A Case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy in the Context of Folie A Famine

Ozdemir D., Gokler B., EVİNÇ Ş. G. , Odabasi A. B.

TURK PSIKIYATRI DERGISI, vol.24, no.4, pp.275-279, 2013 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.5080/u6990
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.275-279


The occurrence of similar psychotic symptoms in two or more people is called shared paranoid disorder. In this disease, the person who exhibits psychotic symptoms first is the "primary patient". The symptoms are contracted by the other people through persuasion. This disorder is seen among people who share the same house or are emotionally bound. In some cases, shared paranoid disorder may include other diagnoses, such as Munchausen Syndrome. This report discusses the case of a six-year-old, sexually abused boy who, when admitted to the hospital at the age of 10, claimed to have been repeatedly sexually harassed by several different people. His family's frequent changes in hospitals, negative perceptions of and accusations against medical staff, and improper methods of responding to harassment led clinicians to a diagnosis of Munchausen by proxy syndrome. In addition, both parents believed the abuse story, suggesting a potential diagnosis of shared psychotic disorder. In the literature, Munchausen by proxy has rarely been reported with symptoms of sexual abuse. The psychotic symptoms were shared by the family, complicating the case. This report emphasizes that psychodynamic evaluations of Munchausen by proxy and shared psychotic disorder may be helpful in understanding underlying factors.