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Reflection of Privileges – Discussion Board Post #4 [Daniela Guichardo]

Posted by Daniela Guichardo on

I choose this particular online community because I am a part of it. I have on occasion thought that certain behaviors could be considered weird to outsiders, so I thought becoming an outsider for a moment would be interesting. I have also criticized aspects of the community so to be able to formally analyze it will be fun, I think. My gender would make me notice any misogyny that those in the community may display. I would also not be able to relate or understand what the other genders may be experiencing. I believe my age will allow me to see how other ages are treated versus those around my age. Although people don’t often discuss class outright, my class would make me empathize with those at or below my level and not with those above me. My educational level will affect how I interpret information that is spread in the community. I don’t believe my nationality would have any effect on my field research because it is never really touched upon by the community. My race would not allow me to know what other races in the community may be facing. The fact that I have been a part of the community for a few years will be carried into my research. I will have personal biases on certain topics because I have been in the community. However, I don’t see my life experience having such a large affect. Other than shaping me into the person I am today, I don’t believe my life history being very present in my observations.


Reading Response #1- Out Patients

Posted by Iqra Jan on

In Elise Wu’s study, “Out Patients”, she portrays the community of a medical condition called factitious disorder (FD) and her experience before and after her self-diagnosis of the illness. FD is defined as deliberately creating physical or psychological symptoms simply to take on the role of the patient with extreme cases being Munchausen syndrome. She describes herself as a member of the culture/online community telling her story of herself going into emergency showing some presumably symptoms of appendicitis and “the most acute years of the near decade I spent faking illness”(143).

She creates a verbal portrait of this community through imagery when describing her own experiences and by describing the posts on the thread. Wu did research about the patients, their contact with therapists, 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. She explains her anxieties and fears for herself and other members of the FD community. When researching FD she creates a verbal portrait as she gives an abundance of information she learned that allowed her to self-diagnose herself with FD and give the audience an understanding of the condition. She uses multiple online sources including the Cleveland clinic foundation website, Dr.Feldman’s website, and Munchausen library.She also presents statistics from professionals like Dr. Feldman. 

Wu triangulates the data, research and findings she discovered with her own personal experience with FD. Wu’s footnotes play a role in her text by providing an organized in depth background information. Her footnotes show directly where her information came from and upheld the credibility of her text on FD.


Out Patients by Elise Wu Discussion #3

Posted by Angel Pacheco on

Elise Wu starts her essay by introducing us to her “mental condition” in which she fakes and/or exaggerates illness in order to receive medical care and attention. From here, she then mentions how she found an online forum for people who also share her condition called “Factitious Disorder” while searching up her condition on the internet. What I found interesting was that the community was called ““Factitious Disorder, Munchausen Syndrome, Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, and Malingering Discussion and Survivor’s Forum” In particular survivor is a word that stands out here. Elise begins to describe that many of the accounts she read from people posting on the online community and she mentions how the “survivors” were people dealing with other people that exhibit her condition, NOT people with her condition. She also adds to her portrait of the community by mentioning how the doctor who linked the website, didn’t seem to offer much help to posters seeking his advice as well. Reading this part, makes it seem a bit hopeless for people who are dealing with this condition in their life and want advice. Elise Wu also triangulates her findings by checking other websites for people with her condition such as a yahoo group community she found. In this yahoo community, she found it was the opposite of the first community she found. This community may have been a lot more helpful to her as it was people who actually have her condition posting. Elise uses footnotes in this section of her essay to describe how the community members she observes had stopped posting, and because of this she chooses not to participate in this community. In the end, I think Elise chooses the best option though and she decides to actually come out to her therapist. I feel like this was probably the most concrete course of action that will likely have the most helpful effect on helping her manage her condition as it involves her actually interacting with someone in real life, discussing her condition.


“Out Patients” by Elise Wu Response (Ashley Borja)

Posted by Ashley Borja on

“Out Patients” written by Elise Wu reveals her experience with Factitious Disorder– a disorder in which a person feigns an illness with the intent of playing the role of a patient. Wu focuses on the subculture within “FD” patients and the way they interact with others. Throughout the article, she creates a verbal portrait of the community by demonstrating the behaviors she observed in an online forum and message board. Wu focuses on her personal narrative and the narratives of those on these websites. She also inserts her feelings toward certain figures and creates vernacular that describes the community.

Elise Wu uses multiple sources to consult and gather knowledge of FD culture. She makes use of her narrative– Wu identified with the FD culture and inserted her opinions into the article. She begins the article with a vivid description of memory that took place in an ER. Wu also consults with an online forum and group message board to better understand different perspectives within the culture. The forum mostly consisted of those the FD patients have “played” for–while the message board is for those suffering from FD. Wu made sure to keep her identity anonymous so that she could respect her privacy during the process. She triangulated the data from her findings by using both online and offline sources to be better informed. 

