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How Do I Stop Talking to Myself?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a teen in Canada:  For as long as I can remember I have always had these short moments where I zone out and act out situations that occur in my head. It’s a horrible habit and I’m not ever aware of when I’m doing it, however when I finally come to I stop myself.

These situations include alternate realities of my current life, for example if I have a fight with my boyfriend I’ll act out us working things through with a stuffed animal. Or if I’m dancing I’ll pretend I’m at a party with all eyes on me. These range from normal conversations to intense suicidal moments to sexual fantasies.

I think this has something to do with my lonely childhood but I can’t figure out how to stop. Sometimes it will happen in public, where I start making odd expressions or I begin to talk to nobody. I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS NOBODY THERE AND IM NOT SEEING THINGS. However I just can’t stop myself from doing it and I don’t know how to.

How Do I Stop Talking to Myself?

Answered by on -

A.

You are probably right that this started as a lonely child. Children who are alone often create a rich fantasy life with imaginary friends to play with and even to help them solve problems. In that sense, it’s not a “horrible habit”. It’s an indicator of your personal strength, imaginationm and creativity that helped you cope with loneliness and helped you solve problems.  Although not as common as in childhood, healthy adults can have imaginary friends too – either maintaining the “friends” they had in childhood or making up new friends and scenarios to solve problems.

The only problem I see is that you sometimes aren’t aware that you are doing it in public. I would need more information from you to give you good advice about how to compartmentalize your old problem-solvig skills and perhaps learn some new ones as well.

For that reason, I do suggest you see a therapist. I do not make this recommendation because I think you have a diagnosable mental illness. I do think a therapist could ask questions that would lead to helping you find ways to effectively self-monitor and increase your choices for how to manage stress.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Do I Stop Talking to Myself?

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). How Do I Stop Talking to Myself?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/05/01/how-do-i-stop-talking-to-myself/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 Apr 2020 (Originally: 1 May 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 28 Apr 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.