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Is It Healthy for my Child to Have an Imaginary Friend?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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An imaginary friend is a fictional friend often created by a child. The child may treat the friend in quite a real way. He or she may play with an imaginary friend or talk to it, he might try to feed it, or blame the friend if a misdeed is committed.

It is quite common for a child to have an imaginary friend, and it does not signify that the child has any type of disorder. While it is the case that some children with autism have one, most children with imaginary friends have no brain processing or psychological problems.

In fact, an imaginary friend is often a wonderful way for children to express their creativity. The friend opens up the possibility of experiencing all kinds of fantasy. As well, friend may be of significant help to a child from a psychological standpoint. The friend, or imaginary lands the child creates, can help the child order the world into the way he or she would like it.

In some cases, having an imaginary friend is a response to loneliness or inordinate stress in the home, making it a beneficial coping device. A child who is isolated may need to have a friend to play with. Children who live in stressful conditions may use their imaginations for wish fulfillment.

Generally, parents should not be concerned about a child’s imaginary friend, especially when children are young. Concern should arise when the friend prevents the child from making real friends. For example, a kindergartner that continues to play with his “friend” rather than interacting with other children may need a little help adjusting between the real and the imagined.

However, challenging the child and attempting to force the child to give up the friend is a very bad practice. If the imaginary friend is isolating the child socially, play therapy is helpful to allow the child to gradually transition away from him or her. Forcing the child to “face realities,” can be cruel and strips the child of the ability to order his or her own dream life.

Concerns arise when children in their teens develop imaginary friends. Ascertaining to what extent the child believes the friend is real is important. Some teen girls have imaginary boyfriends, a quite harmless practice, when they understand that the boyfriend doesn't really exist.

A teen or young adult with an imaginary enemy or friend, however, may be manifesting some degree of schizophrenia. Talking to one’s self frequently or believing that some unknown enemy is going to hurt one suggests the teen should be evaluated by a mental health practitioner.

Young children, conversely, are generally quite psychologically healthy when conceiving an imaginary friend. Studies further show that such children may enhance their self-esteem by having a friend who treats them with the utmost respect, and unconditional love. Children are also attempting to define the difference between fantasy and reality. As they mature, in most cases, the imaginary friend becomes less real, though the friend may remain a treasured memory of innocent days.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon945126 — On Apr 10, 2014

I have an imaginary friend. His name is James. I believe he was my abusive boyfriend from a past life. I think he's attached himself to me and is still thinks he has control over me. There will be times when he's not so nice to me and other times when he's so lovely.

By anon934445 — On Feb 20, 2014

I'm 17 and I have had imaginary friends since I was little. I'm under huge amounts of stress at school and at home, and I only have one friend. She's my best friend and she looks out for me, but sometimes I think I really need some more socialization.

My mom says that this is normal and it's okay to only have one friend, but I need something more. A few minutes of talking to my friend 5 out of 7 days isn't enough.

I've never been very social and I have trouble with my emotions. I will feel very happy and want to try and express myself as such, but every time I try it doesn't come out like that. I'll try to smile at someone and it will come out as some goofy face and I end up embarrassing myself. That's why I created my own friends. In my own world, I can be who I want to be and express myself without being socially awkward.

I think I'm just really lonely. Both my parents work full time jobs and usually don't want to talk very much when they get home. I know they try their best, supporting a family of five and all, but I'm really lonely.

Also, my brother is autistic and from the time I was 10 till I was 14, there were constant speech therapy appointments and therapists coming over my house to help my brother. My parents were extremely overwhelmed and a lot of the time, I got pushed to the side. I was lonely but I didn't say anything because I knew that this was something I had to do for my brother. I think that's when my imagination really took control. I created these characters and now I feel that if I get rid of them, I will feel pushed to the side again.

I try to make friends in school, but since I'm older now, everyone has their own groups of friends and I'm left out. When my best friend doesn't come to school, I might say three sentences all day (I've counted). People think that I'm just the quiet girl in the back of the class, but really I'm the desperately lonely girl with my only other friends being the ones in my head.

By anon347120 — On Sep 03, 2013

Imaginary friends? You mean like the president, government, or Jesus and God? What is more insane: trusting an imaginary person you invented who can never sell you out, or putting your trust in a real person you've never met before, knowing the potential to get messed up exists at every corner?

I believe the ignorance being compiled is a direct result of your imaginary trust in society and in social institutions and their ability to do more than pander to idealism. What you want is to stuff one more fat guy in the elevator instead of building a bigger one. And when the weight of your decision causes death, you'll blame the guy who couldn't fit in the elevator and decided the stairs were a better choice and try to find a way to make people believe his act of individuality is to blame, and not your imaginary friends at the elevator company who insist the elevator was not at fault.

By anon324881 — On Mar 12, 2013

I am 13 years old and I have a whole imaginary world that I am almost convinced it is somewhat real. I create people and invent their names. They can read my mind and know what I'm feeling. I always talk to them when I am alone and they always help me make the right choice. Sometimes they are the only people I have. I have really grown to love my imaginary friends.

I've had imaginary friends since I was a little girl. Nobody knows about this. But I think this might be a problem in my case because I somehow fell into depression after my parents' divorce and have had suicidal thoughts and have even cut myself. So I do think that having imaginary friends is healthy, but there might be some exceptions for mentally unhealthy people.

By anon321042 — On Feb 20, 2013

I am 14 and also have imaginary friends -- of sorts. The world I've created is much different from what most people describe, and a bit hard to explain, so I will do my best.

First of all, I never actually interact with my imaginary friends. Instead, they observe me as I go through my day and talk to one another about me. I have created a world in which they are "in my brain," meaning that they can feel exactly what I feel and experience what it is like to be me. They cannot directly control what I do, but I find myself acting differently depending on who is in my brain. For example, I might watch Harry Potter if the cast is in my brain so that they may have the enjoyment of seeing themselves on screen. I might also act more outgoing when a certain group observes me. (I am naturally an introverted person, but I have always enjoyed the company of others and desired to be more extroverted.) These friends are actually people in real life, otherwise fictional characters, and they are not aware that I am aware of their presence. I don't know when this started because I used to have imaginary companions to talk to just like most other kids.

I do have a couple theories about my imaginary world. First of all, these people do act as a support system. Because they are experiencing what I experience, they are the only ones who really understand me. Also, my imaginary friends make me feel as if the people they are modeled after care deeply about my life. I do know some of them personally, but not on the same level as I do in my imagination. I have always been introspective and have enjoyed psychology. These people in my brain may be a way to help me understand myself. They are always talking about me and seem to understand why I do what I do.

