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Old 05-20-2019, 07:46 AM #1
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Default I think my friend may be malingering

I haven't been posting much recently. My closest friend has stopped going to work. She says she is unable to go in. Then on the weekend she is going out with me and other friends.

She says she freezes in the morning during the week so can't get into work, but this doesn't seem to happen on the weekend. Then she calls in sick and makes plans with friends to go out when she is supposed to be at work.

Her doctor her is probably going to put her on disability. Her company has asked her to do that so they can hire a temporary replacement.

She doesn't seem depressed to me but just doesn't want to go to work. This will be the 4th time she has been on disability but I personally think this is a sham. She just doesn't want to go in the morning and has found a way to get paid for staying at home.

Of course I don't say anything to her, but this is what I really think. I think she is faking a depression. When her company calls she talks about calling the crisis centre etc, but she has never once done that. So I think she puts on an act with her employer and her doctor. She doesn't seem in the slightest depressed to me.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:15 AM #2
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Default Re: I think my friend is malingering

Hi tecomsin. If your friend is indeed malingering, that would be wrong, indeed. People who do so can create negative suspician against people who really can't work.

Obviously, I don't know your friend and would have no idea what is going on in her head in the mornings, during the work week. It makes me wonder if perhaps there is something about her job that perhaps triggers anxiety or even panic. There could potentially be any one or more things. It/they could be things that don't exist outside of work. Perhaps she has a certain comfort with you and certain other people/environments. People can have the ability to function in some situations and not others. In the case of jobs, usually they are set obligations. For example, you must be there X number of hours, Y number of days. You must perform, in a sense, and sometimes the pressure to perform (from others or even self) is a toxic thing to be fed. You must often interact with certain people that could stress you out greatly.

I can never return to my old job. It became severely triggering for me and has left me weakened in various ways. I remember my therapist during my first IOP telling me to not return there, but I tried to four or five more times. It destroyed me. I will admit that I isolated for a long time, more so than you say your friend is. However, we're all different.

I'm not trying to convince you your friend isn't malingering. I'm just suggesting that it could be possible that a person could be disabled in sone ways, but not all.

I hope your friend finds a work situation in the future that suits her best. I am trying to discover one. It's not easy, though. I am particularly vulnerable to certain stressors.

Ever heard of "Smiling Depression"? Here are some articles about it. Though sone can seemingly function everywhere, others perhaps only in some places.

Smiling Depression: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Test, Treatments, and More

The Secret Life of People With 'Smiling' Depression | Psychology Today
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:38 AM #3
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Default Re: I think my friend is malingering

Hi BirdDancer,

I'll look at the articles. I wanted to add that I've asked her if there is anything she dislikes about work and she says that "Work is fine".

Maybe this is factitious disorder and not malingering. When she is on disability she gets to see a professional psychologist, paid for by the insurance company, which is not available to her when she is working.

When she gets into work, she functions fine in the work place. It just seems to be her thought processes in the morning, she decides she would rather just go back to sleep than to take a shower, or she just sits there saying she will get up and take her shower in 5 minutes, but 5 minutes stretches into hours.

Is it a disability to refuse to go in to work in the morning when all other behavior is normal?
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:51 AM #4
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Default Re: I think my friend is malingering

tecomsin, I have no idea what her true deep down situation is. I guess I hope that the psychologist she is seeing might work through her situation well.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:58 AM #5
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Default Re: I think my friend is malingering

It's not a good feeling for me to have these kind of thoughts about my friend. I was posting here also to get some support in coping with these feelings.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:59 AM #6
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Default Re: I think my friend is malingering

Boy this kinda describes me. Except for the part about going out socially. I always say, my get up and go just got up and went.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:12 AM #7
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Default Re: I think my friend is malingering

Quote:
Originally Posted by tecomsin View Post
It's not a good feeling for me to have these kind of thoughts about my friend. I was posting here also to get some support in coping with these feelings.
I'm sorry if what I wrote didn't seem supportive, tecomsin. It was sort of meant to be. My support isn't always on the mark. I'm sorry.

