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Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood
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Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,220 Ratings  ·  947 Reviews
In this fierce and lyrical memoir, Gregory takes readers inside the hidden world of child abuse called Munchausen by Proxy--with a power rivaling "Girl, Interrupted" and "A Child Called "It."
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published 2003)
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Mitra Rahmani According to this ABC interview the children were never taken away from Julie's mother which is just absolutely heartbreaking.

According to this ABC interview the children were never taken away from Julie's mother which is just absolutely heartbreaking.
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Petra X
Rewritten to protect the guilty and me from embarrassment. I wouldn't want anyone to think it was about them, especially if it was.

(view spoiler)
Jan 21, 2010 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The entire time I read this book, I was screaming in my head. Giving the riot act to the doctors to the father to the social workers that turned a blind eye. I was just as bewildered and pleading as Julie as, watching the doctors slice her open when nothing was wrong.

I understood Julie. I can remember countless times, my eyes screamed volumes that no one wanted to hear or understand. And how everyone turns away, or shakes their head in disagreement but not one single adult will stand up for you
Aug 10, 2008 Deborah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy reading about other people's dysfunctional upbringings.
Though Munchausen's by Proxy is a terrible disorder that causes parents to inflict grievous pain and suffering upon their trusting and powerless children, I simply was not impressed with this book. Just another "look how ****ed up my upbringing was, but by god I'm a SURVIVOR!"

There are so many survivors of so many diverse kinds of abuse, and it seems like everyone wants to write a tell-all now. Some are excellent -- e.g. "The Glass Castle" -- and some are so deliciously horrifying I couldn't sto
Aug 26, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting novel written by a victim of Munchausen by Proxy. I've seen Munchausen in my practice and it is an ugly disease, and very diffcult at times to detect. I'm not surprised the abuse Ms. Gregory suffered went on as long as it did, because of how sneaky and insidious the disease is. She does an admirable job writing about the abuse without becoming maudlin or playing for sympathy. She seems to be a woman in charge of her own health now, and the story rings of her strength and ability to f ...more
Eva Leger
Jul 22, 2008 Eva Leger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: childhood memoir readers
Recommended to Eva by: book swapping site
I'm not sure what to even say about this book. Most of the time I was reading it I felt just as the title says, sickened. I've read a lot of true crime and child abuse books and it never fails to resonate with me when someone can treat a child like this. This girl went through such terrible, terrible situations as a child, her mother actually succeeding in making her, along with many, many doctors and hospitals, believe she was truly sick and is still dealing with the after effects to this day. ...more
Nov 16, 2011 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: Michelle
“Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever” ~ Baron Münchausen.

Hoooooolllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyy crapsickle. Julie Gregory memoirs her childhood as a munchausen by proxy victim and it’s a hell of a gawker story. Not as jarring as The Glass Castle in my opinion but still… Christ… what the hell? People really do suck.

“You looking for the suckers, honey? Here, let me get ‘em for you.”
Mom pulls out a new book of matches and carefully bend
Jan 05, 2009 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was a little disappointing. More than following the issues of Munchausen by Proxy, the author reveals more about the emotional and physical abuse her mother and father. I was expecting more detail (and I guess more Munchausen issues) then was given.
Abby Johnson
Jul 30, 2007 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julie Gregory grew up in an abusive household. Her mother had Munchausen by Proxy, a mental disorder that causes someone to seek attention by inflicting medical symptoms on a dependent. Throughout her childhood, Julie was told that she was sick. She was starved, beaten, and taken out of school for doctor's visits and hospital stays. Her mother insisted that every possible test be done (including invasive ones), in order to "get to the bottom of this". Julie was punished if she didn't go along wi ...more
This is an interesting personal account of a Munchausen by Proxy survivor.

As a "survivor" book, it's okay, though the topic itself (Munchausen) is somewhat more interesting than the writer and I don't mean that in a belittling or disrespectful way.

Much of the narrative was repetitive and felt bulky thanks to the author's penchant for metaphors, some that worked better than others.