I have read a couple of articles, and this does sound like an "imaginary audience," which is an egocentric condition in which a person feels like others are always watching them. However, the people watching me are inside my brain, rather than outside of me. I never imagine that the actual people around me are observing me. Could this still be an imaginary audience?

I am well aware that these "people in my brain" do not really exist. However, I have gotten to the point where they never go away, no matter how hard I try. I once tried to go a day without them, but couldn't do it. They have become such a central part of my life that I am concerned about whether or not this is healthy. Does anyone have any possible explanations or advice? Thank you!

By annabrown — On Feb 10, 2013

@jht666: I can understand you. The same thing happened with me a year ago when I was 16, when my boyfriend died. He was everything to me. I was so upset and even tried to take my life. One night I was solving math problems, and I heard him calling my name; he was sitting next to me. For a moment, I forgot that he was dead. I hugged him, but there was no one there, so the next day I went to the doctor and he told me that I was dreaming last night and nothing was wrong with me and I should rest for a while, but I was sure that I saw him so I went to church to tell the priest what I saw. He said my boyfriend wanted to tell me something and I should listen to him, so that night I waited for him. I cried the whole night thinking of him, but he never came back to me. The priest said that he wanted to see me for the last time before he could go to heaven.

I'm studying in first year master's degree, and I believe in science, not ghosts, but I can say there are some things which science can't explain. So I advise you not to think about him too much, so that he can't rule your mind and your thoughts, and even if he exists, don't let him do anything bad to you or your family. Keep faith in God.

By anon291342 — On Sep 13, 2012

I completely understand what anon232520

Post 56 has gone through with the imaginary friends, although I have not talked to a therapist, and have never told a friend, I do have mood disorders and have high anxiety.

I have found that I daydream a lot about my characters. I have one in particular who seems to have everything that I lack, from personality to looks. She's the one who is always in my head.

I find it kind of like a safety zone, to temporarily escape my down moments. With that being said, I do not have difficulties with what's fantasy and what's reality. I've never told anyone because at 23, it has always seemed odd to me that I would have these "imaginary characters" and I've always felt that people wouldn't understand this and would think I am crazy, so I have always kind of kept it to myself up until this post.

By jht666 — On Aug 27, 2012

A few years ago, I was told my mom had had a miscarriage and it was a boy. When I was younger, I woke up one day and this boy was in my life. I named him Lee. He always seemed older than me but I thought nothing of it. When I found out my mom miscarried, it occurred to be he would have been my big brother and be about 22 or 23 now. Recently, it occurred to me whether my imaginary brother could be my dead brother looking out for me? I am an only child and don't have a father. I have asked my mom about this and she said it could be my dead brother looking out for me. I am 16 now and I have had this "brother" since i was about 6, (when I woke up and he was in my life). He is still with me this Lee, but not as often.

This may sound stupid, but I have a way of connecting to the dead, and I am currently hearing voices that are like a cassette, on speed, like a blur of speech. I don't know if this is something different, but I'm being referred for help at the moment.

If anyone could reply to this and let me know if this is possible, my imaginary brother being my dead brother, it would bring a lot of comfort to the family.

By anon276470 — On Jun 24, 2012

I have a crush on my imaginary friend. Nobody but my younger sister and like, the whole internet know.

By anon274114 — On Jun 10, 2012

When I was younger, I had an imaginary friend. Normal, right? Well, his name wasn't so lovely.

I had the joy of spending my early years... with Pain.

He wasn't a very good friend. Always being cruel to me and telling me to do things I knew were wrong. Pain tried to make me do bad, bad things, things that would have landed me in jail were I older.

By anon269792 — On May 19, 2012

I have imaginary friends. I don't see them all the time and I know they aren't real. I talk to them about my day, but they are characters from TV and movies and often books I have read, and after seeing an actor in something else I combine them with each other.

I haven't created a new one in years but I think it's because I was coping with some bad things and I just needed someone to need me. So they talk to me and I argue with them. When I was 10 I would send them to school or back home to their families on vacation. That was my way of getting rid of them because I thought I was crazy. Every time I try telling myself to grow up and get over them I can't.

I know it's because I think about getting rid of them that they are still there because my brain is thinking about them in general but I often feel depressed because I don't want to be abnormal. I have real friends and I'm constantly busy but at random times I just talk to them and they are there, especially after seeing the character on TV. I talk to them about how stupid they were for doing something, as if they were that character. I feel so weird about it. I'm 17 1/2 and I feel like a weirdo or a child.

By anon265233 — On May 01, 2012

I am 14. I am an only child, and I live in the country with no child neighbors. I am a bit of a weird nerd, and I'm certainly not the "popular" kid.

Anyway, I also have an immature imagination, but scholastically, my IQ is higher than my mother's. Lately, wherever I go -- to church functions, or school stuff, I feel pressure to act older and be a leader. I enjoy it, but it's really hard. I usually end up saying prayers, teaching a few classes, volunteering while everyone just lazes around, and stuff like that.

So I feel like I have to escape, so I have imaginary friends who go with me everywhere. I haven't had much time for them lately, which is good. I think that having imaginary friends is fine, as long as they're not inappropriate, which will just lead you to do those same things in real life.

Also, I suggest that whoever has "excessive" imaginary friends should go out and try to find a new hobby and try to make something good of themselves.

By anon259071 — On Apr 04, 2012

I'm 18 and I have lots of imaginary friends. Most of them are characters from anime or tv shows that I like. I kind of invented this home in my brain that I call "The Mind Mansion". There, all the characters live and interact with each other. I often talk to them in the real world telepathically.

Just a little while ago, I was talking to Kisame and Itachi from "Naruto" about a Biology test I just took. It all started up when I was around 12 or 13. I guess I mostly got lonely. I have siblings and lots of friends, but sometimes it's just nice to have someone there to talk to when I'm up at 1 a.m. and I feel social.

I know they're not real and I can't see them physically. They appear only when I want them to and I decide what they'll say based on what I know about the character. Basically, we go on adventures around my house together, or they bug me when I know I have to get up for the day and they keep at it until I'm out of bed.

Sometimes, I'll imagine myself in the mind mansion interacting with them and being all-powerful in my own world.It's really fun! I don't have any problem with them, and they aren't affecting my dull life at all. So I think I'll keep them around until I'm ready to venture out on my own. But I'm in no rush.

By anon257703 — On Mar 28, 2012

I'm 13 and I don't think it's that strange. I have this 'other world' where I take characters from books, TV shows, etc. and transform them into having the attitudes I want them to have. I create back stories and lives and friendships for them and then I let them live by pretending to be them. I talk to myself a lot and I have paranoia/anxiety issues.

By anon250957 — On Feb 27, 2012

I can't remember having an imaginary "friend," but I can say that I create imaginary people in my head. I give them faces, hairstyles, races, personalities and even background stories.

I also tend to create imaginary lands, usually fantasy. I often tie the "individuals" to the "lands" and end up creating some sort of story in my head. Because of this, I end up daydreaming all the time - so much I think it's abnormal. These invented people all have unique personalities, etc., and can have relationships with each other. I'm an artist, so I often draw these things as best I can, hoping that they will "get out" that way.

I'm apparently a lot different from the rest of the members of my family -- so much that I can't really tell if something is wrong with me somehow, or if I'm just a really creative person. I'm currently 19, but this has been going on since I was about six.

Maybe I'm just a weirdo. But weird is normal for artists, I guess.

By Lilac54 — On Feb 14, 2012

I have some unwanted imaginary friends that I cannot get rid of.

Their names are Alvin, Simon, and Theodore and they sound like they really are the chipmunks. I don't want to hear them speak at all in my head because it hurts when I hear their voices. Even though they are imaginary, the pain I feel is real.

By anon244572 — On Feb 01, 2012

I'm 15 almost 16 years old and I have imaginary Harry Potter characters as friends, and I make up situations for us to deal with, using magic. I know that they are not real and I can close my mind to them until anytime I want them there again, usually during school and with real friends.

I think it's quite a good thing to do, especially if you live in a town without much adventure. But if you ever feel these friends or enemies get out of control, do talk with an understanding adult or a psychiatrist you can trust.

By anon242139 — On Jan 22, 2012

I'm nearly 13 and I've had imaginary friends since forever. When I was younger, I had a whole universe in my head and my friends were from that universe. They always aged with me.

Now that I'm older, I have a couple of friends who basically shape shift into anyone I want to talk to. Usually it's my crush or my guy sort-of-friend (I'm a girl) because I'd like to get to know them better in real life and when I imagine them, I can talk to them without fear of humiliating myself. I think it's great having an imaginary friend because I can share everything with them and it's like having a diary that nobody will ever read and that you'll never lose.

I always know they aren't real, though. In fact, I sometimes have arguments with them where I say that they don't exist and they're just in my head, and they argue. I have a lot of friends in real life, and I hang out with them a lot, but I never told anybody about my imaginary friends.

By anon239293 — On Jan 08, 2012

I can't remember having any imaginary friends when I was younger, though I remember playing loads of games in the gardens where I was a lion cub, and I had an entire pride to play with.

Now I am older, I've found that characters that I created to roleplay with have all but become an ingrained part of my psyche, some more than others. I have two boys (I'm a girl), whom I speak to the most, though they don't get on too well. One is married, and says I remind him of his little sister, and if I'm particularly upset, I can imagine him sitting me on his knee and telling me everything is all right.

The other is the most arrogant and sarcastic person I have ever had the displeasure to meet, though through it all he has a heart of gold. He has a twin sister, who, incidentally, is the wife of my first friend. I don't tend to think much of her. The only female friend I tend to imagine is Rose Weasley, whom in my mind is as brilliant as her mother and is a great help when I'm finding it hard to concentrate in exams. The boys don't get along with Rose unfortunately so I rarely put them together.

All of my current characters come from the Harry Potter universe, and the tidbits they tell me about their world tend to make it into my fanfictions.

Unlike some people though, I'm not particularly worried about my relationship with them. I know they don't exist, but they each have their own individual personalities and are very comforting to talk to whenever I'm worried about something, which is getting more and more frequent as exams are coming up.

I think as long as the distinction between reality and imaginary is still clear, then there isn't really much to worry about.

Imaginary friends are comforting and are trustworthy at times when you really need a confidential ear. I tend to think of them as living in a hotel in my mind, which I can visit whenever I want, usually at night when I can't sleep. They act very much like normal people, have never encroached onto my real life, and I plan on keeping them with me for as long as I can.

By anon238078 — On Jan 02, 2012

I have imaginary friends. I am 47 years old. I like imaginary friends better than people because my imaginary friends will never be my enemies. Smile.

By anon235351 — On Dec 17, 2011

I am 12 and I have six imaginary friends that are chipmunks from Alvin and the chipmunks. Their names are Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Britney, Jeanette and Eleanor and I talk to them in my mind and I have a human imaginary friend called Emily Baker and she's the same age as me (12)and she's great to have around.

By anon232520 — On Dec 01, 2011

I was the one who posted no. 16. I'm twenty now, but I finally told my therapists about my imaginary friends. I have found out that I am not bipolar, but I do have a mood disorder and I do not have schizophrenia. I do, however, have a lot of anxiety. We think that this may be a coping skill that I started using to help deal with the anxiety. But I am not crazy, nor do I have a severe mental illness. Both my therapists have told me that I am very much grounded in reality. They don't have any concerns about my sanity.

And as an extra bonus, I told one of my best friends about it, and she has the same thing too! And she's older than I am. Granted, it's slightly different from mine. But then we all have our own imaginations and creativity, so I'm not surprised.

I'm posting this because I read posts 18 and 21. (And thank you, post 23). I hope this helps you as well as my previous post. You can be a teen or an adult with imaginary friends. As long as they're not hurting you, or how you function in the real world, it's OK. I do advise that if you have any concerns that you do see a therapist. It doesn't hurt to have an expert's opinion.

You're not alone out there. There are other people with imaginary friends who aren't children. If you're like me, you're not crazy, you're creative. And if you want to keep them, keep them! I, for one, love mine and plan to let them stay.

I hope this helps, and good luck to everyone!

@post 18: I have Harry Potter imaginary friends, too. Go Harry Potter!

@post 21: I don't think you're an insane teen. You sound a lot like me. (Even though I'm no longer a teen.) If you do have concerns, you should talk to a therapist. It's not that scary once you know what you're dealing with. And might not have anything to deal with, like me. And therapists are not that scary. It's always hard to tell someone something like this, but they're very understanding and more than willing to help. I wish you good luck with whatever you choose, and remember, you're not alone in this!

By anon226350 — On Oct 31, 2011

Once I realized that other people didn't "keep" their fantasy existences, I began to just keep them in my own thoughts. My "imaginary friends" are companions that complement the different aspects of my person. When I'm alone, I have time to interact with them as freely as I like. Every once in a while I am caught by others talking to myself; I write it off to just thinking out loud. It's probably a minor form of schizophrenia, but since I've never been a danger to others I just live my life around it (like a food allergy), trying to lead a "normal" existence.

