Community Munchausen's by Internet (Malingerers, Munchies, Spoonies, etc) - Feigning Illnesses for Attention

Crunchy Leaf

cronch
kiwifarms.net
I think a lot of the people we see here are the sort of people that, if they were 45, would be claiming fibromyalgia. They have somaticized mental illness. They're legitimately in pain, but it's pain that could be treated with anti-depressants.

Can someone give some more explanation on mast cell activation syndrome? I know two people who have it, and they also both have EDS--but like, legitimate, physical therapy once a week, has to pop joints back in EDS. Both of their descriptions of it are that it's like being allergic to a lot of stuff. Is this a new trendy munchie diagnosis? Why?

edit: what do people think about u/MBIresearch? She has a lot of the common munchie diagnoses. I also realize that getting kicked by a horse can cause serious damage, but it's weird to me that her issues aren't just the aftereffects of getting kicked by a horse.
edit again: I can't read, she just posted a screenshot and I thought it was her original post.
 
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Comrade

kiwifarms.net
edit: what do people think about u/MBIresearch? She has a lot of the common munchie diagnoses. I also realize that getting kicked by a horse can cause serious damage, but it's weird to me that her issues aren't just the aftereffects of getting kicked by a horse.
Ok obviously I know nothing about this chick (had literally never heard of her until I saw this post) and I can't make any claims about the validity of her illness, but I'm gonna take this opportunity to sperg about brain injuries for a second. Maybe warn you guys off starting a campaign until more evidence emerges of fakery?
TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) does result in a whole host of weird symptoms you wouldn't expect. Physically you can be 'paralyzed' (not what we would typically think of as paralysis, more of a stiffness and ungainliness than complete inability to move) down one side, you can have vision and balance problems...the brain is incredibly complex and each brain injury has unique physical consequences. I don't know what other illnesses she's claiming but it's quite common with a brain injury for things to stack up, even if the symptoms don't initially seem related to the TBI.
More interestingly, a TBI will also change who you are as a person. I'm sure we've all heard of that railroad worker in like the 1800s who survived a spike going through his head, but became an angry drunk and lost all his friends and family? That's what a TBI does. If a previously calm and rational person suffers frontal lobe damage, they can become an impulsive, angry, maniac. They can even develop a mood disorder like bi-polor post injury - This is called an Organic Mood Disorder if anybody is interested.
Basically I'm saying that brain injuries are weird weird things that make people behave in weird weird ways and are poorly understood even by professionals, so I wouldn't be surprised if this girl isn't a munchie but just someone dealing with the effects of a TBI. Or she might have developed munchie behaviours after the injury, which brings up the question of how much she's responsible for her behaviours! Is she even who she was before the injury, or has a new person emerged? I find it a lot of fun to ponder these things
Source: I work in care and one of my clients suffered a TBI in a car crash. I talk about the effects of it with her a lot, and also observe them whilst I'm on shift

Anyway sorry for the info dump it's just a fascinating topic that I rarely get to talk about
 

Crunchy Leaf

cronch
kiwifarms.net
No, I'm totally willing to believe that she has a legitimate TBI. But it's weird that she says she has 'Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, POTS, Fibromyalgia, Gastroparesis, and cervical spondylosis' all apparently caused by her accident.

WAIT I am a moron, the poster wasn't u/MBIresearch, it was a different user, u/MBIresearch posted a screenshot of the original post to r/illnessfakers.
 

Comrade

kiwifarms.net
No, I'm totally willing to believe that she has a legitimate TBI. But it's weird that she says she has 'Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, POTS, Fibromyalgia, Gastroparesis, and cervical spondylosis' all apparently caused by her accident.
Fair enough, I didn't see the exact issues she was claiming, and yh if she says that all that is related to her TBI then it's a bit strange. I jumped the gun a little bc I'll take any opportunity to talk about TBIs, it's such an interesting and misunderstood disability.
I stand by my guess that any munchie behaviour could be the result of the brain injury though, so I guess in that sense she's right that her ailments are caused by that. Just not in the way she claims
 
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Candidae

kiwifarms.net
I think a lot of the people we see here are the sort of people that, if they were 45, would be claiming fibromyalgia. They have somaticized mental illness. They're legitimately in pain, but it's pain that could be treated with anti-depressants.

