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Munchausen By Internet

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Munchausen by Internet:

For those not familiar with the concept or those who can not be bothered to do an online search -

Munchausen Syndrome — a condition in which patients fake illness to get attention, often undergoing unnecessary tests and surgeries — is rare, Münchausen by Internet is a pattern of behavior in which Internet users seek attention by feigning illnesses in online venues such as chat rooms, message boards, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC). It has been described in medical literature as a manifestation of factitious disorder or factitious disorder by proxy. Reports of users who deceive Internet forum participants by portraying themselves as gravely ill or as victims of violence .

VJ is an online support group- not for medical conditions but for the visa process and in some ways DV (the vawa thread). As times change and technology progesses well, the medical community is struggling to keep up hence 'Munchausen by Internet'- because people with Munchausen Syndrome have been known to exploit online groups since the technology is easily available. Its no longer brick and mortar buildings housing support groups. its all right online.

So one suffering from an attention seeking disease can stumble into a community like VJ that offers support and find it to be an ideal situation to get their needs met.

I understand this is not explicitly in the TOS of VJ but is covered under the umbrella of the broadly worded TOS.

I have concerns of whether or not it should be or (I understand these are difficult questions) what are the official positions of the mods when a user displays symptoms of such. Ie presenting a seemingly fabricated story to entice attention of others.

Yes, often I seem like I consider myself the sheriff of VJ riding around a high horse, but I assure you I make plenty of mistakes and are grateful to those who correct me, and yes I know the TOS does not require you to actually read before replying. But VJ forums contents are generated by its users and if we as users want it to remain to be a source of credible, verifiable information, and advice -its up to us to keep it that way by taking care to read and reply carefully.

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I've definitely come across people like that both here and on other forums. But, none of us are licensed professionals in the psychiatry field- well, I am sure we have some members who are, but other members here are not their clients so it would not be appropriate to make a diagnosis.

Moderators often do talk privately to individuals who we have concerns about, even if they do not breach the TOS, asking them to think twice about what they are posting or how they come across. Ultimately, unless they DO breach the TOS, we try to be inclusive though, and be warm and welcoming to everyone.

Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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