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OCB

Question:

I have a never ending song playing in my head. It changes from one song to another but never stops. I wake up with a song and go to sleep with a song in my head. Sometimes I think I am going to lose my mind. It just wont stop. What is it?

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Answer:

I am not quite certain what you mean by your title, OCB, unless you are referring to OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. There is not question that you are being plagued by an obsessional way of thinking and it comes to you in the form of the song that you have in your head.

Symptoms of OCD like the one you are experiencing are usually a symptom of anxiety. It could be an anxiety about something specific that is bothering you or about a "free floating anxiety" about nothing specific. The mind "plays tricks" by distracting itself from the anxiety with obsessional thoughts (such as your song) or by compulsive behaviors or both. The problem is that this distraction used by the mind turns out to be torturous because the repetitive compulsive acts or obsessional thoughts are extremely distressing and annoying.

What can be done about this?

There are several approaches to dealing with your obsessional thinking:

1. Do not attempt to push the song down or to not think about it. The more you try to not think of something, the more you will think of it. What you can do is think of something different. Think about something pleasant such as a favorite or ideal vacation place you would like to be. This is a form of meditation in which you use visualizations of something pleasant. Close your eyes, picture the place, smell the place and feel the place. Use all of your five senses in your imagination. With practice it will become easier.

2. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga and exercise can help with this problem.

3. If nothing works or if you cannot tolerate any more of this, seek help with this problem.

a. See a psychiatrist who will evaluate you and place you on the appropriate medication that will end the obsessional thoughts. One such medication is an anti depressant named Zoloft. Allow the psychiatrist to choose the appropriate medication although you can ask about Zoloft.

b. In addition to medication, seek psychotherapeutic help form a specialist who knows how to treat OCD.

4. Along with all of these suggestions, avoid stressful situations as much as possible: do not listen to or read about the news, get plenty of exercise, do not listen to loud music, and do not watch violent or stressful television programs or movies.

Best of Luck

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