With the events of the last week, the subject of Munchausen’s by Internet has come up a few times. Most people have heard of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, a disorder in which someone usually makes someone in his or her care ill, in order to reap attention. Apparently there are a whole family of disorders related to MSBP, called factitious disorders. You can read about them at the Factitious Disorders, Munchausen & Munchausen by Proxy Page at munchausen.com, maintained by Dr. Marc Feldman.
According to Dr. Feldman, people with factitious disorders “deliberately mislead others into thinking they (or their children) have serious medical or psychological problems, often resulting in extraordinary numbers of medication trials, diagnostic tests, hospitalizations, and even surgery . . . that they know aren’t really needed.”
It’s an interesting subject and very strange.