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Avatar universal

ADD and Lying

I am just now realizing, and hopefully not too late, that my soon to be 20 year old daughter is in desperate need of help.  She has been a Compulsive Liar for as far back as I can remember.  I also assumed that she had ADD, definitly NOT ADHD, and since completing high school and attempting now her second year of college, I find that her symptoms are worsening.  I don't know where to start with her.  She refuses help, will not see a counselor, definitly will not back down when caught in a lie, and I can't seem to do a thing to help her.  What exactly is the corralation between ADD and Lying?  When I read articles, it always includes ADHD, and she has absolutly no symptoms of hyperactivity, in fact, she is quite the oppisite.  Any ideas?
17 Responses
535822 tn?1443976780
What is she lying about can you give us an example , could it be a habit she has gotten into to save herself from getting into some verbal trouble with parents or Family, has she siblings?
627145 tn?1230305626
I think when I've lied it has usually been to avoid spending energy on a topic that I believe is not an important one to spend my energy on.  That is, I believe my energy resource is lower than normal people's, and I resent it when they want to get into a fuss over something and get my nerves in a jangle over something I don't even care about.  If my adrenaline gets up, I lose motor coordination in my hands, and then my nerves get even more jangled as I drop things and become less and less efficient.  And naturally I get furious at the person who is causing me extra problems.  But of course, the person has no idea that I'm just trying to get some peace and quiet so I can think straight and be halfway efficient with what absolutely has to get done.    
Avatar universal
Thank you for getting back to me, and also thanks to Fuzzz.  Lies are about anything.  Recently, my daughter adopted two kittens.  She made up a huge story about finding them, even someone "dropping off" a scratching post in her yard.  The kitties were sick.  I suspected she got them from animal regulation because the female was already spayed.  She knew the male had been neutered.  I called animal reg to see if she did indeed adopt the kitties from there.  She had.  I asked her to please tell me the truth, we needed to know to tell the vet so that they could get proper care.  She still denied it.  Her boyfriend asked her why she felt she had to lie to me.  Her response was "my mom will freak"...Actually, I'm just the opposite, especially when it comes to animals.  They have cost me over $300.00 so far to get well, and I go to her apt. every morning to help give them their antibiotics.  She still sticks to her story.  This is just one of thousands of examples.  Over the years we (her dad and I) have tried therapy, punishment, rewards, you name it.  She did have a trauma in her life when she was 4.  Hospitalized for a bone infection that took 6weeks to heal.  Many IV's, reactions to antibiotics, and I just had a baby.  Pretty sure this has something to do with it, but don't know how.  She is the oldest of 3.  The lying is definitly spontaneous, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes typical teen stuff, but overall she is a great kid.  Drives me crazy!  Thanks,
535822 tn?1443976780
It sounds as if when she was a child she had this trauma of being very ill and you had a Baby (2nd) ? so after being so sick and you busy with a new sibling that there could have been jealousy issues,okay many years ago but I know from personaal family that can happen and my girls have a lot of sibling rivalry going on.many years later. Could she embellish the truth to get more attention,? Of course also like with the kittens it is possible she was aware it was something she was taking on and you would be helping, are you sure you dont overreact ,what she calls "Freaking" even a bit, I have some sympathy and I guess I see that you have also, as an animal lover I would have done the same and how wonderful that the kitteens doing well.How about trying to focus on her positive side and if she tells porkies now and again, let it go,or tell her she doesnt need to to get your attention, dont feed into it, she really cares about your opinion . Be nice if you went out together and had one to one time.Hey Ho Moms and Daughters I have it all the time.
Avatar universal
Thanks again so much for the input.  Totally agree about the attention, jealousy issues.  I think one thing that I have learned which helps, is that she does have ADD and somehow most of this spontaneous lying is secondary to that condition.  She has lost friends over her lies, and is slowly realizing that even tho she lies to her parents, we still forgive and love her.  Taking your advice and going to lunch today!
Avatar universal
Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I carefully just re-read your comment, and your first sentence made SO much sense!  Avoiding spending energy on a topic.  I'm going to sit back and pay attention to that.  I think that could be part of it.
Thanks again!
303824 tn?1294871401
I have a friend who does that, lies over everything, especially the smaller, unimportant things, like how much money she makes at her job. I have yet to figure out why she does this, but I stopped letting her do it to me. I started calling her out on it (at least when I knew for a fact it was a lie) and a lot of other people do the same, but it doesn't stop her.

Does your daughter only lie to you? Or does she lie to everyone? If she only lies to you, she may be scared of your reactions to her actions for some reason. She may see you as judgmental and fear she isn't up to your standards. There may absolutely no reason for it, but for some reason she might feel that way. And then there is always the possibility that she is just that way (if she lies to everyone) and she can always seek counseling for it IF she wants to. Have a heart to heart with her, maybe over a mother daughter date or something and see what she says. Good luck!
Avatar universal
Yes, it is to everyone.  Friends, family, boyfriend, etc.  I am finding that this is not uncommon.  I think she will eventually seek counseling.  Thanks for your input!
303824 tn?1294871401
Oh man, I was hoping that wasn't the case. Does she see that she has a problem with lying? Would she be open to counseling?
303824 tn?1294871401
Also, I'm starting to wonder if lying is related to ADD somehow? My stepson has ADD and he lies about EVERYTHING. Someone posted a topic about this the other day, and I responded saying that lying has nothing to do with not being able to pay attention, but I think I am finding that could be wrong. Hmmmm...I may do some internet research and see if I can find that out.

