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Everyone lies because everyone has secrets. It is human nature. Everyone lies at some point of time in their lives, for one reason or the other. Some people lie out of guilt, to buy time, some out of desperation, but there are some who lie for no reason, other than habit. These are the victims of compulsive lying syndrome.

Definition
There is a difference between compulsive and pathological liars. Pathological liars lie, with malicious intent, as they need to manipulate people for their own selfish purposes. They know why they are lying. On the other hand, compulsive liars lie out of sheer habit. For the latter, lying becomes such a habit, that it almost becomes second nature.

Once a compulsive liar lies out of habit, he has to manufacture one more lie, to cover up the one before. With time, they have to create a web of lies to support earlier ones. This is how the syndrome traps the victim in a vicious cycle of lies. In children, this disorder needs to be nipped in the bud, as it will cause major problems for them, in the future.

Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms of compulsive lying syndrome, which may help you in identifying people affected by it.

Web of Lies
People affected with this disorder lie and they lie big time, for no apparent reason at times. You do not realize that you are being lied to until you spend a considerable period of time with him or her. With time, you recognize the inconsistencies in the facts that are shared with you. The surprising thing is that the person continues to lie, even when he/she realizes that you see through him.

Eye Evasion when Talking
This is a general way of catching people who lie. They generally evade eye contact when they are lying to you and look down or elsewhere. If a person regularly talks this way, you can be sure that something is wrong with him or her.

Short Temper
When you push them to clarify their lies or you try to investigate, they lose their temper and may emotionally blackmail you.

Impulsiveness
People affected with this disorder are impulsive by nature. Their impulsiveness causes them to make a lot of mistakes, which they again try to cover up through lies.

Procrastination and Failure to Meet Commitments
People affected with the syndrome are known to be procrastinators and, therefore, they often fail to meet commitments.

Causes

There may be many reasons why a person falls prey to this syndrome. All the causes listed below are precursors, which push them into a vicious habit of lying. Here are some of the probable reasons.

Low Self-Esteem
These people generally have a low opinion about themselves and are victims of an inferiority complex. The low self-esteem prompts them to lie, to heighten their worth in other people's eyes.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
This is a disorder which affects children, making it difficult for them to learn. ADHD causes problems which make them doubt their abilities. To defend themselves they start lying, which eventually becomes a habit.

Personality Disorders
A person may be affected by a narcissistic personality disorder, which may prompt him to lie repeatedly.

Bipolar Disorder
People affected with this syndrome are often victims of bipolar disorder. This disorder causes them to go into periods of mania, when they become highly impulsive, risk seeking and can lie easily.

Addictions
A person who is addicted to gambling, alcohol, drugs, or any other such indulgence, can resort to lying, which can become a habit.

Inability to Face Reality
This is probably the most important cause behind the syndrome. These people are not mentally prepared to accept reality and to accept who they are and the way things are. They create a fantasy world built on lies, which acts as a barrier that protects them from facing reality. The fantasy world is so reinforced in their mind, that lying becomes their second nature.

Treatment

Treatment for compulsive lying disorder is possible. However, for that to happen, victims must realize, that what they are doing is wrong and something needs to be done about it. They need to understand that this is a sickness, which is affecting them and need to attend therapy sessions with either a close friend, who really cares, or a professional psychologist.

It is not advisable to directly confront these people about there lying. It may prove dangerous, as they may already be on the edge, from the guilt. Mind is a fragile thing and when treating mental illnesses, one must be careful. Therapy is something which the victim may need to attend, with a professional psychologist.

To prepare him for therapy, is a job which needs to be carried out by people close to the victim. As I said before, do not confront him but tell him that he does not need to lie to you. If it is a child who is lying, mild punishment will work. The trick is to make the person realize that he is sick and needs help. Convince him to kindly take up therapy.

Lying is running away from the truth and reality. I do not recommend honesty as the best policy all the time, but it is the best, most of the time. Lies do help sometimes, like when saying a brutal truth may only serve to hurt unnecessarily. We do not live in a black and white world but a gray world. It is difficult to avoid lying at times, though, it may sound hypocritical. If somebody lies as a habit, his credibility diminishes. Loss of credibility and trust isolates a person, which may lead to even more serious problems. So, people with this syndrome need to be treated at the earliest.