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How to Identify Munchausen’s Syndrome or Hospital Addiction Syndrome

Munchausen’s syndrome or hospital addiction syndrome is a psychiatric disorder where the patient persistently seeks treatment from the doctor by feigning disease or inflicting injuries upon him/her in order to seek attention and sympathy from others. The syndrome is sometimes known as hospital hopper syndrome. Doctors and nurses also refer to them as ‘frequent flyers’ since they come back to the hospital very frequently like airplanes flying back and forth to the airport. The motivation of these people to do so is unknown. It is not sure whether the diseased are aware or conscious that they are trying to draw attention to themselves. The exact cause of this syndrome is unknown and is still under research. Experts say that the reason could be genetic or traumatic experiences of their life. The complications relating to this particular disease can be solved through cognitive behavioral therapy or intake of medications for anxiety/depression.


Symptoms of Munchausen’s Syndrome:

  • Frequent visits to the hospital
  • Exaggeration of symptoms of illness
  • Compulsively seeking sympathy by falsifying illnesses
  • Seek attention from others on their health condition
  • Seek comfort from the doctor or medical practitioner
  • Infliction of pain in themselves
  • Changing their hospitals to seek new audiences
  • Making false claims
  • Fabricating unbelievable stories
  • Well learned about medicines, medical conditions and sometimes surgery
  • Nervousness and agitation
  • Excitement when seeing a doctor

This disorder becomes difficult for the doctors to diagnose because the diseased person comes up with new symptoms each time he/she visits the doctor. People with Munchausen’s syndrome know to some extent that they are lying but are ready to go to ant extent to prove that they have a particular disease. Some people with extreme conditions of this disorder have the ability to produce symptoms that result in lengthy and prolonged treatment and unnecessary medications.