Archive for June 14th, 2011
Posted on June 14, 2011 - by Nurse Virginia
WHEN THE ELDER JUST CAN’T TELL THE TRUTH – DOES HE SUFFER FROM DELUSIONS, CONFABULATIONS OR IS HE JUST A LIAR?
Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others.
And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to a brute in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself.
The man who lies to himself can more easily pretend offence than any one. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn’t it?
A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult himself for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill-he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it, and so passes to genuine vindictiveness.
(Book excerpt from THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV by Fyodor Dostoevsky)
This was first published in 1879 and is as true today as it was then. Many liars believe their own lies. We have all heard that person who tells a lie, then turns around and claims to have “heard” this story. Knowing all along that they heard it from themselves, they are the one who said it, and heard themselves say it.
If someone points out to them that what they have just said is untrue, they will immediately take offense and play the injured party. And the liar plays the injured party better then anyone, obviously getting a lot of satisfaction out of the attention.
The liar is all about having an audience and creating theatre, whenever and wherever it suits him. But what about the elder who tells a story about events that never happened, due to a neurological condition. Then does he confabulate, is he delusional or is he still just a plain liar?
Virginia Garberding, R.N.
Director of Education, The Wealshire, Lincolnshire, Illinois
Author: Please Get To Know Me – Aging with Dignity and Relevance