One theory of what causes this mental disorder is a history of abuse, neglect, or abandonment as a child.2 A person may have unresolved parental issues because of this trauma. These issues may, in turn, cause the individual to fake being sick.
People may do this because they:
- Need to feel important and be the center of attention
- Have a need to punish themselves by making themselves sick (because they feel unworthy)
- Need to pass responsibility for their welfare and care on to other people