Pathological or Compulsive Lying


Hey everyone. I was just wondering about those who suffer from some sort of pathological lying disorder. Do you think that such people have reduced culpability since pathological lying is usually the result of mental illness? Also, from what I understand, pathological lying can also result from fear such as because of spousal battery. Here’s a link to Wikipedia to learn more about pathological lying:


I am not sure about culpability in this case. I have never understood why people lie. As a child I can remember doing it a couple of times out of fear of punishment. But by the time I was 5 that was over. We were taught that the truth was better, even when we did something wrong.

My parents were more upset with a lie, than if we just told them what happened in the first place. We learned at an early age that it served no purpose. So I think those with a pathological problem with lying have never learned this for one. I think they learned to get away with it, were never called on it, do it for attention or to make themselves look important or better than others, and honestly need to be called on it.

I have been aware of and known people who lie even when “the truth would serve them better.” It is baffles me. And what really gets me, is most of time it is very obvious they are lying. I also wonder how it is that people fall for it or that the one lying does not realize how obvious they are.

I say it is a sin and these people do know better. They need to start telling the truth, first about themselves, and then other things. I really have little patience with those that lie.


I am a compulsive liar. I often tell pointless lies when telling my friend stories. It started out as me saying the very rare and small exaggeration to make my stories sound better and more interesting, but it progressed and now I’m always adding little details or changing things ever so slightly even if they serve no purpose.

I don’t think my compulsive lying has anything to do with lying out of fear or anything. I have lied out of fear in the past but that is an extremely rare occurrence compared to my compulsive lying which probably happens dozens of times a day. My compulsive lying is one of the reasons I don’t want to go to Confession. I can’t confess stuff that I know I’ll just keep doing again and again afterwards, possibly even on the very same day.

I have a friend who is similar to me but his lies are way more transparent. My lies are usually little things that spice stuff up and while his are often the same, mine sound far more realistic.

As a final note, I’d like to add that this is not caused by mental illnesses or anything like that, it is just categorised as one since something isn’t normal in the brain. It’s just habitual lying that became so habitual that the brain got too used to it. People with it are still at fault for habitual lying in the first place and it’s not incurable if enough effort is put into fixing it.


Re your feeling that it is futile to confess sins you know you will repeat.Through frequent confession,you will receive the grace necessary to make a fi rm amendment to not repeat this sin. We all are repeat offenders,have our pet sins that we confess over and over.The idea is to persevere in over coming our sinful habits.It isn’t’t easy but we have to keep trying.


Christianity without repentance is a farce!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit