Witchcraft's Syndrome

Witchcraft's Syndrome is considered a subtype of Munchhausen's Syndrome by proxy.

There is only one case described in the medical literature and it concerns a man who used to pass out after consuming to much alcohol. When he woke up he complained of a burning sensation and soreness over his left cheek and left ear of ten days duration. It had started suddenly one morning when he woke up from sleep. He noticed a large blister with intense redness over his left cheek, associated with a burning sensation. There was a history of similar episodes over the past year, and all were sudden in onset, involved the cheeks, and were noticed after waking up from sleep.
The patient volunteered that the episodes were always associated with a drinking spree the previous night. The individual was a healthy man with a wife and two children. The patient had been dependent on alcohol for the past year, and had been consuming alcohol for many years.

After much persuasion, the wife admitted that her husband was an alcoholic and was neglecting his family. When her efforts to prevent his drinking failed, she resorted to this drastic measure. Each time he passed out after a drinking bout, she poured acid on his cheek, hoping that the injury would frighten him from drinking[1]. Sadly, it didn't work.

The couple were sent for psychiatric evaluation as Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy or witchcraft's syndrome was suspected.

[1] Somani: Witchcraft's syndrome: Munchausen's syndrome by proxy in International Journal of Dermatology - 1998

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