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I Think I May Be Mentally Ill...please Help

I've never told this to anyone.  Not even to the closest people in my life nor do I think I ever will.  This is probably the closest I think I could openly admit this to anyone.  I do pretend I'm someone else. All the time.  I've been doing it since I was a very small child.  I think it started out as just playing by myself alone with my toys and having an imagination but now its full blown and I sincerely believe I may have a personality disorder.  I pretend I am other people. Mostly, people that are celebrities or are public personas.  I take on their personalities and even accents if they have one.  I try not to but some times I'll slip up and let an accent out.  I'll go to work every day and pretend I'm that person, male or female.  When I come home, its even worse.  Because I'm alone I'll pretend to be two people at once, talking back and forth effortlessly in conversation.  It seems to help me not be lonely like I'm in a relationship but at the same time helps me to avoid relationships with the opposite sex because I'm afraid of losing it.  I also can't watch a movie anymore without acting out film out loud as someone else, playing all parts.  I'll do the same with sports matches.  I've tried to hint to my mother that I may be schizophrenic or worse but have never told her any of this because I'm afraid to disappoint her.  I'm scared and I want to stop.  I'm thinking about contacting a local metal illness clinic and having myself tested.  What should I do? 



me26 me26 26-30 146 Responses Apr 28, 2010

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ok so i do think i am crazy at times but my mom thinks i am supper crazy which is really sad. i am 12 and you may think it is normal for a kid to have a imagination but not like mine. i make story's when i am alone, but the only way i can do that is by acting out ALL characters, which is hard but fun. see i act like this dangeris person a lot at school, i am this angery annoyed person at home but when i am alone i am who knows what, i am all these characters. my mom said that once that when i "talk to my self" i sound like i am having a real conversation with someone. she asked me if i am see things (which by the way i don't but it may seem that way) and all these other weird questions i didn't like. i thought i was becoming insane.....crazy.....a psycho, but then i relized that if people won't like the "real" me then there is no point for me to be wasting my energy on people that can't take the time to understand me. so now i have to find quite places in my house to make or finish a story (which is getting impossible in my house). lets just say i have some issuse that i can and can't handle. so i can't say i have a personality disorder just that i am different.

sometimes i do it too. im also very imaginative. i pretend im other people and at night before i sleep i pretend the pillows are people and im having my own world. im 17 now. i dont know if im normal. im doing great on college, studying well though im not much of a people-person and im introvert. I have some friends though but still i think there is something wrong... i think im insane too.. I also find it hard to sleep at night

but what i do is i write them all and try to make a novel out of my crazy fantasies..

I am finally getting the answers I have needed for a while now. I found a therapist who believes in dissociative disorders. You are fortunate if you can tell reality from fantasy because I can not. It is confusing when fantasy feels more real. I have been diagnosed with Fantasy Prone Personality Disorder so hopefully my reality will improve in time.

My nephew has something like that. I think a teacher noticed that in my older brother years ago. I was telling how I act out characters and stuff so I must have inherited sort of a fantasy mind. Everyone manifests this in different ways. I don't think my nephew does acting characters but my brother loves role playing wrestling characters and puts some of it on YouTube but so do others. I think its like a club or something but the fact he likes to play someone else is kind of a sign of it.


You have no idea how relieved I was to see that there are other people that do this. From as far back as I can remember, I've always pretended to be characters from tv shows or movies. I always thought it would be something I grew out of, but I haven't. I feel crazy. I'm 39 and I pretend all the time that I'm a character from an old tv show. The only person I've ever told is my husband. He's completely understanding and supportive, even going as far as to play in the fantasy with me to some extent. Sometimes the urge gets so great to act out scenes or experiences of the character gets so great, I get extremely restless. I've tried finding anything about this online and haven't found anything until I saw this. I've actually been searching for somewhere online where people do this as a community, I guess something like role-playing but with already established characters. I keep fantasy and reality separate from one another, but I still feel like something's wrong with me. Thanks for listening (reading).

