Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy
Syndrome By Proxy usually involves the mother. A mother
will make the child seem sick by adding blood to the child's
urine or stool, lie about fevers, withhold food, secretly
give the child medications to induce vomiting or diarrhea,
or other tactics to make the child appear ill. The child
is often hospitalized with symptoms
that don't fit classic disease findings.
mother who is most helpful at the hospital, is elated because
the nursing staff praises her for the way she cares for
her child. Because she is so helpful, she has easier access
to her child, and the symptoms are made to continue. The
staff never witnesses acute changes in the childs
physical exam and vital signs, yet the symptoms almost always
occur in presence of the mother.
Syndrome By Proxy is not an intentional type of abuse. It
stems from the psychological problems in the adult, and
is an attention-seeking behavior! Munchausen Syndrome can
be life threatening for the child because the mothers
behavior can intensify.
is up to families, friends, and doctors to recognize Munchausen
Syndrome in order to prevent continued abuse and unnecessary,
and possibly dangerous medical testing. If Munchausen Syndrome
By Proxy goes unidentified, the child can die.
can recognize Munchausen Syndrome by watching for:
that dont fit a classic picture of illness
childs condition improves when theyre in the
hospital and reoccurs when they return home
in lab specimens that doesnt match the patient's
of drugs or chemicals in stool, or urine that cant
be accounted for
overattentive, overhelpful parent who raises suspicion
in lieu of findings As soon as Munchausen Syndrome is
recognized, the parent must be confronted and offered
help. Never accuse the parent. Munchausen Syndrome is
a form of child abuse and must be reported to the authorities.
The parent should receive psychiatric counseling, yet
it is often a difficult disorder to treat and can take
years of psychiatric treatment.
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