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1673455 tn?1305215720

Can't stop talking to myself


I have a problem, I can't stop talking to myself. It's got to the point where I'm having full blown conversations with myself. I'm like it 24/7 and find it difficult to stop the constant train of thoughts. I think the fact I'm obsessed with the way I look doesn't help matters . It's like I can't process normal thoughts like every other human being, instead I have to say it aloud in my head which leads me to start having a conversation in my mind to myself to the relater matter or thought. I feel like I'm losing my mind as I can barely concentrate on anything and the worst part of it is I'm in my final year of my degree. The problem started perhaps two years ago or before I even started university but wasn't bad to point I could not concentrate. However in the last year, it's become increasingly worse to the point now, where I'm constantly talking to myself in my head which leads to an inherrant feeling of anxiety and nervouness in which all my confidence has evaporated. To put it simply, I'm in a complete state as a result and don't know what to do or who to turn too. I have pondered over the idea I may be suffering from schizophrenia or depression, however I do not hear voices or suffer from hallucinations and do not consider myself paranoid in anyway. The voice is my own voice and acts almost as a constant narration which I'm aware of and know I'm doing.  

When I'm put under pressure or put on the spot, I'm able to think clearly as im forced to not talk to myself and concentrate. For example, recently, I had to give a presentation as part of my degree and once it came to the moment of deliverance the pressure caused me to block my inner thoughts. After the presentation I felt great and my mind was clear, however a couple of hours after it just went straight back to how it was. My work has suffered hugely as a result and I have a final year exam coming up in two months. I plan to see a doctor after I'm finished but wondered if there was any drugs anybody could reccommend to hault the thoughts and help me concentrate? I find myself able to concentrate more and feel more happy after filter coffee or coca cola as the buzz gives me a temporary lift. (starbucks!).

P.S sorry for the long message - Any help would be much appreciated.

17 Responses
1291268 tn?1274814522
I can understand perfectly what you're saying here.  I too hold conversations with myself and my 'inner voice' is constanting winding it's way relentlessly thru anything and everything.
I frequently wish there were a 'switch' that I could just turn it all off, even for an hour or two.
The only way you can find out for sure what's causing it is to seek medical help.
Don't put it off..the sooner you narrow it down the better off you'll be.
For me it's anxiety and depressive disorder that causes it.  Brain chemicals get out of wack and therefore so do your thoughts sometimes.   The brain and nervous system becomes over stimulated or understimulated and the results present themselves in many different ways.
Go to your family doctor and discuss this situation with him/her.  There is no reason to allow it to affect your life in any way as there are sucessful treatments for it, if needed.
Treat it early to prevent it from having greater impact on your life.  Take care.
1673455 tn?1305215720
bumping this.....anymore advice out there? I know it's a ridiculous thread lol
1673455 tn?1305215720
Cheers buddy, thanks for the advice I think I will seek medical help
1535467 tn?1342235270
My vote is for anxiety. I have this issue too every few weeks when trying to sleep or withdrawing from an anti-anxiety drug. you may want to discuss with your doctor.
Avatar universal
Pleas take the time to read this. Thank you.

My name is Adam. I'm 18 years old in my first year of university.
For at least the past 24 months now I have been conversing with a voice inside my head. I've read through the above comments and a lot if them have different elements that relate to my case of 'head talking'...

To try and keep this short(ish), I think, based on the above comments i have read above that I may have depression or anxiety or both. The thing is I don't know because 1. I've been too scared to tell anybody invade I become some sort of 'freak' and 2. Because I don't know enough about these mental illnesses.

The biggest problem there though, is that over the past 24 months when te talking has been an issue, I just cannot focus, study or concentrate on anything. I'm amazed I got into university. I tried to study for my A-levels but it was just so hard; not being able to solely focus on my research because I'd be talking to myself internally the entire time. The problem relating to the above is that whenever I try to sit down and research anxiety or depression, my brain goes Into overdrive and won't leave me alone, talking to me constantly and it prevents me from concentrating because the thought process from my brain about absolutely stupid, random, scary and downright sickly thoughts is just too much.

Somebody mentioned that the longer you have a conversation you have with yourself, the worse it gets and it can lead to frustration, irritability and anger. I've been lay in bed for the past hour and it's flown from simple conversation with myself (without actually vocalising a single word) to me questioning my own sanity and searching the internet for answers. Whether I found them or not I don't know but I'm getting desperate here. It's bad enough this voice keeps me distracted from educational studies, but I don't want it to completely isolate me from my family, friends, girlfriends or colleagues.

