“Is talking to yourself healthy? Do you know what mental illness makes you talk to yourself?”
Studies have shown that “96% of American adults have an internal dialogue”. About “25% of people admit that they self-talk out loud”. Doing this isn’t completely unhealthy and can help you understand the world, but talking can be an early sign of a mental illness.
Hence, various stigmas, incorrect attitudes, beliefs, and fears are associated with this occurrence.
This blog will help you understand what mental illness makes you talk to yourself, its causes, symptoms, and how it can be treated.
What Mental Illness Makes You Talk To Yourself?
Usually, people self-talk when thinking through ideas or debates. It creates a feeling of ‘presence’, and people don’t feel lonely.
But there are many cases where erratically speaking and muttering aloud can signify a mental illness– Schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia develops in 1 out of 100 people. It is rare in children and more typical in young people affecting men in their mid-20s and women later. It is more common than Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis and affects people worldwide.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness due in which people lose touch with reality– they have disordered thoughts, beliefs, and experiences. They are unable to comprehend what’s real and what’s imaginary.
It does not mean a split personality or multiple personalities. It includes delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, trouble with thinking, and lack of motivation.
The complexity of schizophrenia is evident from the number of misconceptions present about this disease. Limited mental health resources in the community or society may indeed lead to the commitment of patients. Still, the statement that “people with schizophrenia end up becoming homeless or living in hospitals” is a complete myth.
But most people with schizophrenia live with their family, in group homes, or on their own. They are not dangerous or violent people in the general population.
What Is The Cause Of Schizophrenia?
The cause of schizophrenia isn’t known clearly. It is believed that specific incidents or reasons make a person prone to recurrent symptoms. It may also develop due to a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters, drugs like cocaine or LSD, or other environmental issues.
Genes play an important role. A person with schizophrenic parents is up to 10 times more prone to developing this condition.
General life stressors may play a role in starting symptoms and their course, but they are subjective and involve multiple factors.
What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia?
According to healthcare professionals, schizophrenia is categorized by the following symptoms:
They are fixed, false beliefs that a person holds despite being unreasonable and untrue. People with schizophrenia are convinced that those beliefs are correct and logical.
For example, an individual with schizophrenia may believe things such as:
- Someone is following them; or
- People are plotting to kill them; or
- Their food is poisoned.
A person with schizophrenia may see, hear, taste, or feel things that are not present. For them, those sensations are as vivid and clear as everyday perceptions.
Auditory hallucinations, like “hearing voices,” are the most common forms of hallucinations.
People often hear running commentary on their actions, repeated thoughts, or someone ordering them to do something. In response, they talk to these voices or argue with them.
3. Lack of motivation
A reduced desire to engage in social relationships, poor concentration, no will to complete daily activities, or decreased experience of pleasure are various symptoms that may point towards schizophrenia.
4. Disordered thoughts
Abnormal motor behavior results in disorganized thoughts, and the person starts behaving like children. Their opinions are jumbled or blocked and lack any logic.
They may manifest agitations or repeated movements without purpose that disrupt the daily activities of life. It includes:
- Thought echo: When a person hears their thoughts as if they are being spoken aloud.
- Catatonia: When a person appears in a daze with little response to the surrounding environment.
- Knight’s-move thinking: When a person moves from one thought to another that has no apparent connection to the first.
- Neologisms: When a person invents new words
- Verbal stereotypy: When a person repeats a single word or phrase out of context
- Metonyms: When a person uses ordinary words to which they assign a different, special meaning
People with schizophrenia may experience memory problems, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and flat emotions– that means they do not feel or may feel odd and maybe laugh at something sad.
Other symptoms may also include “disorders of thought possession” like:
- Thought insertion: When a person believes that the thoughts in their mind are being put there by someone else.
- Thought withdrawal: When a person believes that their thoughts are being removed from their mind by someone else.
- Thought broadcasting: When a person believes that their thoughts are being read or heard by others.
- Thought blocking: When a person experiences a sudden interruption of thought before it is completed, leaving a blank. They suddenly stop talking and cannot recall what they have been saying.
How Can schizophrenia Be Treated?
According to Mental Health America, like other mental illnesses, schizophrenic patients do very well when provided with the support and treatment they need. The treatments are usually community-based rather than hospital-based.
Most areas of the US have a community mental healthcare team that has nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, etc.
After symptoms are controlled, various types of therapy can treat patients. They also earn social skills, cope with stress, identify early relapse warning signs, and return to normalcy.
Some patients may be hospitalized for a short period if their symptoms are severe or have persisted for a long time. Treatment of schizophrenia may include:
- Antipsychotic medication
- Psychological treatments like:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Family intervention
- Art therapy
- Social and community support
Optimism is the most important thing. The patients, family members, and the mental health caretaker believe in the treatment.
People with mental illnesses often do not look after themselves. Sometimes, they are not aware, or they do not accept that they need help.
Thus, it is important to be mindful of your body and mind at all times so that you can recognize symptoms and get treatment on time.
With new technologies and improved medicines, the outlook of people has improved. But there is still a need for creating awareness.
Many organizations offer resources and support to individuals with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Some of them are:
- The Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA)
- The Mental Health America (MHA) Organization
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
For more information on mental health, check out yourmentalhealthpal, acquaint yourself with healthy practices, and drop your questions in the comment box!