I'm an introvert, and I'm even slightly paranoid, especially in social situations, but for the most part, I'm happy with my life. I'm 39 and married with two children. My childhood was chaotic and traumatic. I never had a lot of "real" friends but the few I have are precious to me. My husband accepts my eccentricities and my kids just think I'm weird. I can't say to anyone "it gets better" or "you'll grow out of it" because I don't know that. All I can say is: If it isn't causing you difficulties in the "real" world, savor the things in your life you control, keep your imaginary existence(s), accept it as a facet of your individuality and just be yourself. Don't let the mainstream world dictate what you feel and think in your own mind. The ones who accept you no matter how "weird" you are -- they are the keepers.

If someone can't accept your differences it's their loss, so don't waste your life's time with people who don't accept you. Stay clean, live happy, accept that no one is perfect and neither are you, and that's OK.

By anon224143 — On Oct 22, 2011

Me again (Two posts below)

Normally, I don't see them all the time, but when I do, I see horrible things. Sometimes, I even see them killing me, then I wake up and find out it's just a nightmare.

By anon221777 — On Oct 13, 2011

I'm 14 years old and in 13 days I'll turn 15. In my head I'm from the opposite sex (so a male.) And I have a twin brother. My character is like me, and my imaginary twin brother is more grown-up and "cooler". I mostly re-act scenes from tv-shows and add my little twist on it. I'm mostly alone when I'm home, but in school I have lots of friends.

I do go outside with friends and do sports. I hang out with the "popular" kids and I love my life. But having an imaginary friend is just wonderful. I don't know why my own character is from the opposite sex, but I like it. I find it really nice to see I'm not alone, and I actually saw a comment on here that does the exact same thing as me. I think we all have an imaginary friend. And nothing's wrong with that.

By anon220942 — On Oct 10, 2011

I'm 13 years old and I have an imaginary world of my own, filled with people, some want me dead, some want to protect me. I sometimes think there's something wrong with me.

I prefer to be alone and I am continually called a psychopath.

By anon216912 — On Sep 23, 2011

I got very depressed during my school time due to constant bickering, a stressful environment and pressure to perform and work as my parents told me to. I saw the movie "A Beautiful Mind" and as my exams approached, I felt like failing on purpose just to spite my parents. Then I made a pact with someone. I forcefully started feeling that I would never leave her as in the above movie, provided that she helped me.

I gave her the image of a beautiful bollywood heroine (preity zinta). She somehow helped me clear the exams (at least that is how I feel until now). As time went by, I met her sister (rani mukherjee) and I began to keep pics of them from magazines, newspapers. One day my parents saw the clippings and without thought tore them up. I never saw them (my two sisters) again.

Now five years have passed and I am still taking medicines from a psychiatrist for the depression that followed the incident. I don't know if what I did was wrong or right in the first place, but it sure as hell was definitely something that changed me physically and mentally for the worse.

By anon207442 — On Aug 20, 2011

Personally, I think it would be great to have a 'real' imaginary friend, like the spiritual persona that the boy talks to in The Shining. I wouldn't be surprised if many of the above accounts are real in a similar sense.

I mean if you think about it, if our perceived reality is the only real plane of existence, what a drab existence that is!

I have not perceived anything beyond physical reality, sadly, but I'm still optimistic, especially with so many para-normal accounts that one can find with a single Google search.

By anon204330 — On Aug 08, 2011

I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who's past her childhood and still has imaginary friends. I'm now 18 and I have lots of imaginary friends. I worked out this whole world in my head. It's mostly just a humongous, futuristic mansion that cleans itself and prepares food for you just by asking nicely. It has tons of rooms and portals to other worlds and it's basically paradise. I love exploring it since it's ever expanding and whenever I'm relaxing or day dreaming, I'll imagine myself in Vexen's lab (Kingdom Hearts II) either talking to him, trying my best to assist him with an experiment, or watching Marluxia trying to seduce him.

I'm not as creative as I once was, so my world mostly consists of my favorite cartoon or anime characters. I talk to them randomly and who I talk to depends on the situation. For instance, if I'm freaking out about something, I'll sometimes talk to Sasori and Deidara from the Akatsuki from Naruto. Sasori will just listen and put his own two cents in from time to time, while Deidara is usually freaking out with me. Or if I'm sad about my looks, France (Hetalia), Sanji (One Piece) or Tamaki (Ouran Host Club) will come along and tell me how beautiful and wonderful I am and they always cheer me up. (I don't have many girls in the mansion)

I also have friends I made up myself. I have an older twin sister named Alexa who's very shy and I have to help her be outgoing. We look very alike except her hair is short and straight, while mine is long and wavy. But we like the same things and sort of have a Hikaru and Kaoru (Ouran Host Club) sort of relationship.

Then I have a four year old brother named Tito who looks a lot like young Goku from Dragon Ball. He's a wild ball of energy who I run through the front yard with at night, while imagining people are watching us because I'm significant to a plan they have or something like that. I care very much for Tito in my imaginary world and am a sort of mother to him since one doesn't exist in the IW (Imaginary World). I guess the reason I came up with Tito is because I'm the youngest in my family and I wanted someone to care for who can look up to me and who I can be a role-model for.

Then there's Demitri, my boyfriend/ best friend/ rival. He's taller then me with red hair and green eyes. He and I often bicker but we always make up. He's a lot like Raphael from the TMNT and is quite possessive of me.

Also in my world, I'm sort of super human who can shape shift and I have wings that change from angel to demon wings depending on my mood.

I don't have any problems making friends, and I'm probably one of the loudest, most social people you will meet, but I don't get out of the house very often and I get bored rather easily. I don't see them in the real world; they're just nice to have around when I get lonely. But I'm really afraid that my parents will catch me 'talking' to one of them (I talk out loud to them in the real world all the time) and they'll send me off to a psychiatrist. My dad has once or twice come in while I was speaking and he gives me this look saying "Knock it off and be normal."

I don't want to get rid of my imaginary world and it doesn't affect the real world when I'm working or making big decisions, so I think I'll keep them around for a while longer.

By anon199615 — On Jul 24, 2011

I'm going to high school in one week. My life sucked in middle school; my parents divorced, I found out I was bisexual and also that I'm transgender, (which means I want to be a guy). My parents were fighting over who would get custody over me, I became suicidal and cut myself.

