Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Celebrity Blogger Faked Having Cancer
The 23-year-old was accused of fabricating her terminal brain cancer and making a profit from her story via her wellness app, The Whole Pantry.
Last month it was revealed Gibson failed to donate $300,000 from the sales of her app to charity as promised and her friends had started to question the legitimacy of her diagnosis. Earlier this month, Victoria Police said they would not pursue criminal charges against Gibson.
Speaking out about the controversy in an exclusive interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Gibson was asked outright if she has, or has ever had cancer.
“No. None of it’s true,” she confessed.
“I am still jumping between what I think I know and what is reality. I have lived it and I’m not really there yet,” she said.
The Weekly speculates that Gibson suffers from a psychological condition called factitious disorder or Munchausen syndrome (see below for an explainer) — where sufferers feign disease or illness to gain attention.
Gibson fails to explain in detail how and why she lied about her condition.
“I think my life has just got so many complexities around it and within it, that it’s just easier to assume [I’m lying],” she said.
“If I don’t have an answer, then I will sort of theorise it myself and come up with one. I think that’s an easy thing to often revert to if you don’t know what the answer is.”
Gibson believes her “troubled” childhood may have led her to lie about her condition.
The young mother — she has a 4-year-old son called Olivier — claims she was forced to take care of herself from the age of five.
Clinical and forensic psychologist Dr Mitchell Byrne says while factitious disorder does exist — it’s listed in the DSM and affects less than 1 per cent of the population — Munchausen syndrome “doesn’t exist anymore.”
“[Sufferers] can convince themselves that they have a legitimate illness,” Dr Byrne told news.com.au.
But factitious disorder is not to be confused with other disorders — such as malingering, delusional disorder or borderline personality disorder. They are separate.
Dr Bryne says social media can exacerbate the condition. “Factitious disorder is self driving and self perpetuating, maintained by the attention that people receive. Sufferers who use social media have a wider audience and therefore a greater propensity to receive the attention they are looking for by pretending to have the illness.”
Culled from News.com.au
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