Lies and Confabulations

Art by Rob Goldstein

Blog for Mental Health 2015

Rachel Dolezal is in the news because she may be a white woman who claims an African-American bloodline.

Why did she lie?

I don’t know the details of Rachel Dolezal’s life, nor am I saying that any aspect of her story is the result of a dissociative disorder.

I’m saying that it sounds to me as if she believes that she is African-American, and if she does she’s not lying.

When is a lie not a lie?

When it is a confabulation.

Confabulation is defined as the spontaneous production of false memories: either memories for events which never occurred, or memories of actual events which are displaced in space or time. These memories may be elaborate and detailed. Some may be obviously bizarre, as a memory of a ride in an alien spaceship; others are quite mundane, as a memory of having eggs for breakfast, so that only a close…

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