Compulsive Lying and I Can’t Stop

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have been diagnosed with depression but, lately I have come to realize I have many more problems, that I didn’t even realize till the other day..I am a compulsive liar. I will lie about anything, even simple things for no reason. Sometimes I won’t even realize that I have lied until later on. And now looking back in my life I have always done it. It’s like an addiction. I can’t stop no matter how hard I try. I will lie about the stupidest, pointless things..for absolutely no reason. So, about 2 days ago my husband looked up compulsive lying disorder and it sounds just like me. Then I saw that it is usually a symptom combined with borderline personality disorder. I have extreme mood swings. I can be fine one moment and screaming and crying (a lot of the time I won’t even remember what I said or did) the next. Anyways I was reading the symptoms to borderline personality and I have every symptom listed. I don’t know what to do and I feel that if I go to the Dr. They will say it’s something else. I’m so confused and my marriage is crumbling because of my actions. I’ve lied, cheated, and destroyed my marriage. At times I want to be with my husband and at other times I don’t..at all. I feel like I’m split in half. I have severe troubles with making decisions all the time. But, I need to make the biggest one (whether I want my marriage or not) and I can’t seem to choose. And I have completely destoryed my husbands trust. Please help me!

A. I find two things very encouraging about your letter: one is that you recognize you have a problem with compulsive lying, the other is you want help with it. There are some people who lie and have no desire to change. For them, lying is a way of life. It is something they do on purpose because they are trying to project a certain image. With few exceptions, many of those individuals are not able to be helped. Usually that is because they have no desire to be helped. They would not want to see a therapist, and feel that they have no reason to change. That is not the case with you. You want help. You want to change. You don’t like how the lying has negatively impacted your life and the lives of others. You have lived with its consequences and you are tired of it. It is a burden for you, not something that you use to further yourself in life. From my perspective, there is hope for you.

You say that you cannot stop lying. You may not be able to help yourself but a therapist could. The therapist could also help you with the other issues you are experiencing such as your extreme mood swings and your marital problems. Borderline personality disorder is treatable but it requires hard work and a dedication to improving your life.

One interesting aspect of your letter is that you feel as though you are “split in half.” Some research has shown that individuals who have difficulty with compulsive lying have described a similar feeling. The good news about the research is that it shows that lying is a problem that can be dealt with in therapy. That is very encouraging.

Here’s a link to a website where you may be able to find a therapist in your community. I hope that you will strongly consider therapy because it can help you. You are worried that a doctor will not believe that you have borderline personality disorder. That fear may be unrealistic. What matters most is that you find mental health professionals who are able to help you solve the problems in your life. The first step is making the call for an appointment. That should be your next step. I wish you well and hope that you are able to find the help you need and deserve. Thanks for writing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Compulsive Lying and I Can’t Stop. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/01/30/compulsive-lying-and-i-cant-stop/

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