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  • Faking a High Injury

    Anyone ever ran across someone faking a high injury? We frequently come across a guy that says he has a spinal injury. He even "appears" to be vented but the end of the hose doesn't go anywhere. Looks like he is trying to mimic being a high quad. We were on a walk once and noticed him use the lift to get of his van in his powerchair. No hand controls in the van and he was the only one that came out of the van.

    Does anyone know anything about this kind of psychosis? I could give a lot more detail but if he is this big of kook he could even lurk here. He could be harmless but we've decided he is just too creepy.

  • #2
    Not personally, but I found out about it through a movie called Quid Pro Quo. I don't remember everything about the movie but I do recall the wannabes from it. Weirdness!

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414426...nm_flmg_act_26

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    • #3
      There are people with paralysis fetishes who want to be known as "transabled" because they want to excuse their odd fetish by piggy-backing off people suffering from gender dysphoria (aka "trans"). The thing is, without exception, these people removed their leg braces, get up out of their chairs, drive their cars with legs, etc. as soon as nobody is watching. Maybe it's not even a fetish but an attention seeking thing.

      Last time I checked, trans people don't get to put their old tits/penises/etc back on when nobody's watching.
      T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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      • #4
        When I was in rehab one of the physical therapists there (or assistants or something, I don't quite remember her role) was in a chair. She told us that she used to be (whatever job description I have since forgotten) at the Shepherd Center where I did rehab when she was AB before her injury.

        I immediately though "damn that is some bad luck right there, but at least you knew where to go for help".

        So of course someone asked her how she was injured and she told us she just woke up that way one day.... Weird, but not crazy, one of the PM&R docs at Shepherd had a spinal stroke or some kind of rare thoracic emoblus or something that was not physically traumatic to anything other than the spinal cord, and he was open about how he got his SCI, so we figure it's something like that, until she tells us that "no one could ever figure out" how she'd attained her injury... that was a bit suspicious, since she worked at one of the most renowned spinal cord injury rehab units in the solar system... so immediately me and one of my roommates exchange a glance like "wtf?"

        Then she's teaching us some class or another on how to be a crip and at one point she splays her arms and legs out to the side horizontally to emphasize some point while sitting in her wheelchair. She held this posture for only a second or so, but she was balanced only on her ass with no back support, lifting her legs up parallel to the floor seemingly effortlessly just as a part of her animated speak-with-your-hands type body language. That put it over the edge for me. I might have given her the benefit of the doubt if she hadn't said her injury was medically unexplainable, but if you've got that much strength and you choose to sit in a wheelchair and pretend to be a para... I kind of doubt you had the bad luck of developing some minimally impairing Asia D- injury that just happened to be medically unexplainable while you just happened to be working on a Spinal cord injury unit... that's too much.

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        • #5
          See this WebMD article about fictitious disorders, sometimes know as Munchausen Syndrome: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/...us-disorders#1

          Munchausen Syndrome: Munchausen syndrome is a mental disorder in which the patient fakes illness to gain attention and sympathy.

          Munchausen Syndrome by proxy: Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MBP) was the term previously used for a rare but serious form of abuse where a person either fakes or produces symptoms in someone else, usually their child or fabricated or induced illness by carers’ (FIIC).

          Re: "Funklab's" experience. I'm really puzzled how she fooled the spinal cord injury and rehab specialists at Shepherd Center and wasn't called out on her pretense.
          Last edited by gjnl; 03-28-2019, 07:43 PM.

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          • #6
            That being said, from a mental health perspective there are three basic ways in which you can be "faking" an injury.

            1. Malingering - this is just straight up faking, you know you're faking it and not injured and you try to keep other people from finding out you're faking it. By definition you also have to be aware of why you're doing it, ie what you get out of it (disability, free parking, devo tail, whatever).

            2. Facticious disorder - this is what people call Munchausen syndrome, you know you're faking it, and going to great lengths to fake it, but you're not sure exactly why you're faking it. Psychiatry gurus postulate that the faker gets some sort of gratification out of playing the sick role, but even if they were being completely honest with you they wouldn't be able to identify exactly why they do it. These people aren't getting any direct benefit from what they're doing (money, time off work, etc) or at least the benefits they get are not the primary reason for the behavior.

            3. Conversion disorder aka Functional Neurologic Disorder - This is where the person is "faking", but only in a very loose sense of the word. It's always neurologic processes (weakness, paralysis, blindness, seizures, etc), but internally the person truly believes that whatever is wrong is actually wrong. The guy in OPs example doesn't have this (if we assume he is driving himself with his legs and yet "faking" being completely paralyzed), and this usually isn't something as globally impairing as paraplegia or quadraplegia, but often loss of use in one limb or blindness in one or both eyes. They aren't aware that it's a psychological problem, despite the fact that stuff still works (for example they might say they're blind, but their eyes will still involuntarily track a moving object despite the fact that they're truly unaware of having the ability to see). It's fascinating and I love it. The standard treatment for these people is to try and tell them gently that it's all in their head, but then basically you still have to deal with the actual deficit they have (stop driving if they have seizures or are blind, physical rehabilitation if they have muscle weakness, etc). The psych godfathers think these people have unresolved type issues and maybe it's depression or anxiety or some deeper underlying internal conflict that is unconscious that is manifested a neurologic problem.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by funklab View Post

              Then she's teaching us some class or another on how to be a crip and at one point she splays her arms and legs out to the side horizontally to emphasize some point while sitting in her wheelchair. She held this posture for only a second or so, but she was balanced only on her ass with no back support, lifting her legs up parallel to the floor seemingly effortlessly just as a part of her animated speak-with-your-hands type body language. That put it over the edge for me. I might have given her the benefit of the doubt if she hadn't said her injury was medically unexplainable, but if you've got that much strength and you choose to sit in a wheelchair and pretend to be a para... I kind of doubt you had the bad luck of developing some minimally impairing Asia D- injury that just happened to be medically unexplainable while you just happened to be working on a Spinal cord injury unit... that's too much.
              Do you think it possible this woman lies about having worked at Shepherd? Easy enough to check, I suppose. In case she is faking she should be quietly investigated and exposed, if true. It would mean she is deceiving every client she works with.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mize View Post
                There are people with paralysis fetishes who want to be known as "transabled" because they want to excuse their odd fetish by piggy-backing off people suffering from gender dysphoria (aka "trans"). The thing is, without exception, these people removed their leg braces, get up out of their chairs, drive their cars with legs, etc. as soon as nobody is watching. Maybe it's not even a fetish but an attention seeking thing.

