Sickened: The Memoir of a Münchausen by Proxy Childhood is a 2003 autobiographical account by Julie Gregory of the Münchausen syndrome by proxy child abuse inflicted on her by her mother.

Contents

Gregory's mother frequently took her to various doctors, coaching her to act sicker than she was and exaggerating her symptoms, and demanding increasingly invasive procedures to diagnose the girl's imaginary illnesses. At home, her mother fed Gregory a diet based on foods a doctor had said Gregory shouldn't have, administered prescription medicine erratically, at times in double doses, and filled her days with strenuous physical labor. According to Gregory, her mother even became upset when one doctor wouldn't perform open heart surgery on her daughter.

When Gregory realised what her mother was doing to her, she tried telling people about it, but no one listened. They thought she was making up storeys to gain attention, and had her go to "imagination counseling" to try to tame her from telling crazy storeys of her parents.

The memoir additionally alleges physical and emotional abuse inflicted by Gregory's father.

Reception

Sickened was published in over 20 countries and was named Book Of The Year by The Sunday London Times. It was an editor’s pick in Entertainment Weekly, as well as being one of their top ten books of the year.