Inner Monologue

I may have brought this up before, but question for the GoAers - Inner monologue. Do you have one?

I do not. I’ve been trying to be more conscious of my thoughts. I don’t have any kind of voice narrating anything. If I think about people talking, then I “hear” them speaking, but I don’t narrate anything in my head. I do have music playing in my head constantly, almost like an underlying soundtrack, and I see visuals of my thoughts, but I don’t hear words or think in words. Sometimes the music is an earworm, sometimes it’s just melodious sound that my brain is creating, but there’s usually music, especially when I’m alone with my thoughts.

My husband has a voice in his head, and can’t understand how I don’t. I can’t imagine having a voice in my head all the time, though. Does that get pretty irritating?

Inner monologue is extremely heightened when you’re stoned, or on other types of psychedelics. This is studied science.

But yes.

You experience this when you are physically unable to utter words, but your mind is really clear.

See also The 7 Levels of High - YouTube

Starting at level 5

1 Like

I definitely have one. There are definitely times when I think and it’s not in words, but most of the time I’m basically talking to myself in my head.

The googles tells me that some people without this also experience aphantasia, where you don’t have a mind’s eye and can’t recreate things visually in your brain, does that apply to you?

I think ONLY in visuals and sounds, so I definitely don’t have that. I would think people who have only a voice in their head would more likely have aphantasia vs. someone who doesn’t have an inner monologue - how else would they think, if not in visuals or words?

You don’t hear a “voice” when you read the AO?


did you hear a voice in your head? While it’s definitely not an audible sound, but there’s a distinctiveness to it. It’s definitely not anyone’s voice.

Yes, when I’m reading or when I’m thinking of a conversation, I hear voices.

When I think about what I’m going to do today, I don’t have a voice saying “I think I’m going to go to the store. I might take a nap.” I just…see it playing out instead.

I’ll also add, if I’m reading a novel, I don’t hear the words, I see the picture. When I’m reading something factual that doesn’t require my imagination to conjure something up, I hear it spoken.

I see. I’m sure it’s genetics then. Like I said, you can alter your sensitivity to your inner voice through drugs. Some people are probably born naturally with more sensitivity to it, while others in the other direction.

It’s why stoners often times get trapped in their head having discussions with themselves and unable to speak their mind.

Maybe this is part of why I don’t enjoy insobriety then.

And it probably sucks for people born naturally with ultra sensitivity to it. If the voices are always there it could drive someone mad.

1 Like

Well, this is reason enough for me never to try drugs.

My inner monologue is already ridiculously strong, enough to make most people crumble. A thousand times a day I hear myself tell me what a worthless piece of crap that I am - I hear it in my own voice but they are words of my parents. I don’t think most people could handle that, and taking substances to make that effect more potent is not something I’d like to consider.


I definitely do. Sometimes I mumble things that I didn’t intend to vocalize. Wife sometimes calls me out on it. Ditto for the vice versa. FWIW, we’re both highly introverted.

1 Like

I thought aphantasia was more like when you tried to picture your bedroom but couldn’t. Not so much ‘thinking in pictures’ but being able to assemble a picture in your mind. But I’m no expert.

So I tend to think with an inner monologue, but there are a lot of thoughts that aren’t words or pictures. Consciously, it feels almost like a compulsion. I don’t know what’s going on behind the curtain, but my brain surfaces ideas that are basically fully formed, but I don’t recall my brain asking me for input.

I definitely have an inner monologue. Sometimes I say the words audibly. Usually in a whisper, but mr aj has answered me on occasion. :scream:

1 Like

ABsolutely have one. Gab gab gab gab, particularly when I’m on the treadmill. Think through a lot of things, it’s a good time to sort rational solutions.

So the “did I just say that out loud” trope is a real thing?! TIL.


That’s negative self talk - there are therapies for that.

When I was taking exams I’d often listen to music just to shut the bloody monologue up!

Says the girl with self professed low self esteem… I have NO self esteem.

Yeah, I’ve tried a few, but never found anything helpful.

I guess I just don’t relate to the original question. How can you NOT have an inner dialogue? What would THAT be like?

I have inner monologue, but also do visual / non verbal thoughts as well.

This morning for example, I was at the gym. I couldn’t remember the name of one of the women working out with me. In my mind my voice was saying “Heather… no… something common… Melanie… no not that either… what is it” and in trying to remember it I was attempting to visualize her name as seen on Facebook. I could see her image, eventually was able to put her last name onto her image on my internally seen Facebook feed (then inner monologue went “oh Jones!”), and then finally her first name popped in “Emily!”.