Due to the absence of precise definitions, both pathological liar vs compulsive liar are currently hot topics. This article aims to compile all the relevant information and back it up with reliable sources.
Pathological Liar vs. Compulsive Liar
These two concepts appear to be quite ambiguous, and numerous websites have made an effort to “clarify” the situation. Unfortunately, they don’t provide any reliable references, and because anyone can post anything on the Internet, various theories have emerged:
#1. They Can go to any Length
Pathological liars fabricate lies to control others and/or pursue their objectives, whereas compulsive liars fabricate lies out of pure compulsiveness.
#2. There is no such Illness as Compulsive Lying
The behavior of compulsive lying is typically a sign of another mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or narcissism.
#3. Pathological Lying and Compulsive Lying are Interchangeable Terms
It can be difficult to decide what to accept in the absence of trustworthy sources, but the truth is that there is no agreement among psychiatrists on obsessive or pathological lying. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) neither include pathological (or compulsive).
It goes without saying that the likelihood that we will be able to “clarify” the distinction between compulsive lying and pathological lying is very low if the condition has no formal standing and even psychiatrists cannot agree on a single definition. Pathological lying and compulsive lying are not diagnostic terms, just like “malignant narcissism.” It is generally safe to state that both words can be used interchangeably until one of the two is officially designated as a disorder.
This is not to argue that if the phrase isn’t included in psychiatry books, the issue doesn’t exist; nevertheless, at this point, we shouldn’t be drawing any judgments about the precise meaning of these terms or attempting to distinguish between the two.
Pathological liar vs compulsive liar may one day have distinct formal definitions, but for the time being, “compulsive lying” is just another term for pathological lying, which also lacks a clear definition. Mythomania, wish psychosis, and pseudologia fantastica (phantastica is another spelling) are other terms used to describe the same illness.
What Signs or Behaviors Indicate Obsessive or Pathological Lying
We can now examine particular pathological lying symptoms that most psychiatrists concur on after agreeing to use the phrases “compulsive lying” and “pathological lying” interchangeably:
- A protracted pattern of routinely and repeatedly lying;
- Lying for no discernible psychological gain or gain from others;
- Even when there seems to be a reason for lying, most people would still view it as stupid because the advantage is so out of proportion to the downside, or vice versa.
- Impulsive, unplanned lying;
- Lies frequently have fantastical characteristics and are simple to verify;
- Compulsive liars may partially confess their own lies when consistently confronted, but only to a certain level;
- Lies occasionally have a negative or self-incriminating effect.
Let’s Contrast This With Regular Lying. Why do Regular, Healthy People Occasionally Lie?
- To escape punishment
- To acquire an outside benefit;
- For psychological reasons, to impress;
- Common folks typically don’t fabricate information that is simple to verify;
- Regular people strive to make their lies plausible and will typically steer clear of any lofty claims;
The Common Folk are aware that they are Lying
It is particularly noteworthy and implies a disease that habitual liars would occasionally speak self-incriminating lies, like admitting to crimes they did not commit. For this reason, certain psychiatrists have been vocal in advocating for the inclusion of pathological lying in the upcoming DSM version. In doing so, psychiatrists will be able to determine whether or not certain individuals can be held legally accountable.
What other Traits are Typical?
One study found that the typical age of pathological lying behavior begins at 16, and the typical age of detection is 22. Both men and women experience the phenomenon in equal amounts. Pathological liars typically have average intelligence, though this might differ in some instances. Indicators of central nervous system dysfunction, such as epilepsy, abnormal EEG findings, ADHD, head trauma, or CNS infections, were present in almost 40% of the study participants.
What other psychiatric disorders are similar to this one?
- Pathological lying is comparable to
- The Ganser syndrome;
- Speculation or conjecture.
- Other related issues include:
- The borderline personality disorder,
- Disorder of the Antisocial Personality
- Behavioral Disorder,
- Narcissistic and hysterical personality disorders,
How to deal with both Compulsive Liar and Pathological Liars in a Relationship
While compulsive and pathological liars may have various overall reasons, experts advise exercising caution when dealing with either type of liar. Regardless of how or why the lying takes place, the effect of recurrent lying can weaken a relationship.
Deceit is harmful because it can influence other people’s bad decisions, resulting in psychological repercussions for those who were betrayed, and undercut and eroding trust. the act of trust is actually crucial to any good connection (platonic, romantic, or otherwise). The ability to rely on someone and be open and vulnerable with them depends in large part on the establishment of trust, which fosters intimacy.
Consequently, you might want to start by tempering your expectations when it comes to relationships with pathological or compulsive liars. it’s doubtful that you’ll be able to gain their trust enough to create a long-lasting or meaningful connection. And interacting regularly over time with a pathological or compulsive liar can make you doubt reality, which can be unsettling.
To preserve a fundamental, non-toxic connection, you can set limits in a relationship with either type of liar—especially if it’s a partnership you need to keep, as with a family member or coworker—and be aware to take what the person says with a grain of salt.
