I imagine people and talk to them continuously - do I have a mental illness?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
I don't know when it first started but for as long as I can remember I have talked to people "inside my head", so to speak. When I was in elementary school I would often imagine people I liked, maybe boys I had crushes on etc. Whenever I was alone home or just wherever I would imagine them being with me and had conversations with them. As I grew older the people I would imagine often changed, and so did the circumstances. I would talk out loud, maybe a loud whisper when I talked to Them.

When I was in middle school I started imagining idols and people I looked up to or just thought that had really fun personalities. The people I talked with didn't even know I existed but in the situations I created we were often best friends or living together etc. I'm now 17 and I still do this, but lately I have been more and more aware of it. Another thing that worries me is that my thoughts tend to get mixed with reality and well - Them. They are with me constantly, even when I talk out loud to communicate with them or not. Even when I'm watching netflix or youtube or whatever and not really focusing on anything else - for me they're still there, reading a book or maybe watching with me.

If I'm having a conversation with someone (that actually exist) I sometimes blurt out something weird that has nothing to do with the context of the conversation we're having at all. For example - some time ago I was on a cabin trip with my (now ex) boyfriend, and we were under the covers of a bed talking about how hot the room was. And as he commented the heat I simply answered "But shouldn't it be cold in LA by now?". I live in Norway and have never had anything to do with LA whatsoever. I said this without even thinking cause in my mind I was currently on a trip to LA with the people I usually tend to imagine - this was how I imagined the whole cabin trip.

Normally people just brush it off and laugh or give me weird grimaces whenever this happens, cause I'm known to be quite the clumsy, outgoing person. When this first happened I didn't give it much thought, but now it kind of worries me. The situations I imagine now are often played out in the future, or at least a different now. I'm good friends with this group of idols I keep imagining since April now, and since I'm known to a certain degree, I'm often at interviews making people laugh etc. It sounds really weird and I tend not to think too much about the situations when I'm aware.

Personally I don't think it's unhealthy or whatever, I love communicating with them and being with them makes me happy. If anything, I'm quite happy about it, considering I'm always looking forward to being with them and so on. I'm not antisocial or anything, and have too many friends for my own good, so it's not influencing my social life. If I'm invited to a party or a cabin trip or whatever, I always imagine it being them who invited me and that's what I'll be looking forward to too.

I don't really consult anyone at all about my personal issues or well, anything. In all my (soon) 17 years of life I have only opened up this last month. I talked to two of my friends about two different issues. One being my childhood and the other one this issue about the people in my head. The friend I consulted about the people and the situations I imagine said I should go see someone just in case this was something unhealthy which should be dealt with. She knows about my childhood, and said that it might have something to do with that. I am unsure if this has anything to do with my "issue" or not, but I'll explain it just in case. When I was younger I used to get beaten and scolded a lot by my parents. As i grew older the abuse would decrease. Recently my parents divorced and now I only live with my mother. We have a really good relationship and I'm happy. I'm often left alone a lot at home, though. My mom is often at work or with her boyfriend, and my older sister usually stays at her boyfriend's apartment.

When it comes to my mental health I'm usually happy but have periods where I'm seriously depressed. I've been diagnosed with winter depression so it's often that time of the year its worst.

So I guess that was the most of it. I could consult a psychiatrist in my city but I'm just so unsure if I need to or not. So if you have any knowledge or experience about this or something similar, maybe even just some advice - please help me!

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Geiteu,

    It's good to hear from you, I hope you're having a good day.

    I would like to preface all of this by saying I am not a psychologist so I can't offer you any formal advice on your mental health but I know that it can help to talk it through with someone so I'm going to try to respond to your question as best as possible.

    Firstly, I would recommend seeing a doctor/psychiatrist. I'm not saying there is definitely an issue but if you feel confused and that's making you anxious or unhappy in any way then it's always best to have a chat with someone just help guide you in the right direction. The best thing thing to do is to put your mind at rest and have some idea of what might be happening.

    Personally I spend a lot of time creating stories and people in my head, I do a lot of writing and this tends to spill over into my life so I often find myself disengaged from conversations because I'm caught up in my own head. This happened a lot more for me when I had anxiety and depression, I think probably because I was looking for an escape from reality. I know a few other people who found themselves coping in similar ways, distancing themselves from reality. I know that you mentioned in your question that you have winter depression but in general how are you? It may be that there is some underlying problem which is why you're finding yourself moving further into your own head.

    Just to check, the people you talk to in your head, when you talk to them are you always aware that they are in your head? Can you ever actually see the people as though they're standing with you?

    From what you've said I don't think you should worry. I think you should speak to a professional so as to be sure. If you would like to talk anymore or would like anymore advice then don't hesitate to get back in touch.

    Lals :yippe:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lals wrote: »
    Hi Geiteu,

    It's good to hear from you, I hope you're having a good day.

    I would like to preface all of this by saying I am not a psychologist so I can't offer you any formal advice on your mental health but I know that it can help to talk it through with someone so I'm going to try to respond to your question as best as possible.

