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 2021, April 20 from

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, InstagramFacebook and YouTube.

Greg Hansen
May, 10 2017 at 7:35 am

I constantly have music playing in my head and not always the same song. It can switch from song to song in seconds. It is entirely frustrating. I have found that if I play the song slowly it may go away.

Christine D
May, 5 2017 at 7:54 am

I have bipolar type 2 and I just Googled the terms song stuck in your head and the second thing that came up was your article. Before I had medication the loop of song was in the foreground of my mind every second but always competed with every thought that I had. It was the first thing in my mind when I would start to wake up in the morning. Even in the middle of the night when I was sleeping and I would wake slightly in order to turn over in bed the song would be blasting away. Now that I take medication ( lamotrigine and escitalopram) the songs have seemed to become quieter and more in the background of my mind but when I listen to music I always notice that the next day they are still pretty intrusive. I think I will talk to my psychiatrist about this and see if increasing the dose of Lamotrigine might help. Thank you so much for this article. It's good to know that I'm not alone!

April, 18 2017 at 6:20 pm

I've had the same exact song, (I don't even like) play over & over for MONTHS & about at my wits end - I am literally being driven crazy! Anyone know how to stop this? Suffering!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 19 2017 at 12:42 pm

Linda, I have the same problem happening. No matter what's going on around me, the same lyrics are replaying over and over and over again. I have headaches from it when it happens. It can go for days. It's driving me crazy as well. I don't know what to do about it either.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Faith Kline
May, 4 2017 at 1:16 pm

I have this, and I love it because I am a dancer and always have music to move to. Always. If you want to stop what I call "feedback loop" you simply put the song on repeat until the song leaves your head. Longest run was 15 hours , but then it goes away. I enjoy this gift, but people who hear and sing non stop do not. Oh well!!

Deepak sharma
March, 22 2017 at 8:07 am

So I'm facing this problem for last 5 year .
As a profession I'm a dj n producer .
From morning to evening I'm in to music totally .
In day I work for a online music company n in night I play in different clubs .
N coz of this problem I can not sleep can't think , whenever I close my eyes its play any song from anywhere .
I know thousands of songs that's the problem
In morning my mind play easy listening
Day rock night edm n when I'm trying to sleep all mix up .
I'm fucking so irritated n planning to quit my all work n start something new away from music .
Any good adavice plz

What People Call Me By
March, 21 2017 at 3:02 am

I put my brain on lockdown when a stupid song tries to penetrate the recesses of my mind and take hold. This involves one of two things:
1. Classical music. My go-to song is, and always will be, Bethoven's 7th Symphony, Second Movement (Alegretto) and, as long as I'm not feeling down, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (though I prefer to avoid the latter if I'm in a sad mood as it can be detrimental to my state of mind).
I should add however that I never indulge in trash (92% of modern) music intentionally. It's usually due to a co-worker, or a movie I'm watching (though I've been avoiding these more often as well since they're going in the same direction as the music), or while in a public area where they're playing this garbage that I pick up some brain draining song. It's no wonder there's tons of American's today who don't even know what WWII was, don't know the capital of their own country, can't name more than two presidents, have no idea when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, or when the Declaration of Independence was penned, and are becoming generally stupider by the second... though in retrospect the ignorant do make much better consumers. So from a capitalist standpoint they're building a treasure trove of blabbering brain-dead simpletons. I'm not angry saying this. I'm almost brought to tears by the stark truth of it.
Sorry, I'm drifting into the dark recesses of my mind and trying to drag you along for the ride.
2. Read up on the latest breakthroughs in science. Primarily quantum physics or quantum mechanics, though I do like learning about new discoveries and revelations in the clinical and astronomical realms as well. Essentially, delving though-provoking things that interest you, but that may also perhaps challenge you to expand your mind a bit.
I don't believe this should be limited to scientific however, but I believe it could work for other interests that offer a bit of challenge. Perhaps you like to knit and want to challenge yourself with a new pattern that is complex to master. Or perhaps you enjoy puzzles and should try a more difficult level. Forcing your mind to focus on something of interest that actually challenges the mind has a tendency, for myself at least, to take out the trash.

