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Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy.

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:42 am
by Dan Sullivan, ... 61,00.html

Mumbo-jumbo syndrome

Rod Liddle

Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy is an ailment dreamt up by Professor Sir Roy Meadow back in 1977. He took an existing condition — Munchausen’s syndrome, wherein the victims feign illness to draw attention to themselves — and added “by proxy” to describe victims who, he said, induced illness or injury in a third party in order to draw attention to themselves.

I hope that medical science will record that I am the inventor of an entirely new, if related, mental illness, Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy by proxy, to describe doctors who make up illnesses for other people to suffer from in order to draw attention to themselves. We might call it “hubris” for short.

Meadow is now appearing before the General Medical Council accused of “naive, grossly misleading, incompetent and careless” use of statistics that contributed to the conviction of women accused of killing their young children.

Angela Cannings, one of the women wrongly jailed after his testimony, wants him to be struck off. You can understand her anger and it has been shared, pretty much without exception, by the entire media. Yes, strike him off! Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy may end up being struck off, too, one of these days. A growing number of other experts believe that it does not exist except in the unbending minds of paediatricians. It is no longer recognised as a psychiatric disorder in some Australian states and its status in America is under threat.

Certainly there can be few fictitious illnesses (it is known officially as a “factitious” illness, but I prefer my spelling) that have caused quite so much misery. An estimated 30,000 children have been taken away from their parents in this country after a diagnosis of Meadow’s pet condition. In America alleged sufferers have been sentenced to death for murdering their children solely upon the evidence of clever and eminent paediatricians.

Clearly Meadow — who, as a former president of the Royal College of Paediatricians, is about as eminent in his field as it gets — is not alone in believing that children are being bumped off, willy-nilly, by their parents or guardians. It is a view that was for a long time an article of faith in paediatric circles. While it held sway, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the judges, the juries were prepared to listen to “expert” paediatricians and treat their testimonies as unvarnished, disinterested, objective fact, not beholden to fashion, personal subjective belief or professional arrogance. Why? When an expert “scientist” steps onto the witness stand, for some reason our natural scepticism dissolves: we listen, agog, uncritically. And then a few years later when the science changes — as it always does: that is the point of science — we vilify them for their earlier stupidity.

Meadow’s “crime” was to state what he believed. It looks very much as if he was utterly, hopelessly wrong; but in that he was far from alone. Many crimes have been committed against the Angela Canningses of this world and his professional arrogance is perhaps one of them.

However, the rest of us shoulder more blame for our failure to see science as it really is: a collection of rather wonderful stories that we make up in an attempt to explain the world around us, stories that are flawed, subject to endless revision and usually downright contradiction. But never certain. Scientists are, in the end, always proved wrong or at least not quite right — even the most eminent of them. Talk to Aristotle or Copernicus or, for that matter, Einstein. Yet they all adhere to their theories with a commitment that, shall we say, transcends the objective observation of events. So put them on the witness stands, but listen with caution.

Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy is a quintessential example of that most suspect of scientific theories — one that brooks no rational argument, a closed circle we all must accept at face value.

For example, the only cure must begin by the sufferer accepting that he or she is afflicted with the condition — which, of course, the alleged sufferer is loath to do. But if someone who is diagnosed as a sufferer vociferously denies it, this serves to reinforce the diagnosis. A denial of the condition is, perforce, a symptom of the condition. And then there’s this: there is no cure but it is accepted that sufferers can sometimes continue to live among other people without exhibiting the symptoms — murdering people or making them ill. Furthermore, there is no agreed biological or psychological cause.

So there we have it: an illness that has no cause or cure and that is diagnosed at least partly by the alleged victim’s denial that he or she is so afflicted. The more the victim denies it, the more obviously the victim is afflicted. And it is an illness that may somehow exist within a person without cause or cure or indeed any manifestation of its symptoms.

In the medical establishment, in the law courts and in the press, why were we prepared to believe this guff for more than a quarter of a century and send people to prison as a result?


Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:42 am
by DesertSkye
I hope this guy rots in jail

If not we have at least the knowledge thast he will "rot" eternily!

This is one o fthe things they tried to pin on me/ and my dauhterrr sayin it was either Munchausens or Munchausens By Proxy................they of course had no clue what they were saying

As one pediatrician so wisely said

" A child cannnn't manifest so many different symptoms at such a young age and keep them all straight!"

And as wise good dad pointed out

How could she manifest all these physcial symptoms when she
just beginning to try and master the art of walking, talking, and potty training.....

not to mention they matched the physical symptoms of a disease we would not hear of for 5 more years and that followed by her bloodwork showing toxic elevation for hormones that her body produces naturally and follows the course of this disease........

One of these idiot drs was going to testify that she thought it was munchausens

Until I told CPS in a very excited voice

I had letters from a top notch well known hospital that a Dr there wrote to this idiot to inform her ( in a very professional manner) that she was doing the tests wrong!!

Sometimes I wish I would not have said anything and wish that she would have shown up I would have enjoyed watching her glaring incompetance be proven on the stand in front of everyone!

sorry this hit home and I got on a roll.......... :wink:
I'' step off my soapbox now!

More on MSBP

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:34 am
by Silverbirch511
If any one is falsely accused of MSBP fabricated Illness etc and needs support, or wants to read reams on Meadows and others, try -

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:51 am
by Dazeemay

This is from Australia and England is doing it too.

A new term for Munchausen by Proxy which involves Children's Protection Services.