Can someone give some more explanation on mast cell activation syndrome? I know two people who have it, and they also both have EDS--but like, legitimate, physical therapy once a week, has to pop joints back in EDS. Both of their descriptions of it are that it's like being allergic to a lot of stuff. Is this a new trendy munchie diagnosis? Why?

edit: what do people think about u/MBIresearch? She has a lot of the common munchie diagnoses. I also realize that getting kicked by a horse can cause serious damage, but it's weird to me that her issues aren't just the aftereffects of getting kicked by a horse.
edit again: I can't read, she just posted a screenshot and I thought it was her original post.
Mast cells are a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system rich in histamines. When you have MCAS they are hyperserponsive to stimuli and basically go crazy and release histamines all over the place even when you aren't having an allergic reaction or have nothing to fight. It can cause you to go into allergic shock over even the smallest things and is commonly associated with those who have EDS.
I can see it being a choice syndrome because not that much is known about causes and because anyone can pretend they feel allergic to everything. If you flush easily, bruise easily, and can convince people your skin is itchy you could probably fake it. It's also a more "silent" issue if you don't have a very severe case. If you check the wikipedia page you'll get a good list of the symptoms and you'll see how basic and generic they are. They're also symptoms hard to disprove online
 

Crunchy Leaf

cronch
kiwifarms.net
Mast cells are a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system rich in histamines. When you have MCAS they are hyperserponsive to stimuli and basically go crazy and release histamines all over the place even when you aren't having an allergic reaction or have nothing to fight. It can cause you to go into allergic shock over even the smallest things and is commonly associated with those who have EDS.
I can see it being a choice syndrome because not that much is known about causes and because anyone can pretend they feel allergic to everything. If you flush easily, bruise easily, and can convince people your skin is itchy you could probably fake it. It's also a more "silent" issue if you don't have a very severe case. If you check the wikipedia page you'll get a good list of the symptoms and you'll see how basic and generic they are. They're also symptoms hard to disprove online
So is there a treatment other than just not eating whatever sets you off? While obviously being allergic to lots of things sucks, it's not on the same sympathy-garnering level as a chronic pain disorder, which is why it seems like an odd munchie choice--although I guess it is good to add to a long laundry list of conditions.
 

Lysenko

Soviet Geneticist
kiwifarms.net
I was reading Merek Manuals for Professionals and came across an interesting passage linking Munch (aka Fictitious disorder) to Borderline PD.

Patients may have prominent borderline personality features and are usually intelligent and resourceful. They know how to simulate disease and are sophisticated regarding medical practices. They differ from malingerers because although their deceits and simulations are conscious and volitional, there are no obvious external incentives (eg, economic gain) for their behavior. It is unclear what they gain beyond medical attention for their suffering, and their motivations and quest for attention are largely unconscious and obscure.


Patients may have an early history of emotional and physical abuse. Patients may also have experienced a severe illness during childhood or had a seriously ill relative. Patients appear to have problems with their identity as well as unstable relationships. Feigning illness may be a way to increase or protect self-esteem by blaming failures on their illness, by being associated with prestigious physicians and medical centers, and/or by appearing unique, heroic, or medically knowledgeable and sophisticated.

What do you think?
 
O

OG 666

Guest
kiwifarms.net
I was reading Merek Manuals for Professionals and came across an interesting passage linking Munch (aka Fictitious disorder) to Borderline PD.

Patients may have prominent borderline personality features and are usually intelligent and resourceful. They know how to simulate disease and are sophisticated regarding medical practices. They differ from malingerers because although their deceits and simulations are conscious and volitional, there are no obvious external incentives (eg, economic gain) for their behavior. It is unclear what they gain beyond medical attention for their suffering, and their motivations and quest for attention are largely unconscious and obscure.

What do you think?
People with BPD really struggle with feeling that they lack a solid identity. One of the DSM symptoms is "chronic feelings of emptiness." Whenever they do find a new identity, they cling onto it very quickly and with a lot of intensity, hence why you see a lot of tumblr BPD girls adopting a different sexuality or gender every month.

I could see how some borderlines would adopt "chronically ill" as one such identity. I'd also imagine that this gives them a new excuse to seek out affection, attention, and validation, which are really powerful motivators for people with BPD.

It makes a lot of sense to me and I wouldn't at all be surprised if a lot of munchies also have BPD, tbh.
 

Lysenko

Soviet Geneticist
kiwifarms.net
@Crunchy Leaf DO you have any screenshots or more info about the alleged illnesses of MBI? I didn't realize she was a she until now. I believe her that she works in healthcare though because at least she seems to know her stuff and posts a lot on other med subreddits.
 

grumbleBum

kiwifarms.net
I was reading Merek Manuals for Professionals and came across an interesting passage linking Munch (aka Fictitious disorder) to Borderline PD.

