Is Talking to Yourself a Sign of Mental Illness?
There are only a few conditions in which talking to yourself is a sign of mental illness the most common being when itís accompanied by other signs of mental illness. For example, talking to yourself can be a symptom of schizophrenia but that isnít the only symptom of schizophrenia and itís definitely not a main symptom. In the case of schizophrenia, symptoms such as hallucinations, behavior changes, or delusions are the main things to look for. Someone with an onset of schizophrenia my talk to themselves excessively, but that wonít be the only thing that they do. They might also begin to withdraw socially, have paranoid delusions, or have various thought disturbances such as being unable to connect ideas logically or attaching the same level of importance to every piece of information that comes into their mind.
Moving away from the idea of schizophrenia, a general rule of thumb is that most of the time, talking to yourself isnít a bad thing or a sign of mental illness. But if talking to yourself begins to interfere with functioning in your daily life or revolves around negative thoughts, you may have a problem. Someone talking to themselves in a negative way in particular can help to bring on depression as mentioned previously. But once again, depression is usually characterized by other symptoms, not just talking to yourself.
In short, a fair amount of talking to yourself is normal, healthy even, and is not a sign of mental illness on its own. So when you see someone talking to themselves, try not to think of mental illness right off the bat. There are plenty of reasons people talk to themselves and mental illness isnít the only reason. That being said, the stereotype associating it with mental illness could be considered horribly outdated. Bottom line, while the truth is that society gives talking to yourself a bad reputation, itís not something that you should be ashamed of doing. As you now know, everyoneís done it and itís healthy. If nothing else itís a good way to fill the time spent waiting for the bus (as long as you ignore the looks youíll probably get). But really, at the end of the day, talking to yourself is a good thing. So donít be afraid to do it.