                Last time I checked, trans people don't get to put their old tits/penises/etc back on when nobody's watching.
                As it happens, most can. My spouse is trans and the majority of transgender people do not get surgery, or not the full package. As we know better than most, surgery is dangerous. A M2F (male to female) would likely love genuine silicone breasts, but the majority will stop there simply because having one's penis removed is complicated surgery. We SCId people should understand anyone's desire to avoid bladder complications! Some opt for castration because it is a simple operation and ends the production of most male hormones. My own spouse would not seriously consider surgery for the same reason I would not seek elective surgery. KEEP YOUR KNIVES OFF MY BODY! All that simply to explain that yes, s/he can take off her boobs to shower.

                We have been together a long time so I get to laugh myself silly over this, which s/he does not find amusing.

                Some trans people or their allies consider people like my spouse a 'pretender' or a cross-dresser. Since she works diligently to promote human rights for all LGBTQ folk, helps with fund-raisers and such, I would not accuse her of misrepresenting herself, but neither will I argue with anyone who does.

                What matters is that people do not deceive others.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tetracyclone View Post
                  Do you think it possible this woman lies about having worked at Shepherd? Easy enough to check, I suppose. In case she is faking she should be quietly investigated and exposed, if true. It would mean she is deceiving every client she works with.
                  I was wondering the same thing.
                  MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tetracyclone View Post
                    Do you think it possible this woman lies about having worked at Shepherd? Easy enough to check, I suppose. In case she is faking she should be quietly investigated and exposed, if true. It would mean she is deceiving every client she works with.
                    As I read "Funklab's" account, this woman was "one of the physical therapists there (or assistants or something, I don't quite remember her role)" while he was doing his rehab at the Shepard Center. If you read his post carefully, this woman (whatever her role was) taught him and others in classes while they were in rehab.

                    Once again, I have to
                    question how she pulled this off, while working on a spinal cord injury unit. Why didn't the "experts" at Shepard Center have a clue about the subterfuge under which this person was operating. I'm just skeptical about how she could have pulled it off. This is a major rehab center and somehow they hired this person to give rehab therapy to newly injured SCI patients. It is just incomprehensible to me that she was operating under the radar screen of professionals at this facility.
                    Last edited by gjnl; 03-28-2019, 10:50 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gjnl View Post
                      As I read "Funklab's" account, this woman was "one of the physical therapists there (or assistants or something, I don't quite remember her role)" while he was doing his rehab at the Shepard Center. If you read his post carefully, this woman (whatever her role was) taught him and others in classes while they were in rehab. Once again, I have to question how she pulled this off, while working on a spinal cord injury unit. Why didn't the "experts" at Shepard Center have a clue about the subterfuge under which this person was operating. I'm just skeptical about how she could have pulled it off.
                      Thanks GJ, you're absolutely right - I missed or forgot that part. It really is astonishing that her subterfuge was not detected at Shepard.
                      MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

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                      • #12
                        I have seen several people over the years who went to great lengths to fake a SCI for a variety of reasons...one did it to get released from prison (humanitarian parole), and several others to get VA pensions or benefits. They even cathed themselves and did bowel care to perpetuate the illusion that they really had a SCI. Eventually they all screwed up and were found out; and owed a significant amount of money to the VHA in addition to court mandated fines. This has also been seen in workers' comp cases I am familiar with, as well as those undergoing personal injury suits.

                        I also worked with several people with conversion disorder. They are not faking the paralysis, but usually something is not "right" because their brain doesn't have sufficient knowledge to simulate a real injury. For example, they may not have any sensory loss, or their sensory loss does not match the motor loss, and there is inconsistent or no MRI or other radiologic evidence of any cord or peripheral nerve damage. An SSEP study can be used to rule this out.

                        One such client developed tetraplegia after witnessing the electrocution death of his power company work partner. The psychiatrist explained to us that he developed this specific conversion disorder because his brain could not handle his inability to intervene in this accident that killed his friend. With intensive psychological counseling he slowly recovered, forgave himself, and returned to his previous non-disabled state.

                        (KLD)
                        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                        • #13
                          Tickle their feet. NIH doctors used to do that to me when I'd get paralyzed in their care/testing. I hated it. They would appologize and say they were sorry but they had to do it. Of course with my genetic disease my sensory nerves worked fine, but there was no muscle response to kick back. It was brutal.
                          I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

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                          • #14
                            Dang we've had several on here. Remember that guy who said he and his twin brother had Parkinsons or something like that. He led us on for quite a while until he went too far and we figured it out.

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                            • #15
                              For the last 20 or so years I and two others have owned and moderate a discussion group for genetic periodic paralysis. We screen applicants heavily and found that many doctors wrote patients off as having a conversion disorder and would not treat them. In the beginning DNA diagnosis was not available to help ensure legitimate membership. Fortunately we have come a long way in the last 20 years, no cure though. Periodic paralysis turns to permanent for many of us.
                              I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

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