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Do you think this would be Munchausen by Proxy?

My sister has three young children. Her children are always going to doctors and hospitals for various illnesses. Her oldest child has a reoccurring rash in a private area that the doctors have never been able to diagnose, a blood disorder (which I can't remember the name of at the moment) which doesn't allow her blood to clot properly and causes nose bleeds that my sister insists last 30+ minutes. The middle child is supposedly partially deaf in both hears (I've never had any problem with his hearing), has some heart condition that she claims means he can't be hit in the chest (even though he's been in wrestling for a few years), a speech delay. The youngest has been wearing a sling on her arm for a few months cause she supposedly dislocated her shoulder, has asthma (this does run in the family), has been hospitalized for up to 3 days and returned home with no diagnosis after many tests (this has occurred at least 3 times that I can recall), a speech delay, ADHD, and is on behavior modification medication. My sister is very attentive towards her children when she is in public and especially when they are at the doctor or hospital... however, she treats them different at home. She has the children in the school band and the boys are on the wrestling team and her daughter is a cheerleader and takes dance lessons. My sister attends every recital, game, practice, or match. I have noticed that the children tend to sick every time her relationships start having problems. She also doesn't take the children to the same hospital every time they get sick and she moves a lot. I have also noticed that my sister tends to get sick when she is having relationship issues. My sister claims to a have a blood clot in her brain (but she can't remember where it is), ovarian cancer (but she refuses a hysterectomy even though the doctors supposedly recommended one several years ago), claims to have been raped (never took it to court), bi-polar (not medicated). I'm worried for the children cause this week they have started getting sick and I don't know if I'm just blowing this out of proportion or if I should say something to somebody.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:35 PM on Jan. 6, 2011 in Kids' Health

Answers (8)
  • Sounds like MBP could be a possibility. Especially since you say this happens when she has relationships issues. Her also taking the children to all these different doctors and hospitals is making it very difficult for a accurate medical history.

    Answer by soon2bmmy at 2:42 PM on Jan. 6, 2011

  • I agree i think it could be possible she could be suffering from MBP.

    Answer by L0vingMy3Girls at 2:46 PM on Jan. 6, 2011

  • No it doesnt sound like it. It sounds more like she might have borderline personality disorder, or some other personality disorder like it.

    Answer by gemgem at 2:48 PM on Jan. 6, 2011

  • MBP is a personality disorder and it does mimic other Personality disorders. That is why it is so hard to diagnose this condition.

    Answer by soon2bmmy at 2:55 PM on Jan. 6, 2011

  • The whole thing sounds very fishy and strange. Usually when alarm bells go off in your head and your gut tells you something is wrong then you are right to be concerned. Sometimes smoke is just smoke, but often there's a really big fire. I think you should report your concerns to someone. Because of all the doctors, moving, etc, there may not be a lot of people other than yourself who are in a position to put the pieces together and notice all of the red flags. If something is wrong then those kids need someone to speak up. Good luck to you.

    Answer by MaryMW at 3:19 PM on Jan. 6, 2011

  • sounds like it could be. Sorry you have to deal with this. Is there someone you can call to investigate this?

    Answer by Roadfamily6now at 6:12 PM on Jan. 6, 2011

  • I think, technically, she would have to be causing the illnesses/conditions in the children in order to be seen as the hero when she seeks treatment for them. I am not an expert but that's how I understand it. Intentionally causing an illness in a child to gain credit for rescuing them when she takes them to the doctor. I would find out if she has caused any of these problems to begin with.

    As for taking kids to the doctor when she has relationship issues, perhaps it's a way of seeking safety and security for herself. She could be feeling like the world is caving in and when she seeks help for her real (or imagined) medical issues it could provide some sense of order to her life. Maybe?

    Answer by beshka76 at 3:59 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • sounds like it

    Answer by Ashlynnsmommy07 at 3:20 PM on May. 9, 2011

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