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MN Psychiatrist
MN Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience:  Physician for 17 years, adult psychiatrist for 13 years working with a wide variety of patients.
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I am 44 years old and have had a problem with pathological

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I am 44 years old and have had a problem with pathological lying. I dont understand why I do it...I just do. I want to overcome this!! How?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 5 years ago.
Hello, I am a psychiatrist.

I could best answer your question if I had some more information. Specifically, do you have any sense at all how you started lying? Do you lie in many situations, or only in certain situations or to certain people? What are your relationships like? Also, have you ever undergone psychotherapy to explore the issues behind your lying?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I would say it started as simply as staying out of trouble when I was younger(we were abused). As for the has to do with past experiences....what I do for a living...why break ups happened. It's as if I don't feel my life is exciting enough and Have to create a new one. I have never sought help. I do have plenty of friends but they too are exposed to the lies and don't know it. I am divorced and scared to date because I know I will lie:((
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 5 years ago.
I see. it sounds like you want to change, and that's a really good, thing. That's positive.

I'm sorry you were abused.

Because this has so much to do with you (it often does), is why I was asking if you'd had therapy for it. Doing so is important because you'll need to process through enough instances of your lying to get a sense of what your main thought/behavior patterns are. When those are identified - and start becoming obvious to you - then you'll be better apt to start challenging the thought patterns that drive this behavior. To start with, one of those is the idea that your life isn't exciting enough without embellishment. Your life may not be exciting... But it's YOURS. That may not appeal to you, and there's nothing wrong with wanting a more exciting life, but trying to identify with a more exciting reality by lying isn't the same as having one. This is just an example, from what you've shared.

In time, working through the thoughts and feelings you have from your past and being abused, and learning to value your self, you will hopefully get to the point where you prefer your reality to a fictitious one based on lies. That an happen. Really.

In therapy, you'll also be able to specifically address how lying prevents you from actually making your real life more exciting, say, by keeping you from dating.
Does this make sense?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it does make sense. What kind of expert should I seek?
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 5 years ago.
A therapist who does cognitive-behavioral therapy (this is a well-established and common type of therapy).
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