It’s been so long since I took abnormal psych, I don’t remember the distinctions among the different related disorders, but I have been close to a couple of similar situations.
Some years ago, my sister’s longtime boyfriend, with whom she had coincidentally just broken up, thought she’d like to know he’d just found out he had terminal cancer. It honestly never crossed her or our minds that this just might not be exactly true…He couldn’t work, although he also couldn’t get Disability, and had to give up his apartment. So of course my sister moved him in with her, thinking this was a very short-term thing because, after all, he was dying. It was much too late for chemo/radiation, so he went instead to other healers, and what do you know? The jerk-off lived. A miracle.
You’re doing what we should have done, which is seeing the inconsistencies in your friend’s story and learning what would be likely/possible in that particular health scenario. If we’d done that, we would have questioned why he “couldn’t” get Disability, how the cancer could have gone undetected so long, why he didn’t require pain meds, and so on.
More recently, a cousin of mine told several family members that her young daughter was having seizures due to an inoperable brain tumor. Because of my sister’s experience with her ex and also this cousin’s past history of, well, lying, my sister and I were rather suspicious from the beginning. (I have to add here that there was never any evidence that my cousin was causing her daughter to have seizures or was physically harming her in any way. Frankly, there was never any evidence at all.) My cousin had made these types of these claims before, but never over something so serious, and the more guillible family members were freaking out. One quietly began organizing a benefit. Another put the child on a prayer list at church, which in turn led to a church member who wrote a local column mentioning the girl’s condition, which was picked up by the editor and put on the front page of the local paper with no warning at all to my cousin.
My cousin never completely admitted to lying about the whole thing. She conceded that they didn’t yet have a diagnosis of a brain tumor. And that they hadn’t technically seen the neurologist yet. And that maybe the term “seizure” wasn’t exactly correct. The story quietly died, and my cousin hasn’t been nearly so dramatic since.
I don’t really have any expert advice to offer. Confronting your friend with inconsistencies (as was accidently done in my cousin’s case) might or might not work, depending on her actual mental state. It may be easier, and just as productive, to consider this a part of who she is, and then go from there in terms of deciding whether you wish to continue the friendship.