Munchausen by Proxy

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:13 pm
by Zookie
This does exist. I have had one case in which the child's mother was making her ill on purpose. CPS was not involved either. I think the disorder is relatively rare and actually being a mandated reporter, I called CPS like once a week for this child and there was nothing they could do.

There are several good books on the called "Sickened" which is quite good and written by a woman whose mother did this to her.

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:19 pm
by Dazeemay
It is so rare, really rare.

I know you are a therapist, but do you really know if the mother was making the child ill?

Did you have forensic or physical evidence?

Because my granddaughter has a rare disease my daughter was accused of making her daughter sick. Therapists ruined my daughters life and the life of my granddaughter. Now the drs. and therapists are running scared because they did not do their testings correctly and made judgments they should have not made at the exspense of their lives.

Our granddaughter was saved from hell by a dr. who knew what she was doing and this spring our granddaughter will be in the capable hands of a team of drs.

The reason CPS would not touch it is because our lawyer told us they did not even want to go there because for years CPS and drs. accused thousands of mother's and they are running scared on this issue. All because of some dr. whom they found out was a nut case.

Am I angry? When you said you knew of a mother who was doing this to her child as far as I am concerned until you have all of the physical and forensic evidence she did this then you have no right to make that judgement.
Mind Games: Psychological Warfare Between Therapists and Scientists

Recently, while lecturing to a large group of lawyers, judges, mediators, and others involved in the family-court system in Los Angeles, I asked how many knew what a "social psychologist" was. Three people shyly raised their hands. That response was typical, and it's the reason I don't tell people anymore that I'm a social psychologist: They think I'm a therapist who gives lots of parties. If I tell them I'm a psychological scientist, they think I'm a pompous therapist, because everyone knows that "psychological science" is an oxymoron.

In fact, in many states, I cannot call myself a psychologist at all -- the word is reserved for someone who has an advanced degree in clinical psychology and a license to practice psychotherapy. That immediately rules out the many other kinds of psychologists who conduct scientific research in their respective specialties, including child development, gerontology, neurobiology, emotions, sleep, behavioral genetics, memory and cognition, sexual behavior and attitudes, trauma, learning, language, . . . and social psychology, the study of how social situations and other people affect every human activity from love to war.

For the public, however, the word "psychologist" has only one meaning: psychotherapist. It is true that clinical psychologists practice therapy, but many psychologists are not clinicians, and most therapists are not clinical psychologists. The word "psychotherapist" is completely unregulated. It includes people who have advanced training in psychology, along with those who get a "certification" in some therapeutic specialty; clinical social workers; marriage, family, and child counselors; psychoanalysts and psychiatrists; and countless others who have no training in anything. Starting tomorrow, I could package and market my own highly effective approach, Chocolate Immersion Therapy, and offer a weekend workshop to train neophytes ($395, chocolate included). I could carry out any kind of unvalidated, cockamamie therapy I wanted, and I would not be guilty of a single crime. Unless I described myself as a psychologist.

As a result of such proliferation of psychotherapists, the work of psychological scientists who do research and teach at colleges and universities tends to be invisible outside the academy. It is the psychotherapists who get public attention, because they turn up on talk shows, offer advice in books and newspaper columns, and are interviewed in the aftermath of every disaster or horrible crime -- for example, speculating on the motives and childhoods of the Washington snipers. Our society runs on the advice of mental-health professionals, who are often called upon in legal settings to determine whether a child has been molested, a prisoner up for parole is still dangerous, a defendant is lying or insane, a mother is fit to have custody of her children, and on and on. Yet while the public assumes, vaguely, that therapists must be "scientists" of some sort, many of the widely accepted claims promulgated by therapists are based on subjective clinical opinions and have been resoundingly disproved by empirical research conducted by psychological scientists. Here are a few examples that have been shown to be false:

Low self-esteem causes aggressiveness, drug use, prejudice, and low achievement.

Abused children almost inevitably become abusive parents, causing a "cycle of abuse."

Therapy is beneficial for most survivors of disasters, especially if intervention is rapid.

Memory works like a tape recorder, clicking on at the moment of birth; memories can be accurately retrieved through hypnosis, dream analysis, or other therapeutic methods.

Traumatic experiences, particularly of a sexual nature, are typically "repressed" from memory, or split off from consciousness through "dissociation."

The way that parents treat a child in the first five years (three years) (one year) (five minutes) of life is crucial to the child's later intellectual and emotional success.

Indeed, the split between the research and practice wings of psychology has grown so wide that many psychologists now speak glumly of the "scientist-practitioner gap," although that is like saying there is an "Arab-Israeli gap" in the Middle East. It is a war, involving deeply held beliefs, political passions, views of human nature and the nature of knowledge, and -- as all wars ultimately do -- money and livelihoods. The war spilled out of academic labs and therapists' offices and into the public arena in the 1980s and '90s, when three epidemics of hysteria caught fire across the country: the rise of claims of "repressed memories" of childhood sexual abuse; the growing number of cases of "multiple-personality disorder" (MPD), from a handful before 1980 to tens of thousands by 1995; and the proliferation of day-care sex-abuse scandals, which put hundreds of nursery-school teachers in prison on the "testimony" of 3and 4-year-old children.

