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Bipolar and compulsive lying


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I've read recently that bipolar and compulsive lying go hand in hand - in my case that would seem to be true.  I lie about all kinds of little things all the time, or I lie by omission - this one gets me in a ton of trouble in my marriage.

 

Lying by omission has actually pretty much ended my marriage as of today.  I'm just feeling overwhelmed, after very recently being diagnosed as Bipolar Affective Disorder type 2, ADHD and now compulsive lying...  

 

What the eff is wrong with me and why can't I just be 'normal' like everyone else?!?  is a question I seem to be asking myself a lot these days.  I don't want to hurt my wife and I feel a lot of guilt for what I've done.  This was really an innocent omission but it was deliberate, and a conscious choice that I know I made to not tell her who I went fishing with.  I had nothing to lose, it wasn't like I wasn't supposed to be with this person or it was an unhealthy situation - so why I chose not to tell her consciously I have no idea.  My friend called the house later tonight and indicated we had been fishing and the truth came out.  Inevitably what has happened now is that anything I have told her about the past 6 months during a HypoManic episode has come into question as untrustworthy.  I came clean to her about many indiscretions over that time and further back over the years - but she feels - and shes right to I suppose - that now she can't trust anything I have said.  I lied to her a lot in the past before I knew and understood my BPD issues and why I have been doing the things I've done.

 

I'm sick to my stomach that I have done this and wish I could turn back the clock.  I've been trying to hit level in respect to mood and have been doing my talk therapy and taking my medication religiously since November -  the way I'm feeling right now, despair, hopelessness, fear.... scares me, I don't want to slide back into a suicidal depression.

 

Does anyone else here have issues with Compulsive Lying and BPD - or am I out to lunch here?

 

I have lurked these boards quite a bit over the past few months - I'm grateful to all the people who have posted, it makes me feel like I have some sense of normalcy in my life still - which is a real reach for me these days.

 

Thanks.

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I don't tend to lie, but if so I do by omission.  I just won't say the whole thing.  I mean, if someone asked me a benign question like, " Do I look good in this ..."  and they totally didnt but knew their feelings would get hurt if I told them the truth, then yeah, I'd lie and say they looked fine.  But huge lies I don't do, at least none that I can think of at the moment.  If I think of any I'll post them.

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I am a huge liar by omission. If I am asked a direct question, 99% of the time I will tell the truth, even if it really sucks to do so. This lying by omission thing has really gotten me into trouble a lot lately. My tdoc is upset with me because I constantly leave things out when I go to see him. He said he's not sure he can keep working with me if I don't start being more forthcoming. My husband is also upset that I don't tell him the whole truth about things. I get really bad with telling the truth when I am seriously depressed.

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I lie by omission.

a lot.

I feel like I have to in order to protect myself.

my life is in the shadows,if the whole truth and nothing but the truth

was to be required,I would hide forever.

 

it's not like I have big secrets.

but I have "not normal" feelings and reactions to things.

I live in my own little defined world.

 

I've been through a lot(like all of us)and now I'm 40 and just want things to run smooth.

I do not feel guilty about this.

it's my life.

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I lie to people I love to protect them from my darkest thoughts or to protect myself from their judgement of stupid shit I've done when manic. So basically I lie when symptomatic, not a whole lot when stable. If I came clean to my husband about some of my manias in my 20s, it would be ugly. I am so, so sorry for what you are dealing with and going through. It's one of my greatest fears that my illness will tear my family apart.

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I lie to people I love to protect them from my darkest thoughts or to protect myself from their judgement of stupid shit I've done when manic. So basically I lie when symptomatic, not a whole lot when stable. If I came clean to my husband about some of my manias in my 20s, it would be ugly. I am so, so sorry for what you are dealing with and going through. It's one of my greatest fears that my illness will tear my family apart.

This! I always hide my deeper thoughts for protection of myself and those around me. They just don't need to know sometimes.

 

I haven't lied about the past though. After I get through a particularly rough period and there is about a year between then and now, I can come clean about my stranger thought-based symptoms, the ones I kept quiet. These days I try very hard not hide anything, but it can be almost impossible when I am experiencing certain other symptoms along with those thoughts that can prevent me from being truthful.

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I haven't lied about the past though. After I get through a particularly rough period and there is about a year between then and now, I can come clean about my stranger thought-based symptoms, the ones I kept quiet. These days I try very hard not hide anything, but it can be almost impossible when I am experiencing certain other symptoms along with those thoughts that can prevent me from being truthful.

 

This is so true for me also.

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I don't lie... never really lied. I rather just tell the truth because it saves me a lot of drama in the end.

 

i don't consider lying as not sharing every little/big thought you have and such. If someone kept asking me "what are you thinking?" I would either punch them or tell them "nothing" WHICH may be a lie but... sometimes i don't want to share my thoughts or anything. I will share my thoughts and feelings when i am ready and understand them myself. 

 

I think keeping your privacy and your past to yourself is not consider lying or misleading anyone as long as it's not related to criminal activity.

 

So i never lied in that sense. 

 

I think compulsive lying is different from just lying about little things.

 

So no i never compulsively lied and no i don't think compulsive lying is link to bipolar or any disorder. Compulsive lying seems more like a personality trait that is linked with being a coward or being insensitive.