February, 25 2017 at 5:04 pm

I don't remember when it started. I do know for some odd reason I am a whiz at name that tune. Two notes into a song and I can name it. For the last several years I have songs play on my head and it is whatever I heard last. Plays and plays and never ends just jumps to the next song or even commercial jingle or just a rhythm . It never stops. I have a very slight ringing in my ear which I can only hear when I lay down to sleep . If I concentrate on that ringing the music will finally stop long enough for me to falll asleep. I don't think I am bipolar but have suffered with anxiety and depression for several years also. Seems logical that there is a connection. I am so thankful to read alll your stories so I know it's not just me.

February, 17 2017 at 3:41 am

Empathy to all of you who are troubled by this tiresome phenomenon. I have suffered from anxiety and lots of mental / emotional issues throughout my adult life. Following a major breakdown four years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD. I think it was a well-reasoned diagnosis, but my own subsequent investigations led me to understand that I had in fact been afflicted by toxic metal poisoning, which induces / mimics all kinds of mental and physical illnesses.
Anyway. I have had music loops in my head all my adult life. Among other styles of music I like sixties rock, but that doesn't mean I necessarily want 'Heroes & Villains' by the Beach Boys playing constantly in my head for five years, as it did in my twenties. My current constantly-looping songs are Lady Friend by the Byrds and And Your Bird Can Sing by the Beatles. Can't really switch 'em off. They might go quiet if I'm distracted, but if I'm on my own, especially in transit, they swell up reliable as clockwork.
The only 'cure' for this problem I have found is meditation. In my particular case, the technique of 'insight meditation' or 'Vipassana' as it's called. It is very powerful, sorting out the clutter and creating wide-open spaces in your head so your mind can relax and breathe. It's very deep mind/body work and can potentially be 'too much' for people who haven't previously attempted some form of formalised self-examination (e.g. cathartic therapy), but it can also be tremendously liberating, from many 'demons', but also from endlessly playing songs. I haven't practiced for a while, but I'm about to get back to it.
Please look it up, it may be of use to you.

February, 15 2017 at 9:57 am

It's heartening to know that I'm not alone in this constant playing of music in my head--classical, fiddle tunes, songs, whatever. They only go away when I'm thinking verbally. It's like the right side of the brain is completely independent of the left--and they do function somewhat that way normally. I do meditation, and that kind of focusing on the breath makes both the music and the other thoughts go away, but it's only temporary. In fact, since I've been doing more and more mediation, the earworms are more constant, I think because the aimless, meandering thoughts are less. The best I can do is when I'm aware of the earworm, I try to shift my attention to the hear and now of my breathing and what I'm doing--without thinking about it.

February, 14 2017 at 6:13 pm

For as long as I can remember I've always had music playing constantly in my head. It's always been more like background music. If I need to concentrate I have no problem shutting it off but otherwise when I choose to "tune in" it's like a constant radio station! I can even "change stations" by skipping from one song to another. I've always wondered about this. It doesn't really bother me, I just think it's weird. I guess I can say I've always got my own entertainment.

January, 23 2017 at 7:23 am

I have always had a song stuck in my head ever since I can remember, but I never really realized it until I got older. I mean I knew I always had a song stuck in my head, but I never really paid attention to it, it was just there. Now as a 29 year old woman it drives me crazy sometimes. I never goes away. It can be any song, rap, pop, country, old, new, etc. I don't even have to listen to music everyday to have a song stuck in my head. Songs just randomly come to me, when I'm in the shower, when I am cooking, when I am working, even if I am sad or angry I can't help it. I can be crying my eyes out and the song is still there playing in the back of my head. I can be thinking about something and the damn song is still there playing over and over. Even if it is a song from a commercial. I find myself singing and humming a lot when I am at home. I even come up with my own beats and songs in my head. I can't ever concentrate to go to sleep, therefore I suffer from chronic insomnia. I have even woken up to songs and music that I was dreaming about. I am no singer or musician, but I believe that if I ever took up any singing classes I would be good at it. I feel I have a pretty descent voice. I might even be great at playing instruments. Music was always something I loved, I just never pursued it. Living in poverty my whole life, I just never had the chance or opportunity, but I am still young. I don't want to be like a famous singer or anything, but I think if I just try something different maybe I will cured. Maybe I am not crazy after all, like I feel sometimes. By the way the song playing in my head right now is Lady Gaga You and I. Don't know where it came from since I haven't heard that song in a while and I am not such a huge fan of Lady Gaga. I have had it in my head I would say for about 3-4 days and I keep waking and going to sleep to it, well barely sleeping. Hopefully the song will go away soon I am tired of it and on the next song. I feel like it takes over my life sometimes. I just cant rid of it for good.

