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The Bipolar Brain – A Radio Station You Can’t Turn Off

November 23, 2012 Natasha Tracy

Earworms are songs you can't get out of your head and they seem to affect my bipolar brain in a big way. More at Breaking Bipolar blog.

Ah, the human brain. It’s a wondrous thing. It calculates, it categorizes, it makes connections and it remembers the square root of 144. I’m constantly awed by its power.

But one of the annoying things that can happen to a brain is that somehow, a song gets stuck in it. Somehow, even though its great power and ability, the catchy hook of the latest pop song gets stuck inside some errant neurons and plays over and over.

And this causes a lot more trouble in my bipolar brain than it does for others.

I Have Justin Bieber Stuck in My Head; I’m Thinking of Cutting it Off

I find myself with songs stuck in my head all the time. Like, every day, all the time. And they aren’t songs that I like or even songs I have heard that day they are just random songs that somehow fight their way into my consciousness long enough to create a groove there. And once they’re there? Good luck getting them out.

My Bipolar Brain and Earworms

According to Wikipedia, this phenomenon is known as an “earworm,” “musical imagery repetition” or “involuntary music imagery.” In Germany, they have a special word for it – Ohrwurn – “a type of song that typically has a high, upbeat melody and repetitive lyrics that verge between catchy and annoying.”

Earworms are completely natural, of course, and apparently, 98% of people experience them. Women seem to experience earworms for longer and are more irritated by them. Songs with lyrics account for about three-quarters of earworms.

My Earworm Moved In

Unlike the experience that most people have, I have earworms much of the time. Sometimes it’s one song that repeats for days and sometimes it’s many songs in a day, but predominantly they are there.

I have found no research suggesting people with bipolar disorder have more incidence of earworms than others but there is research that says people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) do and as I’ve remarked previously, OCD and bipolar disorder may be linked. And earworms on hypomania? That is your brain on extra-crispy-crazy.

Admittedly, it is a very obsessive thing my brain does. It feels like an obsession with the invisible. I can never see it so it never goes away. And I find this highly troubling.

Like, highly troubling. Like I could see someone wanting to ice pick his or herself just to make the blooming song in his or her head shut the heck up. It’s that much of an anxious obsession. It’s crazy-driving obsession. Sometimes I feel like I’m begging my brain to think of anything else but it laughs and carries on with the 30-second loop.

Holy macaroni is it ever frustrating.

So, my question to you is this: How often do you experience earworm? Is it troubling to you?

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2012, November 23). The Bipolar Brain – A Radio Station You Can’t Turn Off, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2012/11/bipolar-brain-radio-cant-turn-off



Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleTwitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Liz
says:
March, 3 2019 at 7:49 pm
Hi Everyone
This is quite common and not so rare after all. I understand that the constant earworms can be a warning/distraction from the brain when going deeper into a depression and anxiety, letting you know that cortisol is too high, and serotonin too low. Then there are those like myself who have OCD (pure ''o'' OCD in my case).
I have to admit that yes, the music can be annoying but I am saddened that some people on here are so frustrated and tired of them that they are suicidal. I really hope that you find the help that you need and try to live best with the music.
Initially when i had this syndrome I was very scared and went very deeply into anxiety and depression! A month after taking an SSRI (Paxil) it had all stopped and i felt amazing. However, 4 years after my initial diagnosis and the music, it came back when I was experiencing high levels of stress in life. After being off the Paxil for 3 1/2 years, i went back on them - and they have always worked for me.
Besides meds though i think there are some solutions our there that will help. Mindfulness and meditation can work. What you resist persists and what you look straight at will disappear. You can focus straight on it when you meditate. ERP is exposure, response prevention:- take a bath or meditate, notice the music and if anxiety comes up let it be (if this does happen) getting stronger, and stronger - however do not allow the compulsions to enter, such as pushing the music out, repeating numbers or words over it, jumping out of the bath/mediation position to find a quick distraction - JUST BE WITH IT. Also, according to Seth (PhD in Psychology) he suggested the following to me: 'With that kind of “earworm,” we usually recommend doing the opposite of our first inclination. So instead of trying to make it go away, the person would try to make it stay! Sing it “full volume” in one’s head, try to keep it in mind, etc. Our minds tend to be rebellious, and generally what happens when we try to keep something in mind is that our minds wander to other things. All the best with this!''
Also, there are other natural treatments such as vitamin C to reduce cortisol, magnesium chelate to relax the mind, chamomile, lavendar to increase some serotonin. Inositol (vitamin B8) is amazing, please read the following article
https://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/articles-1/2017/7/10/integrative-therapies-for-obsessive-compulsive-disorder

Also, please read these articles as there are CBT and ERP for stuck music syndrome: -https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5461857/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4723199/

Importantly, see your GP/Mental Health Professional to talk about this. Talk therapy alone increases serotonin and makes you feel better.

