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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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do msbp and paranoid personality disorder ever overlap

Resolved Question:

do msbp and paranoid personality disorder ever overlap?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.

There is no research I am aware of that LINKS these two disorders. They are, however, not mutually exclusive. But tell me why you are asking about a link?

What is happening that is making you link these two?

What treatment is presently being given for these problems?

What help is being sought for them?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

Let's go forward from the answers to these questions.

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

my sister-in-law left my brother this past summer on behalf of some horrible accusations she put against him. he has been cleared of all of them, taken polygraphs etc...the custody evaluation is almost finished and it looks like they ae diagnosing her with a paranoid personality disorder. When they were together she was always in a state of alarm over sicknesses with the children saying they have all these food and environmental allergies that they do not have and have had testing to prove it. her big bandwagon was that their son had autism and she has tried to connect all the allergies to that. the evaluator said that she does appear to get a need filled when the kids are sick. she fequents them to the doctor for being sick but will not get them immunized because she fears that they will have adverse effects (jeny mccarthy theory). i am just trying to figure out if her paranoia for their health may be or already may have led her into munchausen. not sure if this is enouh information.



Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for the added information. Yes, it helps a lot. I believe I can now be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how confusing this situation must be for you. Munchausen By Proxy is one of the most difficult disorders to treat and certainly one of the most difficult for non-professionals to understand. It is in professional terms a factitious disorder.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. Factitious disorders are usually classified as attention seeking disorders. The most common is where the person invents illnesses that they have, when they don't at all have those disorders. You can easily see how this is a way to gain attention and would serve this subconscious purpose. Munchausen Syndrome is psychologically more complex because it is by proxy: she is inventing her kids' illnesses. You can see how this indicates a personality that is much more complex in its disorder and compensatory needs.

It indicates that her need for self focus is complex and "twisted", to use a layman's term. There is a need to display that something is wrong but to somehow distance it from herself in some way. That may be with her the tie in to the paranoid symptoms. That she needs to be "safe". Her kids can have the illnesses, but she is scared if she herself would have the illnesses. Paranoia is a self-protective disorder. It centers on self in a protective manner.

So in all, the diagnosis of Paranoid Personality Disorder seems like a better primary diagnosis for her and it's good that it was arrived at. She is clearly very ill and your brother needs to be very careful in how he proceeds with her to always document everything, to go through the attorneys, guardian ad litem, therapists, doctors, anyone official. Why?

Because whenever there is a thought disorder that has a personality aspect to it, there is always a great risk of untruths and accusations and fantasies flying. He's already experienced this. He has to expect this on an ongoing basis.

It's wonderful that you're a caring and concerned sister here. Print out my answer and share it with him because he needs to try to protect the kids as much as possible. And himself.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

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