When I was a kid, a friend and I would pretend to be super heroes and play around. Since then this behavior has stuck with me, and I constantly find myself pretending to be someone else– usually someone made up. I always do this alone, and have full conversations and relationships in my head. In real life I have no friends. I started being homeschooled at the end of 10th grade, because the school in my area was terrible. I’m extremely social online, just not in real life. Most days I stay in the house, along with what I described. I’ve always wondered if doing this means there’s something wrong with me. I often rationalize it as an escape from my life, but I can only use that excuse so much without knowing if it is just that– an excuse. Any advice would be appreciated.Is It Normal For Me to Talk to Myself in This Way?
Is It Normal For Me to Talk to Myself in This Way?
This is a difficult question to answer without knowing more personal information about you. The problem is complex because given your current situation, it doesn’t seem to be hurting you. In fact, it seems to be helping you.
You interact with others online. Perhaps you have adapted to your particular situation (i.e. having to be homeschooled because of a problematic school environment) and are doing just fine.
Alternatively, if these conversations and relationships you have described, are prohibiting you from developing meaningful relationships, then that is problematic. In other words, if you are choosing to be solitary because of fear or social anxiety, that is unhealthy.
Generally speaking, humans are social beings. They want to be around other people. Research suggests that being in the physical presence of others and having developed close relationships are essential components of healthy psychological development. Social isolation is generally a sign that something is wrong.
Excessive use of social networking sites among young people is associated with loneliness, anxiety and depression. Virtual relationships are not suitable replacements for the more traditional, non-virtual relationships.
Ultimately, the reason why you do something matters. In other words, what is your motivation? Are you choosing physical isolation because you have more important things to do or is it out of fear?
I would recommend consulting a therapist to determine if a problem is present. It’s always best to be proactive when it comes to one’s mental health. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle