September 21, 2018 at 12:46 pm #99849
I am 39 years old and since the age of 16 been talking out loud to myself, it seems like impulsive behaviour to me I do it all day long, I hate being interrupted by family when I do this. Several family members are aware of this and ridicule me as a result, as it isnt seen as normal behaviour.
I have researched this behaviour online, it is not listed in any medical/ psychiatry manual but I have come across many forums where it is linked with ADHD, bipolar and other disorders.
Most of the time I am talking out loud random fleeting thoughts which pop into my head. I pace around the house as I act them out, I laugh, talk, argue, fight and cry.
Other times I am ruminating, acting out old conversations I had or wished I’d had.
They are usually full blown conversations, one sided. I sometimes might pretend to be a therapist talking about me if that makes sense.
The closest I have come across is some research by Eli Somers, he is based in Israel, he calls this behaviour ‘maladaptive day dreaming’, although it hasn’t been officially recorded as a disorder as such (you can google him if you wish to learn more)
I have many other behaviours which make every day functioning difficult I will list those later, at the moment I’m just hoping somebody can relate to this behaviour which I hate so much but can’t stop.
My cousin does this but it doesn’t bother her, my dad does it too, as did my paternal grandmother (clearly it’s a genetic problem)
For some talking out loud is a coping mechanism, some people may enjoy, it causes me a great deal of grief. My mind never stops, the day dreaming goes on and on every waking second of the day, it’s hell.
I hope the above description is coherent, I’m not the best writer.
Please share your experiences below.
September 21, 2018 at 1:29 pm #99850
I forgot to mention if I suppress this behaviour, it continues inside my head, so I’m unable to focus on conversations, study, read, write,watch tv, drive. I’ve also noticed I have gotten worse over the years. Sugar, caffeine, sleep deprivation and stress make me worse too.
September 21, 2018 at 1:48 pm #99851
Other behaviours alongside the talking out loud and daydreaming include:
*Extremely distracted by noises around me shopping, cafe, restaurants are a nightmare.
*I get bored, fidget and stare all around me
*I zone out a lot it’s worse when someone is talking to me, I have to ask them to repeat themselves.
* I am forever misplacing my mobile phone and keys
I can never relax, even on holiday
*i sometimes talk too much and become overly familiar with strangers (I am a makeup artist and ask too many questions and give too much away about my private life)
*i just can’t seem to get things done, I have piles of paper on my desk which needs sifting through, paper work is a nightmare
*i am finding driving more difficult to do
*i am extremely impatient, hate queueing, hate being interrupted, get angry over little things
*reading a book, watching tv, even writing is difficult, I can’t get my thoughts in order
*i have always had trouble making friends, I struggle to connect emotionally with even my own family
* i have started courses / projects many times over the years and dropped out, sometimes I’ve gone back and dropped out again
*some days I feel I can do anything, the following day I come back crashing down
*my thoughts, emotions and feelings are muddled up
*i have terrible mood swings throughout the day, I feel anger, despair, rage, jealousy and usually there’s no external cause
*i have extremely poor self esteem and self image
*i can feel uncomfortable even around people I know, I feel lost in places I am familiar with
* when I am in a strange place, I feel disorientated, I can be ill at ease with strangers
*i am worse when I am going through Hormonal changes such as menstruation and pregnancy
*my paternal grandmother had dementia and she was a lot like me, my father is the same, he’s reclusive and lives inside his head
September 21, 2018 at 3:22 pm #99874
I could have written your letter! I’ve been talking out loud to myself for most of my life. I view it in a few ways: sometimes it’s a way for me to rehearse what I want to say to someone so I can express myself clearly when I have the actual conversation. Sometimes I vent what I want to say to someone but can’t because it would be hurtful to them, but at least I can get my angry/frustrated feelings out. (I have an hour’s drive to work and my steering wheel gets a regular earful!) I also think that in a way, it helps me process and rehearse feelings I could face so that I will be ready “just in case.” Sometimes I feel a little nuts, but if this is the worst of it, I’m probably OK! I recently learned I have adult ADD (I’m 53) a little late to the party, but there it is. I will be starting medication soon, and have wondered if that will stop me talking to myself so much. My family is nice about it, they tease me a little, but they think “that’s just Mom” I mainly talk to myself alone in my car so I don’t have to explain to anyone. If you find that this is truly causing you anxiety, I urge you to see a therapist or physician. They’ve heard it all, and you won’t shock them. If it’s simply a way to help vent your feelings, take a long drive like I do and talk your heart out! I hope it helps to know you aren’t the only person out there who has serious conversations with themselves! cheers 🙂
September 21, 2018 at 3:35 pm #99881
Thankyou so much for your response, made me tear up. For years I have wondered what this behaviour is I checked through every psychiatric disorder trying to give it a name. Now I am convinced it is a neurological problem, my brain is wired up differently. I am not as guarded about it at times, for example when I’m driving I have started doing it. I sometimes wonder if it is a coping mechanism, maybe I am saying things I wouldn’t say to people in person. Doesn’t explain the behaviour in other family members though and I still can’t help linking it with dementia (there is a history of Brian disease in my family)
I have only ever been treated for depression because that’s what I told the countless counsellors, psychologists, GPS, nurses and psychiatrists.
I am going to see my doctor , I have asked my teachers and friends to write down any behaviours they have noticed about me, also going to take my best friend along with me for moral support, sadly I have experienced condescending behaviour from a couple of health professionals in the past. I am going to avoid them and speak to a different doctor, I’m going to ask them to refer me to an ADHD specialist or neurologist.
Thanks for reaching out 😊
September 21, 2018 at 6:56 pm #99915
Thank you for this! I do this too. I have played over usually social interaction situations in my head my whole life whilst awake unless distracted. . And because I think in pictures it’s like a film, replaying my day, and imagining conversations. It’s very tiring and makes me feel anxious and low if I’ve had a difficult day and interactions.
I try to notice I’m doing it now as soon as poss, but yes it’s 100% hard to stop because it’s a habit. So at a level of intensity when it becomes really unhelpful rumination, then I have to go to the gym, dig at the allotment or practice meditation.
I have recently been diagnosed with autistic spectrum after an adult diagnosis of adhd. Repetitive, visual processing, and socian sensitivity can be a part of autistic spectrum too I believe.
Thank you for writing this post, at least I know now I’m not the only one with this.
September 21, 2018 at 7:02 pm #99916
I just registered my account because of reading this topic and it’s resonating with me.
I do this quite often as well and wonder why sometimes. It’s not bad for me when my wife or kids are home, but I’ve been working from home for a long time and tend to play things out loud when nobody is around. I pace and / or act out scenarios where I’m currently feeling stressed or anxious, I have conversations where I think I’m assuring myself of my position on a topic, sometimes I have dialog out loud to replay something I wish I could have said or done differently. And I frequently do this when I’m driving as well (I figure hands free phones, nobody sees me and thinks I’m crazy but if they knew I wasn’t on a call…). I do find myself wondering if this is a healthy coping mechanism, if it’s indulgence and / or rumination, if it’s anxiety / avoidance driven behavior (it does distract me from work a lot), or if it’s a symptomatic expression of why I’m on this site to begin with. And I’m anxious about getting tested because my GP has told me that ADHD medications can raise blood pressure and he wouldn’t prescribe any while I’m on TRT (which I take for low testosterone and it does help a lot though I’m getting my act together metabolically speaking).
September 22, 2018 at 2:44 am #99928
Pine wall- I’m beginning to think the doctor who told me it’s coping mechanism when I was a teen was right, I still think it is a genetic problem too in my family (maybe not for everybody affected). I don’t think it’s a psychiatric disorder anymore. I also think the problem is exacerbated by caffeine and sugar, tiredness and stress.
Hifiguy- That’s why I chose the title for my post, it’s what I tapped in to google many times trying to find answers, I’m glad you can across it.
You mentioned mindfulness, for me prayer helps me to focus my mind and also keeping busy.
I can suppress this habit but it never goes away, somedays it’s complete hell.
September 21, 2018 at 8:54 pm #99921
1. Cause is default mode network I think and wondering about medication status.
2. We must be mindful of our own persona we demonstrate in these spontaneous day dreams as we might not be able to stop them, but we can be mindful of their contents and steer them such that we can practice being the person we wish to be in life. We are just as responsible for our behavior in them, as we are outside in the world. Be aware that we don’t have feed back in our heads from
Others the same so that mindfulness of this fact is important.
I do wonder if you are medicated for adhd.
I would think it might help somewhat with this if I understand where it comes from
I think it’s our default mode network being active along with our task positive network. (Adhd add people have issue where they both activate at same time
When they are supposed to be inverse)
I believe stimulants can help with it if not already on it. As I know my dad does it and he always did it inside his head but also ended up still having small movement jazz hands so you could tell as he drove he was doing it.
If I’m rt about the cause again, meditation I belief can help as I’ve read that mindfulness helps the adhd brain partly because it kinda forces that brain activity I referenced earlier to kinda reach a better eqalibrium.
Also, I will caution you on one thing I learned about this behavior. I don’t do it a Ton, but I def do it.
1. Often they are reflections of how I want to feel inside or feel in situations. This is done mind you independent of any real world feed back. Words matter, if we describe our selves as the intense ass whole you need but can’t always stand, we will identify and be that person. It’s not healthy to think like that, it is healthy to take pride in who we are but know we are more dynamic than any ridgid belief we currently hold of who we are and it is this fact that once reconized allows us to grow as people.
In trying to watch how I related to people after going from #1 in my office for 2 years running to finding my self out of a job after we changed executives. (Has a guy similiar to me in charge then got a much calmer collected guy).
I realized I needed to change how I thought about my self not take pride Kim that but rather take pride in my commitment to improvment and truly reconstructing my self to be better in those situations.
During that period after job loss I had a lot of those moments pop up where I vented or had various discussions Go on.
I’m these Mak adaptive day dream, processing, just our brain thinking what ever we call it, I noticed the attitude and persona I had for my self wasn’t the one I wanted to take pride in any more, in realizing I could be different, I realized I needed to take responsibility too for how I acted in these day dreams as well. For if you think about it, the attitude we have in them
Is the same we will build and express in the real world.
September 22, 2018 at 3:02 am #99931
You mentioned terms I have never come across before: default mode network and positive network, will research a little into this.
Currently I’m not taking meds I don’t have a diagnosis for ADHD.
I have only ever been diagnosed with chronic depression and paranoid personality disorder. I have been medicated for depression because to begin worth that’s all I told them. Those drugs are hell they don’t work for me, side effects and withdrawal is shocking.
I have only gone down the mental health route, I never opted for psycho therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy. Because of my brain my world is black and white, I either gel with somebody or I don’t, I think people like us are more intuitive, we read people differently/ better than non ADHD people. I found one psychologist quite patronising and never went back for a second meeting. I spoke to a counsellor and a GP who looked at me like I was a freak. One Gp said “you need to get out there and live your life” , the stigma is real, they can make you feel quite stupid.
I need to speak to my doctor and tell them I think the problem may be a genetic neurological problem.
I have asked for a brain scan in the past, the doc said it won’t show anything plus I would be exposed to a high level of radiation.
Mindfulness is something I find works once I focus my mind, I still think there is a malfunction in my brain and I need meds thoguh.
If I’m honest when I am alone I am the person I want to be in real life. When I am around real people I can be completely unsociable, I even have an avoidant streak in my personality. I would rather be alone in my day dream than I’m the real world. I don’t feel joy, I only feel negative emotions, i think the problem is in the frontal lobe which is why I have problems with emotions, cognition etc
- This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Inak.
September 22, 2018 at 4:35 am #99933
Hi again thanks everyone for the interesting replies.
Just to add. I practice meditation and other forms of mindfulness like listening to the birds, every day at least once before and after work. I have a really solid practice. I am a mindfulness teacher. However despite this (and adhd medication small dose) this processing ‘difference’ continues for me.
What im learning from this is:
1) this must be a different way of processing in my Neuro diverse adhd and Autism brain. Meds has taken the edge off but not wholly. And my processing is in vivid pictures too.
2) self criticism: i used to tell myself I’m a bad mindfulness teacher or practitioner or useless person because I have this processing style.
3) then I got diagnosed in midlife with Adhd and autism and started reading about these problems. It all started to make sense in relation to having different brain connectivity and way of processing than neurotypicals.
4) Rumination to depression?
I now realise that when thoughts were negative and difficult things in my life the repetitive thoughts were usually negative too and might make me depressed if i didnt change my attention focus.
