Artifact disease (Munchhausen syndrome) – synonyms, diagnosis, treatment

Artifact disease (Munchhausen syndrome) – synonyms, diagnosis, treatment

Synonyms: simulated disorder, artifact syndrome; fake disorder, Munchhausen syndrome

Definition of artifact disease. Simulation and / or artificial induction of physical or mental symptoms of the disease, covert manipulation, “self-destructive” behavior. The author of Munchhausen syndrome is presented in the photo on the right.

Epidemiology of artifact disease. Rare disorder multifactorial disorder

The main symptoms. Secretly from others, causing harm to oneself in order to recognize the sick and in need of treatment

Diagnosis of Munchhausen syndrome
– Symptoms of the disease appear or are simulated in the absence of extrinsic motivation (for example, X-ray examination data) and / or are caused by the patient intentionally
– Pathological relation to own body
– Patients deliberately seek to use diagnostic measures, while refusing to cooperate with the doctor or interfere with the diagnosis

Diagnostic criteria for Munchhausen syndrome:
1. Simulation, exacerbation and / or artificial induction of physical and / or mental symptoms of the disease
2. Repeated violations of wound healing with the exception of significant organic causes
3. Strengthening symptoms before planned discharge
4. Obsessive desire to be sent again to hospital for treatment
5. The astounding willingness to constantly expose oneself to invasive diagnostic interventions, including operative
6. Indifference to the course of the disease
7. Indications of multiple prior interventions and operations.
8. Pathological doctor-patient relationship

Additional criteria for Munchhausen syndrome:
1. Pathological personality like “pseudologic science fiction”, manifested in the confusion of truth and fiction, self-deception, intentional lies
2. Often bizarre symptoms
3. Repeated breaks in relationships, often with complete social isolation.
4. Frequent travels
5. Often self-care from the hospital, contrary to the recommendation of the doctor
Differential Diagnosis: Simulation

Treatment of Munchhausen syndrome:
– Behavioral therapy (“symptom diaries”, self-control)
– Psychodynamic and deep psychological intervention (awareness of selfish motives in the presence of the disease)
– Control in the field of combating lies (the behavior of a doctor)

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