Overcoming Munchausen syndrome can be difficult. For those who are able to begin taking steps toward managing this condition, these tips may help:
May. 13, 2011
- Stick to your treatment plan. Attend therapy appointments and take any medications as directed. If you feel an urge to harm yourself or cause yourself to become ill, talk honestly to your therapist or primary care doctor for better ways to cope with your emotions.
- Have a medical gatekeeper. Have one trusted primary care doctor to manage your medical care, rather than visiting numerous doctors, specialists and surgeons.
- Remember the risks. Remind yourself that you could face permanent injury or even death each time you hurt yourself or undergo a risky test or operation needlessly.
- Don't run. Resist urges to find a new doctor or to flee to a new town where medical professionals aren't aware of your background. Your therapist can help you overcome these powerful urges.
- Connect with someone. Many people with Munchausen syndrome lack friendships and other relationships. Try to find someone you're able to confide in, share fun times with and offer your own support to.
- Lipsitt DR. Factitious disorder and Munchausen syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 6, 2011.
- Factitious disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com/content.aspx?aID=9652. Accessed Jan. 6, 2011.
- Munchausen syndrome. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/sec15/ch204/ch204e.html. Accessed Jan. 6, 2011.
- McDermott BE, et al. Factitious disorders and malingering. In: Gabbard GO. Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Jan. 6, 2011.
- Ford CV. Factitious disorders and malingering. In: Ebert MH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Psychiatry. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw Hill Medical; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3287516. Accessed Jan. 7, 2011.
- Eisendrath SJ. Factitious disorder (including Munchausen's syndrome). In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1102213041&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00015-9--sc0010&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00015-9--sc0010&uniqId=234252088-133#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00015-9--sc0010. Accessed Jan. 7, 2011.