Malingering exaggerates the symptoms of mental or physical disorders for a variety of “secondary gain” motives, which may include financial compensation to avoid school, work or military service; obtaining drugs; getting lighter criminal sentences; or simply to attract attention or sympathy. Malingering is different from somatization disorder and factitious disorder. Failure to detect actual cases of malingering imposes a substantial economic burden on the health care system, and false attribution of malingering imposes a substantial burden of suffering on a significant proportion of the patient population.
Signs and symptoms
Some conditions are thought to be easier to feign than others. For example, virtually everyone has experienced pain and knows how a person in pain should appear to others.
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