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Last but not least among serial killer "methodologies", we have women who kill their own children. These women we usually label as Munchausens Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP). We surmise they have a disorder, some latent mental condition from a horrible childhood that causes them to murder their own kids. They must be mentally ill; no, they must be insane. We struggle to understand how any mother could kill her own children. What we seem to not comprehend is the fact that these mothers could care less about their own children. They are just like other serial killers; they are psychopaths, and psychopaths who care about no one but themselves.
In the confines of "home" these very calculating women go undetected, at most suspected, and there is very little the judicial system can do as hospitals don't want to get embroiled. These women may be crazy, but like a fox.
Discussing wheather or not one with MSBP deserves our sympathy or not is really not relevant when we're talking about the death of children at their own hands. I don't care what "drives" Mrs. Smith. I want to know "who" she "is" not why. Why not reasearch and share "here" the tell tale signs? Your next door neighbor's child could be having one too many illnesses.Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a potentially deadly form of child abuse that is often so subtle as to go unnoticed. More professionals in many fields ranging from hospital physicians to front-line child protection workers need a better understanding of the warning signs of MSBP so that families embroiled in this type of abuse might be better assisted by workers in various disciplines. Munchausen syndrome by proxy may be the most poorly addressed and undiagnosed form of child abuse present in America today. Until social workers and other professionals take it upon themselves to spread education about the syndrome and its very real presence in our society, it will continue to go unnoticed or misread far too often, and children will continue to suffer and die from its survival.
About Internet Perpetrators: I've read two posts claiming that a member here showed some of the signs mentioned below. I don't think posting was the best route but obviously there were at least two concerned members. (Read as how to best handle suspisions.) Here are some of the signs:
Abstract said:Clues to Detection of False Claims (Page 1 in this thread provided by Bernard)
Based on experience with two dozen cases of Munchausen by Internet, I have arrived at a list of clues to the detection of factititous Internet claims. The most important follow:
>the posts consistently duplicate material in other posts, in books, or on health-related websites;
>the characteristics of the supposed illness emerge as caricatures;
>near-fatal bouts of illness alternate with miraculous recoveries;
>claims are fantastic, contradicted by subsequent posts, or flatly disproved;
>there are continual dramatic events in the person's life, especially when other group members have become the focus of attention
>there is feigned blitheness about crises (e.g., going into septic shock) that will predictably attract immediate attention
> others apparently posting on behalf of the individual (e.g., family members, friends) have identical patterns of writing.
Perhaps the most important lesson is that, while most people visiting support groups are honest, all members must balance empathy with circumspection. Group members should be especially careful about basing their own health care decisions on uncorroborated information supplied in groups. When Munchausen by Internet seems likely, it is best to have a small number of established members gently, empathically, and privately question the author of the dubious posts. Even though the typical response is vehement denial regardless of the strength of the evidence, the author typically will eventually disappear from the group. Remaining members may need to enlist help in processing their feelings, ending any bickering or blaming, and refocusing the group on its original laudable goal.
Personal Note: I take a great interest in the welfare of our children. Also, a great interest when persons with MSBP infiltrate Support Groups. I had attended an outside Suport Group for persons having DID, witnessed and eventually confronted a fraud who had turned our sensitve members upside down, causing some breakdowns.
So, let's educate ourselves and share. Again, let's not waist time and energy as to wheather or not we should have sympathy for these people. What about sympathy for "their" victims. And let's protect ourselves from being harmed or mislead by Muchausen by Internet.