Reading Post #1
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.