By Akin Ojumu

Munchausen syndrome. That’s quite mouthful, right? Many of you have probably never heard of the term until now.

It’s a medical condition in which an individual repeatedly and deliberately acts as if they have a physical or mental illness when they are actually not sick at all. This individual is always visiting the doctor to complain of one ailment or another.

Each time the person presents to the hospital, they are probed and prodded from head to toe and inside out. After extensive examinations and battery of tests, the results always return negative, with nothing being found to be wrong with the person.

Within a few short days, the person is back, complaining of the same symptoms or a different set of symptoms this time around. As usual, they’ll undergo comprehensive physical examination and laboratory tests to determine the ailment. Like the last time, all the results will turn out to be negative.

While Munchausen syndrome describes situations in which someone falsifies their own symptoms, there’s a closely related disease called the Munchausen syndrome by proxy. In this case, it is the parent, typically the mother, who simulates or manufactures disease in their child. The other name for Munchausen syndrome by proxy is Medical Child Abuse (MCA).

With Medical Child Abuse, a parent falsely presents a child for medical attention. The child’s parent comes with a fabricated medical history, such as complaining that the child had seizures, when in actual fact the child is perfectly healthy.

In a severe form of MCA, the parent may directly cause the childs illness. For instance, they may expose the child to a toxin, medication, or infectious agent (e.g., injecting insulin into an intravenous line). Signs or symptoms may also be manufactured, such as when a parent smothers a child, or alters laboratory samples or temperature measurements.

The consequence of all these fabricated injuries is that the child is subjected to unnecessary medical care, sometimes including pretty risky intrusive tests and invasive surgeries. The “problems” often recur repeatedly over several years with the child going in and out of hospitals repeatedly.

In addition to the physically deleterious effects of the repeated cycles of testing and treatment, the child may develop potentially serious and long-lasting social and emotional sequelae that may psychologically cripple the child permanently.

Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen syndrome by proxy (i.e., Medical Child Abuse) are considered serious mental illnesses. There are both behavioral disorders associated with severe emotional difficulties and require urgent medical intervention.

I’m convinced that Nigeria rulers suffer from a severe form of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Like the mentally ill mother who injects her child with poison to make her sick in order to get medical attention, the rulers of Nigeria have inflicted upon Nigerians severe injuries that have caused the people to become sick to the point of death.

Those who rule Nigeria have deliberately injected the nation with anticoagulants, i.e., blood thinners, and are bleeding the lifeblood out of the nation. By administering high doses of insulin into the nation’s bloodstream, daily living experience in Nigeria has turned into an endless episode of epileptic seizures that have paralyzed growth and rendered development comatose.

Likewise, the rulers have forced down the throat of the nation medications that cause chronic vomiting and laxatives used to stimulate diarrhea. Nigeria is throwing up its youth in japa and excreting away its heritage to foreign lands. 

The prolonged, and often repeated, mental and physical abuse have so psychologically crippled Nigerians that they have become incapable of telling a good leader from a professional swindler.

The exact cause of Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen syndrome by proxy isn’t known. It’s, however, believed the sufferer must have suffered abuse or neglect as a child. I think this is especially true for the rulers of Nigeria. They themselves are victims of abuse by those who came before them.

Most unfortunately, Munchausen syndrome and MCA are difficult to treat and often require years of therapy and support. Same goes for the abusive relationship between Nigerians and their leaders. It’ll take nothing short of a divine intervention for the country to be freed from the clutches of their mentally ill rulers.


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