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Mitomanía: symptoms, causes and treatment in children and adults

Mitomanía: symptoms, causes and treatment in children and adults

May 6, 2024

Lying is a behavior as inherent to the human being as eating and sleeping . Becoming an effective technique, although not too honest, when it comes to achieving certain purposes or even trying to be accepted by those around us

However, when lying becomes a necessity and lying involves all aspects of a person's life, it is possible that she suffers from mythomania , a psychological disorder in which the person permanently lies about his life.

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What is mythomania?

Mythomania, also known as pathological lie or fantastic pseudology , is a psychological disorder that was first described in 1891 by the Swiss psychiatrist Anton Delbrück. This condition is suffered by those people who lie constantly and repetitively in order to get the attention and admiration of others.

These people falsify and constantly deform reality and, although in most cases they are aware that they are lying , in some occasions they can come to believe their own inventions and take them as real.

Usually these people are moved by an urgent need to fascinate other people, pretending that their life is extremely exciting. However, in the vast majority of cases, they are aware that their reality is very different and consider their life tedious, unpleasant or unhappy.

The main characteristic of the lies of mythomania is that these narratives always tend to be fascinating and chimerical. But nevertheless, they never become impossible or are too fantastic , so it is really complicated to identify that the person is lying.

Of course, the mythomaniac person always tends to be the hero or protagonist of their own lies, since the main motivation of these is to dazzle other people and thus achieve fame and admiration.

Also, since this need to lie consists in a personality trait the subject is lying chronically. That is to say, it does not respond to a concrete social situation but its whole life revolves around lying.

Who experiences it?

Although it is not completely proven, different investigations suggest that the mythomania has a higher incidence in men than in women . Among the main characteristics of the personality of these people would be low self-esteem, narcissism, few or no social skills and a tendency to distrust other people.

What are the symptoms?

Because mythomania is considered as the imperative need to lie, it can be considered something similar to a type of addiction , so it shares a series of traits and symptoms common with other addictions. These symptoms are:

  • Increased anxious symptoms at the time of carrying out the addictive behavior. In this case, lie.
  • Ideas and constant thoughts of intrusive nature.
  • Inability to resist the urge to lie .
  • Decrease in psychological pressure when lying and not being discovered.

In addition, there are a series of symptoms of the mythomania . Among which are:

1. Magnification of reality

Sometimes, instead of inventing a story, the mythomaniac magnifies reality, oversizing it and decorating it to make it much more interesting and attractive. In addition, these people tend to gesticulate in an exaggerated way when accompanying their stories.

2. Low self-esteem

The need to lie is often enhanced by low self-esteem and an inability to accept and accept his life as it is . Hence the need to elaborate and express an idea of ​​themselves that makes them look attractive and interesting.

  • Related article: "Low self-esteem? When you become your worst enemy"

3. Anxious symptomatology

Due to the frustration and disenchantment they experience with the reality of life, mythomaniacs tend to experience numerous episodes of anxiety as a result of comparing their life with what they would like it to be in reality.

  • Related article: "The 7 types of anxiety (causes and symptoms)"

4. Constant feeling of stress

The constant fear sensation to be discovered, the effort derived from keeping the lies and the permanent creation of scenarios and contexts not to be discovered, leads them to experiment persistent stress levels that end up wearing them on a psychological level.

5. Ability to believe their own lies

Although it does not happen on all occasions, many of the people who live with mythomania can get to assimilate or believe their own lies; accepting themselves as truths or as situations lived in a real way .

Finally, mythomania can be integrated as a symptom more typical of other psychological disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. as well as in some other addictions , since the latter place the person in a situation of isolation and great need to get money.

Its causes

Although the exact cause of mythomania has not yet been determined, There are a series of theories that try to give a basis to this disorder.

As for the neuropsychological bases, some investigations point to a neuronal imbalance in the area of ​​the frontal lobe, as well as a greater amount of white matter in the brain.

On the other hand, according to different hypotheses posed by psychology, the cause of this condition is found in a set of personality traits that make it easier for the person to feel the need to lie to attract attention or in order to seek the popularity or affection of other people.

Finally, theories have also been developed that indicate that mythomania is actually a symptom of another more important psychological condition that remains underlying, such as borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.

Is there a treatment?

Due to your fear of being discovered or of your reality being discovered, in most cases people with mythomania do not usually come for consultation or manifest a great repulsion to therapy. So a large part of the intervention is done through relatives or acquaintances very close to the person.

However, in cases where direct treatment can be initiated it is necessary to get the commitment of the person and ensure their willingness to collaborate, otherwise the therapy will have any kind of effect on him.

There are different means or techniques to treat mythomania. Some options are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral or cognitive therapy.
  • Training in social skills and communication techniques.
  • Pharmacotherapy with anxiolytics.

How to Stop Compulsive Lying (May 2024).

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