is it possible to fake MS?
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Bay Shore, NY

#1 Oct 15, 2010
Hi folks,

First, let me say that I'm not trying to play down the seriousness or realness of MS in any way, shape or form.

A friend of mine, whom I have known for 20 years has recently been telling me that he possibly has MS. His doctors have been doing lots of testing, and he said that a brain MRI showed probably lesions, but no spinal tap because there's no guarantee that the kind he apparently may have would show definitive proof.

The reason I'm asking about the possiblity of faking is that my friend has basically been someone who has looked for excuses to not work, pretty much the whole time I have known him (since 1990), and now he's talking about this. I've known him to play up non-serious injuries to get months off of work in the past, and stress/depression to keep from looking for work/holding a job while unemployed. Honestly, he has worked maybe 6 or 7 years during the 20 years that I've known him.

I want to believe that he wouldn't sink this low, but given the history, it's hard for me. So my question is, knowing MS as much as some of you must, would it be possible to fool doctors into making this diagnosis, or would the possible lesions mean that it's definite MS?

Indianapolis, IN

#2 Dec 13, 2010
im not too sure but if u find out that he is faking and still managed to be diagnosed to have ms. let me know how he did it cause i wanna follow suit medicanal marijuana here i come.
a sufferer

Royal Oak, MI

#3 Dec 14, 2010
ryann wrote:
im not too sure but if u find out that he is faking and still managed to be diagnosed to have ms. let me know how he did it cause i wanna follow suit medicanal marijuana here i come.
you're an a**hole
pink is my color

Lexington, TN

#4 Jan 10, 2011
I believe that if lesions are found then there is a good chance that he is not faking it.

Managua, Nicaragua

#5 Jan 20, 2011
Hi, MS is a very, very tough illness to diagnose. I believe that must diagnosis are made final after showing a second attack or relapse.

When I was diagnosed back in 1986 my MRI showed brain lesions but my spinal tap came out clear (No MS). Exactly 1 year after my first relapse I had a second one and that one pretty much clearly told my neuro that we were dealing with MS.

I think, and this is my personal opinion, that it would be very hard to fake MS and its symptoms before a good neurologist.

You are welcome to read more about MS and its symptoms at

Take care and be well


United States

#6 Feb 3, 2011
So, it is possible to have a negative spinal tap and then later be diagnosed with MS?

I have brain lesions and there have been changes since we started monitoring them. But, I have had a lumbar punch and a spinal tap and both came back negative.

Rochester, NY

#7 Feb 9, 2011
To Curious,

Yes, a negative spinal tap does not mean you do not have MS.

Rochester, MN

#8 Mar 13, 2011
My husband's ex was diagnosed as MS by MRI 'lesions' only. She gets 'stinging pains' in her legs when she doesn't get her way or is 'stressed'. My fiance feels guilty about breaking up with her, and her 'symptoms' disappear when she manages to get him to pay attention to her. I've since found that 'lesions' can be caused by a multitude of things, one of which can be a concussion--which she did sustain several years ago in a fall from a horse. Funny, these symptoms started 8 years ago when she found out he wanted out of their relationship.


#10 May 23, 2011
A lady I know has told me twice she has cancer & everytime I asked how she's getting on & how's the treatment going she would tell me she's clear no treatment needed.She also use to dangle her arm and limp(she doesn't do that now) as if she had a stroke which she didn't have.Now she says she has recently been told she has MS She now walks with a bad shuffle after only two months of beening told (but only when people are watching when she's on her own she walks alright)She now has bought her self all the wheel chairs and walking frames but only uses them if people are around.She has recently buildt a garden shed & table & chairs which would have most men or women struggling to lift I feel so torn as I know I should help her but I don't want to be duped again.Could she be faking MS.


#11 May 23, 2011
I should have added to my first post the fact that the lady I know is only engrossed in you if you have an illness, she then will study the internet and tell you all about that illness.

United States

#12 Nov 4, 2011
Munchausen syndrom. Look it up.

United States

#13 Dec 18, 2011
I have two close friends, one family member, and one in-law with MS. Out of these four people, two have already died of the disease, and I was with them for years and watched it progress. Contrast this with another woman I know, whom I believe is faking.

She was diagnosed at age 51, and showed no symptoms prior to diagnosis.
She was getting divorced, and was suing for lifetime alimony based on "incapacitation".(sh e was the one who initiated the divorce, she had an affair and wanted to unload hubby, but hold onto his wallet).
She limps whenever she thinks someone is watching, but walks just fine, runs even, when she forgets she is supposed to limp. She shows no other symptoms.
She paid cash for injections of what she calls Copaxone, which she received from Mexico. The vials are not labelled.
The initial diagnosis was "possibly showing symptoms of MS, further testing necessary" -- but she waited another two years to actually get the tests.
After claiming that she was going to get tested by a local neurologist, she has never reported those test results...instead, when asked to produce documents in court, she showed a letter from a neurologist in a different state (about 1,000 miles away), claiming that she had sought medical help from him due to a flare-up she had while on vacation in that state.

So, folks...what do you think? MS? Or lying to try and get sympathy/money.

Oh by the way, she doesn't work for a living, and never has.

My opinion: bored housewife gets caught having an affair, tries to shake down hubby so she can have her cake and eat it too.

I personally find this a huge affront to the good folks who actually suffer from MS, whose credibility is collectively damaged by people who fake it.

