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Just out of curiosity- when you talk as one of your imaginary people, do you feel as if you're taking on their actions and become the embodiment of their personality? In other words, do you feel like you're them, even though you know they're not real? This is what happens to me. I literally feel like I am them, but it's weird because it's not like it's another personality of mine because I created it in the first place! I think it's sooo neat that I was able to find someone with this same thing, CuriousLearner. Do you find that you do it more often when your mind's idle? That's when I do it. Like today, for example. Our electricity went out and I was so bored, so my mind just drifted into the conversations between my characters. :rolleyes: It also happens a lot while I'm on the computer, too. You mentioned that you have an alternate family- do you still use them? What're the characters you use most often and most recently? Sorry if I'm being so nosy, but I find this positively fascinating! :D Please write back!
Your fellow "Self-Talker,"
Well, when I'm talking, my mind has to create the words of the other people in my scenario. I mean that I have to imagine what theyre saying, too, so that I can keep on talking. So my mind, in effect, is reciting the words of every one in my little scenario. Maybe I'll be thinking about a moment that involves my family where we're talking about a movie we just saw. I have to speak for every one of my family members in order to have a complete mental vision of the moment. And I can get so caught up in it that I am literally sitting there saying "yes" "no" as if I were actually talking with them, which is why I said that if somebody walked in on me, they would think I was talking to some voice in my head. Cept, it's not a voice. It's just like a really vivid "fantasy." I have speculated that I do it to experience the excitment, joy, pain, and other emotions that I am not getting in my normal life since I don't interact with people so much because of my anxiety. To answer your question, I don't necessarily feel that I AM the other personality. It's actually so hard to explain... :confused:
I think I know what you mean- the only voice you do is your own, but you're talking to other people, whose answers are in your head. See, I either do scenarios as my characters completely in my head without uttering a word or I do the voices of my characters out loud. The only time I'm just talking to myself is if I want to address my feelings on some issue, but I'm not actually responding to an imaginary person inside my mind. It IS hard to explain, and seeing it written down makes me think that I truly am crazy! LOL! ;) And I wish someone else would respond, too. It is disquieting that nobody has any answers for us... Either nobody understands it, or they've never heard of it before.
I agree with both of you: CuriousKittie- I do think that it's partially due to an "overactive imagination," but I also agree with olguta that it's more than that because we can't stop it. The fact that it's beyond our control signifies that it's compulsive in some way. I was sorting my psychiatric research last night, and I found an article I printed out that I had forgotten about. It actually mentioned the exact thing that we've all been describing that we do. They said that it's a "mental tic", like you'd see in OCD or Tourette's, thus explaining the echolalia in the mind. They said that it's related to OCD because you get the same thing stuck in your mind over and over again, you have to perform it perfectly and "act it out", and it's uncontrollable. I forgot that I had found something that described what we have, but just the fact that it HAS been described is a good thing, I think! :D Maybe try doing a search on "mental tics" on the Internet? Write back soon! :angel:
alsaser- Yes, yes, YES! That's exactly what it's like- a "soap opera" in your head! :bouncing: With the same characters! I've done this all of my life- ever since I played with Barbies as a little girl, but it wasn't normal play. I'd act out scenarios after the dolls were put away. I also made up imaginary families, including an imaginary twin and an aunt and uncle that had twelve kids- still remember all of their names and ages, too...I think I've had major "stages" in the "soap opera". When I was 13, I threw all of my dolls away because I never played with them...except in my head, of course. The last three Barbies I had were a set of triplets that I had created from very similar looking dolls. I cannot tell you how long afterwards I used them! Must have been my junior year of high school (I'm a college freshman)! I was sooo glad when I stopped doing them because they just plain annoyed me in the last few years. I remember when I first got the dolls, named them, and their different personalities. I chose really strange names for them- I guess one of my quirks has always been an abnormal fascination with multiples and unusual names- they all had weird names, but semi-normal nicknames: Lucretia (Libby), Catalina (Cassie), and Quinnette (Quinn). Now, I basically only act out my cartoon characters that I have created long, long ago. I remember when I was seven, I started drawing my own characters, and I have reformed them many, many times since then. Still, two of my five characters are the originals from about nine years old, and their personalities are the same as well. Of course, I have added new people- refined from selecting only my favorites and getting rid of the ones that just plain annoyed me. I decided to make my main girl bipolar when I started getting interested in abnormal psych, but since I knew how infuriating it is to read incorrect stereotypes of OCD (i.e. "they all like to be clean, orderly, and have things a certain way"), I did extensive research on bipolar disorder before I ever decided to do a storyline on it because I wanted to portray it accurately. What really makes me happy now is that I have had her be bipolar I for two years now, and when I wrote a story for my Creative Writing Club last year at school, her manic ramblings I put in turned out to be very, very grammatically similar to a real-life account of a manic woman that I found months afterwards. As strange as it sounds, this makes me happy because I know that I have taken my knowledge and utilized it correctly, rather than stereotypically. What's really creepy is that I've created a cursive handwriting for my girl that isn't like my own script, and I can write using it now without even thinking- at the beginning, I had to actually think up different ways to make the letters and it took me a long time to write something because I had to remember what each letter looked like, but now, if you ask me to write with it, it's as painless as if you asked me to write in my own handwriting. At least now, since I pretty much only act out scenes with my five characters (unless I have to recite lines from movies and TV shows, which also occurs quite frequently), I don't feel like it's nearly as strange anymore. After all, these characters ARE tangible, I can use the ideas for future storylines, and I can practice "being" the character, especially my bipolar girl. She's usually the one I do the most because I do a voice for her, and I love to practice doing my accents so I don't forget how. For her, I wanted a child-like voice, and after two years of perfecting it, I have nailed down a very high-pitched voice that sounds nothing like my own. Probably another reason I loved playing with Barbies- I had other tangible objects to be the personas and I could do my voices. Over the years, I've taught myself to do a New York accent, British accent, Southern (I have two classifications- regular or high-pitched Southern belle), mysterious foreign/Slavic/Russian accent, Valley girl, and, of course, my high-pitched voice. I tend to act out my "soap opera" the most when I'm on the computer and not typing like I am now (just surfing the Internet or playing Solitaire or something), walking by myself, or standing in line. If you really want to know the truth, I think I do it during these situations because my mind isn't occupied, and I try to do something to keep the obsessions away- I've noticed that, since my OCD struck full-force at 12, right when I threw the dolls away, I just increased the amount of time I do it because, for me, an empty mind equals a breeding ground for obsessions. That's pretty much the only useful thing for it besides creativity is that it keeps you occupied- it really does come in handy in amusement park lines, which can be hours long...It is refreshing to see that more and more people are coming forth to say that they experience this, which definitely says that it's a condition of some sort. I think that it's just sooo hard to explain, comprehend, and describe that once you see someone else say it, you know you can relate. Write back soon- it does certainly help to talk to someone! :angel: Oh, and I just read your second post, and yes, only my mom knows about it, and I, too, feel that it's the same as what a fiction writer would do! ;) I also find it interesting that you say that the characters have personality traits you wish you could have- I do the same! Well, not really traits, but I've always been entranced by the life of the wealthy, so I've always, always had a character (from Barbies to one of my cartoon characters- she's been around since age nine) be some rich, snobby, seductive, cold-hearted, popular witch, and of course, her boyfriend (the other character who has been around since age 9) is as equally rich, popular, and gorgeous. With the Barbies, I used to play out a metaphorical "social strata heirarchy" on my steps, with the rich, popular girls on the top step and the poor and/or unpopular ones on the bottom. So, of course, I've transcended this into my cartoon, where my bipolar girl is constantly being tormented by the rich girl. All of this experience is probably why I'm so good at writing scripts for plays we did in English class! lol! :D For our final in my AP English class junior year, we had to write a play incorporating six characters from different books- had a field day with Gatsby (naturally! ;) and, which was all about the fabulous lifestyle of...the wealthy!) and Holden Caulfield, who coincidentally, was most likely bipolar- got to put in lots of ramblings there, and now that I think of it, writing for Holden is probably where I learned how to master writing for my girl when she's manic! :bouncing: Talk to you soon!
