to learn what Stockholm syndrome is and how it got its name.
Transcript: On the surface, Dugard's behavior seems bizarre, but it's typical of a psychological phenomenon known...
On the surface, Dugard's behavior seems bizarre, but it's typical of a psychological phenomenon known as Stockholm syndrome. Victims of Stockholm syndrome develop compassion and loyalty toward their captors. The condition follows psychologically traumatizing situations, like hostage situations and kidnappings. In fact, Stockholm syndrome got its name in 1973 when two thieves accosted a bank in Stockholm, Sweden, taking four-bank employees hostage. For six days, the prisoners were held in a bank vault, tied to explosives with nooses around their necks. During a rescue attempt, police were shocked when the captives took offense, siding with the captors! Like the Stockholm victims, people who develop this condition endure situations where they're forced to contemplate the reality of severe injury or death. In order for Stockholm syndrome to develop, a victim must also perceive that her captor's have shown occasional kindnesses. Being permitted to eat, not being punished for a so-called transgression, and even being allowed to live are all considered benevolent to someone with Stockholm syndrome. People with Stockholm experience symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder patients. They may have flashbacks, nightmares, distrust of others, and the inability to enjoy previously pleasurable activities. No one is sure why this phenomenon occurs, but it has been suggested that a victim believes, perhaps unconsciously, that forming an attachment to her captor maximizes her survival. Oddly, Stockholm syndrome doesn't resolve in tandem with the end of a hostage situation. In the 1973 bank robbing, the freed hostages remained loyal to their captors, even setting up a fund to cover the criminals' legal fees! These symptoms of Stockholm syndrome are actually something of an anomaly. According to FBI reports, 73-percent of abduction victims show no compassion or affection for their captors. And for the other 27-percent, long-term psychotherapy, together with short-term anxiety or sleep medications, offer Stockholm syndrome sufferers an excellent chance to recover and resume a normal, healthy life!More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-21 | Tags »
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Curious about what makes a serial killer…well, a serial killer? Check out this video to learn more about the criteria and learn what goes on in the mind of a serial killer.
Transcript: To be labeled a serial killer, an individual must commit three or more murders in a relatively short...
To be labeled a serial killer, an individual must commit three or more murders in a relatively short time, with periods of rest, or "cool downs," in between. They prefer strangers for victims, and their motive is always psychological, not material. This begs the question, "What kind of person feels gratified from murder?" On the surface, serial killers are most often white males in their 20s or 30s. They tend to share dysfunctional childhoods, stories of physical or sexual abuse, and a history of detentions or arrests. As young adults, many serial killers will obsess over pyromania or animal cruelty. But what can we tell about the MINDS of these killers? Many serial killers have antisocial personality disorder, and show little regard for society's expectations of "right" and "wrong." They also have a genuine disregard for the rights and feelings of other people. Take Ted Bundy, for instance. After his arrest for murdering more than 30 people, he said, "I'm the most cold-blooded son-of-a-bitch you'll ever meet. I just like to kill." Despite this, people with antisocial personality disorder are charming and adept at manipulation. So are serial killers actually insane? Not usually. Many have families, jobs, and even hold leadership positions in their communities. The FBI reports most actually have IQs in the "above normal" range. Some are intelligent enough to attempt to convince authorities of their insanity, while others create fantastical alter egos, pinning their crimes on inner devils. Very few criminals actually have dissociative identity, or multiple personality, disorder. Regardless of what's inherently "wrong" with them, it's rare that serial killers express regret or the desire to reform. For this reason, and for the safety of all of us, serial killers are almost never offered rehabilitation, but instead are sentenced to life in prison or death.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-21 | Tags »
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