Patients may have prominent borderline personality features and are usually intelligent and resourceful. They know how to simulate disease and are sophisticated regarding medical practices. They differ from malingerers because although their deceits and simulations are conscious and volitional, there are no obvious external incentives (eg, economic gain) for their behavior. It is unclear what they gain beyond medical attention for their suffering, and their motivations and quest for attention are largely unconscious and obscure.


Patients may have an early history of emotional and physical abuse. Patients may also have experienced a severe illness during childhood or had a seriously ill relative. Patients appear to have problems with their identity as well as unstable relationships. Feigning illness may be a way to increase or protect self-esteem by blaming failures on their illness, by being associated with prestigious physicians and medical centers, and/or by appearing unique, heroic, or medically knowledgeable and sophisticated.

What do you think?
It’s all quite fascinating, really. Their motivations don’t seem as obscure as Merck would have it, though, these fragile little snowflakes gain a lot more than just medical attention. It’s a free ticket out of tedious adult responsibilities and a bottomless well of asspats for entitled drama whores with a penchant for self-victimisation.
 

sixcarbchiligorl

kiwifarms.net
I was reading Merek Manuals for Professionals and came across an interesting passage linking Munch (aka Fictitious disorder) to Borderline PD.

Patients may have prominent borderline personality features and are usually intelligent and resourceful. They know how to simulate disease and are sophisticated regarding medical practices. They differ from malingerers because although their deceits and simulations are conscious and volitional, there are no obvious external incentives (eg, economic gain) for their behavior. It is unclear what they gain beyond medical attention for their suffering, and their motivations and quest for attention are largely unconscious and obscure.


Patients may have an early history of emotional and physical abuse. Patients may also have experienced a severe illness during childhood or had a seriously ill relative. Patients appear to have problems with their identity as well as unstable relationships. Feigning illness may be a way to increase or protect self-esteem by blaming failures on their illness, by being associated with prestigious physicians and medical centers, and/or by appearing unique, heroic, or medically knowledgeable and sophisticated.

What do you think?
I think that makes perfect sense. I believe most parents are more apt to dote on their children, or at least give them more attention, when they are ill. Parents take off work, stay home with the kid, make them special meals, continously check in on them, put on their favorite movies or spend time with them. If a child experiences this sort of thing with an otherwise too-busy parent, it makes perfect sense to me that it would be something they would either consciously or subconsciously seek out later in life. The trauma of an illness or someone else's illness is "enough" to trigger BPD.

Many people with Cluster B personality disorders also self-sabotage and have simultaneous fear of both failure and success. Being sick, sicker, or sickest absolves them from that. They are given passes for things that other people their age should have accomplished - degrees, relationships, houses, children, etc. Because of their lack of identity or problems with identity, their identity becomes that of someone who is chronically ill or a rare case or whatever else. If they had a true illness and got better, they'd not know who they were anymore, and so it would make sense to look for or create another illness.

I find the first paragraph a little incongruent with the second, though. "It's unclear what they gain beyond medical attention ... and their motivation and quest for attention are largely unconscious and obscure" but the final sentence illuminates most of that. What they gain is a reason (chronic illness) to blame all of their shortcomings on. They gain an identity from being a patient or a fighter, survivor, or mysterious medical case. They gain attention, love, support, pity. People are less likely to abandon someone if they're chronically or critically ill. They can vy for attention any time they need to. They manipulate others whether they mean to or not.

I don't think all people with BPD have malingering issues, obviously. I also don't think all people with MS or MBI have BPD. But they do both certainly fall in the same realm of mental illness.
 

