"Fake" Mental Disorders

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HollyShort9
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"Fake" Mental Disorders

Post by HollyShort9 » Sat 6th Oct 2012

Someone said something similar to this and it got me to start thinking on the subject, especially since I've been studying psychology for a lot of reasons, and I started wondering what other people's opinions on this would be, and therefore, decided to post this here! This kind of covers a wide range of topics, including some disorders in general, so hang in there and try to follow my thought process as best as you can. XD
Now, some people believe that mental disorders don't exist at all. (I am not one of those people.) They think that if you have a mental disorder you're trying to manipulate other people around you. Other people believe that it's not really anything in your brain or anything in your past--this is usually people who have Christian beliefs, though not all Christians think this--and think it's demons tormenting someone.
Other people think that some people have disorders, but some people are fakers who fake them to try to manipulate other people, and usually assume that you're a faker unless given proof otherwise. Some people also believe that disorders exist and some people fake them, but tend to give the benefit of the doubt unless given proof otherwise.
Some people believe that everybody who says they have a disorder really does.
But my question is, what, exactly, makes you a faker?
If you fake a mental disorder (or even medical problems) for attention, or to manipulate other people, doesn't that make you have a whole other set of issues in itself because you would do that just to manipulate other people?
Take for instance, cutting.
What people consider a "real" cutter is someone who doesn't tell very many people, or a select few, until in recovery--if they ever do. They hide their cuts, they cut deep, they do it because there's so much going on in their life that they don't know how to handle that they turn to giving themselves pain on the outside because they can't control the pain on the inside.
What people consider a "fake" cutter is someone who cuts, parades around their cuts, talks about how they're going to cut, how they did cut, how they plan on cutting, exactly how they cut, etc. etc. etc., and they call this person an "attention seeker."
Now, my question is, does this really make them count as "real" and "fake" cutters? The real cutters are in pain. The fake cutters are also in some sort of pain to try to get attention from everyone, and regardless of whether or not they're doing it for attention they're cutting as well. There's probably a deeper psychological problem beneath their attention seeking if they're willing to cut themselves to get a few "oh, you poor thing"s. Especially because when you cut yourself, you're pretty much playing Russian Roulette--it's only so long before you hit an artery or a vein. Wouldn't there have to be something else wrong to risk, eventually, your life for attention?
An example of "faking" medical problems or mental disorders "for attention" actually is considered a mental disorder--it has a title and everything.
It's called Munchausen syndrome. A person with Munchausen syndrome pretends to be sick or get injured--or even injure themselves (do you think cutters should fall under this category?)--for attention. They can go to great lengths for this. They can make up symptoms, push for risky operations, or even rig lab results just to get a bit of sympathy and attention. Are they fakers? In some ways, yes. But again--there's actually psychological problems beneath their attention seeking.
(There's also something called Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which is a form of child abuse in which a parent induces real or apparent symptoms of a disease in a child. Instead of pretending that they have diseases or disorders, they pretend their children have diseases or disorders so that they and their child will get attention. Some children have died from it because parents have done absolutely brutal things to them to get them medical attention. I recall reading a story in my psychology book where a mother pretended her child was ill. Her child got a feeding tube put into her stomach, and then her mother spread... body waste... in her feeding tube. She got an abdominal infection, which caused more body complications, then died. Psychologists are debating whether this should be treated as a disorder and get the parents help, if they should go to prison like they would any other form of child abuse, or a combination of the two. This is also a topic open for discussion if someone wishes to offer up an opinion.)
So, in short--can you actually be a faker?
Is there actually something that separates fakers and people who "really" have problems? Either way, they're actually hurting, aren't they?
Discuss.
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bentj96
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Re: "Fake" Mental Disorders

Post by bentj96 » Sat 6th Oct 2012

I would say is possible to fake, but that's going to be rather difficult to pull off. You would have to know a lot about the disorder itself as well as being able to keep up the act convincingly.

As for saying that the act of faking is proof of a mental disorder, I would disagree. There are more reasons to fake sickness than just for attention. There could be benefit programs provided by the government for specific sicknesses. Faking a mental disorder could be a way of getting money.

