Diverse motives for fictitious post-traumatic stress disorder


  • Roy B. Lacoursiere

    1. Associate Chief of Staff for Extended Care, formerly Chief, Alcohol/Drug Treatment Unit, Colmery-O'Neil Veterans Administration Medical Center, Visiting Professor, Washburn University School of Law, Faculty and Clinical Supervisor, Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry, Colmery-O'Neil Veterans Administration Medical Center, Topeka, KS 66622
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  • This brief report was accepted for publication under the Editorship of Charles R. Figley.


Fictitious cases of Vietnam-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) present a difficult diagnostic problem. In settings where the motives of avoiding criminal responsibility or gaining financially are apparent, the clinician is alerted to possible fictitious cases. But there are a variety of other reasons for fictitious presentation of PTSD that the clinician needs to consider. These other reasons include psychotic disorders, concealing other behavior, gaining special attention in a Vietnam veteran PTSD role, explaining and covering up a dysfunctional life, and factitious disorder. Case examples are presented of these various fictitious presentations of post-Vietnam PTSD.