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No! It's not just you! Where I live, it's like an epidemic! A virus spreading very fast, helped by stress and solitude. Welcome to the XXI century!


OH MY GOD- Im so glad you verbalised this (to yourself!!!) I have TOTALLY noticed this going on all over tokyo.

Another thing I have noticed more than during my 97 sejourn, is the prevalance of people with limps. They are everywhere now. As are blind people. I don't know if this is just a reflection of how Japan is catching up with the rest of the world in terms of accepting people who are physically "challenged" in some way.....or whether its the result of some food scandal cover up of the 1960's only now seeping through. But it seems difference is coming out of the closet in Japan at last- Bring it on I say!


How "timely" (as Nihonjin's love to say) this comment is from you Madame... just this morning on my way to work I noticed a perfectly "normal" (horrid word) woman walking along the street talking out loud. It wasn't the conversation you often see from people a 'chop-short-of-a-barbie' having with themselves... but a straight out verbalising of thought. which given the fast-paced non-stop 24/7 lifestyles many city dwellers lead it doesn't surprise me in the least that things have come to this...

Although I talk freely to myself in the company of my own home (more sort of a comment here and there ... when you think outloud... e.g. what am I going to wear today...shit- look at my hair... oh god... not Monday again :) I'm sure I'm not the only one that does this...

I do wonder if singing out loud (place empashis on the word loud) in public counts? on the street on my way home.. late at night count?

Even if it does/n't I don't really seem to worry that much about what I do in public over here... (within reason) since most people seem to categorise me in the hen-na-gaijin category anyway... ;-)

Ok... so its totally obvious now... I am procrastinating at work... loads to do and just not in the mood. Thursday... 4:43pm... hurry up Friday!

Best be off... I've just realised....
I'm talking to myself again...

Frank Black

I generally don't talk to myself with the exception of self-abuse (the verbal kind)("You dumbass!", "Fucking awesome, moron!", etc.) when I reinforce my mortality to myself and to the world. But, I have been known to talk to others when I'm alone. Maybe it is the rehearsal of which you speak. And, I gather that many of those mistakenly assumed to be engaged in a schizoid speech may, in fact, only be rehearsing their upcoming lines. Is this a valid distinction? I'm not sure... I'll have to talk to myself about it. I leave you with an appropriate poem:

"Roses are red, violets are blue,
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I."


Dunno about you guys, but I have spent many years convincing myself that I have way too many conversations with myself in my head, way too many thoughts swimming around to be doing me any good and way too many imagined conversations with other people (real or otherwise) to be clinically sane. Those who know me will also know the other reason why I sometimes wonder whether I am just a well camouflaged schizophrenic. However, I do agree with Spartacus. Perhaps we can call it one of the symptoms of the quarter-life crisis?!


OK well, that's confirmed it - we are ALL mad!

Think we should all shut up now :-)

Frank, the old ones are the best. Missed you these last few entries...


well, i have something to say about this.. anyone wanna hear it? im saying it anyway :p
i think people talk to themselves because they really have no one to talk to , or they think they dont.I mean i love talking to myself it doesnt necessarily mean im insane or wierd, i just think of 'me' as a very good friend the only person who truly understands me, and we shouldnt 'label' people by what we think we see, we know nothing about the everyday 'average' 'normal' looking people that we see on our way to work or school or whatever therefore musnt make our own assumptions about that matter, its too profound.

just a passer-by who wanted to share my thoughts on this subject:p


Very interesting you all should mention this phenomenon of people talking to themselves! This is my take on it:
In order to understand anything, we must understand it in terms which are understandable by, and used by, the rest of society. So we use the same language, the same signs and symbols that the rest of society uses to articulate ourselves. As children, we talk to ourselves using the language of others as a means of conditioning our internal understanding of the world. As we grow older, our understanding becomes mostly completely internalised, as we gain mastery over the language, signs, and symbols people use.
However, in our current society a lot of the time reality is very unfamiliar and alien to us and we simply do not have the conceptual (or symbolic) apparatus available *within ourselves* to understand it or to act within it. Thus, we must engage in the process of articulating out loud what it means for us *as social individuals* to live in this society. As many people are very isolated, and do not have other people's lanaguage to use to describe what they are experiencing, they must use their own language. This attempt is quite desparate, since the language we have learned in the past is inadequate to our new unfamiliar surroundings.
In short, in my view, people taling to themselves results from the alienation, isolation, and lack of control experienced by many individuals living in capitlaist society. Any thoughts?




