I actually had no intention of writing this post but my Psychiatrist told me that I should because a lot of people struggle with it but few talk about it and how much it effects your life.
So what am I talking about? For as long as I can remember my head has been full of noise. Sometimes the noise is just quietly there in the background, sometimes the noise is so loud I can’t hear anything else, sometimes the noise becomes a song or music that gets stuck on repeat and sometimes the noise decides to turn into a vocal critic of everything I do.
What the noise never does is go away it is constant 24/7, 365 days a year even when I am asleep the noise is there invading my dreams and making for vivid dreaming, restless sleep or no sleep.
So what is this noise that I’m talking about. Imagine you’re in a room and somewhere near by someone has turned a radio on and it’s not quite on the station correctly so you have the hiss of static electricity with voices or music you can’t quite hear properly. That is the noise inside my head.
If I’m lucky the noise is just quietly humming away in the background of my brain irritating but almost ignorable. However some times (normally if I’m stressed) the volume goes up and the noise is so loud it’s hard to concentrate on anything including what people are saying to me. Sometimes I’ll wake up with a song going around and around on a loop track in my brain and nothing makes it go away. The looping music can also start from a snipped of music heard on TV, someones ringtone, someone humming/whistling/singing or a snippet of radio sound from a passing vehicle.
The worst part about the noise is when it decides to become a voice that tells me I’m lazy, I’m fat, I’m unattractive, I’m a loser and then goes on a full rant replaying every negative thing that has ever happened to me or been said to me. The voice also loves to keep me awake at night either replaying some stressful event from that day and pointing out what I did wrong or running through an upcoming event describing how I’m going to fuck it up because I’m such a loser and so on and so forth.
I can’t control the noise which is why I used to take a large amount of Codeine based pain killers, took sleeping tablets, drank, studied, worked in high pressure jobs, created external chaos in my life or did anything to keep my mind busy because all of those helped distract me from the noise. I’ve recently found a slightly healthier option is reading books and listening to music as both help to turn the volume of the noise down to almost ignorable.
I don’t ever remember a time when the noise wasn’t there and trying to ignore it takes a huge amount of mental effort. The mental effort required to ignore the noise often made me stressed, tired, grumpy and unfocussed. Naturally the more stressed, tired and grumpy I got the louder the noise would become creating the never ending cycle till I’d get a migraine from hell, take enough prescription meds to knock out an elephant and if I was lucky pass out for a few hours of blissful unconsciousness.
Part of me subconsciously realised that the constant noise inside your head was not how a healthy brain works but up until Wednesday 7 Feb when I said to my Psychiatrist that the new drugs must be doing something because “the noise in my head is almost silent” I had never actually talked about the constant noise. The discussion that followed was interesting and is what prompted this blog because 99% of the time we don’t realise that things like constant noise inside your heads, headaches that last for weeks, missing chunks of time/memories or not being able to sit still could indicate issues with brain chemistry because to us it’s our “normal”.