Lying and Bipolar Disorder


Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that is characterized by periods of manic episodes and depression. A person suffering from bipolar disorder can exhibit any of a number of mood swings and periods of depression. It is not uncommon for her to be caught in any number of lies as well.

Lying for Attention

Many people who suffer from bipolar disorder tell lies to get attention. While this is just a characteristic of a manic episode, people who suffer from this condition have an acute need for attention. In many cases, this need can take the form of telling lies to different people. By doing so, bipolar sufferers have direct control over the amount of attention they want for themselves.

Lying to Maintain Control

In many cases, lies are told as a way to take control over a situation. Manic episodes can leave any person feeling completely out of control. By telling stories, a person suffering from bipolar disorder can have control over situations and times that may otherwise make them feel out of control. These lies are often harmless.

Lying to Excuse Behavior

Any person suffering from manic depression or bipolar disorder will likely find herself in questionable situations now and again. During periods of depression or mania, people with bipolar disorder may do things they are not proud of, and lies are often told to excuse this behavior. Stealing, lying and even promiscuity are not uncommon; when these behaviors take place during one of their episodes, they may feel it necessary to tell lies to cover up their wrongdoing.

Lying to Cover Impulsivity

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one of the main characteristics of a bipolar individual is impulsive behavior. Impulsive behavior often results in shame, as it involves performing actions without much forethought.

According to Derek Wood at, "Bipolar Disorder can be associated with low serotonin levels, which has been implicated in impulsivity, which...makes a person more prone to lie." If you are living or dealing with a person who suffers from the mental condition, don't be surprised to discover that your loved one is telling falsehoods in an attempt to cover up impulsive, regrettable actions. In the end, he may have no other way to explain his actions.

How to Deal

The lies that are told as a result of the bipolar condition vary on a case-by-case basis. Some lies are harmless and others can be devastating. If you are supporting someone who you think is lying as a part of her bipolar condition, talk to her about the lies she is telling. It is important to properly time such a chat, as you never want to catch your loved one during a manic episode when attempting to approach him about lies he has told. Compulsive lying may be treatable through therapy or medication. Bipolar disorder is a complex mental condition, and empathy is going to be more important for your loved one than ever before.

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