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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / True Crime  / Opinion and Debate  /

munchausen syndrome by proxy
It's been a year since I've been on this site. Here's a new topic for everyone to chew on (and I'm sure some of you will). Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. What makes parents do this? What gratification do they get from this? I've been studying both sides to this issue and would like to hear your opinions.

Previous MessagesEarliest MessagesOutlineRecent Messages (24 previous messages)
P Marlowe - 05:04am Jan 13, 2001 PST(#25 of 32)
Glenview 7537 - Hollywood

Does anyone know what causes a parent to have this terrible mental disorder? I've read and heard quite a bit about how it manifests itself, but as to what would cause such aberrent behavior, I've really heard little?

Please enlighten if have more information.

Fran Hinkel - 08:34am Jan 16, 2001 PST(#26 of 32)
You can check out anytime you like...but you can never leave!

I copied this from a page by a psychiatrist who specializes in this type of illness:

Struggling to Understand

Why would anyone do such a thing? That question haunts everyone who encounters MSBP, since few other behaviors so sharply challenge our concept of what "motherhood" is supposed to be all about.

Typically, it seems, the MSBP parent is on a misguided mission to feel "special," to garner attention from people--family, friends, and community--as the heroic caretaker of a tragically ill child. Other perpetrators crave a perverse relationship with doctors in which they simultaneously engage and defeat them through their carefully-crafted deceptions. And virtually all have personality disorders that lead them to behave in odd and even destructive ways, especially when they feel under stress.

Marilyn Dickey - 09:02pm Jan 18, 2001 PST(#27 of 32)
This Too Shall Pass

Thank you Fran for the report.

P Marlowe - 12:26am Jan 20, 2001 PST(#28 of 32)
Glenview 7537 - Hollywood

Thanks, Fran, for that excerpt, it was indeed enlightening.

However, the concept of hurting or purposefully placing one's child in a life-threatening situation just to get attention is almost beyond comphrension.

You'd think having the love and attention of a child would satisfy such a need. Such person is really very mentally ill, I'd think.

Do you think putting people like that in jail serves any purpose. I'm not saying let them run around without supervision mind you, but I do wonder about jail.

But then I wondered about putting that poor sorry soul Mary Kay Letourneau (Sp??) in jail too. Is justice served?

Keeping children way out of their reach is a must, but jail, I just don't know. Let me know what you think?

Fran Hinkel - 11:13am Jan 26, 2001 PST(#29 of 32)
You can check out anytime you like...but you can never leave!

Yeah, that is a tough one, Marlowe. I'm not sure about jail either. For someone to do this, they are definitely mentally ill. I'm not sure if this is a "curable" syndrome or not. If it is, then absolutely a mental facility would be the preferred choice for these people and custody should not be returned to them without supervision and a trial period to be sure they are really "cured" and a child is old enough to know what the parent is doing and can speak for themselves.

Mark Rogers - 08:04pm Jan 31, 2004 PST(#30 of 32)

My wife was a victim as a baby. Her aunt died the day she was supposed to be born, the Fourth of July. Her aunt was only 18 and left behind a one year old. My best guess is that her mother probably got so much attention lathered on her when my wife was born, it was probably a high she'd been missing all her life. My wife's name was changed to reflect the lost aunt. After another baby in the family was born, and the attention waned, things probably were feeling difficult to handle. After all, her husband certainly didn't pay her the attention she craved--he was busy with other girls, including my wife's future step-mother. A cousin had asthma so bad, he was rushed to the hospital many times. Suddenly, my wife had it, too. You know, she competed in gymnastics and tracks for years, even coaching it later and never had to use an inhaler or go to the doctor! Amazing! But she was in the hospital a lot. Her grandmother recently revealed that she kept telling my wife's mom to stop putting sacharine in her baby formula, that maybe she would not be severely dehydrated, etc. Once my wife stopped using a bottle--well, you can guess she was better. This happened to her all the time. She had EVERYTHING as a child. To this day, she and her sisters tell the doctors to just pretend they are adopted because they don't know what's true anymore. Everytime we talk to someone in the family, we learn something new. The newest thing? We have children and we learned that is NOT LOVE.

P Marlowe - 10:03am Mar 26, 2004 PST(#31 of 32)
Glenview 7537 - Hollywood

Thank you for sharing what must be painful memories from your wife's childhood.

However, the more the public knows about what to look for in these cases, perhaps this cycle can be reduced and eventually stopped.

I've always been a bit surprised that doctors and nurses do not recognize these cases. Their training surely would give them insight into systemic ailments vs. created ones. Isn't that why family histories are asked for?

Again thanks for sharing your story.

can't catch me - 06:25pm Dec 17, 2004 PST(#32 of 32)

guess what? the REALLY sick abusers are still SMART and, guessing from my own recollections as a "sickly child" these compulsive perpetrators may move frequently and/or change doctors constantly...i have like no shot records etc. because they got lost in the shuffle, yet i do remember going enough times!!!

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / True Crime  / Opinion and Debate  / munchausen syndrome by proxy

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