Gatsybe and SuchGreatHeights,
Wow, this is weird! I'm so glad I found people who understand. Yes, they have lives of their own and their moods fluctuate with mine, when I'm sad, or jealous, so are they. When I'm angry, something happens in their lives and they're angry. One guy, "B" is depressed and drinks a lot, another guy "K" is a former herion and other drug addict and he's manic but on medication (i actually did research on the drugs to make sure I got things right for my story). Btw, I dont drink or do drugs, so I dont know why they me more drama. (The ex junkie went to prison for a year). The guys are all real cute. When my best friend in real life commited suicide, so did one of my guy's brothers, I grieved and he grieved at the same time. When my mom died in real life, so did the ex-junkie's mom. Plus, the girls are all real pretty and have perfect figures, there are some less attractive people that are jealous of my main 4, some characters come and go. One of my girls "D" looks like Fiona Apple. One of my couples was dating for years (B $ D) and they had a child and broke up and now he's remarried to another girl "S", his other ex, they were dating for years, about 6 yrs ago. I even know the years they were born. They have aged with me, but they are quite a few years older than me.
Sometimes when I'm scared or nervous about to kill a spider, I pretend I'm one of the guys and act out that he's doing it, cause guys arent afraid of bugs. When I have anxiety issues, so does one of my girls (B), she's married to the ex-junkie who's now a Christian. My characters deal with death, marriage, children, everything. They are so much a part of different aspects of my personality.
I played with Barbies too til I was about 14 and had a series going on than too.
Yes, during down-time, if I'm bored, I start my soap opera or especially when I go to sleep..I turn off my mind and go into my world, it helps me sleep. Sometimes I do act it out. Even when I'm driving or exercising, I pretend to be one of them sometimes.
I dont have OCD, I just have a fantasy world. But, there's no harm in it right? Are either of you, deep down, lonely?
Thats so cool...I'm glad I'm talking about this with people who understand!!! I bet you its much more common then we think..its just so personal. Keep me updated.
p.s. I love Catcher in the Rye!
Hey, alaser! First off, I find it sooo amusing that you're referring to your characters by letters like "D" and "S"- is this because you don't actually want to tell their names for fear of copyright infringement or something? If so, that's REALLY creepy, because that's why I didn't mention any of my character's names (except the triplets because they're over and done with, and nobody knows about them)! Very strange! :bouncing: I'm, like, so paranoid someone will steal my ideas, and if I ever was able to sell it for money, it wouldn't be mine! Stupid, I know! :D Also find it funny that your girls have "perfect figures" because all of mine do, too! I think this is attributed to the fact that I learned how to draw by looking (not tracing- I have a natural ability to draw from looking at objects) at Betty and Veronica from "Archie" comics (one of my other childhood obsessions- had over 700...), who of course, were all curves, so naturally, that's where I learned how to draw women in the first place, and thus, why all of my girls are voluptuous. And, my bipolar girl- her brother committed suicide when she was 14, triggering her first depressive episode! :D So strange that you research for accuracy, as well- it's like our "condition" is one-and-the-same! Like, how you said that you've never done drugs, but yet you have characters that do- none of my characters do drugs, but my rich girl and guy are both players and boozers, even though I'm a virgin in every sense of the word! I wanted to be an obstetrician at age four, so I was always interested in babies as a kid, and I knew the "facts of life" at three- I commend my mother on this, because that's why I think I'm so conservative: since I knew practically everything at such a young age, I had no reason to explore to find the answers. My mom has always said that I may not be "experienced" as far as sex goes, but I've always been knowledgable! ;) Same with alcohol- I've never had a drink in my life, but I think it's because I grew up watching D.J. on "Full House" get chastized when they thought she drank beer at the school dance, and my parents would let me try a sip, like every other kid, but I can remember that, at age seven at least, that I hated the taste, so I never pursued it as a teen...Still, I've always wanted to be a bartender, and different drinks fascinate me, probably because "mixology" is a lot like chemistry, and it's formulaic and fact-memorizing: "A cosmopolitan contains cranberry juice, Absolut Citron, Cointreau (triple sec), and a slice of lime." So, of course, my rich girl/guy are the epitome of the martini-sipping, Wall Street, yuppish, sophisticates, even though they're only 17. Regarding what you said about the loneliness- I think that this originally came out of "loneliness" because I'm an only child, but in reality, I do believe it's more of a way to keep my mind busy, amuse myself, and keep obsessions away. I actually am a hardcore loner, and I looove to be myself- people bug me, thus, why living in a dorm sucks...Anyway, this just plain fascinates me that someone who isn't obsessive-compulsive like me (and possibly like CuriousLearner) does this! Oh, and to end on a positive note, I'll end with my fav "Holden Caulfield" quotes:
"Jane was a swell girl. She always kept her kings in the back row when we played checkers," "Where DO the ducks go during the winter? Does someone pick them up and take them to a zoo?" and, my personal fav, "Except that one book he made me read, The Great Gatsby. Old Gatsby- Old Sport- that killed me!" ;) Write back soon! :angel:
I dont have OCD, but very good point, about the anxiety and your imagination...especially when I wasnt being medicated I would have the worst was of certain people dying, so I'd tell someone that I feared so-and-so was going to die and they would look at me like I was dad would be nice and say I'm probably just having anxiety. I feel foolish now, but, oh imagination was going overboard. Its now a lot quieter thanks to being medicated... I like this guy so now my fantasies are going crazy wouldnt believe the things I think of...or maybe you would...I should concentrate on school work...but my mind keeps drifting to this one guy I like. Thats why I think I like the soap opera time, its contained. But yesterday I started acting stuff out, not from my soap, just a movie I made up...I even cry sometimes, I'm a great actor :D
See how my thoughts are kind of all over the place? whats up with that? its getting worse with time..i cant really stick to one subject, i just bounce around, some days its worse than others. Some days my sister goes crazy cause she asked me a simple question and I just talk in circles before answering her. Is this caused by an over active imagination?
I dont have OCD, but very good point, about the anxiety and your imagination...especially when I wasnt being medicated I would have the worst was of certain people dying, so I'd tell someone that I feared so-and-so was going to die and they would look at me like I was dad would be nice and say I'm probably just having anxiety. I feel foolish now, but, oh imagination was going overboard. Its now a lot quieter thanks to being medicated... I like this guy so now my fantasies are going crazy wouldnt believe the things I think of...or maybe you would...I should concentrate on school work...but my mind keeps drifting to this one guy I like. Thats why I think I like the soap opera time, its contained. But yesterday I started acting stuff out, not from my soap, just a movie I made up...I even cry sometimes, I'm a great actor :D
See how my thoughts are kind of all over the place? whats up with that? its getting worse with time..i cant really stick to one subject, i just bounce around, some days its worse than others. Some days my sister goes crazy cause she asked me a simple question and I just talk in circles before answering her. Is this caused by an over active imagination?
Well, I just realized I'm past my medication time...probably why my thoughts are starting to get jumbled..I almost feel like I'm going I make any sense? heehee
Olguta- I tend to be much more connected with my male chacters too, I have made very elaborate backgrounds for them, were the girls I dont feel as connected to, and I'm female too, thats odd. The ppl usually struggle with whatever I'm struggling with too.

