I recently began dating a male who I believe may have a certain type of personality disorder. I’ve done as much research as I can and think it may be something along the lines of Pathological Lying or Pseudologia Fantastica. I also believe that Facitious Disorder may also be a possible diagnosis. He is currently 27 years old.
As far as family history goes, this individual had a mother who was a heroin Addict and was diagnosed as a Sociopath. As a child, he was exposed to drugs, pills, watched his own mother do heroin, was taken to crack houses by his father and was physically abused by his father. His mother abandoned his family at an early age. He claims to have had dyslexia as a child but says his father refused to recognize it. He has a poor relationship with his father now. He claims to hardly “feel pain” and that pain killers “don’t work for him.” His medical history seems to be extremely lengthy. Claiming to have split his head open twice and broken and fractured multiple limbs. He was diagnosed with depression at one point and was prescribed the drug Trazodone. He says he does not like doctors and seems to be extremely knowledgeable when it comes to medical information. He does not like doctors and seems to enjoy proving them wrong. He has a history of sleep walking/irregular sleeping patterns and says he was discharged from the military for it. He also claimed to have had an irregular heartbeat but no diagnosis of an actual disorder or disease has ever been mentioned. He has the tendency to repeat certain stories.
All this aside, he is still extremely intelligent, polite and quite put together. He is very rational and kind.
It wasn’t until recently that I began feeling as though something wasn’t making sense. Am I wrong? How should I approach him? Is there a way to help him?
You suspect that he may be lying or that he has a psychological disorder but nothing you have written would indicate that either of these are true. Do you suspect that what he has told you is not true? What aspects of his behavior make you think that he has a factitious disorder?
You stated that you and he have only recently begun dating. If you believe that he has serious psychological problems and is a pathological liar, then it would be in your best interest to end this relationship immediately. If an individual is unwell, then it will be difficult for them to maintain a healthy, functional relationship.
Also, it would be inadvisable to approach him about these issues, especially if you hardly know him. It’s difficult to anticipate his reaction. He might be angry or offended. You don’t want to put yourself in danger. Nor do you want to hurt his feelings.
Without more information about why you believe these things to be true about your partner, it is difficult to give you advice. If you would like to write back and provide more information I may be able to give you a more complete answer. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog