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Munchausen's By Proxy?

duffy72's picture

My husband has custody of his son every other weekend. The rest of the time, his son lives with his mother. I want to stress that there is NOTHING wrong with his son except that which is normal boy behavior for his age. Even though this is so, she has been getting him "diagnosed" with all sorts of mental disorders (e.g. ADD, ADHD, Social Anxiety Disorder, etc.). Most recently, she's announced that she's going to get him tested for Tourette's, which he most definitely does NOT have. Neither I nor my husband know what she is talking about since we never observe the behavior. We have, however, seen him negatively affected by the medications he's taken over the last three years (Strattera, Concerta, Adderall,Zoloft, and Sertraline, to name a few). She acts more like his pharmacist than his mother. It drives me around the bend, but I'm the stepmother, so I have little influence. My husband has had a hands-off approach with his ex-wife and let her make all the decisions regarding their son in an effort to maintain a de tente. He now feels that the latest mental health suspicion about his son (Tourette's) is over-the-top, and he is considering intervening more directly, but doesn't know where to start or how to handle it. We both feel that this is a critical time to move before she tries to put him on clonidine and an antipsychotic. His son is only 10 and has been on these drugs since he was five. I need some advice. Does anyone have any to share?

disengagedfeelingood's picture

We are going through the same thing. It started Friday. My husband's ex took their 3 yr old son to the dr in May and the dr put him on clonidine!! There is nothing wrong with this kid whatsoever!!!! He is a typical three year old. We went to see the lawyer yesterday. She never told us that he was on this medicine. I found out because he is on my insurance and i was looking at claims the other day!! WE ARE LIVID over this. Bm takes the kids to the doctor for everything. I told my husband a couple weeks ago that I thought she had the much. disease by proxy!!!

Anne 8102's picture

Find out who his doctors are and go get copies of his medical records. Get school records, too. As the father, even if he doesn't actually have legal custody, he is still entitled to copies of the documents. Get them. Get them all. Then call a child neurologist and request a complete evaluation, to include review of the medical/school records and any testing he/she may deem necessary. Ain't nothing wrong with getting a second opinion, especially when it comes to putting a child on serious, mind-altering drugs. See what's what. If YOUR doctor finds that something's up, then he/she can confer with the doc the mother takes the kid to and find out what's going on. Also, watch out for multiple doctors. She may take him to several, just to shop around for the diagnosis she wants.

~ Anne ~

"Love, having no geography, knows no boundaries."
(Truman Capote)

OldTimer's picture

One thing to note... It's been determined that patients with Munchausen syndrome are aware that they are exaggerating, while sufferers of Hypochondria actually believe they have a disease. In other words... A hypochondriac worries whether symptoms she has means she is ill; a person with Munchausen syndrome gives herself fake symptoms and insists she is ill for attention. They are very persuasive and often know medical terminology for many of them work in the healthcare field.

The problem that this presents is that some abused children fear contradicting their mothers, or feel that no one will believe them if they tell the truth.

Wink StepMom

Man has the intelligence to change his life,
Sometimes, he just fails to use it...

luvdagirl's picture

Wonderful suggestions of STEPMOM and ANNE and also look for changes in doctors and those lovely notes the doctor makes of his thoughts..I did this while starting to look at custody since SD would come to our house w/nebulizer and 2 inhalers and a pill to top off for asthma but SD was always running around like mad at our house and we NEVER saw any symptoms or attacks but when we got these records and saw that BM took SD to 2 drs "telling" both of them she was asthmatic and the first one would not agree BM got the only 2nd opinion seen in the file!?BM has done this alot with both of her children and had SD to the point of wanting to see the dr. immediately for every little thing-not a problem if you have no job and the medical card but back in the real world.One dr. even noted her insistances that SD had about knowing SD had severe asthma. If you find this type of stuff find out what you can do about getting some type of medical power of attorney over SS.

