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The internal narrative.

Major Tom

Searching for ground control...
V.I.P Member
Hello everyone. I just have a question referring to having an internal narrative. I was wondering, is it something everyone has? If so how does yours work?
I have a constant internal narrative, I've had it since I can remember. Sometimes its helpful if its going on about something I should remember etc. Mostly though, it's very distracting. It bounces from old memories in loops that sometimes I cannot seem to escape. I've been living in one for the past 5 years that I would really like to shake, and I do for brief periods, but it always comes back. Bonus: it seems to also make focusing on any one thing for long nearly impossible, and communicating efficiently a real chore. I can carry on a conversation for maybe 5 minutes, then my mind and the narrative takes over and then I'm nearly speechless. I've been able to mask this by scripting at work, but it makes my job much more difficult than it is for the average person. (I think).
On top of all the sensory issues I have, the internal narrative may be what actually cracks me some day.
Do any of you experience this?
 

Pats

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Not sure what you mean as internal narrative. It's it repetitive sentences or words? If it is - I do that. Kind of the same thing as echolalia but mine stays in my mind. Or do you mean something else?
 

Major Tom

Searching for ground control...
V.I.P Member
Imagine watching a movie that has a narrator to explain thoughts and other things that can't be visually portrayed, it's something like that, but not nearly as organized. It sometimes is repetitive sentences and words too. But mainly its going over random things from the past in loops.
 

Pats

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I've been sitting here for the last 4 minutes repeating in my mind what I might say in my response, and since you mentioned narrative I think I'm trying to turn it into something I don't understand, but probably is the same thing I do constantly and, no matter how hard I try, I can't stop. You have no idea how many words and sentences have rolled through my head with this one little paragraph. It's like when you think about your breathing and it messes up your breathing.
 

Night Owl

Active Member
Yes I have this too.....makes me feel aware of everything I am doing, what other people around me are doing, counting how many flowers are in the vase behind the person I am looking at, repeating that number over and over, whilst remembering something from the past and trying to hold a conversation with someone and trying to make eye contact ....it's exhausting !....no wonder i prefer not to socialise. ...It's also there when I am alone .... does this sound anything like what you experience ?
 

Major Tom

Searching for ground control...
V.I.P Member
I've been sitting here for the last 4 minutes repeating in my mind what I might say in my response, and since you mentioned narrative I think I'm trying to turn it into something I don't understand, but probably is the same thing I do constantly and, no matter how hard I try, I can't stop. You have no idea how many words and sentences have rolled through my head with this one little paragraph. It's like when you think about your breathing and it messes up your breathing.
Yep, exactly nail on the head. I wonder if everyone is like this?
 

Major Tom

Searching for ground control...
V.I.P Member
Yes I have this too.....makes me feel aware of everything I am doing, what other people around me are doing, counting how many flowers are in the vase behind the person I am looking at, repeating that number over and over, whilst remembering something from the past and trying to hold a conversation with someone and trying to make eye contact ....it's exhausting !....no wonder i prefer not to socialise. ...It's also there when I am alone .... does this sound anything like what you experience ?
Yes, it is very, very similar.. Its overwhelming at times.
 

Night Owl

Active Member
Yes it is overwhelming and very draining...I can't offer any help with it as I suffer this all the time.... it's like your mind notices everything and just won't stop telling you about it ....or planning or remembering...but maybe the fact you are not alone with this helps a little bit!
 

Fino

Alex
V.I.P Member
Do you mean something more than the constant chatter of the mind? Consciousness is always going and never stops until you die. I believe it's thought to be an evolutionary development which allows us to constantly survey for danger, assess options, make decisions, etc.

It sounds sorta like if a TV were on in the background, and you are having trouble paying attention to other people and things because you keep listening to the TV.

Maybe meditation could help you, training you to ignore the endless words and images. Meditation is about not fixating on any particular part of the stream of consciousness, letting each thought pass by without further contemplation or attachment. But nothing completely silences it.

Unless you mean something beyond that, in which case I'm not sure what you mean.
 

Gracey

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
As far as I’m aware my own includes something similar to bullet points or one word facts depending on how quickly I’m racing through input.
(The bigger the crowd the faster I feel I have to process what I notice)

On my own time, at a more leisurely pace, that narrative can be more descriptive, changed, repeated, listened to?
questioned, understood and perhaps organised neatly unless,

I’m not understanding something.
A whole ‘nother level of questioning begins.

Do you ever think/tell yourself to ‘STOP!’
Or
‘Shut up!’ ? :)
 

inkfingers

21 year old artist
I have thoughts running through my mind almost all the time, but I wouldn't call my thoughts a narrative. I think they are more related to my OCD, as I get repetitive thoughts stuck in my head, which play over and over and over again. They are usually not good thoughts, either. I think that maybe my brain works overtime, because I am always thinking something, it seems. It gets very annoying, and I wish that my mind would just be quiet sometimes. I also tend to overthink things.
 

