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Reading Response #1

Posted by Adrian Aguilar on

In Wu’s essay “Out Patients”, it portrays and describes the Factitious disorder community and their beliefs. Being a member of this culture/community Wu describes it as, people who fake their illnesses to simply act out the role of a patient. Speaking from Wu’s personal experience she said, “I close my eyes again and let his gentle words wash over my body…  I’m tingling everywhere… when the moment is over, i’m left aching for more at the same time I’m flooded with shame and fear.” as a FD member she felt terrible faking her illnesses but the hunger for attention overcame her but, because of this playing the role of a patient was enjoyable for her. 

In describing her disorder and desires she creates of verbal portrait of FDers levels. In researching the disorder she finds an online community that describes their fears and passions.  Some speak of the fear of being caught while others fear being manipulated but, they continue to play the role of the patient to satisfy their pleasures. The most noticeable things in the blog and online communities are their inside language. Some using the term “coming out” to signify that they fake illnesses and to address a form of trust with other FDers. To triangulate these beliefs and inside information she finds multiple communities online that express the same fears on their message boards. 

Wu’s footnotes in her text brought credibility but also privacy to her community. By including information about dates, sensations, and fears it brought each individual’s mindset to life. By speaking about her own feelings and her guilt she made her text more powerful and relatable especially to those in the Factitious Disorder community.


“Out Patients” by Elise Wu

Posted by Elena Bertolotti on

When reading the first couple of paragraphs of Elise Wu’s “Out Patients” I had no idea what to expect. Wu introduced the topic of having a factitious disorder pretty brilliantly. Using her own experience as the introduction really helped the reader understand her perspective. When talking about the disorder Wu uses personal details as well as other people perspectives on it as she discovers the online communities sharing their stories.

In fact, there are a few. Wu goes into to two online platforms both representing different needs surrounding the factitious disorder throughout the essay. In the end she compares and contrasts both experiences and both audiences.

Wu goes into very specific details as she describes the verbal portrait of this community on the page. While entering the site she says that her screen is a “sea-green background” that Dr. Feldman’s had a “expert’s smile” at the top of the page. Which gave her the chills and made her lose trust in the site. She also goes on to realize that it is not a place for the patients with FD but in fact it’s a place for the people who have interacted with it and who were hurt by it to come and ask questions and seek support. It was a one-way street, not a community.

Initially going onto the first website, Wu became discouraged after doing some scrolling. She noted that the doctor who created the platform wasn’t very helpful at all and seemed to have his own agenda by answering questions vaguely and plugging his books to gain further information, which created a false sense of community in the eyes of Wu. After she finds the site that actually is a site for FDers by FDers, cravin4care, she realizes the dynamics are different. Wu uses personal stories on the site to help the audience understand more of the meaning and purpose of the new site. There is more direct interaction, you “are” somebody meaning, you have to create a persona and personally subscribe to be a part of the website instead of just aimlessly scroll. What was different about this site was that you were able to make connections people returned to the site, people created friendships. She compares the two sites. Wu

even comes across stories of people “coming out” and trusts their stories. Wu relies on this source which influences her to seek help.

After finishing reading this essay, I’m glad it had a happy ending, I for sure thought this was going to be a story about how someone finds an online platform that fits them perfectly but I’m glad it wasn’t. On another note the human body never ceases to amaze me.


“Out Patients” – Elise Wu

Posted by Elizabeth Cayetano on

Elise Wu is trying to portray the life of those who have a mental illness called Factitious disorder which is when one fakes an illness or exaggerates symptoms they may have. Although she has the disorder, I notice that when she describes the community of FDers more often than not she does not include herself. Is as if she is a different entity than them. I also notice that Wu writes about the families and friends affected by those closest to them who fake their illness. She notices that the majority of the people in the website she is on, are people seeking advice on how to deal with someone with FD. She provides details on what the people are commenting and their response to one another. When Wu joins a group chat of FDers, she describes them as conversational by sharing their stories and developing friendships with one another. Through this group chat she meets different types of people such as those who confess to their therapist about their disorder and those who want to confess but do not know how to. The more she reads, she confesses that she does not feel any type of empathy for these people and worries that she doesn’t belong. She uses multiple websites as the sources for her research as well as her personal experience regarding her topic. She ends up coming out to a former doctor about her Factitious disorder. The footnotes serve as context to what she is citing in her writing.


Elise Wu

Posted by Asadullah Bin Amir on

Asadullah Bin Amir 

Prof. Shamecca Harris 



Reading Response #1

In the essay “Our Patients” by Elise Wu, Wu is trying to portray the factitious subculture. A culture of people who fake their illnesses to receive care and attention. Throughout the essay, Wu is portraying the experience that she personally went through by giving her point of view. Wu stresses the fact that there is an abundance amount of worry when it comes to having the  factitious disorder. She does her best to help the reader visualize the fears of the individual with this specific disorder, one of many is the individual’s fear of being abandoned by their loved ones. Wu goes on to explain that she found herself exaggerating her symptoms in order to get her doctor to trust her and give her the right medication. In order to research this further, Wu researched about the patients, their families, and their doctors. Through her research she found an online community in the form of a visual discussion group for people interested in the disorder. Wu created a verbal portrait by keeping track of the people who posted comments, also she took notes from that. Wu used other sources offline to triangulate the data she gathered from the other Factitious Disorder websites. Throughout all this Wu decided to keep her name a secret because she only wanted to learn about the Factitious Disorder and did not want to expose any of the people who treated her or were there when she was facing the disorder. The footnotes were extremely helpful in Wu’s text because the readers can easily get the idea of what she was talking about instead of searching the things online. Also, it protects the information and gives credibility to the data that were collected. Wu does an amazing job in reflecting on her personal life while sharing with others the severity of the disorder.


