Saturday, 12 October 2013

Factitious mayhem

I was amused to read a story about a con artist who duped hospitals through faking numerous ailments. He was finally caught and has now been jailed for four years.

Isn't that awful?

What made me chuckle was the subtext of experiencing being pressured into faking illness by professionals. Or a role reversal of this. Perhaps that's what's so outrageous about this guy. He didn't have permission. Though I notice he looks somewhat portly, perhaps he could have just set a new standard of 'obesity' related maladies?

Clearly, that starts with you seeing yourself as disease. Once you do that, anything negative about your existence can serve as 'evidence'. This kind of thing is somewhat unconvincingly called factitious disorder.

Listed in the DSMV;
  • The symptoms are inconsistent, changing markedly from day to day and from one hospitalization to the next.
  • The changes are influenced by the environment (as when the patient feels observed by others) rather than by the treatment.
  • The patient's symptoms are unusual or unbelievable.
  • The patient has a large number of symptoms that belong to several different psychiatric disorders. 
Whoah, some of that's like the performance of 'obesity'. Now, I know that some fat people have genuine health problems. I'm not commenting on that. I'm talking about being expected to contrive to feel and even make yourself sick. Being surrounded by the palpable sense of expectation/desire of others that you'll succumb. And their insistence on informing you of this supposed promise/ inevitability with compulsive repetition.

Partly for the good of fatz as a whole of course-well meaning as ever. If some of us can just die off dramatically, the fear that has been dissipated to some extent, by seeing through the hype can return in a visceral form that's hard to contrive, without the wholesale collusion of fat people.

Fat people are expected to make ourselves feel bad, tired, drained. To focus, dredge it up and spin it to a growing web. To make any aches or pains represent evidence of the premise of this performance. Mentally, we're supposed to be depressed, anxious, have body dysmorphia, though its not what it would be called. And none of the other neuroses are seen in the same way as they would be seen in a slim/mer person.

Its hard to get across that this performance eventually exhausts bores but above all, embarrasses. What business does anyone have in behaving as if they're sick? Given there are people out there who actually are.

There needs to be a name for this disorder of doctor induced factitiousness. 

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