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den4
10-12-04, 17:57
Ah, I'm so relieved...I had thought I was losing my mind with my imaginary friends that I talk to in the mushroom forest :D

Imaginary friends no illusion


By Jennifer Harper
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

American children haven't been entirely consumed by TV and commercial fare.
Two-thirds of them have had imaginary playmates "in a fantastic variety of guises," according to a joint study from Washington University and the University of Oregon released yesterday.
The fantasy pals included a squirrel, a panther, a dog, a 7-inch-tall elephant and a "100-year-old" GI Joe doll ― as well as "invisible" boys or girls or sympathetic stuffed animals. Some children socialized with more than a dozen imaginary companions.
The researchers found that 57 percent of the childhood chums were human and 41 percent were animals ― including one "human capable of transforming herself into any animal the child wanted," according to the study.
Almost all youngsters like to pretend they are someone ― or something ― else. The study found that almost all of them had pretended to be an animal or another person.
Never fear, it's all normal, said Stephanie Carlson, a Washington University psychologist and lead author of the study.
"It's somewhat of a revolving door. Children are nimble in coming up with these imaginary companions, and sometimes we have a hard time keeping up with all of the ones a child has," she said.
The research was based on two sets of interviews with 152 children ― when they were age 3 or 4 and at age 7.
The younger ones preferred the more substantial pal: Fifty-two percent of the preschoolers based their imaginary friends on "props," such as toys, while more than two-thirds of those created by school-age children were "invisible."
There's not much of a sex difference. Although preschool girls were more likely to have an imaginary companion, by age 7 boys were just as likely as girls to have one. More than a quarter of the children described an imaginary friend unknown to their parents.
Not all the pals are friendly. Some were described as "quite uncontrollable and some were a nuisance," researchers said.
The fantasy population can be fleeting, though.
"Imaginary companions are treated by children much in the same way as when they lose interest in toys or other activities," Ms. Carlson said. "In many cases they simply go away, or children don't remember. Other times children replace an old imaginary companion with a new one, or they go on to friendships with real kids."
Imaginary playmates have their own official function in childhood development, she said, allowing children to manage social challenges in a safe context. Some children actually practice "how to handle conflict with something that may or may not talk back to them," the study notes.
"Imaginary companions have had a bad rap from psychologists for a long time, and there was the perception that parents were getting the message that having an imaginary companion wasn't healthy," Ms. Carlson said. "But this study shows that nearly two-thirds of children have them. The striking fact is that children of all personality styles have imaginary companions."
The study was published in the current issue of Developmental Psychology, an American Psychological Association publication.

TwistedMac
10-12-04, 23:11
really?
am I not normal or completely void of fantasy then?
I never had an imaginary friend and always grew quickly bored without another person my own age around :/

Bob in Iowa
11-12-04, 04:25
I can't recall ever having had imaginary friends, unless perhaps, the voices in my head would qualify. But then, they are not really imaginary. http://members.aol.com/islabob2/images/teeth.gif

dreamer
13-12-04, 15:38
Hum...never had imaginary friend beside my computer...

Shooter452
11-01-05, 22:57
They are certainly better than having imaginary enemies. And imaginary foes are certainly better than genuine enemies.

It is not paranoia if they are really out to get you!

kirei_na_me
11-01-05, 23:47
I used to have an imaginary friend, named 'Ella', when I was little. Whenever I did something bad, I would blame it on her... :p

lexico
17-01-05, 20:14
I'm so glad they are not mentioning MPS, the multiple personality thing. I saw one show on PBS, and it was very, very upsetting because respectable people were ganging up in such a big hoax. They used to fool everyone, even Oprah! So I guess MPS is gone now forever, right?

On the other hand, I begin to fear that my parting with my last imaginary friend was just too much to bear. I hope I don't have to seek professional help to revive any supressed memory?