All three epidemics were fomented and perpetuated by the mistaken beliefs of psychotherapists: that "children never lie about sexual abuse"; that childhood trauma causes the personality to "split" into several or even thousands of identities; that if you don't remember being sexually abused in childhood, that's evidence that you were; that it is possible to be raped by your father every day for 16 years and to "repress" the memory until it is "uncovered" in therapy; that hypnosis, dream analysis, and free association of fantasies are reliable methods of "uncovering" accurate memories. (On the contrary, such techniques have been shown to increase confabulation, imagination, and memory errors, while inflating the belief that the retrieved memories are accurate.) The epidemics began to subside as a result of the painstaking research of psychological scientists.

But psychotherapeutic nonsense is a Hydra: Slay one set of mistaken ideas, and others take their place. Recovered-memory therapy may be on the wane, but "rebirthing" techniques and forms of "restraint therapy" -- physically abusive practices that supposedly help adopted or troubled children form attachments to their parents -- are on the rise. In Colorado, 10-year-old Candace Newmaker was smothered to death during rebirthing, a procedure in which she was expected to fight her way through a "birth canal" of suffocating blankets and pillows. The two therapists convicted in Candace's death are now serving time in prison, but efforts in Colorado to prohibit all forms of "restraint therapy" were defeated by protests from "attachment therapists" in the state and throughout the country. After Candace's death, one member of the Colorado Mental Health Grievance Board noted with dismay that her hairdresser's training took 1,500 hours, whereas anyone could take a two-week course and become "certified" in rebirthing. Yet the basic premise -- that children can recover from trauma, insecure attachment, or other psychological problems by "reliving" their births or being subjected to punitive and coercive restraints -- has no scientific validity whatsoever.

To understand how the gap between psychological scientists and clinicians grew, it is necessary to understand a little about therapy and a little about science, and how their goals and methods diverged. For many years, the training of most clinical psychologists was based on a "scientist practitioner" model. Ideally, clinicians would study the research on human behavior and apply relevant findings to their clinical practice. Clinical psychologists who are educated at major universities are still trained in this model. They study, for example, the origins of various mental disorders and the most effective ways to treat them, such as cognitive-behavior therapy for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, anger, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

They have also identified which interventions are unhelpful or potentially harmful. For example, independent assessments of a popular post-trauma intervention called Critical Incident Stress Debriefing have found that most survivors benefit just as much by talking with friends and other survivors as with debriefers. Sometimes CISD even slows recovery, by preventing victims from drawing on their own wellsprings of resilience. And, sometimes, it harms people -- for example, by having survivors ventilate their emotions without also learning good methods of coping with them.

Unfortunately, the numbers of scientifically trained clinicians have been shrinking. More and more therapists are getting their degrees from "free-standing" schools, so called because they are independent of research institutions or academic psychology departments. In these schools, students are trained only to do therapy, and they do not necessarily even learn which kinds of therapy have been shown to be most effective for particular problems. Many of the schools are accredited by the American Psychological Association, and their graduates learn what they need to know to pass state licensing examinations. But that does not mean that the graduates are scientifically knowledgeable. For example, the Rorschach Inkblot Test has been resoundingly discredited as a reliable means of diagnosing most mental disorders or emotional problems; it usually reveals more about the clinician administering it than about the individual taking it. I call it the Dracula of psychological tests, because no one has been able to drive a stake through the cursed thing's heart. Many clinicians love it; it is still widely used; and it still turns up on licensing exams.

Of course, tensions exist between researchers and practitioners in any field -- medicine, engineering, education. Whenever one group is doing research and the other is working in an applied domain, their interests and training will differ. The goal of the clinician, in psychology or medicine, is to help the suffering individual; the goal of the psychological or medical researcher is to explain and predict the behavior or course of illness in people in general. That is why many clinicians argue that empirical research cannot possibly capture the complex human beings who come to their offices. Professional training, they believe, should teach students empathy and appropriate therapeutic skills. Good therapy depends on the therapist's insight and experience, not on knowledge of statistics, the importance of control groups, and the scientific method.

I agree that therapy often deals with issues on which science is silent: finding courage under adversity, accepting loss, making moral choices. My clinician friends constantly impress me with their deep understanding of the human condition, which is based on seeing the human condition sobbing in their offices many times a week. Nor am I arguing that psychological scientists, or any other kind, are white knights with a special claim to intellectual virtue. They, too, wrangle over data, dispute each other furiously in print and public, and have plenty of vested interests and biases. (For example, many scientists and consumer advocates are concerned about the growing co-optation of scientific investigators by the pharmaceutical industry -- which now finances the majority of studies of treatments for mental disorders and sexual problems -- because the result has been a pro-drug bias in research.)

It is not that I believe that science gives us ultimate truths about human behavior, while clinical insight is always foolish and wrong. Rather, I worry that when psychotherapists fail to keep up with basic research on matters on which they are advising their clients; when they fail to learn which methods are most appropriate for which disorders, and which might be harmful; when they fail to understand their own biases of perception and do not learn how to correct them; when they fail to test their own ideas empirically before running off to promote new therapies or wild claims -- then their clients and the larger public pay the price of their ignorance.

For present purposes, I am going to do an end run around the centuries-old debate about defining science, and focus on two core elements of the scientific method. These elements are central to the training of all scientists, but they are almost entirely lacking in the training of most psychotherapists, including clinical psychologists. The first is skepticism: a willingness to question received wisdom. The second is a reliance on gathering empirical evidence to determine whether a prediction or belief is valid. You don't get to sit in your chair and decide that autism is caused by cold, rejecting, "refrigerator" mothers, as Bruno Bettelheim did. But legions of clinicians (and mothers) accepted his cruel and unsubstantiated theory because he was, well, Bruno Bettelheim. It took skeptical scientists to compare the mothers of autistic children with those of healthy children, and to find that autism is not caused by anything parents do; it is a neurological disorder.

