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What propels a person to live in illusion? Examples: stating

What propels a person to...
What propels a person to live in illusion? Examples: stating that he has a doctorate degree when he does not; impressing upon others that he owns a 6 million dollar home when he is actually bankrupted; dating multiple women at the same time and viewing pronography as entertainment? This has been going on from 15 to 45 years of age. He moved from state to state in order to avoid the truth that he is not what he painted himself to be. Please answer and help me to understand what's the best way for assisting such a person. List priority steps in chronological order please. Thank you.
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Answered in 47 minutes by:
7/15/2013
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Lying means intentionally and knowingly making false statements. It is often done because of fear of having their inadequacies revealed to others or to themselves. Because it takes over a person’s ability to make rational judgments, into is considered to be a mental illness.

If it done to take advantage of others, to gain benefit, then it can be a personality disorder, such as antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, or narcissistic personality disorder.

It is possible that your friend has more of an addiction to lying – pathological lying, because the lies are easily seen and sometimes seem pointless.

However, if he is using these lies to get over on women or to make profit or gain, then he may very well be a narcissist.

His pornography addiction is a separate issue and is another problem that he must deal with.

You will find it very difficult to get help for your friend.

The first step is to discuss this with your friend. If you cannot get past this stage (if he will not admit that he has this problem) then you cannot proceed.

If he does try to find a good therapist to help him, if he agrees to let you help him and to find a therapist. He must have a face to face assessment and be willing to change.

You can search for a therapist at www.psychologytoday.com


Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Psychotherapy seemd to be one of the only methods to treat a person who lies pathologically or who has a personality disorder.

Pathological lying is multifaceted and is different from other mental illnesses. Some may have a disposition for it, and there is no guaranteed cure. It severely affects the person who suffers from it, and the people whose lives they touch.

Do not expect an easy cure for this. Medicines won’t help. Only talk therapy.

I shall keep your friend and you in my prayers. You must start off by having a gentle talk with him and then take it from there.

Warm regards,

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Do you think that my friend has a mental disorder?

Does pathological lying considered a mental issue?

Other than the fear of inadequacies as a possible cause of his pathlogical lying for 30+ years, is / are there any other causes?

Thanks!

Dear friend,

Thank you for getting back to me.

Yes, I think that your friend has a mental disorder. If he uses these lies for profit then he has a personality disorder (one of the four I mentioned). If it is narcissistic personality disorder then you can tell by looking at these psychiatric criteria:

NPD DSM

Diagnostic criteria for 301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder

(DSM IV - TR)

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

(4) requires excessive admiration

(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes


Pathological lying is considered to be a mental issue because it does harm to the person who does it and to others. It can also be believed by the person who tells the lie and therefore their sense of reality is in question.

Some people are born with the potential for having personality disorders because those tendencies can be inherited and can be learned from a parent as well. You friend would be a good candidate for psychotherapy, but may not wish to go attend. Many with personality disorders will not go to therapy and do not think they need it.

You can but try and talk with him.

Here is an interesting book you might want to read:

The Object of My Affection Is in My Reflection: Coping with Narcissists by Rokelle Lerner

I wish you great success in helping this man to come to terms with reality and changing his life for the better.

Warm regards,

Elliott

Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Verified
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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
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Satisfied Customers: 7,664
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