Do I Need Therapy?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m not sure if I should see a therapist or not. My main problem is that I’m an attention seeker and a compulsive liar. As far back as I can remember I’ve lied, as a child it was often about how good I was at a sport or at school but now I lie when I don’t even want to, I lie about what I feel or think or even what I had for breakfast, I can’t seem to stop and now I’ve noticed that I’ve become an attention seeker.

Naturally I’m a loner, I’ve never had any issues with that until recently, I post boring pictures on Social networking sites and then anxiously wait for replies, I suddenly get sad over not having any friends and then compensate for it by telling lies and creating fake friends to tell people about, It’s getting to a point where I’m telling amateur lies, ones that will most certainly get found out, but I can’t stop, I want people to see me as I describe myself not as who I really am, I’ve considered going to a therapist but I’m not sure if that’s too much of a drastic step?

A: Sometimes when we ask a question, we already know the answer. I think that’s the case with you. You already know you should go to a therapist. If you could have solved your problems on your own, you would have done so long ago. The situation is getting worse, not better.

Although it is certainly disturbing, I don’t think the lying is the central problem. All the lies seem to be a way you are dealing with the distance between the life you have and the life you want. Wanting friends and attention from others is absolutely normal. For some reason, you didn’t develop the skills to belong comfortably in the social world — so you made up a life to compensate. Your problem has been that you don’t know how to get attention for who you really are.

I hope you will use your therapy to help you figure out how to have friends and how to get some positive attention. Because that is the central issue, I do think that group therapy might be the best bet for you, either by itself or as a supplement to individual work.

You made an important first step by writing. Now follow through and take care of yourself by getting into therapy.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Do I Need Therapy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 17, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/05/do-i-need-therapy/