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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:25 PM

Who fakes cancer on the internet? Women

Who fakes cancer on the internet? Women
Posted by Donna Trussell on November 29, 2012


Faking illness has been around forever, but the Internet has ushered in new ways to seek attention, and to add convincing flourishes to the stories. These posers are few in number, but the trail of devastation they leave is huge. Real cancer patients and survivors like myself can not fathom such bizarre behavior. I’d love to wake up one morning and find out my diagnosis was just a bad dream, or a mistake at the lab. Most of us would give up every gift, every sympathetic gesture, every new friend if we could just return to the lives we had before cancer. To feel whole and vigorous again, to put death back into the mañana category — these seem like a distant, beautiful dream. Why would anyone willingly jump into the muck of cancer, even in jest?

But they do. Especially women, it turns out.

--snip--

They presumably suffered from Munchausen syndrome (which affects women disproportionately) or perhaps Munchausen by Internet, a new phenomenon that some experts would like to see included in the next edition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

One study links the syndrome to narcissistic and/or sadistic personalities. The perpetrators easily fool their victims because humans fill in the details unconsciously, based on what they hope to be true. Palm readers and fortune tellers use the same technique on their customers.

But why are the cancer fakers so often women instead of men? I asked Harriet Lerner, psychologist and author of “The Dance of Anger,” about Munchausen and gender.

(Much more at link)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2012/11/29/who-fakes-cancer-on-the-internet-women/



Please let us note: This article is written by a woman, and it goes much deeper than her attention-grabbing headline. (It did grab your attention, right?) I posted this because I found it an interesting read. My family and I recently found out that an acquaintance who claimed to have breast cancer was faking it. Turned out she was even faking it with her own family. I do not know what happened when they found out, as we have not spoken to her since finding out ourselves.

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Reply Who fakes cancer on the internet? Women (Original post)
cleanhippie Nov 2012 OP
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #1
leftstreet Nov 2012 #2
libdem4life Nov 2012 #3
ParkieDem Nov 2012 #4
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #6
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #5
libdem4life Nov 2012 #8
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #10
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #12
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #11
libdem4life Nov 2012 #13
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #14
CountAllVotes Nov 2012 #7
Matariki Nov 2012 #9

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:33 PM

1. Obviously seeking attention, sympathy, kindness.

Maybe sometimes money/gifts. I am assuming it's predominantly women who pull this scam because women tend to have less hang-ups in talking about personal matters, fears, and seeking sympathy or commiseration.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:37 PM

2. ...but how many women use the internet vs men?

This thread is already filled with win

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:42 PM

3. Yes, it got my attention...and your point is exactly???

Mental illness is just that and woman writer or no, doesn't make it gender-OK. I also had cancer and don't see how this possibly affects that fact. I believe the "illness" we are talking about here is the narcissistic "everybody look at me" to folks who have been routinely abused or undervalued or neglected or who desperately need attention...not ridicule and shame.



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Response to libdem4life (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:44 PM

4. I agree.

I believe the "illness" we are talking about here is the narcissistic "everybody look at me" to folks who have been routinely abused or undervalued or neglected or who desperately need attention...not ridicule and shame.


I had a friend who suffered a long-term illness and was really incapacitated for several years. After she finally got better, her sister shaved her head and went around telling everyone she has cancer.

Their parents rarely gave them attention, and when my friend finally got that attention when she was sick, her sister thought the only way to "catch up" was to make them think she was sick, too.

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Response to ParkieDem (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:54 PM

6. Yes. Thats is exactly. The author even says so in the article.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:54 PM

5. My point is clear. Its in my comments below the story.

Not sure what else you want.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:20 PM

8. Guess that's it...what is the point? Title and article is condescending and gender-sterotyping.

...with some information wrapped in. I don't think any cancer funding or costs are threatened by this rather rare condition. Medical conditions are faked all the time ... it's called hypochondria ... men and women.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:25 PM

10. I also found it gender-stereotyping and condescending

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:30 PM

12. So take it up with the author, she seems open to that.


Maybe she will take your advice when writing her next column.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:29 PM

11. So take it up with the author, she seems open to that.

Maybe she will take your advice when writing her next column.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:37 PM

13. She's not on DU. It would probably get a better response on other forums.

Over and out.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:42 PM

14. But she does have contact info.

Why not contact her about what she wrote if you find it so disturbing?

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:11 PM

7. If anything ...

Women are told that problems they are having all "all in their heads". Uh huh ....



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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:24 PM

9. "These posers are few in number"

And yet the washington post devotes space to jabbering about them, forever shedding suspicion on actual cancer patients and survivors.

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