Archive | May, 2010

Munchausen by Proxy 101

Munchausen by ProxyWhat is Münchausen by Proxy Syndrome?

Münchausen by Proxy (origin of this name) is a severe form of deliberate child abuse, usually by mothers (over 90% are women according to one study), whereby the mother deliberately attempts to get her own child sick via falsified physical, physiological, and/or mental symptoms. This is done through exaggeration of symptoms, actual inducement of symptoms, or an outright lie about symptoms.

Why mothers will do this:

  1. To gain the attention and sympathy of the doctors and nurses
  2. Attempt to bring the mother closer to the child’s father
  3. They are depressed and insecure
  4. Absentee mother or father in their own childhood
  5. Desire to control their child
  6. Show their indispensability to the child’s welfare
  7. Restore family cohesiveness
  8. Limit or prevent the child from being with the father through onerous doctor visits

Why it’s such such a deadly syndrome:

  1. 9% of the children die
  2. extremely difficult to diagnose
  3. mothers rarely will admit to it and attend psychotherapy
  4. the abusive parent often seems caring, and is often in the medical profession herself

Children with MBPS:

  1. lots of illnesses in a short period of time
  2. frequent visits to doctors, hospitals, and health clinics
  3. illnesses cease to exist when child is away from the mother
  4. child doesn’t respond to treatment
  5. often assists the mother with deceiving the doctors

Mothers with MBPS:

  1. Often have the same symptoms as their own child
  2. Were abused themselves as children
  3. Often a bad relationship with the father of the child
  4. Often don’t know how the illness occurred
  5. Excellent manipulators; convincing
  6. Are “helicopter moms;” very controlling
  7. Enjoy the attention they receive from caring for their “injured” child
  8. Often are in the medical field themselves
  9. Are attention seekers


  1. common for child to exhibit genuine symptoms
  2. exaggeration of symptoms
  3. often mothers are in the health care field themselves
  4. mother has personality disorders in all cases
  5. mother lashes out at any questioning of her motives or actions
  6. mother is usually the custodial parent and has the time to inflict the harm to the child
  7. constant office or hospital visits
  8. most mothers know what they’re doing, and hide their acts aggressively
  9. mother often is not happy when good news appears
  10. rare
  11. one of the most severe forms of child abuse because it can be deadly

Why it’s so hard to stop the harm to the child

  1. Difficult to diagnose or prove
  2. Takes varied forms
  3. Courts and lawyers know little to nothing about the disorder
  4. Child Protective Services (CPS) knows little to nothing about the disorder

The most important task is to protect children immediately from mothers with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. And that has to take place through the courts or Child Protective Services (CPS). Unfortunately, their task is made difficult by the difficulty to prove it, and even if it seems provable with lots of evidence, getting judges and child advocates to understand it.

Sadly, in the meantime the child suffers, and often dies.

Bottom line: the child needs to be removed from the abuse, which means the child must be removed from the abuser.

[Final comment]

Difference between Munchausen and Munchausen by Proxy:

Munchausen is faking your own illness
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is faking illness in your own children