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Logo of bmjcrInstructions for authorsCurrent ToCBMJ Case Reports
BMJ Case Rep. 2010; 2010: bcr0720103142.
Published online Nov 29, 2010. doi:  10.1136/bcr.07.2010.3142
PMCID: PMC3029875
Reminder of important clinical lesson
Munchausen syndrome mimicking psychiatric disease with concomitant genuine physical illness
Jaime Almeida,1 Joaquim Alves da Silva,2 Miguel Xavier,2 and Ricardo Gusmão2
1Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, HSFX, Lisboa, Portugal
2CEDOC-Department of Mental Health, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas-UNL, Lisboa, Portugal
Correspondence to Jaime Almeida, jaime.almeida/at/
Munchausen syndrome is a disorder in which patients intentionally produce symptoms mimicking physical or psychiatric illnesses with the aim to assume the sick role and to gain medical attention. Once a patient receives a Munchausen syndrome diagnosis every complaint made thence tends to be regarded with scepticism by clinical staff. However, it is possible that a bona fide illness, which might be disregarded, may coexist in these patients. We report a case of MS mimicking psychiatric disease with concomitant genuine acute physical illness. Despite the initial doubts about the veracity of the latter, due to its prompt recognition, treatment was successful.
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