I sometimes talk to my computer, and it makes me feel good. I think the machine feels more human that way, too, at least in my imagination. It's really nothing to laugh about if you think about it. It's called anthropomorphism, and they've been doing it for at least 4,000 years. :)

sgt. Pepper
22-01-05, 00:29
I never had an imaginary friend.

lexico
22-01-05, 00:45
I never had an imaginary friend.ミラカクニミキ カラ ハイチスネ トキカル セイセセイスヌ!
Nothing to fear, Sgt. Pepper!
It is perfectly okay if you cannot remember you imaginary friend.
Because he or she is imaginary, she can't be hurt by your forgetfulenss.
On the other hand, if you begin to realize that you "might" have forgotten her, you "might" start worrying.
To snap out of undue struggle from within, I can suggest joining an Imaginary Friends Anonymous forum for peer support.
And you needn't go anywhere.
B/C you already have come to the right place.
I understand that you are in denial; without doubt, the guilt is really too much to bear for you.
Please check with this thread from time to time, and we will get out of this together if we have to crawl.
For now, just take a deeeep breath, and everything will be fine..... :-)

Bob in Iowa
22-01-05, 03:23
I used to have an imaginary friend, named 'Ella', when I was little. Whenever I did something bad, I would blame it on her... :p

LOL Kirei !!! Good plan!!!

Mycernius
13-02-05, 00:05
I used to have an imaginary friend, named 'Ella', when I was little. Whenever I did something bad, I would blame it on her... :p

My mother's name is Ella, and my grandmothers was.
Never had an Imaginary friend myself. Just talked to myself, still do. Only make sense to myself and not all the time
It's getting dark now. 'Time for bed' said Zebedee

Frank D. White
13-02-05, 00:27
My definition of "imaginary friend" is a friend only if they can get something from you. They're willing to stab you in the back or dump you at the drop of a hat. If you require ANYTHING from them they disappear!

Frank

:blush:

Miss_apollo7
13-02-05, 02:45
I have had a couple of imaginery friends in my childhood...mainly because I didn't have any brothers or sisters and sometimes I became lonely, so I remember I sometimes played with my imaginary friends....:D I still remember their names!!! :D

Dewberry
13-02-05, 23:36
I remember having an imaginary friend called Yana. I would talk to her (in my head, of course) on my way to school. The thing is, I was very shy and always thought that people were staring at me, so I tried to escape by talking to this Yana. It's crazy!!! Fortunately, I am more outgoing now and Yana is something from the past.

lexico
15-02-05, 20:53
Just talked to myself, still do. Only make sense to myself and not all the time
It's getting dark now. 'Time for bed' said ZebedeeThat reminds me of what my roommate once said.
He would make fun of this girl whom he saw walking and talking to herself.
Then I became aware of this interesting habit.
Then I tried it on myself, and it felt quite good.
I became more aware of my own thoughts and feelings.
So in that sense, I might be allowed to call myself an imaginary friend whom I can talk to.
She is a good listener, and she approves of my feelings in a very healthy way.
Nothing to laugh about really...
She just happens to be a little too soft on me....lets me do anything I like! :cool: :haihai:
But it's a lot better than the other one; he is very harsh, talks a lot of negative stuff, and can get me soooooo depressed! :(
The only problem is I don't have names for them.
Do they still count?

Doc
15-02-05, 21:25
I talk to myself. I'm guessing that's not healthy at this age though.

Doc

lexico
15-02-05, 23:02
I talk to myself. I'm guessing that's not healthy at this age though.

DocI think at a deeper level it's also called prayer, voices, visions, or even god. :genji:

Doc
15-02-05, 23:25
I think at a deeper level it's also called prayer, voices, visions, or even god. :genji:

I was thinking more along the lines of schizophrena.

Doc

noxlord
16-02-05, 03:23
I remember having an imaginary friend while I was young, because I nearly had none real... :(

Mycernius
19-02-05, 17:46
I was thinking more along the lines of schizophrena.

Doc
Nothing wrong with a bit of madness. Just as long as you don't act on what the voices tell you

Miss_apollo7
20-02-05, 05:26
I remember having an imaginary friend called Yana.
.....I am glad that I am NOT the only one who has NAMED the imaginary friends....GOOD!

