1529). Linked to but separate from attachment theory, cognitive theories focus on identifying deficient or distorted cognitive structures and processes that may contribute to a disorder (Mash & Barkley, 2003). Taken together, the foregoing findings suggest that both attachment theory and cognitive theory could be used to help identify internal and external factors that may contribute to the development of Munchausens syndrome.
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Case Study of Munchausens Syndrome
(Source: Based on Gomez, 1993)
Case: “Johnson, Brad,” aged 32 years. This patient has exhibited apparent hemoptyses and hematuria and other physical effects for a number of years; however, his condition has recently progressed to clinical Munchausens syndrome, together with evidence of suicidal ideation, compounded by a fictitious account of the recent death of his girlfriend. Brads girlfriend is especially troubled and concerned about this latter behavior. Brad also drinks to excess but has not been diagnosed as being an alcoholic; however, he also reports abusing Valium and Librium on occasion. Despite being provided with several years of psychotherapeutic treatment and a wide range of social services, including housings, employment and financial assistance, Brads condition remains unchanged and he continues to self inflict injuries and seek out medical care as a result.
Brad reports having a troubled childhood with little love being present in the home. As a result, Brads condition frequently involves seeking out attention and medical care but these behaviors only provide temporary relief for his needs and he repeats the process time.