My ‘Bipolar Brain’: Constant Conversations in My Head

Last Updated: 21 Dec 2020

Negative thoughts pop into my head—and then I will have a conversation about this experience.

Today I am going to talk about the conversations I have with myself that are constantly going on in my mind.

A few nights ago, my wife looked over at me and said, “Dave, why are you so quiet today?” I said, “I don’t know. Am I being quiet? I didn’t realize.” Then a few days ago, I thought about it and realized that I am having a constant conversation with myself in my mind. And by constant I mean every minute of every hour of every day.

Thoughts will pop in my head, mostly negative, about experiences I have had. And I will have a conversation about this experience. Usually these conversations will last from 10 seconds to 30 or anywhere in between. Then I’m off to another conversation for 10 or 30 seconds, and then back to the original.

Music helps. I listen to music but I can never ever, ever remember listening to a song all the way through. Somewhere, whether it be 10 seconds or 30 seconds, a thought will pop into my head and I will think about it and converse with myself about it. Then I will go back to the music. Then I will have a thought and go back to having a conversation with myself,

I meditate and it helps, but it is not a solution. It gives me some quiet in between the thoughts because I will have a thought and start a conversation and then I will let it go. Then 10-30 seconds later I am off to another thought. I go back and forth, back and forth, and back again. So meditation for me is only a slight temporary relief.

Watching TV is helpful for me because I am focusing on something else.

The most relief comes from reading a book. I think, no I’m sure, everyone has thoughts that pop into their head and conversations with themselves. I just wonder if my bipolar brain is the reason my thoughts are constant.

The next time my wife says, “Why are you so quiet tonight? I will say “Because I have been having a conversation with myself all day long.”

I’m sure she is going to say, “About what?” Unfortunately I will have to say, “About everything and nothing.” But by talking about it with her I hope she will understand. And by talking about it I will have some understanding, or gain an understanding about these constant thoughts and conversations I have with myself.

Learn more:
4 Physical Signs of An Impending Manic Episode
Which ‘Bipolar Me’ Is Going to Wake Up Today?


About the author
Dave, who lives with bipolar disorder and severe anxiety, is the author of the Amazon bestseller and award-winning OMG That’s Me! Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and More…. Recently, Book Authority ranked OMG as one of the “Best Bipolar Disorder Books of All Time.” Dave is currently the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness affiliate in Washington County, Oregon. His blog posts have been read by over 800,000 people, and his follow-up, OMG 2, is in the works. Dave lives just outside of Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Heather; daughter, Meghan; and grandsons, Van and Bourdain.
  1. Thank you for sharing this. This is also me to a T, and intrusive thoughts, cringing about things I’ve said even though there’s nothing wrong with what I said, painful memories. I have the conversations with myself in my head all day and when I’m alone they come out verbally and I catch myself. I’ve been diagnosed for 6 months and didn’t know this was part of it. I assumed it was an anxiety phase that goes on for weeks. Thank you for helping me understand more.

  2. I completely relate to this little announcement. I mean it’s actually not really that bad, but whenever my mania comes out I can actually get tired of myself talking. I do enjoy a good book and reading as well. I always have earbuds on hand so music is a must. Thank you for your words! I find it incredibly useful to see that I’m not the only one.

  3. I came across this because this is me to a T. Ugh….have you found a way to stop it? It is taking over my life to where I dont even hear people talking to me sometimes and it is affecting my home life.

  4. Thank you for sharing this with us. I certainly relate, especially when I’m hypomanic and my brain is moving faster. I have self-punishing thoughts most days. It helps to counter every negative thought with a positive one. Also, I remind myself the past is in the past, and feeling remorseful does not help anyone or solve any problem. I also practice gratitude, which at first I thought sounded cheesy, but it really works. I say out loud what I am grateful for in my life. If I can’t remember because my brain is foggy, I write it down. I have a gratitude list in my journal, and I can go back to it when I need. Another thing that helps: jazz. I put on some Miles Davis, do some yoga, and maybe take a Gabapentin.

  5. Have u found a way to stop it yet? I’m going crazy and losing everyone I care about cuz it just too much and too weird for anyone else to make sense of.

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