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How can I make my family understand that I'm not seeking attention and just trying to get the help I need?

163 Answers
Last Updated: 01/16/2022 at 3:34pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Smita Joshi, BA Psychology / MA / Advanced EFT Practitioner


I am empathetic with my Clients going through emotional overwhelm and passionate in helping them. I am supportive, openminded & interactive in helping my clients.

Top Rated Answers
August 27th, 2016 4:21am
I had a similar issue, they didn't believe me, so they didn't give me the help I could've gotten. You have to be very serious lay out the proof and the facts... but as horrible as it is, sometimes they still won't believe you, or they don't want to maybe because it gives them a burden, or they don't want to accept it.
October 7th, 2018 3:52pm
Feeling unable to ask for help, or talk about our feelings, due to the fear of being labelled as attention seeking, can be life-threatening. It can be easy to dismiss feelings like “nobody cares about me”. In fact, paying attention to things like this, and asking for support then these feelings, provides space and opportunity to open up. Talking about your feelings in an open and non-judgemental way, can save your own life. You need that attention and support, and, if you get it, you may feel more able to talk about our feelings next time and ask for help sooner.
July 1st, 2016 10:13am
Hmm well telling them about the situations that have distressed you, how you feel or felt, may work. Such as, if you are suffering from depression you can tell them about the times depression has affected you badly and prevented you doing certain things. I think showing them that you really are in need of help by explaining what is causing you to feel this way may help them to understand your situation. I hope this helps :)
July 1st, 2016 8:45am
I think the way you discuss this is important. First of all, it's great that you're seeking help. That is awesome, and I'm proud of you. The more attention your request for help draws, the less likely they will take it seriously. By this I mean that screaming, yelling, crying, or cussing excessively can all give the appearance of attention seeking. I would recommend keeping the conversation calm and focused on the issues. A detailed plan would also help show how serious you are about getting help and take the burden of planning off them.
July 10th, 2016 9:27pm
It can be frustrating when your family doesn't believe that you need help and thinks you are just seeking attention. You can try to bring brochures that discuss what you have, and calmly tell them the reasons why you believe you need help.
July 1st, 2016 2:41am
Maybe u will need to sit them down and tell them that on a serious note that you really need the help. You might have to explain to them just how serious ur situation is and how much help u need for it.
July 5th, 2016 8:39pm
In my situation, I had to come to terms with knowing they just won't understand. If this is the case you can't focus on them thinking you're trying to get attention and instead build a support group around you of family members and friends that do understand and will help you get the help you need.
July 5th, 2016 9:17am
You could write them a letter, sometimes it helps because you can think about what you are going to say, and how to say it etc. You can tell them you are talking to them that way because you trust them, not because you want to bother them or to seeking attention.
July 13th, 2016 4:50am
Sit them down and make them listen to you. Give them all the facts, or ask them what you need to do to make them believe you actually need help.
July 24th, 2016 10:29pm
One thing that I've learnt is that you can't force somebody to see you need help. If your family thinks you are an attention seeker you can explain to them that you're not attention seeking and you need help. If they don't believe you.. they have no care about your well being. You need to seek help independently. If you are able to legally move away and have the capital to move then forget your family and move away. Find a good community of friends to call family.
April 5th, 2017 4:59am
By explaining to them how you feel and why you are coming to them. Tell them why you are talking to them and why you are doing this, let them know that you do not want attention but instead closure and guidance.
April 22nd, 2017 5:12pm
Unfortunately, I've seen this a ton of times. Parents usually think their children just want attention when they truly need help. Sit your parents/family down and tell them that it is not a cry for attention - it's a cry for help. Tell them everything you're going through, and that you really wish they would see that and get you the help you require and deserve.
January 10th, 2020 5:33pm
