Malingering is intentionally manifesting psychological, and/or physical symptoms in order to have an external reward such as money, medication, freedom, avoidance of duty, etc. It is not classified as a psychiatric disorder and is different from factitious disorder which is characterized by faking symptoms without a tangible reward. For instance, a malingerer might manipulate his laboratory results with the intention of getting compensation from his insurance company. Malingering is a common problem in military service when military personnel are seeking lighter duty, a medical discharge, etc.

Malingering may be pure or partial.

Pure malingering is the falsification of all symptoms; for instance, someone who is pretending to be suffering from schizophrenia exhaustively read about the diagnosis and acted as if he was experiencing hallucinations and delusions. He was aiming to escape incarceration by pretending to be insane.

On the other hand, partial malingering is the exaggeration of some of the experienced symptoms. For example, a student feels a bit of a headache; he then exaggerated and claimed that he was experiencing intense migraine and blurry vision so he could get excused from the ongoing midterm examination.

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