Is Self-Talk A Symptom of Mental Illness?

By  //  January 30, 2023

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A constant internal monologue is a frequent mental habit for the vast majority of people.

Self-talk encompasses a wide variety of mental exchanges, such as giving oneself directions while doing an action and making offhand observations about one’s surroundings or a given scenario.

it is a kind of personal interpretation of yourself. Just like an internal monologue, Self-talk can have a greater impact on our outlook on life and the world than we give it credit for.

Why Do People Talk to Themselves?

Around the age of two and three, children begin engaging in internal dialogue, which is not much different from their external social speech. Children’s self-directed speech becomes increasingly subtle at the age of five.

They still engage in internal monologue, but one that is typically shorter, quieter, and more discreet in order to prevent others from overhearing. 

Self-talk is usually less noticeable to outsiders as time goes on, although it never entirely disappears. Most people, if not always, will engage in internal monologue.

Everyone carries on a silent or outspoken internal monologue at all times. There are two main hypotheses concerning the causes of internal monologue.

  • Social isolation theory: Spending a lot of time alone causes people to talk to themselves.
  • Cognitive disruption theory: Talking to oneself happens when you face things difficult or distressing that affect your psychological well-being. It is advisable to consult with the best psychologist online.

Self-talk serves many purposes, including:

  • To criticize oneself: “I sounded terrible throughout the meeting.”
  • Convincing oneself that “I am ready, and I will do fine during tomorrow’s presentation”
  • The art of self-control: “Don’t forget to call and schedule the appointment for today.”
  • An evaluation of our social compatibility: “I think he’ll say yes if I ask him out.”
  • Reasoning, problem-solving, planning, focus, and motivation are other possible outcomes of inner monologue.

Should you avoid having conversations with yourself?

Not only is talking to yourself normal, but it can also be advantageous to your mental health.

Anxiety, impulsivity, and action are all areas that may benefit from the use of external self-dialogue, according to research published in 2019. It is also good to retain memory and helps you get better results.

Medicinally, self-talk in the form of supportive self-affirmations may help counteract the consequences of negative thinking. Negative thinking is commonly related to mental health disorders such as sadness or anxiety.

What negative effects might self-talk have on mental health?

Your self-talk can affect your mental health and your interactions with others.

Feeling awful all the time is a sure sign that you dwell on the negative. If you’re already feeling depressed, this can make it harder to get back on your feet.

Individuals who suffer from mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety are more likely to engage in destructive internal dialogue. It can be challenging to rise above the steady stream of negative commentary.

Thinking negatively about oneself can make it harder to cope with chronic pain. Likewise, it has the potential to undermine an individual’s sense of self-worth and sexual satisfaction.

The tension and perfectionism that can result from constant negative self-talk are well-documented.

Tips for promoting good internal dialogue

Follow these guidelines to make the most of your introspective conversation:

  • Do not be afraid to use your own name when speaking. If you’re having trouble processing what’s being said, try replacing personal pronouns with your name. It provides you with a little bit of emotional space.
  • Keeping an optimistic outlook is essential. Self-criticism will not improve performance. Don’t be too critical of your performance. Try to keep the conversation positive and constructive instead.
  • You should highlight your accomplishments. You already know your strengths and specialize in them. Talking positively to oneself can help you feel prepared for any challenge by reminding you of your strengths.

When self-talking may be cause for concern

There’s likely nothing amiss with you if you have regular inward conversations with yourself. Self-talk, on the other hand, improves one’s awareness, alertness, and capacity to deal with one’s emotions.

People with certain mental diseases tend to experience more cognitive disruption, which may motivate them to engage in self-talk as a coping mechanism. Self-talk can be reassuring and helpful in this context. A number of mental disorders have been linked to excessive internal dialogue.

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • PTSD
  • Depression

Paying attention to the presentation of the voices might help you tell the difference between normal self-talk and a sign of psychosis (losing contact with reality). The key to positive self-talk is to have a more deliberate dialogue with yourself. 


Research has yet to find a tangible link between positive self-talk and positive results, despite the fact that it has been related to higher levels of self-esteem, confidence, and resilience.

A psychologist in Lahore can assist you in finding ways to become more at ease with, or perhaps free yourself entirely from, self-talk if you find that it is causing you distress or hindering your daily life in any way.


1 What does self-talk mostly concentrate on?

What we mean when we refer to “self-talk” is the internal dialogue that takes place in our heads. There’s a good chance that you’re engaging in this behavior even if you don’t think you are. This internal monologue is made up of both deliberate thoughts and preexisting beliefs and biases.

2. Does positive self-talk really boost self-esteem?

The power of positive self-talk in bolstering self-assurance and taming negative emotions is slowly but steadily gaining recognition. Researchers have found that those who practice positive self-talk are more likely to succeed in a variety of areas.

3. Is it always negative to talk to yourself?

One’s internal monologue is neither good nor negative. A pessimistic outlook (or toxic positivity) is only dangerous if we habitually return to it. With this method, combating negative thoughts is less of an uphill battle. Instead, we tune in to that critical part of ourselves, name it for what it is, and then dismiss it.