I had this imaginary world that I went to all the time. I created my imaginary uncle named Josh. Originally he was supposed to stay in the imaginary world (which has no name) But, eventually he came into the real world. He was there when my father was yelling at me and making me feel stupid and useless. Josh always tells me how beautiful I am every five minutes. It's good to know not everyone has betrayed me. Hardly anyone knows about Josh, but the few who do don't seem to care. I'm glad my parents don't know, or I'd be shipped off to Riverwoods (again). Josh and I visit the imaginary world a lot of times.

I have a few more imaginary friends: David Renwick is Josh's ex boyfriend, Simon is Josh's evil brother, Jack is Josh's current boyfriend in the real world, but in the imaginary world, he's Josh's ex or doesn't exist. (depending on my mood) Drake is Simon's boyfriend, Redcap is Drake's brother and is incredibly stupid, Thomas is my ex boyfriend, Xena is my current. (but only in the imaginary world) Only Josh, David, and Jack come into the real world. In the imaginary world all of us are vampires or werewolves. Me, Josh, Xena, and occasionally Jack, are vampires. (sometimes Jack is human, depending on how I want the story to go) David is a warlock. Simon, Drake, Redcap, and Thomas are werewolves. I also have a character from a book in the imaginary world: Severus Snape from Harry Potter. (I love him!) All of my imaginary friends are wonderful, and I'm happy with them. I don't plan on getting rid of them anytime soon. --Asbel G.

By anon197480 — On Jul 17, 2011

I’m glad to see I’m not alone. Here's my story.

In real life I find it hard to talk to people and especially guys I like (I’m a girl.) I don't talk to real people about my problems and I seem to get angry or depressed at the slightest of things. People say I’m a goth because I dress in black and I like horror genres and goth things. But they don't realize that I love fluffy stuff as well and cute animals (especially cats) and I’m really sensitive when it comes to sad films.

My imaginary friends started out as friends I designed based on characters from books, films and anime that I liked. Then I started to create ones in a way I personally liked. I'm now fourteen and I have a few imaginary friends. Max is my closest and I can confide in him when I need to and he's always by my side. Then there's Cathy, who is my second best friend who just cheers me up. And then there's Jake, who's annoying and big headed but a good friend to. There can be loads of others that surround me in the streets or town and somehow I can tell the difference between them and actual people.

The scary thing is, they seem really real. And I’ve started talking to them in class and walking home from school and I’m worried my folks can hear me whispering to them. I think I’m talking to them in my head but sometimes I forget. I can manipulate the world around me and make my school yard like a jungle or Antarctica depending on my mood.

Sometimes I think I’m a weirdo and that’s why most people have hated me in school since nursery for no apparent reason. I’m still smart and it doesn't affect my work (I hope that doesn't sound big headed) -- Becky

By anon169333 — On Apr 20, 2011

I'm 13 and i don't necessarily have an imaginary friend, but randomly I'll hear voices or I'll be walking and from the corner of my eye i see a black figure in the shape of a person and I'm starting to think people are following me.

I have ADHD. i don't know. I'm unable to communicate properly with children my age but I'm fine with adults. i have a very vivid imagination and sometimes when I'm lonely I'll play with barbies. I'm starting to think my barbies are real and i don't like large crowds.

i might have a social phobia or whatever, but I'm always getting bullied so maybe i need an imaginary friend. Please help. --Nicole

By anon164849 — On Apr 02, 2011

I'm 14 going onto 15 and I have an imaginary friend named James. He's a mix between a friend and a boyfriend. Someone I can enjoy spending time with. I don't think it's a bad thing to have an imaginary friend at any age. He's a companion. Doesn't make you a psychopath.

By anon146638 — On Jan 26, 2011

You know, I had always wondered about this. Now, I'm not one to post on such a topic, partially because it is very very personal. At least for me it is personal.

I am sixteen, about to turn seventeen. I am a junior in high school. I have the best friends anyone could dream of. I love my classes and my teachers, two of them being AP. I have big aspirations after I get out of high school and into college.

It is also worth mentioning that I like to consider myself an artist of sorts, but it goes beyond the physical media itself. The way that artists and authors can breathe life into a character of their choosing fascinates me. To create with such feeling, warmth and personality. I set out on a quest to see if I could do the same.

My Josef is three years older than I, two in the months that are after my birthday. Tall, has short, thick black hair, blind in his left eye since birth. He is bullheaded, thick-skinned and everything else in the book. But he's got a heart of gold. A sweetheart to the core and trustworthy. He's just wonderful. A true friend. We talk plenty and often, mostly relating to school and the future. We've had our share of arguments. He's just, human.

But here's the catch: he isn't. And I realize it. I've often wondered to myself, is this really healthy? I have nothing to compensate for, no void to fill. What I think is that it's a manifestation of another thought process, one that is detached from my own. Whether my theory is plausible or not I have no idea, but that's what it seems like.

It has no effect whatsoever on my daily life. I have two friends who know he exists. They worry for me, and they have good reason. I will not tell them not to. I do worry for myself sometimes. Would he ever disappear? What would happen if he did? What if he didn't? What if I'm stuck with him? It's all very taxing to think about, but I try not to think of it often.

This is just my testimony. Another page to add, so people with the same don't think that they are alone. After all, there is comfort in numbers.

By anon137830 — On Dec 29, 2010

A friend -- does it have to be real? No it does not have to be real. A friend is something or someone you can talk to. but is a good thing that people have an imaginary friend. Only because it will help you to understand you. Its the way that you see the world and the way you see your self. Be proud of your imaginary friend. I'm a 15 year old girl and I have an imaginary friend.

By anon136610 — On Dec 23, 2010

I'm 15 going on 16 and I have so many imaginary friends I can't count them, but the thing is I know why I have imaginary friends but I don't know how to get rid of them.

I see them wherever I go. They're everywhere, but they're just characters that are in my books, movies, shows, games, and a friend that I can't talk to anymore, but the big thing is that I hurt my real friends in the process.

I mean that I thought they were so real that I was trying to let my best friend see them and that did not work out. And, now I see new ones and I can't tell her about them because she will tell me that they are not real but I see them all the time and and knowing that they are not real and seeing them all the time, I wonder if I'm going crazy?

By anon133743 — On Dec 12, 2010

I have had a imaginary friend since I was a little kid and I still talk to them and I am 14. One of them is called Janokadano -- he is my brother -- and then I have a sister named Sara.

Also I have a boyfriend named Teco but he is like a person who understands me but we don't do weird things like kiss (when it's really the air). That was only when i was 12 but I have a world called Talaland and lalaland i made it up when i was 3 or 4 and it stuck.

