People talking to themselves (Mental Illness or Normal?)


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Page last updated: 27/09/2022

People talking to themselves (Mental Illness or Normal?)

In this article, we will be discussing whether people talking to themselves have a mental illness or is it normal behavior. 

People talking to themselves is normal behavior.

People talking to themselves can be considered as a mental illness or expected behavior. People talk to themselves to express their inner thoughts.

It is beyond awkward to be found talking to yourself, particularly if you are using your name in the conversation. And not surprisingly, it makes you appear like you’re hallucinating. It is because interacting with others is the whole point of talking loudly. But considering that many of us speak to ourselves, after all, could it be natural, or maybe even healthy?

Probably, all the time, we speak to ourselves quietly. Occasionally we might think to ourselves, “Where are my files?” Indeed this inner dialogue is very safe and plays a unique role in keeping our minds fit. It enables us to organize our ideas, schedule acts, integrate memories, and attenuate emotions. It helps us, in other words, to regulate ourselves.

Speaking out loud may be a continuation of this quiet internal speaking, induced by a specific motor order’s unintentional activation. The Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget found that as soon as they start acquiring speech, toddlers start regulating their behavior. The toddler would usually say “hot hot” out loud when touching a hot surface and walking away. This type of behavior will persist into adulthood.

Non-human primates do not communicate to themselves, but by triggering targets in the form of memories unique to the activity, they have been discovered to regulate their behavior. A monkey stimulates a different region of the prefrontal cortex if the task is visual, such as matching bananas than when matching voices in an auditory task. But when humans are evaluated similarly, irrespective of the mission’s nature, they appear to trigger the same regions.

In a fascinating study, researchers discovered if we’d just quit speaking to ourselves, our brains will work more like that of monkeys, whether it is quietly or out loud. The researchers asked participants when conducting visual and sound activities to repeat nonsensical sounds out loudly (“blah-blah-blah”). Since we can not say two things simultaneously, it made participants unable to tell themselves what to do during each assignment by mumbling these sounds.

Under such conditions, humans operated as monkeys do, triggering different brain visuals and sound areas for each activity.

This research concisely demonstrated that it is certainly not the only way to regulate our behavior to speak to ourselves, but it is the one we favor and use by default. But it doesn’t mean that what we say can always be regulated by us. There are several genuine circumstances in which our internal debate may become troublesome. 

This kind of mental stimulation is tough to manage, but it seems to be inhibited when we concentrate on something with intent. For example, reading a novel must thwart inner speech in a reasonably successful way making it a preferred activity to calm our minds before going to sleep.

But researchers also found that when attempting to perform some irrelevant task, patients suffering from anxiety or depression cause these “random thoughts. Our mental well-being seems to rely on our capacity to trigger ideas relating to the present challenge and cognitive interference to remove unnecessary elements. Not unexpectedly, some psychological approaches seek to declutter the mind and alleviate tension, such as mindfulness.

When the mind isn’t distracted, speaking out loud could be a result of outstanding cognitive performance. It will make you intellectually more competent, instead of being mentally ill. The crazy scientist’s stereotype of talking to himself, lost in his inner world, can represent the reality of a genius who utilizes all the resources at his discretion to improve his intellectual capacity.

A few mental health professionals agree that actively voicing your inner feelings will help overcome our existing and anticipated circumstances.

When it comes to supporting their clients, most wellness professionals use this method of speaking to themselves. This practice, they add, helps to build a positive attitude. The internal monologue reflects all our behavioral decisions, emotional reactions, and even corresponding thoughts when we say our inner thoughts to ourselves.

And if we’re still judgmental, have a pessimistic attitude, and are negative, while ranting and understanding this, we’d realize it; odds are we’re going to try to resolve negative thoughts.

People talking to themselves (Mental Illness or Normal?)

People who talk to themselves might have a Mental illness.

Schizophrenia is an issue related to mental health. Symptoms involve images that are not true (hallucinations), hearing, seeing, smelling, or tasting; misconceived notions (delusions); disorganized thoughts and mental, behavioral, and motivational issues. It is not clear the cause. Symptoms return (recur) or continue for a long time in certain cases, although other people have only one episode of symptoms that lasts for a few weeks. Treatment requires medicine, counseling for speaking, and social support.