The scientific method is designed to help investigators overcome the most entrenched human cognitive habit: the confirmation bias, the tendency to notice and remember evidence that confirms our beliefs or decisions, and to ignore, dismiss, or forget evidence that is discrepant. That's why we are all inclined to stick to a hypothesis we believe in. Science is one way of forcing us, kicking and screaming if necessary, to modify our views. Most scientists regard a central, if not defining, characteristic of the scientific method to be what Karl Popper called "the principle of falsifiability": For a theory to be scientific, it must be falsifiable -- you can't show me just those observations that confirm it, but also those that might show it to be wrong, false. If you can twist any result of your research into a confirmation of your hypothesis, you aren't thinking scientifically. For that reason, many of Freud's notions were unfalsifiable. If analysts saw evidence of "castration anxiety" in their male patients, that confirmed Freud's theory of its universality; if analysts didn't see it, Freud wrote, they lacked observational skills and were just too blind or stubborn to see it. With that way of thinking, there is no way to disconfirm the belief in castration anxiety.

Yet many psychotherapists perpetuate ideas based only on confirming cases -- the people they see in therapy -- and do not consider the disconfirming cases. The popular belief in "the cycle of abuse" rests on cases of abusive parents who turn up in jail or therapy and who report that they were themselves victims of abuse as children. But scientists would want to know also about the disconfirming cases: children who were beaten but did not grow up to mistreat their children (and, therefore, did not end up in therapy or jail), and people who were not beaten and then did grow up to be abusive parents. When the researchers Joan Kaufman and Edward Zigler reviewed longitudinal studies of the outcomes of child abuse, they found that although being abused does considerably increase the risk of becoming an abusive parent, more than 70 percent of all abused children do not mistreat their offspring -- hardly an inevitable "cycle."

Practitioners who do not learn about the confirmation bias and ways to counteract it can make devastating judgments in court cases. For example, if they are convinced that a child has been sexually molested, they are often unpersuaded by the child's repeated denials; such denials, they say, are evidence of the depth of the trauma. Sometimes, of course, that is true. But what if it isn't? In the Little Rascals day-care-abuse case in North Carolina, one mother told reporters that it took 10 months before her child was able to "reveal" the molestation. No one at the time considered the idea that the child might have been remarkably courageous to persist in telling the truth for so long.

Because many therapists tend not to be as deeply imbued with the spirit of skepticism as scientists are (or are supposed to be), it is common for many of them to place their faith in the leader of a particular approach, and to set about trying to do what the school's founder did -- rather than to raise too many questions about the founder's methods or the validity of the founder's theories. If you go off to become certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), invented by Francine Shapiro while she was walking in the woods one day, you are unlikely to ask, "Why, exactly, does waving your finger in front of someone's eyes realign the halves of the brain and reduce anxiety?" Scientific studies of this method show that the successful ingredient in EMDR is an old, tried-and-true technique from behavior therapy: exposing people to a thought or situation that makes them anxious, until the feeling subsides. The eye movements that are supposedly essential, the clinical scientist Scott O. Lilienfeld concluded, do not constitute "anything more than pseudoscientific window dressing."

Similarly, most clinicians are not trained to be skeptical of what a client says or to demand corroborating evidence. Why would they be? A client comes to see you complaining that he has a terrible mother; are you going to argue? Ask to meet the mother? Some clinicians, notably those who practice cognitive-behavior therapy, would, indeed, ask you for the evidence that your mother is terrible and also invite you to consider other explanations of her behavior; but most do not. As the psychiatrist Judith Herman explained in a PBS Frontline special on recovered memory: "As a therapist, your job is not to be a detective; your job is not to be a fact-finder; your job is not to be a judge or a jury; and your job is also not to make the family feel better. Your job is to help the patient make sense out of her life, make sense out of her symptoms . . . and make meaning out of her experience."

That remark perfectly summarizes the differing goals of most clinicians and scientists. Clinicians are certainly correct that most of the time it is not possible to corroborate a client's memory anyway, and that it isn't their job to find out what "really" happened in the client's past. Scientists, though, have shown that memories are subject to distortion. So, if the client is going to end up suing a parent for sexual abuse, or if the therapist's intervention ends up causing a devastating family rift, a little detective work seems called for. Detective work is the province of scientists, who are trained not to automatically believe what someone says or what someone claims to remember, but to ask, "Where's the evidence?"

For psychological scientists, clinical insight is simply not sufficient evidence. For one thing, the clinician's observations of clients will be inherently limited if they overlook comparison groups of people who are not in therapy. For example, many clinicians invent "checklists" of "indicators" of some problem or disorder -- say, that "excessive" masturbation or bed-wetting are signs of sexual abuse or, my favorite, that losing track of time or becoming engrossed in a book is a sign of multiple-personality disorder. But, before you can say that bed-wetting or masturbation is an indicator that a child has been sexually abused, what must you know? Many psychotherapists cannot give you the simple answer: You must know the rates of bed-wetting and masturbation among all children, including nonabused ones. In fact, many abused children have no symptoms, and many nonabused children wet their beds, masturbate, and are fearful in new situations.

