Identifying Pseudologia Fantastica: Pathological Lying

Lying has become the everyday norm these days, there are several forms. One of which is pathological lying, and is also known as pseudologia fantastica.

There are some people around us who just cannot tell the truth, no matter what the situation- how minor or major, they somehow come up with a lie for it. Pseudologia fantastica is also known as mythomania or simply put, it is pathological lying. The behavior of compulsive and habitual lying.

Unlike white lies, a pathological liar will lie for no apparent reason. Even though pathological lying has been recognized for more than a century, there’s not yet a clear universal definition of the condition. It is, however, recognized as a condition that could result from mental disorders- although most times it has no medical reason.

Basically, a pathological liar is someone who lies compulsively. Normally people lie to avoid certain situations, or to protect other’s feelings, however, pathological lying includes telling lies or stories that hold little to no objective benefit.

Such pathological liars are great storytellers, they tend to make up imaginative scenarios. Moreover, they are extremely convincing, so no matter how illogical the story is- they have a way of convincing you. Their stories usually portray themselves as the victim or hero, they narrate such stories to gain sympathy and admiration.

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The extent to pathological lying reaches such heights that sometimes these liars fool themselves and end up believing their lies. They get so used to lying that they seem to forget when they are lying and when they aren’t. It’s difficult to know how to deal with a pathological liar who may not always be conscious of their lying.

Identifying a Pathological Liar in Your Life

As mentioned, identifying pathological liars can be considerably difficult. Here are a few signs that indicate pathological lying:

  • they often talk about experiences and accomplishments in which they appear heroic
  • they’re also the victim in many of their stories, often looking for sympathy
  • their stories tend to be elaborate and very detailed
  • they respond elaborately and quickly to questions, but the responses are usually vague and don’t provide an answer to the question
  • they may have different versions of the same story, which stems from forgetting previous details

Diagnosing Pathological Lying

Being able to medically diagnose pathological lying or pseudologia fantastica is very difficult. Speaking with a person or being able to derive medical records is usually not enough to make a diagnosis. to diagnose a pathological liar, most specialists usually use a polygraph or a lie detector, this is not done to catch the person in a lie, but to see how well they deceive the polygraph.

Moreover, the treatment for pathological lying is not confined to one method, it can be catered through several ways such as psychotherapy, medication, and drugs to treat anxiety and/or depression.

In conclusion, if you or someone you know is going through a pathological lying phase, seek help from a professional and stay supportive!

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