By the way, is she on ADD medication??
189897 tn?1441126518
The question is - is lying related to ADHD?  In a way, yes it is.  If you have a condition where people are always correcting you or telling you not to do that, then its not unusual to find a way to compensate for this continual verbal barrage.  Lying can be a form of self preservation.  If it gets you out of even a little bit of trouble (when you are always in trouble), then its worth it.  If a child has intelligence (and we know the typical ADHD child does), then this self-preservation skill comes almost naturally (through trial and error).  It is not something that is planned out.  By the time they are old enough to know better, it can be almost an ingrained habit.  Of course, if it really is being done as a form of self-preservation, then it is very hard to stop.

The cure is to understand ADHD.  Make sure your child and teachers also understand it and what it does.  There is a lot of good literature out there that helps.  This is not dealt with like a normal child who lies.
Avatar universal
Hi, thanks for addressing my origional question. I would love to know what website to go find info on a link between ADD/Lying.  There is info on ADHD vs. lying, and your point is well taken as to self-preservation skills.  My daughter has no hyperactivity at all.  In fact, she likes to fly "under the radar" so to speak.  So, you made me think that perhaps because as a child she was shy and quiet, she lied as a form of self-preservation to stand out with the rest of her peers, and then this "skill" (through trial and error), has naturally become ingrained.  And I'm not sure if you are aware that she is now 20 years old, and the make believe stories, embellishments, and just "plain old lies" continue.  How come pediatrians, counselors, teachers, etc. don't recognize this?  I have sought help with this so many times, from all different sources, and everyone blew it off with the attitude of "this is normal, she'll outgrow it."  I really worry this will ruin her life, but I guess it really is up to her at this point to seek professional help on her own.
Thanks so much for your input.  Interesting things to think about.
Avatar universal
Hi again,
No, she has never been offically diagnosed with ADD.  Because she does not have hyperactivity issues, she was always a good kid in school.  She maintained a B average pretty much, until her senior year, and then as with alot of kids, keeping her on task was a challenge.  Once they reach 18, a parent has very little control as far as skipping school, etc.  She did graduate (thank goodness), and she finally is realizing that she can't take a full load of college classes, because she just can't focus.  So, it will take her longer to complete her college years. It is a little more difficult to find info on ADD vs. LYING.  There are articles about a correlation between ADHD and LYING, which can be applied.  For instance, and this may apply to your step-son...A child with ADHD often will get into trouble at school and begins lying to fend off the barrage of complaints, lectures, etc.  It becomes a way of self preservation.  The problem is, if this works well for them, it becomes habit.  I'm thinking this has worked for my daughter and is now habit.  She NEVER got into trouble at school, she was quiet, shy, never wanted to stick out.  However, when I think about the above statement, lying could have started out as a way to get peer attention, and became habit.  I don't know.  She is 20 now, and has to choose for herself to seek help.  I've tried many approaches over the years, and nothing helped.
Thanks again,  
674607 tn?1240017232
If you are researching the connection between ADD/ADHD and lying, you have to start with ADHD, even if your daughter displays none of the "H" symptoms.  Why?  Because the DSM IV does not even list a condition called ADD.  The latter is merely a popular abbreviation and sometimes people will use it to indicate that their child is not hyperactive.  Psychiatrists  speak of thre kinds of ADHD: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive, and mixed type.  "ADHD predominantly inattentive" is most common among females.  Because it is a quiet quiet, it is often overlooked in school.  It causes few problems for teachers and classmates, but of course it interferes seriously with the child's learning.  Everyone notices the ADHD boy right away (as long as he falls into the hyperactive or mixed categories.  You can't miss a boy who will out of the blue break all of his neighbor's pencils or fall out of his chair.  In the meantime, the "predominantly inattentive" girl quietly drifts through her own world that is far removed from the lesson's topic.  This girl has ADHD just as much aas the lout of a boy.

I will shortly look up a link to a wonderful looks at ADHD from the female persepective.  It will take me a little while to locate it.

Hope you found my comments helpful even though they do not actually answer your original question.  If you do know of any articles on ADHD and lying, they will probably apply to people of all three types, and may therefore shed some light on what is going on with your daughter.
674607 tn?1240017232
For an article on ADD/ADHD in girls go to http://www.addvance.com/help/women/daydreamer.html.   It gives an easy-to-read characterization of the three types of the condition as they express themselves in girls.
Avatar universal
My son was just yesterday diagn. with AADD.  He has been in the top 10% in HS.. now having problems in college.  He has coped with AADD very well without meds.  However now in College he needs help. He had heart surgery when 5yrs. old..

Doctors are now trying to figure out what to give him for help... Adderall... I don't like the issues it has with heart patients... plus could become addictive...

Strattera... maybe better.... Does anyone use it that has or had a heart condition?

Going back to your questions - my son has always been up front honest no lying... he comes to me.... no matter what the issue.. is... guess I'm lucky... I have used that stragergy since he was young.  So he had no reason to lie... he would never be in trouble.  Doctors say he has very low oral/visual scores..but is very smart and has coped with it all his life.

Hope that help...some... I would take her to a pyschol.
Avatar universal
How fascinating!  Plan on visiting the web site you sent as soon as I finish here.  Thank you so much, have not heard those reports before.
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