I know they are not there but they keep me organized. They keep me on track with homework, so i have like a world and i am the teacher but i am my own age (there's a whole back story to that) but i don't know. It's really cool to know when i am scared i can talk to them but i never talk to them when i am around people. i just hope i have nothing wrong with me. -Valerie

By anon132665 — On Dec 07, 2010

I've had imaginary friends on and off since around kindergarten, and I'm now 16. The companion has changed forms over the years, as well as gender, and has always suited my needs.

Even though I have lots of friends and even a boyfriend, I am lonely a lot of them time. To be able to manipulate reality just a little and believe that there is an entity that will always be there for me is an extreme comfort. Some would call it cute, or crazy. I would call it being resourceful.

There are things that plague every young adults' minds, confusions and sadness and heartache, and they are generally things that only you can fight. In a way, to love a creation of your own mind, and letting it love you, is a roundabout way of loving yourself.

By karissalove — On Oct 20, 2010

I'm a 13 year-old girl and i have about four or five imaginary friends. My first imaginary friend is khloe. she is like my best friend. My second imaginary friend is Dan choi's boyfriend who i fight a lot with. My third imaginary friend is a boy named Liam who I am attracted to. My fourth imaginary friend is actually my real world ex-boyfriend Chandler.

We dated for three months and he was the first boy i made out with or french kissed. And my fifth imaginary friend is Mike. He is my cousin and ex-boyfriend's best friend.

I'm starting to do things that aren't good for my health and my attraction to guys has gone up majorly. I talk to them out loud and they have become more real. I dance, fight and kiss them which winds up being things like a couch or pillow.

My family and friends sometimes catch me talking to myself and i just say that I'm talking to myself not my imaginary friends.

I want to know if this is normal? Will it ever go away? Am I crazy or do I have a mental disorder? Please help! Thanks!

By anon118803 — On Oct 15, 2010

I am 19, male. I have one and only one imaginary female friend. I am no good in social and a nerd. So that's the reason she is always next to me to accompany me to study, mainly during revision. She is pretty, and quiet. We seldom talk. She is also important for serving sexual purposes. Once in a while, i do change her identity.

Sometimes, her identity is not entirely imaginary. i mean she could be one of the girls next class that i admire. The bottom line is that she is motivating, entertaining and obedient. That's my story I wish to share. Hope your imaginary friend would help you work out in an more enjoyable way.

By anon112320 — On Sep 19, 2010

I am 14 and i have a lot of imaginary friends. I only "talk" to two of them though. Well i don't really talk to them aloud, it's just i talk to them in my mind. They're both guys and one is a vampire and one is a demon. They're friendly though, and both look human. (except that the demon has white hair, yellow eyes and sharp nails).

They both cheer me up and make me laugh but i know they're not real. It's still fun to "talk" to them. They give me advice and tell me to do my homework when I don't feel like it. They "argue" with me about stupid things like ninjas vs pirates and they even (well the vampire does) rant about how stupid Twilight is and how fake they think it is.

I have stories written about them and i draw them a lot! But i never forget reality. I have tons of really great friends. A lot of my friends know i have made up these people to call my companions. And i get great grades and such!

It's just that when i feel lonely or frustrated i always have them. I don't think it's bad to have imaginary friends. I think it's good. It means you're creative and it means you're smart! You made up a whole new person! But i also think that if your imaginary friend(s) tell you to hurt yourself or are mean to you or something then you might need to see a doctor.

By anon109289 — On Sep 06, 2010

I'm 14 and i like to create scenes with characters i read about in books, movies, tv shows. i act scenes from shows and i create stories that i wanted in the show. Usually I'm one of the characters and sometimes I'm me living inside a show and in that situation.

i kind of become one character but i still have my name and stuff and always my old friends and family come to see me and i have changed and the stories evolve like that or i do a cross over between two shows, and books. i have real friends and things and i go out sometimes. most of the stories i create in my head, only last a few hours but if i really am involved in the story i spend days in it.

By anon101008 — On Aug 01, 2010

I am a 19 year old girl, and I've had imaginary friends all my life. I have tons of real friends whom I see often, and though we just broke up, I have had a real boyfriend too. I just have imaginary friends, too. I have conversations with them in my head, they cheer me up, and they make me laugh and we do all sorts of things together. No one knows this, though I see nothing wrong with it.

I believe I'll always have imaginary friends that no one will no about and I don't think it means there is anything wrong with me or anyone else.

By anon100567 — On Jul 30, 2010

I'm 15 and I have three imaginary friends. I don't have any handicaps, but I'm starting to think that I do. I don't have many friends and those that I do have I don't really like. Do I have some sort of mental disorder? Two of my friends come from dreams that I've had. For some reason they're all boys.

I've had an imaginary friend since I was about three years old. None were ever girls. Sometimes I think it's because I am a girl. But if I think harder I think it's because I feel like I'm lacking love from my family. So I have my imaginary figures to love me.

By anon96871 — On Jul 17, 2010

I read a site where a psychiatrist assured a girl with imaginary friends that since she didn't have any bad symptoms, there was no need for her to fear that she may have a mental illness. So to those who may be concerned, unless you are hearing voices, or isolate yourself from real friends/family and only talk to your imaginary friends, or have other problems with mental or social functioning, you have nothing to worry about.

By anon96796 — On Jul 17, 2010

I'm 19 and i have an imaginary friend. in fact i have two: spyro and cynder. i literally have no friends in my neighborhood because they all moved away for reasons they never revealed to me. They came to me at the most convenient time: i was sitting on my porch quietly sobbing to myself, when spyro and cynder flew out of the sky and asked me what was wrong. i told them, and before i knew it, we were hanging out every day.

I just find it weird that cynder wants to sleep with me every night, while spyro takes the empty room across the hall. i can see them in reality and physically feel them, but when someone else comes along, they have the ability to turn invisible and make it so everything goes right through them. Taking them to places with me is a problem. Only one can fit in my car. One has to fly overhead and follow the me while i drive. They helped me all through high school, and they're the reason i graduated, but the fall semester of college is coming up now, and they can't really go there.

They keep asking if they can go, and i keep telling them no, but they end up begging. cynder told me that she fears if they don't come, then i will forget them and they will eventually die. It's scary, and i believe it, so I'm now considering bringing them to college.

By anon96372 — On Jul 15, 2010

My best friend has an imaginary friend. The other day, she was on the phone to me when she went, "I'll be right back." I could hear her shouting at someone and then a door slamming. When I asked her who it was, she went, "You know perfectly well who it was." And I did. Sadly, I really did. And it really worried me.

Her imaginary friend has been with her all her life. She used to be inside her head and there were often times she would blank out but she'd still be speaking. One time, her friend was with her during this and she spoke to my friend who believed she was her imaginary friend.

