Munchausen Syndrome Causes

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

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Causes Munchausen Syndrome?

The causes of Munchausen syndrome are unclear. According to some experts, it is used as a defense mechanism against sexual and aggressive impulses. There is also a belief that it is a kind of self-punishment. As far as Munchausen syndrome is concerned, it is difficult to determine its cause because of the tendency of the patient to conceal or fabricate their condition.

At present, there is minimal evidence that Munchausen syndrome is caused by biological or genetic factors. Research is still ongoing as to what urges an individual to have a strong desire to be ill. While the cause of Munchausen syndrome is not known, it is attributed to the following risk factors: 3

  • Child abuse
  • A serious condition during childhood which required care and nurturance
  • A relative diagnosed with a serious illness
  • Poor sense of identity or self-esteem
  • Loss of a relative or family member due to death, sickness, or abandonment during the early stages of life
  • Unfulfilled need to be a doctor or other health care professional
  • Work in the health care industry
  • Personality disorders
  • Poor coping skills

Could You Have Munchausen Syndrome?

Munchausen Syndrome 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 By Proxy - An Individual Fabricates Or Exaggerates an Illness of Another Individual, Usually a Child, In Order to Draw Attention Or Sympathy from Others