Doc
21-02-05, 02:21
Nothing wrong with a bit of madness. Just as long as you don't act on what the voices tell you

Too late, I've already sucumbed to becoming The Punisher because of the voices in my head. :evil:

Doc

isayhello
28-02-05, 17:48
I talk to myself. I'm guessing that's not healthy at this age though.

Doc

I do to! Seriously.. I do. It's pretty crazy. And it's not prayer or singing or anything like that. I just find it fun sometimes, cause the people you "talk with" when you talk to yourself always answer the way you like them to.. !

I'm NOT mad though.. *she's lying*

Doc
28-02-05, 19:53
I do to! Seriously.. I do. It's pretty crazy. And it's not prayer or singing or anything like that. I just find it fun sometimes, cause the people you "talk with" when you talk to yourself always answer the way you like them to.. !

I'm NOT mad though.. *she's lying*

Yes I do the same. It's become habitual throughout the years though so it's kind of hard to break it. However, the good news is I know I'm not that crazy because I don't do it in public, only when I'm home alone. However, the reason why I do it was because I was neglected as a child from other kids. I really didn't have a childhood at all. There was only a few things I can remember that was good. The rest of it, well let's just say I don't want to think about it. Let's just say it was me and my own little world for over 13 years. Kind of hard to break after that much time. :o

Doc

kawaiisan
01-03-05, 12:05
I remember having an imaginary friend while I was young, because I nearly had none real... :(
Well, back then I used to have few imaginary "mentors" that talk to me when im really depressed. It was good since you end up being more open-minded (these characters have had to be realistic in terms of personality.. yes im strange ;) ), as well as good for companionship. You're not alone ;)

digicross
05-03-05, 23:23
The ones you made up / imagine?

Or the ones that pretending to be your imaginary friends?


The ones you made up, they can be harmful, since they are part of you, if they are harmful, that mean you too can be harmful.

While for the ones that pretending to be your imaginary friends, they are totally harmless, the only harm can be done is if you let them influences you.

But in the end, imaginary or not, it's really just up to you



As for "I used to have an imaginary friend, named 'Ella', when I was little. Whenever I did something bad, I would blame it on her... "

Well... You better hope that Ella wouldn't mad and capable of taking over your body, or else something bad would happen and it would be really Ella that did it.



As for multiple personalities and maybe also unconscious imaginary friends.

Well... Maybe it's similiar to the computer term of "multi-threading", where one program done multiple things at roughly the same time.

Unless it's done by a foreign party, then it's possession, like when a cracker crack a program to do his or her own will. Then it's time to reboot.

lexico
06-03-05, 00:08
The ones you made up, they can be harmful, since they are part of you, if they are harmful, that mean you too can be harmful.
While for the ones that pretending to be your imaginary friends, they are totally harmless, the only harm can be done is if you let them influences you.
But in the end, imaginary or not, it's really just up to you.Not really. Words can kill as much as sticks and stones. In principle it's up to "you" but the adjusting doesn't come naturally; some never learn.
As for multiple personalities and maybe also unconscious imaginary friends.
Well... Maybe it's similiar to the computer term of "multi-threading", where one program done multiple things at roughly the same time.
Unless it's done by a foreign party, then it's possession, like when a cracker crack a program to do his or her own will. Then it's time to reboot.Aren't imaginary fiends always clearly recognized as imaginary ? I think you're confusing multitasking/multiple aptitudes with multiple personality in the strictest sense. But your reasoning and conclusion should replace what's in the current textbooks. If only real was as easy as rebooting ! ;-)

Although I differ in the details, you have wonderful insights that is quite uplisfting!

timetraveller
11-12-17, 10:25
It's normal I guess. I had 2 imaginary friends actually, at the same time. Three of us was talking all the time, debating and arguing too and it happened all in my head. It stopped when I was 12. But when I sometimes recall our conversations, I think they taught me to really develop a brain for thinking and to evaluate different point of views.