Can't stop humming!

Posted , 59 users are following.

Put this under neurological as don't know where else to post it. I find myself constantly coming out with a repetitive (same few notes) hum. I think it first started when I would be finishing an arduous task but now it is frequent through the day - almost like a sort of crutch/mantra. Last week I nipped into the dentist's loo just before an appointment and realised I had been at it again. Which was embarrassing as there was someone waiting outside.

Any techniques for dealing with this? I want to stop!

9 likes, 78 replies

Report / Delete

78 Replies

Next
  • Edited

    I have the same problem. I started this repetitive humming, usually the same 3-5 notes, over and over again about 6-months ago. When I realuze I'm doing this it annoys me and I try to hum a real tune. I wonder how loud I am doing this, and can coworkers hear me. I mainly do this at work.

    Is this anxiety or a symptom of something else, such as, PSP or dementia?

    I wish I could stop.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Chris, would you mind telling me how old you are? Maybe it is normal for our age group. I talked to my sister about it and she said I was making a bigger deal out of it than it really is. Have you talked to anyone about it?
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I am trying to think who could help you with this kind of thing, perhaps a hypnotherapist might be your best bet, I know they can be very helpful with quitting smoking, phobias and many other things so perhaps this subconscious and compulsive type behaviour could fall within their remit. Best wishes
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    This is what worked for me. No did not cure it completely but it stops it and I enjoy the break until its set off again and  I repeat.

    it was an accident? But a new friend I had just made listens to jazz and opera. He had it at a decent volume. So it caught my attention with out knowing. And all sudden i realized i wasnt humming ..could not hum. It like cut it off or mixed me up and I was so thrilled. 

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Not sure if you are still following this discussion but I did research in this area and believe it is a result of Tourette Syndrome.  I do not know of any treatment but I have read that it can increase and decrease with stress.  Yes, co-workers can usually hear you humming and though you many know the tune you are humming, they usually just hear mumbling or incoherent humming.  Only recommendation I can make is to try and make light of it and emphasize that humming is a happy trait.  Good luck.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Edited

    Isn't humming akin to talking to yourself?  Doesn't seem pathological, just mindless ( which is perfectly ok...).  I talk, hum, sing, etc., all the time and crack myself up.  Everybody has had that song or tune they just cannot get out of their head, perhaps that is you.  I do think mindless noises are a way for us to think differently or perhaps figuring out a problem after a snooze.  Laugh and just tell everyone you are the entertainment.  If it the only symptom you have, I doubt it's life threatening.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      i have hummed for years. same tune and don't even know what it is. i cannot stop. i tell my kids and grandkids i am keeping myself company. lol.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Edited

      Hi KMRC,

      I understand your point but this is different. I found this site/topic be a useful I'm having the same problem and am at my wits' end. This isn't like mindlessly humming a tune when you're doing something, or getting a tune stuck on your gear for a few hours/days/whatever. Yes, we all have that from time to time, I have done that all my life, but this last 12 months or so is different, it's constant, it's the same small part/few nots of a song over and over again, and it's not just happening in my head, I am "hmm hmm"-ing it constantly, to the pint where my jaw and neck muscles hurt, but I can't make it stop!! I force myself to stop as soon as I realise I'm doing it (usually because my jaw is aching and giving me a headache), and within SECONDS it's happening again! I've managed to quit alcohol, quit smoking, and quit binge eating.... but I can't quit humming and it's making me crazy!!!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Edited

      I've also noticed this constant uncontrollable humming and for me the "uncontrollable" version of this seems to increase during times of high stress.

      I'm a lifelong musician and songwriter and have always hummed and sung to myself but I agree. It's not like getting a tune stuck in your head. It continues until I notice the irritation and I actually get out of breath so I force myself to stop. But it's back in less than a minute. It's always the same 20 second clip, over and over again. Sounds similar to some classical music I've heard over the years. But it more closely resembles the HOLD MUSIC from some number I've had to hear repeatedly, for over an hour at a time or frequently for shorter but still uncomfortable wait (listening) times.

      I think maybe it's a psychological remnant from the combination of high stress (like trying to get unemployment during the pandemic) and hearing this hold music clip for hour after hour. I recently spent 4 months calling the Virginia employment commission between 2 and 8 hours A DAY! Trying to get my unemployment paid and I was EXTREMELY frustrated. We eventually had a group of citizens come together with legal representation and won a class action suit against the employment commission which forced them to finally pay my claim that should have been approved in APRIL, but I finally received the payments in AUGUST! Suspiciously ONE day after the extra federal unemployment supplements STOPPED and just TWO days before the judges orders for resolution within 100 DAYS expired.

      Anyway. I've seen real psychological studies (I work in healthcare technology and have access to data from the WHO, CDC and NIH) that also suggest it's symptomatic of SCHIZOPHRENIA. But schizoid behavior can actually manifest itself in many ways and affects over 1% of the population. So it could be indicative of a deeper issue but probably just suggests that continuing light therapy could be helpful to ensure you don't begin to experience more harmful behaviors. Like many others on the thread, I don't believe it's a severe issue as long as you're aware of it and can get past it once noticed.

      My personal opinion is that NOBODY is completely "sane" and we could all use an objective, professional ear at times. Just so we can say the things we're afraid to mention to friends and family (our normal support network). And possibly get some actionable advice. I'm not in therapy at the moment but I'm seriously considering it on a regular basis in the new year. Just to help cope with my own personal health and financial collapse during the Covid-19 pandemic. I'll definitely bring this up to my new therapist and update my comment with any professional guidance I receive.

      Hang in there guys. Maybe try switching it to an upbeat and positive tune when you notice it. Try to exercise SOME control without attempting to STOP it. Hope this has been helpful in some way. 😊

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I have PD and since on my meds i have had a singing compulsion. i start singing even without realizing i am doing it and stop but do the same thing again repeatedly. I get on my own nerves at times....I am reducing the strength of my meds  because i am noticing other probs too. Maybe this is not helpful but i thought i would just log it  in case
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    There are certainly drugs that can cause compulsions.  Remember, they are affecting your brain and side effects can vary widely.  If it bothers you too much, I would talk to your PD doc or look up all your meds and see if the humming/singing is a side effect of any of them separately or together.  I have hummed and sung most of my life (to myself) and everybody laughs but I think somehow it keeps me laughing, too, so I just go with it!  Sometimes I think we do things unconsciously to give our brain a chance to work out solutions we have not come up with, yet.  That may not be the case for you, however, and if is really that bothersome, see your doc.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    My dad lived with us for seven years before he passed. I was not aware of humming until the three weeks he was in Hospice before he died. I hummed over and over, but did not know the words. While he was in a coma like stage, he began to sing the words to my tune. I still contine to hum two years later, but I do not recognize I am doing it. My family considers it "sweet," but I am concerned.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Edited

    I have been humming incessantly for several years now & it has just about ruined my singing voice . A speech therapist confirmed my suspicion that I have lost a lot of volume & control of my voice because of the humming . I have been trying to stop myself for over a year and I can only do so much. I was hoping someone had made progress with this issue??

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up