How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Steve Your Own Question
Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Steve is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am 38 and since my teens have had a number of imaginary

Resolved Question:

I am 38 and since my teens have had a number of imaginary friends, when with them I feel indestructible, confident, happy, attractive.. When not, I often feel useless, like I let everyone down with my actions,I spend alot of any time on my own in tears.. thing is to the whole world, who dont know this, Iam a happily married, mother of 2 with a successful job. I feel like my life is passing me by without me in it, I dont want to go on like this, am I mad ?, I dont feel mad, just lonely and sad.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 7 years ago.


To begin, I do not think that you are mad, nor is having imaginary friends a sign of madness. In fact, most children naturally pass through a phase whereby they create friends to interact with. And while most give up their friends when they pass through to adulthood, some will hang on to those friends, particularly when they are in need of comfort.

Having said that, I will add that I am concerned about your social withdrawal and feelings of emptiness. These are signs of depression, and need to be evaluated. I wonder if you began with the friends because you were lonely or depressed as a little girl (perhaps traumatized in some way?) and needed the flight of imagination to escape the dismal world you lived in. Now that the depression seems to be back, you have resorted to an old way of coping. Unfortunately, as an adult, this means of coping is making you even more frightened and depressed.

My overall advice is to get the depression treated, and I would bet that your "need" for the kinship with your mates will diminish over time. As you begin to feel better in reality, you will need the reassurance from the imaginary friends less and less. If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

Dr. Steve and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you