 

learn what lying means to a significant other, friend, or family member and then you will know how to keep trust and faith in that relationship. And if you don't agree with their meaning or feel you can't live up to that meaning... it's time to walk away before you burn down that bridge.

 

JUST MY OPINION.

Edited by CherryBlossom
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I'm not diagnosed as bipolar but I have found that I lie - more often about stupid little shit like what I had for dinner than about big stuff - when I'm feeling really stressed or (especially) if I'm afraid that an honest answer will trigger more questions. It's not that I have anything to hide, and once I lie I get really stressed out that it will get found out & so then I stress over that fear of being found out - for what was essentially a stupid lie for no reason. And then I beat myself up emotionally, over and over, for having put myself in that situation. I gotta say, though, that there are only 2 people in my life that I do that to, both people with exceptionally high expectations that I feel I can never please. When thinking rationally, that tells me a lot...and makes it clear I need to sit down with them and get all expectations -non both sides - on the table. Can you have a conversation like that with your wife?

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when I'm feeling really stressed or (especially) if I'm afraid that an honest answer will trigger more questions. It's not that I have anything to hide, and once I lie I get really stressed out that it will get found out & so then I stress over that fear of being found out

 

I will do this too.  If anything I say might trigger more questions, I will just lie if I have to.  People have pressured me for more if I tell the truth at times, so I've learned to just say the basics.

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Crtclms - this is one site I read it. There were 3 others I read about a commonality between compulsive lying and bipolar disorder. I'm not a Doctor, not even close so I was just wondering about others experiences.

http://www.psychforums.com/compulsive-lying/topic570.html

Thanks, I'm off to read....

 

ETA: That is just a board member. She is just like you or me. I wouldn't really worry about it based on her post. A peer reviewed article would be more compelling.

Edited by crtclms
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I don't think there's necessarily any link. 

 

I don't know, maybe I'm just sensitive to the threads lately of jealousy, lying...all undesirable traits that people are blaming on their illness, rather than stepping up.  I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's also very easy to say 'I lie b/c I'm BP' and write it off like that.

 

No wonder I hear normals say 'that person was acting like an asshole....they must be bipolar'.

 

Not necessarily directed at the OP, just my thoughts. 

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I'm so tired and agitated but I will try to recall something I once read.

 

Okay, someone once wrote that if you grew up in an abusive/unpredictable home, then you can sometimes absorb the habit of lying. People here have distinguished between white lies to save feelings, lies to get out of trouble but it seems you are talking about lying for no obvious gain. A kind of habitual lying. This piece I read suggested that many people grow in homes where:

 

Caregivers were addicts who would lie as a habitual way of hiding or justifying addiction (what vodka bottles? I wasn't drunk)

Or they would deny abuse (no I didn't call you a bitch and hit you, you are making this up for attention!)

Or they would lie just to create a environment where no one could express their rights (no one broke into your room and read your diary, you imagined it)

 

As you can imagine, if two parents spend their lives constantly denying and lying about the very obvious dysfunction that kids can see, then kids learn that somehow, lying is a part of life. As in, it's okay to lie, even if it seems contradictory or to harm others, because that is how the world works. Sometimes kids fail to get that what looks real is in fact not. If your parent are not caring for you but insist they are, and you have no other frame of reference, what can you conclude?. If kids are at risk of harm or neglect, then it follows that a lie told to avoid that will seem okay. If parents are giving kids contradictory or inconsistent messages about lies, or putting fear into them about secrets and the shame of being found out, well, kids will consider that as truth.

 

And if lying is bad, how come mum and dad do it and get away with it? And if no one has noticed that mum and dad are lying and challenged it, then surely all adults know about the lying, or do it too?

 

And so if you grow up with lying as a fabric of your day to day life, as a kid, you experiment. You come to see adults lying and assume everyone does it. Sure, lying is supposed to be bad, but doesn't everyone? You may lie to your teachers, or exaggerate to your friends. You might see that often people want something from you and lying is one way of supplying them with it. You may feel unworthy and as if people will love you more for what you tell them than what is true. You might have protected yourself by lying about the little private bits of your self you have left, so even lying to someone who loves you can seem justified.

 

It's simplistic to divide lies into good lies vs bad lies, or conscious vs unconscious lies, everyone lies. We probably lie to ourselves about our deceptions and how much we lie to others. Lying is not a bipolar symptom, it's not just losing insight to making things up. But it's not always the case that lies have an obvious personal gain that is pre meditated.

 

I hope that explains a little.

Edited by Titania
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Lying is not a symptom of bipolar disorder. If you get yourself into a bad situation, or are embarrassed about something you did, I can see lying being a likely behavior to follow, but it is in no way, shape, or form specific to, or indicative of, bipolar disorder. Not even in the criteria. Everyone lies, some more than others, some in different ways than others, some for different reasons than others. Attributing it to BP just doesn't make any sense; you could put a thread like this anywhere, and you'd get respondents making it look like there was a link because, again, everyone has done it. 

 

For the record, I'm probably the worst liar I've ever met. I'm very open about pretty much everything anymore, if for no other reason than to keep things simple; honesty might not always be nice, but if someone asks my opinion, they're either getting that or a deflection and a subject change. I suck at lying, and I feel horrible every time I do it.

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