Out Patients by Elise Wu Discussion #3

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.

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