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antemeridiem
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05 Aug 2009, 2:47 pm

Has anyone else ever known someone who faked aspergers. After I was diagnosed a family member began faking the symptoms (I know they are faking them as they are my symptoms they are using and everytime I mention something I do due to aspergers they start doing it shortly after). This is not the first time this has happened with this person as they claimed to have seizures after I was diagnosed with epilepsy and another of my relatives started saying they fell down all the time after I was diagnosed (not the same one) as one of the types of seizure I have looks like I've collapsed/fell (atonic).
This is extremely annoying as I now feel I can't mention anything in front of them and I sometimes worry they would try to use my words to get a false diagnosis (this is not unthinkable as a psychiatrist I have seen said maybe they did have it as it runs in families).
Is there anything I can do to get them to stop or has anyone else had this experience.



Janissy
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05 Aug 2009, 2:57 pm

What this person might actually have is Munchausen Syndrome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/munchausen_syndrome


I don't think there's anything you personally can do about it other than not describing symptoms to this person.



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05 Aug 2009, 3:07 pm

Might also see 'psychosomatic illness' where the condition appears to be brought on my mental process or belief instead of physiological issues themselves or the actual condition. There are also those who hunger for attention and will use any 'tool' to garner that attention over another person. Or they have the actual problems, but have been afraid to speak up or have hidden them away for years and feel 'permitted' to talk about them now. A lot of possibilities.


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05 Aug 2009, 3:35 pm

I fake AS too. The truth is I'm just a person with a shitty character. As per the diagnoser I saw.

I second what Janissy said.


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05 Aug 2009, 4:30 pm

I toewalked as long as I can remember.
A few years ago I noticed a family member of mine, who happend to be diagnosed as high functional autistic, to toewalk too. I remember that it was really weird to notice it.

A year later I was diagnosed with aspergers myself.

I have a lot of family members who are highly intelligent, but are concidered as crazy and alcoholism runs through the family too. Also, my grandmother has mythomania (compulsive lying). Could be coïncidence, but I feel that there has to be a connection, maybe it's something in our genes?



ryan93
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05 Aug 2009, 4:35 pm

Quote:
I fake AS too. The truth is I'm just a person with a shitty character. As per the diagnoser I saw.


You seem nice to me, you're one of the more interesting people on this forum. You're obviously intelligent and eloborate, and that puts you above at least 50% of the population, who have no moral fibre, intellect or non-superfluous character. :)

I don't think that I'm "faking it", but I think that if I was to be diagnosed I'd be diagnosed with Schizophrenia Simplex (no psychotic symptoms), and not AS. I have a lot of AS-exclusive traits (for god sake, I'm actually interested in medicine!! :lol:), but I'd likely be pigeon-holed into Schizophrenia due to the fact I'm a weirdo, and I do crazy things that doesn't benefit me or anyone else (I just translated my Bebo page to german, and filled it with plenty of psuedo-racist "Heil Hitler!" crap, despite the fact that I'll likely get in crap over it :lol:)

My friend largely exaggerates the extent of his AS for the benifits, he's not very sociable, but he's not...me :lol: I had to walk for an hour with him one day, and fair play to him, he was able to small talk the whole way. He might have talked at me (albeit not excessively), but I can't squeeze out four sentences (three is my limit most of the time). He stims like hell, but I've helped people think that he's trying to be funny when he does it, and not just doing it.


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Greentea
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05 Aug 2009, 4:43 pm

Thank you, Rian. I'm rarely complimented and my good side appreciated...

I know what you mean. If you like the beach, your flu diagnosis remains a flu diagnosis. But if you have other personal idyosincracies, then your AS diagnosis is at high risk.


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05 Aug 2009, 5:25 pm

ryan93 wrote:
I don't think that I'm "faking it", but I think that if I was to be diagnosed I'd be diagnosed with Schizophrenia Simplex (no psychotic symptoms), and not AS.


Woah, that's actually fascinating. I don't think it's in the DSM. As far as I'd known you needed psychotic features to be considered schizophrenic. Does this mean that schizophrenia basically just means mental illness? This is what I found when I googled it: http://www.mentalhealth.com/icd/p22-ps01.html
Schizoprenia: European Description wrote:
The schizophrenic disorders are characterized in general by fundamental and characteristic distortions of thinking and perception, and by inappropriate or blunted affect.



Janissy wrote:
What this person might actually have is Munchausen Syndrome.

It's Munchausen is when it's because of a psychological need to assume a "sick role." If it's for some kind of personal gain like to escape social consequences, or maybe even if they're doing it to poke fun, then it's not Munchausen but just malingering. Malingering is not a disorder; it's just the word for when someone is faking it to get something.


makuranososhi wrote:
Might also see 'psychosomatic illness' where the condition appears to be brought on my mental process or belief instead of physiological issues themselves or the actual condition.

I don't believe that hypochondria of psychiatric illnesses can be considered psychosomatic; somatic refers to the body, not the mind. Psychosomatic is when someone has physical symptoms where there is no physiological cause, or when physiological and psychological illnesses feed into each other. It's distinctly different from hypochondria or medical student syndrome.



I think there are, however, a fairly large number of people who fake AS, or claim to have AS, in order to just get away with being nasty. It seems to me that people with AS are more concerned and confused by the social problems. Someone with AS doesn't just act like a jerk and say "I can't help it, I have Asperger's." The trouble is with understanding what causes offense, and/or with finding different things offensive. When I see someone who says they have AS but don't seem confused and upset by the fact that they've "accidentally" offended somebody, I tend to doubt the actually have it.



ryan93
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05 Aug 2009, 5:56 pm

You are correct: Schizophrenia Simplex isn't in the DSM IV. But it is in the ICD-10, the WHO's diagnostic criteria set.

