echoing thoughts

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I’m not sure how long this has been going on but I think I might have started noticing it about a year ago. I’m not completely sure so it could be longer than that it’s just that recently I’ve been paying it more attention because it’s starting to get annoying. Sometimes when I hear or think something the sound or thought will just keep echoing in my head and makes it hard to think. It’s worse when I notice it because it’ll get louder and take longer to stop mainly because it doesn’t stop until I forget about it (kinda like hiccups… but with thoughts I guess). I was wondering if any of you guys have a problem like this and have some tips on how to stop.

asked August 28, 2014

18 Answers

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I've never had that, but maybe some concentration exercise like do a math problem whenever the echoes start. Something simple, like finding digits of pi, but manually. Outside of that, you might see someone. The body has funny ways of letting us know it needs something.
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I think you should talk to a doctor.
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What you are experiencing is called "subvocalization". It is literally the act of thinking. Your brain "narrates" the words of impulses, things you read, what you think, etc. This is a universal human phenomenon. Literally every human being does it.

If you are having trouble with obtrusively-redundant thoughts, you may have a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I have ADHD, and as time wears on, ADHD edges closer to the OCD spectrum, so they could be related.

I know how unwanted or echoing thoughts can be anxiety-inducing, so practice calming yourself down at a moment's notice. You will find that you have certain triggers that cause certain kinds of words to echo in your head; it could be words with three syllables, it could be words that rhyme, it could be anything, but it will take time to discern.

As an example, after I hear a rap song, or read any length of rhyming words, I have difficulty in turning off my expectation of hearing rhymes after I am finished reading. It just takes time and a great deal of patience with yourself.

Practice purposefully re-directing your thoughts to something that "drowns out" the echo in your head; catchy music is a good idea.

If you want to talk about this further, my inbox is always open.
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