What Is ‘Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy’?

Some psychiatric conditions are inherited, despite not being genetic

Of all the weird and rare psychiatric conditions, one of the strangest is Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. This is a particularly malicious kind of disorder that involves a parent or guardian deliberately abusing their child for the sake of getting attention for themselves. As this article will examine, Munchausen by Proxy may be making a comeback today.

Regular Munchausen Syndrome is fairly common. It’s the act of feigning an illness or infirmity for the sake of drawing sympathetic attention to oneself. Every schoolchild has done it at least once, usually to get off school when a particularly unfavoured event was on the day’s schedule. The trick is also often pulled when visiting the grandparents, in hope of some sweets or some money.

When adults do it, it’s considered a psychiatric disorder. Part of the reason for this is that Munchausen Syndrome can cause many thousands of dollars of money to be wasted in endless medical tests, as well as being a fraudulent attempt to manipulate.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is less common. This involves abuse of another, usually a dependent such as a child. Part of this involves a drive to create symptoms in the child, such that outside observers believe that the child is sick. The child itself may also believe it is sick, or may even genuinely be sick – the linked article above refers to a phenomenon where “a disease may actually be initiated in the child by the parent or guardian.”

All this raises a question. Given that many of the children who are supposedly realising themselves to be transgender are themselves the children of people who are transgender, it is possible that some of these cases of “trans kids” are really cases of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy?

Articles such as these create the impression that the parents of trans kids are brave warriors fighting the prejudice and bigotry of hordes of poorly educated morons. “Transphobia” is a new term that is designed to shame people into accepting the existence of trans kids, and to shame people away from asking questions about whether or not the child is being abused. Being the parent of a trans kid brings a lot of attention.

It’s very possible that many of the parents who find themselves looking after a “trans kid” are, in fact, child abusers who are initiating the idea of the child being trans. After all, there were very, very few such children back in the day before the idea became normalised, but now that the idea engenders sympathy (for both child and parent) there are many.

It’s certainly true that the parents who end up taking care of a “trans kid” end up getting a large amount of attention. Some of the individuals who have been featured in Internet articles for having trans kids have had their faces put in front of millions of people all around the world. Others have lengthy, sympathetic feature articles written about the struggles they faced with a transgender child.

Most people would dismiss all this sudden interest in being transgender as slightly narcissistic attention whoremongering, but the issue shows no sign of stopping there. It has now perhaps reached a decisive juncture thanks to the James/Luna Younger saga, in which the parents of a Texan 7-year old do not agree on whether the child is a boy or a girl.

The problem with this disagreement is that the mother wants the child, who is biologically male, to undergo hormone therapy treatment in order to “transition” into a female. This will effectively sterilise them and render them incapable of later functioning as an biological adult male. Naturally, this transitioning process is not reversible.

The father in this case is putting a lot of resources into preventing the child from undergoing this therapy. This means that a courtroom may soon have to make a ruling on whether the whole trans idea is legitimate or a mass psychosis. The father has done this under the belief that “detransitioning” is a nightmare, and an experience that any loving parent would rightly wish to guard their child from.

Is it possible that the modern media environment, with its unprecedented ability to reach new audiences faster than ever before, has also provided an unprecedented level of incentive for parents to publicly abuse their kids for the sake of seeking attention? Could this have incentivised some parents to manipulate their children into thinking they were transgender for the sake of gaining sympathy for that parent?

Some of these supposed “trans kids” may be children who have been manipulated into questioning their gender identity by a parent who is effectively subjecting them to medical abuse for the sake of attention. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy may be be making a comeback in the social media age.

It might to time to commission a study that looks into the phenomenon of transgender children in order to investigate whether it is what it claims to be. If some of these children are not genuinely transgender but are merely reflecting the ideas that one or both of their parents have pushed on them, then they might be child abuse cases rather than actual transgender cases. This might necessitate that some parents are prosecuted to stop the trend.

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