“Yeah, it’s a real challenge,” said Dr Bryan as he scrolled through the Rotten Tomatoes page of The Act. “The main symptom in Munchausen is falsifying or misrepresenting symptoms of illness to get attention. So when my patient, M.P., presented exactly like this, I thought she probably had Munchausen. But then I thought, dude, what is she’s faking Munchausen to get even more attention?”
“It’s true, people do sometimes exaggerate and even invent symptoms,” said Dr. Bryan’s colleague, Dr. Brian Kile, who describes himself as a general practitioner, keto scholar, and hopeful Joe Rogan guest. “A patient came into my office recently presenting with missed periods, bloating, and acne. Like really? An appointment for just that? Seems like she just wanted a little attention from Dr. Kile!”
The American Medical Society held an emergency session last week to discuss Dr. Bryan’s case. One side of the medical community posits that faking Munchausen follows the “negative times a negative” or “cancelling out” framework, like when you read Johnathan Franzen but earnestly vote for the Green Party.
Younger physicians tend to side with the exponential paradigm, stating that people faking Munchausen actually have a type of super Munchausen that requires extensive treatment and 2-3 seasons of their own reality show.
A small subsection of doctors think it’s truly nothing but to come back in two weeks if it’s not gone. The Journal of American Medical Science will release their final guidelines next week.
As for Dr. Bryan’s patient, M.P., she’s been cooperating completely in the psychiatric tests suggested by the community. “I didn’t really think I had Munchausen but I guess maybe I do? Dr. B told me not to self diagnose,” M.P. said. “I came to the doctor for the first time in a few years because I think I have endometriosis or maybe PCOS. I’d honestly just love an ultrasound if possible.”