|Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 1:55pm PST |
|I think there is something that's been neglected in this discussion- there is a HUGE difference between MBP and simple hypochondria. The MBP parent actually CAUSES illness by administering drugs, creating wounds, etc for sympathy. The hypochondriac may believe themselves (or their child, or their pet) to be deathly ill and harvest a lot of sympathy from people, but they don't actually abuse themselves or their child. This does damage too (I know more than one child who's been deprived of a lot because their parent was convinced they were fragile- hello Secret Garden?) but it's psychological, not physical.
I've met a lot of pet parents that I would consider "hypochondriacs by proxy" in that they are hypervigilant for signs of illness and blow all symptoms way out of proportion. They are quick to run to the vet and insist on treatment for minor problems that would probably resolve on their own. They see minor, transient issues (like diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, etc) as symptoms of some grand, terrible syndrome. It's easy to blame a variety of symptoms on things like food intolerance, allergies, vaccine reactions, etc because the real symptoms are poorly defined.
I think it's a variety of confirmation bias- dog has symptom X, indicative of syndrome Y. You treat for syndrome Y, and symptom X goes away, so therefore it WAS syndrome Y. This excludes the possibility that X would have gone away on its own in any case and was NOT caused by syndrome Y.
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