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Name: Marina Ramos

Age: 21

Disorder: Münchausen Syndrome

Description of disorder: Münchausen syndrome is a psychiatric facitious disorder wherein those affected often feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention or sympathy to themselves. There is discussion, however, to reclassify Münchausen as a somatoform disorder as it is unclear whether or not people are conscious of drawing the attention to themselves. In Münchausen syndrome, the affected person usually exaggerates or creates symptoms of illnesses in themselves to gain investigation, treatment, attention, and sympathy from medical personnel. In extreme cases, some Münchausen sufferers are very knowledgeable about the practice of medicine and are able to produce symptoms that result in lengthy and costly medical analysis, prolonged hospital stay, and unnecessary operations. Risk factors for developing Münchausen syndrome include childhood traumas and growing up with parents/guardians who were emotionally unresponsive due to illness or emotional problems.

Has been at LPH for: 6 months

Medicine: Amineptine (antidepressant), Klonopin (for anxiety), undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy

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Background: Unfortunately and sadly for Marina Ramos, her parents, Anita and Roberto, died in a car crash when she was five. She was whisked off to the estate of her grandparents, her mother's mother and father, Gloria and Carlos. Growing up without her parents was rough. Usually, at that young of an age, you can't remember much about your deceased family members, but Marina could. She could remember how sweet and kind her mother was, and how hard-working and loving her father was. They seemed to be the complete opposite of Marina's grandma and grandpa. Gloria suffered from chronic back pain and arthritis, so she was never able to play with Marina and pay much attention to her, always being asleep or just confined to her bed. Carlos was a mean-spirited man, devestated his wife was suffering and that his daughter was taken away from him so young. You'd think a grandfather would enjoy every second he got to spend with his granddaughter then, but it wasn't the case. Gloria and Carlos rarely paid attention to little Marina, other than necessary meals and schooling. By the time Marina was fifteen, she had been so emotionally abandoned and deprived that she began acting out. Drugs and bringing boys around the home caused no attention from her grandparents, but she soon found something that did. Pretending to be ill. Maybe it was his wife's sickness that caused Carlos to take notice of his granddaughter's unknowingly false illness, having had a soft spot for those in pain and suffering. Once Marina figuered out this little trick, and realized how much she enjoyed more people, professional people, paying attention to her, Marina found it hard to stop herself from exaggerating injuries or pretending to be severly sick. Carlos began to catch on after two doctors confirmed Marina had expressed the want for an operation for a tumor she swore was there, but wasn't. Extremely aggravated that his granddaughter would put him through added turmoil, he sent her off to LPH, calling her crazy and a lunatic, completely unremorseful. Marina's been here ever since.

What you get to decide: Marina's overall personality (keep her background in mind), odds and ends about Marina's life/childhood, how the medicine and therapy sessions are helping her

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