faking the disease

Hi everybody

I hope somebody can give me some advice. My best friend of 48 years died four years ago of MS and I lived the disease with her to be honest. I currently care for my father at home who suffers from alzheimers which is an equally challenging disease to be honest. I miss my friend every day as she was such a brave person but I have recently come across somebody who I think fakes the disease. It has made me so mad because I know how my best friend and others are still suffering and I cant stand the thought of this girl saying she has MS because it saves her working and gives her sympathy. She has had it for 12 years and constantly wears sunglasses even though she reads from her kimble. She walks with a stick but can walk quicker than I can. She has just told me that because of the lesions she has on her spine that she cannot operate a hoover as they blow up in her hand!! Apparently this means she cannot hoover at home in case she breaks it. I asked her how she can blow dry her hair then and she said she can’t use any electrical items. She has blowin up three hoovers and a few toasters. Apparently when she touches the plug the electricity that is generated by her body because of the lesions creates electricity which in turn blow the hoovers up. Maybe this is a symptom of MS and if so could anybody tell me whether they have in fact had the same things happen to them/ I am just intrigued to knw whether this is true or not or indeed could be true.

One for Anitra I feel…

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Don’t know about anyone else on the forum but that - to me - sounds like a load of twaddle. I’m pretty certain that just about anyone can generate enough kinetic energy to power a watch, but blowing up hoovers and hair-dryers … (?)…the mind boggles.

The lesions in MS do not generate electricity.


Well thats a neat way to by pass our electricity suppliers lol…Load of twaddle is the answer. Perhaps she has a problem with her electricity circuit in her house…

Sorry, I reckon it’s a load of ole squit too. Kills hoovers but not hair dryers ? Sounds like they can’t be arsed and it’s a pitiful excuse. …

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Please! Where do I even start?

It sounds to me like there’s very likely a health problem here, but more of a mental health problem.

I cannot say, by the way, that she definitely doesn’t have MS. That part might just conceivably be true (I walk fast and don’t use a stick - doesn’t mean I’m fibbing - just that I’ve been fairly lucky…so far). So you can’t prove or disprove her story just by looking at her, or what she can or can’t do.

Put at its simplest, MS is a type of electrical fault. The insulation on the nerves breaks down, which causes loss or corruption of nerve signals. But that’s where any connection between the disease and problems with electrical equipment begins and ends.

Having an electrical fault (MS) inside you does NOT mean you cause interference with electrical equipment, or that it interferes with you. It is not possible for someone with MS to damage an electrical device, simply because we have MS.

The only way that could happen is by dropping it - because we have reduced strength - or tripping over the damn thing, because we have b*ggered balance and coordination. We don’t radiate damaging electrical interference. Can you imagine, if anyone shaking hands with us, let alone getting…erm…friendlier - would get an electric shock?

Utter nonsense, and doesn’t happen.

MS is not usually associated with psychosis, but it’s just possible this person has MS AND psychotic symptoms (which may or may not be related), and genuinely believes these things. From time to time, on these boards, we do see people with some very strange beliefs concerning their MS - it doesn’t always mean they’re lying. They may be genuine, but confused.

I think, either way, she is to be pitied. It’s very sad if someone feels driven to make up such bizarre stories, to gain sympathy, or attention. But equally sad if they genuinely believe these things, and cannot tell the difference between truth and delusion.

I don’t know what to think. She might be ill, just not with MS, or not only with MS. She certainly has some irrational beliefs, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not her real beliefs.

I don’t think you can help a person like that. I’m not saying people with mental health issues should be shunned, but I don’t think you can have a sensible or constructive debate with someone who’s either delusional, or a pathological liar (might amount to the same thing, as the trouble with pathological liars is they seem able to believe their own lies!)

If you confront her about it, she’s not going to say: “You’re right, I made it all up!” She’s clearly prepared to add lies to try to explain the lies.

There could be obvious reasons a person like this isn’t employable - even if they don’t have MS. There seems to be something the matter. Claiming to be ill is one thing - and people may have understandable motives for doing it. But claiming bizarre symptoms that couldn’t really happen seems to take things a step further, and may be an indication they have delusional thoughts.

Surely someone who was “just” faking would check out the basic facts, and try to make their story fit as accurately as possible? Why would they deliberately make up symptoms that can’t happen, which is such a huge giveaway? Could it be some kind of game, to see how much you will swallow?

Either way, I wouldn’t let it eat you up with anger on your friend’s behalf. This other lady clearly has problems of her own, even if she doesn’t have MS. It’s not normal, is it?




