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Playing Sick?: Untangling the Web of Munchausen Syndrome, Munchausen by Proxy, Malingering, and Factitious Disorder Hardcover – Jun 3 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (June 3 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415949343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415949347
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #475,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Marc Feldman's advocacy and educational writing on MBP is fresh, personable and impassioned. That such a collection of information has been brought together in one successful book is a benefit and gift to anyone needing to understand why another would play sick." -- Julie Gregory, author of Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood

"In this masterful and unprecedented book, Dr. Marc Feldman has captured the essence of feigned illness and the underlying motivations for assuming the sick role. The origins and impact of 'playing sick' are clearly depicted with practical advice for those affected and a sensible approach to healing." -- David G. Folks, Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Nebraska at Omaha

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9bd973cc) out of 5 stars 25 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9be1ba68) out of 5 stars Second Go Round of Earlier Book Aug. 8 2010
By Bacchus - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While the book itself is interesting, it is essentially a re-packaging of the author's earlier book: "Patient or Pretender: Inside the Strange World of Factitious Disorders."Patient or Pretender: Inside the Strange World of Factitious Disorders Much of the text is the same, and the books differ primarily in that this more recent book includes more anecdotes of patients, some by the author and some purportedly in the individual's own words.

I would have appreciated futher information, not a re-packaging of the same material. Both books are interesting and informative, but I'm at a loss to understand why one would read both since they are essentially the same. I read both only because I was expecting that they would differ, and I kept hoping for/expecting additional information which was generally not the case.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bd8621c) out of 5 stars Judith Jaeger June 27 2006
By Judith A. Jaeger - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In "Playsing Sick?" Dr. Marc Feldman opens a window onto the minds of those whose need for love and nurturance drives them to the extremes of fraud, emotional abuse and even self mutilation. Malingering, factitious disorder and Munchausen Syndrome are often misunderstood by the general public, but Dr. Feldman offers clear explanations of these behaviors and illustrates them with real cases. His examination of Munchausen by Proxy is particularly compelling and includes the all important distinction between Munchausen by Proxy and factitious disorder. MBP is not a disorder, Dr. Feldman argues, but abuse. In my opinion, the two should never be confused. "Playing Sick?" is a must read for anyone who works in psychology and related fields, such as social work. But it is also a fascinating read for the nonpsychologist.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9be21108) out of 5 stars Playing Sick Oct. 11 2009
By Ryan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Must read for family members and patients who seem to have "everything" wrong and are never really healthy for an extended period of time. Easy to read and understand for the non-medical person. Seems to make a lot of sense.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c26e654) out of 5 stars munchausen's syndrome March 11 2009
By an apt word - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Have you ever faked an illness to get something you wanted? Most of us have. There is, however, a small population who live this way all the time. In 20-30% of doctor's visits, no physical complaint is found; in nearly 16% of ER visits, no clear medical problem is found. Perhaps 10% of these visits could be described as illegitimate. These are the troubled folks who need to be sick or need to engender sickness in another. The patients caught up in "sick role enactments" are literally "dying for attention." They sacrifice careers, relationships, and even their health for this. They do not know how to get their needs met in healthy, socially acceptable ways. They may engage in "pseudologia fantastica", an elaborate embellishment or crafting of one's history. They experience immediate gratification when they play these roles. People are genuinely concerned and drawn in.
Because medical people are trained to have compassion, to trust and to respect their patients, detection of factitious disorder is difficult. Feldman estimates the costs placed on the medical system by factitious disorder are in the same league with serious health problems such as MS and Parkinson's disease. He discusses possible interventions for these patients such as making the signing of releases mandatory for hospitalization, telling the patient that they have a known disorder, or simply "outing" the patient in direct confrontation. Family members and medical people who went to bat for the patient are their victims. They need to be prepared for an intense emotional reaction when such a person is first confronted.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f0a64a4) out of 5 stars Powerful Implications July 22 2014
By John Dalpe - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Feldman did a wonderful job in the writing this book. It was well researched and easy to read. What haunted me the most was the implications of how far some will go in order to find emotional visibility, attention and love. Moreover, it is equally shocking how well intentioned professionals and other caring individuals can be duped and exploited. The implications are powerful as the impulse behind these disorders begin to resonate throughtout our ever growing contemporary culture of victimhood. This is a must read.