I do the same thing. It will sometimes be like I am in a movie. I make up characters. I never play actual celebrities. These are people who don't exist or look similar to some actors or entertainers. A lot of my role plays are similar. A character is mean or cold but he or she comes around and is a better person in the end. Sometimes its like a love story.Or a story of kids needs a home so the stubborn person.... the last one you would expect takes them in and learns to nurture and love them as their own kids. Sometimes its sci&fine stuff and recently I "played" one similar to the movie The Giver. Then its back to love stories and I don't get perverted with it. Its like a family version love story.Or a kid needs a home or his father is cold but learns to be more loving.I know I must be a little crazy and I already go to a therapist for anxiety and depression. I do think this has something to do with my insecurities and worries because I can sort of step outside myself for awhile but I'm comp!etely aware of what I am doing and don't see actual people.I told my mother ages ago and she wasn't worried but I did not go in depth. I don't want to tell anyone else because they might put me on drugs which I already do have some meds for depression. The drugs make me feel bad so I cannot tolerate lot of that.I know I had an insecure childhood and my father was very cold most of the time so I think that is part of my problem.I am very introverted of course which is not all bad. Lately the acting I do has gotten to be more often and I have had stress and anxiety so I know I must be hiding it from my mind. Also sometimes I am other characters and I pretend its real life. But then I know these characters don't exist although sometimes I "miss" them or feel close to them and I act them out again. I just feel so weird that I have this problem and thinking God must think I'm nuts. If he is watching me. I do normal stuff in life like go to the store and buy groceries and I never act like anyone but who I am. I never turn on the imagination. I do talk to myself out loud some times when I'm frustrated but just about everybody does that. Oh well...

I feel this way, If i connect with a character from a movie or a book i find myself acting the way they do, even goin as far as dying my hair or wanting to have my eyebrows the same shape.. I change my clothing completely and go with what that character would wear... Iv done this for a while and the first character was Bella Swan when i was 13/14 im now 19 and currently its piper halliwell... I do the hand motions the way she acts the lot...I dont know why i do it... I mean its went as far as thinking i could have magical powers (i.e) Piper. Now i know i dont. i know who i am but i dont get why i do it?!?

It sounds like you could be paranoid. Rest assured that no one wants to kill you. I know this must feel very real to you. The switching of personalities could be dissociative identity disorder being you have no control. It might help to get a diagnosis so you can know for sure what you are dealing with

I pretended I was someone else scince I was 12 when I started to get bullied. But I could change back and forth and knew who I really was and could change back to the real me. I went through traumatic experiences and then I kept pretending I was that person. I did it for years and years until I started to loose myself..... Until I was lost. And I just held onto this other person. And just pretended I was them. Then I had a full blown mental breakdown at age 17. And am just getting out of it. And my personality switches back and forth and I have no control over it. I try so hard to cover it up and cover up the constant look of shock on my face because I almost have no control over my mind and my body/ actions. I feel like I'm struggling to be myself and find who I am. But I just keep switching all the time, it's very difficult to consents ate and function but I force myself and do it. I think that by pretending to be this other person I have changed the world. And everyone is in confusion. People are so confused around me. But I can't help my actions. I struggle with depression everyday. People know I'm mentally ill but I don't think they know how bad it is, I wonder if I have scitsophrenia. I don't know what to do. I think I have changed the world and made it confused and now everyone is going to kill me and get revenge on me.

That sounds fairly weird to me but then again the idea of normal is weird to me. People differ dramatically, everyone has their quirk.

it might just be that you come across as just doing an impression that you really get into when other people see you speak, plus there is no 'rule' against experiencing somethig like that...however if you tell people that you actually think you are that person or that celebrity or whatever they might be a little confused. I think you know that you are not anyone other than yourself. You saying that you sometimes feel like you are a different person just shows how vairied your personality is. It sounds like a really nice thing to be able to do; would be laughing alot thats for sure. It sounds like a positive skill to have!

If you start to feel as though you are forgetting who you are just remember that it is you noticing that; just as you notice that you feel like someone else sometimes, sometimes scarily so.

Now that you know you are not alone and you have told others you do this. Are you staying more in reality now?

So it could be as mild as an over active imagination or a serious mental or personality disorder

You seem quite logical so it could be just escapism.

That is good to know.

If we say the word pretend does that mean we are aware of what we are doing ? What about when these characters take over your body and you have no control over it.

Yes. You know you are not them but are compelled to do them. You are able to stop if you need to. If you have no control over it it could be a deeper problem like Schizophrenia.

Yes that is what I was thinking also or even an identity disorder that was a helpful answer

Thought I was the only one who did it. We are not alone :)

Being unhappy makes sense. How does one become happy with themselves? If we get happy will it stop? Umm I hope so.

Basically we play a role because we feel we are not happy with ourselves. So we become someone else. How do you become happy with yourself?. Think of the good things you have and not the bad things.

I don't know if this is normal or abnormal behavior. I wanted to take a survey of people I come in contact with. So far I have not met anyone who does this other than myself. I don't know what to think and they didn't either. I will keep searching for answers.

It is rare. It means we are not happy with ourselves so become someone else.

I do this as well. Always done this. If I watch Columbo I think I am him when I am shopping. I act out his mannerisms. Can last for weeks. I see, in my mind, myself looking at me but I am Columbo. And other characters.

I love doing this so much but i don't let it get in the way of my relationships with people or reality. I think you're just doing it too much and try to distract yourself with something else.

Just saw this post now. I do the same thing, as do many others. It's not "normal behavior" persay, but it's not an indicator of a serious mental illness like schitzophrenia. There is however, a disorder not yet recognized clinically called Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder. I believe this may be what you're describing here. I'm not a doctor, I only speak from personal experience and I am a psychology student.

I do the same with fictional characters from movies, television shows, books, or whatever else is out there that I grab on to. I don't necessarily try to act like those people, but I do pretend that I'm someone a little different than who I am. I constantly have conversations in my head with these characters while I'm at home pacing in my room for hours on end , when I'm at work, or anywhere else if I'm not accompanied by anyone. You're description sounds a lot like my own and I'm glad someone else is out there. I am no doctor so I won't offer any advice to you on that note simply because I don't know you personally. More importantly (I'll type this again) I'm no doctor. I can say that I usually only pretend to be around fictional characters when I'm alone and I love it. The life I have right now is no where near as bad as others', but it's still tough and getting increasingly harder. I use this alone time with my fictional world to escape. I don't hinder it in the least, because this is who I am and this is what I do. The emotions, the stress, the heated arguments or the hardest laughing-fests help me get through the day.

I feel like I have something similar...when I'm by myself, I'll occasionally get bored and start talking to myself. Well, not necessarily myself; I imagine I'm just having a conversation with my friends around me, or that I'm confronting someone who has wronged me. Sometimes these conversations escalate and I say things I would never say around the people I actually know. I've also imagined I'm part of a fictional story that I've come up with and can become so emotionally involved, I may burst into tears or become seething with anger. I've imagined how others would respond to situations like this. I've even imagined how others would respond to my own death...I'm definitely not suicidal, but sometimes when you really wonder about something...the explanations or stories you come up with can be surprising. Sometimes I also realize how crazy I sound, and tell whoever I imagine I'm talking to that I'm just a lunatic....yet there is nobody there to listen. I've been trying to find out if there is any sort of name for what this is, and I've looked up different disorders, but I feel like none of them really apply to me. I just wish that I could figure it out, because the way I see it, if it has a name, then obviously other people have brought it to attention, so I must not be the only one.

I do that. I met a woman on a date once and fell for her but she did not with me. But for months I kept imagining I was with her. I would repeat the same daydream over and over again.

Thanks everyone who posted something because it really helps to know I'm not alone.

I do the same thing. But do you sometimes pretend to actually be the actor in the movie with thier looks and facial expressions, re-acting their movie lines as them. Cause that's what I do... And in "my world" I some how feel as if what I am acting as this one actor, is actually happening or did happen.