miss394- wow, schizophrenia is scary. Have you ever read I Never Promised You a Rose Garden ? The girl has schizophrenia and the author attempts to take u where her mind goes...its very bizarre and hard to understand, cause she goes off into this other world...its really out there.

Gatsby- Me too, everyone tells me I should be an actress...ppl almost have begged me way...too shy, but I bet I'd be the bomb!
I think, what I meant eariler about my thoughts jumping around (they arent now) is a bit of ADD. LOL-No I'm not manic depressive, I studied it for K, he's on lithium for it. :D
I am on Zoloft for depression and Xanax for anxiety/panic attacks.

You know another thing I noticed I do, that I forgot about til I did it tonight, I make up music videos in my head for songs. My videos are usually better than the real ones. Sometimes I play a song over and over to get the video right. I used to act out the videos.
Since I'm more in tune to this now that I've been discussing it on this forum...I'm notcing more stuff i do, without thinking about the acting things out. Also today I was playing scenes from a movie in my mind, a real movie, Titanic. I was watching this one scene in my head cause I've seen the movie a dozen times. I caught myself after about 2-3 minutes and noticed I had been off daydreaming. I'm sure that is more common than the other stuff though.
hey, i know what you mean, I do that too ^_^ I always just thought of it as a habit tho, and not a symptom of anything.
I like to have debate with my people, or discuss the issues that i have on my mind. I guess becuase I don't feel comfortable talking to real people about them. Sometimes I talk to no one in particular, just a voice that answers me (but i still control it, yo. The voice reponds to me almost by itself, but if I want to step in and control it I can, kind of life breathing I guess.)
A lot of the time I'll talk to a doctor in my mind to get medical advice, cuz I really want some, but I'm not comfortable going to see her. When I was in high school I talked to a girl named Cassandra who was like a big sister to me ^_^ And sometimes I used to narrate what I was doing, just as though I was logging everything I did in a mental diary.

