Note: Here's an article I found in an article directory. This is one of the UK's favorite excuses to use against new moms in the forced adoption scandal over there. This diagnosis, BTW, is highly disputed.
By: Juliet Cohen
Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) is a form of child abuse in which a parent induces real or apparent symptoms of a disease in a child. The caregiver almost always is a mother, and the victim, her child. Because children are the victims, MSBP is considered a form of child abuse. There are different intensities and manifestations of this disorder. Symptoms of MSBP are hard to identify but are most prevalent when the child only becomes sick in the presence of his or her mother. The mother maintains a dynamic relationship with the physician, as the whole disorder is centered upon her need for attention from the doctor.
It is most widely agreed that MBPS is caused by a need for attention and compassion to placate self-doubt in the sufferer. This condition is related to Munchausen syndrome, a similar disorder in which a person causes or reports symptoms in him or herself. Children who are victims of MSBP may later develop Munchausen syndrome as adults. Most symptoms are physical complaints, whereas feigning of mental symptoms occurs to a lesser extent. Physical presentations include vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory arrest, asthma, seizure, recurrent conjunctivitis, clumsiness, syncope, fever, infection, bleeding, failure to thrive, or electrolytic disturbance.
People with MSP believe the role of a sick person indirectly by producing or laying about illness in other person under their care, generally a child under 6 years of age. In general, MSP occurs more often in women than in men. Approximately 98% of persons with Munchausen syndrome by proxy are women. The causes of MSP are both biological and psychological factors play a role in the development of this disorder. A history of abuse or neglect as a child or the early loss of a parent might be factors in its development. Some evidence suggests that major stress, such as marital problems, can trigger an MSP episode.
Successful treatment of people with MSBP is difficult because those with the disorder frequently deny there is a problem. Treatment of MSBP involves treating the child (victim), the patient, and the family. Individual therapy is aimed at decreasing anxiety, stressors, and other problems that perpetuate the illness. Psychotherapy generally focuses on changing the thinking and behavior of the individual with the disorder (cognitive-behavioral therapy). The goal of therapy for MSP is to help the person identify the thoughts and feelings that are contributing to the behavior, and to learn to form relationships that are not associated with being ill.
Juliet Cohen writes articles for http://www.healthatoz.info/, http://www.health-disease.org/ . She also writes articles for http://www.makeup-care.info/ .