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Word wanking, verbal masturbation - talking to oneself, in other words...

(30 Posts)
SmugColditz Sun 07-Sep-08 11:38:07

I am talking to myself more and more. Is this a dreadful dreadful thing?

I play out conversations in my head, always have done, but I'm starting to do it out loud and not just at home, and someone in a shop the other day gave me That Look.

I sometimes don't know I'm doing it.

I told my HV this a couple of years ago, and she completely over-reacted and called the crisis mental health care team - who told her not to be ridiculous and to stay out of my treatment.

The thing is, nobody I told seemed to be bothered but I was very depressed at the time and a lot of things are lost in the smog of depression. They may have told me about how to manage it but I can't remember, I was convinced they were coming to take my children away (they weren't, not at all, they were actually just concerned I'd hurt myself)

Now, I'm not depressed, but the talking to myself thing is revving up again. It's like when you think to yourself - Oh, I wish I'd said that! I wish I'd told him to stick it up his blah blah blah.... well, I will say it, out loud, after the event.

How bad is this, do you think I need to see a doctor, is it a symptom of something serious, and how do I stop it happening in public?

SmugColditz Sun 07-Sep-08 11:38:41

PS would have name changed but what with all the trolling of late I decided I needed proper answers.

SmugColditz Sun 07-Sep-08 11:40:53

I seem to frewuently play out imaginary but possible conversations until I get it sounding how I want it to. And like I said, I often don't realise it's outloud.

ranting Sun 07-Sep-08 11:44:45

Well I talk to myself, sometimes in the middle of the street, nobody has yet reported me to the mental health team for doing so though.

How do feel in yourself, if you don't feel depressed, I wouldn't say it was a problem, more like a quirk but only you can know whether you're about to descend into the fog iyswim.

Bronze Sun 07-Sep-08 11:44:58

My Dad would say it was the only way he could have an intelligent conversation

SmugColditz Sun 07-Sep-08 11:47:11

I don't know. I'm not depressed but to honest there is always an undercurrent of fear in my life.

I don't feel like I descend into the fog. I feel that it descends around me. But I'm not feeling rageful like I often do when depressed, or withdrawn, or anything like that.

Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 11:47:39

It is very healthy to have conversations with yourself.

ranting Sun 07-Sep-08 11:53:28

See I always thought it was a healthy thing, although my dad thinks it's the sign of an unstable mind, he actually wanted my mum to take me to the docs when I was little because I had an imaginary friendhmm. Bless him.

I do quite often shout 'yellow car' at passing yellow cars though, it's a terrible habit and probably makes me look like a loon. Hope I am making too light of the issue but just wanted to illustrate how ridiculous I might sound to a passing stranger.

And I have inner dialogue too but, I thought that was the same for everybody, apart from sociopaths.

FabioBadAssCat Sun 07-Sep-08 11:54:46

My friend told me she walks around the house talking to herself.
You are mad, said I [helpful]
Other friend pipes up, So do I.
You are both mad, I jeered [unkind]

I said to someone else, Do you ever walk around the house talking to yourself?
Of course, doesn't everybody? said she.
Yes yes yes, it's normal, isn't it, we all do it, says someone else.
I don't, said I.
Are you mad, said they.
[mad, clearly]

Seemingly, nearly everyone does it. I should take it up.
I recently said Oh bugger, a bit too loudly recently when I found myself on the wrong train. I was alone.

I think we all do the 'if only I'd said that' thing - you only think of the killer one liner a day later, don't you? We all run different scenarios through our heads, I think. I suppose a lot of people do it aloud.

And whilst I don't (to my knowledge) walk about the place chatting to myself, I sense I might be in the minority.

Please see last roundup for comment on the state of my mental health. What was said I will have trouble defending!

I feel a bit sad you didn't feel you could name change.

Oh! just remembered. I bet I am not the only mner to have been pushing a child-free trolley about the supermarket and making the odd remark to an absent child. It's just thinking aloud, innit?

serenity Sun 07-Sep-08 12:09:03

I do the 'imaginary but possible conversations' thing pretty much all the time. I find that it sometimes comes out loud in the car whilst I'm driving, I don't always realise until I feel my mouth moving blush I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with it - surely it's a side effect of being absorbed in whatever it is you're thinking through (and I know I'm the type of person who 'drifts' when they get involved in things - Dh always ends up doing the finger clicking, hand waving thing to get my attention when I'm on the PC, reading a book whatever)

However, if it's bothering you that you're doing it, or you think it's getting OTT maybe you should chat to someone? Now that you're aware that you do it, do you think that you'll notice when you do it earlier?

ranting Sun 07-Sep-08 12:10:46

Ahem, hope I am NOT making light of the situation, was what I meant to sayblush

SmugColditz Sun 07-Sep-08 12:42:26

I don't want to talk to anyone, last time I mentioned it all hell broke loose and the HV gave me That Look. I don't feel I need to see the mental health team, what, realistically, could they do? All they can do really is say "well ... stop doing it then!"