Throughout the text, Elise Wu uses footnotes to contextualize her use of the sources in the article. The footnotes oftentimes served as a definition for certain terms so that readers with no medical background can better understand the information given. Lastly, footnotes in this article demonstrate a timeline– providing various dates for sources.


Response to “Out Patients” by Elise Wu

Posted by Milton Isaiah Rivera on

While Ms. Wu was trying to find an online community that catered to her specific psychological disability, what she found was the people who were annoyed by these people with FD. When portraying this community she talks about how the families/spouses are confused about how to confront the FD patients who they know are lying, but they don’t know if it is manipulation or not. The verbal portrait she creates is one of worried people who are looking out for themselves, and want to know if they are being tricked into continuing a relationship. Also, these people are searching for a way to get people with FD help, and she comments about how a doctor is consistently trying to plug his book into these comments for people who are looking for help. When describing this doctor, she almost makes him seem desperate for people to read his book instead of actually giving them helpful comments. The sources she’s using are mainly websites that she found linked by the Doctor, and she also looks up what her disorder is on the website which is when she first discovers this condition. To triangulate data she uses herself, and how her experience with FD has shaped her experiences in hospitals and how she thinks her friends/family might see her as a liar (ethos). She then uses the doctor as her logos, and uses his experiences with these patients to emphasize that it is hard to get these patients help since you can’t medicate it but rather manage it. Finally, she uses pathos when talking about how she is afraid to come out of her shell and claim this title, and how she may be ridiculed for lying about her conditions. The roles of footnotes indicate dates, context, texts, and give better quotes.


“Out Patients”

Posted by JingWen Lei on

In this reading “Out Patients”,  Elise Wu realized that she had a symptom of pretending to be sick. She is trying to portray the life of a patient with the same symptoms as her in this article. She searched the Internet for relevant information, but she didn’t think she was completely suffering from the problem. Elise wu creates a verbal portrait of this online community and this disease is referred to as FD. People with FD deliberately create physical or psychological symptoms to assume only the role of a patient. No other motivation But she observed that FDers couldn’t truly face the impact of the truth. For example, family members and friends around them and doctors are angry at them. And the emotion that they are not taken seriously makes these people post their true thoughts on the online community. She found the information and answers given on some of Dr. Marc Feldman’s web pages and learned more about the disease. She then learned about many FDers’ experiences by reading different messages in the forum. In order to get more details, she joined this community and she wants to know how many have found herself here. She triangulates data with different online resources. She looked up web page information, professional articles, and messages from various forums. Elsie Wu will mark the details of each of her records to help her organize the information more conveniently. Later she became aware of it and walked out of her pretending illness. The role of footnotes in wu’s text helps build credibility, not only for readers to better understand but also for articles that look more organized.


Out Patient’s by Elise Wu

Posted by Sara Sanchez on

In her essay, Out Patients, Elise Wu portrays those who have been diagnosed or self diagnosed with a disorder called factitious disorder (FD), with her being among those people. Upon her history of  faking severe illnesses, she decided to google why she does so out of guilt & concern & discovers a web page dedicated to the condition run by a Dr. Marc Feldman. Though abandoning it for 2 years, she returns to it & sees to her dismay that the forums under his page are not to assist those with the actual disorder, but rather those who know others with this disorder; These entries in the forum also don’t typically ask how to help those in their lives with the disorder, but rather how to distance or cut ties with the person & receive responses in great detail from others or from Dr. Feldman pitching for his book to be bought for more information & assistance. When Dr. Feldman finally posts a response that links to a support group, cravin4care, Wu finally discovers a forum for people who actually suffer from the disorder like herself. This is a drastic difference from the last forum setup & audience, as this forum requires subscribing to the list and will display public information. Ultimately, Wu, despite the noted difficulty there is for recovering from this order, decides to seek professional help upon the comfort crave4care provides her & gets a therapist who genuinely makes her feel supported.

Wu creates a verbal portrait of the two sites by contrasting their different appearances. Upon describing Dr. Feldman’s page she feels discomfort towards fully trusting & relying on the site, as she describes it to have a “sea green background” and at the top of the page, Dr. Feldman with an “expert smile”. In comparison to Dr. Feldman’s site, crave4care’s forum was one that was more trustworthy & comfortable to her as it provided a community for people like her, as well as “coming out” stories that reassured her. The footnotes she displays with her essay provide additional information for the context in which she is discussing and for citations.


