Factitious Disorder Causes

(Also Known As: Factishus Disorder Causes, Munchausen Syndrome Causes, Somatoform Disorder Causes, Factitious Causes, Malingering Causes)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Causes Factitious Disorder?

The cause of the occurrence of factitious disorder remains to be unclear. There are several possible factors that can contribute to factitious disorder development as follow:

  • Background of neglect and abandonment
  • Attempt to reenact unresolved issues
  • Underlying masochistic tendencies
  • The need to feel superior over authority figures, such as physicians, with gratified feeling of deceiving them
  • The need to assume dependence status to receive nurturance
  • The need to be the center of attention
  • The need to feel important
  • The need to ease the feeling of vulnerability and worthlessness
  • Attempt to repeat a satisfying childhood relationship with the physician
  • Tying to overcome history of abuse
  • History of frequent illness that requires hospitalization
  • A parent may be using their child to recreate unresolved issues with their parents and authority figures
  • A mother gains vicarious satisfaction of attention and nurturance needs that may be missing with her marriage through the process of projective identification.
  • Presence of a personality disorder such as narcissism, borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
  • Traumatic events, such as abuse and deprivation

Some clinicians believe that in factitious disorder by proxy the parents desire to have a control with their children as they have never felt in childhood. Factitious disorder from a behavioral point of view is also regarded as one that involves a coping mechanism that is learned and reinforced during childhood. 4

Could You Have Factitious Disorder?

Factitious Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Adjustment Disorder – psychological response to identified stressors, anxiousness, depression, stress disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder – distorted behavior, self image and personality, mood disorder, dissociation
Dissociative Identity Disorder – multiple distinct personalities/identities, alter egos, memory loss, depression, de-realization, amnesia, phobias, anxiety
Dysthymic Disorder – chronic mood disorder, anxiety, depression, drug addiction, alcoholism
Malingering – fabricated symptoms for possible external gains, exaggerated symptoms, feigning symptoms of an illness
Munchausen Syndrome – feigning of symptoms and illnesses, malingering to draw sympathy from others
Narcissistic Personality Disorder – self centered, attention seeking, ego, self loved, conceit