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My Imaginary Friend Is Becoming Too Real

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I’ve had an imaginary friend for years. Lately, when I see myself in the mirror, I hear her telling me how worthless I am. She seems to take over and I can’t do anything to stop her. I’ve been carving words, of her choice, into my skin because I can’t help but agree with her when she tells me what a failure I am. I feel as though I need a permanent reminder of her words. Recently, my imaginary friend has been telling me to seriously hurt those I don’t get on with. I get scared because of the evil things she tells me. I don’t want to have bad thoughts, I like to consider myself a nice person, and I would never hurt anyone. When I refuse to harm anybody, she screams insults at me until I end up really upset and unsure about myself. I don’t know what to do. Is my situation dangerous? I would never ever hurt anybody, no matter what she says. But I get scared. What should I do?

My Imaginary Friend Is Becoming Too Real

Answered by on -

A.

I am so sorry you are having these difficult experiences, and I’m very glad you wrote us here. But this is not an imaginary friend. Imaginary friends serve very different purpose in development. Whatever this voice is, it isn’t operating like a friend.

I would encourage you to make an appointment with a psychiatrist to explain how these commands are getting more intense. An imaginary friend doesn’t tell you to cut words into your skin or hurt people. We want to find out what’s going on — a psychiatrist is a good place to get some answers.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

My Imaginary Friend Is Becoming Too Real

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Imaginary Friend Is Becoming Too Real. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/03/31/my-imaginary-friend-is-becoming-too-real/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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