Personally, I wish Ms. Gregory had delved further into her mother and father's histories (she gives some background,
Mar 22, 2009 Annie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
This disturbing memoir is the account of a mother who intentionally invented symptoms and illness for her daughter to gain attention from medical professionals. This is known as Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome. The best pop culture example is the little girl in the Sixth Sense (Mischa Barton pre-O.C. days). I learned a lot about this syndrome from a short medical introduction; the rest of the book is Julie Gregory’s story. It is heavy, lots of adult content and language. Some of the events that hap ...more
Erin Cataldi
Jun 11, 2016 Erin Cataldi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
A powerful memoir about a young woman's messed childhood dealing with Munchausen by Proxy (MPB) at the hands of her mother. Prior to this book I had never heard of MPB, but after reading this sordid tell all, I definitely have a grasp for how horrible it is. Basically a parent or other figure convinces you that our sick and you need to go to doctor to doctor to find out what is wrong with you. Unnecessary tests, surgeries, and being forced to lie to doctors is just the tip of the ice berg. Her p ...more
May 04, 2010 Terry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Hoo boy, this is a tough read. I actually turned to the end of the book to see if there was a reason to slog through the rest of it. I know, I know, that's cheating.

I am probably the only human being on the planet that hated Pelzer's The Lost Boy, for various reasons including what I thought of as terrible writing; and unfortunately, this book reminded me a little too much of that one, and that ruined some of the experience for me.

On the other hand, I think Gregory exposes a kind of abuse that
Angie crosby
Aug 13, 2008 Angie crosby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alex, non-fiction
Wow this book was disturbing, yet I was unable to put it down. It drew me in fast and kept me riveted. It a memoir of a childhood lived with a muchausen by Proxy mom. Julie was carted to doctor after doctor, made sick with pills, all sorts of terrible things. There was also physical abuse. It was hard to read it spots. A very good book, one that I think more people should read, specially hospital/doctor staff. It really gives a deep look into what a person with muchausen by proxy is like, and wh ...more
Sammy Sutton
Mar 12, 2011 Sammy Sutton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book to read for those with a need to know and understand this complex illness. For others use your own judgement. This is a very disturbing illness that really created a lot of attention about 10 years ago in the mental health and medical field. 'Sickened' is a very well written page turner, but it is a true fiction here.
Jasmine Diaz
Its about this girl who's parents asumes shes sick and always has her missing school to take her to the doctors. The mom takes her to the doctor and tells the doctor all these simptoms she says her daughter has. The weird thing is that her daughter is not sick her mom is just making it up. Her mom takes her to a hospital where the doctor runs all these heart test because she says her daughter has a heart condition. They run several test but all of them came out negative indicating that nothing w ...more
Ericca Thornhill
May 18, 2012 Ericca Thornhill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Munchausen syndrome is when you make yourself sick to get attention. Munchausen by proxy is when you make someone else sick to get attention. It's what happened to the little girl in the sixth sense. In this memoir, the author shares her perspective of having lived through it.

