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Aine

Pathological Liars and Whatever Diagnosis May Fit

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Aine

I just read this article about Dan Mallory, the real name of best selling author AJ Finn in the New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/11/a-suspense-novelists-trail-of-deceptions

I'm not even sure his story first Munchausen's Syndrome because he really didn't make his own fraudulent cancer diagnosis the center of all of his lies. It reminds me of Belle Gibson in a way (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Gibson) but his lies and bravado are so diffuse over so many domains that all I think is narcissist or psychopath.

His blaming of Bipolar II is laughable to me. As a psychologist, Bipolar II is marked by a hypomanic episode- so far shorter and less severe than a full manic episode that characterized Bipolar I. His lies were drawn out and embellished and continued over years, his behavior was not disorganized like a hypomanic or even a manic episode (both show disorganization in presentation). He never appeared to show a single hypomanic or manic episode in front of any person or colleague except maybe working late. Keep in mind that I'm not denying his depression but you don't need depression to have Bipolar I and while you need it for a Bipolar II diagnosis, you need hypomania too (ignoring problems with DSM criteria).

I find people like this fascinating. I come from a background of 'cumulative risks' (i.e. the presence of being born to a mother addicted to heroin adds continual issues and complications) but have always been very quiet about that in my everyday life. I want to be 'normal' and always have done. I want to blend in as much as possible and look up to people who model what I perceive as that.

It blows my mind that people pretend that a sibling suicided or parent died or other things to get attention.

 

What are your thoughts?

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Dreadcrumbs

I dunno. The fake cancer along with the unprompted ECT story screams factitious disorder to me, but I'm no shrink. 🤷‍♀️

Either way, he clearly feels the need to be the center of attention always.

Edited by Dreadcrumbs

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Aine
On 2/12/2019 at 10:23 AM, Dreadcrumbs said:

I dunno. The fake cancer along with the unprompted ECT story screams factitious disorder to me, but I'm no shrink. 🤷‍♀️

Either way, he clearly feels the need to be the center of attention always.

I find these sorts of things fascinating because even as a psychologist, they're so understudied. From my personal experiences with these things, it sometimes seems to be prompted by a deep need to be "looked after" or not feeling as though they can get attention in other ways. But for others it seems more straight out narcissistic- like they can play puppet-master so they do in order to stroke their own ego? 

Of course some are just straight out fraudsters looking for a buck.

 

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