Munchausen Syndrome (also known as Factitious Disorder) is where a person feigns or physically induces symptoms in order to pretend they have an illness. With this disorder there is no ulterior motive for this ie: no financial benefit. The only motive seeming to be the care, and the sympathy they will receive and that they will be the centre of attention. Those suffering from this disorder frequently attend doctors or hospitals with their ‘symptoms’.

The symptoms they feign vary greatly. They may claim to be hearing voices, purposely infect a wound, or claim to have severe pain. Others will go as far as to contaminate their urine samples or inject themselves with bacteria. They will continuously seek medical help, even changing doctors if they think that they will be exposed as a fake.
It is unclear, and not very well understood, as to why those with this disorder behave in this way. There is some link to those who already have a personality disorder, and some connections to those who have suffered neglect or trauma as a child.

The severity of the symptoms of Munchausen Syndrome affect the prognosis, those with fairly mild symptoms have quite a good prognosis. Those with chronic symptoms are at risk of self harm, suicide and generally the prognosis is not as good for people in this category.