From a teen in Chile: Hello, I’ve been meaning to ask about a problem I’ve been aware of since early 2018. I realized I talk to myself out loud way too much. At first I decided to do some research, and found out that talking to yourself was a sign of intelligence, so I didn’t think much of it (Mumbling, reminding, talking at loud, ect). But soon I realized it weren’t the only thing I did, I basically narrate my life all of the time, like people were hearing about my life, experiences, struggle, normal activities, anything. I tried researching about this issue, but my attempts weren’t successful. Now don’t take me wrong, I DO NOT have an imaginary friend, or see people. I just find myself talking like If was being heard by an audience, people, even though I’m aware I’m alone. Everything I’ve said until now, is something I would easily say out loud, alone.
I’m tired of it, it’s something I uncontrollably do now, almost a habit, usually when I’m alone. But most recently I’ve proven I sometime unconsciously do it around other people but instantly shut up because I’m self conscious of it. I fear my family getting concerned by this annoying habit of mine, could affect our current situation.
Anyway since I didn’t found any satisfactory answers, I’ve been jumping to conclusions and making theories of why it might be happening. Some of my concerns were; because I’m too lonely, and don’t speak much. Maybe I want to be heard or remember past experiences, or maybe it’s a reaction from the past years. I don’t know, I could be wrong, maybe it’s normal, and I’m just paranoid. I don’t want to jump to conclusions before asking anyone about it before. I could never seek for help and face a real therapist, I’m pretty shy or scared of it (It’s irrational). That’s why I’m seeking for answers here. If anyone could help or recommend me something, I would highly appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time to read this.Can I Learn Not to Talk to Myself Out Loud?
Can I Learn Not to Talk to Myself Out Loud?
Your letter shows that you really are an intelligent and thoughtful young woman. Please relax. It is not unusual for people to make a running verbal commentary about their life. Everyone, in fact, does this silently all the time. Often, it is a way to solve problems or to get organized or to track what is happening. Often talking out loud helps us slow down and think something through more carefully. Most people eventually internalize the process or confine talking out loud to when they are alone — as you do. It is only a mental health problem if it is a product of hallucinations — which you say you don’t have.
However, if it has become a habit that you are having trouble breaking, you may want to see a counselor to learn some new ways to monitor yourself and to confine your tendency to speak aloud to when it is socially appropriate. Counseling may also help you address why you are so lonely and shy. Be assured that a counselor will be sympathetic and won’t judge you. Take your letter and this response with you to the first session as a way to get started. You deserve to be more comfortable with yourself. And you deserve to be less lonesome.
I wish you well.