January, 19 2017 at 2:45 pm

My latest earworm is All Over You by Live. I really like that song, but I wish it would stop!

January, 15 2017 at 10:15 pm

Been tormented by this my whole life. My current perpetually playing song is called two weeks by a band called all that remains.
I've never been properly diagnosed with whatever is wrong with me other than anxiety and depression because last time I've seen a mental health professional was when I was a child. I know I also am fairly sure I'm either psychic or schitzofrenic or something but I need to get it under control, I start a new job tomorrow which is also probably keeping me awake although the darn song playing is no help. Somehow it just changed to a song by breaking Benjamin called diary of Jane. I hate this song so much. I can't hold jobs easily and can't even find my way there without using GPS on my phone to and from work for about a month straight until I get the navigational part of driving to work beat into my brain. It's hard to hide my problems from employers that's why I have no health insurance. Tomorrow I start a new job and I hope the insurance starts soon
Also my name is Stan but my family messed me up from the day I was born by calling me Jake after my uncle Jake whose name was also Stan, I have no family anymore I dunno what's wrong with me please help if any of this applies to you and you actually HAVE been properly diagnosed

January, 13 2017 at 3:51 am

There is no such thing as bipolar. These symptoms are caused by trauma and a society out of alignment with natural law due to statism, or the mixed economy -- namely cronyism and state for profit welfare.

January, 7 2017 at 8:35 pm

Hello fellow sufferers,
My name is Matthew and I've had this same problem for 6 months or more now. I don't even know when it first started. The current song is a fragment of "Trouble" by Wade Bowen. "I wish trouble always looked that good... I wish trouuuuuughble always looked that GOOD...repetitive instrumental" I heard this song a few days ago and it became my new permanent this early morning. It feels so bad. I try to take control of my mind, even calling upon God but I have no victory. God is not helping me with this problem. I do not know if you all are believers or not in Jesus Christ but I am and even though God is not helping me with this specific problem I will still believe. As I am typing this my symptom is being alleviated which I thank God for. I hope we all find a cure to this awful affliction.

December, 28 2016 at 10:47 pm

I've had non-stop music playing in my head for years and years. Like, at least 35 years. It gets louder and more fast tempo when I'm over tired and stressed out. It keeps me from sleeping. If I wake up, it's right there. Occasionally it does that when I'm trying to concentrate on work. I have been medicated and not medicated for depression, anxiety, bipolar and ADHD. I'm currently off meds. Music was always there on meds and still there off meds. No change at all.
I doubt I'd want to make it go away completely, but I'm curious to know what it would be like if my head were just...quiet... Ahhhh

December, 26 2016 at 3:18 am

I've had music playing for 50 years. I am bipolar, ADHD , OCD, ptsd and on Meds. Still the music plays, more often when I'm stressed. So..I took up music and now can manipulate the type, rythym, and sound. It may not work for everyone, but music is a powerful mathematic arrangement, and you might look into deciphering music for yourselves. Some of you sound so trapped and frustrated. What's to lose? You may have a gift and it's never too late. I began to play early in life and gave it up for sports. Now music learning, albeit a bit of work, is opening up a part of my mind, eventually I'll write this music down and own it, rather than it bothering me.