Goodreads suggested this to me, perhaps because I gave such a high rating to Carolyn Jessop's memoir about living in Warren Jeff's society. But this is the third memoir that I've read now, and I don't think that I like this
Lisa Vegan
Jun 08, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: for anyone who might ever be in a position to detect and protect someone from Munchausen by proxy
Munchausen by proxy (MBP) was not the worst of the abuse that this writer suffered as a girl; the other physical abuse and especially the emotional abuse stuck me the most. The brutality of the facts of this story reminded me a bit of one of my favorite books: Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck. The circumstances were different for each child, but neither book is for the faint of heart; the background of the writer is horrendous, and it always amazes me what some people are able to survive and at least ...more
I had to read this for a class in child abuse and neglect. Very disturbing, yet impossible to put down. It's a miracle the author is alive to tell her story.
Weirdly, ones first reaction is to want more from this book. She didn't suffer enough, she should have been sicker, her mother should have been worse (and I'm not alone in this, there's other people who echo my thoughts but just aren't aware that they're hungry for the gore). The thing is, Gregory's abuse was severe and it doesn't matter how mild a case of Munchausen's it was- if you put yourself in her place, in the body and mind o a fragile, dependent child - the experience must have been horr ...more
Sickened is an account of Julie Gregory's childhood life in and out of doctors’ offices and the journey to find "what was wrong with her." Julie had to endure painful procedures like being cut into her leg in order to see if her heart was working properly after other, safer, tests came back negative for a heart condition. Julie never knew what was wrong with her, but followed her mothers lead into telling the doctors her many symptoms that were either exaggerated or not even true at all. Julie w ...more
Oct 07, 2012 Lynsey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I generally steer away from child abuse memoirs - they're not my idea of an entertaining read. But I read all of my holiday books & there were slim pickings on offer in the hotel lobby. Besides, I am mildly intrigued by MBP.
However, this account didn't really address MBP syndrome, more than it did reflect on a terrible emotionally and physically abusive childhood. The writing style was amateurish, disorganised & focused on to many irrelevant details. Sure it was appalling & illustra
Christiana Hadji
Επιτέλους, μια αυτοβιογράφος με αυθεντικό λογοτεχνικό ταλέντο!
Μια καλογραμμένη αυτοβιογραφία, με τα κεντρικά πρόσωπα (κυρίως τους γονείς της Julie) να ψυχογραφούνται στην εντέλεια από την ταλαντούχα συγγραφέα. Η Julie Gregory καταφέρνει να μας μπάσει στα άδυτα της δυσλειτουργικής της οικογένειας, και να μας περιγράψει παραστατικά την πολύπλοκη σχέση της με την μητέρα της, η οποία έπασχε από Σύνδρομο Μινχάουζεν δια αντιπροσώπου, με αποτέλσμα επί σειρά ετών να κακοποιεί την κόρη της ψυχολογικά κα
Jul 27, 2009 Sharyl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is an amazing memoir, and I call it amazing because it never occurred to me that there were families such as Julie Gregory's. I'd heard of Munchausen by Proxy, but J. Gregory's family--not only her mother, but her father and grandparents--are all insane. Her family's lifestyle, while she was growing up, is so far out of the mainstream, that it's incredible that Julie Gregory grew up to be a functioning (and law-abiding)adult. It's a testiment to her strength and intelligence that Ms. Gregor ...more
Anissa Gasmi
May 11, 2015 Anissa Gasmi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the memoir Sickened by Julie Gregory. This book takes place from 1969 to 2001 or 31 years. Julie Gregory is the main character in this novel, along with her mother Sandy Gregory. Julie claims she wrote her memoir because she really wants to spread awareness on child abuse and Munchausen by Proxy (a condition where a child’s primary caregiver exaggerates or fabricates the child's symptoms or illness).
The first event that would interest readers is when Sandy, Julie’s mother, brings veterans
(originally reviewed at )

In college I was a psych major with a focus in abnormal psychology. My final project was about traumatic childhood experiences and the comorbidity with violence later in life, if that gives you an idea of what I spent my time researching back in the day. One disorder that always gave me a serious case of the willies was Munchausen By Proxy. If you have been privy to a LAW AND ORDER marathon, a Lifetime Movie, or even THE SIXTH SENSE in your time, y
Oct 03, 2015 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really gripping, really horrible. One thing that came into the introduction is that there isn't really a lot of work out there on this subject. (This book came out in 2003.) So even though I have seen it treated in side plots in movies or the main plot of a single hour of television drama, those have been limited exposures. Here, watching it progress, hearing how the child feels about it, is pretty hard. I wanted to take breaks, but also wanted to keep reading.

Also interesting to see things carr
Jun 05, 2007 peg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, psychology
Sickened is the autobiograpy of a woman who fell victim of her mother who suffered from the psychological disorder, Munchausen's by proxy, and her journey to as "normal" a life as possible.
I usually buy books like this because they're cheap and because I want to experience books from unfamous authors,too.Also,I like autobiographies,at which I always fail to not cry.
This story of Julie Gregory having a mother who fakes her illness and makes her go through a lot just so she's satisfied.Ruins her life so easily and walks away like nothing happens,just to go and ruin the life of another kid.
Being through a lot but yet trying to build yourself on your own cause nobody believes or choos
Christine Hatfield
I thought that it was a very good book but it was very sad and i felt so bad for julie and her brother
Apr 19, 2016 Mirkat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sickened This book had caught my eye on the library shelves a while back, but I think at the time I was already reading too many books at once (as per usual!). I bumped into it again during a random browse and decided to check it out lest I forget.

Julie Gregory was an adult before she heard of Munchausen by Proxy and realized that her mother had intentionally sickened her and weakened her over the course of many years, creating medical mysteries one more test or procedure might finally "get to t
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“I start to see that I surround myself with broken people; more broken than me. Ah, yes, let me count your cracks. Let's see, one hundred, two... yes, you'll do nicely. A cracked companion makes me look more whole, gives me something outside myself to care for. When I'm with whole, healed people I feel my own cracks, the shatters, the insanities of dislocation in myself.” 130 likes
“But the memories that hang heaviest are the easiest to recall. They hold in their creases the ability to change one's life, organically, forever. Even when you shake them out, they've left permanent wrinkles in the fabric of your soul.” 29 likes
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