Munchausen by Proxy Symptoms

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

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What are the Symptoms of Munchausen by Proxy?

A parent or caretaker suffering from Munchausen by proxy usually exhibits the following symptoms 4:

  • There is continuous or recurrent illness for which the cause is unknown
  • There is an error between the medical history and clinical findings
  • The symptoms of Munchausen by proxy are not present when the child is separated from the mother
  • The child seems well-adjusted during the time alleged abuse had taken place
  • There is a differential diagnosis involving disorders more rare than Munchausen by proxy
  • The child consistently fails to respond to medications without any clear cause
  • A parent shows great concern for the medical staff
  • A parent becomes extremely attached to the medical staff or greatly involved in the care of the other patients.
  • The parent or caregiver becomes open to medical tests for her child
  • There is a frequent comparison between the medical condition of the parent with that of the child

In addition, Munchausen by proxy may likewise include the following signs and symptoms:

  • The parent or caregiver seems to be more knowledgeable about the allegations than the child
  • Either the adult or the child bends the truth by omitting or falsifying information
  • The parent or caregiver is more keen on establishing a case rather than helping the child recover from abuse
  • There is unity between the mother and child, particularly when the child is inappropriately isolated from the father
  • The accusing adult gives an account of their child abuse experience which does not match with the views of most of their family members and with the family background as established by interviews with the other members of the family.

It is worth noting that another common symptom of parents suffering from Munchausen by proxy is threatening to sue the doctor for malpractice or even going to the extent of making the child deathly ill in order to prove to the doctor that they were right in claiming the poor health of their child.

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