December, 23 2016 at 10:01 am

Hi, I'm 63 and suffered depression for 25 years plus. The music that plays in my right ear is instrumental, brass band type music, ranging from the Welsh national anthem to pop music. It is quite depressing to be standing in a store looking at something whilst this is happening.
I am moderately deaf in both ears and I am starting to feel very isolated and vulnerable for some reason. I do not mix very well but my psychiatrist thinks that I am getting better; but I must not give up hope, as that is all that is left in the box. Happy Christmas to everyone wherever you are.

December, 17 2016 at 6:25 pm

I don't even know how to ask Google this question. I don't think I'm bipolar or have OCD, but for about a year now I have been singing The Star Spangled Banner all day everyday. It just pops into my head, and sometimes I start singing it out loud without noticing. I never even hear that song. Why is it in my head? Why do I always sing it?!

December, 10 2016 at 9:13 pm

I'm 40 and have had instrumental earworms just about every day since I was a child. I always thought of it as a score to my life. For years, I found it comforting. But in the last few years, I've been increasingly bothered by shorter and shorter earworms. Instead of loops of 20-30 seconds, I'll get a mere bar of 4-5 seconds of some instrumental theme. At the moment, I've got the title score to the show The Crown in a loop. Hans Zimmer stuff easily embeds in my brain. (Dark Knight, Inception, dozens more)
So I've been on dozens of different anti-depressants for persistent clinical depression for half my life. I've tried just about everything. For a few months, I took pramipexole (brand name Mirapex), usually prescribed for restless leg syndrome but also off-label for depression. I found it dulled my mood too much to the point that I came off of it. But now I realize that it significantly reduced my earworms, as now they're back with a vengeance.
Anyway, I needed somewhere to share this. Thanks to Natasha's 4-year-old post for providing a place to do so...

December, 9 2016 at 3:28 am

Wow it's so good to read that others share my musical dilemma. Have had this a few years and have been searching for answers. I still have a tune in my head from 4 days ago. Sometimes lasts longer. Sometimes can n replaced with another song. Very annoying.

December, 7 2016 at 11:31 pm

Help; I am now 62; retired in the USA. Things were going well...long term, more or less happy union. After years of evading this "repetitive song loop" problem [Note: when I was a kid a horrific song replay , over & over was The Supremes" song " Getting back Into My Heart Again."
I have: ADD, anxiety disorder,I may be one of 3 bipolar patients. (IPad editing sucks, by the way, Apple, you idiots).
What does this all mean? HELP. THANKS.

Alan Leak
December, 1 2016 at 10:54 pm

Hi Micag you've just saved me the trouble of writing a short essay because your words have almost perfectly described my own problems with this extremely unusual condition.
This started when I was about 20 and I'm now 67! I am resigned to living with this for the rest of my life; I have tried everything to 'cure' this problem over the years - even spiritual healing, and no, I'm afraid it didn't help at all!
Some days are better than others but it never really goes away. I used to think I was the only person in the world with this but now realise it's far more common than I could ever have imagined.
Got to keep going - that's all you can do :-)

November, 22 2016 at 10:31 am

I remember when the music started playing in my head. It was during an intense episode of depression which began as a result of a paranoid delusion. I had never had mental health problems until I turned 33yrs old. I began thinking that my upstairs neighbors were peeping into my windows. My roommate had to kick me out to go live with my parents. It didn't occur to me that I was hallucinating until it happened again at my parents house. That's when I began a 3 + yr episode of depression. The first time I noticed the music was during this time. It was the opening song to futurama. The music loops haven't stopped since. When I have a TV on or radio, or in a conversation, I don't hear it usually. It's actually tiring for me. On a bad day, the music is louder, and it's almost as if I'm being forced to make the music. Like I'm creating it, and it saps energy from me. I've heard of OCD sufferers say they have to complete their "tick" no matter what. This is the same. Trying to stop the song is like trying to stop a car. I have some impact at first, but the song pushes me over quite easily. I hear the music playing in my deams too. I'll roll over, and realize that the song I'm hearing was playing before I woke up to roll over. On very rare occasions I'll realize that no song is playing, and as I do, my brain picks a song to play. What this means is that I NEVER get a quite time. I can't concentrate on a conversation if the music plays during, and harder to read. If I end up say working and too busy or unable to turn on music, I spend that time tortured by the music loop in my head. I get tense, and headaches, and overwhelmed until I can turn on a radio or TV.
I know what "getting a song stuck in your head is", but this is different. I can hear every single nuance of the song. I hear the harmonizing back up voices, and cymbols. I can even manipulate the song a bit if I want. I'll cut out the instruments, and add more back up vocals, or make it into a house beat! This however doesn't make it worth it. Like spinning around in a chair can be fun at first, but eventually you puke... It's like joining in to the sound of nails on a chalkboard.
I truly think it's fascinating, but I absolutely would pay someone to take it away from me. I pray every day and include this in my prayers. how do I get rid of this?
Thanx for letting me vent,