Quote:
Schizophrenia Simplex (or simply "Simple Schizophrenia")

An uncommon disorder in which there is an insidious but progressive development of oddities of conduct, inability to meet the demands of society, and decline in total performance. Delusions and hallucinations are not evident, and the disorder is less obviously psychotic than the hebephrenic, paranoid, and catatonic subtypes of schizophrenia. The characteristic "negative" features of residual schizophrenia (e.g. blunting of affect, loss of volition) develop without being preceded by any overt psychotic symptoms. With increasing social impoverishment, vagrancy may ensue and the individual may then become self-absorbed, idle, and aimless.

Diagnostic Guidelines

Simple schizophrenia is a difficult diagnosis to make with any confidence because it depends on establishing the slowly progressive development of the characteristic "negative" symptoms of residual schizophrenia without any history of hallucinations, delusions, or other manifestations of an earlier psychotic episode, and with significant changes in personal behaviour, manifest as a marked loss of interest, idleness, and social withdrawal.


I've often heard that ASD's tend to improve over time, and that Schizophrenic disorders disimprove. But I get the impression that a lot of people here have gotten worse with age, not better. I know I have. The general "flattened effect" associated with Schizophrenia Simplex could be misdiagnosed as an ASD, because flattened effect, and no psychotic symptoms or depression just rings "ASD". Schizophrenia Simplex is likely under-diagnosed, as most doctors use the DSM-IV, and probably don't take into consideration how well people with ASD's adapt to life. But that said, there's no clear pathology for any of these illnesses, and the symptoms often overlap, so the diagnostic label often isn't that important, any good psychologist should adapt to the individual and not treat everyone with AS or PTSD or ADHD the same.

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Does this mean that schizophrenia basically just means mental illness?


Pretty much. When you think of mentally ill, you don't think of phobias or even ADHD. Psychosis is what we would define as mentally ill :)

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I think there are, however, a fairly large number of people who fake AS, or claim to have AS, in order to just get away with being nasty. It seems to me that people with AS are more concerned and confused by the social problems. Someone with AS doesn't just act like a jerk and say "I can't help it, I have Asperger's." The trouble is with understanding what causes offense, and/or with finding different things offensive. When I see someone who says they have AS but don't seem confused and upset by the fact that they've "accidentally" offended somebody, I tend to doubt the actually have it.


personally, I don't think people are random creatures, and there is a biological reason for everything we do. So if people act like jerks, you could argue they are "mentally ill" (not in the psychosis sense, but in the medical sense). That said, they might have ulterior motives for being a jerk, in which case they're just jerks :lol:


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05 Aug 2009, 8:20 pm

People faking symptoms on purpose is disgusting.


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05 Aug 2009, 10:54 pm

I cannot understand why anyone would bother. I routinely attempt (and I believe often succeed) at faking not having an ASD, and frankly it is exhausting.



antemeridiem
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06 Aug 2009, 6:16 am

After reading everyones replies I looked into some of the suggested illnesses. I thought munchausen was a possibility but this person has never had unneccessary operations even when the opportunity came up for an op to stop snoring. It's definitely not a case of them having been hiding symptoms as it's things like the foods they eat and how they eat them etc. One of the biggest give aways that it was fake was when I said people with aspergers have average to above average intelligence. He told me he had got B's and C's in his exams at the end of school then later told someone else it was all A's. I've since seen the actual results and they were E's. I remembered after this that he used to joke about how bad he was at school. I think attention is definitely a big issue with this person as since I was diagnosed with epilepsy then aspergers he's become extremely unpleasant with me and when my brother, who he used to think was brilliant, got diagnosed he suddenly started getting nasty with him too.



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06 Aug 2009, 6:59 am

Janissy wrote:
What this person might actually have is Munchausen Syndrome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/munchausen_syndrome


I don't think there's anything you personally can do about it other than not describing symptoms to this person.


To be exact, Munchausen can only be diagnosed if someone fakes an illness in order to gain something, such as social security money, etc. The disorder where someone fakes an illness in order adopt the role of someone who is "sick" is called factitious disorder in DSM.

Also, Munchausen and factitious disorder are both real disorders that someone should get counseling for.



I-ron_Man
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06 Aug 2009, 7:04 am

I have had people think i am faking AS, or just simply don't have it, despite the fact that I was diagnosed with it like 10 years before I even knew what it was. The only thing i could think of to stop this person would be to deliberately mention traits that are not common to people with AS, then when he fakes them or says he has them, u can prove to him that he doesn't have AS.



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06 Aug 2009, 7:12 am

I-ron_Man wrote:
I have had people think i am faking AS, or just simply don't have it, despite the fact that I was diagnosed with it like 10 years before I even knew what it was. The only thing i could think of to stop this person would be to deliberately mention traits that are not common to people with AS, then when he fakes them or says he has them, u can prove to him that he doesn't have AS.


Yes, tha tis how valid malingering tests work, too: they ask about symptoms that seem common in psychiatric/neurological disorders, but that are actually pretty unusual. For example, the main malingering test that is used includes statements like "I have difficulty remembering my date of birth", which people who fake amnesia would say yes to, but which is really extremely rare for even severe amnesiacs.



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06 Aug 2009, 8:04 am

pandd wrote:
I routinely attempt (and I believe often succeed) at faking not having an ASD, and frankly it is exhausting.

Yes it is. I do the same thing. Every time I think I've completely fooled everyone (including myself), some AS trait will come back and bite me in the ass. I think I've finally learned the obvious: that deception and put-ons are not effective strategies, and that no matter what I do, the AS stuff doesn't go away.


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