My suggestion would to continue to be consistent and persistent about it until hopefully they finally listen to you. Hopefully at some point they will realize that you aren't "attention-seeking" like they currently are choosing to believe and eventually realize you are honestly getting help because you actually need it for your health. It might help to explain why you are getting help if it isn't too much of a trigger or trauma for you. But it does help to keep in mind that some people - no matter how hard you try - just never seem able to get it.
July 2nd, 2016 2:04am
Have them know you're not expecting them to always give you answers but you need someone to talk to.
July 6th, 2016 8:13pm
There are many ways you can make your family understand that you're not seeking for attention, and trying to seek for help. Have them understand that you need help, and seeking attention isn't what you're trying to do. Address the issue to your family in a calm way, and try to explain as much as possible to them, as you can't really change the way your family thinks.
July 7th, 2016 11:45am
You can always talk to them. Tell them what's in your mind. I am sure they will listen, that's what's family are for.
July 13th, 2016 8:28pm
Explain to them clearly that the reason you are telling them is because you trust them and that they deserve to know. Then explain that you need the help in order to get better.
July 22nd, 2016 12:21pm
Maybe you can sit down with them and chat about how you are feeling and what causes it and how they can best support you? If you do not feel you can do it face to face can you write a letter to them and let them read it in their own time then approach you when they have processed it?
July 22nd, 2016 7:25pm
I openly displayed my emotions to one family member at a time, from the ones i thought would be most understanding through to the least. Gradually their support came when they realised it wasn't mere theatrics, but my actual well being. Having the support of one makes it easier for the next, like a domino effect.
July 31st, 2016 10:16am
You could talk to them, ask them if they would listen and not do things that might look like your seeking attention. If you talk to them properly in a civilised manor then they will know your in actual distress and want help.
August 3rd, 2016 1:52pm
Sometimes family members can be in their own rut and maybe they need you, just as much you need them.
August 4th, 2016 6:46am
Maybe have someone else get through to them whom they will listen too and/or be straight up with them.
August 4th, 2016 2:44pm
Be honest and straight forward. Family can see us for many things, as they often do see many things in us.
August 5th, 2016 1:47am
It's very helpful to sit them down in a nice, calm area, and try to get the attention of everybody in the room. When you feel that things are very peaceful, begin to simply voice your story and ask for others to hear you out, and not to interrupt. Speaking in a calm tone of voice and acting as professional as you can be may help how they perceive your message. Afterwards, listen to what they say. Best of luck!
August 5th, 2016 7:09am
Talk about your problems and how you can receive help. It's better to let your family know why you're hurting and how they can help.
August 5th, 2016 9:26pm
Sometimes our family just doesn't understand what we are going through mostly because none of them have actually gone through that. It takes people who are in your situation to understand you more, and people who are close to you. Im sure there is someone in your family you are close to. You can try talking to the person and making the person understand what you are actually going through. That way it makes it easier for the person to understand you and believe that you need help. From there, he/she can let the rest know or if possible get you the help you need
August 6th, 2016 4:12am
Try to approach your family when you are calm and speak to them about this issue again. You can rephrase the same question into something like: "Hey, family. I really need to speak with you. I'm sorry if you think I'm seeking attention, but I'd really just some help. Can we please talk about this?" Try to continue speaking calmly even in the face of adversity or misunderstanding. The more honest you are, the better chance they may have of understanding that you are serious. If you continue to have no luck with your immediate family, try reaching out to distant family for assistance, a friend, a school counselor, a kind therapist, or even a local hotline. There may also be anonymous support groups in your area depending on the concern you have. You deserve to be in a supportive environment. Keep seeking help.
August 6th, 2016 7:23am
Communication is key. And I know it will just make you want to groan when seeing this, because we know that we do try to communicate what we feel. But we sometimes forget that we communicate things the way we see fit to ourselves. At times we have to adjust how we approach things-without changing who you are- with other people to get the message across.
August 11th, 2016 3:53am
Sit and talk to your parents politely. Do not stress out or panic. Make them trust your actions. Hopefully they will understand
August 11th, 2016 7:53am
you can try to explain to them and open up , do not be afraid to tell them how you actually feel about everything