Destination Hope Blog » How Addictive Behavior Leads to Pathological Lying

How Addictive Behavior Leads to Pathological Lying

When you have an addictive behavior that is illegal or generally frowned upon by society like alcoholism, lying and deceit can become second nature. Addicted individuals don’t just lie to their loved ones; they also perpetually lie to themselves.

Lying is actually such a common component of addictive behavior that many experts accept it as part of the addiction process as a whole. As a friend or a loved one of an addict, there are a number of considerations to be mindful of with regard to the pathological lying.

Why Your Loved One Lies About Their Addictive Behavior

While there are absolutely some reasons addicts lie that are unique to the individual, there is a general construct as to why lying plays as integral of a role in addictive behavior as it does.

  1. They Lie to Cover Up the Addiction– This is the most common form of lying addicts engage in. Since almost all drug addicts are engaging in illegal behavior, it becomes second nature for them to lie. To the addict, lying equates to survival.
  2. They Lie to Avoid Confrontation– Loved ones and family members of addicts often find them to be confrontational. In reality however, these individuals more often want to avoid confrontation than anything else. So many drug and alcohol abusers rely on their addictive behavior to serve as a coping mechanism that they don’t possess the skills to handle the stresses of confrontation.
  3. They Lie Because They Are Ashamed– It’s very common for individuals with substance abuse problems to lie about their addictions because they are ashamed. On some level the addicts know that their behavior is self-defeating and having others point that out, especially people whose opinions they value, can cause them great shame.
  4. They Lie Because Others Often Go Along With the Lies– Friends and loved ones are often guilty of enabling the addictive behavior to avoid a confrontation. What they don’t realize however is by avoiding one problem, they are in fact creating a much larger one. By going along with the lies, they are essentially giving the addict permission to continue lying to them.

Learning how to support your loved one through their addictive behavior can be very challenging. It can be difficult to not get your feelings hurt when you feel like you’re constantly being lied to, and that’s perfectly normal. It’s important to try and remember to not take it personally, as the lying is not actually about you, but the addiction itself.

Stopping lying would mean that the addicted individual would need to own up to the addictive behavior which can serve as a huge deterrent. The best thing you can do is to be open and honest with the addict while also giving them the clear message of support and encouraging them to face their demons of addiction.

Destination Hope is a full service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility for men in Florida. If there’s a man in your life who has fallen victim to drugs or alcohol abuse, please don’t hesitate to put them in contact with us today.  We can pick up from where you left off and continue to support them through their recovery.