The primary difference between malingering and factitious disorder is the question of motivation. Is the patient seeking to take the sick role and receive interpersonal benefits from this illness behavior or are there external incentives for his behavior? Here are some examples of medical deception, adapted from a previously published article in Psychiatric Times [link]:
• Signs and symptoms do not improve with treatment
• Escalation of symptoms, relapse, or new complaints apparently in the service of keeping caregivers engaged
• The magnitude of symptoms consistently exceeds what is usual for the disease or there is evident dishonesty about the presentation of symptoms
Can you name more? Let us know in the comment box below.