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Why Am I a Compulsive Liar?

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From a teen in the U.S.: I’ve always wanted to know what’s wrong with me. I’m a compulsive liar, I like to steal even small things. One day I’l be happy and smiling and the next I’ll be hurting myself and wanting to die.

My parents both died before I graduated high school, they were both alcoholics and I didn’t grow up with them. When I was little I watched my biological father almost kill my mother. I’ve seen my mom hold a knife to her wrist because I dumped her alcohol.

All my romantic relationships have been either very toxic or extremely unhealthy in some way. I don’t feel guilty for anything….ever. I’m manipulative when I want to be to get my own way. I have extremely bad views of myself, however the one thing I love of myself is that I know I’m intelligent.

My family describes me as having no regard for anyone else, and being selfish. I, however, can’t see what they mean by selfish. I’m extremely loyal and giving to others that I care about except my family. Sometimes my views of people fluctuate and I can go from loving them to hating them. I’ve been in the mental hospital for wanting to kill myself.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me but it affects my life everyday and I want to know what is making me a monster. That’s what I feel like, a monster. I disassociate constantly, and it ranges from hours to days. I look in the mirror and all I see is some body suit of a girl that I wear to fit in to everyday life, I feel like I’m hiding behind whoever it is in the mirror to look normal. Sometimes, I think I’m the only one who knows what’s going on around me. I feel godly sometimes, even though i’m disgusted by myself and don’t love myself. What’s wrong with me?

Why Am I a Compulsive Liar?

Answered by on -


I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a short letter. But maybe I can give you some direction. You had a very rough start. It’s sad but true that not everyone gets that parents every child needs and deserves. It matters.

You shared that you had multiple traumatic experiences while growing up. You didn’t indicate if the people who cared for you (instead of your parents) gave you the loving support every child deserves. I certainly hope so. If they didn’t, it would impact your ability to trust even more.

If you were in therapy with me, I’d be exploring with you whether ways you found to survive as a child are now the very things that are getting in the way of becoming the adult you want to be. That would not be unusual.

Although you were hospitalized, I’m not confident you got the treatment you needed. Often hospitals focus primarily on stabilization. Most people need follow up with regular therapy to get a full understanding of themselves and the support they need to get really better.

If you haven’t done so already, I strongly encourage you to get into weekly therapy and to stick with it. It may take a year or more to get to the bottom of what is wrong, to undo the hurts you experienced as a child, and to redirect your feelings about yourself and others. You are only 18. You have decades of life ahead. You deserve to do the therapeutic work you need to do now to have a full and happy life.

I wish you well

Dr. Marie

Why Am I a Compulsive Liar?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). Why Am I a Compulsive Liar?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 3, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 21 Nov 2019 (Originally: 23 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 21 Nov 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.