I just hate the thought of being caught at it.

I blush to admit, I am often talking to people who aren't there, but as I struggled to explain to the HV, it's not that I think they ARE there - it's that I am saying things I wish I could say to them IRL but can't because of the repercussions.

ranting Sun 07-Sep-08 12:45:59

Is that not normal then?

I do that all the time, thought everybody did, I would think it's only a worry if you don't realise that the people you are talking to are not there isywim.

SmugColditz Sun 07-Sep-08 12:49:09

<<phew>> thank GOD at least one other person does exactly what I do!

ranting Sun 07-Sep-08 12:53:05

Take no notice of Fabio, he is a cat, pretty sure cats don't have 'internal dialogue'wink

justaboutagrownup Sun 07-Sep-08 12:54:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheInvisableManDidIt Sun 07-Sep-08 12:54:16

my mother has always muttered to herself, and played out conversations out loud. As a child I used to think she was very strange.

However, was driving to work the other day thinking about a conversation I wanted to have with dh, and realised I was talking outloud.

Mentioned it to dh, apparently I do it all the time.

Quite reassured reading this thread that it's not just me smile

TotalChaos Sun 07-Sep-08 12:57:51

I think your HV sounds rather dense and would hope that other health pros would be more sensible - as presumably she didn't grasp the point that you weren't hearing voices.

I used to replay convos in my head as very lonely and isolated adolescent - could this be happening because you are a bit starved of adult company atm?

3andnomore Sun 07-Sep-08 13:04:16

Colditz, I also do a lot of those dialogues (sp?) internal but also talking to myself...working all those what if situations out, etc...
I have caught myself mutterng to myself on occasions, when I thought I was thining (iykwim)...

Not sure what you could do to stop it, as you seem very bothered by it...so, not much help....but at least it seems that you are not the only one doing it!

FabioBadAssCat Sun 07-Sep-08 13:04:58

It's cathartic, then, isn't it?
It's a bit like when someone shoves past you to get on the bus, you run the scene again in your head, but this time the driver sendsthem to the back of the queue or a granny whacks them with her bag or a meteor hits them and squashes them flat or something.

<possbily only me....>

i think what you're doing is normal, but your concern of doing it publicly is highlighting it and making you worry - needlessly, I hope.

I wish I could offer you 'how not to do it in public' advice, but I'm not sure I can. But from this thread, I do think what you're doing is very common.

I, however, am alone in talking to supermarket trolleys.
I will worry when I start chatting up the baskets.

TsuDohNimh Sun 07-Sep-08 13:05:53

I have converstaions in my head with people. Normally people who have annoyed me. I find myself pulling strange angry faces. If someone filmed me I'm sure they would think I was mad

Threadwworm Sun 07-Sep-08 13:20:24

I talk to myself an awful lot, and more as I get older. I wouldn't worry about it. But the fact that you are worrying about it suggests a little bit that you are feeling bad/low.

I also had the experience of an over-reacting medical professional once.

Told ancient and useless GP that I was v. depresssed and couldn'r sleep at all. I told him that as a result of not sleeping I was having weird quasi-hallucinations -- seeing faces when I closed my eyes and so forth.

He just decided to mishear that as some sort of psychotic hallucination and instructed me to get a taxi to the local mental hospital. I obediently did, and after waiting around for hours I was interviewed, sent home and left alone.

They are good at over-reacting in error and ignoring the real problems.

EachPeachPearMum Sun 07-Sep-08 21:01:43

Are you getting enough sleep? (haha- I know you're a mum!) I just think that if you are having enough, you will filter through the stuff you need to dredge through in your sleep, and it might stop you saying stuff aloud? Won't stop you thinking stuff, of course.

My first sign of depression creeping back up is ultra-vivid, ultra-disturbing dreams btw

I do the conversation thing inside my head all the time. Like Tsudonim I pull the faces too blush DH sometimes catches me, and asks what I'm thinking.

I internalise everything - when I was little and playing playmobil or lego or whatever, I would do the voices of different figures in my head even, unless my DB was around.

In fact, that's probably more weird than talking to yourself blush

unhappy Tue 09-Sep-08 13:50:48

Thank god I have found this thread I talk to myself all the time - at home - on the street. If I get caughty outside doing it I stick my finger in my ear and pretend that I am talking to an invisible mobile phone - I have loads and loads of conversations with my dcs father or sometimes other people that I would really like to but dont because I am too scared too (another issue!!)

Dont let the HV get you down you are not mad girlfriend totally normal

LadyBabo Wed 10-Sep-08 23:37:33

I live in constant fear that my dh of 7 years will catch me chatting away to myself while doing the washing up. Fortunately he is a bit deaf...

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