Malingering Causes and symptoms Lying for personal benefit has existed since the beginning of time. As previously stated, personal gain is the goal of the malingerer. The symptoms may vary a great deal from person to person. Demographics Due to the difficulty of determining and exposing malingering, the incidence is unknown. Diagnosis When attempting to diagnose malingering, mental health professionals have three possibilities to consider. First, there is the possibility that the illness feigned by the malingerer is real. However, once it is determined that the disorder has no basis in fact, the professional is left with two viable diagnoses: factitious disorder and malingering. Factitious disorder is a legitimate malady, but malingering is not. Both have to do with feigned illnesses. Unlike malingering, the individual with factitious disorder produces fake symptoms to fulfill the need to maintain the "sick role"—a sort of emotional gain. Being "sick" gives the person with factitious disorder attention from physicians and sympathy from friends and loved ones. Thus,
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