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Imaginary world and talking alone

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When I was a child I tend to create imaginary friends or sometimes imagine that my favorite friends who truly exist are always with me and I talk alone.

right now I'm nineteen years old,I create an imaginary world,fictional people which I imagine to be my friends or siblings.

Actually,I do not shut myself down towards the real world.I communicate with people,I have friends,My parents love me, every person I met and known all seems to like my ideas and behaviors.And I know that I'm capable to seperate the real world and the imaginary world.I do not hallucinate.

But the trouble is when I'm alone.I talk alone,I talk to my imaginary friends, live in my imaginary world.I don't know whether or not it's abad behavior or it's something wrong with my mental health.

Because I'm going to be 20 soon.And I feel like it's time to control my imagenary world.I've tried,but it's hard for me..I bond to people I created.It's like I know they didn't really exist but they grew up with me.

what should I do? do you have any suggestion? I'm quite confused right now.

thank you
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First Helper BPjoe23

replied March 22nd, 2010
Experienced User
nothing is wrong with you, it normal for people to feel alone and talk to them selfs.
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replied June 30th, 2010
Dear jcecilia,

Your post made me feel as if I am not the only person that is going through this problem. So, thank you.
I have also have a strong bond to the characters I have created and often wish they were real. Although I myself have loving parents and friends I sometimes feel as if they are the only people that truly understand me to the very core. Sometimes I laugh at this because these characters are a strong part of me.
I have tried unsuccessfully many times to part with them but found my self not wanting to due to the emotional pain it brings.
Sometimes I feel as if i could focus better if I were to get rid of them but cannot...
I don't know if we are experiencing the same conditions and I really don't have an answer to your question of restricting these imaginary figures. But I hope that at least it will comfort you to know that you are definitely not alone.
I am reaching the age of 19 and I would not say that I am happy with this situation but I am hoping cope with it and one day find myself not needing them. Until then I hope no one will find me talking alone...
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Users who thank nrndn12002 for this post: Sausan 

replied October 20th, 2013
I'm thirteen and this is me all over. Sometimes I will sit in my room and speak to these imaginary beings. Do you have any tips that could help me with this later in life? (Until now I just thought I was losing it.)
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replied June 30th, 2010
These imaginary figures are sort of like an addiction for you guys in a way. It's something there that makes you feel secure. The problem is, it is hard to break an addiction because of the emotional bond you have.
As you know, an addiction is never cured, it is only replaced with something else.
Try getting yourselves to a point where you are not alone (thus giving you the ability to talk to them). Try a new hobby. Preferably something that involves other people.
If you are alone, play music with headphones and close your eyes if possible.
If you still find yourselves talking to these figures when other people are around, then you may need to seek additional help.
If you do not have that problem, then use that same control you'd have with family and friends, with yourself.
Hope that helps.
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replied July 3rd, 2010
My Imaginary Friends and Me (too)
I don't get all fizzed up over this. When I was little, I surrounded myself with imaginary friends. In high school, I lived a whole other life in my head where I was a famous rock star with all kinds of friends and stuff (like Jem, only I was cool).

Today, I still do what I call "practice" conversations. I'll envision the person I want to talk with and then have a "conversation" with them. I try not to do this really loud because I can totally see where people who don't know me really well could get freaked by it.

And I go through the whole nine, too. I'll cry if the "conversation" gets sad for me, I'll get angry if that's what happens, whatever. I've even written down some of these "conversations". I feel like analyzing what the "other" person is supposedly "saying" is like looking into a window of my own mind (because it is).

When considering these things, you need to bear in mind that the vast majority of the decision regarding whether or not an activity you participate in reflects a mental health issue is based on how much the behavior upsets *you*. It doesn't sound like this behavior is damaging to your life. The only upset I see is that you think it might be a little weird.

You're a little weird. So? So's yer mom. What about it?

Seriously, your "mental health" is fine, and between you and me, it's probably better than nine tenths of all those so-called "normal" people. Mess around with it. Write out what you say to yourself. See what you come up with. You could be the greatest novelist or poet or playwright ever to live because you can do this with your mind.

