Thursday, April 24, 2014
Introducing Mood 24/7, a new tool that helps you track your mood from day to day using your mobile phone. Try it today!

Monday, July 14, 2008 Julia, Community Member, asks

Q: Does anyone know if there is a link to BiPolar and lying?

I have a 19 year old daughter diagnosed with BiPolar I Disorder when she was 12 years old.  For years she has been caught in many, many lies.  To the point that I do not trust her.  And she lies about simple things like asking her, "Did you feed the dogs?"  and she says, "Yes" and then I find the dog food untouched and dog dishes in the same place where they were the night before.  She lies about simple things, and always...All the time...then gets mad at me when I catch her in a lie.  Does anyone else find this trait in BiPolars or am I just crazy?

Answer This
Answers (4)
EmmaJean, Community Member
9/18/09 12:53am

A longtime friend is bipolar and she has lied frequently -- I'd almost say consistently -- in the 20+ years we've known each other. She lies about things large and small. She even lies when the chances of getting caught are nearly 100 percent.

 

(If she weren't bipolar I'd drop this friendship, but I realize she has a major mental illness and needs the support of friends; besides that she's marvelous company much of the time.)

 

I've wondered why she lies and frankly I don't have a scientific answer for it. But I have some theories.

 

1. She habitually doesn't think of consequences. So in the moment I don't think she sees there's a down side to lying.

 

2. She's often in a state of mild mania (hypomania) and in these times she's not very grounded in reality. So it's hard to tell if what I'm hearing is a lie or fantasy on her part. (It's often not easy to tell when she's hypomanic vs. just happy and having a very good day.)

 

3. A symptom of mania is out-of-control ambition/self esteem. When manic, my friend thinks she can become a corporation president, start a company, become a community star, whatever. So during those times she'll say things that are blatant lies but feed into her need to feel special -- or blameless.

 

4. Unmedicated bipolars simply don't think the way normally functioning people do. My friend is often unmedicated. So she'll say whatever she thinks works to make people think she's the star of the show. If it's a lie, that seems to be OK. I don't sense she thinks there's anything wrong with that. That's not the way normally functioning people think, but like I said, unmedicated bipolars aren't normal.

 

I've called her -- gently -- over the years on her lies. But it hasn't made any dent in this habit. Rather she'll defend her lie or try to explain it away or give a weak "I'm sorry."

 

I don't think, at least with my friend, that there's any way to get her to stop lying. All one can do is be aware this is a pattern and take the necessary precautions. For example, I might give her money if she needed it. But I'd never loan her money on her word that she'd repay it.

 

Experience has taught me better.

Reply
Sue T, Community Member
7/14/08 8:59pm

Hi Julia

I have a 28 year old daughter who has bipolar disorder too and she also lies continually about unnecessary things and when we confront about the lies she blatantly denies it.

The sad thing is that she has 2 young sons and she lies to them too so we are trying to teach the boys that even though Mum does it, it is wrong to lie.

 Sue T

Reply
Rachel, Community Member
7/15/08 5:10pm

My older brother is bipolar he's now 48 and has been lying all his life some of the lies he comes up with is unbelievable so i think yes they are link together....

 

Rachel

Reply
EmmaJean, Community Member
9/18/09 12:53am

A longtime friend is bipolar and she has lied frequently -- I'd almost say consistently -- in the 20+ years we've known each other. She lies about things large and small. She even lies when the chances of getting caught are nearly 100 percent.

 

(If she weren't bipolar I'd drop this friendship, but I realize she has a major mental illness and needs the support of friends; besides that she's marvelous company much of the time.)

 

I've wondered why she lies and frankly I don't have a scientific answer for it. But I have some theories.

 

1. She habitually doesn't think of consequences. So in the moment I don't think she sees there's a down side to lying.

 

2. She's often in a state of mild mania (hypomania) and in these times she's not very grounded in reality. So it's hard to tell if what I'm hearing is a lie or fantasy on her part. (It's often not easy to tell when she's hypomanic vs. just happy and having a very good day.)

 

3. A symptom of mania is out-of-control ambition/self esteem. When manic, my friend thinks she can become a corporation president, start a company, become a community star, whatever. So during those times she'll say things that are blatant lies but feed into her need to feel special -- or blameless.

 

4. Unmedicated bipolars simply don't think the way normally functioning people do. My friend is often unmedicated. So she'll say whatever she thinks works to make people think she's the star of the show. If it's a lie, that seems to be OK. I don't sense she thinks there's anything wrong with that. That's not the way normally functioning people think, but like I said, unmedicated bipolars aren't normal.

 

I've called her -- gently -- over the years on her lies. But it hasn't made any dent in this habit. Rather she'll defend her lie or try to explain it away or give a weak "I'm sorry."

 

I don't think, at least with my friend, that there's any way to get her to stop lying. All one can do is be aware this is a pattern and take the necessary precautions. For example, I might give her money if she needed it. But I'd never loan her money on her word that she'd repay it.

 

Experience has taught me better.

Reply
Answer This

Important:
We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Julia, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/14/12, First Published: 07/14/08