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Pinocchio and the Munchausen syndrome

Pinocchio and the Munchausen syndrome

Pinocchio and the Munchausen syndrome

That’s a thing with lying. Already in children’s fairy tales like for example the long-nosed Pinocchio the lying is thematized. Almost to perfection, the Mendelsson Munchhausen has driven it to its feet. Therefore, his name was taken up for a very special medical syndrome. Do you already know the Munchausen syndrome?

Pinocchio was conspicuous when he lied. You just had to pay attention to his nose and she shot straight out. Baron Münchhausen sold his stories with complete conviction. This is also the crucial parallel between the storyteller of the 18th century and the mental disorder Munchausen syndrome which owes its word creation to the London psychiatrist Richard Asher from the year 1951.

Typical of the syndrome Münchhausen syndrome

The disease includes numerous visits to doctors and in hospitals. This leads to ever-changing but pronounced symptoms, which entail time-consuming examinations or operations. Motive for these visits are often attention and compassion by doctors, nurses and family members. The fact that it is a mental disorder and not the actual illnesses behind the symptoms is quickly noticed when a doctor addresses the possibility of a mental illness. Usually the immediate change of the doctor is the consequence of the patient.

Medically classified, the Munchausen syndrome is an artificial disorder that is classified as a form of self-injurious or self-injurious behavior. Thus, it can be considered as part of the borderline personality disorders. Therefore, unfavorable psychosocial growth conditions in childhood and adolescence are also assumed as the cause.

It is not about nice stories or cute exaggerations as in the case of storyteller Münchhausen. Those affected by the Munchausen syndrome tend to self-harm or self-poisoning to prove their illnesses.

Munchausen are ascribed a total of well over a hundred stories of lies, of which, however, only four are occupied. Unforgettable is his ride on a cannonball over a besieged city to inspect the enemy positions. He climbs abruptly on a flying in the opposite direction ball to fly back. Or the story, as he pulls out with his horse on his own head on the swamp. So he lied that the beams are bending. Yeah right, why are the bars actually bending when lying?

Martin Luther wrote this formulation in 1528. At the time, beams were the most stable building material. If they went under heavy load, it was a bad master builder. If you overdo it while lying, you have to expect that your “false building” will collapse sooner or later. And the “Etschibätsch Lange Nase” comes from Pinocchio, of course, and indicates that someone has duped someone.


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