There must be some part of you that is starved for attention. That’s the only logical rationale behind why you’d want to have a mental illness or to be hospitalized. Maybe you believe that if you were hospitalized you’d have many people concerned about you. There might be teams of doctors caring and looking after you. Your parents or family would likely be involved too. You may see hospitalization as a form of “guaranteed attention.” Perhaps that is your goal.
Your deep desire for attention has turned into an obsession. The desire to be sick may be related to a disorder called Munchausen syndrome. Individuals with this disorder not only desire to be ill but they actually pretend that they are. Many even undergo risky or painful tests and treatments for their fictitious disorders in order to receive sympathy and attention. This is not the type of behavior you’re currently engaged in. The concern is that in the future you may progress from wishing you were ill to actually pretending that you are or doing something to make yourself ill.
You wrote about schizophrenia being your “favorite” mental illness. You say that you “want” to experience delusions and hallucinations. No one who had schizophrenia or knew anyone with the disease would have this desire. You must be unaware of the fact that schizophrenia is one of the most debilitating mental illnesses that exists. It’s treatable and people can get better but there is no cure. Individuals who have the disorder say that it’s “hell on earth.” No one who was thinking clearly or knew anything about it would want this disease nor would they wish that they could experience any of its terrifying symptoms.
It’s normal to want attention. Children need attention and when it’s not given they might act out inappropriately to get it. Teenagers need attention too. If they do not get it they too may misbehave. Individuals who are physically or emotionally neglected may go to great lengths to get noticed. I suspect the cutting behavior you’ve engaged in and your desire to be ill are misguided attempts to gain attention and sympathy from your caregivers. It’s human nature to need and want attention but it shouldn’t come at the expense of harming yourself.
You want to attend therapy but when presented with the opportunity, you lie and say you don’t want to go. Why do you do this? If you have the chance to receive help then you should take it. You are engaging in self-harm and it needs to be treated. The desire to have a mental illness or to be hospitalized also is something that desperately needs to be addressed in counseling. A counselor can help you find more appropriate ways to ease your emotional pain. You are clearly suffering and your thinking is distorted but these things are correctable. The next time you are offered the chance for counseling make the very smart decision of saying yes.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on April 20, 2009.