Internal monologue ADHD
Do you have a habit of talking to yourself?
From his InsideMyMind post https://insidemymind.me/2020/02/05/how-my-internal-monologue-affects-my-attention-deficit-disorder/, a young guy called Ryan Langdon As a person with ADHD, he wrote about his internal dialogue, which he referred to as hyper-neuro-vocal in that he had hyper self-talk that interferes with his concentration. In his own research, he discovered that people with ADHD tend to get carried away with their excessive self-talk, whereas others without ADHD occasionally claim to be completely unaware of any self-talk or internal dialogue (what he refers to as being hypo-neuro-vocal). In fact, Ryan describes his biggest issue as his internal conversation interfering with his concentration, which he attributes to his ADHD
How's your internal monologue going?
Do you think in words, in a dialogue with yourself, in visuals, or do you have no idea what you're thinking (must be quite quiet)? I've had the privilege of interviewing tens of thousands of people with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and autism. The vast majority have described active self-talk as interfering with regular functioning. I don't know anyone who doesn't have an internal monologue. Some people may not be conscious of their own self-talk, but that doesn't imply it doesn't exist. Indeed, such thoughts are frequently referred to as automatic thoughts, which are merely thoughts that occur so naturally that we are unaware of them. However, everyone is different, and we've all heard of people (maybe you are one of them) who prefer to think and process information in pictures (visual learners...). Most of us, I believe, think in both words and pictures (we talk to ourselves, and visualize people and experiences). The amount to which our ideas interfere with our daily functioning is the primary issue in terms of a 'disorder.'
How our thoughts obstruct us
I've never met an anxious person who didn't have anxiety-provoking self-talk, or a depressive person who didn't have dismal self-talk. Individuals with ADHD have a strong internal focus and/or obsessive thoughts about any random item or interest, which manifests in nonstop talking (which is rather distracting for them and those around them), while those with autism have a strong internal focus and/or obsessive thoughts about any random item or interest. To be honest, there isn't a single person on this earth who hasn't struggled with their ideas at some point in their lives. Helping to regulate what's going on in our thoughts is one of the most important components of therapy.
So, what are our options?
That's what we do: we learn to regulate our thoughts. We employ internal forces to think on something else, which is the basis for cognitive-behavioral therapy, the most well-researched therapeutic strategy now in use. We also use external cues to remind us to stay focused; in either case, we learn to redirect our thoughts to more healthy topics and views, and then return to the task at hand. Medication can be really beneficial, as it helps to reduce background noise and improve our focus. Wearing earbuds that play a recording of a friendly voice reminding us to stay on task, or a visual cue on our desk to remind us to focus, or highlighting every noun or verb in a paragraph so we must stay active and focused in our reading, and so on, are all examples of auditory and visual cues that can be beneficial. There are numerous strategies to choose from.