Someone on the internet started a wild conspiracy theory that Jameela Jamil has Munchausen syndrome — here’s what the disorder really is

Jameela Jamil.

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Jameela Jamil.
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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
  • There’s a conspiracy theory going around the internet right now that Jameela Jamil has Munchausen syndrome.
  • It stems from one Instagram user who posted a long story of old interview clips and quotes that detail Jamil’s past accidents, allergies, and chronic illnesses.
  • Jamil has dismissed the claims as “gaslighting” and called Morrissey “unhinged” for digging into her past so much.
  • Munchausen syndrome is a severe mental health condition where you always want to be seen as sick. It should not be confused with hypochondria, which is where you always think you’re sick.
  • Munchausen syndrome, also called factitious disorder, could affect about 1% of the population, and can be linked to childhood trauma and neglect.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

There’s a wild conspiracy theory sweeping over the internet right now that Jameela Jamil has over-inflated, or even completely made up, some of the health issues she has faced in her life.

The speculation started with an Instagram user called Tracie Morrissey, who posted a long story of interview clips and quotes that she believes are evidence Jamil could not have suffered through as many multiple accidents, health scares, allergies, and chronic illnesses as she claims. She even went so far as to suggest Jamil has Munchausen syndrome – a mental health condition where someone always wants to be seen as sick.

Jamil has dismissed the theories as “unhinged” and “gaslighting” in her responses to Morrissey on her Instagram and Twitter. She also said Morrissey was a “weirdo stalker” who started a “crazy rumor.”

What is Munchausen syndrome?

Munchausen syndrome is not to be confused with hypochondria, which is where you always think you’re unwell. Munchausen syndrome, also called factitious disorder, is where you always want to be unwell.

Therapist and YouTuber Kati Morton explained to Insider for a previous article that people with factitious disorder don’t actually think there’s anything wrong with them.

“You just want to get attention,” she said. “You’re falsifying signs and symptoms to get attention from doctors and to get a diagnosis.”

Those with factitious disorder were sometimes abused growing up, she said. Not all the time, “but they usually have suffered trauma by the hands of their parents,” she said.

If their parents were emotionally abusive, or they were neglected, it may only be when they were sick that they received any attention at all. This link is then made in their minds and they associate being taken care of in illness with love and connection.

Patricia Arquette and Joey King in

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Patricia Arquette and Joey King in “The Act.”
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Hulu

Fictitious disorder imposed on another, also known as Munchausen by proxy, was depicted in the Hulu series “The Act.” It told the true, dramatized story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard who murdered her mother after years of being led to believe she had an array of serious conditions. In reality, there was nothing wrong with Gypsy Rose’s health at all.

Her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, had a feeding tube inserted into Gypsy Rose’s abdomen even though she could eat perfectly normally, forbade her from having sugar, shaved her head, and forced her to take certain medications that made all of her teeth fall out.

There aren’t any clear statistics for factitious disorder, although one article by a physician says about 1% of the population are affected. What is known, however, is that factitious disorder imposed on an other is much more commonly diagnosed in women.

It is also often seen in people who also struggle with substance issues, eating disorders, and other impulse control disorders, Morton said.

Read more:

A mom allegedly subjected her son to 323 doctor visits and 13 unnecessary surgeries – here’s the chilling mental illness that may explain her behavior

Factitious disorder and hypochondria are both conditions involving illnesses that aren’t real, but that’s where the similarities end

Here’s how the cast of Hulu’s ‘The Act’ compares to the real people involved in the infamous Gypsy Rose Blanchard murder

Jameela Jamil came out as queer on Twitter and said she was scared of being accused of ‘bandwagon jumping’

Jameela Jamil shared a 10-year-old picture from when she says her eating disorder made her think she was ‘too fat’ to be in public