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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: I have a desperate need for attention - please help!


 xyleena - Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:41 pm

Hello, I am a 15 year old female in need of some advice or guidance.
I always feel the need to have attention - sympathy to be exact... I always make up things about myself, wether it be I am sick or have some sort of problem, just so I can get attention and sympathy from other people. I often use the fact that I suffered from ALL to get attention from others, and I can't seem to stop doing it. I don't know why I do this or why I have this "craving" for attention, but I would like to know if this is maybe some sort of disorder, or if I should see a therapist about this issue, if necessary. Any and all advice would be very greatly appreciated - I don't like lying about myself to loved ones but can't seem to stop! Please help!!
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:39 pm

Hello xyleena,

Dealing with the diagnosis of ALL can be difficult in itself, and attention can be reassuring. However, when it becomes troubling to you, it's time to investigate further. Once receiving such attention becomes a habit, it's harder to stop, and it can become competitive with others in the family. It can also be a symptom of anxiety. While it's possible that a disorder, such as a developing personality disorder or anxiety disorder, is possible, it's really much too early to suggest that. The first step is to discuss it with your doctor. A referral to a therapist would be helpful, both to help identify what is contributing to this behavior, and to help developing alternate methods of coping and/or getting appropriate attention. It may be helpful to maintain a diary of when your attention seeking occurs, what was happening when you sought attention, how you felt when you got the attention, and any other information that you feel might be important. Take your diary with you to medical and/or therapy appointments; it also may help you see for yourself how frequently it is actually happening. I hope this information is helpful to you, and I wish you the best of luck.

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