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Old 07-09-2005, 10:27 PM   #1
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Imaginary People and Self-Talk

I talk to imaginary people. They are not imaginary people that I actually see or hear. They are just imaginary people that I visualize intuitively. When I was 14 it was a fake mom and dad, I guess to replace my divorced parents. Sometimes it is people that I actually know in real life. If you saw me talking to myself you would think I was having a conversation with some voice in my head. I don't hear voices though. I tend to see myself as "doing the other voices" for these real and imagined people. I don't know why this is or if this is normal. It's not like I plan it out. Maybe some people will talk in front of a mirror to practice for an interview. It is nothing like that. The way it happens is in the normal course of my thoughts. I have already posted this problem on other boards to get the most responses possible and now I'm posting here. What I would like to know is if you think this is a symptom of some sort of mental illness? I don't have an appointment with a psychiatrist for another week and a half, so I kind of need some help now. Also some advice for when I go to talk to him would be nice.

Last edited by curiouslearner; 07-09-2005 at 10:57 PM.

 
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:24 AM   #2
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

I'm still wondering about this too, CuriousLearner! It seems that we haven't gotten a straight answer yet besides speculations of Dissociative Identity Disorder, which I'm pretty sure it isn't. The way you've described it this time pretty much hits it on the head. I know now that we definitely experience the same thing, and it kind of disturbs me that nobody else can seem to relate. If it's not schizophrenia or DID, what in the world is it?! I'll ask my therapist tomorrow, and keep you posted. I'm almost afraid to mention it for fear that he'll get the wrong idea and think that I'm hearing voices. It's not really something that's easy to explain... If you hear anything, PLEASE let me know! I'd greatly appreciate it!
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Old 07-10-2005, 12:38 PM   #3
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

Yes, keep me posted and let me know what he has to say. It would be good to know. I'll tell you that I once gave this problem to one of my therapists and he said it was "normal" except that I do it extensively.Maybe it is just normal talk and I do it too much because I'm bored or something. I don't know. But keep me posted.

 
Old 07-10-2005, 08:21 PM   #4
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

Just out of curiosity- when you talk as one of your imaginary people, do you feel as if you're taking on their actions and become the embodiment of their personality? In other words, do you feel like you're them, even though you know they're not real? This is what happens to me. I literally feel like I am them, but it's weird because it's not like it's another personality of mine because I created it in the first place! I think it's sooo neat that I was able to find someone with this same thing, CuriousLearner. Do you find that you do it more often when your mind's idle? That's when I do it. Like today, for example. Our electricity went out and I was so bored, so my mind just drifted into the conversations between my characters. It also happens a lot while I'm on the computer, too. You mentioned that you have an alternate family- do you still use them? What're the characters you use most often and most recently? Sorry if I'm being so nosy, but I find this positively fascinating! Please write back!
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:28 PM   #5
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

Well, when I'm talking, my mind has to create the words of the other people in my scenario. I mean that I have to imagine what theyre saying, too, so that I can keep on talking. So my mind, in effect, is reciting the words of every one in my little scenario. Maybe I'll be thinking about a moment that involves my family where we're talking about a movie we just saw. I have to speak for every one of my family members in order to have a complete mental vision of the moment. And I can get so caught up in it that I am literally sitting there saying "yes" "no" as if I were actually talking with them, which is why I said that if somebody walked in on me, they would think I was talking to some voice in my head. Cept, it's not a voice. It's just like a really vivid "fantasy." I have speculated that I do it to experience the excitment, joy, pain, and other emotions that I am not getting in my normal life since I don't interact with people so much because of my anxiety. To answer your question, I don't necessarily feel that I AM the other personality. It's actually so hard to explain...

 
Old 07-10-2005, 11:51 PM   #6
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

Does anybody else out there have any takes on this besides Gatsbylver? I kind of need all the perspectives I can get. Thanks.

 
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Old 07-11-2005, 05:43 AM   #7
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

I think I know what you mean- the only voice you do is your own, but you're talking to other people, whose answers are in your head. See, I either do scenarios as my characters completely in my head without uttering a word or I do the voices of my characters out loud. The only time I'm just talking to myself is if I want to address my feelings on some issue, but I'm not actually responding to an imaginary person inside my mind. It IS hard to explain, and seeing it written down makes me think that I truly am crazy! LOL! And I wish someone else would respond, too. It is disquieting that nobody has any answers for us... Either nobody understands it, or they've never heard of it before.
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:03 AM   #8
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

I've read the whole thread here thus far, I don't have anything like this. But I do have mental conversations with myself. I sometimes write it off as some type of prayer or some way of talking to God. Sometimes I wouldn't even want God to hear the types of things that I say. I have a job were I sit in a small room with no co-workers, for 12 hrs a-day, 84 hrs a-week. I think I fall into the just bored catagory. On the other hand, my former room-mate and best friend of 7 yrs. has something like what your talking about. She really didn't/hasn't talk/talked about it much, though she did feel it important to warn me about before we moved in together. I guess I might have freaked out if I would have just walked in on her conversing with herself had I not known, but it never bothered me. Sorry I couldn't help.

