Factitious posttraumatic stress disorder

Am J Psychiatry. 1983 Aug;140(8):1016-9. doi: 10.1176/ajp.140.8.1016.


A growing number of young men have reported an array of symptoms that suggest a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder. Five such men, all claiming to be Viet Nam veterans, were treated at a VA medical center; three said they were former prisoners of war. In fact, none had been prisoners of war, four had never been in Viet Nam, and two had never even been in the military. Instead, all five suffered factitious disorders. The authors describe the five patients and discuss differential diagnoses; the value of verifying military histories is stressed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Factitious Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Factitious Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malingering / diagnosis
  • Malingering / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Vietnam