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 26-30 130 Responses Apr 28, 2010

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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.

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.

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...

Like i'm having the same problem.. I imagine myself as various charactors, even act and talk like them and, i have done it yet while reading all above responses and comments.. I was imagning me as a person who helps people suffering from maladaptive daydreaming...

I imagine i'm a character of a serie, book or anime I like ans imagine the other characters too so I interact with them taking the role I have assigned.

OmG!! I thought I was the only one to do that! I was searching about it on the web.. I'm 15 and a started with me from 1year as I am so addicted to a tv show and I watched it for 3 has finished from from about a year and I can't stop living in my favourite character personality..I pretend to be her out loud when I'm alone..I even started to act characters from films I watch! I can't get out of it and I started to feel psycho..

I have always done this as long as I can remember. I will always be me but the people who are watching changes, they can be people from films I have normally just finished watching or people I know in real life. I will talk away to myself like they are listening, its quite embarrassing when I am caught which has happened various times over the years, im 38 now and still do it all the time. I know no-one is there but I think its a comfort thing?? Good to know im not alone!! xx

Have you guys ever pretended to be famous and friends with celebrities? You play yourself but with a different, very different, lifestyle.

It's weird, as I was searching online to see if there was someone like me I was imagining stuff. I need to control it and I don't know how to stop or what's wrong with me. I have also pretend to be a youtuber or some character from my favorite tv show (i.e. Effy from Skins). I've been doing this since forever and I know there are people older than me that still do it, since I'm just 18. Is there something wrong with me? None of my friends know this. I don't go out much, I get invited and I say yes but at last minute I cancel and say I can't go. I try to get myself to go out but I can't. Sometimes I get anxiety out of the blue and I pretend there's someone with me trying to help me to calm down. I think I've seriously lost it.

Should I seek help or is this 'normal'? Because I don't think it is, unless you count doing this since primary school 'normal'. What should I do???

I imagine i'm the friend, daughter, girlfriends or boyfriend of my favorite characters of books or series and I take it really serious while doing it. I told this to a friend and she told me she did it too but i'm sure she really doesn't or not in the way I do.

I take it really serious too. Almost as if it was all real. I think the reason I do it it's because I don't like my lifestyle. I mean, if I'm someone else I don't have to deal with anything that breaks me down.

I feel comfortable imagining those alternative world, the problem is that sometimes I make conversations out loud, my mom thinks i'm insane.

I feel ya', I am so glad I'm not the only one who does it. I read somewhere that people call it maladaptive day dreaming, which I dunno since I ain't a doctor.

Yesss! I pretend to be a model and i pretend to be friends with my favorite celebrities and stuff. Im not scared but i just dont want this to keep happening forever. Although it does comfort me a lot!!

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OK they got me going to a specialist now for psychological testing. Hopefully I will get some answers.

I talked with my therapist about this. She said I had bipolar. I mean does bipolar cause a person to think this way? I am getting a second opinion to make sure.

I do this all the time. I am seventeen and a guy. I have two or three deeply detailed stories about some different guy (like a cooler version of myself). One of the characters dies and resurrects again with a slightly different personality (long story). But when I am them, I am completely them, it is scary once I come back to the real world, and I am afraid to talk to anyone about it. On the bright side I am a really good stage actor in plays and performances and inprov. that I do. And I do have a social life, but I do think it is linked to loneliness, because some of the problems my characters face allude to my real life (girl rejection, being alone etc.) until about a month ago I didn't realize how deeply connected to the characters I truly am, and that scares the crap out of me!

i have the same problem except im a 15 year old girl. I think my problem is just loneliness. I dont go out a lot and dont have people to speak to. Im too scared to tell anyone.

That sounds somewhat similar to what I do. Although, I pretend I'm a Youtuber. I made my character up myself. All I do is sit in my room and 'make videos' aka. talk. About random stuff. It has never worried me but I do tend to feel bad about doing it. Some of the things I say can be really depressing. I don't think it's something you should worry about though.

question: do you or have you ever had possesive issues? Like not wanting people to have what you have or know what you know. Like a new band for example. And question #2 Do you get jealous and envious easily and/or stalk others on social media. And question#3 When you act out every character in the movie do you pick the main ones that have the best line actions and roles? If so we should totally talk about this more together because Iv been there honey

Omg im not alone! I've been doing this for as long as i can remember. I act out scenario s of my own imagination, with various people of my imagination but the main character is always the same. I have her down to her looks, hair. Colour, eye colour, moles, even down to her dead parents ethnicity. I act out the other characters even down to the voices even the male voices. The scenarios are usually to do with love, family and accomplishments. They can last for months and i can have 2 going on at a time. I have friends and tend to cope well in social situations although i have never told any of my friends, i find the thought highly embarrassing and I think they would think i was wierd or a freak. I even lost a marriage because i wanted to be with my fake husband instead of my real one. I told my mother for the first time last night and it was quite a release as she did nt freak out or gather a posse to burn me at the stake. It was especially hard telling my mother as I think she may have had a hand in this. She herself suffered abuse as a child and as a result was quite a cold and unaffectionate. Although she wont admit it or deny it i remember being locked in my room alot, my mother would sleep till the afternoon so i imagine it was not to mess the house. My mother is not a wicked woman she has had a hard life and ultimately she has a good heart. I think she has her own mental issues. Anyway this whole fantasy world i feel has taken over and has stop me from living my real life, its like an ugly addiction and has made me feel suicidal at times cause i look at others who find friendship and life so effortless, i get so jealous. I just want to be normal but t the same time i don't want to give my characters up. I like being Gia, being perfect and being loved and i hate who i am. So glad u guys have shared, so brave. Thankyou x