November, 11 2016 at 3:48 pm

Iam also suffering with this from past 1 year. I am unable to concentrate on my studies. When I took my book the songs are repetedly playing in my head and got disturbed. Is it necessary to consult a doctor, please help me

October, 25 2016 at 10:58 am

I'm thirty three years old, and have had this as long as I can remember. I think, because "earworms" are fairly common, people don't understand when I say "I always have a song playing in my head" I really mean "always". The only way for me a song leaves my head is when it's replaced by a new one. It usually loops on a couple of lines, I read once to finish the song will help, but it doesn't.
Here's how it's negatively affected me:
*I have a hard time focusing when it's really bad (aka really loud an obnoxious). When that happens, I unintentionally tune out who I'm listening to.
*It seems worse when I'm tired, and it makes me feel tired, so that's a fun little cycle.
*It's really affected my job performance. I was in banking for 13 years, more than half as a manager, and I had so many days where I just couldn't really do anything productive.
*In the past two years or so, it's gotten to be more of an issue. I think, in part, because I'm more aware of it and therefore realize it's a)not normal, b) makes me mentally exhausted & c) negatively affects my job and relationships.
I am not bipolar that I'm aware of, and don't seem to have the characteristics of it. I was told this is OCD behaviour, but I've never looked into it really. I guess my plan for the time being is to just live with it. But there are days when it's just really bad.

October, 23 2016 at 5:35 am

What I can't understand is most of the songs in my head I have never heard before. Random country, jazz, news, show tunes, etc.

October, 21 2016 at 5:18 pm

I have been experiencing it for the last 4-5 months and it's playing day and night. Just a simple sentence, sometimes a music without lyrics, very unclear, don't know what it says. But sometimes it's as clear as someone's saying it sitting close to me. The more I try to stop or read or focus (as I am a student) the more it gets louder. Sometimes as if someone's screaming from a distance, but screaming continuously, loudly, sometimes as if someone's crying and repeating. Result : my memory, ability to think, imagine or even make simple decisions have degraded steeply. I was very good at recalling but now I cannot recall what happened just a moment ago, facing problems with learning new things. So severe, so painful! People say that I have lost weight, and look diseased.This voice only remains silent when I talk to someone, or i listen to them, or i sleep.Otherwise no matter what i am doing it will repeat itself on and on. As if someone's with me all the time, walking, sitting and everything. The worst part is it starts as I wake up, even if my eyes are closed!! What should I do?

October, 6 2016 at 12:31 am

Start meditating :-) download the free app (no strings attached, no hidden purchases) "Insight Timer" and get started, it truly helps! It did for me!

September, 21 2016 at 2:20 pm

I have two rap songs stuck for the past 5 years... Two horrible songs.... Why only songs I hate get stuck?????

September, 13 2016 at 9:06 am

I have this issue as well and I was almost relieved to see I wasn't alone.
I can't get sad music out of my head. Right now, its "Your Guardian Angel" By Red Jumpsuit.
I love the song. It's great for being an emo sad kid... and 12. (Me being 22 doesn't help)
I even learned how to play it on guitar about a year ago. I'm joining the air force soon and I feel like the more and more nervous/anxious I get the louder the music gets.
But it's not like this has just started for me. It's been happening for years and years and I think it's causing a oversleeping problem for me because sleep is the only time it isn't there..

