Is there any fool-proof way of inducing a sickness?
July 22, 2008 6:49 AM   Subscribe

I have found myself in quite a tricky situation and I think the only way to get out of this would be to fake an illness. Is there any not-harmful-in-the-long-term way to do this? It would be a plus if a reasonable doctor can't think of it. In case it helps, I live in New York and I can have most of the OTC medicines.
posted by defenestratedego to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
Depending on the situation, faking an illness may be fraud. Be wary.
posted by cellphone at 6:51 AM on July 22, 2008

What kind of illness are you talking about here? Do you need to be out of commission for a day, a week, month? Are we talking the common cold, or lupus?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:53 AM on July 22, 2008

I can't think of a possible place where a lie is the best answer. Why not be truthful in this situation? The world needs more strong people to stand up and tell the truth, even if it is hard to do.
posted by orangemiles at 6:53 AM on July 22, 2008

Perhaps you could fake some kind of psychological condition.
posted by box at 6:56 AM on July 22, 2008

Could you tell people you have Fisherman's Mouth?

It's a little unclear how much depth you need here: do you mean you need to actually manifest some genuine symptoms to convince someone that you've got a fake illness? It's pretty easy to give yourself non-fatal food poisoning, but you really DO NOT want to put yourself through that to get out of going to a concert or something.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:56 AM on July 22, 2008

We really need more info here. Are you trying to cut classes or play hooky from work for a day or two? "Projectile vomiting" is really all you need to say there - no one will want you to come into work after that and you generally don't need a doctor's excuse for food poisoning.
posted by desjardins at 6:57 AM on July 22, 2008

Assuming this is a short-term thing, and the reason you're asking is because the person who you'll be making the excuse to is a doctor, why not go for the "intestinal distress" thing? Migraine? Menstrual cramps? (Okay, maybe that last one won't work for you..)

If you're looking to fake something for longer than a day or two, at most, then I'm in agreement with the "just be truthful" thing. Otherwise, an "emergency out of town trip" might work..
posted by VioletU at 6:58 AM on July 22, 2008

If you need a doctor's note to get out of whatever (court date, work, contract), that's probably fraud.

If you're merely coming up with a tactful excuse for why you missed Aunt Judy's third wedding, you had a medical incident that you will be evasive about, but if pressed, describe in detail the runny yellow dysentry, where you ejected the stringy lining of your intestines, as it was that bad, and spent the day on the toilet, rehydrating and crying.
posted by Phalene at 7:01 AM on July 22, 2008


You have posted a total of 2 askmefi questions:
"Is there any foolproof way of inducing a sickness?"
"How do I send picture postcards of a city without being in it?"

I suspect that faking an illness is not actually going to fix the underlying problem.
posted by selfmedicating at 7:02 AM on July 22, 2008 [11 favorites]

Gastroenteritis is how I got out of a final or two back in the good old college days (which was only about two or three years ago).
posted by Grither at 7:03 AM on July 22, 2008

Is your like some kind of hackneyed sitcom? In real life this is a crime, sometimes a felony, called fraud. If you collect any sort of unemployment, tax credit, health care money, etc then you can be in serious trouble that could lead to over a year in prison.

No doctor will back you up on this as this can cost him his license.

If you really need a day or two off or whatever just say you feel sick or that you hurt your hand or foot or something. Buy a little OTC splint. I doubt you can properly fake a serious or long-term illness.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:20 AM on July 22, 2008

Food poisoning is simple to get and will take you out of commission for a week+. There's an outside chance of death, so it's not all puking rainbows and crapping kittens.

Though I suspect that this question will be closed soon.
posted by unixrat at 7:26 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think we need more information about what tricky situation this illness is supposed to get you out of and not just because we're a nosey lot - what you're trying to get out of will tell us how severe an illness you need to fake and how feasible your request is.

Don't underestimate the power of the mind though - sure you can't give yourself something seriously medically wrong just by the power of thought but you can give yourself a fever and if you're particularly sensitive, vomiting.

Would diarrhea do? Thats easy, eat a really hot curry followed by lots of juicy fruits like grapes and plums.
posted by missmagenta at 7:27 AM on July 22, 2008

What are you trying to get out of? Why is lying the best option? Are you actually intending to make yourself sick or just come up with something believable?

Could you reduce your fluid intake to become dehydrated? It's pretty hot in NYC right now so going outside or standing on the subway platform might accelerate the process. To be honest, it is not a safe plan and I would not to do it myself.

I think mkultra has it. If so, just take the damn thing, you can take it a bunch of times and you are probably more prepared than you think.
posted by ml98tu at 7:30 AM on July 22, 2008

It is a personal, "Aunt Judy's third wedding" type of situation and I would end up losing face.
Sorry for being a total wus.
I think Orangemiles is right... I should just cough up.
posted by defenestratedego at 7:36 AM on July 22, 2008

Good for you, you'll respect yourself in the morning. Aunt Judy will get over it.
posted by desjardins at 7:39 AM on July 22, 2008

What desjardins said.

And you'll feel so much better for it, if not immediately. Accessorily, you won't have to regret forever "I should have told them the truth".

Good decision! *pat on the back*
posted by meso at 7:56 AM on July 22, 2008

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