For crying out loud.. (alone!)
I have talked out loud when alone for years and years. I do it because I have to. I feel like there are thousands of thoughts rolling around in my head and when I speak, the thoughts come together. (Its funny, everyone knows me as a highly articulate person when I speak believing it to be a natural talent, when really, its because Ive had years of practice!)If I waited to say everything I want to say when a particular person is actually in front of me, that poor person would be tortured to listen to all my rants. I like it better carrying on when no one is really there. The whole damn process is therapeutic and comforting somehow. I always pretend that someone is in the room listening, but thank God, not once have I ever really seen or heard them! I do worry that it is a detachment from reality, and I think I might suffer from some anxiety in social situations because of it, Im not sure yet. I plan on talking to a shrink soon. I just feel great knowing that there are others that do the same.
for those who do do this, what do you do for a living? I am studying journalism. Im curious if there are consistencies between the behaviour and career choice.


I'm in PR... both (journalism) professions that rely on opinion being voiced. You might be on to something there. To be honest, I think it's all of the above - although I've got to say I don't think capitalisim has much to do with it. I'm sure people talked to themselves under communist conditions - especially when they were locked up by themselves for years on end for voicing an opinion different from that of the regime's.

To be honest, I think we do it because we can. Who was it that decided it was taboo to talk to yourself anyway...


Actually, I doubt people talked to themselves as much in 'communist conditions' (which are?) as under late capitalist conditions. People were hardly so isolated or detached from one another in the communities or workplaces of the former USSR, nor did the conditions of life regularly change so dramatically from one moment to the other as they do under hi-tech consumer capitalism. I do not mean to suggest that everyone under capitalism talks to themselves in public- in most areas of life it is considered strange behaviour. I just think certain groups of people under particular capitalistic conditions are more likely to talk to themselves than people living in other conditions. Perhaps the huge number of people in jail in America (a number which increasingly dwarfs the proportion of 'dissidents' jailed under Stalin's regime) also talk to themselves a great deal.
To say 'we can do it because we can' is not an explanation. I can hop up and down the street I live on for an hour, but I am not likely to do it unless there is some compulsion forcing me to.
In so far as it is 'taboo' to talk to yourself, its because it suggests (1) an inability to properly communicate with other people on a one-to-one basis, (2) social isolation (which is disconcerting to most people), and (3) extreme narcissism which, despite being extremely prevalent in capitalist society, is nevethess frowned upon when explicitly manifested.

Tom Orchard

I find i'm increasingly talking to myself. I guess it's not a problem until I start answering myself!


Yes.. it's been a quirk of mine too - talking to myself.
I sometimes have lengthy discussions - arguably quite intelligent, that I cannot have with other people either because I don't trust anyone with some of my thoughts. Also, I have to hear myself saying some things to realize what they would sound like for others. I even make hand gestures and get really exited sometimes. I guess there is just a hidden artist or a politician in me somewhere and for the time being me, myself and I can be the only audience.

But, I never talk to myself in the presence of others.

Now recently I discovered that one of my colleagues constantly talks to himself while working! It is his way of working! Terrible, because I can hear him from tens of meters away in a quiet office.

I thoght it through and I have this to say to all of you. Talking to yourself is like masturbating - it's not socially acceptable yet and it just adds to the general noise pollution of our otherwise rather polluted environment. If you can't help it - get some therapy. Get a dog. Get a life. Whatever. Just shut up.
Nobody wants to hear your unarticulated mumbling.

The history of man kind has been mostly about learning to get along with one another. Gross disregard for fellow citizen's privacy is NOT going to help your life get any better - just like speeding on the highway, or smoking - contrary to what Hollywood movies like to show us..


Correction. I meant to write "Talking to yourself is like masturbating - it's not socially acceptable IN THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS yet and it just adds to the general noise pollution of our otherwise rather polluted environment."


i talk to myself and untill about an hour ago i thought i was really weird for doing it. Now i know im not the only one (or one of those crazy people) i FEEL alot better now.
although i wish i really was...
(i might be a crazy person...)
jade "i wonder if i should post this"
jade "go on, there all mad like you anyway "

so im gonna post it...