Reading Response #1

Posted by Thais Nunez on

The online community Wu is trying to portray are people who are looking for answers. They express their concerns and their urgent need for answers especially from the doctor they are asking. The verbal portrait she creates of this community are concerned people. They go through their loved ones having FD and looking for answers to help cure them. With the doctor’s responses, some of them are sort of helpless. For example, the doctor in one of the posts answering back to an individual says that the person thinking they have the illness has to accept it and go for treatment themselves. The sources she uses are real life people who are actually going through it themselves. She takes tracks of the dates and how it was asked. She also records how the doctor responds and if the doctor seems as if the only way to cure the disease is for the people to accept their stage and get the help they need. The role that footnotes plays in her finding is that they keep track of the peoples comments she reads and what may be important to her. She singles out the things that are important or that she associates with herself with. Wu compares herself a lot to what she reads and she is concerned about what damage she causes herself and she appreciates that she is actually realizing the harm she is doing her body. When she came to realize she had FD she wanted to have high chances of having a good outcome.


“Out Patients” by Elise Wu Response

Posted by Yaya Camara on

Elise Wu’s “Out Patients” portrays her experience with Factitious Disorder (FD)before and after her “self-diagnosis”. Prior to her self-diagnosis, she battled with the compulsion of seeking medical attention without dealing with actual symptoms. This journey also pained her loved ones who was unsure of how to deal with Elise and her health scares because of the disagreement between her symptoms and the results of medical tests. After researching her condition she realizes that she is not facing this illness alone, and discovers communities who are willing to share their stories on how they deal with FD.

Wu does a great job creating a verbal portrait in her writing. She provides details from her past experience in the emergency room. For instance, she recalls one experience when a doctor and a group of interns visits her in a room. She remembers the doctor giving her the speech that many people with FD face; a conversation that does not blame her for faking anything, but gives a “heads up” to the patient that they are aware that nothing is wrong with them. Another instance where Wu applies a great verbal portrait is when she describes Dr. Marc Feldman’s smile. She describes his smile as a smile where his intentions are not wholehearted. This smile deeply resonates with her; “If I am a freak, I don’t want to feel like someone else is making money by sensationalizing my misfortune, self-induced or otherwise”. Thus, these two examples helps the reader a gain a more personal feel to Wu and her thoughts and feelings regarding her illness.

Wu relies on many sources to further enhance her writing. To start, she first gets information about her illness online through Dr. Feldman’s website and his online forum. She describes her experience on this website as unpleasant because the chat included many members of loved ones who faced FD not actual members who live with the illness. Additionally, she triangulates information from her sources to further support her writing. For instance, she notes how Dr. Feldman was not being as effective in his responses in his online forum, and was too focused in promoting his book. Wu then provides many examples where this occurs, further proving her point. Another example where she triangulates information is in Dr. Feldman’s forum. “Odette” is concerned over her mothers behavior with FD and asks Dr. Feldman for advice. After Feldman’s advice of trusting your instincts, Wu starts to speak upon the difference in responses the doctor is advising, showing how unhelpful the doctor truly is.
Footnotes play an important role in Wu’s text. Footnotes provides the reader more information about the quote Wu chose. Additionally, the footnotes provides the reader the source of her information, in the chance that any of her readers would like to further investigate a certain topic.

In conclusion, Elise Wu’s “Out Patient” talks about the experience Wu has faced in her journeying before and after her self-diagnosis of Factitious Disorder. Her writing gives readers a strign insight on the community of FD’ers and the challenges they faced in overcoming their illness.



Reading Post #1

Posted by bethanie corona (she/her) on

The online community Wu is trying to portray are people diagnosed or self-diagnosed with factitious disorder. The text begins Wu describing how she felt while faking appendicitis symptoms: she “let his gentle words wash over my body, curled on a narrow gurney” and she is “left aching for more at the same time that I’m flooded with shame and fear.” (P143) The disorder is defined as someone who pretends to be sick and an extreme version of the disorder is called Munchausen syndrome, people fake illness and also self inflict harm for the act. She creates a verbal portrait of this community through imagery and by describing the posts on the thread. She explains the anxieties people with FD have about getting caught and she shares her fear. She mentions how people confess to their therapists and some people on the forum know someone with the disorder. She uses different online sources such as the Cleveland clinic foundation website, Dr.Feldman’s website, and Munchausen library. She cites statistics from professionals in the field such as Dr.Feldmen and uses his prognosis. She triangulates what she reads in the forum, her personal research, and her own subjective experience dealing with FD. She explains how open the Q&A environment on the forum is and how it is utilized by people who have loved ones that have “hard to detect conditions.” She also describes Dr.Feldman’s redundancy in promoting his book. The footnotes Wu provides give an organized list of her sources but also give background context on the factitious disorder.

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