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I am 18 and recently finished my first year of university. I have a severe visual impairment and have been curious to ask this question since around the time of my final exams. I never brought myself to do it because I feel to strange asking it. Anyway, I find that I have conversations that I make up in my head with other people. I know that they are not real conversations but I still feel the need to have them. Its almost like they take me away from reality. If no one else is around I might randomly have parts of the conversations out loud. Sometimes more then others, when I am in a social setting or talking to someone or watching a movie, I become almost obsessed with these conversations or thoughts and have trouble focussing on what is happening around me. It is almost as if I would rather be in this un real life. Can you tell me why I do this? I live an active life but wish that I was not always thinking so deeply.



Dear Steph--

Often when one carries on conversations of the kind you mention, the various other people with whom one converses really are standing in for parts of oneself (or various conflicting attitudes within oneself) which are not fully integrated into a unified sense of self. In other words, these conversations may be attempts by the core self to accept and integrate parts of the personality not yet fully functioning in accord with other aspects of the self.

I hear also from your letter that you feel that you may be using these conversations as a form of escapism, which certainly is possible. Finally, I wonder if your visual impairment makes you feel somehow cut off from the outside world, so that you find safety and refuge in your world of internal dialogs.

Without meeting you personally, I cannot say more about this with any focus or certainty. If you have the need to explore this matter further, I would suggest that you arrange a meeting or two with a psychologist. Probably your university will have provisions for low-cost or no-cost psychotherapy, and I suggest you look into that kind of arrangement.

Be well.

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