Truthfully I'm scared. I'm terrified. Even when I was in 1 on 1 counselling as a 15-17 year old, I never once told my psychologist that 'there's a voice inside my head' because I couldn't bear the thought of him saying I sound like a depressed or anxious person. The only irony in this is that the one thing that held me back from telling my psychologist about all this, was my own inner voice quoting the line 'the voices inside my head are telling me to kill people'... And it made me think that I sound just as mad as who ever said that line in the first place. I haven't watched the film but that line, that one line. It held me back. Two years on I can't take it anymore.

Please somebody, anybody, everybody, respond and let me know, thank you.
My shrink told me if I realize the voices I hear are not real, or the visual hallucinations don't scare me there is nothing wrong.  He says my gabapentin causes hallucinations.  It may do that , but I've heard these derogatory voices since I was about 19 years old.  I am now 65,  years of meds and therapy,  good old voices never give it up.
Avatar universal
Hi Adam,
My name is Andy. I might be able to give some practical suggestions with your problem. I've had similar problem. I haven't managed to get a rid of it entirely yet, but at least I have a lot of control over it now.
It might sound surprising but I can see a lot of positive things "between the lines" of what you've written. You are not mad or insane: you are able to put the ideas together in logical fashion and you can clearly identify the problem and your own feelings related to this problem. I spent some time in prosecution office long time ago and had a chance to read couple of testimonies of people who were diagnosed with mental diseases: trust me, if you saw what I saw there you would feel better straight away.
But ad rem: your first job is to start doing simple baby steps exercises. This self talk which is obviously compulsive, surely has a form of sentences in your mother language. When this compulsive dialog comes I want you to grasp one of those sentences and decide to change it's form, by altering the vocabulary for instance (If the statement like: "I'm worried about tomorrow's exam" comes, I want you to change it for something like: "I am scared because I will be attending the exam next day"). You need to make a conscious effort to alter it, so it means the same, but wording and syntax is different.
The second thing to do is to try consciously to change the topic of your self talk. If you start talking about lets say cars, change it to talk about trees or good food or something.
The third thing you need to do is to sit in your room and again CONSCIOUSLY start describing what is in your room (using self talk). Say to yourself something like: I'm sitting on chair, in front of me there is a desk and so on.
Now, the extremely important thing is: when you do those exercises DON'T SAY THEM LOUD AND DON'T WRITE ANYTHING DOWN. You need to do them silently, within your mind. It is likely, that it will be hard for you at the beginning, but don't worry, it's perfectly normal.
If you practice them for some time you will begin to see the difference between your compulsive talk (which is actually by-product of sub-conscious mind) and the thoughts, that you CONSCIOUSLY try to produce according to your WILL.  It will give you the sense of control of your thoughts as well. Note, that when you wrote this post, you had that control, because you had some ideas in your mind that you wanted to share, and you were able to put them in sentences like you wanted to. So, in fact, you can control the stream of ideas going through your head, it's just a matter of motivation and effort rather than objective ability.
Last thing: why you need to do this in your head? Because everything starts there, always. If you say them out loud or write them down, you just repeat what's already done. When you practice quietly, then you have a chance to gain control straight at the source of your thoughts.
Now: those exercises alone are just the beginning. Human mind is way more complex and tricky for simple solutions. So let me know, when you go through them for some time and get familiar with the idea, so we can proceed a little further.
All the best to you.
Avatar universal
Hey Adam

I was wondering if your problem has already stopped and if so what measures you took because I'm facing the same problem since about a week ago and I really can't afford going on like this.