I hope some of this helps
David
says:
January, 12 2019 at 4:39 am
I am a manager in a place where I see thousands of people a day and communicate with them. I am bipolar and have been my entire life. However, I'm nearing 40 and I feel like I can almost control that entirely through force of will now. I can hold myself into a partial mania while retaining my ability to function in a somewhat organized way. I feel like I've almost gained the ability deal with every moment like it is completely new and like life has just started which makes me very good and moving with the flow of my job. No matter what pops up, I can take it in stride and move past it immediately most times. Almost like I've planned in it advance but the truth is that I just understand every situation every moment. Everything is utter chaos in my mind but because I've learned to harness it, I do really well with this.

Not to say I'm perfect, just highly functional. People regularly ask me how I can do things I do or who taught me to do things. I try to explain to them occasionally that I didn't know anything about whatever it was but that I can look at things/situations and see how it functions. I can speed read and I find that I have so much information stored in my head that literally everything I look at works in an obvious way and for an obvious reason. Honestly, the entire world seems like a dream but I know it is real at the same time.

Anyway, about the audio hallucinations. Mine isn't just music. I have conversations, lectures, and the like going on in my head too. It is mostly music, but it could be anything. A conversation I had when I was a little kid, something I saw in a movie, How It's Made episodes, or a song. Sometimes I am pretty sure it isn't something I've ever heard or said but an imaginary conversation/song or a dream that I've thought through at some point in my life.

These all seem real, they sound real in my head. I know they aren't currently real but they seem like they would have been. It is almost like I am having a dream while I am going through the day. They have a quality that makes them obviously not real.

I always have something in my head. Things can be displaced or changed pretty easily but I don't have complete control over that. I often hear the same song for a week or more depending. Whenever I am talking to people they will say a word or phrase and immediately, ask a question, or something to that effect and the song will start in my head.

Some of the people I work with know this is happening.

I whistle, sing, or twitch to a song almost constantly. The twitches/muscle/sniffs/clenches/spasms are the least noticeable and I'm not sure if the they are playing the song or a song plays to match the twitches.

My wife doesn't really care for music and doesn't want to hear the same song daily. The little girl we adopted is mildly autistic(undiagnosed) and has a similar musical ability/issue inside. We listen to music together a lot when my wife isn't there.

I usually don't have a problem with any of this. When I am giving in to my sullen and dark side or raged out, the music isn't exactly helpful though. The conversations and stores turn bitter and angry. I've gotten good at pushing them aside now for the most part. I find a lot of caffeine, hobbies, and reading help refocus my mind. I spend most of my life in a somewhat manageable mania now.

I woke up to a song I've had in my head for a few days. "Pinned Down" by Rebel Son. Terrible song but it is what is there. I found this site looking to read about my audio hallucinations.
John
says:
January, 6 2019 at 8:14 am
I've suffered this symptom since I moved to a new country and lost my job, my life savings, family, friends and culture. It has been 4 years of full stress and always songs playing in my brain. I have no idea yet about my diagnostic, but with no permanent job and a family to feed and support, there is no time, desire and money to find out about it. I just pray to keep conscious enough to look normal to my children and wife.
Thanks for the article, it's interesting.
Jeannie Key
says:
December, 2 2018 at 7:05 pm
Bi polor mania all my life. Just in the last year developed a ear worm. It's driving me insane.
andrew
says:
October, 20 2018 at 5:24 pm
24/7 365 i have a bar or 2 of a song repeating in my head. and i have layers of thoughts on top of that, its like if you were playing a excerpt of a song on repeat,a talkshow, and somebody talkindown to you, plus your inner voice. i want to kill myself just for a moment of silence.
Alan Leak
says:
September, 22 2018 at 4:44 am
I have suffered with INMI (Intrusive Musical Imagery) for 50 years and have finally accepted that I can never be rid of this devastating condition. The best I can hope for is to be able to manage this on a daily basis so that at least my life is reasonably bearable.

One of the most frustrating things for me has been the difficulty of trying to explain my symptoms to other people (usually so called professionals), and it is almost impossible to articulate to others just how utterly relentless and debilitating this condition can be. One of the main reasons for this is that we are all unique human beings and, of course, experience things in completely different ways. I am thoroughly tired of 'professionals' telling me that they understand what I'm going through when that is patently impossible.

Anyway the main reason for this comment is to include a copy of an article that was written about 3 years ago in a national newspaper. It was submitted by a gentleman who suffers with INMI and it is one of the best pieces I have read on the subject. It is uncanny (to me anyway) how similar his symptoms mirror my own...........

"Have you ever found yourself with a piece of music stuck in your head for what feels like hours, or maybe even days? Perhaps a chorus, a catchy line, maybe a whole verse? If so, you probably didn’t find it too bothersome. These “earworms” are a natural byproduct of listening to music.

I experience a significantly amplified version of this strange beast. They can only be described as severe earworms bordering on musical hallucinations. I have a song looping in my head from the moment I wake until the moment I drift off to sleep – with absolutely no let-up in between. The earworm usually takes the form of one or two bars from a familiar song repeating incessantly, until another one finally pops into my head to replace it. It’s a neverending cycle. The source is often the last thing I heard on TV or simply the last piece of music I happened to think of. It’s easily triggered: something as innocuous as overhearing the word “groove” can set off the chorus to Earth, Wind & Fire’s Let’s Groove. It can often take me a minute or two just to realise its origin.

Yesterday, I had Slayer’s Piece By Piece looping in my head. Right now, it’s the Carly Rae Jepsen song I Really Like You. Unfortunately, there’s no clear medical explanation for my chronic condition – beyond murmurings of OCD and “auditory imagery loops”. I’ve realised that “earworm” is too meagre a term to describe this hellish affliction. Ear kraken or cochlea wolf would be more apt.

I believe the condition grew from an anxiety disorder that cropped up last summer. I’d had minor health anxieties as a teenager, but the fear this new bout caused me was so all-consuming that I spent the rest of 2014 feeling on the edge of psychosis. Jumping to such wild conclusions seems ignorant in hindsight, but rationality and anxiety do not go hand in hand.

My concerns have since died down considerably. Now, on the rare days when I feel like a well-adjusted and useful member of society, the compulsion to focus on the looping dissipates, and I’m able to go about my business uninterrupted. But when I’m at my worst, the music can still swell to an uncomfortable volume and send me into the most unpleasant spiral of obsession imaginable. There was a point towards the end of last year when I had The Who’s My Generation stuck in my head. Roger Daltrey’s “My generation!” refrain got louder and louder until it reached an impossible point of distortion that absolutely terrified me.

During conversations I will often zone out, the music looping in my head taking all my concentration. I’m basically a write-off when it comes to anything like instructions or directions. This has put a considerable dent in the love I once had for my hobbies. I used to adore cinema as much as I do music, but my ability to fully immerse myself within it has been seriously hindered. The next time you watch a film like the austere samurai revenger’s tragedy Hara-Kiri, try to imagine the chorus to Blue’s All Rise repeating on a low volume throughout – then you will understand my problem. It completely punctures any tension or atmosphere, and makes absorbing dialogue an absolute nightmare. Matthew McConaughey’s musings on the intricacies of space travel were practically white noise by the time I’d made it to the end of Interstellar. My mind feels perpetually clogged, as if at a permanent standstill. Cohesive, fully realised thoughts rarely manage to stumble their way through the fog.

There are a few minor advantages to all of this, especially when it comes to composing (I’m able to pluck melodies out of nowhere). But there’s still something painful about suffering from a symptom that seems so abstract and minor from the outside. I started a course of anxiety inhibitors, SSRIs, towards the end of last year in an attempt to curb the problem and, although they’ve managed to quell the surrounding anxiety, the song remains the same and shows no sign of stopping. It’s a horrid nuisance but I’ve gradually taught myself to accept the condition as permanent. Now all I have to do is learn how to live with it."
Laura Ray
says:
September, 18 2018 at 12:58 pm
I hear them 24 hours a day. I'll wake up in the middle of the night and there they are. All day at work, too. I'll be in the middle of a conversation and I start singing the song in my head. It just doesn't stop. So very annoying. I literally want to tear my head off to get it to stop.
Ruby
says:
April, 28 2019 at 9:42 pm
Laura .I have the same problem. The songs are with me all the time. I have found out if I listen to music without words I don't have the song in my head until I hear music with words. I have had the lemon tree song from the 50 and 60 in my head for two weeks since my husband was listening to it. It is very annoying. My son has the same thing. My husband understand I turn the music with words on and get relief for a little. Don't ever watch mama Mia the songs will stay with you. I loved the movie but won't watch it again. Sorry this is so long but I'm glad I'm not person having this problem. O just wish some of those professional people would listen to us better. Thank you. Ruby
Hunter
says:
September, 17 2018 at 1:06 am
Hi All,

I started to have this happen for the past five months or so, it's very manageable/absent now. Just realize your emotional response to any thought gives it meaning and that meaning makes it stick around. Your brain feels like it needs to keep bringing something back to help you solve it. Your cortex brings back the thought, but the limbic system brings back the negative emotion and overpowers any ability to rationalize. You feel what you focus on, if you take away the negative feelings associated with music stuck in your head it will dissipate over time. Worrying creates problems, not solves them.
Samuel
says:
September, 14 2018 at 1:23 am
I hear music 24/7. Sometimes it's a chorus, or a verse, and sometimes it's a full song. Sometimes the songs repeat for hours, sometimes they change by the minute. But it's usually songs I like or would listen to. It feels like background music in my head, because it doesn't affect my focus, but at any point in time I can give you the song, artist, and lyric playing in my head. It's really weird and idk if it's because I love music so much, or if it's my bipolar.
Rachel
says:
September, 11 2018 at 12:07 am
Hello,

