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Munchausen syndrome is the habitual seeking of hospital or other medical treatment for apparent acute illness giving a plausible and dramatic history, all of which are false.
Patients may complain both of physical and psychiatric symptoms and there may be self-inflicted wounds or infections. Numerous surgical scars from previous operations may also be present. Munchausen patients often discharge themselves before investigation, operation or psychiatric assessment is achieved.
This syndrome mainly occurs in young adult men, and it is thought to be symptomatic of a profound personality disorder set against a deprived, disturbed early background.