I see you wrote this a while back but couldn’t resist reaching out.
This is the exact same thing I’ve done since before I can remember. I’ve always over analysed it and thought there was something wrong with me. I’ve wanted to go and see a councillor but didn’t really want to admit to anyone at all. Not because of the embarrassment necessarily but because I think talking about it in that way would make it real. I’ll go through phases where sometimes I won’t do it but it’s always there. I can’t remember the last time I went to sleep without sinking back into a persona I have and a really detailed back story and situation I’ll have developed. I’m always in a perfect relationship with a perfect guy and there’ll usually be something really special about me (I’m a bit hung up on super heroes.) I’m actually 27 now and still do it from time to time although not as much. In my adult life I’ve come to a pretty sure conclusion that it’s a defence mechanism and nothing more. *Also, to all those lovely responses who thought it might have something to do with a social disorder* I have nothing wrong with me, I have a great group of friends and I function perfectly normally in social situations and day to day life. I’m a pretty average person really. So I think it’s just a pretty normal thing that’s just gotten a bit out of hand. I don’t think it’s weird to try and cope with loneliness anyway we can. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world. I’m the same, I’ll talk to myself at night to drown out the silence. I’ll pretend I’m in a relationship because it numbs the empty feeling in my heart. I do suffer from a very mild bit of anxiety and it helps with that too. If I’m stressed or nervous I just lose myself in a story where I’m saving the world so my problems just don’t feel so big anymore – because they’re not mine anymore, they’re someone else’s problems.  If it’s starting to affect your day to day life and keep you from making real connections then I think maybe you should talk to someone. It’s so hard to admit to people but I’m sure if they love you they’d understand. I’ve also been in real relationships and had a great time, been in love, all that jazz and not once do I feel the need to do it, which just makes me more convinced that it replaces that feeling of intimacy.
Sorry for the rant – I hope something in there might have made you feel less anxious about it. There are obviously a lot of people here who feel the same and it’s so wonderful they’ve all reached out. I know it’s made me feel a little better knowing I’m not the only one. Just remember that you are in control and you are a wonderful person. Don’t let yourself disappear and let all these random personas take over. I’m sure there would be lots of people who would miss the real you. : ) xx

I'm 23 years old and I do the same thing. I always think that there is something wrong with me or that I have some sort of problem mentally or otherwise. I'm not in a relationship and I have a good group of friends as well but I tend to get very lonely sometimes. When I feel down or lonely I get lost in pretending I'm someone else. I usually pick a character from one of my favorite TV shows and pretend that I have their life. I like to think that it is just something I use to cope with the fact that I am alone and that I don't have anyone. It only happens when I'm feeling alone because it makes me feel better. When I am with my friends or when I have been in past relationships I didn't do it at all. It mostly just comes back when I start to feel that loneliness. Reading your post made me think that maybe there isn't anything wrong with me after-all knowing that I'm not the only one going through this.

Oh my god, I thought I was the only one. Honestly I have been imagining and pretending as well ever since I was young. I usually pretend that I am an actor, or a person in a fictional world of my choosing. Often it's one of the fictional universes created by other people like MLP FiM, or A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin, or even a universe I make up. I have been keeping it as a secret for so long due to fears of being considered a weirdo and a freak. The fact that I have Asperger's Syndrome makes me more weary that it might or might not be a part of my syndrome. But I feel it's something else entirely. Nonetheless, no one knows. Not even my family as I have fears of being put it in a mental hospital or given a label of crazy by a psychiatrist. It's been unnerving sometimes, usually I don't think about it and just act out my parts. I even have fantasies of having friends and a girlfriend in real life. However these imaginations have been decreasing due to an increased social life but I still have them and have on one I want to talk to till now at least. Thank you guys for showing me i am not alone here.

I tend to mimic fictional characters. I have this weird thing where I want to have relationships with certain people who share the same traits as the people in relationships/friendships as that character. But I feel if anyone had the slightest idea of the person I was trying to act as they'd know and would reject me for it. I wish I could talk to someone irl that isnt a psychiatrist about it and relate.

We are here trying to figure this out together. I have noticed that a few of us feel like we can't tell our mother. Could there be a link there? Afraid to disappoint her. Do we have some fear? Do any any of us have a dominant mother?

Is your character dying? Or is a part of you depressed and your having thoughts of death. It sounds deep.

my character usually dies and then i clear my mind and make up a whole other story.. right now the one in my mind is getting pretty deep story wise, and im just kinda wierded out that i do this

write a book, the best authors were like this