For such situations, they probably feel the need of self-advice. They may talk to themselves in order to avoid the interference of others in their personal matters. Even then, the question here is: are these people different from others? What could this behavior signify? Are they mentally ill? Not at all. Imaginary conversations can actually prove to be beneficial in maintaining one’s sanity. Let us discuss ‘talking to yourself – a helpless habit or a mental disorder’, in detail.
❑ Significance – This conversation only signifies that the person is low on self-confidence. He is nervous and more or less, very unsure about the forthcoming situation. Hence, he chooses to prepare himself well-in-advance for the same. Therefore, this imaginary conversation does not indicate any psychiatric disorder. It is completely normal to get a little nervous in certain situations and practice a way out.
❑ Significance – Dissatisfaction. As the person is extremely unhappy with the past, he tries to find satisfaction by changing the irreversible situation in his mind. However, this temporary satisfaction further leads to complete frustration, when reality hits him. This conversation does not signal a mental disorder, it only signifies discontent and the wish to correct a situation that cannot be changed.
❑ Significance – This conversation signifies the need for self-motivation. Some people have the habit of motivating themselves, as they believe they need self-motivation to surpass the situation with better results. Self conversation for this purpose is not abnormal in any way, nor is it a disorder or disease.
❑ Significance – This conversation signifies that either the person is unhappy with his reality and so wishes for better things, or that he simply loves dreaming of unrealistic things, although his reality isn’t bad. Such conversations may also stem from the media world. Movies with happy endings, unrealistic heroism and fanciful characters, also play an important role in influencing such behavior. However, this imaginary conversation also signifies a naive, easily influential mind. It is not a part of a psychological disorder or disease.
❑ Significance – Loneliness is very obvious and of prime significance of such conversations. As the person is leading a secluded life, he has no one to share his experiences with. Such people can be termed as loners. However, they are still within the boundaries of sanity.
❑ Significance – Having such a conversation signifies the will to overcome fear. The person tries to make himself more comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. Therefore, this conversation proves beneficial to the person, helping him to surpass a difficult situation.
❑ Significance – The significance of this conversation is depression. The feeling of emptiness and isolation gets to the person so bad, that he starts having imaginary conversations with himself. This may be an indication of a mental disorder. Consulting a psychiatrist is very essential in this case.
An individual suffering from schizophrenia, usually hallucinates. He may have visual and audio hallucinations and also respond to them. In the visual, a person may just imagine some other person (maybe a relative, friend or just any person), in the room. The person then tries to make conversation with this imaginary person. To a viewer, it may seem like the person is having an imaginary conversation with himself. In the audio case, the person may feel like somebody is talking to him. He may talk in response to what he hears, even if he is alone in the room. Again, someone observing this schizophrenic person may think he is having a conversation with himself. However, these symptoms are all a part of schizophrenia. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s may face a similar situation.
❑ Down Syndrome
Most individuals with Down Syndrome have been observed to have conversations with themselves. These conversations are not due to hallucinations or delusions. These conversations can be about themselves, their toys, or some third person (imaginary or real). They may also talk to their toy or some object present in the room. This behavior is considered normal. However, if the tone of the person suddenly changes while having this conversation with himself, it might be an indication of a psychological problem. These problems may include anxiety, depression, physical illness, or pain.
❑ Childhood Habits – Children often have a habit of putting life in each of their toys. They then talk to their toys and look after them (more like parenting the toy). Some kids grow past that stage, whereas some don’t. These habits change as they grow older, but don’t die completely. Such kids tend to have imaginary friends or develop the habit of talking to themselves as they grow up.
❑ Natural Reasons – Last but not the least, it is said that every human being is in a never-ending conversation with himself. He is constantly analyzing, perceiving and organizing situations through these conversations. Often, while thinking, people tend to talk to themselves. Moreover, they may not even realize that they’re having these conversations.