I lost control of the voices only one time tho for about a month and a half. A voice named Hammer, he was a really aweful person, I hated having him around. He laughed at me all the time and ran me down a lot.

But anyways, like I said, I think it's more of a habit then anything :bouncing: I could probably stop if I wanted to, although I don't think I ever would. I enjoy talking to them, cus you know, you can say anything you want to them, it's not going to make a difference *lol*
I'm surprised that there doesn't seem to be medical information out there about something that seems so common. I did this, too, from early childhood through my teen years. I began getting really worried about myself, but it ceased after I became more detached from my family. Therefore, at least for me, I viewed this as a means of escape. I think also that if you have a creative mind, it is a creative outlet. Additionally, we are raised on tv in a culture that focuses on tv shows, movies, etc., so I think it's natural for us to create "drama" in our lives. I also think that there is something wired into us as humans that encourages story-telling. Stories have been made up and myths have been passed down from generation to generation from the dawn of humankind.
One of the things that happened with me as I detached more from my family (and had less of a need for escape) is that I began writing creatively. I still needed that "imaginary outlet."
So, I would suggest that if this worries you, take on some creative pursuits. Write stories, write poetry and plays; take a film class; take dance -- anything in the performing arts; learn to draw or paint. If you feel you are doing this to escape, what is it you're trying to escape, then work on that.
Get more active -- join clubs or groups, interact more with people.
Diving into "real life" -- even if real life means becoming a creative writer -- is more fulfilling than living an imaginary one!
Hello everyone!

Wow, this is kind of amazing!

I'm a 23 year old student and I have done pretty much all of this stuff for most of my life (the self interviewing, the following the lives of characters, the soap operas that play when you don't have much else on your mind, scenarios would go through my head when music played, etc). I'm into psychology and it kind of bugs me psychologists haven't studied this sort of thing--perhaps it's because it ISN'T really a disorder. (I'm kind of proof.) I've had this going a long time, but I get straight A's in college (I'm a physics major of all things), very good at math and science, and I write a lot and am very creative. I've known other kids who had it too. A lot of my stories that I play to myself and used to act out are very profound and deep, like epic level, with spiritual experiences and deaths and being saved, and all that high Titanic movie level drama missing in daily life. These stories have emotional levels that simply aren't experienced in my normal life or probably most people's.

One problem I've had making deep connections with people is, I assumed everyone else had all this kind of deep inner world I have, and I've realized as I've gotten older, and as a child too, that not everyone DOES have this. I thought I must just not be close enough to people for them to reveal all the stuff going on in their minds, but as I grew older I realized most people just...don't. They're content with life as it is. As a child I thought I must just not be good at getting close to other kids, then as I got older and did form lasting deep friendships I realized that I was unusual.

However, from this thread, it seems a substantial number of people DO do this sort of thing. It's fascinating to me. Do people see it as a drive to create stuff? I think we should all write our stories down and be brave enough to share it under at least a pen name or something. I think it's more of a talent and asset than a disorder--it's just the way our minds choose to process through things. Some of us probably feel a need to emote that is beyond access in our current lives. Some of us might have emotionally fulfilled lives even (like I do) but it's just not enough.

I used to act all of my stories out, then we moved to a smaller house when I was fourteen, and I found I couldn't do that anymore. It drove me nuts, because I was SOOOO scared someone would catch me acting out my stories. It left a large hole in my life because I didn't have a lot of close friends at that point, and I needed my story play as a social outlet.

I went through a stage when I was in my teen years when I desperately wanted the connections I had going in my head to be real, to the point where I would pick a real character in real life who I admired and pretend I was telepathizing with them. What was bizarre about this was, I would learn things about the person in my "telepathic" fantasy that would later be confirmed, but the other person (to my knowledge) never knew about the conversations and due to a number of reasons I never asked the person about them, mostly because I knew it was a fantasy even though I wanted confirmation of some level of reality to it. I think it's that I'm perceptive enough that I knew those things about that person somehow already and brought it out in the mental conversations. As I've gotten older I have stopped doing that with people because I think it's more important to connect with people in reality than to try to nurture the fantasies.

I was a gifted, very phiosophical child, and had a lot of deep stuff going on in my head, and I think the reason I did this kind of thing was a way of reaching out. I wanted, so desperately, to have someone to connect with on a deep level, but the people I knew just didn't do it at that level, they were kind of in a "ooh fun ice cream! Let's watch a movie. Oh I'm bored with this. I guess I had better study" kind of internal mindset.

On the other hand, I think the fantasies--in and of themselves, aside from reality--have a certain value to them. I think we can write amazing stories other people couldn't write (as easily), I think we process more levels of reality than other people process, and I think we have a number of important talents and abilities related to this stuff.

I think psychologists need to quit studying and labeling all these problems and instead learn the varieties of ways NORMAL, HEALTHY people function. What a lot of us here are searching for is an affirmation that we're OKAY, that we're HEALTHY. There are SOOOO many more ways of being healthy than being Mr. or Mrs. Bundy on Married with Children, you know? The varieties of human experience are rich and diverse.

At this point, I consider myself a pretty healthy person, but at 23 I've never had a fulfilling romantic relationship to this day, and that's like my biggest goal in life, to be in love with a man who understands me. I've always been into really deep friendships and connections, and I think that's one reason I've played the stories through in my head, so I could experience these amazing bonds. There has always seemed to be so much more on my mind than is on other people's, and it just makes it hard for me to connect. Boys I've dated haven't liked the fact that I'm always reading stuff--history, mythology, philosophy, theology--and that I try to bring up wild stuff like quantum physics and Zen. They think I'm bragging. But one reason I spend so much time trying to learn etc is I'm competing with the dramas that unfold in my mind. I want real life to be that exciting, that new and different.
I have an imaginary older guy I talk to also. He's become a character in a lot of my stories. He varies somewhat between stories just to keep the storylines separate. (It's like he has different incarnations, so to speak.) That way he can be a part of a lot of different situations and worlds.

