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Pathological Liars

People lie all the time. In our everyday activities, though we may try to avoid it, there are many instance when we are pressed not to tell the truth. Anybody can lie to avoid faults, but there are some others who really have an aching need to lie. After doing some background research, I found out that there are many kinds of liars. There are habitual liars, compulsive liars, chronic liars and pathological liars. These are different terms that refer to different reasons and motives why a person lies. This report aims to discuss the type of liar that is considered an illness: pathological lying.

It seeks to understand how this illness is acquired, how it is manifested and how it should be handled. A popular film “Liar Liar” (1997) is about Fletcher Reed, portrayed by Jim Carey. Fletcher Reed is a habitual liar and because of his son’s wish, one day he magically found himself unable to lie anymore. In the story, Fletcher is aware of what he is doing and that he really liked to lie (Liar Liar, 1997). Pathological liars do not necessarily like to lie. It is not always that they benefit from it. Lying sometimes puts them in harm. Many times, psychological liars are not even aware that they lie at all.

From the word “pathological”, which means abnormal or atypical (Pathological Lying), pathological liar is a person that lies habitually but this lying is caused or accompanied by some mental or psychological problems (Pathological Lying). Anton Delbruck (Dike, 2008) is a German Scientist who first developed theories on psychological lying. He called it, “pseudologia phantastica” which means, lies that are so abnormal and out of proportion (Dike, 2008). Because the illness is newly discovered, there are still very limited studies that can give clarity and exact definition and descriptions about this illness.

Pathological lying usually combines with some antisocial personality disorders. From studies made, it is observed that many cases of pathological liars are developed in childhood, possibly as a result of traumatic experiences or even just lack of serotonin in the body. Pathological lying is related with other mental and behavioral disorders such as Conduct Disorder (CD) and Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) (Pathological Lying). These disorders are more commonly diagnosed by psychiatrists and health practitioners.

Pathological lying usually comes with aggression, destruction and persistent violations of rules and laws (Dike, 2008). Thus, it is very difficult to separate pathological lying with the other behavioral and mental disorders. Pathological liars lie as a coping mechanism (Dike 2008). They do not have remorse of what they do whether their act offends other people, whether it is immoral or whether it violates laws. Because of this description, it may be assumed that there are many psychological liars among criminals especially those who continuously lie about their crimes.

We may not notice it but we may also be meeting pathological liars right in our school, workplace, in our community, in our circle of friends and even in our family. Knowledge of the symptoms and causes of pathological lying is beneficial. Observing that somebody is suffering from this illness may be a way to help him and prevent more serious problems in the future. Psychological lying may be controlled or even cured. Psychiatrists and health experts do specialized therapies for this illness. Some psychiatrists combine therapy with medicines that will produce serotonin hormones or control the person.

Understanding, love and care from family and friends, are still the best remedies for this illness. Works Cited Dike, Charles C. “Pathological Lying: Symptom or Disease? ” Psychiatric Times. Vol. 25, No. 7. June 1, 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2009 from <http://www. psychiatrictimes. com/display/article/10168/1162950? pageNumber=1> “Liar Liar”. IMDB 1997. Retrieved 24 February 2009 from <http://www. imdb. com/title/tt0119528/> “Pathological Lying” Applied Abnormal Psychology. Osric University. Retrieved 24 February 2009 from <http://www. osric. com/university/pathlying. html>

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