Yahoo Beauty – Why Do People Fake Having Cancer?

Why do people fake illness? Kelly Schmahl, 20, has been accused of lying to her family and friends about having stage III stomach cancer and the thousands of dollars she accepted from well meaning friends and family is now being investigated according to Fox 19.


So just how prevalent is this kind of situation, and why on earth would someone fake an illness? I was pleased to weigh in for Yahoo Beauty on teasing apart what is lying and what is lying and what is a mental illness.


To read the full post, click HERE.


Licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, tells Yahoo Beauty that this might happen more often than you’d think. “The clinical term for lying about an illness — physical or mental — for personal gain is referred to as malingering,” she says. “Malingering is far more common than factitious disorder, with estimates being as high as 45 to 60 percent in disability cases.”


A proper diagnosis can only be given once a person’s motives are understood, Clark says. “Knowing the root cause of a person’s lying, whether they know they are lying, what is to be gained, and assessing a variety of other symptoms and factors is the only way to properly diagnose her condition,” she says. “The hardest part of this for her friends and family is facing the reality of her deception and the pain she has caused those around her.”

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD