My strange repeating repeating repeating thoughts

They loop like a broken record. Sometimes the volume is loud and in the forefront of my consciousness, like they were when I woke up this morning. Sometimes the volume is so soft that I have to clear my mind to “hear” them. Most times they aren’t there at all, and this is a relief. But oh boy, when they’re loud, which happens some time just about every day, they’re very distracting.

They aren’t schizophrenic voices, and yet they “act” like ones. They reference me in the third-person. “Monstro is sick”, they say. “She’s dead. She’s dying.” “She committed suicide at the age of 31”. They are depressive thoughts, but they play even when I’m in a good mood. Worse, if I’m not careful, I will repeat out loud what’s playing in my head. Imagine walking by a coworker’s office and hearing them exclaim, “She’s sick! monstro is SICK!” as she’s smiling at her computer screen. Yep, that’s me. Crazy woman.

Other times, my brain will take what I’m purposefully thinking and make it repeat. Make it repeat. Make it repeat. Just like that. Or I’ll be imagining a conversation with someone and my responses to their imaginary questions will be repeated over and over.

They make me tired. Sometimes I just zone out so I can lose myself in the white noise and not have to think about anything else. Because, strangely, they can be soothing. Perhaps it’s the rhythm of the loop or something.

But they aren’t all negative thoughts. Like, out of the blue, amidst the talk of death, sickness, suicide, and plain nonsense, other thoughts will jump onto the merry-go-round. “I love you”. “I want to see you smile”. “You did an excellent job.” They bring with them a ping of, dare I say, comfort and joy. Where do they come from? I want to know. Do they spring from the same place as the other thoughts, or from another part of my brain? And isn’t it amazing, and so very wonderful, that they talk to me rather than about me like the other thoughts do? But as quickly as they announce themselves, they’re gone. Only to be replaced with the same old broken record.

It’s almost like the good, healthy part of me wants to just check in every now and again and make sure that I don’t let that broken record break me.

Or maybe it’s the voice of God. That’s what my mother would say. And to that, my response would be, “Why is he always in a hurry to jump off that freakin’ merry-go-round? Better yet, why won’t he STOP the freakin’ merry-go-round?” That would be even more of a blessing than the rather infrequent, though appreciated “I love yous.”

Does any Doper have any idea what I’m talking about? Anyone else experience repetitive thoughts? I know OCDers have ruminating worries, but this seems to be quite different than that. I feel no anxiety when I’m caught up in the “loop,” even when the thoughts are telling me that I’m dead. I also know that people with mania can also have what are called racing thoughts. But I’m not bipolar in the least. So I do not know how to categorize my “cognition style”, and none of the meds I’ve taken have helped. So it seems like all I can do is cope with the noise somehow and hope they don’t get worse.

Hope they don’t get worse.

Hope they don’t get worse.

To me the repetition sounds like an intensified version of what lots of people have. My brain does get stuck like that sometimes, just not to that degree.

I don’t know about the negative-thought loop. It doesn’t sound like much fun. OTOH if I knew you IRL it wouldn’t bother me either.

Sorry, I’m not very helpful.

I’ve had this countless times.

The women of my family have that. When it’s the thoughts that make us feel bad or sad we call it K-SHIT radio. We try to do what Scarlett O’Hara does: We’ll think about it tomorrow. We can’t think about it now; we’ll go crazy if we do. Then we get busy and do something that will drive those thoughts out. I’ve been known to listen to “It’s a Small World After All” to change my negative thought pattern.

See, now that would bring on negative thought patterns in me.

:stuck_out_tongue: I only do that when I’m desperate!

**Monstro **have a look at this book. He talks about what he calls Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) and how to deal with them.

If the book doesn’t help you, try writing the author and asking him if he can recommend someone who can help. I think he will have dealt with similar issues to yours in his career.

I am not a health professional, but based on my reading I *do *think that there is help out there - but you may have to look hard for it.

Also have a look at this book. It is not going to help, but it is a wonderful collection of stories about people whose brains have recovered from various problems - it is a great book of hope.

Good luck.

Thanks for the recommendations, Khadaji.

It might sound silly, but perhaps try opening your mouth, as if to yawn – thoughts at the forefront of consciousness are usually accompanied by subvocalisations, i.e. inaudible movements of the vocal apparatus, as if to simulate speaking. If you prevent these subvocalisations, perhaps the loop gets broken, at least for a while.

My OCD has me repeating thoughts over and over. I’ll get a name or word or phrase or song lyric or thought in my head, and I hear it over and over and over. Not quite like someone addressing me, like the OP, but I’ll spend two days with the phrase word “bananahammock” interrupting every other thought.

I have a similar issue. About 50% of the time when I wake up in the morning I have a completely random song lyric or quote from a movie stuck on repeat in my head. As soon as I head out the door and start walking to the subway it goes away, but while I am brushing my teeth and picking out my clothes it repeats over and over again. This morning it was, “Just like the white winged dove, she sings a song just like she’s singing ooh, baby, ooh ooh” until I left the house. Often times the repeating thoughts are quotes from Mr Burns from the Simpsons.

That is pretty fantastic.

I’m a regular listener to K-SHIT radio too. Or was. Somewhere in the middle now. There are some elusive broadcasts that I’m not even aware I’m receiving until it’s too late.

I don’t have much energy left to contribute tonight, but the one thing I can say, monstro, is that thoughts make reality. The fact you are aware of your negative thoughts is good. The next step is stopping them and changing them. Assuming you want to. (You seem pretty unhappy with them, so I guess I am assuming you want to change them.)

I am a bit worried about the fixation on suicide. I hope you would share all of this with your mental health professional. Communication is of the essence.