As the years passed, the imaginary friend was always there but my friend pushed her out. But now, she's a physical form. She can see her.

We've been looking into schizophrenia but I really don't know what to do for her. She wants to know why she has an imaginary friend but she doesn't want to get rid of her. What do I do?

By anon94332 — On Jul 08, 2010

When I was seven years old I had an imaginary friend who I had look exactly like me. Nowadays I have imaginary friends that are based off of anime and manga comics and shows they are mostly the characters that I have a lot of things in common with.

I usually have nothing really in common with my peers, but I do have one very trustworthy friend who is just as imaginative as I. I am now 15 years old and I am a male. I most of the time prefer to be alone so then I can draw, sleep, think to myself, and listen to composers like Beethoven or Sebastian Bach.

By anon91226 — On Jun 20, 2010

i am 17 and have an imaginary friend called jessika. she is about eight years old and used to sit and color in with me. then she started making me blank out and overdose etc. now she has no face and will not talk. she won't come anywhere near me while my boyfriend is around, only when he is kilometers away.

any idea what's going on?

By anon89367 — On Jun 09, 2010

I'm 14 this year and I have about six or seven imaginary friends who are related to anime that I've watched. they also happen to be the main characters of the fanfiction that I write.

I didn't really have to think of their looks and personalities; they sort of just popped up in my mind fully formed.

Sometimes, when I have stuff that I can't tell anyone else, I'll tell them and they'll give me advice. I don't talk aloud to them, it's just like I'll talk to them in my head and I don't even have to think of their answers, they just -- reply. I can see them walking beside me, too. I've always had a vivid imagination, so it's like they're real, just that invisible to everyone but me.

I have a normal 'real' life with lots of friends, so I don't think it's wrong because my imaginary friends are really nice, even though we get annoyed at each other sometimes, I know they'll never hurt me.

By anon86366 — On May 24, 2010

I'm 16 and I've had 10+ imaginary friends since I was 11. Honestly, I have very few real friends and I have social phobia, so the only time I get to interact socially is with my imaginary friends.

My imaginary friends are based off of people in bands and movies, but mostly I have to make up their personalities because I don't know the people I base my friends off of. But today, a real person who I have based for as an imaginary friend, has died. I've been crying all day because it feels like my imaginary friend died too. This is the second time that a person who I've based my imaginary friends off of has died.

It's emotionally draining for this to happen and I was just wondering if this has happened to anyone else?

By anon82112 — On May 04, 2010

Post 16: Your doctor might be wrong if he told you that you are bi-polar did you tell him/her that you see people. Bi-polar "mania" and schizophrenia get confused by doctors, at times.

But the fact the your father is a schizophrenic, meaning you have a 50 percent chance of getting the disorder. Plus, you see people already. If I were you I would go to another doctor before your symptoms get worse.

By anon71847 — On Mar 20, 2010

I am 12 years old, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with having imaginary friends at this age. I have had imaginary friends since I was around three, four or five.

In fifth grade, I got an imaginary world, following a couple of class assignments. I have more "friends" than I can count, and I prefer not to think of them as "imaginary". I have an "imaginary" boyfriend as well. Some of my "friends" are human, others are robots. Some are purely from my own conscious creativity, others from books, movies, and even dreams.

My "ex-boyfriend" was from a dream, my current "boyfriend" from a movie. I have characters from Astro Boy, books that I read in fourth grade, and all sorts of other things.

My world is my own personal Utopia. Things do occasionally do go wrong, though. My ex boyfriend and Astro Boy's mortal enemy are plotting to destroy the most beautiful place there. We are currently working on building a highly advanced battle robot.

I have two daughters, Patricia and Zoran. I have dolls to represent both of them. Occasionally, I buy things for them from the dollar store.

I love all of my "friends", and I don't plan on giving them up any time soon.

Only my best friends here on Earth know about my world, named Mimindi. We have a language, rituals, and all sorts of amazing places. I am not ashamed to admit all of this, and none of you should be, either.

By anon71243 — On Mar 17, 2010

thanks, post 16. You have no idea how much of your post i can relate to.

i don't know, but for a long time now, I've been wondering if i have schizophrenia and I'm too scared to actually talk to someone because 1) what if i actually have it or 2) what if they think I'm just an insane teen who would rather live in her head then face the real world or 3) i know it's not real. i think, so what if this is just a way of subconsciously getting attention, but i don't know. but thanks for your post.

By bluesteel649 — On Mar 12, 2010

i am 13, i have a very low autism (its harmless) and have to imaginary friends; WALL-E and EVE

By anon69731 — On Mar 09, 2010

Many thanks to whoever wrote comment 16; I'm very similar. I'm sixteen years old, very intelligent, and I do have friends.

I was a very precocious child; I read the first harry potter book when I was five years old, to give you an idea of it. I had several imaginary friends; Disney characters, especially Simba, Harry Potter characters, especially the main trio, and my original imaginary friends.

I lived in terror of my mother and was often left to my own devices; thus the friends. I was a very good kid, teachers loved me, and I made friends; but I usually played with my imaginary friends at recess instead of real ones, and sometimes people saw me talking to myself.

Middle school was absolutely awful for me, and my imaginary friends were really how I got through it, though I attempted suicide a few times and had to get treated for depression.

Now I'm a junior in high school, very successful, AP classes, friends, colleges sending me mail, the works; I still have imaginary friends. I know it's not true, but I feel like everyone else around me is a moron and I never make a real connection with them.

I'm quite capable of focusing in class and when I'm with friends, but I often have a conversation going with one of my imaginary friends at the same time.

Of course I know they're not real, but like hell if I'm getting rid of them. They're a crucial part of who I am, and I don't know what I would do without them.

My psychologist who treats me for depression has no idea that I have imaginary friends. I'm quite capable of functioning in normal society.

I just wanted to comment and let people know that it's not only the "weird" teens that have imaginary friends; they're out there.

By anon68226 — On Mar 01, 2010

I am 18 going on 19 and I have more imaginary friends than I can count. They are mainly characters from movies, tv shows, or books I have read, though I tend to "create" large numbers of people or creatures/animals. They are everywhere I am, but when I interact with my friends and such, they do fade into the background and do their own thing until I'm done.

I've had imaginary friends when I was little that went away, but I've had these (many more have been added) since I was 8 or so. I've even created "logical" (more like syfy) reasons why other people can't see them, places for them to live, tools for them to take care of themselves, and "gates" for them to travel back and forth between our "world" and theirs or their "dimensions".

