Disclaimer: I may lie about some of this, but I will make every effort not to.
I have lied about everything from stealing from my parents as a youth to how many times I have been camping. From the meaningful to the mundane and everything between and on either side; if you can think about it then I have lied about it.
I am not sure when it started or why, but I have been lying for as long as I can remember about one thing or another. When it began it may have been by choice or for personal gain, but now it is difficult not to lie and most of the time, as far as I can tell, it does not benefit me in anyway. When writing this blog it started off difficult because I was determined not to lie about anything, it just seems to get harder over time. In my daily life I have been working hard to not lie or correct myself when I do because the lie just spouts forth from my mouth without me realizing what I am saying until I actually say it. Then is when I realize I have lied and I try to correct myself; in the past I may not have realized I lied until minutes, hours, days later – if ever. I also believe that if I did realize it I didn’t care enough about the other people because of my lack of emotional responses and lock of respect for others and myself.
When emotions came flooding back in I started to feel regret and shame for all the lies I have told. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to make amends. Something. But my life was built on lies. I couldn’t even tell what was true and what was a lie, I still can’t. I thought about it hard. I wrote down everything I could. I never talked to anyone about it and I still haven’t – not sure I ever will. What I realized is that over 70% of my life is a lie. If I come out with the truth I am not sure I would have anyone, including my wife, in my life anymore – who she knows doesn’t really exist, who everyone knows (except those who read this) doesn’t exist. I will never publicly list the lies that I know I have told, but I have thought of sealing them somewhere (in a safe deposit box or something) and having it released upon my death, but I believe that would hurt too many people and I have no interest in doing that anymore.
I do not believe in heaven or hell so I do not believe that if I don’t “repent” I will burn forever, but it does weigh heavy on me.
So I was curious about whether or not lying was considered a illness in and of itself or if it was just another symptom of the lovely illness I have. I do personally know of cases where the lying is there but little to no other symptoms. I know of three. One is a little bereft of emotion, but the other two are well adjusted. I think one does it to benefit herself and does it by choice but gets an almost high with it. The other is also a female (not sure if that matters) and, I believe, she doesn’t even realize she is lying. At first I thought it was a poor memory, but she would tell several different version of the same situations and even the real situation; that’s when I knew it was a lying situation.
Lying has typically been categorized into Compulsive and Pathological.
- Compulsive is considered to be a habitual and automatic response. Something that is unplanned, impulsive, has no purpose, and it is thought that the individual has no control over the lies that are told.
- Pathological is thought to be associated with little to no empathy and the lies are often used to manipulate a situation and others. The individual is often very self-involved.
Neither Compulsive nor Pathological Lying is considered a disease in the DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). A disease is widely thought to be something that is uncontrolled by natural means. Pathological Lying seems to be something that could be controlled, but Compulsive Lying is involuntary, habitual and the individual has no control of the lies that spew forth from them.
This is a concern of mine as nothing is being done to curb the uncontrolled lying in so many individuals. Until is is declared a disease or illness little to no research will be done to correct it. No drugs will be invented to assist the individuals and mental heath professions will have no standard on how to respond to the situation.
Dr. Charles Dike is a forensic psychiatrist and a professor at Yale who is working to have compulsive lying (which he renames Pathological Lying because it sounds more clinical) included in the next edition of the DSM. He has plenty of opposition and it is unlikely that it will be included, but at least someone is shining a light on something that has been ignored for too long.
- P is for Pseudologia Fantasica (mommasmoneymatters.com)
- curse of the compulsive lies (ettheguy.wordpress.com)
- Survival Of A Psychopath(With Borderline Tendencies…The Lies Become Their Own Truths…) (sorceressofthedark.wordpress.com)