Throughout the 1980s and '90s, many therapists routinely testified in court that they could magically tell, with complete certainly, that a child had been sexually abused because of how the child played with anatomically correct dolls, or because of what the child revealed in drawings. The plausible assumption is that very young children may reveal feelings in their play or drawings that they cannot express verbally. But while such tests may have a therapeutic use, again the scientific evidence is overwhelming that they are worthless for assessment or diagnostic purposes. How do we know that? Because when scientists compared the doll play of abused children to that of control groups of nonabused children, they found that such play is not a valid way of determining whether a child has been sexually abused. The doll's genitals are pretty interesting to all kids.

Likewise, psychological scientists who study children's cognitive development empirically have examined the belief held by many psychotherapists that "children never lie" about sexual abuse. Scientists have shown in dozens of experiments that children often do tell the truth, but that they also lie, misremember, and can be influenced to make false allegations -- just as adults do. Researchers have shown, too, that adults often misunderstand and misinterpret what children say, and they have identified the conditions that increase a child's suggestibility and the interviewing methods virtually guaranteed to elicit false reports. Those conditions and methods were present in the interrogations of children by social workers, therapists, and police officers in all of the sensational cases of day-care hysteria of the 1980s and '90s. And those coercive practices continue in many jurisdictions today where child-protection workers have not been trained in the latest research.

I fear that the scientist-therapist gap is a done deal. There are too many economic and institutional supports for it, in spite of yearly exhortations by every president of the American Psychological Association for "unity" and "cooperation." That's why, in the late 1980s, a group of psychological scientists formed their own organization, the American Psychological Society, to represent their own scientific interests. Every year, the APA does something else to rile its scientific members while placating its therapist members -- like supporting prescription-writing privileges for Ph.D. psychologists and approving continuing-education programs for unvalidated methods or tests -- and so, every year, more psychological scientists leave the APA for the APS.

But to the public, all this remains an internecine battle that seems to have no direct relevance. That's the danger. Much has been written about America's scientific illiteracy, but social-scientific illiteracy is just as widespread and in some ways even more pernicious. People can deny evolution or fail to learn basic physics, but such ignorance rarely affects their personal lives. The scientific illiteracy of psychotherapists has torn up families, sent innocent defendants to prison, cost people their jobs and custody of their children, and promoted worthless, even harmful, therapies. A public unable to critically assess psychotherapists' claims and methods for scientific credibility will be vulnerable to whatever hysterical epidemic comes along next. And in our psychologically oriented culture, there will be many nexts. Some will be benign; some will merely cost money; and some will cost lives.

Carol Tavris, a social psychologist, is on the board of the Council for Scientific Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry, a consulting editor of The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, and a member of the editorial board of Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

Section: The Chronicle Review
Volume 49, Issue 25, Page B7

Occult: You can't know vs. You can't interpret

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:37 pm
by Marina
This is good information.

Occult: You can't know vs. You can't interpret

The word occult means: Some people can know stuff, others can't.

Well the issue here is: We won't argue the facts, we will just argue the INTERPRETATION of the facts. Some people can interpret stuff, others can't.

Psychology is just a variation of the ancient art of Wisdom. They used to ostracize heretics, burn them at the stake, Spanish inquisition, witch hunts, etc. Psychotherapy was a ground-breaking step in the evolution of this process: you get to pay for your own witch hunt and it is regarded as a status symbol. Paying for your own witch trial has been around a while.

The characteristics of a cult are:
control of environment,
control of resources,
control of activity,
control of time,
control of information,
control of PERCEPTIONS,

A website on Narcissism explained this type of mindset. If the narcissist explains something to others so that they can understand it, then the narcissist loses control. So there is always this need to control, but in order to control you have to communicate to others, but if you communicate to others then they will know what you know, and then you will lose control.

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:31 am
by Zookie
There was nothing psychological about the case I had. I had all the physical was almost blatant. I'm not saying everyone who is accused is guilty....I do believe it is rare. I am saying it does exist and can happen and for those few children it does happen's awful.

Most people in the "psychology" realm want it to never be included in the DSM and considered a "diagnosis".....most people want it to remain a crime and not a diagnosis.

When you see a video tape of a mother smothering her baby with a pillow in a hospital room......that's a problem. It's a problem when an infant is fed a bottle of antifreeze. It's also a problem when a mother tells the doctors and everyone else that she giving her child medication for an illness and the bottle of medication has never been touched. It is a problem when there are about 10 different doctors and pharmacies all involved who know nothing about the issues or what the other doctors and pharmacies have done. It is a problem when a mother manages to get the same narcotic drug for her child from two different pharmacies and two different doctors. It is a problem when the mother contradicts herself repeatedly in a short span of time. It is a problem when the MOTHER requests every service known to man and the child has seen EVERY mental health service provider in the area (as well as every doctor) and continues to report that there is "something wrong" with her child and smiles and grins as she tells you about the PAINFUL medical tests the child has had to undergo. It is a problem when she "can't wait" for the next test they have to do because no one "knows what to do." It is a problem that this child is only two-years-old and has medical charts thicker than most adults and not because she had any rare illness either. There was NOTHING wrong with this child.

