symptom-bearer

symptom-bearer

(in psychology) a family member frequently perceived as a patient who is functioning poorly because family dynamics interferes with functioning at a higher level. Also known as the identified patient.
References in periodicals archive ?
Much of this may be to do with 'face', such as the noble symptom-bearer 'putting on of a brave face' (4) or the 'saving face' when the patient uses another subject to divert the doctor's attention away from an uncomfortable circumstance.