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Factitious disorder (Munchausen syndrome) - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

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The book carries a dual meaning in its title: firstly, the secrets of the illness itself and, secondly, the mystery of treating an ailment from which many have not recovered. Sensitive, nuanced, ethical and creatively wrought—including reproduced emails between patient and therapist about the treatment process—the book is a major step forward in overcoming the formal restraints of psychiatry to secure dignity, optimism and peace for the mentally ill.

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Short Takes: October 2012

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[Read PDF] Secrets Unraveled: Overcoming Munchausen Syndrome Ebook Free

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Secrets Unraveled: Overcoming Munchausen Syndrome. Save the Dates There are no entries at this time. For Andrea Avigal, purposefully injuring herself and making herself sick provided a respite from the horrific homelife of her childhood. Raped, demeaned, and beaten by her father, she grew up thinking she caused her own abuse and believing it was her responsibility to put things right after her parents fought.

Secrets Unraveled

She would make herself sick by injecting herself with bacteria or restricting food intake to the point of hospitalization. Her frail state interfered with her ability to be a functional, loving wife and mother.

Into this situation stepped psychiatrist Thomas Hall, whom Andrea began seeing for therapy. After much intense work, Andrea received many diagnoses, one of which was Factitious Disorder FD , otherwise known as Munchausen Syndrome. The essential feature of this illness is the compulsion to hurt oneself or make oneself ill.


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Told from the alternating points of view of Avigal and Hall, Secrets Unraveled: Overcoming Munchausen Syndrome offers a fascinating look at the effects of mental illness and the therapeutic process. Many books are written about patients by therapists, but there are few patient-therapist collaborations in which each voice is heard.

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Both patient and doctor possess keen intellectual insights, but their stories hammer home the truth: it is much easier to recognize an issue than it is to fix it. Although Hall and Avigal experience some bumps along the way, the entire book is a moving and inspirational testament to the power of the healing relationship when clients find optimal therapists. The lucid, poignant prose of Avigal and Hall sheds light on FD, the complexity of relationships, and the resilience of the human spirit.