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Anxiety around noise associated with student living.

E

EJerm

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Durham
Hi everyone!

I'm just reaching out to see if anyone had any advice for dealing with anxiety triggered by student living?

I had a pretty unpleasant undergraduate experience and dealt with ongoing issues in shared living with fellow students. My second year house a number of problems, but mostly one individual caused a great deal of stress for myself and others. They would come in late at night, wake us all up, make a huge mess and lots of noise. This late-night noise would often go on for a few hours and any attempt to ask them to stop would be met with more noise. They would never apologise and every time we complained, they would just do it again the next day to wind us up. I became very sensitive to noise and this continued into my third year, where I couldn't stand the noise of my neighbours who liked to have regular parties. Unfortunately, the walls were very thin, so we could hear everything and I often would be woken up during the night. Due to covid, I was able to return home early and this meant that I didn't have to deal with the noise for the whole year.

Since then, I have moved on and am doing my postgraduate degree in a completely different city. It has been a lot better, I have nice housemates and so far the noise has been mostly limited.

But this evening, our neighbours had a BBQ outside (they are also students). Despite the fact that nothing terrible has happened, I'm unbelievably anxious about the noise and music occurring. I'm worried that the noise will result in something bad happening or that it could get worse as the evening continues. I can't seem to lose the fear and anxiety that I developed from my previous experiences.

I just wondered if anyone knew of any coping methods for situations such as these? I have noise-cancelling headphones but have a tendency to stress myself out by repeatedly taking the headphones off to check if the noise is getting worse.

Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated :)
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
888
Location
England
Why do you think it is that noise makes you think something bad will happen? Did previous noise problems turn violent or something?
 
E

EJerm

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Durham
Why do you think it is that noise makes you think something bad will happen? Did previous noise problems turn violent or something?
The noise was never associated with violence, but the noise created by my old housemate was often associated with other issues e.g. destruction of property, setting off fire alarms in the middle of the night, multiple strangers being brought into the house late at night and allowed to cause problems. It was so regular that I often didn't have a full nights sleep, so struggled to cope with it.

Now, I always expect the worst, because time and time again that's what would happen. I'm struggling to find a way to separate the noise issues from the past with the day to day noise (or sounds) I'm experiencing now.

I hope that makes sense :)
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
888
Location
England
Yes it does, and I see how/why now. I guess time will prove to you that noise won't be of the type that you experienced previously, but you need to get a handle on what you think and feel when in a similar scenario because you can't be on edge about other people making noise all the time for obvious reasons. I guess first you have to expect that other people will make noise, but to not assume that something bad or negative or unwanted will come with it. This is where you need to take control of your thoughts because it is these running through scenarios that creates the anxiety. Maybe try ear plugs AND the headphones together so you don't hear anything in the first place. Then master your thoughts around controlling yourself and the anxious curiosity about whether it's still going on or not.
Have a look here for some stuff on anxiety and controlling your thoughts, there is a lot on here so look around: Self Help for Anxiety
 
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