Almost everyone on the face of the earth has these. The more you hyper focus on them, the worse they will be. I highly suggest that others who struggle with anxiety, depression, bi polar, or other mental illnesses try to give themselves compassion by speaking positivity into themselves. Remember your value. Have grace for yourself. Take deep breaths and practice healthy self care. Most importantly, remember you are not alone. The mind is powerful. Let it be what it is.... uniquely yours.
DJ
says:
August, 20 2018 at 2:14 am
First of all im an aspiring DJ, when i started to develop my psychosis the same things happened, a lot of what i went through started as MES or Earworms and i started to get suicidal over it, somedays id use it as a good work tool to get things done, but it got worse to the point i couldnt beat my mind unless i concentrated on it all day and the next day it would start up again. If u get to the point u literally cant deal with it and u feel like a constant turmoil setting in run to a doctor. Make sure hallucinations dont start to occur and that u dont get so angry or suspicious of things from thoughts that are repetitive and untrue because u cant think clear. If you cant sleep u could go into fight or flight mode like i did and it could consume u and u wont be able to eat properly. It will use up all your energy and your brain will always feel hot if ur on the verge of pshycosis plus depression and anxiety or nausea could also be present at the same time if u have psychosis. I take Olanzapine witch helps a little but ive developed an eating disorder from all the weight i gained and im trying to lose weight now so i take days off of medication sometimes and eat less. After a few days off meds the first symptoms to come back are earworms that start to get worse like ringing in ears. Ive also done dmt in my life and i think it helped me since everything got so loud like a buzzing sounds to the point where i couldnt handle it then it shut off all sounds in my head and when silent this was way before i developed psychosis so i believe it may be a way of identifying someone with psychosis or schizophrenic tendancies before they develop. I believe people like me with near schizophrenic brains might be able to benefit with a treatment of ayahuasca everyonce in a while and theres already a few studies on it.
August, 20 2018 at 9:18 am
Hi DJ,

Thanks for sharing your experience.

For anyone who may read the above, please carefully consider the possible negative outcomes of using illegal drugs. They can bring about psychosis that can be very difficult to treat. Also, as they are not regulated (obviously) you never know what's really in a drug.

Just a reminder.

- Natasha Tracy
Cn
says:
July, 26 2018 at 1:19 am
Interesting that I found this site. For some reason, earworms sounds like you are hearing this from your ears. I'm thinking auditory hallucinations sounds better. It's embedded in my brain, not my ears. Looping music the entire day....stupid songs at that. It never goes away. Never. I'm on seroquel for it, but my tolerance for drugs is very low, so I can only handle a half dose. It quiets it down to a lower volume, but it's still there all during my waking hours. Looping, looping, looping on the same line...I'm bipolar 2 with PTSD. And unfortunately had a public anxiety attack the other day...embarrassing. Can't stand opera, little angry fairies dancing in my head. Can't tolerate chewing gum either - another irritating trigger. I'll be seeing a different therapist soon...meds are Fluoxetine, Seroquel & Kolonopin. I won't mention the looping song - or rather line I have in my head right now.....no one else needs to be stuck with it too! Thanks for this forum!
mike
says:
July, 19 2018 at 12:52 pm
Thank you.
Stumbled upon this topic quite accidentally in a moment of BiPolar desperation and tears. But have no fear; I have always preferred to cycle ultra-rapidly; sure the highs and lows are more condensed, but most of the time it keeps me in a relatively safe state between detesting my very existence and wondering why I haven't been put in charge of, well, everything.
For me, it never stops. ever. "Stop grinding your teeth Mike." says the voice in my head whilst I am busy thinking about the current task at hand happens to often to count. In addition to my odd ball internal sound track, my brain likes to grind my teeth in time to the music. Obviously this tends to be counter-productive to my teeth, but I am also blessed with Arthritis mutilans; so every joint, every muscle, every tendon, every physical connection is crushed under the swelling pressure and eventually damaged beyond repair or replacement. It is constant pain all the time. My mind tortures my body and I don't really get a say in it. But hey, I still got my health.
<Successfully> avoiding treatment since '87, if it wasn't for laughing, I'd be crying.
Linda
says:
July, 19 2018 at 2:49 am
I just finally googled this because it is driving me mad. I have been diagnosed with bipolar,the one you don the even get the euphoria from! I constantly have songs in my head,it's an endless loop,from whatever I hear outside,like in a store,or jingles on the tv will stick for days,even my breathing will start to make a rhythm like I'm constantly whistling. This isn't like occasionally when you get a song stuck for awhile,it's 24 /7 I wake up with it,and while driving I'll just yell STOP
and try to clear my mind and it lasts for like 30 seconds with effort. i thought maybe it's my meds since it has worsened. What is the treatment for this because I'm to the point I can't take it. You know they torture people by playing constant music or tapes. I'm at my wits end.
July, 23 2018 at 10:15 am
Hi Linda,

I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing this. I know how frustrating this is.

There is no set treatment. All I can tell you to do is to work with your doctor as some medications may help with this while others may hurt.

- Natasha Tracy
Nicole
says:
June, 28 2018 at 1:21 am
I wake up every single day with multiple songs playing in my head. It's switches back and forth sorting between them all. It's some songs I like and some I've grown to become quite annoyed by. It continues throughout the day up until I go to sleep. It's like I don't even have to listen to the actual songs they sound so clear. Sometimes if I play the song it does go away but other times it makes it worse! These worms have also caused to me dislike certain songs so much I forever way to hear them played again. I really wish I knew why this happened. Like if I could just get my brain to shut the music off that would be great.
Being harassed
says:
June, 26 2018 at 3:22 pm
Electronic harrassment.
emn
says:
June, 25 2018 at 2:43 pm
is there anybody who found solution to constant music in head? I am suicidal. For 6 years I tried every drug and supplement. It is getting worse. Please help.
Johnathan Dowe
says:
June, 9 2018 at 11:29 pm
omg this is my life to. ive had these constant loops in my head since i was about 15 years old, right when i was developing the symptoms inwould later recognize as a myriad of mental health issues including OCD & Bipolar
Kartik
says:
June, 8 2018 at 7:42 am
I'm of 17 and experincing this weird stuff fo 2 years im telling this thing troubled me a lot esp during my high school its the worst experince of my life but New my illness has shown a great upliftment im telling my phycatarist has told me that just forgot your studies a and lot your brain take some rest this was the only situation in my life in which there was nothing in my Jan but only i have to belive in my medication and time it really test my patience
Mandy
says:
May, 21 2018 at 1:12 pm
I've read every post, and I have copied and pasted into a new document every single suggestion that one of you has made, and will look at the books and websites you have mentioned. The only thing that I can add is at one point I used inositol powder regularly, about 1 heaping tablespoon a day in herbal tea. It has a mild sweet taste. But I am not a doctor and you must research this on your own. After doing this for some time the songs went away. Inositol is a natural supplement that is often used to treat OCD. Look it up on Amazon, do a search for OCD in the reviews. It's been years since I've done that and it's all back again, and I have severe anxiety, an overactive brain, OCD, and PSTD. Today I'm going to make an appointment with a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy. I want to fix this at the source, which I 100% believe is anxiety. I don't want to have to take something for it, I want to stop the anxiety, which hurts the body and brain in every way possible.
Diana Mont
says:
May, 11 2018 at 12:22 am
It's rare if get any song stuck in my head and if i do it last an hour at most, and that is because i already have a playlist playing at the same time.
The moment i open my eyes there is a song already playing in my head, it could be a song i heard the day before o just a random one, it's entertaining in the morning while im getting dress but it was annoying when i was at school and had to shut up myself to play attention on class and concentrate a lot to mute it for a while but until without noticing is already there.
If im thinking, the song is on the backgroung like a movie soundtrack, some friends randomly ask: what song is on right now? And i can say the song and sing outloud what part of the song is in automatically.