Have to agree that this person seems to need help in other areas. She sounds like she needs a Psychiatrist as well as a Neuro. Saves on electric though and gets to not hoover every day. Wish my Dyson would blow up every time I use it. Get me out of that then. Dear me!!



Her MS(?) I have no idea about and neither do you and its none of our business anyway.

As for the rest, well she might be seriously unhinged or she might be possessed of a nasty sense of humour, a prize-winning poker face and a view that you are the kind of gullible fool who gives good sport without knowing it. Or a thousand other possibilities. There is one thing that all the possibilities point to, it seems to me: this woman is bad news - step away from the vehicle!



frankly i find anything in the first post to be difficult to believe. only the final line has any relevance:

‘Topics Not MS’ - enough said


Excellent answer Tina, Carraboy clearly had the right idea!

There was an old thread resurrected on the “New Diagnosis and Before Diagnosis” Board that I noticed yesterday about having a continual buzzing/vibrating feeling. (I read it because that is one of my personal bundle of MS “gifts”.

Someone in that who was very keyed up about symptoms that they thought could be MS mentioned that s/he had this buzzing and had been told that this could cause your wristwatch to stop/break for no reason. She said that she had gone through a number of watches and she was now sure that the 2 were connected.

No comment. I know that there are people who do cause watches to just stop. Similarly, I know that there are people that you do not want to let anywhere near your expensive electronics or electricals if you wanted them to stay in one piece but I haven’t heard anyone connecting that phenomenen with MS otherwise.

Many thanks for the advice. I have commented personally to some people regarding their comments. I feel that calling me a gulllible fool says a great deal about the person who answereed my question rather than about the question. I live next door to this woman and along with caring for my father who has alzheimers, working full time and bringing up three children on my own, I also fundriase for my local MS society in memory of my best friend, so I don’t need comments like Alison’s and the other person who I cannot be bothered to mention. The reason I asked this question was because this woman lives next door to me and sits with my father and children at certain times when I am working and until she made this comment I thought she was slightly odd and had very odd symptoms of MS which made no sense to me. However I ignored it until she made this comment which worried me. However I thought I would ask the question just in case there was any truth in it, not that I believed it, but I wanted more advice, which I received from the majority of you and much thanks for that, and to the others, if you can’t make a helpful comment, then dont waste your time answering questions just take your superior patronising attitudes somwhere else where it will not upset people.

Alison is a consistently kind and helpful poster, and I’m very confident that if her reply has upset you, it was in no way intended.

With the possible exception of if you were married to them or thinking of marrying them, I don’t think anyone else’s confidential medical diagnosis is your business. Alison’s advice is helpful, inasmuch as her main point is whatever the truth of it (which you cannot know, and don’t need to) this person is bad news. Certain parts of her story cannot be true - whether or not she has MS. Do you want somebody in your life (or your family’s life) who is either a liar, or delusional? Never mind why she’s like it, and she may not be able to help it, but do you need it in your life?



my neighbour decided to have the (contraceptive) coil removed because she said it picked up Classic FM …


Many years ago, when I looked after a computer system, certain people had a very high rate of their computers failing.

Obviously, you can’t interrogate them on this point, but in the trade, it was known that a common reason for this problem was nylon underwear! Nothing medical at all. People who wear a lot of nylon tend to generate a lot of static, and this can zap sensitive equipment when they touch it.

I’ve also known one or two people that couldn’t get along with a watch - every one they had always stopped before very long. Don’t know if that’s static as well, but pretty sure it’s nothing medical either.

I second that. There are arses on here, but I wouldn’t put Alison in that category. (Now if you want clickie arseholes who are unhelpful - check out the Pink un message board…)

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Could she change the channel if she crossed her legs ?


A very interesting post and replies.

It saddens me when folk get upset by some…but asking things here is bound to bring unhelpful, as well as helpful replies.

Least said soonest mended, eh?

And I would rather give that woman a wide berth…she is tarnishing the memory of your best friend…or at least trying to.

I dont think I would be happy to let her mind the kids…nah, dont let her hun!

luv Polx

ps I am sending you a virtual hug in your time of bereavement. xxx


I think that my cousin is faking ms. They go away and don’t take any of their mobility equipment with them butwhen they were having their pip assessment they had it placed all over their home. They frequently show that they have more stamina and strength than me.The only thing which makes me think I am wrong is that they are taking prescription medication and I keep thinking surely this would not be the case if they are faking it.

Gosh Brenda, you joined the forum over an hour ago and searched out a three year old thread to post on! What exactly is your problem?