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  • 6/29/2008

Does Talking to Yourself Mean you’re Crazy?


 A reader recently asked whether it was abnormal for people to talk to themselves.

I don't believe there's anything unusual in someone speaking out loud to no one in particular, or when no one else is around. For some people, it's simply a habit; they may be using it to keep themselves organized, stay focused, and remind themselves what to do next.

Some people talk out loud when they feel lonely. Or others will reflect on their actions with comments such as "Great job," "I'm glad that's finally done," or "That was really stupid."

And who doesn't occasionally talk back to the radio or television, especially when engaged in viewing sports events or listening to a despised politician?

On the other hand, sometimes talking to oneself can indeed be a manifestation of mental illness. Some people with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia may lose touch with reality and experience auditory hallucinations of voices. They feel compelled to respond to "their" voices and even carry on extensive conversations. It's not unusual in downtown areas of big cities to see homeless people, quite oblivious to their surroundings, conversing earnestly when no one else is nearby.

When people seem to be carrying on conversations with themselves these days, however, it most often means they have a Bluetooth earpiece and a cell phone. These one-sided conversations can be pretty annoying if you're stuck in front of such a caller in a line for any length of time.

So... there are plenty of situations when talking out loud to yourself or to no one in particular is perfectly appropriate and socially acceptable. But when we have to listen to lengthy one-sided conversations from a cell phone user, we call it "noise pollution."


Who, finally, are the crazy ones? It's the oblivious cell phone talkers who don't look where they are going, don't care who hears every mind-numbing detail about their business and personal affairs, and couldn't care less that they're driving everyone within earshot... a little mad. They should know better.

other links:

Men, more forgetful than women?

Inner Peace on the Job: 7 Ways to Minimize Stress

change can be a good thing

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