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Lying is one of the more unsavory parts of the human personality. Little white lies may be relatively harmless, but in some cases, the habit conceals a larger problem, that of compulsive or pathological lying. People who lie pathologically are fundamentally different from the average person who lies to get out of a tight spot or an awkward problem. In fact, most psychologists characterize pathological lying as a mental health disorder.

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1. Pseudologia Fantastica

Pathological lying, also known as compulsive lying, mythomania, or pseudologia fantastica, is a chronic disorder marked by habitual lying without a clear motive. An article published in the Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica in 1988 lists clear indicators of pathological lying:

  • The lies are based in some truth or are realistic
  • The stories spun around them are consistent and enduring
  • The lies are not told for personal profit but do promote a sense of egoism in the liar
  • They are not delusions. The liar can acknowledge their lies if confronted with the truth.
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