Lying & Depression

thinking depressed image by Frenk_Danielle Kaufmann from

According to, depression can result from chronic lying, either from feelings of guilt due to lying on your part or from people lying to you. According to depressionalliance.

org, depression affects at least two in 100 children younger than 12 and five in every 100 teenagers, while this condition is even more common in adults. Lying is often a symptom of bipolar disorder or manic depression. Compulsive liars or parents with children who lie to them all the time should seek professional help.


People lie to save face. Chronic liars often suffer from low self-esteem and try to present themselves more acceptable to others. People are however not always fooled, and after a while the liar will start to struggle to connect to others. Depression may set in when the liar realises that he is in fact living a lie and that people don't take him seriously anymore.

Another reason for people to lie is to avoid confrontation. Deception, however, is far more harmful to a relationship than confrontation. An honest confrontation can pinpoint areas of the relationship that needs work and contribute to growth. Lying to avoid confrontation, on the other hand, can cause depression due to feelings of cowardliness.

According to Psychology Today, honest people tend to score high on psychological scales of responsibility and have meaningful same-sex friendships.


According to Psychology Today, some psychiatrists suggest that depressed individuals delude themselves far less than their non-depressed peers. Psychology Today states that researchers such as psychologist Shelly Taylor, believe that a certain amount of self- deception is essential to good mental health. It is possible to lie to yourself to make you feel better, but in the end you are also avoiding responsibility and accountability. Constant self deception to justify your behaviour can in the end damage your self-esteem.

Uncovering the Lie

People can become depressed due to bitterness caused by deception from others. According to, people are often more angry and hurt by the lie that was told than about the sin that has been committed. Lying to someone implies that you don't trust him enough to tell the truth, and this can cause a lot of hurt to the person who is lied to.

Health care professionals like doctors often don't tell their patients the full implications of a diagnosis to protect them from potentially hurtful or sad news. Analysis of doctor and patient interactions has shown that this can cause more damage than good. A conspiracy of silence from the doctor's side can cause a heightened state of fear, anxiety or confusion in the patient, and result in depression. Telling a patient the truth also gives him and his family an opportunity to come to terms with the diagnosis and adapt their lives to attain achievable goals.

Lying and Manic Depression

Manic depression or bipolar disorder goes hand in hand with lies. According to, manic depressives are more prone to indulge in reckless behaviour, promiscuity and extravagance. Lying as a form of apology becomes natural for manic depressives. Manic depressed patients tend to want to be in control of situations, and lie in order to get attention or manipulate what people believe.

Manic depressives also often lie compulsively during episodes of mania or depression, as their nervous systems lose control over what they say. When bipolar disorder sufferers experience hallucinations, this can be seen as lies by others.

Brain Chemistry

A chemical imbalance in the brain can induce mood swings or depression. Many psychologists and doctors prescribe antidepressants to patients suffering from depression to correct this balance. Serotonin is one of these chemicals that influence a person's mood. Low serotonin in the brain of a manic depressive will trigger impulsivity and often result in lies.

Conduct Disorder

Lying to get a favour or avoid responsibilities is a common symptom associated with conduct disorder. Conduct disorder is a behavioural disorder in children and adolescents. Problems often include drug use, antisocial behaviour and criminal activity. According to, conduct disorder can be an early sign of depression or bipolar disorder.

According to, children who suffer from depression struggle to get on with friends and family, lack confidence, struggle to study, develop eating problems, lie and often end up stealing and truanting.