EpicentRx Word of the Week: Munchausen

May 20, 2024

“Munchausen puts the “con” in hypochondria.”

Munchausen’s Syndrome noun
moon-chau-zn sihn-droom

Definition: to induce or feign illness in oneself.

Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy noun
moon-chau-zn sihn-droom bi prok-see

Definition: to induce or feign illness in a child by a caretaker usually the mother.

Example sentence:
“The Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen syndrome by proxy are factitious disorders characterized by fabrication or induction of signs or symptoms of a disease, as well as alteration of laboratory tests. People with this syndrome pretend that they are sick and tend to seek treatment, without secondary gains, at different care facilities. Both syndromes are well-recognized conditions described in the literature since 1951. They are frequently observed by health teams in clinics, hospital wards and emergency rooms.”

From Sousa Filho D et al. “Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen syndrome by proxy: a narrative review.”

After Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymus von Münchhausen who was a German soldier famous for his tall tales.