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511142 tn?1211097619

I need music all the time

Hello, I've got a question. I'm a 19 year old male. Fairly run of the mill. With one exception.

I need music. ALL the time. If I'm not listening to music (any music, even some of that store muzak will do the trick), or extremely focused on something (I'm talking about shutting out the world and focusing on one thing as hard as possible), I feel like I start to go crazy. Hearing things, arguing with myself, my mind wanders constantly, I get all antsy (I believe antsy is the correct medical term) and I can't even sleep without music.

I've been dealing with this for about... 4 years or so. I don't know what the problem is. I'm not stressed out about anything, I'm happy as a clam most of the time, I don't have any other mental problems.

I just break down completely if I go any longer than about two days without music.

I know this doesn't sound like a serious problem, and probably isn't, but it's really odd. Not to mention how much money I spend on batteries for my mp3 player. I am keeping Duracell in business.

Any ideas on what's going on? I'd like to know. (As would my parents. "Get those things out of your ears at the dinner table!")

Thanks a bunch. :)
12 Responses
366811 tn?1217426272
"I just break down completely if I go any longer than about two days without music."  

Couple of questions for you:

What do you mean by "break down completely?" What actually happens?

And, must it be music -or noise of almosy any kind. Maybe babbling brooks, birds twittering, cars going by on a highway, planes flying overhead, "talk" radio. Some people, I know, must have noise to sleep -such as a fan running in the background.

When did this start? What was the situation or incident, if any?

We await your reply.
511142 tn?1211097619
Break down completely. As in, I can't function. It's hard for me to eat, sleep, or focus at all. And yeah, it has to be music. Maybe it's the rhythm or something? Road noise doesn't seem to be able to do the trick. :P

This started when I was 15 or so. I can't remember any incident that would have started this. It just kinda crept up on me.
Avatar universal
Hmmm, is it always with earplugs, or can it be just a radio playing in the background?  The reason I ask is that sometimes I think people "hide" behind their earplugs so they don't have to deal with some things. It's like a stop sign to people.  Like "I'm busy listening to this, don't bug me".   A defense mechanism.  Do you think you could be using it for this reason?

Did your family always have music on at home?  Could it be something that is a calming, homey feeling for you?

I know that I find it hard to concentrate at work without having a radio on.  But I can work without music if I have to and sometimes forget to turn the radio on when I come in in the morning.   But once I start thinking about the radio not being on, I find that I really need to turn it on for some reason.

Please be careful with the earplugs, since a lot of hearing issues are being attributed to people constantly wearing earplugs with loud music.  
494087 tn?1257796807
I dont see anything wrong with that I constantly have my ipod on or music playing in the house.  I think it is a sort of therapy, it makes me feel good I love it.  It is like the music takes you to another place. I could not live without music.  I dont know I am no professional or anything but I like to think music soothes the soul.  I am kindof like you , but in a different sense if I feel down and anxious, sad or just having a bad day it seems like music makes everything better. Just like Bob Marley said "Every little things gonna be alright" .  Just enjoy life and if something makes you feel good dont question it. Good Luck,Peaches  

511142 tn?1211097619
Yar, thanks for the hopeful advice. And I'm not worried by it or anything. It just, you know, seems a little weird is all.

And uh, no it can be a stereo playing. I moved a couple of weeks ago so, big things like stereos and whatnot I've been without. Now I just have my computer (speakers accidentally in moving shipment), and my mp3 player. So yeah, it's pretty much headphones for now.

But non-headphone related music does just fine.
366811 tn?1217426272
Evidently, break down does NOT mean that you have siezures or become violent or engage in some self-destructive behavior. Rather, it is "hard for me to eat, sleep, or focus..."

So, another question for you: how would you and I have a conversation about something fairly complicated, such as learning how to fly a plane. For that matter, how did you manage in school where I assume you did not listen to music while in class.

Back to the music: vocals or instrumentals or both? ANY music? Rap, Big Band, Rock, Folk, sacred, C&W, classical, punk, hip-hop, MOR...?

Also, why do YOU think the constant listening is a bit strange?

I promise I'm not trying to polka you with a stick, here: I'm trying to see if the content of the material itself has any relevance.

Avatar universal
You mention you start "hearing things". What kind of things?

I know when I am having an anxious time I find having the radio on all night a good way to stop the thoughts running over and over. When I feel better I am able to just "be" with my own thoughts.

In the days before i-pods there used to be people who walked with transistor radios up to their ears. They were thought of as a bit odd. They probably had anxiety.

