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psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
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Just curious...I have a family member who tells fantastic stories

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Just curious...I have a family member who tells fantastic stories that have no element of truth. This person goes to great length to make her stories seem real. The person is able to function and take care of herself w/o assistance and lives alone most of the time. The person, by all outside appearances looks competent and is very maticulous about appearances, making appointments,etc. The latest event was that this friend faked a pregnancy,bought children's things, and then told me a tragic story of the miscarriage of her baby with crying and tears. Something tells me that this person was sane enough to know that the story was a lie and to make up for the lie, she invented a miscarriage. This behavior is typical of this person. She tells realistic stories that are totally made up. Do these symptoms mirror any mental health problems? I am asking because I want to know if this person is just a liar or if there is a valid health problem that may be a cause for medical attention.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  psychlady replied 5 years ago.

Compulsive lying is a mental health issues. The person can believe the lies which is consistent with delusional problems or they can lie to get attention. Either way the person does this in a compulsive fashion. The person knows the reason for this and has some sort of payoff (benefit) to their lying. If this is attention, then everyone must remove the payoff. She probably needs to address this with a professional but people that do this often get something out of lying so are hesitant to address it. I would withdraw the attention that she is receiving from lying so that the payoff isn't there. This is more common than people think and is a compulsive behavior that takes on a life of itself. Decide as a family to remove that payoff

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