But I want to know...maybe I'm just being a judgmental jerk, and should be more supportive of this woman?

Towson, MD

#14 Jan 1, 2012
I have a friend who I have also thought may be faking MS. I too mean no disrespect to sufferers of MS. My friend sees no doctors and has no treatment for MS except pain management. She claims to of been diagnosed about 12 years ago. She lives in another state than me and all the info I have about her situation is from her not other people. I have slowly begun to think she may be not only lying but possibly menatlly ill.
I don't know how to get real information.

Saint Louis, MO

#15 Jan 27, 2012
Spoiled wrote:
Munchausen syndrom. Look it up.
Munchausen aka Factitious Disorder, usually there was an illness in childhood that brought attention to the individual and they continue in adulthood to exhibit various illnesses for attention, the mind is a powerful thing and some people actually exhibit symptoms, or self induce illnesses it is a serious psychiatric illness.

Saint Louis, MO

#16 Jan 27, 2012
Those who are very adept at faking symptoms can and do fool even physicians, I know a woman who has been doing so for over 20 years... it took me about 4 years to realize what was going on... I entered her bedroom to speak to her, found her in the bathroom gently lowering herself to the floor, I did not want to alarm her so I pretended I had just walked up, I asked her what had happened and she replied that she fell because her legs just "gave out". That was the beginning of my observing her more closely. I have no doubt she has Factitious Disorder, she has exhibited psoriasis on her elbows, I caught her using a pumice stone on the, bruises supposedly from a fall that looked like finger prints.... I could go on but you get the gist, contact is now limited to non existent.

Natural Bridge, Australia

#17 Jan 28, 2012
I have had MS since I was 21/22years of age. That was when my first attack happened but no-one could tell me what was wrong and, as is often the case with MS, the symptoms disappeared over a couple of months and were forgotten about until nearly 10 years later when I had my second attack. This time I was immediately referred to an opthamologist who in turn referred me to a neurologist who in turn sent me for an MRI and I was finally diagnosed with MS much to my shock as I thought a previous eye condition was playing up and had no idea what MS was or that I had had it for nearly 10 years! The MRI was conclusive that I had relapsing/remitting MS as I had lesions spread throughout both my brain and my spinal chord! My neurologist, doctor and friends are in total amazement that I am managing so well but there is no doubt about my diagnosis. If an MRI has confirmed MS your friend is not faking! They may however be exaggerating the severity of their symptoms to try and gain sympathy. As MS affects different people in different ways it is hard to say. I've had both good and bad times with my MS. I try to ignore it most of the time but have had a few bad attacks over the years which have stopped me in my tracks temporarily.(I was diagnosed over 10 years ago so have had it for about 20 years now) I would say that if your friend is after sympathy they may still be in shock over their diagnosis. It's hard to deal with being diagnosed with a disease when you ask the neurologist, "So what is going to happen to me?" and the reply is, "I don't know!"
I'd recommend that if your friend has been diagnosed by MRI that you be there for them!

Merrylands, Australia

#18 Jan 31, 2012
I was diagnosed with MS 6 years ago but they say that I have had it for many years. I think that the shuffle that people speak about is the way that most of my friends recognise my symptoms. This was due to a relapse early last year. Give me warm weather and my legs feel like concrete and I am lucky if I can walk two blocks without my legs feeling exhausted and forever tripping on the pavement. Yet if the weather is not hot then I can easily walk 6 blocks. I used to run 10kms in fun runs and really miss those days but yes for all you can see I am a confident, healthy individual.

Eagle Pass, TX

#19 Feb 3, 2012
My mother-in-law died of MS so I have seen the symptoms. She could not have faked them. Now I have a friend who got herself diagnosed 4-5 years ago with MS without a a spinal tap or MRI. Go figure. Seven years ago prior, she decided she didn't want to work and quit work. Her spouse let her stay home. She avoid all housework and family functions by starting to say, I have a headache or I don't feel well or she would stay in bed (until the house was empty)sometime all day--but managed to always go outside to smoke on a regular basis. She spends her time gambling online. She'll shuffle when she thinks she has an audience, but there's no shuffle going outdoors to smoke. Her spouse did everything humanly possible to pacify her. Now she filing for divorce and wants lifetime alimony for her "disability" tell me..faker? or Real ms?

Eagle Pass, TX

#20 Feb 3, 2012
Suspicious wrote:
She was diagnosed at age 51, and showed no symptoms prior to diagnosis.
She was getting divorced, and was suing for lifetime alimony based on "incapacitation".(sh e was the one who initiated the divorce, she had an affair and wanted to unload hubby, but hold onto his wallet).
She limps whenever she thinks someone is watching, but walks just fine, runs even, when she forgets she is supposed to limp. She shows no other symptoms.
Oh by the way, she doesn't work for a living...
Would you tell me how the Divorce turned out? It sounds so similar to the situation I described today. Thanks in advance for a reply.

Great Yarmouth, UK

#21 Feb 7, 2012
Oligoclonal banding on your spinal tap results, with no corresponding Myelin Basic Protein in serum sample, is IMPOSSIBLE TO FAKE.
MRI brain Lesions disseminated in space and time are IMPOSSIBLE TO FAKE.
Delayed reaction times on Evoked Potentials are IMPOSSIBLE TO FAKE.
Two or more of the above and Yes, you have MS.
Whether you or your friends believe it or not.

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