I don't know anyone with that problem, except maybe my dad that have something similar, so reading all the comment her make me feel better knowing that im alone in this radio ON thing.
Lisa Skaggs
says:
April, 23 2018 at 12:09 pm
My reoccurring problem in my head is part of a nursery rhyme. I can feel it coming on and have to take a seat. My whole face becomes flush and I have labored breathing. I feel as if I'm going insane. At the same time it seems to relieve my body of a lot of anxiety after it happens. This happens about once every three to five years. I have been reading articles of what this condition is labeled, but it it just doesn't fit my whole description. Especially with the face going flush and the breathing becomes labored. I literally stayed home from work today. Because I deal with customers and didn't want to have this happen in front of any of them. I don't know whether to go to the doctor about it or not.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kartik
says:
June, 8 2018 at 7:56 am
You should visit a doctor ie physicatrist i also felt the same most of the time my breathing action becomes voluntry ie i have to take breath myself its not automatic i have gone through medication frim one it shows remarkable shift you should gone it a should just thinking about thinking is not a soln
Ananya Gupta
says:
April, 19 2018 at 1:26 pm
I have similar problem. But music is not constant. Not different songs. One song plays when I wake up then it pops up , not plays constantly but pops up when I talk to others or do something. It only does not happen when I am typing, watching something . Song may pop up fir 1 day or several days. Sometimes it may be more than one song. So is my problem similar to people here or different because music is not constant. Please reply someone . I am literally going crazy.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Pratyush Pani
says:
April, 30 2018 at 3:05 pm
Same prob...I can't concentrate in my studies ....I'm 18 and a huge fan of music...but now I am being controlled by music....feels like Charles or someone else has authority over my brain. After 5 days NEET exam is there and I can't even concentrate ... I think u got the same prob?im just frustrated...!!!!??!?!
Dee
says:
April, 18 2018 at 4:59 pm
Radio station that will not stop is a great way of putting it. I have always LOVED music and have an extensive music library of just about any type of music except opera and rap. No my music has turned on me. I can't listen to my personal library or even to the radio in my car for over 2 years now because I can't stop the music. I wake up several times a night and most every time there is a different song playing in my head. Sometimes it is the same song it it has a really catchy tune but most of the time it is just random songs. I can wake up after a couple of hours of semi-sleep and my head will be singing Send in the Clowns, then a couple of hours later I wake up with Signs, then a couple hours later it will be Simple Kind of Man and on and on. I'm glad to find out there are others with this affliction but I would LOVE to find a way to make it stop so maybe I can start listening to music again. I really miss my music!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Jimmy Johnson
says:
May, 7 2018 at 7:42 pm
lol you literally quit listening to music? That's not going to stop it.
Essa
says:
March, 29 2018 at 5:17 pm
Hi I also suffer from this condition I think Iv had this same song just literally couple of words stuck in my head and it has been driving me crazy since I can remember I am 22 years of age now and still suffer from this on a day to day basis. I honestly though I was the only one that suffered from this terrible ‘thing’ it’s hard because I grit my teeth together at the same time or just after which is slightly worrying Iv never been to the doctors re this as I was always fearing the worst. I am so glad I have people in common with the same condition brings me a bit of peace I guess. Take it easy everyone x
Draco
says:
March, 27 2018 at 9:06 am
I was diagnosed bipolar approximately 3 years ago. The constant show tunes and upbeat music never stops; it keeps me up all night sometimes. What’s even worse is I sometimes count numbers in the place of lyrics, but rhymically on time. In addition to the slightly-schizophrenic mind, I have severe depression, thoughts of suicide, emotional explosions, usually in the form of anger toward a loved one, and I incessantly pick at my cuticles. I know the music and picking are signs of OCD, but virtually everything else aligns with bipolar. The worst part is that I found a miracle medication that works for me, Abilify, it changed my life for the better, all this things went away, but I gained so much weight on it that I had to come off for medical reasons. It’s funny, I actually didn’t realize the picking or music were symptoms; I thought they were bizarre behaviors that I outgrew, but they came back as strong as before immediately after discontinuing the Abilify. It’s heartbreaking to have to live like this.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alan Leak
says:
March, 31 2018 at 7:33 am
Hi I'm sorry to hear about your problems with this strange condition. I have suffered with this (on and off) for about 50 years so, believe me, I totally understand the Hell that you are going through.
I have tried many different things through the years but nothing has really helped. I have never heard of Abilifly and was interested to ask you a few questions. I did some quick research on this recently and it seems there are a lot of bad side effects, one of which is weight gain. I also hear it can produce chronic insomnia.
Anyway I just wondered where you obtained the Abilify and how much it cost? I looked at a few websites and was horrified at the cost of this drug - absolutely crazy. Although I am interested in finding more information I doubt if I will be using this for the reasons mentioned.
Over the years I have been prescribed various anti-depressants but they were not that helpful; usually the side effects were as bad as the actual problem. The worst issue was insomnia, and this is one of the worst things a human being can suffer.
I hope that things will improve for you in the future. Best regards...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Ananya Gupta
says:
April, 19 2018 at 1:41 pm
Is ur music constant .please answer it it may be very useful

So in ur case does music play constantly or pops up like mine. A song plays in my head in the morning any random song, and then it keeps pops up in my head, dies not play constantly but pops up when I talk or think. It only stops when I am chatting online or watching something.
Rick
says:
March, 25 2018 at 5:46 pm
I'm 54 and have music playing in my head constantly as long as I can remember. It's words and music that often frustrate me because I don't know the words or how a transition goes. It really bothered me in my teenage years but I leaned to at least tolerate it as my personal radio station. I've recently been diagnosed as bipolar type 1, which ever is the most severe, I forget.
jazzlover
says:
March, 22 2018 at 4:30 am
im a jazz musician, and have all kinds of wonderful music playing through my head every second of the day, and this really helps with improvise on my instrument. id suggest listening to some good earthy music, something funky jazzy or soulful from the 70s and before and get that music stuck in your head, it will be really good for you rather than bad, and if you really listen to some complicated jazz like charlie parker or something it probably wont get stuck in your head and will ballance out your mind.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

