Symptoms of Munchausen by Proxy?
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The Doctors examine Munchausen by proxy, the illness that has made headlines recently with the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard. We meet Jordyn, who believes she was also the victim of the psychological disorder at the hands of her mother.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho explains Munchausen by proxy is when a perpetrator will try and impose an illness on someone who is in their care, oftentimes doing things to make the person feel sick and falsifying health conditions. Dr. Judy says the perpetrator will often switch doctors or move in order to evade being caught. Some red flags for Munchausen by proxy might include the caregiver being very dramatic about the patient's symptoms or limiting access to the patient. She notes another red flag is when what the caregiver is saying about the person does not match up with what is actaully medically happening.
"I spent my entire life believing that I was sick and that my body was broken, only to find out that I was never sick at all," Jordyn tells The Doctors, explaining she believes her mother was the perpetrator. She believed she had severe asthma, two rare blood diseases, back problems, and multiple broken bones. She also says she took numerous medications as a child, including narcotics. During college, she realized she might be a victim of Munchausen by proxy and requested her past medical records.
One of the records showed that she had overdosed on acetaminophen, along with multiple records questioning if she was truly sick or if her health conditions were being induced. One report even stated that Jordyn may be the victim of Munchausen by proxy.
"I get angry and disturbed," Jordyn says looking back. "I feel in a lot of ways like I didn't get to have a childhood at all."
Joining The Doctors, she details more about the alleged abuse, which also included her mother allegedly taking her to the doctor for fevers, vomiting, lesions, blisters, rashes, most of which could not be identified once she was examined. She was also led to believe she had a rare blood disease called, cyclic neutropenia, which causes someone to have a low white blood cell count. Her mom told her this was why she was allegedly sick so often. As an adult, she discovered she did not have this disease.
Additionally, many of her medical records indicated that she was, in fact, not sick or suffering from the various illness and diseases that her mom claimed she had, something that now as an adult is shocking to Jordyn. She questions why nothing was ever done about this and why she was never removed from her mom's care. "I felt like the medical system completely failed me," she tells The Doctors.
The Doctors note that Jordyn's mother Donna denies all these claims and says she never did anything wrong. Find out what the mom accused of Munchausen by proxy says to Donna and The Doctors. Also, pediatrician Dr. Leah Willson, who treated Jordyn as a child, joins the show, saying she wanted to stop what was happening to her and suspected she might be a victim of Munchausen by proxy. Dr. Willson even filed a report with Child Protective Services.