Here you go...it might stem from some underlying problem such as fear or someting which you can find some help for...doesn't mean you're a bad person.
Compulsive Lying: Overview
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 modeling. 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 impulsivity, and they may lie implusively. Bipolar Disorder can be associated with low serotonin levels, which has been implicated in impulsivity, which, as indicated before, makes a person more prone to lie.
Pathological lying, though, can be thought of as being associated with a select few psychiatric diagnoses, which normally have their onset during adolescence. Namely, these are Conduct Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder. In conduct disorder, it is common to seelying, conning people and other forms of deceit. In Antisocial Personality Disorder, there is a pervasive pattern of disregard or the rights of others, and with this, the person with this disorder will often lie to get what they wish – usually money, sex or power.
© 2001-2007 Derek Wood. All Rights Reserved.
This article is used with the full permission of the author.
Understanding Compulsive Liars
If you have ever told a lie, you know the how difficult it can be and the guilt you feel. Your conscience tries to talk you out of it, but sometimes you just can't help it. However, some people have more difficulty telling the truth than telling a lie, and conscience does not play a role since they have learned how to ignore it. Compulsive liars do not think about telling a lie because they have done it so much that it has become a habit or an addiction.
Many liars seek the thrill of pulling one over on someone. These people try to see how far they can get with their lies, and they love the reaction they get from people. If someone comes up to a compulsive liar and tries to disagree or prove the person wrong, the liar will stand behind the lie and never admit it. This denial is the reason why it can be hard to treat someone that lies compulsively
Possible Treatment for Compulsive Lying
When Lying is a Secondary Symptom
Many people that lie compulsively often have another psychiatric illness that makes them feel as though it's okay to lie. People with mental illness will not tell the truth if they fear people will criticize them or get on their case for not following up on appointments or taking medication. Some people with personality disorders are compulsive liars because they seek to manipulate people to get what they want from them.
Treatment for people with a psychiatric illness involves a combination of medication and counseling. Medication will help decrease symptoms while counseling helps the person manage symptoms medication will not help. A counselor will attempt to teach the person how a lie negatively affects his or her own life as well as the life of people around that person. The counselor will also attempt to break the habit of lying through role-playing.
Treatment for People Without Psychiatric Illness
Not all compulsive liars have an underlying mental illness; some people lie to get ahead, to make themselves look better or just to evoke an elaborate reaction. Treatment involves the person seeing a counselor to discuss the reasons behind the fibs, role-playing to practice telling the truth, and then homework assignments to try outside of therapy. Homework assignments may consist of having to resist the urge to fib a certain number of times in a week, and then reporting to the therapist how he or she did. With practice, the person may be able to break the addiction of telling lies.
Treatment Must Be Voluntary
If you think someone you know lies compulsively, you can discuss the possibility of counseling. Chances are high that the person will deny it and refuse treatment. If the person decides to go to therapy, but does not believe he or she has a problem, treatment is most likely not effective. Since behavior modification is the main treatment method, the lying will most likely not stop if the person is not willing to change his or her behavior. These people will usually end therapy out of frustration or lie to the therapist about how well they are doing in and out of the office.
How to Help Someone
Since you can't force someone into treatment for compulsive lying, it can be difficult to deal with that person. Either you can humor the person by just listening and not putting much faith in what he or she says, or avoid the person entirely. Many people who have trouble telling the truth will do it for the reaction; if you don't give them a reaction, they will most likely not embellish the truth as much. However, the problem is that your relationship is probably already on the rocks by this point, and you never know what is really true or false.
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