“Out Patients” by Elise Wu
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.