JM
says:
March, 22 2018 at 4:46 pm
do you hear words in music or just the music ?
JM
says:
March, 6 2018 at 5:15 pm
This started happening to me about a month ago. I was in a car listening to the radio and a song suddenly just kept repeating itself in my mind over and over again. It now happens constantly from the time I open my eyes in the morning. The only time I get relief is if Im watching a tv show Im interested in and even then sometimes it will keep happening. In my circumstance I will hear a song on the radio or the tv and my mind will instantly start playing it over and over again. I have never had any ocd before what so ever but I do have a very trauma past and a medical condition which causes me stress and anxiety. I just have a hard time thinking its just ocd because it instantly starts the very second I wake up in the morning. Trust me when I first wake up in the morning I'm definitely not thinking about music...... so that makes me wonder if the brain is doing it from some kind of miss firering or something has gone hay wire? I just want peace in my mind !
Glenda Merkley
says:
February, 7 2018 at 7:04 am
I have bipolar depression with ADHD and this happens constantly to me. It’s always there under the surface, but will often become incessant. The only thing I’ve found that works for me is to take a break from all media for as long as it takes for it to stop. It’s a challenge in our noise-saturated world, but worth the effort to make it go away. Just a thought. My brain is NEVER off. Ever. So whatever it takes for it to shut up!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kelly
says:
February, 23 2018 at 9:23 am
My question is,....aside from our symptoms of constant music playing...what else might we have in common with each other? Have you been someone who you can honestly say you've dealt with a lot of trauma...or an isolated incident of teams in your life? Do you have maybe an acute love and ear for music (even before the symptoms came upon you)? Is there a lot of artists dealing with this or people with highly intelligent and overactive brains? Have most of us possibly been on pain pills at one time that could have been a trigger for the brain? I ask these questions to possibly find a similar thread that could enlighten us a bit. I can only speak and ask questions knowing my own life and who I am as a person. My music started a few back. Would love to get feed back. Can any of you let me know if you can relate to any of the questions I just asked? Maybe we can find some similarities and be enlightened. God bless you all. You are not alone.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Tiffany McDonough
says:
March, 28 2018 at 9:28 pm
I'm in tears reading this because I thought I was seriously crazy. It upsets me because it's constant. I sing in my head and dance while I am falling asleep. I don't know what I do in my sleep but I wake up singing also. I need to hear from anyone that has this. It seems so insane to me. I have severe bipolar 1, OCD &amp; PTSD. I'd like to see what others do about this.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alan Leak
says:
April, 29 2018 at 8:52 am
Hi Tiffany
truly sorry you are suffering with this strange and awful condition. I have had this for so many years but it doesn't get any easier. I have recently been diagnosed as having "chronic OCD" but knowing that is no real comfort. During those years I have tried about everything you can possibly think of to gain some measure of relief but, unfortunately, nothing has ever helped..
One of the most difficult things is trying to explain to others (be they professional or not) exactly what it means to suffer with this. I'm afraid it's one of those things that is very difficult, if not impossible, for the 'normal' person to understand.
To an extent I have learned to live with this; however I still have many days where I pray I could just fall asleep and never wake up. All I can do is just take each day as it comes and hope that eventually things will improve. All the best

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kartik
says:
June, 8 2018 at 8:28 am
Im sorry to hear that and i know person who has experinced this can only understand you Best bec i m one of this at person time Im of17 and working towards engineering i was usally at of person who loves maths and physics but this thing at one taken my strength from me i was thinking that now i was of no use it affects my academic carrier at its worse and i cant remain in state peace of mind. I usally when woke up find myself that my mind is pkaying music It was really annoying i think that my brain has stopped takung rests

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Bettina
says:
March, 6 2018 at 12:33 am
Has anybody ever tried magnet therapy ?
Brian
says:
January, 9 2018 at 10:41 am
You know, I don't know how many words a poster gets here and I'm wasting them so I'll try and get to the point; with some background. There aren't a lot, 2% ish of people with this condition but I suspect as time continues, we'll see more and more of this and I think it's unfair of doctors (doing what they're told from researchers) to diagnose this so willy-nilly.

I began life as a child fortunately with amazingly wonderful, educated parents and no history or any of these types of disorders listed in our gene pool. Straight A student through Elementary receiving awards for writing/art/computer science and very high test scores when very young. After graduating 6th and moving to 7th grade I took Basic language computer programming classes with adults at the university. I was the only child in the room so that gives me some perspective as I've continued life.

I personally do not believe that anyone "hearing radio stations in their head" is some condition. The entire universe is di-pole, meaning 2 poles and the some people are at least diagnosed as bipolar which also means 2 poles. It may mean that your brain has evolved to a point closer to what the universe is and further from what most people's brains have developed. I.e. it is not a bad thing or something we should diagnose as faulty.

Radio waves are broadcast everywhere. They move through us all the time, every instant. Wireless modems/routers also broadcast signals however those are "digital" broadcasts (read: man made) so that interference isn't recognized (yet) however radio waves are analog and we and all animals/plants are also analog and they work by quantum effects which our brains do too.

It is my belief that we are all types of organic antennas. Some of this is more familiar stating, to people from large families where, similar to worker bees, they take orders from a Queen bee. You know what your brother/sister is thinking or you have the same idea at the same time. If you've had a very close friend this is also true and that because the two of you are "coupled" or similar enough that you start to take on the same attributes. You're on the save "wave length" as is commonly said but never understood. Occasionally when your friend turns to you to say something, they formed a picture in their mind of what they are about to say and you received it just when the formulated it as they turn to you and you look at them and say what they're were going to say. JINX!?!? We don't understand what is occurring. Its quantum communication.

