If you study cases of people who want to be mentally ill or pretend to be mentally ill, a common theme among them is unhappiness and depression. It also serves the purpose of gaining sympathy and attention from others, or so they think.
Ironically, people who are mentally ill often hide their illness from the world. They worry that if people knew about their mental illness, they will think less of them. They do not see it as a way to garner sympathy. People who want to be mentally ill see it differently. They see a mental illness as a way of getting people to notice them. Perhaps your desire for attention and sympathy is driving your behavior.
You might believe that if you feign an illness, your friends and family would pay more attention to you. Faking an illness is one way to receive attention but it is maladaptive; if the people in your life learned about your lying, they would no longer trust you and may not want to befriend you.
Pretending to be someone else means that you don’t have to think about your own life, at least temporarily. It’s the ultimate form of escapism.
It’s important to learn a healthier way to fulfill your social and emotional needs. You can learn these skills with counseling. Counseling will help you to understand what’s motivating your behavior and learn how to correct it. Counseling would be the wisest approach to solving this problem. I hope you will consider it. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle