For years growing up with my mother, she had diagnosed all of her children with mental illnesses, and had gotten a lot of different prescriptions to deal with their ‘mental struggles’, that in my opinion were completely invented by my mother, to describe simple teenage and even pre-teen issues that are common among all children. From hyper activity, to depression to anxiety.
Every time my mother would talk to fiends or neighbors, she would always find a way to describe to them how her kids had “this problem” or are dealing with “that problem”, and would proceed to explain how all of the family’s problems were as a result of these mental conditions. Regardless of whether they were going through a separation, losing their house, going through bankruptcy, there was always an explanation for it.
So by the time all of her children were teens, they had a prescription medication of some sort. For me, it was Ritalin, Zoloft and Tegretol. My sister it was multiple SSRI drugs, as well as a stent of in patient drug rehab when she was a teen. My next to youngest brother had an arsenal of medication, from Zoloft, to Klonpin, and an assortment of all kinds of other drugs. My youngest brother Justin Thompson was given multiple medications for all kinds of things, and he took the medication and ODed and killed himself. Similar to an attempt that I tried at age 17, but failed.
The endless sad stories, and the endless diagnosis’s lead me to believe that Munchausen syndrome had something to do with it. This is not just with my mother, but her sister Sheila went through this too, with the endless stories of crazy stuff that had happened to her. It may be hereditary. Either way, it is dangerous, and the cycle needs to end. The only way that can happen, is by addressing this.
There are two forms of this. Munchausen syndrome, and Munchausen syndrome by proxy. The difference is, that a mother will often claim fake illnesses for her children. That is Munchausen syndrome by proxy, and the other is where someone feigns illnesses for themselves. There may be a little of both that went on in my family growing up.
It is a very under-diagnosed condition, but I think it is much more common than people realize. It is a very deadly condition too, where mothers have killed their children accidentally, while trying to fake serious illnesses for their children.
This is also another condition that I believe advancing lie detection technology can come in good use for;