I have heard of people who create conflicts (non-violent) in their minds (and nowhere else) with other people that don't exist (the conflicts don't exist, not the people involved) and for no particular reason. I remember seeing a word with that definition and I cannot remember it.

  • Haha.. Are you saying people who have the fear a duck is always watching them? Like those kind of problems? – anonymous Oct 3 '15 at 4:12
  • The wording of this question is a bit ambiguous. Are you asking about a person who stirs up a conflict where no such conflict previously existed, or a person who imagines a conflict where no such conflict actually exists? – Sven Yargs Oct 3 '15 at 18:07

A person who experiences unreal conflicts in their mind is "paranoid" or "delusional"

  • paranoid (adj) - having or showing an unreasonable feeling that people are trying to harm you, do not like you, etc. MW
  • a paranoid personality

  • paranoid delusions

  • delusional (adj) - suffering from a false belief or opinion. TFD
  • labored under the delusion that success was at hand.
  • having delusions of persecution

EDIT - If the person is perfectly aware that the conflict isn't real, a "fantasizer" may fit.

  • fantasizer (noun) - one who experiences dreams or daydreams.

One who fantasizes about nonexistent conflicts deserves the title "masochistic fantasizer"

  • Paranoid or delusional would work if the person thought the conflict was real. Let me clarify that the person in question is well aware that the conflict isn't real. It's like the person is rehearsing for a conflict that may not ever come to be. I hope that clarifies my question a little bit more. – Darth Sarcastic Oct 3 '15 at 9:05
  • @DarthSarcastic I've edited. – Centaurus Oct 3 '15 at 16:14

How about

Eristic: from the ancient Greek word Eris meaning wrangle or strife, often refers to a type of argument where the participants fight and quarrel without any reasonable goal.

The aim usually is to win the argument and/or to engage in a conflict for the sole purpose of wasting time through arguments, not to potentially discover a true or probable answer to any specific question or topic. Eristic is arguing for the sake of conflict as opposed to the seeking of conflict resolution.


Are you looking for hallucinations (or hallucinatory delirium) ?

A hallucination is a sensation or sensory perception that a person experiences in the absence of a relevant external stimulus. That is, a person experiences something that doesn’t really exist (except in their mind). A hallucination can occur in any sensory modality — visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, etc.

[Jantoo cartoons - 1]


The words "Drama queen" comes to mind.

  • But the melodrama/histrionics that a drama queens exhibit are for a reason (attention seeking). The OP stated 'and for no particular reason'. – Lamar Latrell Oct 3 '15 at 2:05
  • ...and your suggestion is? – dwoz Oct 3 '15 at 4:06
  • 2
    I upvoted 'paranoid' and 'delusional'. – Lamar Latrell Oct 3 '15 at 4:10

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