Posted by: Kay | 2009-10-01

talking to myself

How ' healthy'  is it talking to oneself? I know that it is quite normal to have brief internal conversations with oneself from day to day, but how much conversation becomes abnormal, or unhealthy?
I regularly find myself having full on conversations with myself for a good hour or so and actually talking out loud. The conversations could be about anything on my mind - though generally emotional problems that require solving. I tend to imagine my conversation with particular people. It eventually becomes like an audible and quite intense day-dream. This will happen while watching TV, driving, and more-so when I get into bed which inevitably prevents me from actually sleeping for literally hours after getting into bed.
I live alone and have less interaction with people than most (nothing I would consider abnormal though), and so find these conversation somewhat cathartic. However, the apparent insomnia and continual day-dreaming is hampering my work, and my will to work and do things that should be done in a day.

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Our expert says:
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Why, in general, might it be unhealthy ? If you forget who is talking to who, or if it begins taking precedence over the chopres and duties of life, maybe it might become problematic. Talking aloud when on your own, isn't troublesome ; in public it annoys and bothers others. As you descibe, some such talk is a sort of rehearsal for discussions you might have with others, or what you would prefer to have said. If they're lasting a hour or more, you have more spare time available than most of us. And if one lives alone, it becomes a substitute for some of the contact with others that would replace it in a busy family --- and similar to talking to the cat.
But when you describe it as delaying you from sleep for hours, this is surely a bit much ? And where excessive, this is usually a less than useful attempt to adjust to some of the stresses of life
Its at the point of it interfering with sleep, and the day-dreaming interfering with work, that it sounds as hough it is becoming excessive ; and a CBT style counsellor could help you harness this impulse more usefully, and find other ways of working with your concerns.

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