I am a security officer and I spend about 8 hours in a patrol car all night. I talk to myself maybe 5 hours of that night total. I talk to myself about my life problems and what I am gonan do, I bassically stress myself out which is probably not healthy.

Is there something wrong with me?


I am so relieved and actually excited to read everyone's post.(as wierd as that sounds). I used to think i was absolutely alone. I have talked to myself since I was 11 years old and I show no signs of stopping. The first time I ever knew someone else did this was when I read the written submission from an 18 year old girl to Ann Landers. I sat there amazed and completely excited that some one else did this wierd thing I do. You know how Ann responded? "Get help. You definitley are NOT right." (something like that.) By her response, I think this may be an unknown cultural phenomenon/empidemic. Do psychiatrists have any idea? THe kicker is, I AM NORMAL! I'm healthy,happy, I dont hallucinate, I hold a full time job and a 4.0 GPA. Does anyone wish this cat would be let out of the bag and there would be open mainstream discussion?


i am also a raveing loony, sometimes i am walking down the street, and notice some one looking at me, and think "why are they staring at me do i have a big fat bogey on my face, or what" then realise that i look like a total nutter because i am talking to myself....but im not mad i just go over stuff aloud. perhaps im in denile


I have the same problem. And it freaks my folks out. Pls! Anyone with a success story of they broke the habit?


I also "talk to myself" when I'm alone. It just seems to happen naturally. In actual fact, I'm not talking to myself as such, I imagine that I'm talking to someone else, usually a person or group that is important to me at the time.

I definitely feel as though I'm rehearsing for when I speak to them next. Whatever anyone says, I believe this is normal. It gives me comfort, I feel less isolated and when I do speak to the person later on, I 'm able to express what I want a lot better. It's really about preparing for and working out what I want to say when I meet them and hearing what it sounds like. I know 100% that there is noone but I pretend that the (real-life) person is there and I imagine I'm in teh situation that is coming up or has already happened and I'm working out what I should have said to know for the future!

Sometimes there is no even coming up with the subject that I'm pretending to talk to - sometimes it's purely a way to get some feelings out of my system and it really works and helps me a little bit to get my feelings out to someone in my mind by pretending they are listening, although admittedly it is massively more effective to speak to the person in real life. I guess it's a form of fantasising but I'm definitely not a schizophrenic! It's a coping mechanism and I find it necessary to do it nearly every day in order to cope with my life.

Chill out guys! It doesn't do you any harm, I've done it for years, some people do the same thing by writing it down, it's therapeutic and liberating. It helps to get it out of your system and prepare for when you actually are speaking to the person.. But it's bloody embarrassing when someone catches you doing it!


I talk to myself both out loud and internally on a daily basis. My co-workers often walk by my office and take a moment to glance over when I am saying something to the computer (because it wants to freeze up on a regular basis). Some add their two cents and say "well as long as you don't answer yourself I think your safe". I do answer myself, is that bad? or just your opinion?

When I am at the grocery store comparing products, I chat outloud (in a soft whisper, but outloud) and people often glance over at me as if I were odd. Yet, it does have an advantage. People will move away from you, leaving access to the items you want to look at or pick up. Same thing in department stores.

I have worked with people who are mentally ill and let me just say...their converstions differ greatly from those who are not mentally ill.

I would like to think talking to oneself is a way of working out daily issues, questions, queries, emotions, thoughts, etc. This theory is supported by mental health professionals.

When I was a child my grandmother told me that "talking to oneself is a sign of intellegence and proof the minds wheels are turning". I think my grandmother was on to something! :o)

Go forth and speak to oneself.


I am happy to read the comments here about a subject that is very special to me. And its meaning to me, in a very personal way, is something I define and redefine internally; while speaking softly aloud in the privacy of my apartment when quite alone.

For a variety of reasons, too many to iterate here, I feel guilty, or at least awkward when I vocalize my thoughts while alone, and even carry on conversations with persons I imagine to be my audience.

Most frequently I believe myself to be rehearsing a stage act, a comedy routine, or a radio show.

I have worked in radio for many years, and it has become a habit with me, and practically everyone else I know who announces for real, for a living, to practice one's "rap" before turning on the microphone. It is essential to practice, or rehearse what one plans to say before one talks to thousands listening on their radios.

