When a person fakes illness or injury to satisfy emotional needs, doctors and family members are lured into a costly, frustrating, and potentially deadly web of deceit.
Taken from bizarre cases of real patients, "Playing Sick?" is the first book to chronicle the devastating impact of phony illnesses--factitious disorders and Munchausen syndrome--on patients and caregivers alike.
Psychiatrist Marc Feldman describes patients' strange motivations, from malingerers who invent chronic back pain to avoid work to mothers who demand major abdominal surgery for their healthy children because they derive perverse pleasure from medical attention. Self-induced bleeding, fake fevers, and even a bogus asthma attack so convincing that doctors rush the patient to ICU are the stock in trade of patients with these disorders. Practitioners are deeply disturbed by these patients, angry about the time and resources they consume but nervous about confronting them with the truth.
Based on years of research and clinical practice, "Playing Sick?" provides the clues that can help practitioners and family members recognize these disorders, avoid invasive procedures, and sort out the motives that drive people to hurt themselves and deceive others. With insight and years of hands-on experience, Feldman shows how to get these emotionally ill patients the psychiatric help they need.
"Marc Feldman's advocacy and educational writing on MBP is fresh, personable and impassioned. That such a collection of information has been brought together in one successful book is a benefit and gift to anyone needing to understand why another would play sick." -- Julie Gregory, author of Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood "In this masterful and unprecedented book, Dr. Marc Feldman has captured the essence of feigned illness and the underlying motivations for assuming the sick role. The origins and impact of 'playing sick' are clearly depicted with practical advice for those affected and a sensible approach to healing." -- David G. Folks, Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Nebraska at Omaha