Malingering is a medical term that refers to fabricating or exaggerating the symptoms of mental or physical disorders for a variety of "secondary gain" motives, which may include financial compensation ; avoiding 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. History
In the Hebrew Bible, David feigns insanity to escape from a king who views him as an enemy. Odysseus was stated to have also feigned insanity in order to avoid participating in the Trojan War. Malingering has been recorded historically as early as Roman times by the physician Galen, who reported two cases. One patient simulated colic to avoid a public meeting, while the other feigned an injured knee to avoid accompanying his master on a long journey. In his social-climbing manual, Elizabethan George Puttenham recommends that would-be courtiers have "sickness in his sleeve, thereby to shake off other importunities of greater consequence" and suggests feigning a "dry dropsy of some such other secret disease, as the common conversant can hardly discover, and the physician either not speedily heal, or not honestly bewray." Because malingering was widespread throughout the Soviet Union to escape sanctions or coercion, physicians were limited by the state in the number of medical dispensations they could issue. With thousands forced into manual labour, doctors were presented with four types of patient; # those who needed medical care. ;
# those who thought they needed medical care ;
# malingerers; and
#those who made direct pleas to the physician for a medical dispensation from work. This dependence...
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