Factitious disorder imposed on another, also known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, or induced illness, is a psychological disorder in caregivers, marked by dysfunctional response to an apparent addiction to the attention one receives for providing care to someone with afflictions or infirmities. The person with this disorder gains further attention by seeking medical help for exaggerated or made-up symptoms apparently suffered by his or her charge. In some cases this can extend to surreptitiously acting out against the person in order to exaggerate existing care needs or create new ones the caregiver can use to continue the cycle of attention received from acting as the longsuffering supporter, and the psychological feedback that creates. This is the case in some instances of child abuse, and is well known enough to have been occasionally represented in pop culture, one example being the little girl in Sixth Sense who dies after her mother puts cleaning fluid in her food to make her sick. The story implies this has been going on for some time, happened to her grandfather before her, and will be done to her younger sibling after she is gone - the reason her ghost manifests to seek help.
Some of the obvious issues which can identify the caregiver of a patient as a case like this are medical problems that do not respond normally to treatment, take an unusual course that does not make sense, present highly unusual lab results, or are impossible. One symptom which can identify a case like this is when the patient’s caregiver is abusive toward others, even professionals, who question things about the patient’s condition, symptom pattern, or medical history that do not make sense. Another is when the caregiver seems upset, rather than relieved, when the patient’s symptoms reduce and it looks like the attention feed might be cut off. This can result in a frenzy of increased abuse of the patient - the bait - or of those from whom that reward-feed comes; medical practitioners treating the patient, even friends and family who have provided support.
Compare this to feminism’s behavior toward women, especially in the area of intimate partner and sexual violence. They view women as the patient, men as the disease, abuses as the symptoms, and government action in the form of financial support for feminist “caregivers,” and legislative and policy change as the treatment and attention, or the reward-feed. To obtain these, feminist academics and organizations have done the same thing to women’s experiences that caregivers with factitious disorder imposed on another do to their charges; they exaggerate or even outright fabricate issues, often genderless issues which they’ve also falsely gendered, upon which to demand an ever-increasing, ever-widening scope of more of that reward feed in women’s name.
This has resulted in other similar symptoms to this disorder, as well. For instance, feminist intimate partner and sexual violence prevalence research is not designed to obtain factual information about the rate of abuses experienced by women, or the rate of perpetration by men, but instead to exaggerate both as much as possible, resulting in data that does not make sense when compared to people’s real-life experiences. This data is used by feminists as lobbying fodder for legislation to increase government intervention in citizens’ lives on women’s behalf, usually through government-funded feminist overseers and facilitators, with the resulting discrimination against men supposedly justified by presuming them the disease that the legislation is needed to treat. The patient - women, or in this instance, women’s personal safety - has not improved due to the “treatment” measures taken in response to this data, but instead continually worsens… yet feminists become irate if any of the data is questioned or any other course of action is suggested. Instead, they insist on continuing to pile on more legislated government interventions, to be similarly overseen by interdisciplinary studies majors and other feminist-trained professionals, whose compensation also must be government funded because it’s just so very important!
To maintain this demand, they have spun tales of female fear and pain, misogyny, discrimination and oppression. The patient-population consists of second-class citizens, they say, living in a world in which their bodies are viewed as public property and their rights, unrecognized. There is, we’re told, an epidemic of gender violence which only feminists know how to address.
And if you don’t believe them, you hate women.
In fact, any contradiction from the public or any members of the patient-population must be dealt with severely, because it is a threat to feminism’s reward-feed. You, John Q Public, must not question the narrative, ever. You must not suggest that the patient-population is not the only population experiencing these issues, or that the disease-population is not the only population of perpetrators. Under no circumstances may you note the fact that things are improving, or that the supposed caregiver continually moves the goalposts to define more and more ordinary interactions as symptomatic of the so-called epidemic in order to keep the public’s panic afloat. Point out that the attitudes, beliefs, and activism of the supposed caregivers themselves are causes for the increase in evidence of said epidemic, and you face the pimp hand of a challenged ego.
And it’s been working, until very recently, on university campuses. Every instance of female suffering, manufactured or real, has resulted in the creation of jobs for feminist ideologues willing to generalize the individual’s experiences to the entire population and put responsibility for remedy upon the government. Every symptom academic feminists can manufacture has resulted in legislative change in which the government seeks to micromanage some form of student interaction, usually resulting in increased regulation via expansion of Title IX, and from there, the expansion of those manufactured jobs and even entire professional areas. The result? A veritable army of emotional vampires who make their living whoring out female students as proxy victims at the expense of male students, civil rights in general, and, through your government’s funding, you.
Eventually, of course, feminism’s imposition of factitious disorder on women hit critical mass, becoming too much for the public to not question. As victims of the dysfunctional system feminists created began seeking help through the courts, the true nature of the disease has become undeniable. As we saw in our last discussion, in the face of over 200 lawsuits against universities acting on their advice and abiding by policy and laws for which they lobbied, the supposed caregivers are scrambling for control.
How did things get so bad? The same way they do in deadly cases of Munchausen disorder by proxy... slowly, incrementally, with each step a test for the tolerance of the patient and any observers, before the next is taken, and the next, and the next, and there will always be a next step until the sufferer - or rather the perpetrator - is caught, or the patient is destroyed .
A presentation by Rowen University Title IX conference keynote speaker, Laura L Dunn, esquire, provides a look into that process from the perspective of a patient-turned-caregiver. Tonight on HBR Talk, we’ll begin examining her speech.