Telling little white lies is something that starts at a very young age and is a normal aspect of development. But, lying can snowball into a compulsive trait that can feel incredibly challenging to work through.
How Lying Works
Lying triggers the reward system of the brain and getting away with telling a lie is known as duping delight. This phenomenon can feel addicting and be an extremely hard habit to break.
What Is Compulsive Lying?
Compulsive lying typically begins as a means of developing control when someone is feeling out of control or unstable in their life. Lying can give a sense of power, especially when you can get others to believe your lies.
Those who compulsively lie may have experienced early childhood trauma, had an unstable attachment figure, and experienced other uncomfortable mental health symptoms. They may also have had a parent or guardian with mental health issues. It is very common for those who compulsively lie to also have a comorbid disorder such as a personality disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety making the lying aspect a smaller piece of a more complex mental health disorder.
Effects of Lying
Compulsive lying can negatively impact the life of the person doing so. It can create turmoil within relationships and make it very hard to build trust at work and at home. This can lead to feeling isolated, depressed, and lonely. It may also be challenging to hold down a job and maintain consistent, loving relationships.
Treatment Options for Lying
Options are available if you or a loved one is looking for help with compulsive lying. Because compulsive lying is typically a symptom of a deeper core issue, it's important to find an appropriate therapist or psychologist who specializes in compulsive lying, or addictions. Although it can feel daunting to find treatment, there are some incredible specialists who can help you or your loved one work through this.
Understanding Lying Addiction
Better understanding compulsive lying as a symptom of a larger disorder can help you find appropriate solutions for help. If you notice that you or a loved one has a hard time not lying, it may be a good idea to explore some treatment options. Doing so can help you or your loved one alleviate uncomfortable symptoms and find healthy coping options to work through the ups and downs of life. The treatment process can take some time, so be patient with yourself or your loved one and continue to use helpful resources and support systems throughout this challenging process.