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(The Stranger)   Munchausen by Internet. Or "how blogging introduced one cancer patient to the internet's swirling den of crazy"   (thestranger.com) divider line 65
    More: Asinine, pink ribbon, breast exams, lymphomas, purrs, breast cancer, cancer support groups  
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6709 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Nov 2012 at 11:57 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-26 05:23:45 PM
I read the Warrior Eli is a hoax blog, which has expanded to internet hoaxers faking illness, it's absolutely terrifying. It's a great read.

Some people are doing it for the attention, creating and managing 80 fake personas to give the character a "family".

One of the most despicable ones was an Aunt who was collecting money for her (legitimately) sick niece, but was pocketing the money herself without the Mom's knowledge.
 
2012-11-26 05:43:45 PM

Commander Cyclops: CheekyMonkey: What a horrible story. As I sit here in my hospital bed, after my third nipplectomy (the result of contracting John Hodgeman's Lymphoma, after being bitten by a rabid Armadillo in the Outback in August of 2009)

You think that's bad? I had John Hodgeman's, Johns Hopkins and John Houseman's at the same time. Thank god I found someone to help me get my money out of Nigeria to pay for the operation...


Oh yeah? Well... I was molested by John Hodgeman, John Hopkins and John Houseman all at the same time, after they ripped up my homework.
 
2012-11-26 05:55:19 PM

Need_MindBleach: Don't be angry that it's being pushed as a diagnosable disorder. Narcissism and psychopathy are diagnosable disorders, which, as the article states, are the two deviant personality types Munchausen most resembles.


What's the deal with everyone comparing or relating Munchausen's to antisocial personality disorder? Sure, it's possible, but do you really think that most antisocial people or psychopaths care immensely about other people's emotional support and validation? If there is money or more concrete gains to be made from feigning illness, then sure... Btw, you overlooked borderline personality disorder (looking for someone unstable enough to forcibly make themselves sick for the promise of attachment?) and histrionic personality disorder (one more likely than a narcissist to debase oneself for attention).

As intriguing as personality disorders are, their demarcations aren't that clear and often a person has multiple disorders. Maybe that's why psychiatrists and psychologists diagnose Munchausens separately.

Researcher: I guess the point is this, the reason people care about Munchhausen by Proxy...

The reason people care about Munchausens is that many of those people live in the hospital or try to seek medical attention constantly. Firstly where I've worked you pretty much can't bill for your medical services without a diagnosis. Secondly, patients deserve a diagnosis even if the diagnosis is that they are sick in the head. Maybe at some point a person like that can get effective treatment for their mental illness. I agree that Munchausens by Proxy is particularly sad and requires speedy intervention.
 
2012-11-26 06:05:29 PM
That was long, but holy crap that story's farked. I can understand being hit by a drive-by faker or two, practically everyone who's opened up online has had it happen (and I'll be honest, back in the day when I was sick and having a particularly shiatty, lonely day I'd stretch my symptoms a bit for sympathy), but that lady is a freaking magnet for diseased attention whores.

I'm not active on tumblr aside from scoping out pics, so I had no idea it was such a den of crazy. Until recently I thought it was still pretty much confined to LiveJournal and topical boards, then I found out they've migrated en masse to Facebook as well.
 
2012-11-26 06:10:14 PM

Civchic: This happens everywhere. I've been a member of a particular forum for 10 years and we've had three or four really really GOOD trolls. One in particular - five kids, bad husband, stories of beatings and abuse - it escalates slowly and almost organically - as if they have the whole thing planned out in advance to roll out in stages for the most impact. It got to where this group (mostly well-educated women in their thirties and forties) was organizing a gift shower for money and gifts after the crazy ex set fire to the woman's home and they "lost everything". Until some suspicious people started doing some fact-checking. She was outed as a complete fake and the community really suffered for it for quite some time.


I've seen this sort of thing on 3 different forums - yeah, the stories get worse and worse with time. They are very explicit about details, too: instead of saying "I started chemo today", they will say something like "I received 300 ml of ibuprofen intraanally" or whatever. I guess so it sounds more "truthful".

One lady had all kinds of sockpuppets who claimed to know her IRL, and who would post that so-and-so was back in the hospital, near death, etc. One lady posted about her son having cancer, and people sent her money. But I think most of the time it's done to get attention.
 
2012-11-26 06:16:07 PM

elysive: Need_MindBleach: Don't be angry that it's being pushed as a diagnosable disorder. Narcissism and psychopathy are diagnosable disorders, which, as the article states, are the two deviant personality types Munchausen most resembles.

Researcher: I guess the point is this, the reason people care about Munchhausen by Proxy...


Sorry I guess I thought people were debating the validity of the original Munchausen's diagnosis, not the "by Internet" variety. Internet cases probably do have more sadistic and narcissistic traits than the irl people since they don't actually have to physically debase themselves to get attention. I suppose researchers they should just come up with a diagnosis for "Internet Troll" and that should cover all the online dicks.
 
2012-11-26 07:26:23 PM
James F. Campbell - The lives of the wicked should be made brief.
For the rest of us death will be a relief.


There's a hole in the world like a great black pit,
And it's filled with people who are filled with shiat,
And, its morals aren't worth what a pig could spit,
And it goes by the name of 'Internet'...
 
2012-11-26 07:40:57 PM

orbister: latent_ravening_ferocity: Just to sum up:

If you have a horrible physical disease you're deserving of all the sympathy the world has to offer. If you have a mental disorder that causes you to spin horrible lies that destroy any chance of having a personal relationship or a stable life you're a troll deserving to be exposed and shunned.

Just to sum up:

If you lie, cheat, defraud, mislead and abuse you're a troll deserving to be exposed and shunned. If you do all that but can induce a psychologist to diagnose something pulled out the arse of DSM, you're deserving of all the sympathy the world has to offer.


False dichotomy. You can feel sorry for the guy panhandling outside a gas station, knowing that it's probably partly his fault and partly not, without inviting him into your home. Just like you can feel bad for a klepto family member after outing them, while not letting them near anything valuable.
 
2012-11-26 07:46:56 PM
Also, there are LiveJournal communities similar to the Eli blog: Fake LJ Deaths is the biggest, and you can find lots more just by Googling fake+livejournal. Most of them have been around for a decade and have archives chock-full of the crazy. I wonder if fake deaths count as Munchausen's?
 
2012-11-26 08:18:33 PM
Internet drama is so fun to read about lol!
 
2012-11-26 11:42:14 PM

cleveralthere: I stopped at the part about the goodbye letter to the breasts. Thats enough o' the crazy right there


And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a nipple in the wind
Always standing at attention
When the breeze came in
 
2012-11-27 01:11:57 AM
Whole lotta assholes up in this thread.
 
2012-11-27 11:57:10 AM
A good friend's friend was outed some years ago in a hoax where she claimed that someone had set her cat on fire (and was taking donations for its veterinary care). All a lie. They're still friends, which I find hard to wrap my head around.

ArmoredFelix: Only if people bit. The average netizen truly doesn't give a fark about such a farktarded story as this. "Oh watch out, anonymous people might not be telling the truth." fark this writer, fark her cancer, fark her crybaby shiat. My mother has been dying of cancer for 8 years, at least she doesn't cry about it.


4/10
 
2012-11-28 12:37:28 AM
I do detest people like this Jan, Beth etc.

I do love the internet but not all that it brings.
 
2012-11-29 12:13:19 AM

rekraFlatoT: I do detest people like this Jan, Beth etc.

I do love the internet but not all that it brings.


There's a whole lotta crazy sloshing around in them tubes.
 
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