September, 12 2016 at 4:17 am

I have decided id rather have my brain replaced with a little wind up monkey with cymbals, or maybe a hamster on a wheel.

September, 12 2016 at 4:12 am

I've had Woman on Fire by The Cult stuck on replay in my head for like a month now. Its not new, and at least its a good song... err was a good song. I HATE The Cult now! How the hell am I supposed to sleep at a hair metal concert? Its not even the whole song just one annoying verse.

September, 9 2016 at 2:26 pm

I think it's stress related. I have it too and its awful. Feels like you can't get a minute of silence. It creeps in to my dreams sometimes even. It's making me so miserable. I'm not sure when it all started but I think it started around a very stressful time in my life work related. I don't know how to resolve this. Right now I'm at a very unhappy place in my life. Work that I absolutely hate profession that I'm not sure of. We just moved in to another country and that has also taken its toll. I'm a very anxious person. So maybe these songs are like a wake-up call. For you to wake up and change your life and deal with the stuff that's been making you feel so bad. Or a wake up call to work on being less anxious. I'm gonna work on this I know I have to relax more and do things that I enjoy. I can not let this go on. I have to find peace of mind.

August, 31 2016 at 7:59 pm

The universe is in a shift and in turn so are we . i was born different could see spirits very young but dont remember as a child. Thought i may have been autistic as a child i have learning disabilities and diagnosed bipolar possible BPD Im way too sensitive i pick up on energy and find myself exhausted all the time. Im extremely creative and can teach myself instruments by ear i also sing . i constantly have repetitive music in my head some i make up like whole symphones even in my dreams . ive been feeling very alert about humanity and threatned by negative energy i feel knows im here tl help God. Ive just leaned toward music as a career since its obsessive and cluttwrs everything else .

August, 31 2016 at 5:09 pm

I've had an insidious earworm problem for a while. I have horrible anxiety and insomnia which are fed by work stress. I wake at around 3-4 am most nights, usually with a random song repeating and I can't get back to sleep. My mind races and the song replays throughout the day. Usually it's just the chorus or a piece of instrumental in the song that loops. Currently it's an early Madonna song. I don't listen to Madonna, nor do I enjoy her music. I don't even know when I heard the song last. It feels like my mind is torturing itself.

August, 24 2016 at 1:40 am

I have quit smoking 6 days ago, i guess i am a bit more anxious maybe? Anyhoo, all day every day at different intervals i have Almaz by randy crawford playing in my head.... "Almaaaaz, pure and simple... Born in a world where love surviiiives" aaaaargh i havent heard it in years it just popped into my head and now it wont go! Im off to get some chewing gum.... I will try anything!

A Sticky Situation
August, 20 2016 at 2:29 pm

The next time clips of a song or a part of a jingle from a TV commercial or other type of advertisement sticks in your head replaying itself over and over again in an endless loop that interfers with your concentration or makes you just wanna scream try chewing some gum. Yes you heard me right. I said gum. You know that sticky stuff you chew for enjoyment. There are numerous articles on the Internet from well respected sources studying this phenonenom that suggest chewing gum may help mitigate a problem with earworms

August, 19 2016 at 2:34 pm

Pretty much every morning when I wake up and sit on the side of the bed the same song's my song by Elton John!!! No clue why!!!? Reckon has been about a year now the same song every day. Not bothered too much by it, would be better maybe if was a different song....used to be a different song every day, but this one seems to have stuck! Only happens as soon as I sit up in morning, not constant!!!! How weird is that!?

August, 6 2016 at 12:10 pm

So i questioned why I constantly play the same small snippets of songs over and over and over......And i stumbled here. Who would have thunk? Been doing it as far as i know for the last 4-6 years. 49 years old and no ADHD or any other issues. Today has been Californication by the red hot chili peppers. I don't even like that song. Even when i tell my self to stop, it plays. But there has been times when it went away for months. Just started back up about 2 months ago. No idea why, no known trigger. I guess I'm just glad I'm not the only one that has this stupid issue.

