My “Bipolar Brain”: Constant Conversations in My Head

Last Updated: 6 Oct 2021
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Negative thoughts about prior experiences pop into my head, then I have a conversation with myself about them. All day, every day, on repeat.

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Endless Internal Self-Talk

Today I am going to speak with you about the conversations I have with myself—conversations 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 little while 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.

Looping Negative Thoughts

Here’s what happens: A thought will pop in my head—most of the time, it’s a negative thought—about experiences I have had; then I will have a conversation with myself about this experience. Usually, these conversations will last from 10 to 30 seconds or sometime in between. Then I’m off to another conversation for 10 to 30 seconds, and then back to the original.

Efforts to Silence My Nonstop Self-Talk

Music

I listen to music, but I can never, ever, remember listening to a song all the way through. At some point during the song, whether it be 10 seconds or half a minute in, a thought will pop into my head. And then 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 …

Meditation

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, for me, meditation gives only slight, temporary relief.

Distraction via Television

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

Reading: The Best Solution So Far

The most relief I get from this constant chatter, revisiting negative thoughts on a loop, comes from reading a book.

Sharing My Concerns & Looking for Understanding

I think—no, I’m sure—that everyone has thoughts that pop into their head and trigger conversations with themselves. I just wonder if my bipolar brain is the reason my thoughts are constant.

The next time my wife asks, “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 respond, “About what?”

Unfortunately, I will have to say, “About everything and nothing.”

But by talking about it with her, I hope she will understand. By starting that conversation, I could gain insight into 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?


Originally posted December 16, 2016

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.
388 Comments
  1. I am very grateful to have come across this this morning. I have been searching most of the morning online for some direction on what I had realized took up a big portion of my time everyday, yesterday. I am on a journey of addiction recovery. In the 6 years I’ve been on this journey. I have found a big part of where my addiction stems from was my mental health going unchecked. This today is just a piece of that puzzle. Thank you for sharing this and putting it out there for others like me. Who are just trying to find some understanding for how their mind works so much differently than others. That it’s ok. And that it will be ok.

  2. This is me all day every day!

  3. This eternal negative conversation with myself wears my out some days.

  4. I have this exactly same nonstop never ending conversations in my head…Is there any cure for this…I tried to explain this to many psychriatrist but nobody understand nobody giving medications…

    1. Ruminating is a bad habit of mine. Breaking the cycle is really hard.

    2. some tips here given are works fine i don’t know about the medication but distracting yourself with work and other stuff help keep calm mind.

  5. I see myself in this so much aswell. The never ending thoughts! And god forbid I have a conversation with another human being…. Because later that conversation will go round and round in my head.. Did I say something off, what if I said that instead, or that or that..

    I’m very happy to hear I’m not alone having this and I also wonder if it is more common for people with bipolar to have these never ending thoughts.

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