From a teen in India: Well, when I am not able to react to a situation I imagine it when nobody’s watching, I start speaking, also I speak alone a lot of times to myself or by imagining someone (who is currently not there); I use all hand gestures as if Id talk to a normal person, I like to talk like that. Makes me feel better. What kind of disorder is it ?

A: I’m not convinced it’s a disorder at all. At some point in your life, you found talking to yourself is a useful way to calm yourself and to think through problems. It’s a private strategy that you manage to keep private. You aren’t hurting yourself or others by doing it.

If you were to start talking to yourself out loud in public, you would risk being socially unacceptable. But that is true of a great many private habits people use to calm themselves. Pacing, pillow-punching, stretching, etc., like self-talk, are actions that some people find helpful when they are stressed. Such actions aren’t a problem unless they make it difficult to be around other people.

If, at some point, you want to stop or limit this self-talk, you will need to find another way to calm down and to solve problems. I do think it’s generally a good idea to have more than one method. You could begin to increase your options by exploring meditation and other mindfulness techniques.

I wish you well,
Dr. Marie