Q: Is it possible to fake a mental illness? 

A: Yes, people can fake a mental illness, sometimes called malingering or a factitious disorder. It often involves some type of underlying personality disorder. For example, antisocial, borderline, narcissistic, histrionic, etc. There is always a motive for faking mental illness: to get attention and sympathy, avoid work, manipulate the system for personal gain, get notoriety, and so on. They may lie about or exaggerate their symptoms. Many go to great lengths to try and prove they their illness—sometimes injuring themselves in the process. Perhaps even worse, those who fake symptoms of mental illness may actually start believing they have it.