By Emily Joshu Health Reporter For Dailymail.Com
22:12 19 Oct 2023, updated 22:24 19 Oct 2023
- Overtalking could be a sign of conditions like ADHD, bipolar, and anxiety
- Many overtalkers are not aware they are doing it or why they do it
- READ MORE: Half the population could have a mental health condition by age 75
If you’re constantly getting in trouble for talking or rattling on about specific topics, you could have a mental health condition.
Overtalking, also known as compulsive talking or oversharing, is exactly what it sounds like. It involves talking for long periods without letting another person speak, rambling about special interests, or interrupting someone to get your thoughts in.
An overtalker could just be particularly gregarious, but experts told DailyMail.com that it can be a sign of certain mental health conditions like anxiety, ADHD, and autism, which are all being diagnosed at record rates.
Dr Carolyn Rubenstein, a licensed therapist in Florida, told DailyMail.com: ‘It’s not a bidirectional conversation. It’s more of a monologue. You’re talking to someone else but not allowing for the other person to contribute to the conversation, so you aren’t as aware of their desire to pop in or their interest.’
‘A lot of people aren’t even aware that they’re overtalking, and once they are aware, it’s a huge wake-up moment.’
Though overtalking on its own is not an indication of a mental health condition, below are four that may cause overtalking.
About one in 36 children in the US have the developmental disability autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, as well as restricted or repetitive behaviors and interests.
The rate is higher among boys — four in 100 — compared to girls — one in 100. However, autism is notoriously hard to spot, with the average age of diagnosis around five in the US. And in the past several years, more and more adults have been diagnosed with the condition.
There is no definitive cause of autism, and research suggests the disorder develops from a combination of genetic and environmental influences that affect early brain development.
Though overtalking alone does not automatically make someone autistic, it is a behavior autistic individuals may display.
‘[Autism] is more of a social communication disorder. The big part there is to recognize the need to pause, cut, and track eye contact, all the nonverbal cues that are part of communication,’ Dr Rubenstein said.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder that is typically diagnosed in childhood, but recent years have seen an increase in adult diagnoses.
The primary symptoms of ADHD, which typically manifest before age 12, include inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behavior. People with ADHD may be continuously fidgety, unable to concentrate on a given task, talk excessively, interrupt others and be easily distracted, among other symptoms.
‘Usually, with ADHD, there’s a tendency to have impulsivity with reduced inhibition. You might say, for example, whatever comes to your mind without filtering, so you’re having thoughts that come to mind, and you just blurt them out and not think. You just kind of say whatever comes to your mind,’ Dr Rubenstein said.
READ MORE: One in TEN high school students have attempted suicide
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in 2021, 10.2 percent of US high school students said they had attempted to kill themselves in the past 12 months, up from around 8 percent in 2019.
Though this is typically seen in kids who have a hard time waiting their turn to talk in classrooms, it can be seen in adults with ADHD. For example, an adult might feel impatient and not wait for the other person to stop speaking. They may keep talking even though others have lost interest or forget to pause or take a breath.
‘With ADHD, there’s this tendency to need stimulation, and talking creates stimulation. There’s all these other aspects that may be lost because you’re overwhelmed by the stimuli that you’re focusing on,’ Dr Rubenstein said.
Medications like Adderall can help individuals with ADHD focus and avoid overtalking.
It’s a common misconception that every person with social anxiety is quiet or has a hard time starting a conversation.
However, Dr Rubenstein said that overtalking is a common characteristic of the condition.
‘A lot of times, there is a tendency to have a lot of anxiety related to silence. People will talk to avoid dealing with silence. That nervous energy is really dispelled through talking.’
‘A hallmark [of anxiety] is having racing thoughts. You have those racing thoughts, and then they come back as overtalking.’
This is also true for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which involves excessive, ongoing worry that interferes with day-to-day life. GAD affects 6.8 million American adults, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), yet less than half receive treatment.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that one in five adults in the US has had an anxiety disorder in the last year,
Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that range from depression to mania.
Those with bipolar, which affects seven million Americans — suffer swings that cannot be resolved by making small changes, such as getting more sleep or taking a walk.
During a manic episode, patients may feel joyful, uncontrollably excited, confident, easily distracted and irritable.
They may also be more active than usual, talk very quickly, be very friendly to others, act inappropriately or out of character and sleep very little.
Meanwhile, during a depressive episode, a bipolar patient may feel upset, tearful, agitated, tired, uninterested in the things they usually enjoy and suicidal.
They may act withdrawn, have trouble sleeping or sleep too much, eat too much or too little, avoid contacting people and spend a lot of time thinking upsetting things.
Patients with Bipolar I Disorder have a history of at least one manic episode, along with depressed and manic episodes. In Bipolar II, mood varies from high to low, but the outbursts are less intense than Bipolar I.
Overtalking can be a sign of both subtypes.
This condition can cause fast or erratic speech that often doesn’t make sense. This is known as pressured speech, which occurs when someone is thinking so quickly that they can’t get their words out fast enough.
‘The speech is rapid-fire. You will see that during a manic episode,’ Dr Rubenstein said.