Factitious disorder: In this disorder the individual is characterized by intentionally producing physical or psychological disorders in order to assume the sick role. The individual may manipulate instruments such as a thermometer in order to show signs of the illness. They might complain of abdominal pain or other symptoms that support their claimed problem. External motivators such as economic gain, avoiding legal responsibility, etc. are absent.
When presenting their medical or psychological history the individual does it with flair, but are vague and inconsistent with further questioning. They may engage in pathological lying that gets the listeners interest.
A similar disorder that has the same qualities is factitious disorder by proxy. This disorder has the same symptoms of factitious disorder but instead of the symptoms being that of the individual the symptoms are that of an individual the person is caring for. For example a mother taking care of a child may claim the child has an illness that the child doesn’t truly have.
Tabatha’s legs went weak and she slumped to the floor. The cold floor did nothing to bring the feeling back into her legs and body. Her stomach felt like a black hole had formed and sucked her life force leaving nothing but darkness and cold. She lifted her hands up in front of her face looking for any sign of the truth the man was telling her, but knowing it was true.
There were no memories of a family or of a childhood. Her first memory was waking up in a hospital bed and told that she had been in a terrible accident. The doctor explained that she would probably never regain her memory and there was no record of her in the system. The hospital supplied her with new identification after several months of working with a case worker, and no family had been found.
Tabatha trained with the local defense contractor and excelled in her studies; quickly advancing within the ranks. When the contractor sold out she was once again without work, so she hired on with another company that offered nannies as well as security. Once again, Tabatha was a natural and was soon working for Neil Florantin, a wealthy businessman. This is where she fell in love with the child.
“Tabatha, I need you to follow me,” the man rolled toward her holding out his hand. “I couldn’t tell you earlier because I needed to make sure you were okay.”
The words registered in Tabatha’s brain but made little sense. Her mind raced with the new information that she tried to assimilate with the old. She had never felt love before the child. A single tear rolled down her cheek remembering the child. Is any of it real? She had been taught that androids have no emotions only that they can perceive what is expected and then act upon that expectation.
Touching her shoulder gently the man said, “I’ll explain everything. It’ll be okay.”
The brunette’s scream reverberated off the walls shattering the wall of fog surrounding Tabatha’s mind. She grabbed the man’s hand and jumped to her feet yanking the man out of his wheel chair. Five guards held rifles, two standing over the brunette and a pool of blood that seeped out into the room.
It was all the man could say before Tabatha whipped the man around and had the crook of her arm around his throat squeezing the rest of his words out like a croak. She backed toward the door dragging the man with her.
“Stop or we’ll shoot.”
A smile crept across Tabatha’s face. She was in her environment now and she knew how this would turn out. She compressed the man’s larynx tighter and he held up his hand stopping the advance of the five men.
A fresh smell of spring swept into the room as Tabatha pushed the glass door open and left the building. Outside she dropped the limp man to the ground and ran toward the parking lot. She smashed the window of the first vehicle she came to. Blood ran down her arm but she didn’t feel it. Tabatha didn’t feel anything anymore.