Lest we should seem to be placing too much emphasis upon adolescence, with the idea that the mere passing of that period will lead to change in behavior, we cite Cases 3, 5, and 6, where the addition of years has brought no betterment. In neither of these was the essential nature of the difficulty explored during earlier troublous periods.
An interesting consideration for treatment is embodied in the rational idea of utilizing the special powers, so that there may be ample gratification in self-expression, and in use of the imagination. Through this new satisfaction there may be a mental swerving from the previous paths strewn with pitfalls. The inclination to verbal composition, already spoken of as existing in so many cases, may be utilized, and imagination be given full sway in harmless directions. It seems likely that just this deliberate practice may serve to more clearly demarcate truth from falsehood in the individual's mind. Unfortunately we have had too little actual proof of the value of this method, some cases being worked on now are too recent for report, but there is plenty of indication of the possibilities. Had we been able to control environment better, much more of this type of work would have been carried out.
A favorable outcome through this constructive treatment based upon utilizing the characteristic linguistic powers of the pathological liar, is witnessed to by Stemmermann in her story of Delbruck's G. N. In the history of this case a delightful note of comedy is struck. G. N. was found to be a man of considerable literary ability. He had been observed over the period of 13 years. After he was first studied he twice managed to go 3 years without succumbing to his falsifying tendencies, and then found his chance for leading a blameless life by becoming a newspaper man. In fact, he reached an honored place as an editor. Stemmermann suggests, naively, that perhaps this calling is especially calculated to give the talents correlated with pseudologia phantastica space for free play, so that the individual's special abilities may not come in conflict with the law, or with social customs, and, on the other hand, may be utilized in fruitful pursuits.
All together, one would certainly advise every effort being made towards specifically stabilizing the pathological liar in the matter of truth-telling--by checking the springs of misconduct, and by diverting energies and talents into their most suitable channels. The problem must ever be one for individual therapy. Failures of treatment there may be, but from our study we are much inclined to believe that well-calculated, constructive efforts will achieve goodly success among those who are mentally normal.
Hall, G. Stanley Healy, William Healy, William, and Fernald, Grace M. Henneberg Hinrichsen
Spaulding, Edith R., and Healy, Willlam Stemmermann, Anna
Aberrational cases not definitively insane Accessory to murder, false self-accusation of Accusations, pathological, Bresler's classification of Adolescence Adolf von X., case of Age of onset of pathological lying Amanda R. Annie F. Apperception, lack of, in certain cases Attitude, strong, of pathological liars, see POISE ``Aussage,'' psychology of ``Aussage'' Test, see TESTIMONY TEST
Bessie M. Betterment, conditions of in special cases Betterment, possibilities of Beula D Birdie M.