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          Hypochondriac, High Drama or Really Sick? "My Sister's Illnesses are Destroying Our Family"

          June 03, 2014

          Shemida says she has been diagnosed with more than 70 medical and mental health conditions and prescribed more than 80 medications in the past 10 years. She says she’s in so much pain, she can barely get out of bed for more than two hours a day. Shemida’s sister, Dana, believes Shemida is fabricating some of her issues for attention and is purposely avoiding life — to the detriment of her husband and three children. Could unresolved trauma from her past play a part in what her family calls the “Shemida Saga”? Is Shemida really as sick as she says she is?

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          Sick Sister?

          Dana says, “My sister, Shemida, is destroying our family. Shemida’s illnesses cause chaos in our family, because she’s always sick. There’s never a break. There’s always something wrong with my sister.” Dana believes Shemida is a hypochondriac who uses her illnesses to get attention and has checked out as a parent. “My husband and I have always been very worried about Shemida’s kids, because they don’t have a mom. The kids have had to take care of themselves,” she says.

          “She’s not living. She’s 43, and it looks like she’s a feeble old lady,” Dana says. “I think my sister is severely miserable in her life. I do think she gets a payoff from it, because she gets attention, but at the same time, it’s killing her. I don’t know how much longer she can survive this.”

          Shemida says she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, OCD and endometriosis, among many others. “My family does not believe my ailments to be 100 percent true,” she says. “I’m in excruciating pain 24 hours a day … I’ve accepted that I’m a disabled person. No one else has. I just wish that I would die in my sleep, so I would not be a burden to my family anymore.”

          Dr. Phil reviews Shemida’s lengthy list of reported diagnoses. Does Shemida believe any of her health issues are psychological?

          Dana confronts her sister. “It’s always about you, and I can’t take it anymore!”

          “I believe you are sick,” Dr. Phil tells Shemida.

          Dr. Phil asks Shemida, “Do you think this has gotten a grip on you to point that you have stopped being Shemida and started being a patient? Has your identity become a sick person?”

          Don’t miss Part 2, when Dr. Phil meets the rest of Shemida’s family. What do they have to say about her health issues?

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