So now if i notice repetitive negative processing is going on in my mind I try to notice earlier on. Put fast music on headphones to stimulate my body and mind and distract me. Unfreeze my body by going out to a garden and into nature walking. Increase my meditation. Give myself 10 minutes after work to really think hard about the day, then make myself go outside or to the gym. Perhaps talk to someone I trust about the particular problem that’s going round. Write each day in a positive events diary one good thing I achieved. Meditation has been key through this.
I hope this helps. Now I’m more accepting of this hamster wheel mind of mine as a different way of processing, I don’t give myself such a hard time about it.
September 22, 2018 at 4:51 am #99934
Pine wheel – I am worried about meds, as much as I want to gain control of my life I feel meds will cause a whole load of side effects and not get rid of all the symptoms.
I agree the ADHD brain (if that’s what I have) does process information differently. 😢
September 22, 2018 at 5:12 am #99935
Hi Inak, I felt the same as you.
Diagnosis for me was a great thing, helped me be less critical of myself and be kinder, and say “well done you’ve struggled more than most people in life so far. Well done for getting this far and still achieving stuff”.
Diagnosis doesn’t need to lead to medication. I took a 6 months to decide, the doctor didn’t force me until it was my decision. CBT and mindfulness and reading Additude and Books about adhd was how I coped first. I didn’t want meds.
Then something changed. I kept reading about meds being like glasses lenses that don’t take away the sight problem, they just help you to read with less stress. So i tried 3 types of meds over the next year on a very tiny child’s dose because I’m highly sensitive to medication (like you i get side effects v badly) 2 types caused v high blood pressure and I had to stop. I felt awful. But now I’m on a child’s dose of Elvanse and have had no problems so far! I am too sensitive to tolerate an adults dose so i have to use lots of other coping alongside to manage daily life and adhd symptoms. I’m glad I chose meds in the end, they have taken the edge off the racing mind and restlessness.
If you do ever try meds make sure they regularly monitor heart and blood pressure in the early stages and start on a very small dose. I was 3rd time lucky. And I don’t think the other 2 meds caused me long term damage because I stopped as quickly as poss.
Take care and get diagnosed one day at least it will make you feel better about yourself over time…
September 22, 2018 at 6:45 am #99938
Pine wall – will bare that in mind when I see the doc, my brain is seriously broken.
Meds may not be great for me as I have chronic kidney disease 😢 but will have to see.
I haven’t lIVED, laughed or loved. I have lost so many years to this disorder.
So much I want to do but can’t seem to do it as you will know, mood swings, indecisiveness and procrastination along with everything else makes it incredibly difficult.
My interaction with people feels superficial too, it’s never meaningful emotional attachment
I could go on and on … will post a separate thread about symptoms later today
Thankyou everybody for your input🙏
September 23, 2018 at 11:39 am #99961
Like one of the posters above, I just registered my account to respond to this. I’m 27 years old and I was officially diagnosed with adult ADHD (primarily inattentive type) three days ago, although I’ve been “lurking” on the website and seeing a psychiatrist since spring.
I also talk to myself; it used to only happen in the car when I was alone. Within the last couple years things started slipping out around the house (for example, I’ve blurted out my reactions to the contents of my fridge when nobody else was in the room and my parents have asked who I’m talking to). I didn’t realize how much I was doing this, though, until two things happened: first, I got a new neighbor in my cubicle at work who seemed a little perturbed by outbursts that occurred when my computer didn’t load fast enough for my liking or when I was annoyed by an e-mail or phone conversation. Second, on a recent trip to Target when another shopper walked into the aisle I was in alone while I was saying “[expletive] that, I’m not paying that price.” Very embarrassing – and yet, that didn’t stop it.
I now have a new job in a more professional environment, and I’m in closer proximity to more people (including my manager, who sits right next to me). While my experiences and repercussions so far haven’t been as severe as yours, it’s still causing some anxiety. I’m trying to keep it under control, but if whatever I’m thinking stays in my mind, it’s just as loud and I still make hand gestures and facial expressions that match the conversation/scenario/comments going through my brain. It’s not quite as noticeable as pacing and acting it out, but people still see me behaving as if I’m having a conversation even when I don’t say what I’m thinking out loud. I get some weird looks.
