Munchausen’s Syndrome is a compulsive tendency to invent elaborate health problems for oneself. It is named after the German storybook character and his impossible adventures. “Munchausen’s-by-proxy” is the compulsive need of some mothers to attribute improbable health-issues to their children.
Rod recalls Dee Dee — to whom he was briefly married, though they separated before Gypsy was born — told him their baby was suffering from sleep apnea at 3 months old. Her reported medical issues snowballed from there: muscular dystrophy requiring the use of a wheelchair; seizure medication that made her teeth fall out, requiring doctors to implant a feeding tube; leukemia. Gypsy was home-schooled after second grade on claims of her limited mental capacity.
All would turn out to be unfounded.
The girl, who was not in any way disabled, ended up murdering her mother in 2015.
I suspect that the same thing happens on a smaller scale with hyperactivity and autism, that more children are diagnosed and told they have a disability than really should be. There is nothing wrong with taking Ritalin or an anti-depressant, but how much of it is driven by a mother who can’t accept her kids as they are, a little too hyper or a little too morose? And what about what transgender children whom we are told are in desperate need of puberty blockers and surgeries?