Why does the voice in my head never stop?

From the moment I wake up, I hear what I think is my voice in my head. Even now, I hear it saying every word I’m thinking. When I lay down to sleep, I think of weird and crazy things, and the voice will never stop talking. I don’t know if it’s me thinking. It never stops. I’ll lay in my bed for hours just thinking about weird stuff. I should mention that I talk to myself a lot: mostly in my head, but out loud as well.

Mark Morris, LCSW
Mark Morris, LCSW
Therapist and Author of Living Yes
First let's make sure that the voice is not one you hear outside your head and that it is not giving you commands.  If either are the case, please visit a psychiatrist for an accurate assessment.

I believe you asking for some support in order to quiet your reactive mind (also called self-talk, automatic thoughts, mind talk, etc.)  When anxious, these thoughts tend to start racing.  The battle inside heats up even more when you start judging the thoughts themselves.  It sounds like the idea of the racing thoughts is giving you extra stress, and you have created a feedback loop.  

In CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), there are some excellent BEHAVIORAL interventions to break free.  Start by doing behaviors that are distracting, fun, and healthy, such as calling a friend, going to a movie, or getting some exercise.  You may also do behaviors that slow your heart rate like deep breathing and yoga.  It's amazing how well slowing the body can slow the mind.  There are many other behavioral techniques for calming the mind.  Pick up a mindfulness meditation book for more ideas.

Then there is the COGNITIVE aspect of your question.  This is the idea of recognizing how the thoughts are distorted and to challenge them rationally.  For example, if you do some of the behaviors just mentioned and you get some benefit, your stated idea that "it never stops" may not be accurate.  And your comments that the thoughts are "weird" or "crazy" are arbitrary judgments that you are making against yourself.  These are examples of cognitive distortions.  By challenging them, you may slow down the chatter inside your head.

Of course, my book LIVING YES, A HANDBOOK FOR BEING HUMAN, is filled with ideas for both behavioral and cognitive improvement.  I evan have a chart (p. 57) which shows the different characteristics of the "worldly voice" and the "sacred voice" inside.  Learn more about Living Yes at www.LivingYes.org.  You may also want to find a qualified CBT therapist in your town by searching the top clinicians who are listed on the www.AcademyofCT.org website.

I hope you find peace soon.  Keep breathing calmly and get some rest.  ~Mark




The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Does the voice in your head sound different or the same as your own voice when you talk to people and go about your usual daily life?

There is a great big difference in the type of problem you're having if you feel the voice belongs to someone besides who you are.

If you are hearing "self-talk" of turning over in your mind what goes on in your life, reflecting on alternatives either of what you would like to have done differently in a certain matter, or anticipating what you will do in a future situation, then the problem of the voice in your head may be from a high degree of stress or uncertainty in your life right now.

Talking out loud can be a symptom of severe agitation, restlessness, loneliness, and a sense that you are not understood by other people.

I would be as concerned about the voice in your head as I would be about the actual content of what the voice is talking about with you.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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