Casey Anthony to Seek Professional Treatment for Mental Health Issues: Report

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Casey Anthony, the Florida woman acquitted of murdering her daughter Caylee, is seeking professional help for mental health issues, according to a TMZ report.

Anthony has been in hiding since she was released from Orange County Jail on July 17. Since then, offers to tell her story have poured in along with other proposed business deals like Larry Flint's $500,000 offer to pose in Hustler Magazine.

According to TMZ, Anthony now realizes that her behavior when 2-year-old Caylee first disappeared in June 2008 was wrong and that she suffers from mental health issues. She also has told those close to her that she still has not properly coped with the loss of Caylee who was found dead in December 2008 in a wooded area near the Anthony family home.

"I absolutely think that counseling, mental health treatment is the place to start for Casey Anthony...connecting her head with her heart and knowing exactly how she thinks and how she feels about all of these past experiences and where she sees herself moving forward is key," said Dr. Charles Sophy, an adult and child psychiatrist.

On July 7, defense attorney Cheney Mason hinted to CNN that Anthony would likely need treatment.

"I'm sure it's going to be very needed and helpful for her. She's been through a lot...Think of what she's lost, her child, her family, her freedom...She hadn't just been in some country club federal prison somewhere. She's been in isolation for 23 hours a day, seven days a week," Mason told CNN.

Some experts aren't sure Anthony can be helped. Judy Kuriansky, better known as "Dr. Judy," said that it's sometimes difficult to treat someone with a history of lying.

"It would be exceptionally difficult for anybody to treat her. There is no magic pill that's a truth serum for a person who's a pathological liar," Kuriansky, a psychologist from Columbia University, told last month.

Anthony, while acquitted of murder, was found guilty of four counts of lying to law enforcement and was previously convicted of check fraud for stealing money from her best friend's checking account while Caylee was missing. Her murder trial revealed the elaborate world of lies that Anthony had created. She had a fictional nanny who she at one time claimed had kidnapped Caylee. She met the nanny through a fictional boyfriend. She also lied about having a job at Universal Studios.

None of the psychologists who spoke with in July have treated Casey Anthony, but spoke from observations and personal experience.

Two of the potential issues Anthony could suffer from are borderline personality disorder and psychopathology, the experts said. The main thing these issues have in common is a total lack of empathy, according to LeslieBeth Wish, a psychologist and licensed social worker in Sarasota, Fla.

"They can turn a person into a non-person," Wish said. "Borderline personalities have more emotional regulation problems and often use lying to get away from something and not ever feeling like they're responsible."

Wish explains that for people who suffer from these problems, separate lies can quickly become entire narratives that the teller can even come to believe as true.

While Kuriansky emphasizes that she cannot make a diagnosis on a patient she has not seen, she does believe that Anthony has a personality disorder. Her personality disorder could have "narcissistic features with particular attention to pathological lying."

Psychologists: Treating Pathological Liars Like Casey Anthony is Difficult

The symptoms of this problem include volatile moods, extremely manipulative personalities, a lack of empathy of others and a strongly defensive nature, she said.

"I believe there is something that can be done for people like this," said Tony Ferretti, a psychologist in Melbourne, Fla. "The behavior has been learned and can be unlearned. A person is not born a liar."

Wish said the problem generally develops in early childhood and can come from a lack nurturing and stability, especially from parents.

Casey Anthony's murder trial tore apart the Anthony family with lurid accusations that her father and brother molested her and that her father had a mistress. George Anthony denied those accusations. Casey Anthony's relationship with her mother was also portrayed as strained, with several witnesses saying that the two argued a lot and were often at odds.

Psychologists agree that all of this could contribute to Casey Anthony's penchant for lying.

Kuriansky believes that Anthony might be able to benefit from supportive counseling, but this would be a formidable challenge for a counselor or therapist who would need to be on guard about believing anything Anthony said.

"It's really hard to treat," Wish said. "You can't say it's impossible, but it's very difficult."

"These are people that cannot withstand very much self-examination, but you can work on emotional regulation and helping them understand and see [things] differently," Wish said. "It's a very small rope of balancing emotions and thinking."

While Anthony seeks treatment, her attorney, Jose Baez, will continue to listen to offers on Anthony's behalf until she is deemed healthy enough to speak to the public.