Category Archives: Personal Narrative

Munchausen by Proxy by Internet

I moderate an online support forum for people with epilepsy and their caregivers. Last year, one of these members managed to throw our entire community into disarray. Her username was Jasmine. She introduced herself as the mother of a son who had intractable epilepsy. We also were told that she was pregnant with twins, who were conjoined. Doctors were asking Jasmine whether she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. Following a lengthy discussion on the forum, Jasmine elected to carry the twins to term.

Jasmine’s next bout of posting shocked us all. A week later, we got an update from Jasmine after the surgery to the twins. One of the twins had died during the separation. A picture was posted of the baby in his coffin.
We let Jasmine know that we were on her side. In response, she posted yet another photo: a black horse-drawn carriage conveying a tiny coffin to the cemetery. It was actually this photograph that gave the game away for Jasmine. One of our more tech-savvy users noticed that the image address linked back to a file that had been uploaded five years ago to a website for bereaved parents. It was obviously someone else’s child.

We found out that the picture of the baby in a coffin actually showed a life-like doll. Jasmine had altered some color settings to make the skin appear grey and lifeless. Jasmine denies everything to this day. She says she was hacked—so sad.

Submitted Online |

The Toll of Munchausen by Proxy Abuse—a personal reflection by the “other” parent

Our suspicions about Munchausen by proxy/medical child abuse began when my young son, Sam, came for his first Christmas visit since he had moved to Anchorage with his mother, Amy. Amy and I were divorced. Sam was six years old. Amy had warned us that Sam was suffering from a range of illnesses, including kidneyContinue Reading

A mixture of Munchausen syndrome and malingering: factitious AIDS

This case is mostly culled from newspaper accounts and is not truly a “personal” narrative. In 2008, Cassey Jo Weierbach was found guilty of welfare fraud, forgery, and records tampering. Pennsylvania state prosecutors accused Cassey of pretending to have AIDS in order to collect disability benefits. She had manipulated her medical records and test resultsContinue Reading

Combined biploar disorder, Factitious disorder, and medical child abuse leading to commitment

My wife Melinda had been acting strange for a number of weeks. She had an increased libido, inability to sleep, constant need to clean, and was seeing and hearing things that were not there. On a Monday we visited her psychologist. She had determined that she wanted her family support group to hear what herContinue Reading

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