When I was a little girl, I mean really little, like 5, I had a male imaginary friend I would talk to. Most of the characters I connect best to are male.

It reminds me a bit of the concept of "sensed presence" in studies like Dr. Michael Persinger's. It might be that the hemispheres of our brains are communicating in some unusual way, and this is why some of us feel, in some sense, that we are two people at once when we have these conversations, even though at another level we realize it's all us. Interestingly, Persinger's studies show that the "sensed presence" is often the opposite gender of the person who senses the presence. This stuff might relate to a different sort of temporal lobe activity in the brain. Some aspect of our mind is probably over developed compared to other people's, but it doesn't mean we're insane or demented or going to lose touch with reality. I think all of us would benefit, however, from someone who understands.
Wow- I came here looking for something else, stumbled upon this thread and am quite happy to find that a lot of people seem to go through this!
I started a thread on "imaginary friends" in older teens and adults, but the responses were not as elaborate as here!

I never had an "imaginary friend" as a child, however when I entered high school I seemed to have "developed" one. The funny thing about it is, this imaginary "companion" is opposite from what I am. I am female, he is male; I am reserves he is aggressive. Etc, etc.

Perhaps it is linked to my other problems, perhaps not. Either way, I don't mind it- it's a source of comfort that I cannot seem to get from anyone else.

Great post Tiger Girl!
I do this have done since I was 14, I fell in love with a teacher? He left the school so I started to pretend I was with him, we would talk and laugh and even with the aid of my pillow kiss, it was all I had, I had no friends and my mother drank my sisters are tough and not east to talk to then, I just felt I had an escape, I have been in and out of mental health care since I was sixteen, they say I have a personality disorder! I'm not so sure?? OCD maybe ocdpd? The only thing that had changed in my " character" and I'm no comfortable with the soap analogy, is who HE is, he is basicaly the perfect man! I love him he in my mind is embodied by which celeb male I'm obsessing over! For 5 years he was my friend George, as I loved George, I have had psychotherapy and my therapist said I was just lonely! And yes I am, painfully, he's been an American actor a drummer in a band at the moment he is hugh laurie, I'm not a nutbar and neither are any of you! I have the answer in the form of PD, I think schizoid, or schizotypal personality disorder, maybe even borderline, could be OCDPD its one of them this is a symptom in most. I think as it is mainly only me and him that its just loneliness, I have been in phychiactric hospitals all my life and I am still without a professional answer, I am addicted to it unless I'm in a relationship also. But I choose to be alone most of the time, I can't sleep without him, I do his voice, in his accent, and I still kiss my pillow.
Oh wow. I have suffered from this for as long as I care to remember, and I'm now eighteen! I'm so, so glad that I've found others like me that are perfectly healthy ... as others have mentioned, I definitely put it down to loneliness and an active imagination ... depression too to some degree. I don't recall feeling loved as a child, and have been doing it since ... I was also raised in an abusive home environment so I think in a way, it was my escape. All through my childhood I would role-play and create games to spice up situations with my siblings or friends.

I always thought I was some kind of freak and that if anyone ever found out they would think I'm completely insane, it's something I don't even feel comfortable admitting to my partner of three years! After watch Sybil I think I freaked myself out a bit as well, as there is a part in the movie where she appears to be conversing freely between two of her personalities ... I don't think I have anything like that though.

Loneliness is definitely a key factor I think, because I have noticed that it ceased completely after I got together with my partner ... only in the last few months has it started to re-occur, although even now it's not half as frequent as it was.

I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, which has disassociative elements to it, but I normally disassociate when I'm hurting or thinking about something that hurts ... this seems to pop into my head at any time and I seem to be acting out a movie!

It is slightly bothersome, and makes me quite anxious when I think about it too much. But the way I look at it ... I've ALWAYS had an extremely over-active imagination, I am an excellent fiction writer and excelled greatly in English ... sorry to blow my own trumpet but I think it's certainly a contributing factor!!

Poetryperson - Just looking at your username I'm going to assume that like the rest of us, you have a relatively healthy imagination. I don't think there's anything wrong with us - I think it was a coping mechanism developed in childhood for whatever reason, and has stuck with us. The mind can be conditioned, and habits can form, just like picking up a cigarette for the first time and then becoming dependent on them. To be honest, I think that's all it is.
I am pretty sure I have this Self- Talk thing.

I have been suffering from anxeity and depression for many years now, which I beleive was cause by drug abuse, when I was rougly 15 - 17. Now I am becoming even more depressed and experiencing very hollow sucidle emotions.

It all started just less than a year ago as I started a new job. I recognised it very quickly and knew something wasnt right. I tried to overcome it by focusing more on what I was doing but it would eventually happen again as my mind eventually drifted back off. It diddnt happen alot, only now and again, when i wasn't fully focused on the task at hand.

As an artist I spend alot of time alone working, which consquently has led to alot of social deprivation over the past few years. I beleive this lack of social activity is the reason why I am experiencing these problems (if it could be classified as a major problem?)

I had a very stressful time starting this new job due to the cut throat/ competitive nature of the business. I was faced by dozens of devious individuals who would continuosly try to make me look bad and give me a bad name, in the aim to climb higher up the ranks. There where a few individuals who fully recognised how I was being miss treated but never wanted to defend me in fear of being drag into it.

So you can imagine it wasn't helping my 'state of my mind' at all.

The conversations that I play out in my head are with individuals around me The topic is regularly degrading to myself and it kills myself esteem. It was a very confusing time for myself in that job because of all the real brutal office poltics that was happening around me. Eventually, I quit that job because all of the b***s**t that was directed at myself and now I am starting to question wether or not, it was all in my head. Which its just making me even more confused.

It also started with my family and a collection of untrustworthy friends (only with the individuals who have been persistantely misstreated me in the past). Most of the time I can recognise it as being in 'my head', when I do have these 'Self Talk' conversations in my head. In certain incidents I have confronted individuals when I beleive they have tried to degrade me, only to be left with a bitter n confused 'aftertaste' when they tell me thats its in my head.

I beleive I might experiencing audio hallcinations, along with these 'Self - Talk' mind conversations

I am just really really confused, at the moment in life, because I know too well from my experiences in life, how much people gossip and slander in this very competitve world and they will deny soo much of it too, so they dont look bad (even close friends and family) and its a awful feeling when you know that you have been 'stabbed in the back'.

My gutt feeling is that I do have a level of mental health issues (which I dont want because I want to acheive alot from life from my choosen proffession) and that the people around me are not helping me at all, without realising it. Talking to them about my problems will also give them more gossip to swirl around, which will ultimately make me feel terribly worse.

I just really hope I am only experiencing these 'Self - Talk' conversations because I can recognise them and I am hoping most of the audio hallucintations are really just the deceitful people around me 'trying to cover there tracks'.

I am going to my gp later this week to talk about my issues. I am pretty scared about, how it will conlude. I would love to hear any feedback that would help ease my confusion or even the professional advice you have been given.

Thank you :)

that was alot of weight of my mind

will be reading into other peoples posts later today thankx :)
[QUOTE=Running Wild;4073438]Hi Sidewinder86, the fact that you can recognise them is a good sign, though I don't have any experience with what else you talked about it. Let us know how you get on at the doctors :)[/QUOTE]

Hey thanks for replying

yeah I think I do this self talk thing in my head because of all the harmful crap I have taken in the past because of who I am and how society has ignorantly reacted to my anxiety disorder. I have always been treated as a lesser human being, head case or retard by many people (including most of my family) who don’t know me or feel challenged by me. In numerous scenarios this onslaught of crap has been magnified because I have been able to out perform the majority of people in many of my chosen competitive academic/recreational fields.

The topic of these self talk conversations that I act out in my head is always about, how little people think of me or about them getting grief (from the people who defend me) for all the abuse they have given me.

For example last night,

I spoke to my Dad asking him, ‘Do you know about the symptoms of schizophrenia?’ (Implying that I think I have some form of it),

Then later on that night, I believe (god I am just so bloody confused) I overheard my Dad confronting my sister saying; ‘Now you have got your brother thinking he has got schizophrenia, Cant you see what you are doing to him because you can never admit to anything', etc .....

Then later I started self talking in my head about, my sister getting even more grief about what she has been doing to me, which I could totally recognise as self talking.

The thing is...............

I am just so scared to ask my dad if he did confront my sister because if he says no that means that everything is in my head but I Know that my Dad will keep certain stuff from me, for the greater good, in the aim to keep our family together.

I have confronted my siblings before in the past asking them to stop talking so much s***T about me and they have most of the time responded by saying that, they haven’t been. Which I find hard to believe because have blatantly caught them doing it so many times in the past, as they drunkenly walk in the house, or are in the company of their friends. So I find it really hard believe that they haven’t been trash talking about me.

I have read that some people who suffer from depression disorders are totally convinced that they are depressed because of their peers.

Is this the case with me?

Or I am just thinking that, it is the case with me, to create a bubble of denial, as a coping mechanism because of all the fake bullshit in my life?

I really like sharing my issues because it takes a lot of weight of my mind!

plus by writting this, I am preparing about what Iam going to say to the therapist.

