Your family should consult a therapist to assist in this matter. One area of focus may be changing the manner in which you interact with your mother. Learning how to react differently may insulate you and others from her attention-seeking behavior or at least, minimize its effects.
You might also try attending local family-to-family groups via the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). It is an excellent service. It is free and available in most cities. They provide group support for family members who have a loved one with mental illness.
You mentioned that your mother may have factitious disorder. It’s best to avoid diagnosing if you’re not a professional. You might consult a therapist about her potential diagnosis but if she’s not willing to undergo an evaluation, you might never know what’s wrong. In any event, learning a new way of interacting her may be the best approach to this problem. Therapy and NAMI groups could be greatly beneficial for the whole family.
At some point, given your mother’s propensity towards self-harm, you might explore guardianship or other legal remedies. For instance, an individual may be declared incompetent if their impairment is affecting their ability to care for themselves. If declared incompetent, an individual is assigned a guardian to manage decisions on their behalf. That type of remedy may or may not be appropriate in your situation.
Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to this problem. I hope these ideas helped in some small way. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle