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Reminder of important clinical lesson
Munchausen syndrome mimicking psychiatric disease with concomitant genuine physical illness
  1. Jaime Almeida1,
  2. Joaquim Alves da Silva2,
  3. Miguel Xavier2,
  4. Ricardo Gusmão2
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, HSFX, Lisboa, Portugal
  2. 2CEDOC-Department of Mental Health, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas-UNL, Lisboa, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Jaime Almeida, jaime.almeida{at}


Munchausen syndrome is a disorder in which patients intentionally produce symptoms mimicking physical or psychiatric illnesses with the aim to assume the sick role and to gain medical attention. Once a patient receives a Munchausen syndrome diagnosis every complaint made thence tends to be regarded with scepticism by clinical staff. However, it is possible that a bona fide illness, which might be disregarded, may coexist in these patients. We report a case of MS mimicking psychiatric disease with concomitant genuine acute physical illness. Despite the initial doubts about the veracity of the latter, due to its prompt recognition, treatment was successful.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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