I thought maybe this is because I spend a fair bit of time alone and I enjoy my own jokes and company, but if that’s all it is then I should be able to control it and I can’t. I’ve just started on Foaclin (starting at 10mg/day due to side effect concerns, but tweaks to come if all seems well) and I’m interested to see if this helps. In a sense it’s a relief to hear that others experience this, although I’m sorry it’s been a stressful experience and a source of ridicule for you. Most of my life I’ve felt like an alien who gets on well with people but just can’t quite get the hang of normal human behavior. This site, and especially the boards, have helped me find some peace; yes, I’m different, but there is a reason for it and I’m not the only one out there like me. I hope things get easier for you. 🙂
September 23, 2018 at 2:00 pm #99962
Thanks so much for your response It’s such a relief to share this with people who are going through the same.
My main concern is approaching my GP I hope he will take me seriously, if I am referred the drugs worry me but will have to see how it goes.
I just wondered if you have had any brain imaging, also did you see a neurologist or an ADHD specialist? I am in the Uk, this is something I haven’t looked into yet. Not sure how a diagnosis is actually made.
You mentioned spending a lot of time alone , I also do this because of the way I am I feel, I don’t fit Fit in and people don’t like me plus I can react angrily towards people if I feel they are not being respectful. If I’m agitated I can’t stand to be around people to be quite honest
Below re the negative comments which have been thrown at me:
You are not a people person
You complain too much
You don’t make friends easily do you
You are argumentative and negative
You’ve got a split personality
You’ve got 2 brains
You are never happy
You are not close to anyone
You can’t stand the sight of anyone
Someone said behind my back “she’s a jealous freak”
And “she’s not right in the head”
This is why I would not be able to tell anyone about it.
I’ve hadn’t lots of nice comments too from people I connect with they tell me, I am;
Talented , creative
Good cook and baker
Considerate, thoughtful, too generous
An all rounder
I wish I could be normal like everybody else, I might just have to accept the way I am and start pinpointing triggers and start looking at ways to manage them 😬
- This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Inak.
September 23, 2018 at 5:51 pm #99972
I’m in the U.S. and based on Pinewalla’s comment it seems like the process is a little different in the U.K.. The way it works here is you schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist, explain to them what you’re going through, and they start to get to know you and try and help based on what they observe and what you tell them. If you want to go the medication route, the doctor prescribes you something and then you get the great U.S. privilege of fighting with your insurance company over whether or not they’ll cover your medication, and you end up shelling out $200 of your own money each month. Yay. (Not all plans work like this, but decent health insurance is rare and often outrageously expensive.) I haven’t had a brain scan, but those are not used to diagnose ADHD, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that (unless there are still other reasons you wanted to do a brain scan).
I’m sorry your experience with mental health care professionals has been poor so far, but there are good, caring doctors out there who genuinely feel for their patients and want to help make their lives easier. I hope your past experiences won’t prevent you from pursuing the assistance you deserve. I have had bad side effects and allergies from past medications and was nervous about taking medication. When I told my doctor this, she didn’t push medication, but offered; she started me on a low dose so we can monitor any negative effects and cut it off quickly if needed. The down side to doing it this way is that I’m not noticing a significant difference between being medicated and unmedicated, but I’m going to stick it out and she’ll continue to increase my dose as she determines it’s safe, effective, and necessary.
You also said: “I might just have to accept the way I am and start pinpointing triggers and start looking at ways to manage them.” I think this is a good idea, whether or not you get an ADHD diagnosis or choose to take medication. Even if you woke up “normal” tomorrow, it sounds like you’ve been dealing with hurtful comments for a long time and that this has had an impact on how you relate to others and view yourself. Therapy might be able to help you sort through some of that. We can’t control what others think, but you deserve to be comfortable – and hopefully even happy – with yourself. Best wishes!
September 23, 2018 at 4:13 pm #99965
I’m in the UK too. Just a couple of hopefully helpful tips for you:
1) Early on in the diagnosis journey its usual to feel grief for not being ‘normal’ and like everyone else. However i reached a point a year in when i dont want to be like everyone else and I’m proud of my differences that others don’t have e.g. ability to hyperfocus; creativity; innovation; high level of intuition and empathy etc. I hope you can reach this point too. There was a tv programme in the UK about Rory Bremner and his journey to diagnosis and it said in that in evolutionary terms adhd brained people were the lookout, the hunters, the adventurers in early societies… the vital cogs in the wheel therefore!!!!