This is not about interpretation. This is about common sense and SEEING what is happening.....blatant stuff. I'm not a "foo foo" therapist. I don't "dive into the workings of the mind." I work with what I see with my own eyes and that is blatant. My heart goes out to people who are acccused of this and who are innocent. What a trauma for the whole family. But don't punish the few children this does happen to by saying this "disorder" is crap and doesn't happen. People are mean and do weird things sometimes. Parents are also people.

true but

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:23 am
by DesertSkye
I think all that was said basically is that it is RARE...the whole mom making a kid sick

I think there is something with people who do it...
Not just that they are mean but something physically mentally etc WRONG with them

There is a relaly good article in Aprils Issue of Oprahs magazine

Its heading is under False Confessions shows how Therapists, Detectives, Psychologists, AND THE FBI question or interrogate a sugject until they get the answer they want and how they manipulate things

Now I am not saying you are lik ehtis
BUT CPS is, ALl the Dr's and Psych's they made my daughter see while in their custody were

and last but certainly NOT daughters therapist she was seeing before CPS took her

My daughter even tol dme how she My daughter would say No to somehting and the therapist would go on and on
Saying oh come on ** everyone does it
even I do

So finally my daughter said yes to this and other questions because of that type of questioning...
she sai dmom she just wouldn't stop
so I said yes to get her to shut up and leave me alone

Then when she finally stood up to the new "therpaist" they had her seeing......

He diagnosed her with something way off base just because of her "attitude" towards him

I am the daughter Dazeemay is talkign about and my daughter is her grandaughter

These Psychos screwed her up
Who is going to answer for that??????

My daughter has Autism Spectrum Disorders Which all of them completely misse dand tried to blame her behavior on me
saying I caused it by taking her from Dr to Dr
Thank god the judge had sense enough to se ein the evidence that

We were seeing ONE Dr until (out of state as there were none in that state who could diagnose it or treat the rare secondary disease she had been diagnosed with by a rare adult cancer)

then medicaid said she had to see someone in state
despite the fact that her pediatrician tried to tell them there was no one
so for 18 MONTHS MEDICAID sent us on a wild goose chase from Dr to Dr and they blamed me for that causing her behavior even though we told them her behavior problems have existed since INFANCY

They tried to pin munchausens on me even though both my daughter and I had willingly seen munchausens experts(before she had bloodwork that came back with three elevated markers as well as questionable uptake on various scans...

They thought because I was poor they could just grab her pin it all on me and that would be the end of it
What they didn't ocunt on was a fight
or the piles of evidence
or the Dr from NIH who tesitified

My daughters syndrome she was diagnosed with is rare
Her Autism spectrum disorders were present from birth
Munchausens is rare
Munchausens By Proxy is rare

However, there is a huge volume of evidence that show
Cps, therapists, Psychologists, have been way off the mark and wreaked havoc in hundreds of thousands of lives becuase of the way they go about
"diagnosing and accusing" people of things

It is not just this board
Its everywhere and it happens all the time
I bet the numbers are higher than any disease

So you may be a rare good therapist and the case you had a rare case

but the therpaists and psychologists and CPS people who are "wacked" are like lawyers: a dime a dozen and
They are everywhere you turn

Carol Tarvis is not the only one pulling away from the APA or whatever it is

MANY psychologists are because they realize their field is amuck with garbage.......

Too many kids are also misdiagnosed with being ADHD-bi-polar-ODD-OCD etc

When in fact they have an Austism Spectrum Disorder
Like my daughter who has Sensory Integration Disorder

She is 13 she was misdiagnosed by these wacked people I mentioned as being

I brought up the SID before CPS took her and her stupid therapists SUPERVISOR told me oh her pediatirician can check and see if she has it

THE only ones who can ACTUALLY diagnose it
are OCCUPATIOANL therapists who specialize in sensory issues/Apsergers etc

So CPS and their wacked quacks drugged her up threw her in a psych ward
ignored her very real pain complaints fromt he syndrome
put her on Lituium of all things
and after 2 10 min evals said she was not ODD like her therpaist had said but Bi-polar so there went two misdiagnosis
and on it went until we finally got her back and got her to the right people

What happened to my daughter and to me IS NOT RARE

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:27 am
by Dazeemay
But don't punish the few children this does happen to by saying this "disorder" is crap and doesn't happen

I did not say it doesn't happen. I said it is rare, very rare. When you consider the millions of children and the few this happens to and how those million (figure of speech) get labled for the few it is a crime on the part of the health community.

I know there are weird parents out there; just as I know there are abusive parents out there. But when you take the statistics of both it does not warrant the thousands upon thousands who get falsely accused by the health and cps community.

My granddaughters therapists had all of the physical evidence too, they said. All the drs said they had the physical evidence too. There testings showed nothing.

It was Medicaid that kept her from going to the specialist that could have helped her all of her young years that she lost being ill and no one paying attention to her or her mother.

It was Medicaid that sent her to one therapist after another. Each therapist saying they thought they knew what her mother was up to. Each therapist saw with their eyes and heard with their ears how bad her mother was and convicted her mother of MSP. Yep! the physical evidence was blatant to them.

It was Medicaid who sent her to one dr after another instead of listening to her mother. Some of them did the tests wrong. Some judged her and her mother in the office. One dr would call another dr and convince them that the mother was MSP. And so we are finding many victims even on this board who are victims of the health community.

And those two groups of people practically destroyed our family and then cps stepped in and crushed us down further.

Maybe you are one of the rare therapists that help and do do a good job. I don't know; I guess time will tell if you keep posting after my venting and ranting.


Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:13 am
by Zookie
That's interesting.....unfortunately, Autism is becoming more and more common. I am working with two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder right now.....and in the same family! Not sure what your child's symptoms were but I am actually confused as to how that would be pinned as Munchausen's.......

The hallmark of Muchausen is that there is nothing medically wrong with the child. The reason the parent moves from doctor to doctor is to try and find one who will run tests and diagnose the child as "something." Sometimes a parent will "cause" symptoms....such as rubbing an irritating agent on the skin to cause a rash or smother the child to make the child appear to have breathing difficulties. If the child is having actual medical problems that cannot be induced, then it's probably not Muchausen's.

The case I had, the mother was taking the kid to regular doctors (for all of these "illnesses") and a lot of therapists as the she said she felt that child may be "bipolar" or "something." I saw nothing wrong with the child, other than she had poor attachment to her mother and her mother was not willing to work on it. (And this child did not have any developmental delays or disorders).

I am also surprised at the role Medicaid played, although I guess I do not know much about them other than they pay for In-Home services. The child I saw.....she saw all kinds of specialists. It is unfortunate that children are way overdiagnosed as being ADHD and Bipolar (Bipolar is also "rare"....only 1% of the popuation supposedly has it.....and yet ALL of these kids seem to pick up that diagnosis somewhere along the way just because they have the occasional tantrum)

We have three types of Medicaid in VA though and they are all different.....Straight Medicaid, VA premier, and Optima (which was Sentara).

Have you applied for a DD waiver for your child (with the autism spectrum)?


Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:17 am
by Zookie
I have no experience with the disorder, but am this the one where the child feels immense amounts of pain from just typical brushing up against something or having clothes on?

Why would they put her on lithium? That's such a toxic drug to put a child on.

Virginia gov. report confirms mistreatment of parents

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:25 am
by Marina
Virginia's own government report confirms this mistreatment of parents ... ehavioral'

pages 13, 14

The difficulty families experienced accessing services had many negative effects on them, which included:

a. Incurring large debts from paying substantial sums for services not covered by insurance (e.g. intensive in-home therapy, respite), and for copayment of covered services (out-patient therapies, hospitalization.)

b. Receiving inconsistent advice about the level of child support ordered, and the calculation of this amount not taking into consideration the debt previously incurred in caring for their children with disabilities. Garnishment of wages for child support jeopardized some parents’ jobs.

c. Feeling at risk for substantial out-of-pocket costs when discharge planning for Medicaid-funded residential services was complicated by denials and appeal processes.

d. Facing financial crises aggravated by the loss of jobs or income resulting from a) parental involvement in attending court, meetings or treatment sessions during work hours; b) parents needing to stay home to supervise their children with disabilities when they could not find other care; or c) employers not accepting garnishments being imposed by the Division of Child Support Enforcement.

e. Receiving different options from different localities in the foster care system; some localities offered non-custodial foster care agreements and others did not. In one jurisdiction, a family could no longer care for their child in their own home and residential expenses were overwhelming. The family reported that it was only offered the option of fully relinquishing custody of their child to social services, including terminating parental rights, rather than being offered other less permanent options such as temporary relief of custody or a non-custodial foster care agreement. Other jurisdictions might have handled the case differently, allowing the
child to remain in foster care with the parents retaining some parental rights even though the child did not live with them, was in the legal custody of a child placing agency, and was not expected to ever return home.

f. Feeling as though they were losing control over, and had not choice about, their children’s treatment, even when they did not give up their parental rights.

g. Enduring the emotional impact of trying to keep their child with SED at home, including a fear of being harmed in their own home, the loss of social life, the negative impact on siblings, a loss of self-esteem, a sense of having failed, and feelings of losing control over their own and their children’s lives. These families also found themselves isolated from their community due to their children’s behaviors.

h. Feeling a sense of isolation while going through the process of obtaining services. There is no organized process for learning about available treatment options, service providers, obtaining support or advocacy, sharing struggles and learning ideas from other families. Parents said that additional supports would be very appropriate given the complexity of navigating multiple child-serving systems.

i. A perception that the system is crisis-oriented, in that they had trouble accessing services unless their children were in crisis.

j. Experiencing service quality that was quite variable. One family described an instance where a teacher tied their child to a chair, and in one residential placement a child was placed in isolation for up to 10 hours at a time.

“Relinquishment of custody takes away the
child’s support system if the child still has a
family who cares about him.”
-Virginia Parent

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:54 am
by Greegor
Zookie: Munchausens By Proxy as a diagnosis was
fabricated under fraudulent circumstances.

When a new diagnosis or scientific idea becomes
so entrenched it is supposed to undergo
"Peer Review" before it is generally accepted and
used by doctors and courts. This "Peer Review"
system has HUGE flaws and often seems to exist
to prevent CORRECTION of bad science, and preserve
somebody's "cottage industry".

Doctor Professor Sir Roy Meadows had created
just such a "cottage industry" and imagined parents
perpetrating Munchausens By Proxy abuses
behind every door!

The diagnosis was intellectually VERY SEXY, most
people found it to be VERY INTERESTING, the sort
of stuff people talk about a lot! And there were
several network TV MOVIE OF THE WEEK movies
that depicted it because it's just SO EXCITING!!

But after Meadows got caught by the
his world fell apart. He testified that for a family
to have three SIDS deaths in it was a statistical
impossibility and they MUST have MURDERED
the child in question because of this.

It was a lie.

They went to investigate what ELSE he lied
about, and discovered that his famous, historical,
ground breaking research that produced the
Munchausens By Proxy diagnosis had been SHREDDED!

This intrigues me particularly because of the
fact that so many people working in the field
so firmly believe in the illness, because it's SEXY!

It's in EVERY textbook for psychology, social work,
medicine, etc. And every student is still getting
indoctrinated into this fiction.

If, of the THOUSANDS of accusations there was
one real case, it would be amazing. The problem
isn't the one in a million (literally) case of it that's real.
The problem is the THOUSANDS of people who
are accused of it by unqualified people and who
in some cases goad or pressure professionals to
verify the diagnosis, when it's false.

