If you’re wondering if talking to yourself is normal, take a look at what the studies show. The answer might actually surprise you!
If people who talked to themselves were considered abnormal, then everyone in the world should be committed to their nearest mental institution. Talking to yourself is a perfectly normal activity done by most intelligent beings–intelligent beings such as yourself.
The reason many people wonder if it is, indeed, normal is because there are instances when it becomes a symptom of serious mental disorders like schizophrenia. To alleviate your fears, we’ve provided an explanation from doctors and scientists on whether or not you’re in the boundaries of normal and healthy when you are talking to yourself.
When is talking to yourself normal?
Dr. Linda Sapadi, Ph.D. tells us that talking to oneself is actually a coping mechanism. In moments of solitude, we turn to the only person in the room that we trust: ourselves. When that happens, we end up muttering our thoughts aloud.
This is a normal conversation that most people have with themselves, because the brain is trying to process information in the most convenient way possible. Not everyone talks out loud when pondering something, but when they do, they may start to wonder whether it is normal or not. And it is. [Read: 8 positive ways to deal with rejection in any scenario]
What are the types of conversations you can have with yourself?
If you want to know what most people talk about when they converse with themselves, here are some examples.
#1 Problem solving. Addressing a problem out loud and trying to come up with solutions in the same way can be very helpful. That is why some people tend to talk to themselves when they’re busy contemplating a task. When it feels like you’re stuck in the middle of your problem, talking to yourself might just yield the perfect solution.
#2 Planning. Talking to yourself while planning tasks is like writing them down. Some people are more likely to remember something that they hear, which is why they automatically talk to themselves when they’re trying to outline the things they have to do.
#3 Remembering. When you forget something, discussing the possible avenues of your memory can be very helpful. That is why you end up asking yourself, “Where did I put that?” or “What was I supposed to do, again?” over and over again until you remember.
#4 Motivation. “You can do this,” “You’re amazing,” and “Don’t worry. You’ll get through this,” are just some of the phrases you can expect to hear from yourself when you need a little pick-me-up. When you look in the mirror, you may feel the urge to cheer yourself on… and that’s perfectly okay. [Read: Build your self esteem instantly: 35 funny things to tell yourself in front of the mirror]
#5 Admonition. When something goes wrong, people tend to blame themselves before they realize that some things are out of their control. This is a form of self-discipline or self-awareness, but it can also be damaging if you think you have to actively make yourself feel bad.
#6 Identifying. When you see something new or something you need to learn, talking to yourself about it means you are trying to help yourself understand what it is you are faced with. People identify problems, ideas, objects, and people by describing them to themselves, which in turn allows them to store new information and relate it to existing information. [Read: 10 signs of low self-esteem and five ways to increase it]
When is it not normal to talk to yourself?
Talking to yourself is considered a red flag only if it is accompanied by other symptoms of a mental health disorder. Some of the most common accompanying symptoms for different illnesses are listed below.
#1 Talking to a different persona. If you’re talking to yourself, but you think you’re talking to a completely different version of you, you may be suffering from multiple personality disorder. This is when two or more personalities, with different memories and behavior, exist within one person.
#2 Talking to something that does not exist. People who think they are talking to entities that don’t exist to other people’s eyes can be a sign of a mental health disorder. This is usually associated with hallucinations—the feeling of seeing or hearing something that isn’t there.
#3 Talking to yourself when you are highly emotional. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder may end up talking to themselves to cope with their current status, which is either manic or depressive. This can be done in a soothing tone or in rapid and incoherent verbalizations. [Read: Sabotaging your happiness: 12 ways you can ruin your life]
#4 Engaging in a complete conversation with yourself. People with schizophrenia are more likely to exhibit this symptom. They tend to rehearse conversations they heard or conversations that they are planning, but the vastness of the disease’s symptoms still confuses many mental health practitioners.
#5 Talking to yourself in a high-pitched tone in a hyperactive state or a flat tone in a semi–catatonic state. This is another symptom that can be seen in patients with schizophrenia. The symptoms mostly manifest from a change in personality or the addition of a completely different personality or persona.
The differences between normal and not normal are quite vast. You cannot mistake one for the other, unless the signs of a mental health disorder are present and obvious. It might be scary to think that you could be suffering from this, but you don’t need to worry unless a doctor says so. [Read: Why we need to break down the stigma of mental illness]
We hope this information has helped alleviate your concerns about talking to yourself, but talking to your personal doctor may help alleviate your concerns more effectively. As long as you remain in the bounds of normalcy, talk away!
Original article by LovePanky.com: Is It Normal To Talk To Yourself? Experts Explain Why.
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