Same as me. All my life I have done it. It split my relationship up. I watched Scarface. I was not violent but I kept calling (the woman I love) a Cockroach. I even walked and did the voice. Did it for three weeks. And relationship over. Phychiatrist keeps saying OCD

Im having a similar problem except i pretend that i am a celebrity ( one that iv made up in my mind) and pretend to be friends with other celebrities or youtubers or anyone famous that i really like. Im 14 years old and i dont know if this is normal. Im an only child so im always lonley and i have nobody to speak to. I dont have lots of friends. In a way, i like doing this because it comforts me and it makes me feel less lonley. Is this normal? I havent told anyone not even my best friend or my mom. What should i do? Oh and this started last year.

Iv got the same problem but the thing that iv got ocd and I heard that ocd might be causing me to make up stories in my mind (well I found that over the internet) Everytime I make up stories in my mind I want to move around the house , it makes me run. Im really scared cuz my grandmother had schizophrenia and im just really scared il get it to. I mean I dont hear or see thing that dont exist , but I alwso dont knoe would what im having now be the start of schizophrenia . Im just really scared. And sometimes I want to talk when im making up stories in my mind.
Do I have schizophrenia? Or ia it just the ocd symptoms causing me to make up stories and walk around?

I have been struggling with similar problems for as long as I can remember. I am a mother and am married now. My marriage has been affected by this. I imagine that i'm in a relationship with someone else. A guy that I've seen or met will catch my eye and they will be the perfect guy. I imagine and pretend that he is with me and others are around also, but he is my major focus. When I was younger it was me pretending with celebrities (mostly sports stars). I am happy in my alternate world and dread having to come back to reality. I try to be the best mom that I can be and spend lots of time with my kids, but it seems that I'd rather be in my alternate world rather than anything else. I feel like a freak and I hate myself for need this escape when I should be happy with my life. I have actually made out with a pillow and pretended like it was mr perfect holding me to go to sleep at night. I have never told anyone this, never said it out loud. I know its odd to talk out loud to someone who I know isn't really there and im afraid that if my husband ever catches me he will have me committed. In a way I'm glad to know that i'm not alone, but I hate that more people have to struggle with this, as I know how it can make you feel inside. If anyone knows of a way to cope with this or help deal with and rid the problem, PLEASE share because I don't want to live like this forever.

Wow. I do this without even noticing until after, which scares me half to death. I'm very depressed and hate My life most the time i am also bipolar. For years and years now I've acted out scenarios in the mirror like a whole story line and start crying or laughing and then realize what I was doing and then start talking to nobody about how I am so stupid and hate everything I do and blah blah my life story. I do this several times a week. It has me wondering if this is normal?

Wow I'm stunned at all the responses on here I genuinely thought I was the only one that did this! Been happening ever since I can remember, has any one out there been cured or is there something that can be done? People please???

I am still waiting for testing. I don't think it is going to happen. I asked my therapist if I have Maladaptive Daydreaming or Fantasy Prone Personality Disorder and she yelled at me telling me there is no such thing. I guess I am back to looking for a new therapist.

You need to be involved in acting. You dont have an illness, you have an undeveloped skill. Lucky you. But, nobody can do this for you and motivation can be a terrifying thing . You could fail. Of course , if you dont try, you already have failed.

Maladaptive daydreaming, it happens to me everytime, now I can't focus at school because I think about my invented worlds and characters.

I have hypochondria also. I have been going to a therapist who does not believe in personality disorders. Not all of them do. I found a new one and still waiting to get tested. So far Schizophrenia and Bipolar. I hope the test will tell me more. I am thinking Borderline Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I can't believe I'm not the only one who has this... I find myself emotionally distressed every time I read books or watch movies and somebody does, because I either see myself as that character or I ask somebody close to the dead character, and it's like losing an actual loved one or causing distress to those around me... I feel as if I shouldn't have close relationships with people anymore in fear of hurting people and I often find myself acting as the character or person and feeling horribly sad, sassy, angry, or other things. My mood changes all the time according to how the character feels and I feel like I'm in the setting of a movie/book. They are reality to me and I take them very seriously and I feel like I'm crazy. I dream about them and I've even gone as far as lying to people on the internet about who I am and pretending to be somebody I'm not because I cannot express it to anyone else. For a while I thought I had hypochondria because if I read about somebody having cancer or something I would assume that I too have cancer, but I think this is different than that. So glad to have somebody who knows what this is like...