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I Want to Be Mentally Ill

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From a teen in Brazil:  For a long time I have wanted to be mentally ill, I would a lot of time searching symptoms and different disorders I could relate to. I would react differently and go out of my way to make people believe there was something going on. Now I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and social phobia, but I don’t think I have any of that. I’m just worried that I managed to convince everyone that I have a problem when I actually don’t.

This is something you should talk about with your therapist. A diagnosis is only the starting point of therapy. It is subject to change as more information emerges.

You and your therapist should be looking at why you wanted to be seen by others as “ill”. Did it make you feel more special?  Did it excuse you from things? Did you want the care and attention that goes with illness? Something else? Therapy will help you get to the root of the problem and find other, healthier ways to address your concerns and needs.

I encourage you to bring your letter and this response with you to your next session. It will help you start an important conversation.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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