2) to get diagnosed visit your gp and ask for a referral for diagnosis. A book with a great adhd questionnaire in in is called Delivered from Distraction. I scored on 90% of those questions, that pushed me to ask for a diagnosis too.
The gp will refer you to a specialist mental health team and you’ll be put on a waiting list. In my area the waiting list is a year. So get on it now! The assessment is about 2 hours plus they like to speak to a family member if possible for the historical information. You will hopefully then get a diagnosis a and discuss treatment options. In some areas of the country there are CBT for ADHD groups instead of meds. Mindfulness groups for ADHD are also being considered. Unfortunately meds are the main thing offered across the UK with not so many other options. Hoping this will change soon!! There are ADHD coaches available but You would have to pay for these. People diagnosed with autism seem to have more options available e.g. educational and coping skills group work than for ADHD in the UK.
I hope that helps! Good luck with it… or should i say “GO FOR IT”!!!
September 23, 2018 at 4:32 pm #99966
Oh gosh you mentioned ‘mental health ‘ I can’t cope with counsellors and psychologists (I find them to be a tad patronising, it’s almost as if they aren’t convinced you have a problem) . I thought ADHD was a neurological problem 🤯 will try to find the Rory Bremner film and the book you mentioned. Intuition and empathy !!! Yes I read people really well and have a very strong aversion to people who I perceive as not good people. I can read micro expressions really well, and I find myself being too nice to people, complimenting them too much and feeling sorry for people even when they might have done something wrong.
I also don’t know who to trust, in the past I have attended appointments alone as anybody I talk to is likely to run their mouths (that’s the trouble with so many women). I do need somebody there for moral support this time though.
Thanks and I will book an appointment this week.
- This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Inak.
September 23, 2018 at 4:44 pm #99968
Hi Inak, you are likely to be assessed and diagnosed by a psychiatrist with specialist training in neuro-behavioural psychiatry. The two I have seen were both very lovely. I was treated not like something off another planet but as a person with different brain wiring who has struggled and deserves to give myself break at last! They were lovely understanding people. I felt I was treated as ‘normal’ for having adhd. It was a lovely experience, but I was petrified beforehand just like you!
Go For It!!!
September 23, 2018 at 5:31 pm #99971
Pinewall psychiatrists I get on with😭 I quite like them, I am going to book an appointment tomorrow . Thanks 😊
September 24, 2018 at 12:29 am #99976
I am not able to create posts?
September 24, 2018 at 12:33 am #99977
September 24, 2018 at 1:58 am #99979
You chose the right guy to come and see your post! My dad and I talk to ourselves all the time and my mom and brother used to think we were crazy. The “head talk” is often just the non-verbal way of kind of hiding the self-talk to avoid embarrassment. It is more common than you might think.
For example, do you talk to yourself when you’re pooping/peeing/brushing your teeth/taking a shower/walking alone by yourself/when playing video games, etc.? Those are times I often self-talk. It might even be as subtle as a whisper, or even no noise at all. How about when you exercise (if you do) and any other times you may be alone?
You’re NOT CRAZY and it is just the impulsive side of your brain trying to keep you amused when you have less stimulation to keep your brain up to speed.
It is very similar to why people are hyperactive when they feel more tired or less mentally “aroused” because the electrical speed of the brain waves slow down and the natural tendency is to want to bring those “back to normal,” or whatever normal is for us ADHD folks.
ADHD brains tend to run slower in neuronal conduction speed, so it is beneficial to keep your brain stimulated even during times of great boredom or while doing activities that are not interesting/exciting. Talking to people is even a way to get some stimulation going because you get a response from others, (or maybe not), but still hearing yourself talk is like talking to someone which is stimulating and thus part of ADHD 🙂
September 24, 2018 at 10:30 am #99927
Here is a link for a video which shows what I do, was so glad when I came across it
I also came across a movie called ‘the secret life of Walter Mitty’ on YouTube , will be watching that, it shows the character over coming maladaptive daydreaming.
September 24, 2018 at 10:30 am #99930
I do this and my 3year old asks who I’m talking too 🤦🏽♀️
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