Ah ha! The human brain. One of the best organs in the body. It measures, it categorizes, it makes connections and it remembers the square root of 144. I’m constantly awed by its power, and to have that power is beyond compare.
But one of the annoying things that can happen to a brain is that something gets stuck in it. Whether it be a song, or a catchy slogan. Somehow, even through its great power and ability, the catchy hook of the latest mainstream song from the charts gets stuck inside some errant neurons and plays over and over and over and over again. Some tiring stuff.

And this causes a lot more trouble in my bipolar brain than it does for others.

I Have Demi Lovato Stuck in My Mind…On Loop.

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 songs that have the most catchy hook, they are just random songs that fight their way into my consciousness long enough to create a groove there. From chart songs, to songs from an advert like We Buy Any Car.com. And once they’re there? Good luck fishing them out. Now, we all know that Demi Lovato is bipolar, and she’s is one of my biggest inspirations in music and in personal life when it comes to her experience in illnesses. But to have her song ‘Skyscraper’ stuck in my mind all day everyday, well that’s just pushing me closer and closer to dropping my brain off a cliff. I’ve even given up and just started playing it on Youtube, figured why should I suffer with it in my head when the actual song can accompany it.

Earworms The Correct Word to Describe This?

So I turned to the internet and on Wikipedia, this is known as an “earworm,” Definition: “musical imagery repetition” or “involuntary music imagery.”  A type of song that typically has a high, upbeat melody and repetitive lyrics that verge between catchy and annoying. Annoying.

Earworms are completely natural, and apparently 98% of people experience them. Us women seem to experience earworms for longer and are more irritated by them. Songs with lyrics account for about three-quarters of earworms. Annoying shit right?

So, Bipolar Brain and Earworms Eh? Good Match?

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, up to 10 different songs but predominantly they are there. So, let’s take all the music imagery and put it together with a racing mind, filled with other random things rocketing at lightning speed. As you can see, (or can’t see) this is a major problem. I need sleep you know.

I haven’t found any research suggesting people with bipolar disorder have more cases of earworms than others but there is research that says people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) do. 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 icepick his or herself just to make the blooming song in his or her head shut the heck up. It’s that much of an 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.

And to think you can’t even pay a single attention to anything outside of your mind because it’s taken all of your attention. This brain needs a slap.



20/06/2014 11:12am

Wow! It's good to know about the earworms! I had no clue about that being a part of this.


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