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Ganser syndrome


Ganser syndrome is considered a type of dissociative disorder or factitious disorder , a condition in which the individual consciously acts as if he or she suffers from an imaginary mental illness.

This syndrome usually appears suddenly and leaves in the same way, and it is estimated that it can be generated by the avoidance of some responsibility or some unpleasant situation. .

People with ganser syndrome may appear confused, make absurd statements, and report hallucinations and delusions , such as the experience of feeling things that are not there or hearing voices. They are people who seem to have no difficulty understanding the questions asked, but act voluntarily by providing incorrect answers.

Most people with Ganser syndrome generally also have a personality disorder , which can be an antisocial personality disorder or a histrionic personality disorder.

Causes of Ganser syndrome

This rare syndrome is more common in men than women , and usually occurs in the late teens and early adulthood.

In 1898, Ganser together with a group of psychologists and psychiatrists were the first to discover this syndrome, and they called it prison psychosis syndrome.  This is because the majority of cases of this clinical picture occurred in people who were serving a sentence of several years in prison, therefore, it was deduced that the confinement and the little social contact of some convicts were the cause of hallucinations , confusion, delusions and isolated cases of dementia that they suffered.

It is believed that this syndrome can be caused by a reaction to excess stress or by the abuse of psychoactive substances ; But it is also believed that physical problems such as head trauma , stroke, or injury to some areas of the brain, can cause the symptoms of Ganser syndrome. However, the mechanisms by which this syndrome or other dissociative states originate are largely unknown.

Symptoms of the syndrome

  • Memory loss
  • Approximate or incomplete answers (stop answers)
  • Hallucinations
  • Episodes of violence
  • Mental confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Impulsiveness
  • Involuntary copycat behaviors
  • Irresponsibility
  • Excess stress
  • Anxiety
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Irritability
  • Loss of personal identity
  • Depression

Treatment of Ganser syndrome

After performing neurological tests to rule out that the syndrome is caused by an organic cause, various treatments can be done to reduce the symptoms of this clinical condition.

Psychotherapy is usually used to treat the symptoms associated with this syndrome. With psychotherapy the patient will be able to understand the cause of his disorder and become aware of his actions.

As this syndrome is part of a factitious disorder, the medication is not prescribed unless the person also suffers from depression, anxiety or other types of personality disorders.

One of the main goals of treatment is to make sure that the person suffering from this syndrome does not hurt himself or others due to excessive stress or not knowing how to deal with a situation, therefore, hospitalization may be necessary during the acute phase of symptoms, if they are extreme or if the person could be considered dangerous.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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