Surprisingly, there are a lot of illnesses that are still unknown to us. Some might also be too complicated that you would not believe that it exists. One of this kind of sickness is Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome. It is a condition in which the caregiver is the reason behind the illness of the person under his or her care. The victims of this syndrome are children, old people, or those who have a disability. Considering this, you can say that Munchausen syndrome is a child or adult abuse.
Continue reading to know more about this condition and what you can do about it.
Who is Affected with Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome?
Just to be clear, the disorder usually happens to the caregiver or the mother. The complication happens between the relationship of the mother and the child. In most cases, children are affected by the condition.
The caregiver would require children to take painful tests even if they do not need it. In worst cases, these actions could give children sickness or in other times, could lead to death. In addition, the victims of this condition suffer from emotional and physical problems that could last for years.
How to Determine if Your Caregiver has Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome?
Of course, it is not easy to determine if a person has this condition. He or she might seem worried about your child to ask you to undergo some tests. Also, if it is the mother who has this illness, will you ever think that she would lead the child to harm?
Signs to Observe in Caregivers
With these situations in mind, it will be hard to know if someone has the condition. It might not even look like a condition at first. But if you want to check if your caregiver has one, you need to watch out for these signs:
- The caregiver physically harms the victim to create symptoms.
- The caregiver will lie about the symptom of the child.
- The caregiver will change the test result.
- The caregiver looks for attention and sympathy.
- The caregiver is devoted to the child.
- The caregiver needs to have control or feel that he or she has power.
- The caregiver does not see that his or her actions are harmful to the child.
- The caregiver tries too hard to be friends with other medical staffs.
Signs to Observe from a Person Under the Caregiver’s Care
More so, the doctor in charge will also notice some signs in your child. Some of the warning signs are the following:
- Child seems to have a repeating disorder with no proper cause.
- Child receives treatment but does not get better. What is even surprising is that the symptoms of the child will appear when the caregiver is nearby. Meanwhile, if the caregiver is not present, the child is perfectly fine.
- Only the caregiver is present during check-ups. No parent or other close relatives are accompanying the child and the caregiver.
- Suddenly, the child gets a different doctor. This will happen for a couple of times. Also, the caregiver would lie about the previous tests results to the new doctor in charge.
- The caregiver is not happy if the child is getting better. In fact, he or she will only be okay when the condition of the child worsens.
- When you have seen the caregiver harming the child through video or with your own eyes.
- Not only one, but two children will start appearing uncommon symptoms with no causes.
What Should You Do if the Caregiver has the Condition?
Once you are sure that the caregiver has the condition, do not hesitate to make a move. Remember, this condition is child abuse. Do not wait for your child to be ill before you do something about it.
But if you are still doubting about your caregiver, you can do the following:
- Have a diary
Take note of all events related to the child and caregiver. Do not leave any suspicious actions. This can then help you see well if the child is being abused or not.
- Talk to your doctor
Doctors know better than your caregiver. The caregiver might lie about the symptoms of your child, but the hospital tests will not. So if you are having doubts with your caregiver, it is best that you take the child to the hospital. Then, talk to your doctor about your concerns. He or she might even help you determine if your caregiver is well or not.
- Make a report
The last thing that you should do is to report the caregiver to the child welfare agency. If you are not a relative or parent of the child, do not worry, you can still save the child through reports. You can even complain anonymously.
How is the Condition Treated?
There are a lot of people who will be involved in the treatment of this condition. These are the child services representatives, doctors, and even law enforcement. The caregiver will undergo counseling to determine and fix the problem.
At first, the caregiver would deny the condition. No one in the right mind would accept that he or she has Munchausen syndrome. But through counseling, the caregiver will slowly understand his or her actions. He or she is also required to take medicines if he or she has other condition such as anxiety disorder.
But treating this condition is not easy. There can also be instances when the illness will come back and the abuse will be done once again. In this case, the doctors will continue to keep an eye on the caregiver. The caregiver’s actions and relationship with the child is monitored to keep the child safe at all times.
More so, the doctors will keep an eye on the child. This is to make sure that the child will not develop other conditions. The good news is that the child will be healthy once the caregiver is no longer around.