Does this disorder sound familiar?
There's this guy I know who is 30 years old. He lies a lot, and he believes his lies are actually true. Is there any type of disorder out there that sounds like it could be something he has? I'm referring to how he lies and then he actually believes it's true. If so, can you cite any references. Thank you.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Applied Abnormal Psychology
What is a pathological liar?
A deliberate liar knows he is lying. A pathological liar may not.
Although there is no precise definition, certainly none defined by the woefully inadequate but oft-cited DSM-IV, we can state with certainty that it is a person who tells lies incessantly. We can eliminate those who tell lies in order to avoid extreme persecution. But those who consistently tell lies, whether faced with punishment or not, may be considered pathological. We must keep in mind that "pathological" simply means abnormal, or grossly atypical...who among us has not told a lie? At what point does such behavior become "pathological"?
In addition to the difficultly of distinguishing between the liar and the pathological liar, we must also isolate this mental disturbance. Lying is a characteristic of several other disorders as well, such as conduct disorder (CD) and antisocial personality disorder (APD). CD, like many reports of pathological lying, typically has its onset during adolescence. Other behaviors may include inappropriate aggression, destruction, and serious violations of rules and laws. And, as suggested by some doctors, both pathological lying and CD may be caused by, shall we say, challenging situations in the home. Or by a lack of seratonin, in which case Prozac or Zoloft may help. Along with, of course, expensive sessions of psychotherapy.
Neurological Basis for Pathological Lying
"...When generating a lie or a false response, one must know the truth, resist the impulse to answer truthfully, and further generate an alternative but appropriate response." - J.M. Nuñez et. al.
The brain should indeed behave in a different manner when concocting a lie, and these differences should be measureable. Studies have found decreased activity in the thalamus, particularly the right hemithalamus, in one pathological lying patient (Modell et al, 1992), whereas another study found increased activity in the anterior cingulate, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and caudate and thalamic nuclei in 20 non-pathological volunteers (Nuñez et al, 2005). Further research in this area is clearly warranted, particularly in the right hypotenuse, a subset of the right hemithalamus (see transaxial brain diagram, right).
For explorations of neurological phenomena associated with pathological lying, see:
Modell JG, Mountz JM, Ford CV: Pathological lying associated with thalamic dysfunction demonstrated by [99mTc]HMPAO SPECT. The Journal of Neuropschiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 1992; 4:442-446 <http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abst...
Nuñez JM, Casey BJ, Egner T, Hare T, Hirsch J: Intentional false responding shares neural substrates with response conflict and cognitive control. NeuroImage 2005: 25:267-277 <http://www.fmri.org/pdfs/Nunezetal2005.pdf>.
Links related to pathological lying
Osric University's selection of case studies. NEW!
Internet Mental Health's description of Antisocial Personality Disorder.
An extreme case, Pseudologia Fantastica, written up by Charles V. Ford, M.D.
If you know of any other interesting sites that discuss pathological lying, please let me know.
Lying can often be to our advantage. And a really good lie is worth twenty shallow truths any day. The best lies, of course, are the ones that the liars themselves believe. Is it possible that we can induce pathological lying in ourselves, or test subjects, by inhibiting our production of seratonin? Could we do this without increasing overall aggressive behavior?
These are the sorts of questions researchers here at Osric University struggle with daily. We hide our multi-trillion dollar facilities within the confines of other well-known universities around the world, and we receive funding from most governments and multinational corporations. When you study at Osric University, you study with the very best!
Submit a case study
NOTE: due to the lack of research on pathological lying, we welcome your own personal case studies. Please send your own observations on pathological lying to firstname.lastname@example.org. We cannot diagnose cases via e-mail, nor can we always respond to your messages personally. Please do not use the subject's real name in your observations. Pertinent studies, especially those including specific lies and the context in which they were told, will be published.
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- 1 decade ago
There are a number of reasons that people lie. The first is fear. This is the most common reason that people may lie, and they are taking shelter from a perceived punishment. It may be because they know they have done something wrong a single time, in which case it is not compulsive lying. But if they are always in fear of being punished, it may become a habit, which is a second reason for lying. In this case, it may become compulsive lying, which is lying by reflex. Even when confronted by the truth, they insist the lie is the truth in this case. A third case is learning to lie through modelling. When a people see others lie, especially when they get away with it, they may become more prone to lying. Finally, people lie because they feel if they tell the truth they won't get what they want. Thus, out of the main reasons for lying, only lying by habit can truly be called "compulsive lying."
Increased lying has been seen with a number of psychiatric diagnoses such as ADHD and Bipolar Disorder. With ADHD people will often say "I don't know why I did that", and when confronted about why they lied, their answer will be the same. ADHD children also display impulsively, and they may lie impulsively. Bipolar Disorder can be associated with low serotonin levels, which has been implicated in impulsively, which, as indicated before, makes a person more prone to lie.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Most unmitigated liars believe their lies and the more they lie on a particular subject the more they are convinced it is true. I do not know if there is a specific medical diagnosis for constant lying or if there are medications that can reduce it. Lying is probably more like a personality disorder than an illness as depression or bipolar. My ex-boss was a terrible liar and he would lie directly to your face without batting an eye. He also believed that his lies were absolute truths. His lying became worse as he progressed more and more into smoking pot and sniffing coke. No cure.
- DarkchildLv 41 decade ago
Pseudolgical phantstica is being considered as a real disorder in the DSM. It is possible that your friend has this. He would need to be evaluated though. pn.psychiatryonline.org. Good luck.
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- AnnaMariaLv 71 decade ago
Wolf is right, i've seen it on tv, where they have told the lie so long,, that they actually believe there own lie..
there are compulsive liars out there too..would rather lie in your face, thann tell you the truth. even when it dont matter...some people are just liars, just plain old sinful liars.! then they tell 1 lie& hav e to tell another lie to cover up another lie & so on & so on.......& so on.........Source(s): I got a kid, well, they're grown, that i cannot tell if they are lying or telling me the truth, they're so good at it, & they convince everyone they're real...! It's bad, some day they'll have to answer for it.....& what goes round comes round.
- 1 decade ago
Complusive lying in its severe level can manifest as truth to the sufferer
- Anonymous1 decade ago
a pathological liar? i cant remember the scientific term for it...
- 4 years ago