    Firstly, I would recommend seeing a doctor/psychiatrist. I'm not saying there is definitely an issue but if you feel confused and that's making you anxious or unhappy in any way then it's always best to have a chat with someone just help guide you in the right direction. The best thing thing to do is to put your mind at rest and have some idea of what might be happening.

    Personally I spend a lot of time creating stories and people in my head, I do a lot of writing and this tends to spill over into my life so I often find myself disengaged from conversations because I'm caught up in my own head. This happened a lot more for me when I had anxiety and depression, I think probably because I was looking for an escape from reality. I know a few other people who found themselves coping in similar ways, distancing themselves from reality. I know that you mentioned in your question that you have winter depression but in general how are you? It may be that there is some underlying problem which is why you're finding yourself moving further into your own head.

    Just to check, the people you talk to in your head, when you talk to them are you always aware that they are in your head? Can you ever actually see the people as though they're standing with you?

    From what you've said I don't think you should worry. I think you should speak to a professional so as to be sure. If you would like to talk anymore or would like anymore advice then don't hesitate to get back in touch.

    Lals :yippe:
    Thank you so much for the advice! I guess I'm doing quite fine as of now, I'm not feeling down and discouraged like I usually do when I'm in on eof my slumps. As for your questions.. I am always aware that they are in my head and cannot see them physically. For me they are located somewhere in the room and I when I talk to a certain person I'll face their direction. I've taken into consideration what you said and also spoken to some other friends of mine so I'm gonna go see a therapist sometime soon just to be sure.

    Again, thank you so much for your advice!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi,

    This isn't so much advice, but I thought I'd leave a message to say that I also used to do what you do. It used to happen mainly before bed, and I would speak to people that I would imagine were standing around my room. Certain pieces of furniture would mark where they stood, such as a bookshelf. They had names, and I would usually speak about mundane things, like what I had done that day. Sometimes though, I would speak to them about how I was feeling or what I was thinking, and I found it helped me to unload everything.

    I guess it went beyond just speaking to myself though, as in my head I was speaking to other people. I stopped once I got a girlfriend and she started sleeping over (maybe 15 or so) but on the nights she wasn't there I would sometimes carry on. I thought I was the only one who did this, and its reassuring to see that I wasn't, so I thought I'd post this, so you'd know you weren't alone!

    Matt
  • Jacob101Jacob101 Rampant Poster Posts: 673 Incredible Poster
    I would advise that you seek guidance from a medical expert like a GP. Self diagnosis is scary and the wrong way to go.
    'Don't worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try.'
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,769,851 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey this isn't really advice but I do the exact same thing as you. I'm still a kid tho. I can't remember how it started either but me and my mum don't get along that well and sometimes when she's said something that's hurt me I would go upstairs and cry my eyes out to the people I imagine. They'd listen and comfort me and I can trust them and they'd never hurt me cuz they're in my head. And sometimes we'd just have normal conversations for hours without me even realising that they aren't actually there, I also face them when I talk and once my friend caught me staring at one direction and faintly moving my lips but she didn't make a big deal out of it and I never told her. I think I forgot I wasn't by myself for a second or so. I love doing this but if I haven't done it in a while and if I'm surrounded by a load of people I do get a little cranky.
  • justamomjustamom Noob Posts: 1
    You are defiantly not alone. I started doing this as a small child. I think I do it for a few reasons for one, I think it's some sort of coping mechanism, some say it's from depression, stress. I think it's all of those but sometimes I wonder if it's because I was/am lonely, I don't really have anyone to talk to. Since I don't talk to people much it seems when I do it's hard for me to communicate clearly. It's easier for me to image a person that I might know and have a conversation with them knowing they are not really there. I can say what I want and if I mess up and say it wrong I can always fix it. I sometimes talk about my frustrations with that person, or sheer anger; sometimes I tell them happy things, just depends on what's going on. I know that talking makes me feel better, and I too get cranky if I don't do it.

    Now with all this being said, I don't think this is a good thing at all. I'm an adult now and It's becoming more of an issue. The more stressed I get the more I feel the need to "Vent" out my conversations. I have been caught by my kids, and kids dad. It is never a good thing to have to explain that you talk to imaginary people that really exist but just not in the room.........yea that doesn't sound good.....So here's what I suggest because I am doing this, your'e aware of it so keep telling yourself over and over to keep it inside your head. If it needs to be said write it in a diary. I have also resorted to keeping a tooth pick in my mouth as a reminder that it's quiet time. I want to make an appointment to see a psyc but haven't had the time. I'd love to talk this over with a professional to get there insight to why I might do this and get some coping mechanisms....and if not, medication? I am single now so it's not so much of an issue because I live alone but this problem I have is something that keeps me from getting into a relationship.

    I have personally talked to another person who does this too and she said all the same stuff I did. I'm kind of wondering how many people actually do this? I'm thinking more than I imagined; I always thought I was alone and felt really bad about myself. I hope that you can work this out and feel better, just remember you are not alone so don't beat yourself up.

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