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Wednesday, November 19, 2008 sarby, Community Member, asks

Q: Do all bipolar people lie or is it just my husband?

He will lie about anything even trivial stuff. He told his work mates his father had died, not for sympathy. He didn't know why he had said it.

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Answers (5)
John McManamy, Health Guide
11/19/08 1:57pm

Hi, Sarby. The short answer is no more than the rest of the population and a lot less than George Bush. Bipolar has nothing to do with lack of moral character. Psychiatry makes a clear distinction between mood disorders and various personality disorders, where lying often runs rampant.

 

Having said that, in the various manic phases, we tend to lose our inhibitions. Thus, we may find ourselves lying or get ourselves into situations that we may need to lie our way out of. But unless we're bad people to start with when we return to normal that behavior stops - we are remorseful and we take great care to manage our illness so it doesn't happen again.

 

Often, the very opposite happens when we lose our inhibitions. We are a lot more truthful than is politic.

 

By contrast, there tends to be no remorse or regret with someone with a personality disorder. If anything, they will invent lies to keep justifying their outrageous behavior.

 

And, of course, co-occurring bipolar and personality disorder is fairly common.

 

Re your husband: You have every right to hold him fully accountable. Don't let him hide behind his bipolar diagnosis.

 

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Jalaine, Community Member
11/19/08 5:31pm

I can relate with your husband. I tell the stupidest lies, trying to get control of it though. It is hard. I have to say it is mostly because I don't want to get into trouble, like when I deny something that I obviously did. Lying about bigger things have mostly been about attention though, and I have told some doozies. Can't understand why I do it, it is really hard to deal with, not only for myself, but for the ones who love me.

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raku, Community Member
11/20/08 10:43pm

Hi Sarby

Unfortunately, and embarrassingly so, I lie.  I don't know why I do...maybe it resorts back to my childhood days when I felt I needed to lie to protect myself from the wraths of my parents...maybe not.  I am 50 now.  I  still find myself lying, but I find that now I am aware that I do, and the awareness has helped me not to do it as much, still, a lie will just come out of no where (it seems)....once it is out, it is hard to say to the person you are engaged with: "oh, excuse me, but can I stop this conversation because I just told you a lie thatimpulsively just came out of nowhere".  That would be very awkward and probably take more guts than I have...and more understanding than most people have...  I do feel bad about myself once it (the lie) has made itself born, but I swear, it really seems to be so impulsive that I don't know what to do about it. Perhaps it has been done for so long, as a survival tactic, a defense tactic, that my brain has developed a pattern.  I don't know if it has something to do with being bipolar....I see where the bipolar "guru" who responded to you, thinks not.  I have bipolar ll, so maybe when I am hypomanic (which is very hard for me to tell sometimes), I lie more.  I do know that sometimes I lie because I want the nurturing.  This type of lie, I actually know I am committing...(I sometimes think about it beforehand, WHAT I am going to say...afterward, I feel ashamed of myself. This  is  born from my childhood.  But, like I said before, sometimes the lie just pops out of nowhere....and again, maybe it is a learned behavior....a pattern that just takes over because it has been there so long, it is it's own navigator. Maybe that is called a compulsive lier?  I hate the thought of that description of myself....so, I will say, perhaps not. 

Maybe if your husband goes to a therapist, he can be honest with him and ask him what to do about his "lying".  I think most of mine comes from my childhood where I always felt I had to lie because of the response I was afraid to receive from my parents. I never got understanding, so I feared, and your gut instincts are to protect yourself. A lie, to me, from this standpoint, is a defense mechanism. I find myself, like your husband, lying about trivial things....but those lies, I know, too, are born because I fear the reprimands my husband will give me; the criticisms....so, I lie to protect myself.  It is rather shameful that I do this.  Perhaps your husband does this for the same reason.  I would probably not lie to my husband  if when I did tell the truth about something, he was not so critical.  I am a very, very sensitive person....(I personally think people with bipolar are born sensitive people, by the way.)  I take criticisms hard. I cry easily and hurt deeply. I need to tell my therapist my problem with lying....gees, probably, but that is so shameful....the thought of revealing that is making me want to crawl into a hole and die!  I think I will just continue to work on it myself, since at least now, I am aware that I do indeed have problems with lying...something that is hard for me to get control over because it seems to take on a life of it's own.  I hope this helped you understand something about the "hearts" of people who lie. I do think they are remorseful...unless they are sociopaths. I don't agree with Mr. McMan,who said we have a "personality disorder."  I hate tha term . What is a "personality disorder", anyway?.....we are all human, we all have our flaws,  our strengths and our individual defenses. Our lives are our own journeys. As  we go through life, we learn about ourselves.  The human condition is one of imperfection, not a "personality disorder".  Bipolar is not a disease either or an illness, but a chemical imbalance.

 

I hope this helped.  I hope I did not come across negatively to you, or anyone.

Understanding , compassion and empathy is key to everything.  That is what I am learning on my journey, anyway.

 

raku

 

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Campbell, Community Member
12/22/08 12:53am

I am a former secret service agent who obtained bipolar as a result of 3 consecutive concussions obtained in an auto accident.  I was diagnosed with a TBI and bipolar 1 to follow, along with 4 additional symptoms.  Due to the nature of the career I was in, I had many cases I worked that would appear to be "far fetched" stories...ones like you would see on a television program such as "Cold Case."  I was stabilized on medications until I made reference about one of the cases I had worked and was called a "liar." 

 

Being called a "liar" had an extremely adverse effect on me that sent me into a rage.  I was doubting myself until I dug through my possessions and located the copies of the cases I spoke of... only to see in "black and white" for myself, to convince myself I did not have a lying disorder. 

 

There are some of us, who actually do have bipolar 1, who do not lie as a result of.

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Joanie, Community Member
1/17/09 9:42pm

I'm bipolar and have been for a very long time, for myself I try to be honest as much as I can be to everyone but if I feel like I'm being corner by someone asking me a bunch of questions and no matter if it's the truth and they won't take that answer I'll tell them whatever to get them out of my space. But you know I think really thats normal for about anybody. Maybe your husband is just not happy with his own life. It's not easy being bipolar and get treated like a nut by other people all the time. all I can say is get into a group that know something about bipolar people you may understand something to what he may be going through.

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Hard working man, Community Member
8/ 4/09 5:26am

I am in the medical field with a fair amt. of education and I find my wife not wanting to be accountable for her actions even after dx with bipolar and alcoholism.  She has lied to me far more than I will ever know which is very sad as she has hurt herself along with her husband and 4 children. If you feel cornered than that is your feelings that you have to deal with. You need to own it and quit blaming something else.  It's hell for the family that has to deal with the sick one.  Of course this guy might not be happy with his life due to his wife ruining it finacially, emotionally, and physically. Cause and effect.  I have stood by my wife through this but honestly would not if she would just tell me we are through.  I have found that people suffering with bipolar and substance abuse have to be selfish and not include the family in the state of Minnesotta. This is pure craph.  Crossroads Aftercare in Minneapolis is a place where addicts can get on facebook and play drinking quizzes. What a joke. A waste of money.  Of course web page comments are always positive when advertising for business.  A unhappy family from Nebraska!

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By sarby, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/27/13, First Published: 11/19/08