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The Psychology of Lying
On the other spectrum, however, are people who tell lies pathologically. They feel a compulsion to tell lies and may lie for no apparent benefit whatsoever. People in this category often qualify for a diagnosis of a mental health disorder as designated by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Common diagnoses associated with patients who consistently lie include:
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Factitious Disorders
Other mental disorders exist that may result in patients telling lies, but not realizing that what they are saying is not true. Examples include Paranoid Personality Disorder or some of the Dissociative Disorders.
Furthermore, some people are led to lie as a result of their disorder even though the disorder itself does not directly cause the lying. For example, a person diagnosed with an eating disorder may lie about caloric intake in an attempt to avoid eating another meal, or a compulsive gambler may lie about how much money was spent at a trip to the casino. On the other hand, some people who lie have no mental disorder at all.