Loren

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hello everyone. I just have a question referring to having an internal narrative. I was wondering, is it something everyone has? If so how does yours work?
I have a constant internal narrative, I've had it since I can remember. Sometimes its helpful if its going on about something I should remember etc. Mostly though, it's very distracting. It bounces from old memories in loops that sometimes I cannot seem to escape. I've been living in one for the past 5 years that I would really like to shake, and I do for brief periods, but it always comes back. Bonus: it seems to also make focusing on any one thing for long nearly impossible, and communicating efficiently a real chore. I can carry on a conversation for maybe 5 minutes, then my mind and the narrative takes over and then I'm nearly speechless. I've been able to mask this by scripting at work, but it makes my job much more difficult than it is for the average person. (I think).
On top of all the sensory issues I have, the internal narrative may be what actually cracks me some day.
Do any of you experience this?
I experience something that resembles your description, but, could be different. I can go through periods of obsessive thinking or ruminating, which can, literally, take control of my mind/ my thought process. Someone could suggest I attempt to focus on something else, but it isn't the sort of thing that you can, simply, decide to snap yourself out of, necessarily.
 

SusanLR

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
It's like constant consciousness running all the time in no certain direction.
Like @Fino mentioned, a TV running in the background. You hear it in your head all the time.
Thoughts heard but not really controlled unlike when you deliberately control the internal voice to
think of something or figure something out and you're in command.
Most of the time I also have a song playing in my mind too.

So three things at once. Songs, controlled deliberate thoughts and the constant mind thoughts noise.
Only when asleep without dreams is it quite. And I have very little sleep without dreams.
I would call it an over active or hyperactive thought process.
Like our neurons fire constantly the internal voice of the mind.
 

Progster

Gone sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
Hello everyone. I just have a question referring to having an internal narrative. I was wondering, is it something everyone has? If so how does yours work?
I have a constant internal narrative, I've had it since I can remember. Sometimes its helpful if its going on about something I should remember etc. Mostly though, it's very distracting. It bounces from old memories in loops that sometimes I cannot seem to escape. I've been living in one for the past 5 years that I would really like to shake, and I do for brief periods, but it always comes back. Bonus: it seems to also make focusing on any one thing for long nearly impossible, and communicating efficiently a real chore. I can carry on a conversation for maybe 5 minutes, then my mind and the narrative takes over and then I'm nearly speechless. I've been able to mask this by scripting at work, but it makes my job much more difficult than it is for the average person. (I think).
On top of all the sensory issues I have, the internal narrative may be what actually cracks me some day.
Do any of you experience this?
If you mean, am I distracted while working or talking with others by my own internal narrative, making it difficult to concentrate, then yes, definitely. I find it hard to keep my focus on things that don't interest me. Often, I'm talking to a student and my mind involutarily wanders off, like a kind of daydream, and I have to ask the student to repeat themselves. I try not to let it happen, but it does. I also have repetitive thoughts, phrases that repeat in my mind, or events that I keep going back to. I think in pictures too, like a movie; my narrative is composed of words, phrases and images. If a picture comes to me and I become engrossed in it, I don't hear and don't see what's going on around me in my environment.
 

Gracey

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
If it could be set as an alarm or used to shout out reminders and shopping lists
It would be invaluable. Worth listening to.

I mean how helpful are song lyrics? parts of the script written for Jaws? or Lev Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development?
When all you want to do is remember who you’re talking to on a telephone,
Why you’re in a supermarket or where it was you were trying to arrive five minutes early.
:)
 

DiverseWonderland

I can do anything!
Hello everyone. I just have a question referring to having an internal narrative. I was wondering, is it something everyone has? If so how does yours work?
I have a constant internal narrative, I've had it since I can remember. Sometimes its helpful if its going on about something I should remember etc. Mostly though, it's very distracting. It bounces from old memories in loops that sometimes I cannot seem to escape. I've been living in one for the past 5 years that I would really like to shake, and I do for brief periods, but it always comes back. Bonus: it seems to also make focusing on any one thing for long nearly impossible, and communicating efficiently a real chore. I can carry on a conversation for maybe 5 minutes, then my mind and the narrative takes over and then I'm nearly speechless. I've been able to mask this by scripting at work, but it makes my job much more difficult than it is for the average person. (I think).
On top of all the sensory issues I have, the internal narrative may be what actually cracks me some day.
Do any of you experience this?
Oh Yes! I have this thing were i almost have two Brain's, My main one and another one in the back and i too have that little narrator in my head and sometimes he is helpful or fun and sometimes he is not but i learned to work with him and i just named him Inner me, sometimes i imagine him as a little ghost version of me that floats by me when talking or narrating and he will either narrate or sometimes i actually have an inner conversation with him/myself...
 

Dias

Well-Known Member
This is a very interesting point to me. I talk to myself all the time, I mean I have dialogues, I make questions and I answer them at the same time, sometimes I just talk as if there was someone there listening. Of course this is all internally and I know it is only me, I never had imaginary friends and I never talked to ghosts as far as I know ;) maybe it is loneliness...
At the same time I am constantly aware of what is externally happening but I handle it very well, just like a robot, mechanical actions, nothing fails most of the times because I was already expecting it to happen. People and situations are very predictable to me and I am always alert because I hate surprises.
Another thing that happens to me is for example: When I post a text here like I am doing now I will post it and then I will review the text in my mind countless times until I get tired, bored, or find other thing to distract me...I don't keep it in my brain with the intention to judge or correct something or think about it better, no, it just sticks there for no apparent usefull reason at all.
Well, it could be worst...:rolleyes:
 

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