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Home » Is My Inability to Stop Talking Aloud to Myself a Mental Health Issue?

Is My Inability to Stop Talking Aloud to Myself a Mental Health Issue?

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I want to start by saying I do not hear voices that are not my own or have hallucinations, I do not see things that are not there and I can tell what is real and not real. And part of my thread is copied from another thread, because that person was able to better explain pieces of what I couldn’t, it will be in quotes.
“I find myself having full blown imaginary, complex A-B conversations with myself on a daily basis. These conversations are completely random and emerge out of nowhere. The conversations can go on for as long as hours when I’m alone and only stop when I realize it’s going on, or when other people are present. Though, even when I realize it and snap myself out of it, I still do it sometime after….I noticed that some of the triggers for these conversations are when I’m not stimulating my mind, when I watch a movie or something that sparks my imagination, or when I’m alone….The people I converse with are usually made up in the moment, but sometimes are people I know like friends and family, for example. The conversations vary based on who I’m speaking with:
If I’m talking to a friend, it is usually about our common interests, past events, other friends, and in some cases re-enact past conversations, but with different dialogue.
If I’m talking to a family member, it is usually to address things I otherwise wouldn’t, like an issue with them or another family member.

If I’m talking to someone I made up in the moment, which is usually the case, it is usually about a random topic, or something about myself. If it’s something random, it may be about something I saw on TV, read, or think.”
Although most times it is a scenario, for example if I see a car speed through a red light I usually imagine the worst case scenario. I’d imagine for hours (and talk to myself) about the car crashing and how family members would be affected, the only difference is I would be driving the car or, one of my family members would be, and I’d be told a member of my family died. One I keep having is of a drive-by, I push someone out of the way and I talk for hours to myself (out loud) about what would happen and the consequences.
Also when I say talk to ‘myself” I mean imagining I’m talking to an officer, parents, strangers etc. And sometimes I even have actual emotional responses, I’ll be in my room crying about a scenario that did not actually happen. But when the, let’s just say episode, ends I immediately stop and can go along with my day like I wasn’t interrupted.

“There is really no clear distinction on what I talk about with or with who, but this is a baseline of sorts.

When I have these conversations, they are all usually never in my head. I try to do it when I’m alone or lightly mouth it, but I have mouthed out some words around my family before. They’ve caught me doing it and teased me about it, but they kind of expect it now, I guess.

When I am alone at home a couple or few times a month, I will pace around late night having conversations with myself sometimes for hours.”
Also I have no idea if this is related but I am beyond paranoid, not the “people are trying to poison me or are watching me paranoid” but I have a dark past and I do somewhat fear for my life. I jump at everything and loud noises make my heart skip a beat, I have to listen to music when I sleep or else I’ll hear my house creaking and have nightmares, also I turn my mirror, (completely unrelated but it scares the crap out of me, I’ve seen too many horror movies) I turn it every night away from me. It started as a habit but now I can’t sleep with it facing me.

Now background info: My older sister and I were sexually-assaulted at a young age, starting around 5. It didn’t end until I (at 8) told my mother. We went through the courts and he was convicted guilty on only my sister’s charge. After that we moved around a lot, lost my house I grew up in, and had a few deaths in the family. It was a tough time and my mother ended up having a “psychotic break” or something. She was paranoid and stopped caring for herself and my siblings properly, she went all vegan talking about food was poison, became a conspiracy theorist, and ended up being institutionalized. She was released about a month later and everything went back to normal, well as normal as it ever was. I went to court another time for an appeal on my sister’s charge, he was released and I again moved, only this time 2,000 miles away. My sister now suffers (diagnosed) from depression and anxiety and she takes medicine for it. I’ve always assumed I have better coping skills than both of them because the abuse never got to me like it did them. My mom is also bipolar, she hasn’t been diagnosed but it’s beyond obvious, she just doesn’t want to hear it. Also my Grandmother was diagnosed with schizophrenia before she died.

What I’m trying to point out is that mental issues run in my family and I guess what I’d like to know is if what I’m doing is in fact crazy or as I see it, an escape from reality. Do I just like a scenario where I control everything? Also because a lot of people mention it, I am a people person, I do like being by myself, and aside from my emotional responses to my “episodes” I don’t cry or get angry a lot (except when it comes to my sister). I can control my emotions though, for example I can fake cry. I am not socially awkward, actually the opposite. I’m a star athlete, class vice-president, and an A+ student.

Which is why I want to know if this is something I can get rid of, if it’s a habit or a problem. It’s like an impulse, it’s distracting and easily noticed, I lose track of time and I can’t focus and if I can I’d like to stop it. It’s getting worse.

Should I be concerned? I know I won’t, or rather, can’t be diagnosed on the internet, but perhaps an idea? I’d like to get help, believe me, I would, but not only can I not afford it, but I don’t want my family and friends to know about this. The last thing I want is crazy stamped on me too.

Is My Inability to Stop Talking Aloud to Myself a Mental Health Issue?

Answered by on -

A.

It is possible that the scenarios or episodes you have described are defense mechanisms. Defense mechanisms are psychological coping skills that protect us from unpleasant thoughts and emotions associated with difficult life circumstances. You described a number of difficult life circumstances including abuse, moving and your mother’s mental instability. It may be that your fantasy life is more pleasant than your real life.

You mentioned that your sister is being treated for depression and your mother for various other mental health problems, but when it comes to you, your family can’t afford treatment. If they could afford treatment for other members of your family, then they can likely afford it for you. If not, speak to the guidance counselor or the school psychologist about finding affordable mental health treatment. They can help.

It’s also important to address your final comment which is that you don’t want anyone to know that something is wrong because you don’t want “crazy stamped on [you] too.” People who have psychological problems are not “crazy.” That is an insidious mischaracterization that continues to negatively impact the way our culture thinks about mental health. It results in many people deciding not to seek help for treatable and often curable mental health problems.

There is no shame in wanting to feel better and to be happy. Those are the desires of normal, healthy people. It is the wise person who seeks out treatment when a mental health problem arises. It can significantly expedite your healing process and help you to live a more fulfilling life. I hope that I have changed your mind and you will seek help. Please take care.

Is My Inability to Stop Talking Aloud to Myself a Mental Health Issue?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Is My Inability to Stop Talking Aloud to Myself a Mental Health Issue?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/11/15/is-my-inability-to-stop-talking-aloud-to-myself-a-mental-health-issue/
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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