Is there a name for this phenomenon? Do you experience it?


Okay, I have a theory about this thing that seems like an adhd trait. I’m calling it “brain echo” because I don’t know if there’s another name.

Brain echo is where you hear a sound - maybe a bit of a song, a ringtone, a word or phrase - and your brain LOUDLY repeats that sound to you over and over and over again for like 5-10 minutes.

I’m not talking about when you get a song in your head. When that happens, usually it lasts longer, and listening to the tune helps a bit, plus you can just hum it while you go about your day.

Brain echo is like your brain yelling at you, forcing you to listen to it, and it’s so loud in your head that you can’t focus on anything else while it’s playing and you have to wait for it to stop, which it always does eventually. It happens almost immediately after hearing the sound.

I think it’s an ADHD thing because it goes away when I take my medication, also I’ve spoken to people without ADHD who don’t relate to me, but I have also spoken to people with ADHD who do experience this. It’s also worse when I’m tired, which isn’t good news for my insomnia. :joy:

Here’s an example: I was at work last year, when someone accidentally played something on their laptop without muting it. They muted it straight away but not before this voice went “WELCOME TO-” in like this weird robotic way. And for the next 10 minutes, I was basically out of commission while my brain was just repeating WELCOME TO WELCOME TO WELCOME TO :tired_face: my brain also often echos my morning alarm, regardless of what it is. I wake up hearing my alarm in my head for like half an hour.

So like… Is this a thing? Or am I just weird/do I have some other issue? Lol



Don’t know if it’s specifically ADHD, since I’ve never heard of this exact thing before, but it could be part of an OCD thing, which does occur among ADHD’ers more than the average population. So although not directly related, it could be indirectly related?

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I do have some other OCD-like tendencies, so I wouldn’t rule that out to be honest, as it’s something I’ve been questioning recently.

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This sounds like palinacousis but you should really talk with your doctor. I am curious if chewing gum helps, which for some people does stop an earworm (a song or something musical getting stuck in your head for a long time).

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Interesting! I’ve never checked to see if chewing gum works.

I did a quick Google of palinacousis, and I don’t think it’s that because that seems like more of an auditory hallucination… I’m not actually hearing the sound, it’s more the thought that goes round in my head.

It does seem like it could be OCD, given that it happens more when I’m tired or anxious or understimulated, plus some other OCD symptoms I have and various compulsive behaviours.

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This may be the concept of PERSEVERATING on an unwanted idea. You can google up some info on the basis of that excessively scientific word, maybe. :slight_smile:



I experience something a bit different but possibly related. Sometimes the world around me and my own thoughts take on an unusual but quite specific ‘tone’ for lack of a better word, in my perception.

I have never attempted describing it to anyone as it causes me no issues and is fairly irregular, whilst being quite difficult to accurately describe. Still, it has happened to me since childhood, and always unbidden (I can’t make it happen).

You know when people speak in what could be described as a ‘matter of fact’ tone? When I experience this, it’s feels as if the entire world takes on that kind of tone, and I feel disconnected from it all as though my perspective or point of ‘self’ has shifted. Its weird, and I can’t make it stop until it goes on its own - usually less than 30 minutes I’d say. Not sure if that makes any sense to anyone.

While it doesn’t cause me to experience repetitions of sounds, your description did immediately make me think of it.



Perseveration! Amazing word! After some googling, that sounds EXACTLY like what I’m talking about, thank you :grin: how did you know this word?



That sort of sounds like dissociation?



Glad it’s useful to you. I learned the word from my Psychiatrist, who re-described something which I described to him, as “you’re perseverating on that idea.” I don’t really know much more about it. Now YOU’RE the expert! :slight_smile: