Our expert says:
Some people find they genuinely LIKE being ill --- the way people sympathize and make a fuss of you, and the way they usually excuse you from your usual chores and duties. And the risk is that this can become a lifelong pattern of seeing rewards by inventing or exaggerating symptoms and illnesses.
You're very observant, and this is an excellent description of a hypochondriac. And being hypchondriacal is dangerous --- if you over-react to trivial illness or afflictions, it's like the old story of crying wolf, and people tend to ignore your complaints even when something serious happens. And if you continue to compel doctors to do tests and procedures, while the minor risks of these are aceptable when there is genuinely something wrong with you, they mount up when they are so frequent and NOT balanced by real illness.
Its understandable if she was abandoned by her mom, from whom she rasonably expected care and attention, she now tries to demand care and attention from others, not by asking for it honestly and directly, but by pressing others to provide it by "being ill" at every opportunity. And with an emotionally distant father, she again may fel the only sympathy she might get from him would be by being sick.
Maybe in the form of taking her problems very seriously, try to arrange for her to see a psychiatrist ( pre-primed with the sort of information you give in your message ) for full assessment and advice on treatment. She needs to be discouraged from seeking comfort by simulating or exaggerating illness, and to get it more honestly and openly, and perhaps with CBT counselling, learning to feel more confident and self-sufficient, less needy, and to explore the many other ways to feel valid, and wanted and valuable.
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