Ganser Syndrome

Ganser Syndrome is a rare and somewhat controversial diagnosis. It was first described by Sigbert Ganser (1853-1913) in 1897.  Sometimes called 'prison psychosis', because it was first observed in prisoners. With this condition, a person deliberately and consciously acts as if they have a physical or mental illness when, in fact, they are not really sick. People with Ganser Syndrome mimic behaviour that is typical of a mental illness, such as schizophrenia.
People with such disorders act as if they have an illness by deliberately producing, feigning, or exaggerating symptoms, because of an inner need to be seen as ill or injured[1]. No clear benefit can be found. They are even willing to undergo painful tests and operations in order to obtain the sympathy and special attention given to people who are truly ill. Factitious disorders are technically considered mental illnesses, because they are associated with severe emotional difficulties.

People with Ganser Syndrome have short-term episodes of odd behaviour similar to that shown by people with other mental illnesses. The person may appear confused, make absurd statements, and report hallucinations such as the experience of sensing things that are not there or hearing voices. A classic symptom of Ganser Syndrome is vorbeireden (German for: to talk past). This is when the person gives approximate answers (or near misses) to very simple questions. In addition, a person with this condition may report physical problems such as an inability to move part of the body, called 'hysterical paralysis'. Loss of memory (amnesia) of the events that occurred during an episode is common.

Little is known about this unusual disorder, but it is believed to be a reaction to extreme stress. There are also physical problems that may predispose the symptoms of Ganser syndrome such as alcoholism, head injury, and stroke.

I think that Ganser Syndrome is simply an atypical form of Munchausen's syndrome, which is a psychological disorder where someone pretends to be ill or deliberately produces symptoms of illness in themselves. Their main intention is to be at the centre of attention. In the Ganser Syndrome one can theorize that an inmate may want to break the eternal dullness of incarnation by pretending to be ill and thus temporarily breaking that eternal dullness.

Cocores et al: The Ganser syndrome: evidence suggesting its classification as a dissociative disorder in International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine - 1984

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten