Because the cause of Munchausen syndrome is unknown, there's currently no known way to prevent the disorder. However, if your child is being treated for a serious illness, be careful not to overemphasize his or her role as a sick person or your role as a caretaker.
Talk with your child's doctor about setting reasonable expectations for what your child can accomplish, both mentally and physically, and support your child in succeeding at these tasks independently. Taking this approach may help foster your child's long-term mental health.
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- 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.