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Recently I've noticed that my Dad is talking to himself a lot. I can't make out exactly what he is saying because he only ever does this when I am out of the room, so I get the odd word here and there, but it sounds like he is having a conversation with someone who isn't there that can last a few minutes at a time. I lost my mum a couple of years ago, and I know that he is really struggling and suffering with depression. I've tried to encourage him to seek help with this, but he is completely against anything like that, as he feels that any counselling wouldn't help him. I'm wondering if the "conversations" he is having are with my mum, and whether this is quite a normal part of the grieving process that some people experience. It seems to be happening on a more regular basis now and as time moves on he seems to be getting worse not better and I'm just a little bit concerned about it. If anyone has any experience with this or any advice it would be greatly appreciated :)

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I agree with Nancy. While grief therapy can be very helpful many older people refuse to take part in it. Talking with a life partner who has died is not all that unusual, especially when the marriage was a long one and the person left alive is elderly.

A visit to the doctor is a good idea as depression is likely a part of this, but be aware that medication for depression is tricky and can be even more so with the elderly.

You may want to tell your dad that you'd appreciate it if he would get his physical it's been awhile. Don't mention the fact that he seems to be having conversations with himself or your mom. Once an appointment has been made, write the doctor a note letting him or her know about this issue. The doctor can feel out your dad to see if there seems to be a need for intervention or if he should be left alone with his own method of "therapy."

Please update us. My heart is aching for your dad and for you.
Carol
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Maybe that's his idea of therapy is discussing things with his dead wife. My mother-in-law who has Alz. started doing that 8 years ago when her husband died, but she actually talks about him in the present tense like he just stepped outside, because she can't remember anything. So if your dad is talking to himself but stops when you're around, then I'd say he knows your mom is dead and he knows he's talking to himself, so I'd let it go. Anyway, I talk to myself off and on all day long, and I've still got my marbles! ha
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My mom talks to herself regularly and my dad died six years ago. I catch her when I come in and she can't hear that I'm there. I talk to myself (mostly short comments) because I live alone. I think those of us who do live alone, do that with some regularity and it's not necessarily an indication that something is wrong. Unless you're seeing other signs of altered behavior, I wouldn't worry about it. I think most of us have conversations running through our brains and some folks just vocalize them out loud.
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Don't interrupt him.

I've always talked to myself silently. I find that now I am doing it aloud, especially when I am home alone. But I do it in the car, and occasionally in the store. I am not talking to my deceased husband or anybody else. I am literally talking to myself. "Oh dear. Now you'll have to do this over. Argh!! Dumb computer! I should have listened about backing it up!" And sometimes I answer myself. "Why didn't I get this started yesterday?" "Because you didn't have any extra time yesterday, either!"

I am about as mentally healthy as most people, healthier than some. I don't know if I'm really weird or there are millions like me, talking to ourselves when we are alone.

It wouldn't hurt for Dad to have a thorough physical, but if it were my dad, I'd just smile and say, "So he does it too!"
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My father died three years ago. My mother keeps a picture of him in his army uniform in her bedroom. She talks to him at night a lot. A lot of it is complaining about things that went wrong through the day. Poor guy! He can't even escape the complaining in death. I don't think it is odd at all that she talks to him. I asked her one night if she was talking to Dad when I heard her. She knows that I don't think anything is wrong with it.

I talk to myself and the TV quite a bit. Sometimes I even talk to myself when I'm shopping. People probably just figure I have bluetooth. These days its not unusual to see people talking to "themselves" in stores. It was kind of shocking the first few times I saw it. Now I just think bluetooth and go about my way.
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my Mother does this ALL day long. She mumbles to herself while shes sitting right next to us. She mumbles to herself in the car, in the bathtub she does this all day long. Its creepy. She sounds like the devil when shes doing this. She also rocks back and fourth all day long. It make me dizzy to watch her but I don't think she knows shes doing it. Shes done this since she was forced to stop drinking because of medication. She drank for 45+ years before she had to quit. Its un nerving to say the least.
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I so much agree with Carol. He really should be given his time..
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Thank you so much to everybody for your answers! I so appreciate it, and It's so reassuring to hear this. I thought it probably was normal but I just didn't know what to make of it initially and felt that maybe there should be something more I could be doing! It's funny, because when I think about it, I talk to myself too!! I just was worried about him because I know how much he is struggling, and so probably was just reading too much into it! Thank you all again! xxx
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