TheSaneOne's picture

Well - if you continue to have proof of the info then take it to your local DHR (Childcare authorities)
If your dad has the legal right to assist in medical decesions and care I would stand my ground - she is in contempt by not letting him be involved and he has every right for a second opinion. If he doesn't have that right in the papers then it does sound like to me that he has enough information to file a Motion to Amend the Order. He would need to talk to his attorney about this and how much he needs in order to be succesful

Dreamer's picture

At one point she had them on meds for ADD, ADHD, Tourettes, Bipolar, something due to their anger?, and antidepressants. My SDs were like walking zoombies. I think their BM drugged them so that they would be so dooped up she wouldn't have to deal with them. I screamed, yelled and threw fits until I could finally make my husband do something about it.

He went to the BM and told her she had Munchausens By Proxy. This was in front of BM's father. BM asked what it was and my husband told her to look it up or better yet since she loved drugs so much to go to the doctor about it, but if something wasn't done he was calling social services. BM/s father had a fit! He made BM take them off of every medicine they were on.

They've been off the meds for 1.5 years now and are doing fine. The only thing wrong with them is their little shits. I'm glad I put my foot down though b/c I found out from the oldest SD yesterday that over half the meds they were on weren't given to them by the doctor and she was making them both take meds even if only one of them was perscribed the medicine.

Don't fear the thorns among the Roses, but be greatful for the Roses among the thorns

bearcub25's picture

That is what I have been seeing for the past 3 years. The only way BM can control the kids is drugging them up. BF won't give them the bag full of pills they bring but they is bad too cause they are rebounding, withdrawing, or whatever and literally climb the walls.
Our problem is that Childrens Services have been to her house 4 times I know of and they never do anything.
We had cops and an elementary school teacher all tell us they have turned her in numerous times and CPS doesn't do shit about it.

Skyye's picture

I am new on this forum today and was so shocked to see this condition talked about. I am living with and engaged to a wonderful man who is now divorced and they have 4 children together ages 15 - 9. The EX (BM?) has kept these children ill almost since birth, especially the boys ( 2 of each)The 12 yr old lives in fear daily , carries a med bag with him at all times ... supposedly severely allergic to peanute.. but on 2 occasions snuck into fudge made with chocolate and peanut butter and was fine. No epi pen ,, not one small reaction. The youngest male allergic to dairy, eggs , milk, but can down 4 donuts and eat bread and eat eggs in cooked food plus milkwith no reaction. The girls only think they have fruit and veg allergies.

She runs the household almost as a cult, fanatically religious with her own interpretations. She discusses my finaces sins openly and constantly with the kids and condems us both for living together and "fornicating" a word that came out of the 12 year olds mouth last weekend. She calls for no reason and often 3 times daily. She tries to control her Ex's behaviour and his money - even tho she gets over 4000. a month including alimony and child support. She home schools so the kids are with her 24.7 except for every second weekend when they are with us>She always sends them upset about something.
She lies to them and calls is parents to tell them it is their fault their son is irresponsible .. and trust me he is NOT.

The elder son condems openly and in her words... every move we make ... ifwe have a glass of wine we re immoral and drunkards...she has taught them that it is not your deeds or actions in the world ..but your belief only that gets you to heaven . They are disrepectful and un disciplined.

He pays the support and she takes them to camps , amusement parks and events and tells the kids he does not give her enough and spends it on me which is not the case. We scrimp and save. We can gain no ground with this woman and I am getting resentful and tired of feeling the outsider and that my home is not my home at all.

I am looking for a psycologist to help me with coping skills and hope some of your experiences and tips might help as well ...
The longer I am here the more extreme herbehaviour and that of 2 children get. It is escalating not going the other way as I had hoped. Please share any help you have . I so need it !
Thank you !
Thank you !

AlexandraL's picture

I just joined today and I'm living a similar situation.

Look up Vulnerable Child Syndrome...

MomDealinWMayhem's picture

We now are PPR ( Parents of primary residence) in NJ after BM got pregnant by daddy number three and fled to Florida three years ago. Prior to that, my DSD missed school 42 times in first grade and 18 times in second grade. She had numerous illnesses and mom even had taken her to a psych where DSD was labeled as having ADD, Aspbergers, Retts Sydnrome along with asthma. When we enrolled her in her new school, the Child Study Team disagreed with every one of the mental disorders! She has also not had ONE incidence related to her " asthma" and in three years missed a total of 9 days.

However, BM also says her other two kids are autistic as well...... go figure....