Bipolar and Lying

It is not an uncommon experience for those living or frequently interacting with patients of bipolar disorder to become aggravated at lies told by the bipolar person. Bipolar and lying seem to go hand in hand for most manic-depressives and this association is grounded in more than one source.

Lying Out of Fear
One obvious reason for the association between lying and bipolar disorder is fear. Almost every lie is rooted in fear- the fear of some possible punishment. It is a matter of fact affair to be punished for mistakes or wrongs done knowingly or inadvertently. Denying one’s role, when caught, is thus natural. Manic-depressives are more prone to commit mistakes like reckless behavior, promiscuity, and extravagance. Contriving lies for apology is thus natural for manic-depressives.

Attention Gatherers
Bipolar patients have a craving for maintaining control over situations, and among family and friends, this need often takes the form of lying. By making false statements to different people, the manic-depressive assumes he is the gatherer of people’s attention and in control of the situation, since they dictate what people know.

Loss of Self-Control
During episodes of mania or depression – but particularly in mania — the patient’s conscious nervous system often loses control over what they say. In other words, a bipolar sufferer’s brain swirls out of rational control during such episodes. Whatever pops up in the mind is uttered, and hence the lies.

Lying and bipolar disorder are linked by another fact. Bipolar patients often experience hallucinations. Mostly these are auditory hallucinations, that is, voices or sounds that no one but the patient experiences, and then tells others about. Certainly such stories are lies to those who hear them.

But other forms of hallucinations may also occur, like a manic-depressive complaining that some family member locked them in the kitchen, while the accused assuredly did no such thing. It is important to understand that in such cases, reality is different for the bipolar sufferer and they are simply telling what they believe they experienced.

Brain Chemistry
Certain chemical substances in the brain are known to induce mood swings. An important one of these is the neurotransmitter serotonin, whose low production can induce depressive episodes. Lovers of ice cream might recognize their cherished flavor as a mood stabilizer, because of the serotonin in the ice cream. Low serotonin in the brain of a bipolar patient is another reason for the connection between lying and bipolar disorder, as it triggers impulsivity in the patient and lies are a frequent result.

Whatever the reason lying can place a lot of strain on any relationship which is why bipolar and divorce is also not uncommon.