Still, I would say that most fakers do have an underlying issue.

(of course, I believe mental disorders are real... That's the whole premise anyway.)
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Re: "Fake" Mental Disorders

Post by JLHxXxX » Sat 6th Oct 2012

Anxiety is known as a mental disorder (and some other big word in front). It is quite difficult to fake, I imagine. Unless someone can scream in agony upon demand.

I grew up in a rough household and it's in my genetics. I cannot give myself anxiety while thinking about it - not that I know of. I have learned many people call anxiety fake because many people cannot say why it happens. Well, you can't. Half the time you don't even know why you're upset.

I don't usually use myself as an example, but this is my... forte so to speak.

With cutting, I have told people I would. I often tell people I get urges to cut or "hint" at it to hear someone to tell me not to. I'm in pain and want it to go away, but I need support. I don't like openly asking for support. So yes, while I do keep it a secret I also do bring it to attention. You don't need to cut deep to be a cutter. I never used a knife, but I have plenty of scars.

Thing is, fakers have problems, too. It's set in their mind for their desparation for attention. You can make yourself feel a way or get this weird urge to do something so people will notice you. It can be an agonizing event to compose yourself when you so deperately want that attention.
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Re: "Fake" Mental Disorders

Post by partyonsoccerfan » Mon 5th Nov 2012

Okay, hello, I'm just going to awkwardly creep in and add my little opinion.

I think that faking a mental disorder isn't possible. Because if you're faking something horrible for attention, or whatever you want, that's not good. You're view on reality is wrong. "Real" and "fake" cutters, are just cutters. They all do the same thing. And if a cutter doesn't cut deep, does that make them fake? If they wear short sleeves and blame it on their cat, does that make them fake, because they're visible? I'm sorry you might be getting a hostile vibe out of this, but I'm really trying to say any disorder is a real one. Trust me, I have more than I'd like and some experience with them. Anyways "faking" is just a real disorder in my opinion.
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HollyShort9
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Re: "Fake" Mental Disorders

Post by HollyShort9 » Wed 7th Nov 2012

partyonsoccerfan wrote:Okay, hello, I'm just going to awkwardly creep in and add my little opinion.

I think that faking a mental disorder isn't possible. Because if you're faking something horrible for attention, or whatever you want, that's not good. You're view on reality is wrong. "Real" and "fake" cutters, are just cutters. They all do the same thing. And if a cutter doesn't cut deep, does that make them fake? If they wear short sleeves and blame it on their cat, does that make them fake, because they're visible? I'm sorry you might be getting a hostile vibe out of this, but I'm really trying to say any disorder is a real one. Trust me, I have more than I'd like and some experience with them. Anyways "faking" is just a real disorder in my opinion.
*nods*
I agree with you. I think that even if you "fake" a certain disorder, you still have a disorder for faking it in the first place. And even if you cut for attention, you're still cutting. I don't think it's really possible to fake a disorder but some people think otherwise. I figured this would be a good topic for debate :D
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Re: "Fake" Mental Disorders

Post by xx-Jelly-Fox-xx » Sat 17th Nov 2012

I have been called a faker by my own parents. I don't know if I'm comfortable to make certain info public, so please PM me if you would like to hear.
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Re: "Fake" Mental Disorders

Post by slepyoneshot » Sun 13th Jan 2013

As i do believe in faking the disorders, i also believe in real ones, because i myself have ADHD, but the thing that leads some people into thinking i fake it is i LIKE having ADHD, what i mean is ADHD keeps my brain so... active, in which i think too many things at once, but that leads me away from the fact that a lot of people i know dont like me, and most of the time it leads me away from what i am thinking, but the problem is so many people dont believe in my disorder i dont know if i am faking myself, but have been led to think that i do have ADHD, but then i think i would still have a mental disorder if i didnt have ADHD, i think that not knowing if my disorder is true on its own would be a mental disorder. but yes, i do believe that most people do not fake it.
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