July, 24 2016 at 11:50 am

I am 48 and remember these song or phrase loops since as early as 10. All my reading into this would make me think I am a prime candidate. I am a survivor of sexual abuse, have been diagnosed with: (here comes the alphabet soup that is me)
anxiety disorder
Possible bipolar 2
And just recently a near death survivor
I find that these loops get louder and more annoying the higher my stress or anxiety or the lower my focus. Strangely I am realizing that my recently achieved sobriety and freedom from a 21 year loveless marriage, that has meant great life full of content for once, has resulted in
- my ADHD going off the charts
- constantly talking out loud to myself
- those muted voices are heard more often and are becoming almost distinguishable
- incredible moments of total lucidity and superhuman clarity. I have on four occasions now, four just small seconds of window, knew/understood WHY and HOW IT IS ALL CONNECTED and the last time HOW SIMPLE IT WOULD BE TO BRING IT ALL BACK TO STATE OF TRUTH, FUNCTIONAL STASIS??? Really the answer is right in front of us. So my thought on this interesting group of song loopers and the like goes something like this.
Radio antennae is a key word but really what we all seem to have in common is sensory issues. Issues to the "norm". I know there are some that are still reading this and nodding. Please read on...
These windows of knowledge/enlightenment that I have experienced always close quickly but always leave a residual message. The last was that there are many of us evolving one way or another to a crucial, new level. Perhaps our dysfunctions and diminished mental capacities are actually enhancements and prerequisites for a kind of reception that will be necessary now or soon. I am starting to intuitively know that humankind is going through a colossal shift on all levels. Collapse and destruction of old systems will be necessary for true creation of a new design. This will require a download of knowledge that needs a particular human to receive and transmit?
Hmmm, I'm sounding less than sane, but I think there will be some this will resonate with. My message to you is see these no longer as " mental disorders " but as refinements. Use your extraordinary talents of sensation, reception, observation, and intuition. To do what I can't tell you. If your actions are motivated by love and truth, staying clear of hate, fear, untruth, the universe will show you where and how you are needed.
Open heart, open mind, open spirit!

July, 12 2016 at 9:51 am

I have this too, Bi-polar II, OCD, ADD, with a learning disability (I can't follow directions very well, and I need to be shown how to do 3 dimension tasks, and I have the music in my head dating back since 1993 when my mother died. I had a requiem in my head for two years, and then was later able to change the song, but never get rid of the music unless and am speaking to someone, meditation can provide temporary relief depending how present I am. At the moment I have a song for the last two weeks, and it has degraded so that it is a loop of just the first phrase.
One thing I've noticed is that when the song gets stuck for a long time, and gets degraded, it actually hurst my brain. I only know this because I can force a new one, I can listed to a new one, and then the hurt goes away. But the old one can come back, or a new one can take place.
I know that the reason it is so horrible now is because i am under tremendous stress, I hate my job, but am stuck as I need the money and not too many prospects. I am unhappy in my living situation and I am alone with all of this.
My ADD is also a trigger. I can't make a decision and I am overwhelmed by so many variables.
i would love to connect with people who experience this and and perhaps start a community because being alone with it is worse, and having others makes it so much more manageable.
Since I have lived with this for 4 decades, but only in the last tow years have been diagnosed so my self-esteem is pretty and my therapist because very frustrated with me because I had no attention span and couldn't focus on doing anything about it.
Having said all this, I have been pretty high functioning, bought a house held jobs, but it has taken a huge toll and I have been under constant stress hiding my limitations from employers.

Kim K.
July, 11 2016 at 3:23 pm

This can be a particular problem for me. It prevents me from falling asleep at night, and I'll wake up with the same tune stuck in my head in the morning. Or in the middle of the night when I get up to go to the bathroom, I can't shake the tune and fall back asleep.
I have anxiety disorder, and this problem is more manifest when I'm experiencing heightened anxiety or when I've been triggered by something. I also have OCD, but I notice it more when my anxiety is triggered. And it's not fun tunes or catchy tunes. Sometimes it's just two lines of really sad songs, which believe me is not what you want in your head when you're trying to manage anxiety. When I've been at my worst, it's just random music without lyrics, nothing I can even identify. Sometimes I wonder if my brain is making that music up.

