I have a need for people to like me and a constant need for attention. I have lied to gain attention. Someone asked if I got off from being helpless and I’m wondering if he is right. I don’t pay attention to other people’s feelings and focus on my own and pretend that I care in order to avoid confrontation or not being liked. I am having anxiety over this and wondered what horrible person would be like this? Shallow and wanting to be “special”. My mother and father both have mental illnesses and weren’t there emotionally and as a child I was clingy and shy. I’m considering therapy but opening myself and being honest about myself is scary.

A. First and foremost, you are not a “horrible person.” Your issues likely stem from your difficult childhood. Your parents couldn’t meet your emotional needs and you suffered as a result. That is not your fault.

Many people enter therapy because of early childhood issues. It’s very common.

Therapy is an opportunity to overcome these early life issues. Therapy can assist you in understanding what motivates your behavior but more importantly, how to change your behavior.

The fact that you are considering therapy and have an idea about why you need therapy is a very positive sign. It shows that you are both intelligent and open to change. Those are characteristics of people who have the most success in therapy.

By writing this letter and admitting your problems, you have already begun the process of “being honest about yourself.” Therapy is the next logical step. It might be difficult but it is well worth the effort. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle