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15 signs and symptoms that help identify a pathological liar

A pathological liar is a person that lies without reason, or rather without purpose. Known as ‘Pseudologia Fantastica’ in psychiatric terms, this form of lying arises from habituated tendencies. The lines to follow explore signs and symptoms that help identify this condition.

What a pathological liar does effectively well is weave a web of lies convincingly and feel good about it. This form of lying is never suspected because lies are passed off as truth effortlessly every time. Compulsive lying in a person may arise from habitat or environment. The roots of pathological lying are habitual tendencies that provide a euphoric feeling, a feel-good environment. Although theories in regard with why pathological lying differ, studies over the years reveal its home environment that causes extent of pathological lying. The extent of pathological lying can ruin couple relationships and affect friends and family in a big way.

Traumatic occurrence in the past may lead to excessive pathological lying.

Persons with borderline, narcissistic, antisocial and psychopathy disorders are known to display varying levels of pathological lying. Many pathological liars have pre-conceived thoughts about how they are going to encounter a situation. Pathological liars are known to be inventive with their answers to questions. They lie with conviction because they believe their lies will be accepted by the person they are having a conversation with.

Pathological lying is also known a compulsive lying. When pathological liars are forced to speak the truth during a conversation they feel uncomfortable and often react in an animated manner. Pathological lying can become an addiction at various levels. If pathological liars are not able to find their comfort zone with a person, they often subdue feelings and give vent to their frustration on somebody else. Pathological lying on romantic first dates is exceedingly high.

Signs and Symptoms of Pathological liars- Identifying pathological liar

While identifying a pathological liar is not easy there are certain signs and symptoms that may suggest the person is suffering from compulsive condition. As such pathological lying is not recognized or considered a disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Compulsive lying maybe an offshoot of a primary disorder known or unknown to the person. A pathological liar relies on stories to present a make-believe environment convincingly. Stories in the form of lies presented by a pathological liar involve false bravado, and lies about income earning. Below is a list of signs and symptoms that help identify pathological liars.

1. Pathological liars know just one thing… lies. Any situation they are in they lie. These guys use their verbal skills to good effect in different situations. Yeah, a large number of pathological liars are smooth talkers.


2. Pathological liars love to create a comfort zone for themselves. In a bid to get there, they cook up tales and stories with manic conviction.


3. Pathological liars love attention and may go any length with their lies to get it. These guys are aware of the fact that lies and deception get them a fair deal of attention and so they seek refuge in lies all the time. A pathological liar takes pride in grandiose acts achieved through fake sentiments and lies.


4. Pathological liars have a keen sense of perception and are seldom caught lying. If they sense they are going to be caught, they weave another story to cover up their lies.


5. Pathological liars suffer from low self esteem which is why they use lies as a means to feel better about themselves.


6. Pathological liars create an environment that helps them score brownie points with the opposite sex. They often feel good about themselves when their lover feels sad for them through the lies they have spoken. For liars every accomplishment through a lie feel like achievement.


7. Pathological liars may be suffering from a primary mental disorder that may stem the amount of lies spoken on a regular basis.


8. Pathological liars live in a world of fantasy. They love to create a false world among people they know and get a high once people fall for their lies. The only time a pathological liar’s ego is hurt is when lies are not believed.


9. Often when these guys lie, they are not scared of consequences that may arise at a later stage. Pathological liars fragment lies in accordance the flow of the conversation or situation and feel no remorse.


10. Pathological liars may exhibit behavioral changes with different people, especially people they have not known for a long time.


11. Studies reveal most pathological liars have specific addictions that compel them to lie. Drug addicts, gamblers, and alcoholics my lie to seek an exit from the harsh reality their friend and family are aware of.


12. Pathological liars use camouflage and deception in personality traits displayed with different people. These guys can mould themselves to be submissive or dominant when need arise in accordance with the situation encountered.


13. Pathological liars rely on convincing fake narratives to engage the person or persons they are talking to. Their stories involve a theatrical element to evoke a response. Often stories about exploits and bravery are fake to the bone. Every time they meet different people the concept and centrifugal element of their stories remain same while all other aspects change.


14. Pathological liars may get on the defensive if questions put forth are not in their comfort zone and they are not able to cook up a suitable lie to the question.


15. A pathological liar loves to have the last word. These guys love to prove their point even if they know they are wrong and the other person is right.

Treatment for pathological liars

The first move towards getting treatment for pathological lying is admitting to the problem/condition. Most compulsive liars are in denial when it comes to accepting their problem. Once the person is willing to get help for his lying habit, it becomes much easier to treat that person. Depending on the gravity of the situation one can seek help from counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists or friends and family. It should be known…pathological liars can change only if willingness and desire comes from within. For a person who is treating a pathological liar, it is essential to determine the root cause that has lead to pathological lying, by doing so treatment through counseling session is fruitful.


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My girlfriend is a pathological liar with a drug and sex addiction she lies about. She is in the care of the Department of Mental Health here in Los Angeles and they are downright terrible. Her IND Step Down facility covers up her lies and aids her instead of teaches her to be an honest, responsible adult.

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