Candidae

kiwifarms.net
So is there a treatment other than just not eating whatever sets you off? While obviously being allergic to lots of things sucks, it's not on the same sympathy-garnering level as a chronic pain disorder, which is why it seems like an odd munchie choice--although I guess it is good to add to a long laundry list of conditions.
It's more of a silent illness so it's easy to fake but it is a lot more than just allergies (which honestly on their own are horrible). The "spoon" analogy really works here. You're always low-energy, likely have a stuffed nose 24/7, headaches, asthma likely, dehydrated, plus you live in fear that at any moment your body will reject and go into a serious allergic shock from something that didn't hurt you yesterday (unlike allergies it's not always consistent). You really have to plan out your day.
Treatments depends on how severe your case is and there is no cure or honestly, proper treatment. You will have an EpiPen on you, maybe take master grade antihistamines with all their wonderful side effects, various immune suppressants (you can see how that might go), asprin daily (again, horrible for you), or have to experience all your symptoms with no help because the side effects outweigh the effects and hope for the best and keep your EpiPen available for any unfortunate emergencies.
It's a really awful thing to have, even if you don't have a severe case. It's especially awful when these munchies take over silent syndromes like this because they take something that really does diminish your overall quality of life and through badly acting what it's like to live with actually debilitating issues make them all seem like jokes. They don't know true disability and can't imagine life with one so it's either comically over the top or not nearly bad enough. Since they're the ones all over social media they're the ones who colour the illness or disability in the public eye
 

tastelikeluckystrikes

kiwifarms.net
Does anyone follow ts.fight (? I think that's how it's stylized but it might be an _) on Instagram? She has the same laundry list of illnesses as everyone else and posts a lot of weird, contradictory, attention seeking shit, but I can't tell if she's faking in the strictest sense of the word or just an attention-seeking weirdo. she has a lot of really vitriolic haters on Instagram for some reason (I mean, probably because she's annoying and attention seeking, but it's way more than any of the other munchies get or at least post publicly about) and I was just wondering what other people thought of her/her whole schtick.
 
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eternal dog mongler

kiwifarms.net
I find the first paragraph a little incongruent with the second, though. "It's unclear what they gain beyond medical attention ... and their motivation and quest for attention are largely unconscious and obscure" but the final sentence illuminates most of that. What they gain is a reason (chronic illness) to blame all of their shortcomings on. They gain an identity from being a patient or a fighter, survivor, or mysterious medical case. They gain attention, love, support, pity. People are less likely to abandon someone if they're chronically or critically ill. They can vy for attention any time they need to. They manipulate others whether they mean to or not.
Honestly, it seems that Munchausen's by Internet is really a pathology that can only exist in the presence of social media. You really need this revolving door of people who don't look too closely into things in order to get your constant stream of asspats. Many of these internet munchies seem like their families have already caught on to their shit, so they're not getting anything from them anymore.

In my experience, the non-internet munchies we'd see were older and socially isolated. They faked illnesses in order to receive attention from medical staff. With MBI you have people like Jaq changing her own dressings while in the hospital and posting about it on social media instead of bothering a nurse, so I think that the need for attention from social media has supplanted the need for attention from medical professionals. At this point I'd expect internet munchies to start setting up fake "hospital rooms" inside their houses so they can just post their selfies from there instead of actually going to the hospital.

This can fit in easily with BPD because people with BPD often have problems with social media use in general. It gives them a very easy way to construct whatever identity they desire and internet randoms will simply accept it.
 

Frogasm

kiwifarms.net
More interestingly, a TBI will also change who you are as a person. I'm sure we've all heard of that railroad worker in like the 1800s who survived a spike going through his head, but became an angry drunk and lost all his friends and family? That's what a TBI does.
adding to this, this man's name was phineas gage if anyone wants to look him up. His case is very well documented for the era and is very interesting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage
 
U

UT 514

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Mast Cell Activation Syndrome has very strict diagnostic criteria. Your blood work will show huge abnormalities that are very hard to fake. The problem is that doctors who aren't experts will "diagnose" and treat because they don't really understand it or how to test for it. It is more than just reporting anaphylaxis or allergic symptoms. I think many of these women just tell their main doctor someone else diagnosed it and the PCP just rolls with it and writes it in. I have never seen them post proof of their excessive blood mediators.
 
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snuffleupagus

Figment of your imagination
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adding to this, this man's name was phineas gage if anyone wants to look him up. His case is very well documented for the era and is very interesting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage
I knew someone who suffered a TBI during a military exercise (not combat related). Before it happened he was this really laid back guy that would give you the shirt off his back and someone is consider a trusted friend. He was in the hospital for over six months going through various treatments and therapies until he was released.

Then he became a completely different person, just up and divorced his wife, went AWOL from the military (he was an officer and about to take his first company command before the injury), and became this horrible person no one wanted to be around. They never figured out what hit him on the head but his helmet had a dent about the size of a golf ball so it was something significant. He thought it was an e-tool because he’d seen one on the floor of the plane before jumping but he’d also become a compulsive liar at that point so we didn’t know if it was fact or fiction. Sucks, he was a great guy and ended up a total shitbag because he got hit on the head.