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Unread 01-15-2009, 03:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Malingering

Malingering is the act of intentionally misleading others by claiming to have a psychological or physical illness that one does not have. Do you know someone who is malingering? Have you dealt with someone with the illness?

I've known plenty of people who've claimed to have eating disorders when they didn't.

What about you? Discuss.

Malingering: Description, Criteria, Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Medications
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Unread 01-15-2009, 05:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, I have dealt with clients who were malingering, beginning with my internship in a MH clinic. Usually, the malingerers are the ones that have tried this treatment and that treatment, have gone through several therapists and pdocs, and claim that nothing helps and sx persist. They also will appear to be more sophisticated about the illness than the majority of patients would be, using a lot of technical jargon and quoting professional journals, but still not really have an in depth understanding. If they feel they are about to be exposed for their malingering, they will simply find a new tdoc and pdoc and start the process all over.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 05:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, I have dealt with clients who were malingering, beginning with my internship in a MH clinic. Usually, the malingerers are the ones that have tried this treatment and that treatment, have gone through several therapists and pdocs, and claim that nothing helps and sx persist. They also will appear to be more sophisticated about the illness than the majority of patients would be, using a lot of technical jargon and quoting professional journals, but still not really have an in depth understanding. If they feel they are about to be exposed for their malingering, they will simply find a new tdoc and pdoc and start the process all over.
jillio,

isn't it also true that malingerers actually *want* to have a given illness or disorder when the average everyday person does not? (in other words, the latter does everything they can to avoid a diagnosis/diagnoses and/or seeing a tdoc and/or pdoc.)
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Unread 01-15-2009, 05:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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one of my best friends faked having a hearing loss. she lied on her hearing test, but ended up receiving hearing aids anyways. once she received her aids, she never wore them. when i confronted her about this, she always said they were "in the shop." interestingly enough, when i talked to other people she and i knew, they told me she gave them a different story as to why she wasn't wearing her aids.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 05:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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jillio,

isn't it also true that malingerers actually *want* to have a given illness or disorder when the average everyday person does not? (in other words, the latter does everything they can to avoid a diagnosis/diagnoses and/or seeing a tdoc and/or pdoc.)
Well, they could want the illness, or they could just want the attention that comes with playing the sick role.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 05:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i've also seen a few people on one of the bipolar message boards i participate on insist that they have the disorder even though it is evident that they don't. even though none of us on that forum can make a diagnosis, we can let them know whether or not their symptoms represent bipolar. there have been a few cases of posters getting extremely upset when they are challenged, so the only thing we can do is to suggest that they see a psychiatrist for a full evaluation.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 05:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, they could want the illness, or they could just want the attention that comes with playing the sick role.
i'm sorry, that's what i meant. malingerers want an illness in order to receive attention for it.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 06:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I know a child who could be like that...cant elaborate more but I wouldnt be surprised if the child grew up into an adult with this problem.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 06:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I know a child who could be like that...cant elaborate more but I wouldnt be surprised if the child grew up into an adult with this problem.
Unfortunately, it will probably carry over. Especially if the behavior succeeds in gaining attention for the child.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 06:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sometimes malingering is also used to get out of stuff. I was on the swim team in middle school and I know some girls would seem to be on their period every week of the month.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 06:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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there's *never* an acceptable excuse for malingering. i'm sorry, but malingerers make me angry. <very mad>
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Unread 01-15-2009, 06:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sometimes malingering is also used to get out of stuff. I was on the swim team in middle school and I know some girls would seem to be on their period every week of the month.
That doesn't really qualify as malingering...just lying. They are not claiming to have a disorder that they don't really have, and they were not creating symptoms. Just lying about the frequency.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 06:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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there's *never* an acceptable excuse for malingering. i'm sorry, but malingerers make me angry. <very mad>
Agreed.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Learned a new word today!

Never heard of malingering, til today.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This reminds me of a thread I created a while back related to Münchausen syndrome.

I do know a few people who are like that. They go overboard with certain health issues so that they get pity and/or attention.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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speaking of munchausen's, what is the difference between that and malingering?
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I know a woman who pretends to be blind... Her family is crazy, and she wants the attention.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Sorry but I don't believe such people exist. I mean perfectly healthy people who pretend to be mentally ill when their is such a stigma attached. Sometimes depressed people come up with physical symptoms but that's differant. My mum was like that. She also tried to insist that she wasn't mentally ill when their was clearly something wrong with her. She often went to the doctor who accused her of malingering. Even after she suffered from cancer. It must have been real as she died from it.

