I was in search of article-worthy topics when my sister put forth an interesting question- can mental disorders be feigned? I had never thought about it and thus began my research.
Lets begin with the fact that mental disorders can be faked, with that said and done, allow me to shed some light on the reasons behind this factitious/feigned disorders- the main reason being that the individual is seeking special attention, support, and/or sympathy. The cause behind this reason lies in the childhood of that person. Abuse or neglect in the early years are among the main causes, these causes then build into the individual having emotional difficulties.
Psychologists need to be careful when trying to diagnose an individual with factitious disorders, hence, the first thing to do would be to rule out actual physical illness and then refer the patient to a psychologist/psychiatrist. Another way to the understand whether the individual is faking the symptoms would be by asking them in detail about their symptoms along with asking them questions with “non-hinting” answers. Other symptoms to look out for are – dramatic and inconsistent medical history, symptoms seeming to become more severe or change once treatment has begun, reluctance to meet with health care professionals, etc. However, we should understand that when an individual fakes an illness that in itself is a mental illness since such people have emotional difficulties when it comes to relationships.