Imagine that... Smile
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replied November 9th, 2010
The risk of seeking online information about behavioral and/or mental conditions is that you sometimes get wrongful advices and/or information.

To say that creating an imaginary world and talking to its characters is an addiction is totally wrong. Why? If you were addicted to your imaginary world, you could barely control yourself and thus, would most likely end up talking alone in public.

If you are well aware that your imaginary world is indeed IMAGINARY and that you can control yourself to avoid talking alone in public, you are not addicted and you do not suffer of any mental illness which could require heavy medication. It is not in ANY ways a sort of schizophrenia.

You would be surprised to know that many people have similar experience and that, at all ages.

The creation of an imaginary world is a defense mechanism triggered by your brain when this one is in a situation too emotionally complex to cope on its own. You could compare this to an airtight sealed lid of a hard boiling pot of water. The pressure created by the steam could become a deadly weapon; so in order to avoid a disaster, you open a vent on the lid to let the steam escape. Your brain is that pot and all the emotions, frustrations, unsatisfied feelings and so on, is the steam; now that imaginary world is your vent.

Some people would tell you that you could talk to your surrounding instead of making imaginary friends, but there are so many good reasons why it is so much easier to opt for the imaginary friend. Here some reasons:

Imaginary friends...

... see you exactly as how you wished to be seen;
... always available when you need them;
... help you in your thinking process when making decision;
... can handle anything and as much as you need to share;
... help you compensate for what is essential to you that your surrounding cannot provide you;
... make you feel less lonely;
... and the list goes on.

There is nothing wrong with having an imaginary world as long as it does not stop you from doing what you need to do in your day and as long as you are well aware that they are not real. However, keep in mind that this world is the reaction of some others sort of mental problems which need to be resolve. An imaginary world should be a temporary solution, but you should never feel bad about going through, in and out of these imaginary worlds during your life span. You have to ask yourself a few questions. What is the period of the day you are more at risk? Or what is that you talk about when talking to your imaginary friends? try to figure out the reason why you need to talk to them. Once you get all your answers, the next step is to find another solution than your imaginary world. You might still need that world to keep up some fantasies, why not? There's nothing wrong with that.

For example, if you realize that you often imagine talking to a friend of yours, telling him/her that he/she is not treating you the right way. Stand up, pick up the phone and go see him/her and tell him/her. If they get mad, and dump you, well good riddance! That will be one less real and imaginary friend to deal with.

Other solutions can be found according to each situations. Bottom line, always try to find your solution in the real world, but use your imaginary world to help you understand what is that you need to "fix". Some might have to meet with a psychologist, a social worker or some other professional. And, p.l.e.a.s.e. don't give up if you feel judged by them or if you feel that they are completely off track. None of them has the same approach. There are good and bad apples in every profession.

As your needs get truly fulfilled, your imaginary world will slowly shrink, but will reappear when a new need will come along. That is just the natural way of coping.

Depending on how much you need to compensate for this will determine how important your imaginary world will be. Some try to make it sounds better by calling that... fantasies.

How many of us have, one in their lifetime, pretend to be giving a piece of our mind to either our boss, teacher a parent? If we would have done it for real, we would have got ourselves in deep trouble, right? So to let the steam out, we pretended. We created a small and brief imaginary world.

These type of worlds are becoming more and more popular. It is therapeutic. For example, some therapy group even ask you to live out your frustration by pretending to live it. It reliefs.

So, the more you will feel bad about having an imaginary world, the stronger this one will be and the longer it will last. Do not shout it on roofs, but no one should feel as if they were crazy. Actually, that is a sign of great intelligent. You let the steam out to avoid further damages. Isn't that wise. But keep in mind, too much of something is like not enough, your day should mostly be spent out of that imaginary world, but you can keep the door/window open in case you need to reach to it... BRIEFLY.