Dad often wonders why she didn't insist on a 2nd opinion sooner but I know better.

I am also accused of malingering as my body keeps producing psycosomatic symptoms that feel very real so I've had to learn to ignore them. They usually go away on their own. However I had an ear infection a few years ago. I left it a week to clear itself up. But the pain just got steadily worse so I ended up having to go to A and E. I waited about 4 hours. I expected to be accused of malingering but I was given a lot of tablets to take instead. So it seems the ear infection was real.

Also most people who have had eating disorders go out of their way to keep them secret. So I don't know what the original poster is talking about.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That doesn't really qualify as malingering...just lying. They are not claiming to have a disorder that they don't really have, and they were not creating symptoms. Just lying about the frequency.
In the military, faking or exaggerating symptoms in order to avoid duty is called malingering, and is a punishable offense.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm sorry about that, dreama. There's nothing worse than being falsely accused of malingering. I can totally relate--my eye doctors didn't believe me for 7 years. And you should have seen my doctor's reaction when he realized my eyes were ten times worse because he neglected to diagnose me. He felt so bad he paid for my glasses.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:34 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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speaking of munchausen's, what is the difference between that and malingering?
Münchausen Syndrome is a psychological disorder. Most people with this actually induce illnesses for attention. They usually have good knowledge of medicine and illnesses that they know how to make it happen. Want a cold? Stand outside in the cold rain wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

Malingering isn't much of a psychological disorder, but more of something that's faked. I want to avoid a meeting. So, I tell my boss that I have a sudden case of explosive diarrhea. (I don't really have it.)
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:37 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Sometimes depressed people come up with physical symptoms but that's differant.
the reason people suffering from depression come up with physical symptoms is because physical symptoms are caused by depression. some examples include fatigue, muscle aches, sore joints and headaches.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:39 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Münchausen Syndrome is a psychological disorder. Most people with this actually induce illnesses for attention. They usually have good knowledge of medicine and illnesses that they know how to make it happen. Want a cold? Stand outside in the cold rain wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

Malingering isn't much of a psychological disorder, but more of something that's faked. I want to avoid a meeting. So, I tell my boss that I have a sudden case of explosive diarrhea. (I don't really have it.)
thanks for the explanation, vampy.

the only thing i question about what you've said is whether or not malingering is a psychological disorder. i always thought that it was.

from what i understand, malingerers like reading medical journals as well since this is how they keep up to date on diagnoses and their symptomatology.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:42 PM   #24 (permalink)
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In the military, faking or exaggerating symptoms in order to avoid duty is called malingering, and is a punishable offense.
...but in the case nika described, no one is faking anything. they are simply lying about their symptoms.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:54 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm sorry about that, dreama. There's nothing worse than being falsely accused of malingering. I can totally relate--my eye doctors didn't believe me for 7 years. And you should have seen my doctor's reaction when he realized my eyes were ten times worse because he neglected to diagnose me. He felt so bad he paid for my glasses.
Thanks Nika. It's really hard when people don't believe you. (hugs) I'm glad they believed you eventually.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:55 PM   #26 (permalink)
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people who fake mental illness are just as bad (if not worse) than malingerers who feign other illnesses and disorders. <very mad>
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:56 PM   #27 (permalink)
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off-topic...

dreama,

have you ever been checked by a doctor for fibromyalgia?
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Unread 01-15-2009, 07:57 PM   #28 (permalink)
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...but in the case nika described, no one is faking anything. they are simply lying about their symptoms.
Lying about symptoms or conditions would be included.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 08:00 PM   #29 (permalink)
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the reason people suffering from depression come up with physical symptoms is because physical symptoms are caused by depression. some examples include fatigue, muscle aches, sore joints and headaches.
That's true, but it doesn't stop people accusing them of malingering. Especially when they try to deny that their is anythin mentally wrong with them.

I get all these symtoms.

I can't believe anyone would malinger if their wasn't anything wrong with them. I mean people can be very unsypathetic if they think someone is malingering. Who would want that if they didn't have to?

As for pity. I don't even want it although I admit I like to be noticed.
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Unread 01-15-2009, 08:00 PM   #30 (permalink)
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speaking of munchausen's, what is the difference between that and malingering?
In Munchausen's, the person actually does something to create real physical symptoms of illness.

In hypochondria, the person is not sick, but actually believes they are.

In malingering, the person knows that they do not have the illness, and they do nothing to create actual symptoms. They study up on the illness, and then fake their description of the symptoms.
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