July, 9 2016 at 9:41 am

You are not alone PA blade. Got a station here in Sacramento that does interviews and plays stuped songs. Starts around noon and quits around midnight. Driving me crazy.

PA blade
June, 30 2016 at 12:18 am

I have same problem and I'm pretty sure I know what has caused it and ...get this.... but radio frequencies we are picking up. I have silver fillings and I seen a news cast once about folks with metal fillings in their mouth can hear a frequency. For those who don't have fillings perhaps it's your earrings or another piece of jewelry or the little silver clasp on your hair elastic, or your eye glasses or the list goes on and on. I used to think I was nuts my I told my mom I heard voices as a child, she took me to the doc and he madefun of me, I used to play my radio at high volumes trying to drown it out it used to sound like folks talking on phone most of the time,,, I chalk that up to the popularity of cordless phones at the time, now it's a humming usually and of course music. I've heard up to 3 radio stations at once before, usually this is early on the morning I assume it's my neighbors alarms. Also different roomsmake it more intense i,e, rooms with water kitchen bath because the sound travels through the pipes. It's weird be I've found A lot data regarding the subject then all of sudden I can't find the same YouTube video or website again. Makes me believe there is more to this than we realize. Tooth fillinga and Bluetooth hmm mm and don't forget the old fm am radios how they would go static when u walked by,,,, obviously we affect the frequency . How to make it stop.?well u got me but at least I know it's not a mental disorder .

June, 28 2016 at 6:10 pm

Denise, what medication was it??? I'm going back to my psych on 6/30 and really want to know!

June, 19 2016 at 11:40 am

I used to hear music all the time. My silence came when I got on my meds for the first time. I imagine it must be similar to how a deaf person might react at hearing for the first time. I had silence. Never before had I heard silence. It was the most amazing thing. Still I marvel. Life is beautiful.

June, 15 2016 at 7:46 am

It was interesting to read the above comments on ear worms. We're not alone..
I'm 42 and my torment started in my early teen years when I discovered the likes of Led Zeppelin, Metallica, AC/DC, Beatles and so on. I always stayed away from pop music as best I possibly could for fear of getting one of those "flavor of the day" songs stuck in my head. When it does happen I usually go through the hundreds of snippets of songs I involuntarily torture myself with and tune into something less revolting. I discovered I could change tracks easily but I haven't found the Off switch yet.
I love music, especially the oldies which revolve around the above bands. The more obscure songs or live versions will add to my mental repertoire but I cannot play whole songs...only snippets. These snippets also come back in constant loops resulting in lack of concentration. I luckily don't hum or sing but I sometimes follow the beat with restless legs and teeth clicking!
I recently did an online bipolar test and scored pretty high and I'm somewhat diagnosed with light ADD... Does it mean anything? Maybe, but I don't care much about it. Classical music, physical activities tend to clear the air (...Arrgh, In the Air Tonight -Phil Collins tuning in!)
Hang in there people. There are far worst things in life!

Alan Leak
May, 31 2016 at 1:24 am

I can only sympathize with all these people who - to one degree or another - are 'afflicted' with this very strange condition. Personally I have suffered with this for almost 45 years - not continuously, but in bouts of several years here and there over that period of time. I have tried everything to help alleviate the symptoms including medication, various therapies and, believe it or not, spiritual healing. I have to report with a heavy heart that nothing has really helped; the degree of 'pain' I have suffered over many years is variable, but I can attribute this to nothing in particular.
I am 67 now and have finally come to terms with living with this for the rest of my life. I don't wish to sound melodramatic but sometimes you just have to accept a situation and make the best of it. My only consolation is that the intensity of the earworms (for want of a better description) varies from day to day and month to month; in other words I have good days and very bad days. I have devised many coping strategies over the years most of which you will all be familiar; for me the thing that most helps is listening to classical music..
Perhaps one day there will be a better understanding of conditions like this; maybe even a magic pill that takes away the pain; unfortunately I don't think it will be anytime soon. Anyway I wish you all well and passionately hope you will all have some form of relief in the future....

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