So to conclude, 1. it's ok as long as it's controlled and acknowledged; 2. it's not an addiction, it's a coping mechanism developed by the brain when it's overwhelmed; 3. the percentage rate of people experiencing this type of behavior is very high (most of us has on and off similar experience at various ranges, sometime called fantasies or day dreams); 4. people from all social ranks and age ranges can experience this type of imaginary world; and 5. Imagination is a temporary solution, seek for the real one (as much as possible), but don't feel bad about keeping your imaginary world handy.
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Users who thank healingworld for this post: abir 

replied July 17th, 2011
Dear Jcecilia
I'm glad that i'm not the only one since i started talking to imaginary friends at the age of 16 one of my imaginary friends is named Mita since i she's always with me.
I guess there is nothing really wrong with you so don't dought urself. ok. i mean at times i talk to myself since i hear my imaginary friends telling me what should i do at times. Mita tells me to say hello to you and she's happy that i'm no longer alone. so don't worry about it. Be yourself and you'll be fine. trust me. Wink
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replied May 17th, 2012
you really helped me out of it...
which i just realised in me...
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replied October 13th, 2012
Talking to yourself.
I know what you are talking about when you say it is "addictive," and it can be. Vapid reassurances that "you are fine" is not what people with this problem need. It can get to the point where you are wasting a lot of time in conversation with people who don't exist, and not working toward relationships with people in the real world. What to do about it, I'm not sure. But "you are fine" is not the answer. I've had this problem for over 40 years, and it is limiting my life. I do ok, but I don't want to do "ok." I want to maximize my potential, and if I could reduce or eliminate this problem, it would be a huge help.
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replied December 7th, 2013
Hello I do agree with Wyo, I have had an imaginary world since I was 7 and I have a whole load of characters that I interact with. I have visited them for years (I am now 30). I find that I am drawn to this world more and more when stressed or things are happening in my life that I find difficult and they are my escape from this world. They have at times taken over, for example I have 'shut off' while getting ready for work and been late, or when I have been with friends I have not been listening to the conversation etc. I have never been able to turn it off completely but find that if I need to focus or come back to reality what helps is if what I am doing in my imaginary world I make reflect the real one. For example if need to focus at work a character will be in my work place doing that job and it helps me come back. I am well ajusted in life have lots of friends and and wonderful husband but I know that my other world is my safety valve that I can go to if things get a little to much and I believe it has been a big help to me over the years. The only thing is to be careful not to shut of completely and at times it has made me feel very alone and afraid I wont be able to shut it off, sometimes I have even been annoyed with my husband because he is trying to talk when I want to be alone. It is a very mixed feeling thing that you need to decide what it does for you and if you are benefiting from it and make sure you can shut it off when it is needed.
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replied December 11th, 2013
thank you healing world Smile
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replied December 11th, 2013
since am doing my mbbs,i don''t want my patients to be scared of me..i should control talking to my imaginary friends..thanks again healing world Smile
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replied July 26th, 2014
I've done this since I was about 6 years old. This is the first time I have ever talked about it because it scares me. My imaginary life has become my life entirely. I can't live a moment to myself. Every minute is of me imagining I have my dream life. When I'm in school my second life is there. In my made up world I have a celebrity boyfriend, I go to the college of my dreams with my best friend, we meet some girl and she introduces us to the people I most care about. These people are all famous, and I love all of them. I made up a whole life around this but it keeps getting updated everyday with reality. When they do something in real life I imagine myself doing it with them. I don't know if I'm making sense but I stay in my room for hours talking (whispering) to myself pretending to be my boyfriend or making videos since I'm magically a damn youtuber. I have several metal disorders that no one knows about. I have a life I have friends. But without my second life, I don't know who I'd be. This second life decides everything for me. I dress a certain way now, I am a certain way. In school I pretend my friends are making a video of the whole day and pretend that in the "present" day people are watching it. I basically fell the need of making it real. It needs to happen because I don't want to know what is do if it doesn't happen. I'm eternally screwed because of the fact that I'm obsessed with these certain people. It happens with creating fanfictions I read or shows (Skins UK, The Vampire Diaries) or with certain people I'm in awe with. But the first on my second life is actually my second life no matter what. I understand everything you are saying trust me.
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replied July 30th, 2014
Experienced User
A person can have an imaginary conversation with four different entities altogether. These people may include an imaginary friend, a real friend.
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