1st Edition

Playing Sick? Untangling the Web of Munchausen Syndrome, Munchausen by Proxy, Malingering, and Factitious Disorder

By Marc Feldman Copyright 2024
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the classic edition of this outstanding book, originally published in 2004, Dr. Marc Feldman explores the bizarre cases of real patients who feign or even self-induce illness. Playing Sick? chronicles the devastating impact of illness hoaxes, including factitious disorders, Munchausen syndrome, Munchausen by proxy, and malingering. Based on years of research and clinical practice, Playing Sick? provides the clues that can help professionals, family members, friends, and patients themselves to recognize these diagnoses, avoid invasive procedures, and understand elusive motives. Dr. Feldman offers practical advice to get emotionally ill patients the help they need.

    This classic edition is essential reading for physicians, social workers, and anyone interested in why and how individuals fabricate illness.

    A new introduction by Dr. Stuart Eisendrath. Foreword Preface Introduction by Dr. James Hamilton. 1. Dying for Attention 2. Disease or Deception? An Overview of the Issues 3. Pseudologia Fantastica: Lies Larger Than Life. 4. Invading the Body: The Enemy Within 5. Feverish Ploys 6. Out of Control: When the Ruse Becomes Real 7. False Accusations and the Girl Who Cried "Wolf" 8. Drawing Back the Curtains: The Motives Behind the Madness 9. Mental Masquerades 10. Munchausen by Proxy: When Factitious Disorder Becomes Abuse 11. Munchausen by Proxy II: After Detection 12. Cyber-Deception: Virtual Factitious Disorder and Munchausen by Internet 13. People Who Care: The Casualties of Deception 14. Conscience, Ethics, and the Law 15. Detection and Diagnosis 16. Healing: Intervention and Treatment


    Dr. Feldman is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. A Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Feldman is an international expert in medical deception. He is the author of five books, more than one hundred peer-reviewed articles, and has appeared as an expert in dozens of television programs, print media, and documentaries throughout the world.

    "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

    Playing Sick is a “must read” for anyone who has ever been fooled by someone who injures himself or herself. It is not so technical that the layperson could not understand it and is detailed enough for physicians to benefit from it. The text flows smoothly and is easy to read. The author, Marc D. Feldman, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of Alabama, has extensive experience with patients who create their own illnesses, and this is his fourth book on the subject. He draws from his considerable knowledge of these patients to give useful recommendations for dealing with suspected feigned illness and provides some hope for successful recovery through treatment for those patients who want to give up their deceptions.” Stephen M. Adams, reviewed in Primary Care Companion, The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2008; 10(4): 335.