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The Mind of a Pathological Liar89,771 Views
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Description: We all lie sometimes when we intentionally want to deceive someone else. But pathological liars lie impulsively about things that have no external benefit to them. Watch this video for a look inside the mind of a pathological liar.
mythomania, pathological liar, liar, compulsive liar, compulsive lying
deception, honesty, lying, personality disorders, psychological disorders
mental illness, mental health, dishonest, mental disorder, psychologist, psychiatrist, talk therapy, psychotherapy
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All humans have lied at one time or another, so we all know it involves dishonesty with the intent to deceive another person. A normal lie is usually premeditated, told for external social, financial, or career-based gain. But pathological lying, which is also known as mythomania and as pseudologia fantastica, is different. Unlike a normal lie, a pathological lie is often impulsive and unplanned. Even more importantly, this type of deception seems to be told with no external benefit in mind. In the medical world, pathological lying is a controversial topic. This is partially because the medical community has yet to reach a consensus on how exactly to define it. It is also still being debated whether mythomania is a diagnosable medical condition on its own, or simply a symptom of another mental illness. After all, it's easy to confuse pathological lying with other psychiatric conditions involving untruths. For example, narcissistic and histrionic personality disorders involve deceiving others, though in both of those conditions the liar seeks to gain personal accolades, admiration, and attention. The biggest factor keeping mythomania out of official medical literature is that doctors don't fully know if patients can control their lies or not. One study found that self-proclaimed pathological liars had 26-percent more fatty brain material, known as white matter, than a control group, suggesting a biological origin. On the other hand, some pathological liars will confess when repeatedly questioned, which suggests an element of control exists over their deceptions. Because mythomania has yet to be declared a real mental illness, very little research has gone into how to treat it. It's suspected that psychotherapy could be an option, but in order to be successful, the patient would have to desire treatment, and be willing to be truthful with the psychiatrist administering it. Until the American Academy of Psychiatry can agree on a definition, pathological lying will remain something of a mystery!