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About pathological liar disorder

Pathological liar disorder is a psychiatric condition where individuals constantly lie and use other people to get what they want. Pseudologia fantastica is a clinical name for this disorder.

During our growing up and education, our parents, teachers and other important figures in our lives kept saying that it is wrong to lie and that a good person never lies. So, majority of us accepted that and now, as grownups, we rarely lie. When it comes to pathological liars, they usually have some other psychological issues that are associated with their lying. However, some scientists tried to prove that pathological lying is actually a neurological disorder, but those researches didn’t give conclusive results. Sometimes, this problem can be the symptom of personality disorder such as antisocial or narcissistic personality disorder. This can tell us that those individuals who lie frequently most likely have some moral issues.

We have to distinguish habitual from pathological liars, because these two types are not the same. When we talk about pathological liars, they lie, manipulate and deceive others without feeling guilt and regret. They don’t care about the other individuals who they deceive. These people can tell you stories that are very easy to believe in and, what makes things worse is that they are very hard to treat. Their lies come from their agitation, so they are not caused by situational factors. They lie without any reason and don’t ever think about how those lies could affect others. They are usually egoistic and have low self-pride.

Studies showed that about 1% of young delinquents have antisocial personality disorder and are also pathological liars. You can recognize pathological liars by changing their stories often. They simply can’t remember what their first story was so they invent the other one. The most noticeable symptom of pathological liars is that they lie in order to achieve their goals. They can dramatize their experiences, relationships and anything else that can lead them to their goal. But if those individuals are confronted with their lies, they will surely not admit that they were lying. This denial is making the treatment for these persons much harder.


This disorder is not researched as much as it should be, so we don’t have treatments that can guarantee success. It is usually considered as one of the signs of antisocial or narcissist personality disorder. Due to that, it is treated by psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. The greatest obstacle in treating these patients is their denial about lying, but after they overcome this phase, the treatment will become much easier.

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