Pathological Vs Compulsive Liar: Behaviours
Even bolder lies may be told by pathological liars. When you know they are lying, they “continue to lie, that the two sorts of lying are fairly comparable, and that you might even be a compulsive pathological liar.”
Neither compulsive nor pathological lying has been thoroughly researched. I don’t think we fully understand the etiology and know if they should be termed a mental condition.
For instance, specialists are uncertain as to what motivates the problematic lying. They are aware that the practice can be related to impulsivity and a desire to impress. However, experts disagree on whether these lying behaviors are signs of an illness or not.
The brain structures of liars may be different from those of regular people. Pathological liars have more white matter in their prefrontal cortex than non-liars do. They came to the conclusion that these “super-liars” may have “the cognitive capacity to lie” due to the increase in white matter.
Pathological falsehoods can seem pointless, in contrast to ordinary lies, which have a specific goal in mind—you don’t want to offend your spouse, who is overweight. Sometimes the lies are even self-incriminating, which makes them even harder to detect.
Treatment for a Pathological vs Compulsive Liar
Whether the patient genuinely acknowledges that they are a “pathological liar” or a “compulsive liar” will determine the treatment’s effectiveness.
Treatment choices could be:
- Consistent counseling
- Psychostimulant drugs
- Along with treatment, family support is a big help in breaking this habit.
- Depending on the underlying psychiatric condition, a mix of treatment approaches may occasionally be used.
- Can Someone Who Lies all the time Love Them?
While the occasional lie is acceptable, a pathological liar goes far further. Pathological liars often fabricate stories for no discernible reason since lying has become second nature to them and may even feel more natural to them than telling the truth.
Even though they may be capable of loving someone, pathological liars frequently find it challenging to preserve a trustworthy and positive connection. As a result, partners may experience tension and pain in toxic relationships.
What Distinguishes Pathological Liar Vs Compulsive Liar?
Compulsive lies are frequently uttered to avoid upsetting someone or to get out of awkward circumstances. These lies are mostly harmless and occasionally even necessary. For instance, it’s acceptable and even a show of social intelligence to compliment your host’s cooking, even if you don’t enjoy it.
Pathological liars, on the other hand, frequently lack empathy and their falsehoods are more premeditated, frequently harming their victims. Pathological liars typically have selfish motives and lie to control other people.
Some pathological liars struggle to maintain long-term occupations and frequently jump about between relationships and jobs that can change their lives as their lies catch up with them.
What Leads Pathological Liars to Fabricate Lies on Purpose?
According to studies, the front part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, has more white matter among pathological liars than in normal people.
It makes sense that someone with more compulsive matter would be more likely to lie because compulsive matter is associated with quicker connections, verbal fluency, and thinking processing.
How to Spot Pathological Lying
It can be challenging to recognize pathological lying. After all, those who engage in it are so used to making up lies that they may not even be conscious of what they are doing. They might even appear to have wonderful personalities.
A pathological liar may have the following characteristics:
- Lying about little details
- The propensity to contradict oneself
- They show little to no remorse about how their lies harm other people.
- Even with evidence, they could react hostilely or defensively when addressed.
- A Pathological Liar is Difficult to Deal With Defensively.
It might be frustrating to be in a relationship with a pathological liar. Especially if you observe a trend in their lies and dishonesty, you could find it challenging to believe them.
The following advice will help you deal with the problem if you think you’re dealing with a compulsive liar:
#1. Call them Out
Let the liar know that you know they are lying when you catch them in a lie. But be aware that this can incite resentment in them. Keep your cool, attempt to explain to them why they’re lying, and encourage them to get outside help.
#2. Don’t Argue
Even though dealing with a compulsive liar can be excruciatingly difficult, talking sense into someone who only exists in a dream state won’t make them change. No one will benefit by starting a quarrel with someone who may not even be aware of what they’re doing,
#3. Walk away
If a compulsive liar persists in lying after you have voiced your concerns, you may need to leave the relationship. If they want to keep the people they care about in their lives, they need to realize that lying can ruin a relationship.
#4. Seek Professional Assistance
Pathological liars may need professional assistance to recognize and resolve underlying issues. Treatment options for pathological lying can include psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two, depending on whether it is a symptom of an underlying mental disease. Couples counseling may be able to assist you in resolving issues in your loving partnership.
Compulsive Liar Vs Pathological Liar FAQs
What's the difference between a compulsive and pathological liar?
A pathological liar continually tells lies with little awareness in order to achieve their goals. A habitual liar will lie on a regular basis.
Is compulsive lying and pathological lying the same?
The term “compulsive lying” refers to a condition in which a person routinely tells lies, sometimes without any justification. Pathological lying, mythomania, and chronic lying are some of the names for it.
Can you be both a pathological liar and a compulsive liar?
Even bolder lies may be told by pathological liars. When you know they are lying, they “continue to lie.” “You could be a compulsive pathological liar,” is a common phrase used to describe both types of lying. Both obsessive and pathological lying have not been thoroughly researched.