“Out Patients” by Elise Wu

Posted by Olivia Davila on

Elise Wu’s essay “The Out-Patients” is about the online community that is on Factitious Disorder where people with FD create psychological or physical symptoms to take on the role of the patient according to Wu. The essay starts with one of Wu’s experiences where she discusses how she always feels guilt after and finds out that she isn’t the only one who does this. she does some more research and finds articles by doctors, patients, and even family members. She later finds an online community filled with people that suffer from this disorder. Not only is it someone having FD scared of being caught but its also the fact that some are being manipulated. We then find out that the doctor that Wu doesn’t trust is also advising the online group she encounters, which then made her question if treatment was even worth it if it’s only being managed. Wu wanted a better recovery and to do that she knew she would have to observe how “FDer’s” interacted within that subculture. She describes “coming out”  as a term that FDer’s use when faking illnesses and knowing who they can trust. Two years later, Wu finds herself on Doctor Feldman’s webpage where she finds a virtual discussion group. Wu made sure to keep track of posts and comments. The sources that Elsie Wu uses is herself due to the fact that she has FD and uses her experience to validate and relate to other FDer’s. The role the footnotes play in Wu’s essay is to help the reader understand and contextualize what she is talking about without having FD or going to search up the meaning of some terms.


Reading Response

Posted by Mohammed Hossain on

Mohammed Hossain

Shamecca Harris




Elise Wu is a patient with a disorder called Factitious Disorder.  This disorder comes from the worry of not receiving attention from people they love. So they fake their illnesses to get the attention they want. One time Wu went on internet and did some research about faking injuries and found out it was a sort of a disorder so wu took a break from it for about 2 years. Wu found a online community of people with with similar situation as her. . She was  always checking posts that were being posted on the site, taking notes of time and dates for the posts. She also notes down who posts what in the group. Well for source, she uses her own experiences Recalls the moment when a doctor was giving lessons to students while she was on the hospital bed. This made her realize that the doctors knew about Wu’s fake illness and were telling it to the students. Also, Wu used fake identity to hide herself from others. Wu uses the language “coming out” , a way to tell the people that she faked her illness. The footnotes were very helpful. It gives the reader a clear sense of what the author is trying to present.


“Out Patients” Elise Wu

Posted by Sharon Leal on
  1. The culture/ online community that Wu is trying to portray is the factitious disorder, when she was looking up information on faking illness. 
  2. She creates a verbal portrait of this community because she gives the definition, gives severe levels of this disorder, like a common one which is Munchausen syndrome. She continues to explain her experiences and what happens to those who have this disorder. She also includes why she decided to look it up, again, including her own personal connection to this topic. 
  3. She uses the internet to find sources, while also using specific citations from published writers. She uses message-board forums led by threads posted by other users. She then finds out the forum consists of those they’ve “played for” as in the friends and family of the FDers. She also uses her own experiences as a source because being a part of this community, she has knowledge on her own experience and that is important because it is like interactive research, inserting oneself into the topic she’s researching. She also notes down Dr. Feldman’s own words and prognosis, but includes that he is essentially plugging his own book for further knowledge. She mainly uses forums and real life experiences to triangulate the data from her findings and determine the right information. 
  4. Footnotes play a role in Wu’s text because she lets us know information such as name changes, little facts, and even some more in depth details that would fit oddly into the writing and also developing information. 

” Out Patients” By Elise Wu

Posted by Syed Shataj Hosain on

Syed Shataj Hosain

Writing For Social Science

Professor Shamecca A. Harris

Reading Response #1

21th March, 2020.

                   The essay “Out Patients” by Elise Wu is a patient of Factitious Disorder. In the essay, Elise Wu shows her point of view on the Factitious Disorder also reveals the experience of the disorder she experienced. There is an extraordinary amount of worry that comes along with having Factitious Disorder. The fear that one’s cherished ones will abandon them, that they will no longer be cared for, also if it gets worse they might have to seek medical help. Wu was also one of them who exaggerated the symptoms of being sick so that the doctor can trust them and give the treatment. Wu also did not tell her therapist about having the disorder. She was trying to portray the Factitious Disorder over the internet and also she did some research online about the patients, their family members, and also about their doctors. She found out there was an online community that was a visual discussion group for people who are interested in Factitious Disorder. She was constantly checking archive posts, taking notes of time and dates for the posts. Wu created a verbal portrait by keeping track of the people who posted comments, also she took notes from that. Wu used other sources offline to triangulate the data she gathered from the other Factitious Disorder websites. She also kept her name secret because she only wanted to learn about the Factitious Disorder and did not want to expose any of the people who treated her or were there when she was facing the disorder. Wu uses the language “coming out” to show the people that she faked her illness. The footnotes were very useful in Wu’s text because the readers can easily get the idea of what she was talking about instead of searching the things online. Also, it protects the information and gives credibility to the data that were collected. Wu does a remarkable job reflecting on her personal thoughts and feelings and sharing them with others who also suffer from the same disorder-which will help them to understand the things she faced because of the Factitious Disorder.

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