Caseworkers for example have "diagnosed" it and
conned a psychologist to believe it.

I see that in Australia they are embarassed
by it enough to change it's NAME, but not enough
to get rid of it!

There are people with kids that have HARD TO DIAGNOSE
illnesses and doctors use this accusation to cover
their own inability to diagnose everything.

I've read cases where just seeking a SECOND OPINION
caused a doctor to accuse a parent of Munchausens By Proxy.
There are LOTS of arrogant doctors with "God Complex".

Dan Sullivan once posted about the fact that
a variation of Munchausens By Proxy could easily
be applied to some attorneys and caseworkers
who become desperate to find a social ill in the
form of child abuse, and will fictionalize a problem.

That variation is probably more common even
than the thousands of false accusations of
Munchausens By Proxy prompted by unqualified people.

This has parallels in relation to Child Protection in general
and Satanic Child Abuse in the 1980's.
The US "BELIEVED" it was a huge problem and spent
BILLIONS to train caseworkers about it.
Often, as in Wenatchee, right after the ""training""
caseworkers started a huge witch hunt.
There were several of these types of witch hunts
across the country.
THEN the FBI officially reported that there was
actually not even ONE case, ever on the books.

One of Dan's buddies tried to counter this by
pointing to Charlie Manson, but most people,
apparently even the FBI think Manson was more
of a drug crazed psychopath than anything
even remotely resembling Satanism.

By the way, I was once informed that they
actually DO use NBC TV "Movie Of The Week" movies
as training films in social work and for caseworkers.
Using this sort of material can enable a lot of
cliche' misperceptions to be treated as professional knowledge.

If you find a copy of Doctor Professor Sir Roy Meadows
original research where he fabricated the Munchausens
By Proxy diagnosis in an archive somewhere I would
suggest you talk to me and we could sell copies
on Ebay for THOUSANDS of dollars a set!
They might be out there, maybe one of the people
who did the "peer review" of the fraud has a copy?

By the way, that person who told you she was
medicating the child and yet the medicine was
untouched? What if she just used up the
last dose in the old bottle and the new one
isn't opened yet? In any event, failing to medicate
most definately is NOT Munchausens By Proxy!
How could failing to medicate be MBP?

You called in to the hotline every week based
on stuff like that?

Did you get a report back?
Reporters are entitled to a copy.
Did you ask for one?

If you had even the slightest good reason for all of those
report calls, they couldn't have screened it out.
Did they tell you why they were screened out?

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:57 am
by Dan Sullivan
Greegor wrote: Zookie: Munchausens By Proxy as a diagnosis was
fabricated under fraudulent circumstances.

When a new diagnosis or scientific idea becomes
so entrenched it is supposed to undergo
"Peer Review" before it is generally accepted and
used by doctors and courts.

Greg where did you learn about peer review?

Was it from me?

Greegor wrote: The diagnosis was intellectually VERY SEXY,


so many people working in the field
so firmly believe in the illness, because it's SEXY!


What a poor choice of words, Greg.

There's nothing "SEXY" about it.

Greegor wrote: Dan Sullivan once posted about the fact that
a variation of Munchausens By Proxy could easily
be applied to some attorneys and caseworkers
who become desperate to find a social ill in the
form of child abuse, and will fictionalize a problem.

I believe I said that CPS CWs and Family Court attnies who tried to convince people that children who weren't abused WERE abused could be accused of a form of MSBP.

Greegor wrote: One of Dan's buddies tried to counter this by
pointing to Charlie Manson, but most people,
apparently even the FBI think Manson was more
of a drug crazed psychopath than anything
even remotely resembling Satanism.


Am I guilty by association because someone I know said something?

BTW your train of thought jumped the tracks, Greg.

The topic of this thread is MSBP.

Greegor wrote:By the way, that person who told you she was
medicating the child and yet the medicine was
untouched? What if she just used up the
last dose in the old bottle and the new one
isn't opened yet? In any event, failing to medicate
most definately is NOT Munchausens By Proxy!
How could failing to medicate be MBP?

Because it would make the child ill.


Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:59 pm
by Marina
Article ... /id27.html


After nearly 30 years of clinical and legal experience, the definition of Munchausen syndrome by proxy remains controversial. As a result, mothers who present the problems of their children in ways perceived as unusual or problematic have become entangled in legal battles that should have been resolved clinically. Re-labeling the disorder as Pediatric Condition Falsification misdirects the focus onto mistakes and misunderstandings while avoiding the more crucial issue of intentions. Experts have enflamed the fears of harm by confusing warning signs with diagnostic signs and by citing retrospective studies instead of the more optimistic outcome studies. Accused mothers need the support of multidisciplinary teams but are often forced into contentious struggles with legal professionals and child protection services.

Prior authorization for medical treatment in case plan

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:53 am
by Marina
Prior authorization for medical treatment in case plan ... 1&.intl=us

"Clark testified that when Shelby resided with Shawna, Shawna was not supposed to seek medical care for Shelby unless previously authorized by Shawna's caseworker. Clark testified that a quarter of the time, Shawna took Shelby to doctors without the required consent. "

Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:53 pm
by rosc2112
Just came across this site, thought I'd post a link:

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:08 am
by Greegor
Calling in abuse reports EVERY WEEK?
That fits YOU having ""Munchausens By Proxy""!

Failure to medicate is the OPPOSITE problem!