I would highly appreciate and value your response.
Avatar universal
Guys, what you are describing sounds a lot like a dissociative disorder, for example DDNOS (dissociative disorder not otherwise specified) or DID (dissociative identity disorder. Hearing voices in your head and being in dialogue with them is one of the most important criteria for the diagnosis. Good news: it does not sound like you are schizophrenic! If you were to hear voices outside your head, like somewhere in the room, that would be a an indicator for schizophrenia. Hearing voices/ dialogue inside your head is a an indicator for DDNOS or DID. Next piece of good news: DDNOS and DID can be treated. Given time and good treatment, you can recover from it 100 %. For starters, I recommend reading books on Structural Dissociation, such as The Haunted Self by van der Hart/ Nijenhuis/ Steele, Becoming Yourself by Alison Miller or Got Parts? by ATW.
Avatar universal
Good sir, this exercise in mindful awareness of inner dialogue is very advanced, powerful, and very concise.  I thank you for it!
What do you mean
Avatar universal
You are completely normal but a little anxiety in there. Self talk is inside everyone... its a safety mechanism. Google self talk and read all about it. Stop worrying. .your fine and normal. I self talk all day long. Im 51 with anxiety probs, stress probs and life long depression . I just learn to live with it now. Its a benefit not a hinderance... trust me.
Avatar universal
I also do this, and I also hear voices but in total honesty I think there is nothing wrong with talking to yourself, it helps make better decisions going through scenarios in your head.
Avatar universal
Is there anything to do to stop carrying on conversations with myself. I need help
Avatar universal
i am having the same problem for about   (as long as i can remember)...i dont even remember when i was normal. whenever i do something or do nothing, always I think of different things in different  prespectives. its like im having an office meeting in my head, with lots of myself with defferent point of view.  recently i talked to a doctor, and he didnt even hear anything just gave me anti depressents... i cant have any pills, cause, from past ,,, i was an addict of sleeping pills.   i tried lots of illegal drugs to get free from this constant thinking. i used to get relief for some time when i was on drugs. but, now things are different, i dont like taking them anymore, they all have stopped working for me... i think i can not be normal . its how god made me. so, i just want to get older and die naturally. its all i ask for now.  i just want to get out of the tv series called "LIFE"   . i dont know how, people act their role in life without realizing it. that all of this is a movie. (a verrry b boring one)  . i dont like anything. even when anyone talks to me about something, i can tell which word he will use next. to me, life is a verry boring movie & i  just want to get free
I think natural is the best way as well, as long as you can get where to where you feel best.  But not all drugs do the same things.  Antidepressants are not addictive drugs -- taking more of them doesn't make them work better, it might make them work worse.  The proper dosage is the proper dosage.  Now, they do alter our brain chemistry and they're very hard to stop taking, so again, it's always best not to take them, but if you do get to a point where absolutely nothing helps you and your life goes completely south, the drugs you used and antidepressants are very different.  Another problem with illegal drugs is that you don't really know the dosage, but some of them are actually quite natural.  The problem is that they often cause the problems you have, and people also tend to abuse them by using them too often.  Most illegal drugs turn us inward, which isn't the best place to be when you're thinking isn't positive.  Antidepressants have a host of problems, but not that one.  
Avatar universal
I have this exact problem and I have ocd I think you’re just ruminating because you’re bored maybe you don’t talk to people as much or socialize or have a girlfriend.  Low dopamine can cause you to ruminate because it’s enjoyable and you become addicted to it and your brain hardwired into this habit.  Sometimes when you wire into habits during puberty it’s very difficult to get out of it.  You need to meditate and cut out all stress in your life.  But seriously stop it cold turkey or your prefrontal cortex will develop abnormally.  It ruined my life I seriously have been doing nothing but this the past ten years in my house and it’s ****** me up.  Meditate and exercise will release dopamine like caffeine.  Snap out of it before its too late.
Just in case anyone is reading this, while I'm a big advocate of meditation, you can't cut out all stress in life nor would life be at all interesting if you did.  There is absolutely no evidence at all that anxious or depressed people have low dopamine, although excessive use of certain drugs can stress dopamine levels.  Using caffeine if you have an anxiety problem isn't a great idea.  Your prefontal cortex will not be affected by thinking.  Again, if you're reading this don't let this post frighten you that your brain's wiring is changed in ways we can see -- we can't actually see it.  Nobody yet has found a biological cause for anxiety or depression, though they are looking very hard for it.  It isn't dopamine.  It might be glutamate for depression and the amygdyla for anxiety, but no proof yet.  Definitely, altering your life can help, but let's not become frightened more than we already are by things that aren't being seen happening.  Peace.
Thank you for your response demonrise.  Want to encourage people to post here and you provided a lot of good information.  I agree that puberty is a time in which a lot of habits are set. I watch my own son and try to guide with coping skills for anxiety.  I agree that taking an approach to stress is important to eliminate what you can. The problem with anxious people is that so much is stressful.  My son has over 100 percent in his honors math class.  He missed a point on a test.  He was upset and stressed!  It literally is the only point he has missed all Semester so far!  We had a chat about keeping it real and not making something inconsequential stressful.  He had little light bulbs in his eyes and was like "ya, makes sense."  But he was on the path of being upset about that.  Meaning, stress is different for everyone.  I personally plot how to eliminate stress and take steps to do so.  I look for my triggers and come up with a plan B and everyone can do that!  So, taking that mind set is important. Then learning how to cope with the stress you can't control.