I'm often lost in day-dreams where I am in their "worlds" as my own character. I do have mental disabilities, such as Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, and some Social Anxiety. I am very shy and self-conscious with strangers, but outgoing with my friends and my boyfriend.

My imaginary friends don't seem too hinder my ability to interact with others that I know of. My family has noticed me talk to myself, and I do carry out conversations in public but I try to talk to them telepathically as much as possible or at least talk quietly.

I don't know who my father is, but I was told he had a head injury when he was a child and has schizophrenia. Is this an early sign of schizophrenia, part of my disabilities, from me being self-conscious, or something else?

By anon66987 — On Feb 22, 2010

My friend just confessed to me that he has a whole imaginary world created. I'm rather scared for him. He has an imaginary girlfriend, imaginary friends, relatives everything.

Apparently I`m best friends with his girlfriend. His real world and imaginary world are mixing. I'm scared it's dangerous. Not to mention completely freaked out!

By anon65734 — On Feb 15, 2010

my daughter is two years old and has an imaginary friend, but her friends, "boy" and "girl" are mean. i have found her hiding in the bathroom because the boy has a "scary face" and the girl once "took off her head and put it in the garbage". She doesn't watch scary shows or anything. Is this normal?

By anon53267 — On Nov 19, 2009

My friend is sixteen years old and told me that she's been talking to an "imaginary friend" (although she doesn't feel particularly friendly with it).

The "friend" sounds pretty disturbing to me: an eight foot tall skeleton with wings. She says that she doesn't see it like she would see something real, and she knows that it's not real. She doesn't talk to it out loud, but if she sees it in school, she tells it (in her head) to go away. Should I be worried? Because I really am.

By anon29469 — On Apr 02, 2009

I am sixteen and I have an imaginary friend who manifests physically- she had not been present for several years but in the last six months has appeared increasingly often. I have concerns about my well being, as sometimes she seems very real to me. Sometimes I find myself acting like a child- playing with toys etc. I'm usually shocked to realize I've been doing this.

Should I seek professional help?

By anon26957 — On Feb 21, 2009

So I am 13 years old and I was just wondering if having *lot's* of imaginary friends was normal? I usually watch some sort of tv show and if I find one that I like it just sort of becomes an imaginary friend to me. I don't think it's unhealthy.

My best friend actually also does this and sometimes we even have nights where we meet up and we just talk with our imaginary friends. I don't think that it is unhealthy. I am just worried that they won't go away.

Is there anyway I can be 100% sure that they will leave me?

By WGwriter — On May 18, 2008

A pal and I had imaginary boyfriends for years, well into our teenage years. We used to make up stories and act them out, and we also used to write letters about what the boyfriends were up to. I think it was a great safe way to explore the world of dating without many offers on the dating front. So as long as you know an imaginary friend is not real, it doesn't seem to be much of a danger.

When you hear voices, especially if they are telling you to harm yourself, that may be a different thing completely. But we all engage in a bit of self-talk at some level, hear our own voices in our head and that kind of thing. The concerning thing would be assuming those voices belong to someone else real or finding that such voices are exerting control over your actions in a negative way. Then it might make sense to talk to a therapist or psychiatrist about it.

By anon13011 — On May 17, 2008

I sometimes talk to myself in my head, mostly after watching a scary movie. I force myself to say or chant things that would otherwise be forbidden in the movie. Sometimes I scare myself thinking that something will pop around the corner and get me. And I sometimes have to drown the sounds out with my own voice inside my head.. Otherwise I have a pretty normal life. I don't think this is schizophrenia popping in, and the chanting has lessened as I get older. But what do you readers think?

By anon10718 — On Apr 01, 2008

I'm 18 and I also have an imaginary friend. I know she is not real, and I have plenty of real friends and I'm very involved in school. I created her the summer after 8th grade when me and all my friends were starting at different high schools. I was starting at a new school and I didn't know anyone there, so it was nice to have someone to talk to in my head. Even when I gained new friends and got involved in clubs, I was used to having an imaginary friend. I know it's not normal but there's nothing unhealthy about it either.

By anon9659 — On Mar 10, 2008

Hi. Just wondering...

Is it normal for a 13-year old to have an imaginary friend? I'm 13 and I wouldn't say that it's a proper imaginary friend. It's not like I walk around talking to thin air, I just imagine myself talking to them, kind of like I'm coming up with a story in my head. It doesn't get in the way of my life, it's more of an outlet for when I feel depressed (which is often). When I'm alone, I imagine whole scenes being acted out. These 'friends' differ. They're usually a character from a film I've watched or a book I've read recently.

Should I be worried, or is it just a vivid imagination (as these scenes usually do lead to me writing a story based on them)?


By anon7543 — On Jan 29, 2008


do teenagers have imaginary friends and is this normal?

if so what effects can this have on people around them?

By anon3323 — On Aug 23, 2007

As a former teacher, first let me thank you and encourage you! You're clearly going the extra mile for your student in a way that is NOT a required part of your job. You must be very dedicated to seek and ask for help, so I applaud you.

Second, I have several years experience working with special-needs students--both emotionally disturbed as well as developmentally disabled. I have never seen anything like what you describe, and I believe it to be far from normal.

Unfortunately, though it's not unusual in my experience, it appears as though your student's mother will be the greatest obstacle. I would do everything in my power to gain her trust in order to encourage her to be honest with you. I'd play it like this: Let her know how great her kid is, dwell on his strengths, and express confusion that such a smart child would seem to have some irrational ideas.

What about giving your student a special place/box/screen where he can go to be safe? Tell him that the man can't see him or follow him in there, so if he needs to get away, he can go there. ??? Something I may try... Whatever else you do, definitely get advice from your school psychologist or counselor. If this child's mother isn't recognizing this behavior as strange, you will have to pursue the issue within the school system--trust me, that won't be easy, but will be better than nothing.

Good luck!

By Mickenzie — On Aug 22, 2007

I am a kindergarten teacher and I have a student that I am concerned about. At first the child might be autistic, because they are constantly laughing and talking out loud and it has nothing to do with our lesson and at inappropriate times and also wets himself. However after a few weeks I started to notice that he says that man is making me look or that man is making faces. Or he will just start running and say, the mean man is chasing me. He will also say I am going to shoot that man or stab that man. I have also noticed that the first time he wet himself he was "staring" at the man in the woods. The child is VERY smart for kindergarten but I can tell that something is not quite right. Also when I try and talk to the mother she acts as if nothing is wrong. I am just unsure if it is normal for children to have "adult" imaginary friends, that are mean. Also, he does not seem to know the difference in reality and fictional. He also does not play with the other children, he simply plays along side and continuously talks to "the man". What should I do?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
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