My ‘Bipolar Brain’: Constant Conversations in My Head

Last Updated: 14 May 2019

Negative thoughts pop into my head—and then I will have a conversation about this experience.

Today I am going to talk about the conversations I have with myself that are constantly going on in my mind.

A few nights ago, my wife looked over at me and said, “Dave, why are you so quiet today?” I said, “I don’t know. Am I being quiet? I didn’t realize.” Then a few days ago, I thought about it and realized that I am having a constant conversation with myself in my mind. And by constant I mean every minute of every hour of every day.

Thoughts will pop in my head, mostly negative, about experiences I have had. And I will have a conversation about this experience. Usually these conversations will last from 10 seconds to 30 or anywhere in between. Then I’m off to another conversation for 10 or 30 seconds, and then back to the original.

Music helps. I listen to music but I can never ever, ever remember listening to a song all the way through. Somewhere, whether it be 10 seconds or 30 seconds, a thought will pop into my head and I will think about it and converse with myself about it. Then I will go back to the music. Then I will have a thought and go back to having a conversation with myself,

I meditate and it helps, but it is not a solution. It gives me some quiet in between the thoughts because I will have a thought and start a conversation and then I will let it go. Then 10-30 seconds later I am off to another thought. I go back and forth, back and forth, and back again. So meditation for me is only a slight temporary relief.

Watching TV is helpful for me because I am focusing on something else.

The most relief comes from reading a book. I think, no I’m sure, everyone has thoughts that pop into their head and conversations with themselves. I just wonder if my bipolar brain is the reason my thoughts are constant.

The next time my wife says, “Why are you so quiet tonight? I will say “Because I have been having a conversation with myself all day long.”

I’m sure she is going to say, “About what?” Unfortunately I will have to say, “About everything and nothing.” But by talking about it with her I hope she will understand. And by talking about it I will have some understanding, or gain an understanding about these constant thoughts and conversations I have with myself.

Learn more:
4 Physical Signs of An Impending Manic Episode
Which ‘Bipolar Me’ Is Going to Wake Up Today?


About the author
Dave Mowry’s blog posts for Bp Magazine have been read by over 400,000 people. Dave is the author of the Amazon best seller and award winning “OMG That’s Me! Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and more… “ and is a recognized mental health influencer. ”OMG That’s Me!” was just ranked number 17 on BookAuthority’s list of the best bipolar disorder books of all time. Dave is also co-author of “No Really, We Want You to Laugh. Mental Illness and Stand-Up Comedy: Transforming Lives". Dave lives with bipolar disorder and severe anxiety and suffered in silence for most of his adult life. When Dave took a stand-up comedy class, it transformed him by showing him how to find humor in his darkest experiences. Dave now teaches stand-up comedy to other folks with a mental illness and sees the same transformation happen in them. Dave has received numerous awards for his work in mental illness in Oregon. He speaks regularly to large and small groups and was interviewed on the Think Out Loud program after Robin William’s suicide. Dave was also featured in an article by The Oregonian newspaper in 2011. The article focused on the fact that most people with a mental illness are not dangerous or threatening. Dave is currently the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness affiliate in Washington County, Oregon . He also worked as a peer support specialist for NAMI. During this time he worked with well over 800 people and this experience informs his writing, teaching, speaking and performing. Dave lives just outside Portland, Oregon with his wife Heather, daughter Meghan and grandson Van.
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  2. I meant to say that I sometimes think I might have bipolar 2 because of my frequent and mixed mania swings..

  3. I’m bipolar type 1… I was originally diagnosed with major depression and have always suffered with severe anxiety and I’m pretty socially nervous and an idiot and worried and I just don’t like being left to speak to people but when I’m manic i don’t care I’ll talk to anyone all while feeling like I shouldn’t be.. Apart of me feels like I was misdiagnosed and actually have bipolar 1 but I’ve been hospitalized more than once in a one year period and even freaked out on a girl and decided it wasn’t my problem while I was in the hospital. So maybe I am bipolar 1.. idk… it terrifies me but im on meds that I got from the last manic rage episode , I told the police I was suicidal (my ex and I were arguing for hours in a complex) My grammar is bad because I don’t want to forget while I type as I type this which will come to this question do you know why my moods feel like they change throughout the day (another time I felt like I actually had bpd) constantly? I can’t find anyone online who has bipolar 1 disorder and experiences more frequent moodiness in a day or span of days. But I’ve read it does happen, and I just don’t know if I’m 1 or 2. I know what rapid cycling is and mixed mania. Is that what it is? You don’t have to respond to this if you don’t want to.

  4. I find if I have several things going at once that it does a fairly good job at quieting the unceasing chatter in my head. For instance, I just learned how to use a bead loom and I usually am working on a piece while binge-watching stuff on Netflix. It does keep my attention divided between the two, but they are both things I really have to concentrate on and helps me stay “in the moment” as it were.

  5. Wow, I have really noticed an increase in this in myself. Mostly, it seems like I am talking about myself to an imaginary person, like a rehearsal! It’s a relief to know it’s probably a symptom of my BP. Also, maybe being alone a lot might contribute to it.

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