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Talking to Myself & Acting Out Scenarios

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First I will give you some background on myself. I am female, 25, married, stay at home mom to my two kids, who are ages 5 and 2. I have an issue, and I hope you can give me some information as to why this might be happening. Ever since I was 16, I’ve talked to myself. I will literally create scenarios and HAVE to act them out, even speaking out loud. I will create other individuals in the scenarios with me. Sometimes these individuals can be famous people and sometimes they are people from my past. Most scenarios are situations that aren’t something that would actually happen in my real life, such as me being an actress. These scenarios can last anywhere from a few minutes up to an hour. And once the scenarios / talking begins, I become occupied by it and it comes first on my list at that time. I’ll even put it before my daily chores. I’ve tried researching this and haven’t had any luck. I hope you can help. Thanks!

Talking to Myself & Acting Out Scenarios

Answered by on -

A.

I would have to investigate your behavior more thoroughly to understand its purpose and origin. Perhaps it is a type of disassociation. The basic definition of disassociation is a partial, and in some cases, complete disruption in an individual’s consciousness or psychological state of functioning. Disassociation can result from trauma. In cases of trauma, an individual may unconsciously disconnect from a particular situation because it is too psychologically painful. Disassociation can be thought of as a psychological defense mechanism.

If what you are experiencing is disassociation, the scenarios you are creating may be helping you function. As I mentioned earlier disassociation is a type of defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms serve as a form of psychological protection. You may be engaging in scenarios in an effort to distract yourself from some painful aspect of your life. The scenarios may be protecting you from feeling painful emotions. While they serve as protection in the short term, they can be psychologically damaging long-term. Defense mechanisms block or buffer a painful reality but eventually an individual needs to face the underlying problem.

It would be interesting to know how long each scenario takes place, what prompts them, how you act them out, and how you feel about them. For instance, can you stop engaging in them easily or do you feel that you have to do them? Do they make you feel better? Do you feel more compelled to do them when you’re upset or stressed out? Have they increased over time? Those are some questions that would help me to understand what they are and why you engage in them.

Mind’s website outlines ways disassociation may be experienced, including identity alteration symptoms: “feeling your identity shift and change, speaking in a different voice or voices, using a different name or names, switching between different parts of your personality, feel as if you are losing control to ‘someone else’, experiencing different parts of your identity at different times, or acting like different people, including children.” They also explain identity confusion as “finding it very difficult to define what kind of person you are and feeling as though there are different people inside you.”

I am sorry that I do not have a definitive answer for you. I would suggest that you keep researching the issue to see if you can uncover evidence of this occurring in relation to a particular mental health disorder. If the scenarios are significantly disrupting your life and are causing you distress then it is advisable for you to be evaluated by a mental health professional. Thank you for your question. I wish you the best of luck.

Talking to Myself & Acting Out Scenarios

This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on January 16, 2010.

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. (2019). Talking to Myself & Acting Out Scenarios. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/01/16/talking-to-myself-acting-out-scenarios/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 1 Jun 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 1 Jun 2019
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