I strongly believe a family member is feigning major medical problems, what do I do ?

(11 Posts)
ohsotrying Sat 27-Jun-20 23:06:21

I know this sounds awful but I am very worried about the family memeber involved. They do have a conplex physical helath need. Think diclocation/seizure. What happens a lot is they say something has happened with there physical helath using all the terminology they know etc this means they get the treatment for this involving ambulances sometimes fire, drugs etc. We get to hospital run test and evreythings fine. A lot of the time it happens where no ones sees. It's been the same growing up so me and my brother used to be able to tell when it was about to happen always in similar positions in awkaward situations. Never just in middle of floor but in lift, bathroom, plane. It was hell growing up. When it happens we all go along with it as we know if we appaorched the subject we could be putting ourselves up to abuse. But recently it has been happening more the family memeber has been using more explicit non prescription and prescription drugs. Some of these drugs they have gotten by saying about pain that they can't say Deffintly isn't happening, even though many of us believe it isn't. This has included ketamine. At the moment they are saying they may die and a bunch of other mecial stuff that dosent quite add up. Some medical professional have said they don't believe it all to be genuine but haven't followed it up. They have started to go to other hospitals where people don't know them. Of course we can't say it Deffintly isn't happening it's just the mechanism, time how test results come back normal etc. We don't know if it is conscious or unconscious. We believe it for attention/drugs. I don't know how to broach the subject and with what professional they need help and to stop harming there body. I know this may sound horrible but it's been a very diffcuilt thing to deal with

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NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Sat 27-Jun-20 23:29:59

The medical professionals will be aware of what is happening and it's really up to them how they treat her. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if they prescribe medication for her then that is their decision and it isn't for anyone else to say that it's wrong.

It's not clear in your post but are you saying she has been prescribed ketamine?

Can you be a bit more specific about what your concerns are?

ohsotrying Sun 28-Jun-20 00:37:36

She has had ketamine when paramedics have come round. My concerns are she can be manipulative enough and have the knowledge to tell people what symptoms she has and make people believe her. As a convo I had with a paramedic they might have a feeling she is feigning but because she had a complex issue and can't be 100% they have to go with what she is saying. It's then when she gets to hospital do they realise that the tests come back normal. I'm worried about drug use, use of resources and that she isn't getting the help she needs. I believe she perfectly fits the profile for Munchausen

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TheFoz Sun 28-Jun-20 00:44:35

I was just thinking Munchausens reading the OP! I know someone like this too. She also appears to suffer from Muchausens by proxy. It seems to be a fairly serious mental health issue.
Has this family member ever had a psychiatric evaluation?

ohsotrying Sun 28-Jun-20 11:47:15

No she hasn't she admits she has anxiety and that's about it. Nobody has ever said to her direct we feel some of this is fabricated so don't know how she'll react.

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SoddingWeddings Sun 28-Jun-20 12:04:57


My ex-friend (because he is a domestic abuser, liar, thief and terrible father) has psychosomatic seizures. Its a control thing with him. As soon as he's not getting his own way or is in need of attention, BANG, down he goes.

He's an unbelievable narcissist, and we all fell for it for years. I've never met someone who tells so many lies, but he can no longer keep up with what lies he's told to whom. There's no point in challenging the lies because he gets massively defensive, and just gaslights everyone around him.

Honestly, my advice is not to engage. Don't ask to to go medical appointments with them or anything. Make sympathetic noises but don't ask all the questions you want to as you won't get the answers. Don't offer to do things to ease your mind - it won't work.

Observe, follow the story, watch for lies, and just wait for them to prove the lies to you.

lesbihonest Sun 28-Jun-20 12:07:14

Is it non epileptic seizures? DM has had them all my life and you could pretty much plan your day by them at times . In lifts, escalators, bus, train, airplane, swimming pool, theme park, walking outdoors, on the beach, restaurants, hotels, weddings and funerals ...

She has other symptoms too like cognitive issues and dissociation .

It’s very, very confusing and hard to understand as she doesn’t go fully unconscious but would appear to . It’s absolute hell all round and I genuinely don’t think she’s ever been able to help it, I don’t think .

Have seen similar through my work - can be very disabling .

NHS and paramedics have been very quick to call it malingering but that’s actually pretty rare, and a psychiatric diagnosis in itself now with therapy etc .


NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Sun 28-Jun-20 12:10:53

Good advice from soddingweddings

Why do you feel the need to confront her at all? Just feign sympathy and let her carry on. She's an adult. You are not responsible for other adults.

ohsotrying Sun 28-Jun-20 12:22:41

It's not seizures all the time although she has said those have happened. It's quite a few things we believe she feigns. I guess the reason I care is because I grew up with it and put up with it for so long putting on my act going along with it. But it's getting to the point that the amount of resources/drugs etc she is using up is unbelievable and going at family members with quite severe emotional abuse. I can try and ignore it but not evreyone can.

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JuanNil Sun 28-Jun-20 12:26:50

Obviously you don't have to share this information but is this family member your mother? It would explain why you so desperately want to do something about it and can't just sit back and disengage.

DP has exactly the same issues with his mother and it's horrible to watch. In the time I've known him and since he's had children, he's been able to step back from her a lot more. At first that resulted in more cries for attention and severe issues landing her in hospital. But when she realised he wasn't going to come and visit her anymore, she really calmed down. It's amazing how much she's changed actually. Of course there's still the occasional 'moment' and the drugs she gets prescribed are unreal, makes my jaw drop.

I hope you manage to get some advice and clarity here.

ohsotrying Tue 14-Jul-20 20:38:14

Yes it is my mother, to update tommrow I have a gp appotment over the phone to talk, I know with patient confidentiality not much can happen. But something happened over the weekend and the paramedics could see it was being feigned and said this was the beat route to go down

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