Pathological Liar : Symptoms, Signs, Withdrawal, And Treatment

Pathological Liar

Pathological liar , also known as compulsive or chronic liar, is someone who lies consistently and habitually, often without any apparent reason or benefit. This behavior goes beyond occasional dishonesty and can have a significant impact on the individual’s personal and professional life. While not officially recognized as a distinct mental health disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), pathological lying can be a symptom of other underlying issues such as antisocial personality disorder or factitious disorder.

Pathological Liar

Symptoms and Signs of Pathological Lying

  1. Consistent and Unexplained Lies: Pathological liars often tell elaborate and unnecessary lies that are easily disproven.

  2. Lack of Remorse: They may not feel guilt or remorse for their lies, even when confronted with evidence.

  3. Impulsivity: A tendency to lie impulsively without considering the consequences.

  4. Manipulative Behavior: Pathological liars may use their lies to manipulate and control others.

  5. Unstable Relationships: Difficulty maintaining stable and trusting relationships due to the erosion of trust caused by their lies.


Pathological liars may face social withdrawal and isolation due to the breakdown of relationships caused by their dishonesty. Trust issues can lead to strained connections with friends, family, and colleagues.


  1. Psychotherapy (Counseling): Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy can help the individual identify and address the underlying issues that contribute to their lying behavior. It can also teach healthier coping mechanisms and improve communication skills.

  2. Medication: In cases where lying is a symptom of an underlying mental health disorder, medication may be prescribed. For example, if the lying is associated with impulse control issues, medications that target impulsivity may be considered.

  3. Support Groups: Group therapy or support groups can provide a sense of community and understanding for individuals dealing with pathological lying.

  4. Addressing Underlying Issues: It’s crucial to identify and address any co-occurring mental health issues, such as antisocial personality disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder, that may contribute to pathological lying.

  5. Family Involvement: In some cases, family therapy may be beneficial to address interpersonal dynamics and provide support for both the individual and their loved ones.

It’s important to note that successful treatment often requires the individual’s commitment to change and the support of mental health professionals and loved ones. If you suspect someone may be a pathological liar, encouraging them to seek professional help is a constructive step.

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