Thank you :)
Hey guys, I'm not sure how old this thread is, but I was searching on google about talking to imaginary people and this popped up so I had to stop in. What I've read so far has seriously shocked me. I thought I was the ONLY one who did this. I really thought I was going crazy. I went to a therapist and she thought that I had schizophrenia. I do NOT have that! But it was so hard to explain to her what was going through my mind and what I do day and night.
I can't say its ruined my life, but it is a major part and I don't know how to stop. Its like I can't be in a room by myself without it happening. And I know its not real because I don't do it in front of other people, but I always have conversations with people that are not there, but its like they are. They never respond, but sometimes if I tell them something that has happened I can picture the expressions on their face.
It can be anyone from a friend to a family member or even a celebrity as long as I'm by myself and they are not in the room with me.
I get so confused sometimes and after I've had a conversation for about an hour or possibly more I feel so stupid for talking to NO ONE, but I can't help it. At the time its as if I can truly sense them being there.
It scares me sometimes because I can't stop it, and I'll even run late to work because I'd rather sit in the kitchen and talk to someone that's not there.
I don't know what to do anymore. It is interfering with my life a bit and sometimes when I'm by myself I'll say ok, I'm not going to talk because there is no one there. But then I find myself doing it and I feel like an idiot.
When I drive I'm talking all the time, when I'm by myself I'm talking, and even if I'm at work there is always someone in my mind, even if I am not speaking to them they give me facial expressions that let me know what they think, but in reality of course I know what they think because they are in my head!
I know this is a long post, so I'll go ahead and cut it off, but I'm just amazed that I'm not the only one that does this. I really thought there was something wrong with me.
The reason I decided to look this up, because if I didn't I'd still believe that I was the only one, was because my Pawpaw was diagnosed with colon cancer this past Friday and he had a tumor in his brain removed, but the doctors said once they removed the tumor they realized that it was caused by the colon cancer. Apparently he's a rare case and since he didn't have a prostate exam he never knew he had it. The cancer is now spread throughout his body all the way up to his brain which caused that tumor. Because of the tumor, the strokes he had and the surgery he was laying in the hospital bed watching Married with Children and when my Mawmaw walked out of the room he started talking to them as if they were there. Then when she came back in he wanted to introduce her to them. I know its not the same, but it triggered something in me and it made me want to look this up because I talk to people too. Maybe I don't do it the same way, but it feels real.
Anywho...hopefully somebody can figure out whats going on. I'd really like to know.
[QUOTE=curiouslearner;1799918]Well, when I'm talking, my mind has to create the words of the other people in my scenario. I mean that I have to imagine what theyre saying, too, so that I can keep on talking. So my mind, in effect, is reciting the words of every one in my little scenario. Maybe I'll be thinking about a moment that involves my family where we're talking about a movie we just saw. I have to speak for every one of my family members in order to have a complete mental vision of the moment. And I can get so caught up in it that I am literally sitting there saying "yes" "no" as if I were actually talking with them, which is why I said that if somebody walked in on me, they would think I was talking to some voice in my head. Cept, it's not a voice. It's just like a really vivid "fantasy." I have speculated that I do it to experience the excitment, joy, pain, and other emotions that I am not getting in my normal life since I don't interact with people so much because of my anxiety. To answer your question, I don't necessarily feel that I AM the other personality. It's actually so hard to explain... :confused:[/QUOTE]
i am exactly the same, but for me it is a particular person, that i had in my life as a postive adult figure and role model, i always doubted this about myself but it really does help me to get things off my chest and to feel like i have someone there to listen when i need it, only thing is i dont actually talk to myself out loud, its just in my thoughts and imagination. i have talked with a therapist about this and she referred to it as "positive imagery" but i feel like i created this all so kind and understanding person that i wll never have or find in real life.
@running wild - I was told to maintain a regular routine of exercise and to drink less coffee and booze, to help with my depression and paranoia. I was also instructed to perform some exercises, in which I have to think about a more balanced positive opinion, in scenarios which have made my feel paranoid or anxious.

I have been taking alot more time to relax and have been going out to enjoy life and meet new people, which has definately been helping my overall mood/ state of mind. My friends and family have also noticed the improvement.

as for the self talk issue. I havnt disscussed it with my health worker yet. I feel like a bit of an idiot but I am soo scared about what I will be told. I do really need to talk about it because I am beginning to worry that it would only get worse if I dont open up about it.

@jovimas, courious learner - I can totally relate with what you are both describing
Hey you guys, I also have his tendancy and I appreciate yall for starting and continuing this topic, and making people feel a little less weird about what they're doing. To me, there seems to be a definite difference between those that find it helpful, a coping mechanism, something that they enter into willingly (to varying extents) and something that they are willing to defend and not necessarily something they want to give up. Then there are people who can see that it does help, but at the same time feel they have no control over it, and they can't control when they go in or out so much, and label it a 'problem'. I think it's really important that this distinction is defined; with different aspects of our mental practises and tendancies I have in the past heard people say 'well we're all like that to a certain extent' - it's the extent that matters. Just because, e.g. my friend experiences sad moods, does not mean he can necessarily understand what it is like to be depressed in a clinical way. Just because someone gets anxious when they go onto stage to perform does not mean they can understand the anxiety I get when I go out in public. And just because I use imaginary people for fun doesn't mean I can understand what it's like for someone who is locked inside a state where they can't banish imaginary people from their experience of reality to an extent that it interferes with their ability to perform everyday tasks.

I think the only definition I go by as to whether something is a problem and therefore needs to be fixed is that if it interferes with one's experience of life and abilities in a tangible way. I don't think, at the moment, that my use of imaginary characters is something I should worry about, and likewise for other people who don't feel this hurts them in anyway, I don't think you should worry about it either. I mean, completely, I don't think anyone should feel ashamed or embarassed about this (and that goes for any other mental or physical complaint or tendancy). I do worry whether this sort of behaviour, especially as I already have problems with dissociation and processing of reality, is not helpful considering my conditions, but I think just being aware of that is probably enough. I think, mostly, it seems like people are using this as a method of finding control in their lives, to control their feelings of loneliness, need for expression and relationships, etc. I think though, once you start to feel that control slip away from you, when you feel it is more in control of you than you are of it, then it might be something to consider getting some help, or at least talking to someone about it. I am glad there is this space where we can talk about this in such a supportive atmosphere.

For myself, I use it only because I need love, affection and reassurance. I suffer with Depression, Anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder. Because of my Borderline, I do feel drawn to people, I need people to validate me and complete my sense of self, but my fear of rejection, the anxiety I feel with other people, with everyone, and because of my low self esteem and natural impulse to isolate myself, I am sort of pulled in opposite directions, and having an imaginary person in my head goes some way to deal with that. I first used her a year and a half ago, when a long term relationship ended, and I found it hard to deal with my overwhelming loneliness, depression and need for love when lying alone in bed at night, and so I imagined the physical comfort of someone actually present with me in bed at night, holding me. Later on, when I felt like I needed more, then I took the focus away from actual reality and synthesised actual sensations to a world in my head, that was completely away from reality. Gradually I built it up so that we would do things together like walk along the beach or things, moving in together, etc. We talked about everything, and if I wanted to talk about my emotions I would, if I needed her to hold me in silence then we would. However I find I can only engage in this fantasy if I am in a certain state of mind when I need love and am capable of giving love; so often when I am depressed I feel a sort of anger, a sort of disgust at the world and life - and there's no way you can engage in that when you are truly hopeless because there's just no point trying. It is definitely something I need to put effort into, but I can understand also that in a way it is automatic. It must be automatic because all of us have started doing this independantly of each other and without knowledge that others did this.

