Munchausen Syndrome - Treatment

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What is the treatment for Munchausen syndrome?

Because of the chronic nature of the condition and the tendency of sufferers to flee from care, the treatment of Munchausen syndrome can be a challenge. No one method is consistently effective in managing this illness. Confronting victims of Munchausen syndrome tends to be ineffective. In fact, people with this condition are more likely to prematurely end treatment in response to being confronted, only to resume seeking unnecessary tests, procedures, and other treatments from a new health-care provider. Therefore, maintaining a delicate balance between providing the sufferer of Munchausen syndrome with empathetic professional support with preventing their receiving more unnecessary tests and procedures is key to treating victims of this condition. For example, showing empathy for the difficulties that may have contributed to the development of the disorder, while encouraging the sufferer to develop new ways of managing their feelings are important aspects of addressing Munchausen syndrome. In addition to trying to foster a supportive relationship with the individual with this illness, many health-care professionals will remain in close contact with the family of the sufferer in order to educate loved ones about the victim's behaviors and need for attention. The professional may also greatly contribute to the person's recovery by maintaining frequent communication with other health-care practitioners to educating those providers about this condition and preventing continued performance of unnecessary tests and procedures.

Treating Munchausen syndrome by proxy includes the involvement of child protective services to ensure the safety and well-being of the person, usually a child, in whom symptoms are being fabricated or induced, usually by a caretaker.

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