April 27, 2011

Treatment of Munchausen Syndrome

Posted in Category : General Health

Given the fact that we live in a world where medical ailments are a very common sight, it helps to have a basic understanding of the various complications that arise out of the many factors that are a common part of our daily life. It has also been noticed that physical conditions are always easier to diagnose and the progress of the treatment is much easier to gauge as compared to dealing with a mental condition. The mental conditions are more complex to deal with because they could be caused by a variety of factors including the chemical balance within the brain. Most people are not aware of what is Munchausen syndrome. Munchausen syndrome is a mental condition that could affect any individual. Munchausen syndrome symptoms are such that the individual will intentionally fake, simulate or even inflict self induced injuries on his or her body in an attempt to be treated like a medical patient. The conditions name was coined when a German soldier by the name of Baron van Munchausen who suffered from a mental condition where he would travel from one location to another, spreading word of some fantastic exploits that were nothing more than a figment of his imagination. An American medicine man then applied the same philosophy to those individuals that have a tendency of travelling from one hospital or medical institution to another, claiming to be suffering from a completely made up condition.

The condition is rather rare, which is one of the most common reasons that the condition is usually misdiagnosed; to add to this there are a lot of people including some of the medical fraternity who are unaware of its existence. Studies have shown that about 0.5% to 2% of the population of the United States of America suffer from the condition. However, these are only diagnosed cases and similar studies show that about 9% of all fevers that stem from an unknown origin will possibly be the result of this condition.

Munchausen syndrome by proxy causes are another very serious case in which a third person will fabricate the illness in an effort to assume the sick role. Studies have shown that, in most cases, the third party involved usually turns out to be the victim’s family member. The munchausen syndrome by proxy causes as well as those of normal munchausen syndrome are not known to any great extent and some experts are of the opinion that some of the munchausen syndrome causes point to a defense mechanism that is triggered against sexual or aggressive impulses. One of the biggest hurdles that one is likely to face when it comes to the diagnosis of munchausen syndrome is the fact that the patient is more likely to lie about any symptoms that they are facing because of the mental block that develops. However, looking at their medical history is one of the best methods of detection.

Individuals suffering from munchausen syndrome and affected by munchausen syndrome will have a medical history that is both extensive and dramatic. Looking out for munchausen syndrome symptoms that fit into a diagnosis too perfectly is probably the best way to diagnose an individual suffering from of the condition. The patients are also likely to seem too eager to undergo the exams, tests and procedures that will aid the diagnosis that they claim to be suffering from. Most patients will also seem a bit reluctant to allow their current health care providers contact any previous healthcare providers in case they detect any signs of the condition having developed. A scan of the individual’s body is also likely to unearth a number of surgical scars that might have been the result of a number of different diagnostic or investigative procedures, more often than not leading to inconclusive outcomes. Munchausen syndrome treatment could begin only after diagnosis and with co-operation from the patient.