The only other thing that I will add, as I note that people are pretty hungry for explanations and especially things that therapists or other professionals would or have said, is that my therapist said it was a way in which I could give myself love and acceptance. I need a guise of 'another person' so that it doesn't really seem like I'm being nice to myself, which is something that I cannot tolerate usually. I reassure myself when I have this other person reassure me when all I do when it's just me is insult and destroy myself. In that respect it is a good stepping stone, and why I think for me it is a healthy thing. Also, as I am bisexual and feel a great deal of shame and pain about this, having an imaginary partner who I fantasise about being intimate with helps me to break down the barriers in my head of denial and shame - because it's so much more than just fantasising about sex, it's also someone who I talk to and do things with, like a relationship.

I also have other people that I talk to, but they are less developed and don't really have much of a personality. I practise everything too, I practise conversations I have not yet had with people, I practise therapy, I practise EVERYTHING, almost to a compulsive extent. This is not something that is nearly as helpful, yet it is something that I cannot stop or control, and therefore something that I am looking to get help to solve or at least get some control over.

Thank you for your stories and for reading mine.
I am yet another person who has come across this thread and does the same thing that you all mention. The thing is, I have been reading through all of your explanations on what exactly you talk about with the people you create, but I still feel that what I do is strange and different from even you guys. I, too, have never mentioned this to anyone I know for fear that they would think I was strange or "crazy".
So, I have done this since my teen years as well. The most recurrent scenario that I imagine is that I am kidnapped or being held hostage for some reason or another. I am scared of the person who is holding me hostage and sometimes get into the "story" to the point that my adrenaline will rush or I could even get shakey. I can imagine things very vividly. I guess some aspect that I usually put into the scenario is that I am very strong-willed and that the guy holding me hostage is very intelligent and has fun playing with my head or trying to "break" me. He always outsmarts me and always stays in control. I am having trouble thinking of the best words to describe it, but he tends to be sort of friendly with me... unless I try to fight him or run away or something like that. many of you have said already, I feel quite strange talking about this at all, but since so many of you have posted already and I'm quite certain you wouldn't be able to figure out who I am I will just keep going for the sake of getting it off my mind...
So, another very common scenerio that I do is that I am a young teenager (I'm in my mid 20's now) who is living on the streets and gets into trouble a lot and has issues with trust and is very strong-willed (again). So, somehow I will find a person who recognized that I'm extremely intelligent and takes me to an orphanage/boarding school for extremely gifted kids. I don't want to be there and don't want anyone's help so there is usually some kind of teacher/mentor that comes along to work with me. The mentor is usually very intelligent and tries to "break" me and convince me to do well in this school and to follow the rules and such.
I've even blended the two scenerios at times and had a mentor come into the picture who decides to kidnap me or hold me hostage in order to break my will/resistence.

So, since I have a bachelor degree in psychology I know enough to be able to anylize myself... I know that I have some sort of want/need to be recognized as special or different. Sometimes I strongly desire for the scenerios in my head to be reality. I know that many people want to be different or to be part of a different "world"... this is the reason that books like "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" and all those other "main character who starts out as just another ordinary person gets thrown into a crazy world where they discover they are really part of another crazy world" type of books/stories.

So, like some others have said... my biggest concern is that sometimes I feel like I lose control of my imagination. For instance, the other day at work I was so immersed in my imagination that I had a very hard time focusing on work. I literally told my co-workers that "I don't feel all here today, like I'm in another world". It really was the truth.

Quick tidbits: I think I had a pretty normal childhood, never abused or teased too much or anything like that. I have dealt with depression (in my late teens) and was in a few psychiatric hospitals around that time for self-cutting and suicide attempts. I haven't had any issues with these things in a very long time though. I'm married, I'm in grad school (MBA program), I have a new full-time job. I do think I feel lonely though... you know, like the "alone in a crowd" type of thing. I have people all around me, but maybe I alienate myself... here I go self-analyzing...

I suppose this is plenty long enough at this point. Most people won't read it now because of the length. haha. But anyway... so most of your descriptions seem like your self-talk/scenerios are a little more down-to-earth than mine. Does anyone else think about weird stuff like being kidnapped or held hostage? lol.

Thanks for listening!!
I too have the same thing going on in my world. Over the years, "who" the imaginary people are has adapted with my changes in environment and company. I have found the recurring theme in character to be former teachers and professors. In a sense, I welcome their imaginary lecturing to me about their various areas of expertise, and I do my best to keep up with the conversation intellectually.

Much like yourself, I also am fully aware that this is literally a vivid creation stemming from my mind, and I would also be embarrassed if someone were to catch me in the act of speaking with these "creations".

I read somewhere on the web (granted the internet doesn't necessarily count as a reputable source) that having imaginary companionship doesn't qualify as a disorder unless it impairs social interactions. Such is not the case with me. My social interactions, while they could always be enhanced, are not in any way affected by my secret companions.

What I would like to know further about you, if you and I are experiencing the same phenomena, is if they (the imaginary people) manifest themselves against the wall, for instance, or if they are actually performing human functions such as walking. Also, if they all (assuming there's more than one) appear at once or not.

In my case, there are typically three, who all three do come out at the same time. IN the past, I've had as many as 7 appear to me at once, usually in a linear fashion against a wall.

The dynamics of such a phenomena intrigue me as much as you, and, I really think you are right that we are on our own here. Most clinicians would take one look at this post and think the worst in terms of diagnostic assessment. Like you, I know I do not have schizophrenia, and for this to be Dissociative Identity Disorder, I would have to have a dissociative experience where I switch into one of these characters and embody their idiosyncrases, which is also not the case.

Perplexed, I am. But, I'm relieved to know that someone else is brave enough and articulate enough to relate to me on this condition. Let's hope for the best.

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