Do you feel that you are struggling more than her without sufficient opportunity to recover? Are you concerned that others who may possibly need more recovery opportunities may not get it, while she does? Perhaps I'm totally off the mark with these questions.
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Others: Propranolol (40 mg), Synthroid (150 mcg), OTC multi-vitamin, OTC iron supplement (during periods), Biotin supplement (for my otherwise thin fingernails)
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:36 AM #8
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Default Re: I think my friend is malingering

Hi BirdDancer,

I appreciate your posts and replies. I thought I hadn't really made it clear why I am posting about this to begin with. it is upsetting to me to have thoughts that my friend is malingering, because this would mean she is a fundamentally dishonest person.

Factitious disorder is easier to accept because that is not related to dishonesty. Neither would be an atypical depression where literally the symptom of the depression is not going into work. I read the articles you posted links to, but if there is no overwhelming sadness or any other symptom of depression, I don't see how not going into work without having any other symptoms can be labelled depression.

I think before when she was actually depressed she learned that being on disability meant she could still have an income without going into work. Now that she has learned that the temptation is there just not to go in.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:18 AM #9
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Default Re: I think my friend is malingering

I now understand, tecomsin. Thank you.

I can understand how you feel. It is frustrating to see or suspect people doing wrong. I know there comes a point with certain people where you wonder if you can continue to be friends with them because of uncomfortable feelings or lack of respect. I suppose there is a limit for everyone. If spending time with her makes you feel uncomfortable, then perhaps limit it. Would that feel better? If she is taking advantage of disability wrongfully, that is a huge form of dishonesty.

This topic is a significant one. It makes me think of how I have lost friends because of my bipolar disorder. In some cases, my bipolar behavior did so much harm that I totally understand people not forgiving me for it, being too repulsed, or scared even. I'm not implying you're feeling any of these now. Or are you? And yet, sometimes I thought "It was because I was sick. How could people not forgive a sick person?" But I'm definitely not perfect, and can't blame bipolar for everything bad I've done in my life. Sometimes I did deserve to pay the piper. Sometimes paying the piper is a good thing.

I have had to step away from people in my life just as others have stepped away from me. Others, I let things roll off my back as if it was Teflon. And again, vice versa. You have to make your own decision about this friend. It is hard. The last thing I can offer for this situation is hugs to you. If you do step away from her to any degree, perhaps you can get back into her life at a later time.
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I have Bipolar type 1

Tegretol XR generic (1200 mg)
Lamictal generic (100 mg)
Seroquel XR generic (550 mg)
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Others: Propranolol (40 mg), Synthroid (150 mcg), OTC multi-vitamin, OTC iron supplement (during periods), Biotin supplement (for my otherwise thin fingernails)
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:33 AM #10
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Default Re: I think my friend is malingering

hi. i don't...know what to write/say/type. i was accused of malingering, by people treating me...basically they just saw an opportunity to punish a 'trouble maker,' etc. ugh. needless to say, im much more sympathetic to your friend than i imagine most people would be. i ended up getting even more sick (sicker? is that a word?) because of (mis)treatment than I was to start with, and it turns out I just had difficulty articulating exactly what i was feeling and early onset schizoaffective is just...not exactly bipolar I, not really true Schizophrenia...so Kinda got screwed, big time.

ok. ive thought about this on the larger scale, with disability for mental illness. in an economics class, they taught that any time the gov't offers programs and such, one finds 'rent seekers,' i believe is the term. economics kind of (I think wrongly) assumes people are 110% rational and they do a pros:cons and decide to live off gov't programs rather than work. so, clearly, there are some people who are successfully malingering in long term disability programs for mental illness. my question there, more from a policy perspective, not so much about your friend specifically is: so what?

most people on the disability programs are not malingering. the ones who are malingering probably aren't damaging the economy or the programs all that much, when one things about their overall impact. now, as for your friend...

maybe its a hostile work environment. maybe she's stuck in a dead end position and at least she can have freedom on disability. maybe she's burned out. maybe she does have some sort of mental illness, after all. i obviously do not know her, and i certainly do not know the inner-workings of her mind.
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