Dopamine and Serotonin are neurotransmitters that are supposed to improve mood and protect against mental health issues and exercise will help with that. My doctor recommends MORE than thirty minutes exercise though for dopamine improvement while serotonin doesn't take that long. But either way, regular exercise can help!  So,  a good recommendation!  As is meditation.  

So how about you? You haven't left the house in a long time you say.  What can we do to help you?  Start your own thread and we will try!  
Again, we're confusing here drugs that alter the way we use dopamine and serotonin that help some people and the way the body makes and uses dopamine and serotonin when not on medication.  Antidepressants alter the way the body uses these neurotransmitters, so they aren't really being used in a natural way anymore.  In effect, medicine does a lot of things to alter the body in the belief they can make it work better than nature did.  Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn't, but it isn't at all related to what causes depression or anxiety.  I'm all for exercise, healthy diets, meditation, and anything else that helps, but everything we do affects our brain neurotransmitters.  That isn't the same as altering them in a way that permanently harms us.  My only point here is not to frighten people into believing their thoughts are causing permanent changes and damage to their brains.  As I said, we're all scared enough already.  And while people really do need to learn to be less stressed by the way our society is organized (hyper focus on "achievement" and money instead of, say, health and happiness as it would be in a more communal or tribal society), too much avoidance of stress causes more of it, not less, as we become more and more sensitized to the illusion that outside forces are causing the stress rather than the way we approach things.  Life can be made easier or more complicated by the way we approach it.  Any anxiety sufferer has become terrified of things they've done a lot of times without any thought of it being stressful, and then you get this idiotic disorder and the same things are suddenly really really hard.  Can't fix anything for anyone, but I emphasize, let's not make it harder by frightening people with things we haven't studied all that much.  And let's definitely make it easier by recommending great things like meditation in the hope they help.  Peace.
Demonrise, I hope you come back and let us know how you are doing. That's the important thing and I commend you for trying to help someone else. I really have no idea what others here are talking about other than to say that I've had pretty good luck problem solving stress factors in my life and learned to cope with those I can't control. I believe we were talking about your recommendation of exercise and meditation which are solid recommendations and have been shown to help with anxiety and depression.  And I agree that the longer a problem goes on without acknowledging and working on it, the worse it is.  You are speaking from your very own experience which is brave of you and very giving to share. Best to you and do come back.  
A suggestion I give to all people I know who are new to exercise is not to follow a strict gym routine. The two most important things are proper technique, so you don't hurt yourself, and that you enjoy it, so it doesn't become a grind and you start to resent it. If in the beginning all you feel comfortable doing is 10 pushups a day, just do that. Within a few days, you'll want to do 20 a day. And the next thing you know you're counting the seconds until your next routine. I just hate when I see someone have a difficult time doing basic exercises quit completely because everything online says they're doing it wrong if they're not sweating it out 60 minutes a day. It's nonsense, especially if the key reason for doing it is dopamine release. Enjoy yourself, the stamina will come with time.
Avatar universal
I do the same thing, but I speak out loud whenever I'm alone. I explain my views, describe people and situations, and do my best to educate someone, even though noone is there. To the people talking about how positive self talk can be, it's only positive when you can stop. I talk so much my jaw hurts and my tongue goes numb, literally. I have ADHD as well, so yeah, it stings sometimes. It's frightening, but I just do my best to focus on the essentials. I wish you all the luck in the world with your struggles OP.
Thanks so much for sharing and being here!  Appreciate your thoughts.  What helps you with your symptoms?  You talk about exercise---  is that part of your plan?  I am a firm believer in that as well.  Talking to one self is pretty normal, I think.  Unfortunately, I think my son does it because he is lonely.  That makes me sad.  I do it because it helps me think.  
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hi redman88.  I have the same problem and also don't know what to do about it. However with the help of my psychiatrist  I stopped a couple of meds that may cause a sedation effect and other side effects.  Since then I've talked to myself less.  I found I seem to talk to myself more when I'm drowsy.
1616953 tn?1443839111
As this seems to bother you I think having a sit down with your doctor would be of value.  I did some reading on this because before I went on some meds I was going over the same unconnected stuff every day over and over.  Talking to yourself by itself may mean nothing.  Some people do this all the time.  I worked with a guy that mumbled under his breath.  Kind of a keeping track of which step he was doing I think.   If your talking to yourself and repeating over and over some traumatic event in your life that might (for example) be PTSD or Anxiety.  The thing to do is not worry about it but set up a sit down with an expert and see what they think.  I think you are ok but your worried so here is how to put that to bed.  School can become high pressure as you get closer to graduation.  These are things you can recognize for what they are and put that in its place.  
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