Speaking aloud at work, while in the comfort and security of a sound-proof studio, is natural for me now. Before I leave an outgoing message on my telephone answering service, I practice.

No practice is as effective as speaking aloud. It helps to organize my thoughts. To arrange my words in a more logical order. It helps me to remember to include important facts I don't want to omit.

I live alone. I rarely talk on the phone to friends. I don't own a wireless telephone, and I don't watch TV, so you would correctly assume that I am rather isolated at present.

I have, however, seen many, many people who watch television alone, especially sporting matches, speak to the screen, shout at the players and yell loudly at the commentators.

This activity, to my way of thinking, serves one purpose only. It allows the speaker who sits alone with a television to let off steam. To release stress and tension.

It would be accurate to say that any one television talker is louder, and cares less about open windows and profanity, than I do. I would not be heard over a sports fan watching his team win or lose a match.

I practice my self-talk to organize my thoughts, even when not employed by a radio outlet. It also serves to release my stress.

That release is much needed, and I would not want to live in a country where talking to oneself in the privacy of one's home, even with a window or two open is grounds for confinement as a psychotic—because what do we think, after all, of neighbors who snoop on each other?

I do not regard them highly if what they report is simply in the realm of gossip—and not criminality.

This presupposes, of course, that one not make a scene or a spectacle of oneself; that one behave within the bounds of good taste and common sense.

I allow myself no profanity, but that does not exclude subjects which might be controversial, or political in nature, as long as the strictures above are adhered to.

Thank you for this wonderful and blessed right to speak!



I also talk to myself all the time, my situation however is some what different because I come form a family who suffers from mental illness. My mother is schizophrenic, and she can't do without medication. The doctor says that one child is most likely to get it. My mother has 7 children and everyone thinks that I am most likely to acquire it. When I first heard it I didn't think much of it, but now that I have started talking to myself, I am now beginning to believe it.

I have been called mad on several occasions when in an heated confrontation. Been called mad triggers off something in me and I would get depressed. I don't socialize a lot because form past experiences, people will get to know me then verbally abuse me, this depresses me also, so I begin to withdrew myself. Believe it or not I feel more comfortable been by myself, because been around people who abuses me verbally, affects me mentally. I realized that when I am stressed out and made to feel very low, it affected my sleep. I would lay to rest and be awakened by a voice wispering in my ears or calling my name. The heated confrontation I had with the co-worker who called me mad was the worst it has ever been when I went to bed one night. I could not sleep. That night as I lay to rest, I hear lots of noises, voices and the sounds of people running up and down, which would wake me instantly. I turn the lights on, then try to go back to sleep but as soon as I am about to fall asleep, there would be noises and voices, it was as if it was going on both in my head and around me. When I am not stressed or made to feel low, it does not bother me, but I still talk to myself.

I now feel stressed all the time. The last time I felt stressed out was two nights ago when I received an early morning phone call at about 1:30am. My cell phone rang, still sleepy I said hello and it was a guy telling me that he came to look for me but it seemed that I was not at home. I listened, still in my sleep and not recognizing the voice I hung up. He called back and he repeated what he said. The voice was very scarry and I got scared. The reason I was scared was because a year ago I was attacked in the same appartment, the guy took my cell phone but I got back the same #. I thought that it was him, still don't know for sure but I was up that morning from 1:30am to 5:00am packing, then about 5:10 in the morning when I went back to bed and was about to dose off, a voice wispered in my ears my name. I immediately woke up.

I now feel that I am very much heading in the same direction as my mother, but I so desparately want to believe that I am alright and that I can get through this on my own by just avoiding high stress situations and just stop talking to myself.

Do you believe I should get help?


I talk to myself also, but no one is sane as I am. Cindy you asked if you should get help, I seriously doubt that you should. I had a similar experience about 10 years ago and was left tramatize for about a year and a half, I bounced back pretty well. You also said that a relative of yours had schizo. I also know someone who is schizo and it was not passed on to any of his kids, but then again everybody case is different. What you should try to do is stay away from stress related activities, those are what I believe is causing you not to sleep at nights. As for those fools that called you mad, don't pay them any mind, sounds like they are the nut case to me.


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