One of the symptoms that can be seen in Schizophrenia patients is Hallucinations. 

This means that objects that are not really there are heard, seen, felt, smelled, or tasted. Some people with schizophrenia hear voices that comment on their behavior, disagree with them, or express their thoughts in a running commentary. Sometimes, the voices make offensive, hostile, and rude comments or issue instructions to be followed. As they react to the sounds, some individuals with schizophrenia tend to speak to themselves. People with schizophrenia assume that there are actual hallucinations.

How can we make talking to ourselves more positive?

Although self-criticism can sound like a positive alternative to keeping yourself responsible and trying to keep up, it typically doesn’t work as expected.

Criticizing yourself or talking to yourself negatively for unwanted results will impact your motivation and self-confidence, which will not do you any favors.

It can help to reframe negative self-talk. If you have not achieved your goal yet, consider the work you have already completed and appreciate your efforts.

Asking yourself a question that you can’t answer will not, of course, instantly help you find the right answer. It will help you look at something you’re attempting to do or want to learn for a second time. This will assist you in finding out your next move. You may probably know the solution in certain situations, even though you don’t realize it.

You will probably realize what is going on if you can give yourself a credible explanation.

Talking to yourself can enable you to analyze your feelings and awareness of the situation, particularly when depressed or trying to find out something. But if you’re not really listening to what you have to say, it won’t do any good.

You know yourself best than anyone else, so when you feel trapped, frustrated, or confused, try to tune in to that knowledge. This will help you understand any trends that contribute to distress.

Affirmations can be an excellent way to inspire and improve yourself, so don’t fail to remain with the second individual.

Phrases such as “I am strong,” “I am respected,” and “Today I can confront my fears” can all make you feel more secure.

You might have an easier time believing them when you word them as though you’re referring to someone else. If you battle with self-compassion and want to grow self-esteem, this will make a significant difference.

How to overcome this habit?

Maintain a journal

It can enable you to think through issues by talking to yourself but so can journaling.

It will help you formulate new ideas and keep a record of what you’ve already tried by jotting down feelings, emotions, or something you want to try. Writing down stuff helps you to read them later again. If you have ideas, you need to discuss, keep your journal with you and pull it out.

Talk about problems with close ones.

Perhaps when you get caught at school or work, you tend to speak about problems yourself. Often the people around you can help. Rather than trying to confuse yourself about something, consider speaking with a colleague or friend instead. Maybe you’ll even make a new friend.

Distract yourself from the urge to talk

You could try chewing gum or chewing on gummy bears if you need to keep quiet (say you’re in the library or a quiet workspace). You will be reminded not to say something else out loud by wanting to speak about something in your mouth, so you will have more progress holding your self-talk in your mind.

Another good choice is to bring with you a beverage and take a sip to say something to yourself whenever you open your mouth.

Please don’t feel guilty if you mess up. Even if you don’t realize it, most people do, at least sometimes, speak to themselves.


In this article, we discussed whether people talking to themselves have a mental illness or normal behavior.


FAQ: People who talk to themselves

Is someone crazy if they talk to themselves?

Talking to yourself does not mean you’re mad. Researchers suggest that it can ultimately help thought and comprehension. Researchers have said that people often speak to themselves, most do so at least every few days, and many claim doing so on an hourly basis.

What happens when you talk to yourself?

Not only does talking to yourself ease isolation, but it can also make you wiser. It allows you to explain your feelings, respond to what’s essential, and reinforce any choices you’re considering. There’s only one provision: you become better if you talk to yourself politely.


Paloma Mari-Beffa Senior Lecturer in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Psychology. (2020, June 11). Is talking to yourself a sign of mental illness? An expert delivers her verdict. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from

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Willacy, D. (2020, November 01). Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from

Legg, T. J. (2020, June 16). It’s Totally Normal (and Healthy) to Talk to Yourself. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from