Have you ever been to a large sporting event (most common) and "felt" the energy in the air? Is is just because you're nervous around so many people or is it because there are so many thoughts occurring simultaneously that our brains are on overload with all the signaling occurring.

You can actually create thoughts in others heads as well. Seems impossible by all our understanding of the world. Have you ever been at a large public event and seen someone you don't know across the room and thought, he/she's is gorgeous, or that blue sweater is fantastic! and kind of "exclaimed" it in your mind? And that person turned around some 50 feet or 150 feet away and looked directy at you in that instant?

Radio stations always broadcasting and an individual picking up these errant waves is actually nothing unusual at all. In fact, I'm sure way more than 2% of people do this, have no idea why, and just carry on and think nothing of it. Wonderful monkeys!

I don't know if this helps any of your situations but no I've never been diagnosed as bipolar/OCD/ or any of the above and this seems like common sense to me and yet no one cares or seems to acknowledge it. I think this will be more fleshed out with our understanding of quantum effects in the next few decades. Just look at it as your window on the world that not many people are able to desseminate.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Brian
says:
January, 9 2018 at 10:48 am
This has to deal with quantum communication and how it works, but we do not know how it works YET but we should hopefully know and make this connection in the next few decades. We monkeys think we're smart but we just aren't that smart and haven't grasped what's causing this as of yet and as a people we do like to put labels on people and things and file them away in This has to deal with quantum communication and how it works, but we do not know how it works YET but we should hopefully know and make this connection in the next few decades. We monkeys think we're smart but we just aren't that smart and haven't grasped what's causing this as of yet and as a people we do like to put labels on people and things and file them away in their cubbys and go on with our lives.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Brian
says:
January, 9 2018 at 10:51 am
It isn't in my opinion, anything that nutrition can aid unless you eating better would make the effect actually stronger because of brain health being better. Just accept it and find the ways to use it as a tool for social ladder climbing.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Cole Chiodo
says:
January, 10 2018 at 5:28 am
I've have a terrible melody stuck in my head for weeks!! It's literally gotten to a point of me struggling so hard to get it out of my head, but I can't at all!! I'll be thinking about something while it's still playing in my mind!! I actually feel like I'm going to lose my mind if I don't get it out my head!! HELP PLEASE!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alan Leak
says:
January, 12 2018 at 1:49 am
Hi, first of all you have my every sympathy because I have had this problem for 50 years. I wish I could offer a simple solution like medications or certain therapies or some sort of healing; unfortunately, so far anyway, nothing has worked for me - and believe me there is little I have not tried over the course of the last 5 decades.

I will continue to look for something that may help whilst I'm still breathing; if I fail then so be it. Fortunately I am an eternal optimist and I always believe that tomorrow may be better than today.

Anyway one of the reasons I'm posting is because of a general misconception that many people have about this strange condition. Everywhere I look - blogs, forums, social media, articles, and so on - there seems to be the idea that having this problem is like having a permanent radio station playing in your mind.

NOTHING could be further from the reality. Of course I'm speaking here from my own perspective and, of course, I accept that everyone's experience is unique; however from the years of research I have carried out, and my own experience having INMI (involuntary musical imagery) it rarely, if ever, is like having a radio station in your mind.

What actually happens is this: a 'trigger' of some sort brings a tune, song or melody to the mind of the sufferer. Once this occurs then that person is COMPELLED to repeat the tune/melody to themselves in a never ending loop. This could continue for minutes, hours, even weeks or months without relief, and this is mental torture of the worst possible kind. For those who suggest that sufferers simply embrace or ignore this compulsion have absolutely no concept (or experience) of how this terrible condition works.

Having this problem is a very individual experience: it can range from mildly irritating in most people to being suicidally disruptive for an unfortunate minority. Although I have never condoned the act of taking one's own life I can state with total certainty this: when I am having a really bad day I pray for the release that only death can bring. All I want to do is to fall asleep and never have to wake again. If I'm having a really good day (a rare event unfortunately) then I am full of optimism and a zest for life and living and I feel as if I could achieve anything.

For those who still think that this is a relatively trivial condition then I hope that they never have to endure the relentless mental torture that some have to suffer with this. I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

I wish you all the peace and quiet of mind that so many seem to take for granted.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kelly
says:
February, 23 2018 at 8:39 am
You may or may not be a believer of prayer, but I wanted you to know I prayed for you just now. That you will begin experiencing quietness, rest, healing and that you will even be used to help others in this area. I too hear music most of the time. I'm sure you are doing this, but stay connected close to others....let those close to you know what's going on. We are here for each other. Rest and peace upon you. May the love of God breathe upon you and give you peace.

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