A factitious disorder is a condition in which a person acts as if they have an illness by deliberately producing, feigning, or exaggerating symptoms. Factitious disorder imposed on another is a condition in which a person deliberately produces, feigns, or exaggerates the symptoms of someone in his or her care.
Münchausen syndrome, a severe form of factitious disorder, was the first kind identified, and was for a period the umbrella term for all such disorders.
People with this condition may produce symptoms by contaminating urine samples, taking hallucinogens, injecting themselves with fecal material to produce an abscess, and other similar behaviour.
They might be motivated to perpetrate factitious disorders either as a patient or by proxy as a caregiver to gain any variety of benefits including attention, nurturing, sympathy, and leniency that are seen as not obtainable any other way. In contrast, somatic symptom disorders, though also diagnoses of exclusion, are characterized by multiple somatic complaints that are not produced intentionally.
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