Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Deception

deceptionDeception: If a patient is suspected to suffer from Factitious Disorder or Munchausen’s Disorder, the hospital and office records would indicate that he has done this repeatedly (and likely successfully). Thus, you would know that he has obtained (or tried to obtain) unnecessary surgeries and other procedures with very little effort.

However, there are those who have a unique form of deception or malingering in which they create symptoms and seek procedures including surgery because they are fearful that their current symptoms may foretell upcoming problems.  Since, in the future, they may not have medical benefits, they seek the procedures now while they are insured.

They are, indeed, aware that their symptoms are either not as severe as they are alleging. This may not have deception as a goal, merely as a too. Driven by fear, they consciously amplify those symptoms because they strongly believe that they are headed toward the need for the surgery at some future time in life.

They often have just enough medical information to falsify their complaints and enough information to frighten themselves regarding their future need for surgery.

Such patients can be confronted in a kind-firm manner such that “there are no indications that you will ever need the surgery you are seeking. Surgery when it is not clearly indicated is a far greater risk to you.” But you then must help them deal with their fears of an uncertain future that they have created for themselves in fantasy.

Not all malingering has as its goal financial remuneration; sometimes the tangible goal being sought is largely one based upon fear.

Medical Cost Projection

Comments for this post are closed.
response

Response

”The common response when first meeting someone is “and what do you do?”  Although the temptation is to reply “well, …
Read Blog Post

anger

Anger

Anger is an insidious process. Expressed or held in check, it influences what a patient says and does. What the patient does …
Read Blog Post

Objective Findings and Pre-Surgical Examination

A neurosurgeon will base his work upon objective diagnostic findings. He will objectively communicate those findings to the …
Read Blog Post