Munchausen by Proxy Causes

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

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Causes Munchausen by Proxy?

In some instances, Munchausen by proxy is rooted from the personal experience of the parent or caregiver. Usually, they were victims of child abuse themselves. Their families may have thrived on the belief that being sick was a means of getting attention and love. The parent or caretaker usually disregards the feelings and rights of the child because they had a similar experience as a child.

There are other theories that say that Munchausen by proxy is the parent or caregiver’s avenue for calling for help for their anxiety or depression because of the inadequacy they feel as a parent of caregiver. They get some satisfaction or relief whenever the doctors praise them for their dedication to the care of their child.

Likewise, there is a plethora of theories on the cause of Munchausen by proxy. According to Dowdell and Foster, a mother deliberately hurting their child may bring some sense of closeness with her spouse. However, there is a greater chance that a mother suffering from Munchausen by proxy syndrome experienced emotional deprivation and physical abuse as a child 3.

In addition, the mother may be undergoing depression and insecurity and tends to channel their personal feelings into abusive tendencies, which can bring satisfaction for themselves. A hospital setting provides the mother an opportunity to temporarily relieve them of their parental duties. In the hospital, mothers with MBPS wander around in the hospital speaking with mothers like her.

For Schreier and Libow, the absence of a father can also result in Munchausen’s by proxy syndrome. The growing detachment with their spouse prompts the mother to deliberately hurt the child as a means of restoring the cohesiveness of their family. Likewise, the absence of the father gives the mother a lot of time to be alone with their child and inflict injury or sickness which is unlikely to happen when their husbands are around.

Could You Have Munchausen By Proxy?

Munchausen By Proxy Topics

Related Conditions

Factitious Disorder – deliberate feigning of symptoms, exaggeration of medical condition
Malingering – faking of symptoms with obvious incentive benefits, exaggeration of medical condition, lying, deception
Munchausen Syndrome – chronic factitious disorder, feigning of symptoms, self induced injury to produce symptoms