 
Old 10-21-2005, 07:47 AM   #9
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

I have this problem too. I've been looking for an answer for a long time and this is the first time i've seen this talked about and also it's the first time i've found someone who experiences the same thing. I've been doing this since i was a kid and i've always found it weird but i've never heard of others having the problem. I don't see a therapist even if because of some other stuff friends have sugestted i should so if anyone has finally figured what this is i would be really grateful to know what it is. I tried not doing it for a while but i couldn't. It's like i can't stop. I can go for a few weeks without talking like this but then i'll just start talking without meaning too.

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Old 10-21-2005, 05:31 PM   #10
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

Wow - this happens as well to me as so. It's kind of like your visualizing a situation and your playing it out in your head, and then you kind of "speak" your thoughts out to these imaginary people, and these people can come from real life or just made-up. That's sounds remarkably similar to what I do sometimes, and with that, I kind of wonder if I'm OCD as well.(I doubt I am though )

But.. umm. I think all that roleplaying stuff may be something that people with active imaginations do. I've read "the misdiagnosis and dual diagnosis for gifted children"(I'm sure you remember gatsby), and most of everything that gastbylurver wrote and curiouslearner also wrote reminds me alot of the passage I read about creative children and the need to imagine characters and situations; So I think maybe it's just creative role playing.

Maybe I'm off by a lot on this and I'm not truly understanding what you're saying, but it sounds alot like an active imagination(could also be called an "over-active" imagination).

Last edited by curiouskittie; 10-21-2005 at 05:32 PM.

 
Old 10-22-2005, 01:26 PM   #11
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

Quote:
Originally Posted by curiouskittie
.

Maybe I'm off by a lot on this and I'm not truly understanding what you're saying, but it sounds alot like an active imagination(could also be called an "over-active" imagination).
That's true...i've thought about it as "over-active" imagination. The thing that kind of disturbes me is the fact that i can't really stop doing it.

 
Old 10-23-2005, 07:58 AM   #12
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

I agree with both of you: CuriousKittie- I do think that it's partially due to an "overactive imagination," but I also agree with olguta that it's more than that because we can't stop it. The fact that it's beyond our control signifies that it's compulsive in some way. I was sorting my psychiatric research last night, and I found an article I printed out that I had forgotten about. It actually mentioned the exact thing that we've all been describing that we do. They said that it's a "mental tic", like you'd see in OCD or Tourette's, thus explaining the echolalia in the mind. They said that it's related to OCD because you get the same thing stuck in your mind over and over again, you have to perform it perfectly and "act it out", and it's uncontrollable. I forgot that I had found something that described what we have, but just the fact that it HAS been described is a good thing, I think! Maybe try doing a search on "mental tics" on the Internet? Write back soon!
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Old 10-23-2005, 02:16 PM   #13
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Smile Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

I've had this since I was young. I'm not very good socially and make up for it, by acting out future/past conversations, in different characters voices. I usually don't know I'm doing it till the conversation comes close to an end. Personally, I don't think its anything you should worry about. I've never known anyone else who did this until now. Its good to know I'm not the only one that does it.

I should of added that I've been diagnosed schizo-effective and are on Seroquel.

Last edited by leomarchen; 10-23-2005 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Needed to mention something of importance.

 
Old 10-23-2005, 02:41 PM   #14
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

I've been looking on the net for the article that GatsbyLuvr1920 wrote about all afternoon...no luck . But i do agree that it probably is OCD related since we can't stop this behaviour. I have never seen a therapist but i have read about OCD before after realising that some of the stuff i do aren't exactly normal.
The only reason that i worry about this more is the fact that i have had moments when i really couldn't stop myself. For example i was visiting someone and i locked myself in the bathroom and "acted out" which was highly embarrasing :P. And it hasn't happened just once so that's why i am worried about it .
Also i was curious: do you have moments when you do it more? I for example act more when i go to bed. Highly annoying since i just sit in bed and talk . Writting about this really makes me seem crazy


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Old 10-23-2005, 03:34 PM   #15
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Re: Imaginary People and Self-Talk

wow, I was thinking about posting about this. I started this imaginary world when I was a kid, but have had the same people since I was 15 and its been going ever since, about 14 yrs. They are like a soap opera in my head. Every night to go to sleep...I watch the soap...sometimes I act it out. The situations are usually ones in my actual life and the people or charcters are mostly ones with characteristics I desire. They all have names, qualities, ages, they have aged with me, etc. I found when I am most stressed or lonely I do this. Only twice since I was 15 did this stop and this was when I was in a relationship. The thing just stopped, it was weird...but as soon as the relationship ended, it started again.
I heard once something like this is due to being lonely.
I'm so relieved to find this thread. This feels so weird to write about my private fantasies that have been going on for 14 yrs. I think all these people (I know they are not real and all figments of my imagination, but they all have different parts of my personality) will continue with me til I die...or get married or something.
can anyone else relate? I do act it out sometimes, I used to more when I was younger. But I do have the same thing...wow...I knew I couldnt be the only person on the planet!

 
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