Fakers - A Psychiatric Condition?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by petite, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. petite

    petite New Member

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    Sick note: Faking illness online | Münchausen by internet | Life and style | The Guardian

    I recently read an article about this phenomenon. I thought about making a thread about it because of how many fakers come to LPSG seeking attention of one sort or another, but I forgot about it until I saw HickBoy's link.

    Here are a few excerpts from the article:

    Personally, I think a person who does this is both a bad person and a person with a condition.
     
    #1 petite, Apr 10, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  2. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    That twinge in your intestines
    Oh yeah? Pix or it didn't happen.
     
  3. midlifebear

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    I guess online-munchausen is as real as anything else. But it were a mighty sad day when Jason_El went for the big dirt nap. Such a pleasant, curious, forgiving, and resilient soul. There was no Münchausen monkey business involved in his escape beyond the realm.
     
  4. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    Yep, he was a good 'un.
     
  5. Bbucko

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    I used to spend a lot of time on a message board designed specifically for networking and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. Right around the same time I joined, another member did, too, but with an extremely provocative story: he claimed to be a 15-year old male infected by a much older man who'd lied regarding his status, causing him to disregard safer sex precautions.

    His presence there caused a real shitstorm of mixed emotions. Most all of us were incredibly empathetic, though there were some who smelled a rat immediately. They were treated to an intense hostility on the boards, by myself no less than by many others. He was also the target of a predator who was eventually banned when the full extent of his creepiness came to full light.

    My blogmate and I took him under our wings as mentors and confidants: I used to call us his Fairy Pozfathers, and he became a regular addition first to our YIMs then later Skype calls, and I got to at least think that I knew him well. His persona was a study in contradictions and paradox; at times he seemed extremely mature (his writing skills were at least equal to my own), yet at other times there was a naivety about him that was disarmingly boyish (he didn't understand very much about his body or how puberty was effecting it though he knew a great deal about HIV). We were very protective of the person whom my blogmate called "The Little Man" and considered him a fairly damaged but incredibly precocious and gifted young man.

    About two years later my blogmate disclosed during a private Skype call that he'd just discovered that The Little Man was a F2M transgendered person undergoing hormone therapy and planning to have his breasts removed (though I discovered later that he has no interest in a phalloplasty). I accepted this as probably the best explanation for his near-complete ignorance of male biology, and when he disclosed to the full board membership, my blogmate and I were his vociferous defenders/protectors. After a minor dust-up on the boards, everything went back to normal.

    There were some internal political machinations that caused me to leave the message board, though I continued to communicate with my blogmate and The Little Man on Skype, YIM and/or e-mails. There were frequent promises that he'd be visiting his aunt in Miami which came and went without ever bearing any fruit, and eventually we wound up communicating primarily by phone. I heard all the kitchen-sink drama of a young man: BFs and parental issues, primarily. On his 18th birthday I sent him a couple of books that I knew he'd enjoy (Closer by Dennis Cooper and City of Night By John Rechy).

    Shortly after his birthday I got an e-mail from my blogmate that just rattled me to the core: The Little Man wasn't HIV+. His entire charade was some sort of very bizarre plea for attention and concern. This was entirely different from the whole transsexual thing for me, and I felt betrayed on a really instinctual, base level. Faking being poz was just one lie to many for me. FWIW, the message board shows statistics for things like threads with the most responses, most views, etc, and also which members have been logged in the longest and who has started the the most threads. Though he no longer posts there (and hasn't for over a year), The Little Man still holds the record for most threads started, almost all in the Off Topic Forum.

    I still occasionally get notes from him on my Facebook page (yet another reason why I'm hardly ever there anymore) which I ignore with a deep sadness. But I can't think of any level of relationship that I could work out with him.
     
  6. helgaleena

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    I was involved with a Yahoo group once where the founder claimed to know Hayden Christensen and family, live down the street, and began to hint about HC being deathly ill! Lots of persons conversed off-group with this individual and sent money and gifts, not certain what they were for exactly-- I heard later about all this once the group was dissolved.

    The human imagination is a great tool.
     
  7. Incocknito

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    Some humans are just tools.
     
  8. petite

    petite New Member

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    He was obviously much loved. I am sorry that I never had the chance to get to know him.

    I am so sorry that happened to you. I can imagine that Little Man felt a need for the kind of connection that you offered, but he didn't know how to get it in a healthy way. I'm sorry that he abused your trust by lying to you! It simply shows how resilient your compassion is that you continued to defend him after discovering his deception about his gender. Obviously, though, the lie that he was HIV positive went too far, way too far.
     
  9. nudeyorker

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    Since becoming a moderator I've become more aware of people on the board who are not what they appear to be. I think that this deceit is basically a chance for people to be someone or something that they are not in real life.
    I think that the guys who pretend to be woman get some bizarre satisfaction from having straight men shower them with attention and praise; what I don't understand is how they are unable to realize that it's not real and has nothing to do with who they really are... maybe it's a game for people I'm not really sure.
    The one thing that upsets me in regard to this subject more than almost anything else are the people who fake illness and impending death for attention. It boggles my mind that people can be so cavalier with the emotions of other people and manipulate them for attention. I've had to deal with the fallout of these scenarios a couple of times with members who get so caught up with the emotions of real compassion and then have to deal with their anger and sadness of being manipulated. I've almost reached a point where I can start recognizing the patterns, but I still give people the benefit of the doubt until they paint themselves into the corner with the lies.
    It's always been easier for me to be myself here and in life, but I suppose for some people it's not.
     
  10. petite

    petite New Member

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    I hope that it's not a game. A pathetic need for attention isn't quite as bad as a sociopathic desire to trick people for the fun of it. I can't help that suspect that no matter what excuse a person gives, there is some need to be desired that is being fulfilled by that deception. Luckily, most people are satisfied with this level of deception, and wouldn't go to the effort of creating total fabrications in order to receive attention.

    It boggles my mind, too! It's shocking the amount of effort that a person would go to in order to do it, how cruel it is!

    The fact that you are so good about giving people the benefit of the doubt and that you haven't become so cynical is such an admirable trait to me. I'm sure that you've been privy to some very bad behavior. I think it's human nature when one has been burned a few times by deceitful people to become suspicious and it shows an exceptional good nature to resist that tendency.
     
    #10 petite, Apr 11, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  11. Bbucko

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    Thank you. I know that I posted a novel but there was no other way to adequately describe the depth of the deception and sense of betrayal when I discovered the entire truth.

    Over at the HIV support message board we'd get a fair number of suicide threat threads; the first one horrified me and kept me at the edge of my seat for days, rattling me deeply. When I was finally able to get his phone number, we had a conversation that I cut off abruptly once he essentially admitted to having written it more out of desperation for attention than anything else.

    After that, I refused to get myself involved in any other similar threads. At the peak of her fame, a spurned lover of Clara Bow's attempted suicide (which was not successful). When the press asked for a comment, she replied "Real men don't slash their wrists, they use pistols".

    I hate to be that cynical, but unless it's someone with whom I'm emotionally attached (close friends, family and/or a partner), I no longer allow myself the luxury of involvement in such things.
     

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