My theory is that it is a bit like the need to be constantly moving, or touching your face, or jiggling, that people get when they are anxious. Some people even wiggle their fingers in front of their eyes as they need a visual distraction.

How are you getting on with others at the moment? Is it negatively affecting your relationships, work, study ?
You may just be conditioned to needing this stimulation. Most of us now get "antsy" if we're unable to go on the internet or have a mobile phone or watch tv for a couple of days. You might just have a form of that. It all depends on whether it is affecting your life badly.

Good luck.
511142 tn?1211097619
No, when I break down, I stop being able to function correctly. Kinda like when a car breaks down. It can still turn on the radio and headlights, but the engine doesn't work right. :P And yes, almost all forms of music make me feel right again. With the exceptions of free jazz, (I HATE free form jazz) and some classical. But the rest, rock, punk, hip hop, folk, country, swing, even video game music all seems to make me feel right.

Hear things, as in, my thoughts. Which usually don't make much sense. My imagination (I also do some writing, particularly comedy) starts going a bit nutty, and I begin imagining (not hallucinating) all kinds of things (not always funny, but usually). But they're easier heard than actually seen. It's kind of like I'm doing a whole gag of shtick by myself in my head.

And no, my relationships with work and family (the school bit is a long story, I graduated high school in Moscow, Russia and I need the American GED to get into college, so no school at the moment) and while I was in school aren't affected at all. Still get along nicely with everything/everyone.

There really is nothing in my life that is bad, really. Just the normal annoyances of things that everyone else experiences. Work, study (I do study for the GED), friends, future planning. Typical teenage stuff.
480448 tn?1426952138
To ME...it sounds like you have an over-active imagination.  What is so bad about having a little skit in your mind?  I kind of actually LIKE that idea.  LOL.  Seriously, though...does that make you anxious?  Upset in some way?  Have you TRIED to just kill the music and see where your mind takes you?  First, when I read your posts...I thought maybe you were having some kind of scary intrusive thought....which is why you were trying to keep your mind occupied with the tunes.

Are the thoughts mostly good, happy, funny ones?  Or, does your imagination come up with scary stuff as well?

If the answer to that question is just good stuff...I would say try to embrace it....and maybe even enjoy it.  You blocking it out all the time...is prolly why it may seem excessive to you when you DON'T have the music on.  While I can't see anything majorly wrong with listening to the music....clearly if you are negatively affected by NOT having it on...then I think maybe it deserves a little looking into.  Have you considered maybe a run of therapy...just to look into this more?  I think it may really help you.  

In the meantime...like I said...maybe try to embrace that imagination of yours...and see where it goes.  You may end up having wonderul mini-movies where you are a super star....or in a relationship with the most beautiful girl/guy in the world (sorry...I don't like to assume anything...hence the he/she thing)....wouldn't that be neat?

Keep us posted....I'm curious to your thoughts on giving some therapy a try...to explore this a bit more.
511142 tn?1211097619
Oh, my mind goes all over the place. From 'skits' about a man trying to open a shoeshine hut at the beach (this morning in the shower) to thoughts about metaphysics and theology and other things that keep me up at night.

Music doesn't totally mute my brain. It just... kinda keeps it in control, I guess? Like right now, if I weren't listening to music, this reply I'm typing would take half an hour because I wouldn't be able to focus on it completely. I'd probably go back to imagining that guy trying to open a shoeshine hut at the beach.

It's kind of like a free ADD medication. And I can take as much as I want. >.>

And as for therapy, mleh. The idea of therapy kinda gives me the willies.
480448 tn?1426952138
Willies eh?  Have you ever TRIED it?  

Until you got to that last sentence...I was TOTALLY thinking ADD.  Have you ever been evaluated for that?  If that is what you're dealing with...that is fairly easy to manage...either with meds or without....although it MAY involve that dreaded THERAPY!  LOL!

It may not be a huge issue right now in your life...but you have to look into the future....this very well may affect a career, personal relationships, etc.  Just something to think about.  

It sounds like you are an incredibly intelligent guy with an over-active imagination...but like I said...some of the things you mention sound like classic ADD type symptoms.

If I were you...I would maybe start at your family doc.....then go from there....good luck!
511142 tn?1211097619
Yar, sounds about along the lines of what I was thinking. I'll end up looking into it. My inability to focus correctly without music (especially when combined with my notorious laziness) gets a little annoying after awhile. :P
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