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Loud Noises and the Anxiety Surrounding Them

W

windyfox

Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Virginia
Hello everyone! I struggle a lot with anxiety and physical symptoms of it too. I have been diagnosed in the past with Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, ODD, and a few more.

Recently (as in the past few months) I have been having really annoying issues with loud noises. I visibly jump and my heart goes incredibly fast. I even start to hyperventilate. At this rate I have been avoiding going or being in places where there could be loud noises. Which unfortunately for me, is literally everywhere....

Are there any tips anyone can give me?
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
745
Location
California, US
Hi! I hope you feel welcome here. I've endured the symptoms you've described, they're awful and at times I had to turn straight around and go back home.

The terms I use to describe sensitivity to loud noises (and other stimuli) that is anxiety-based are: hyper-awareness and hypervigilence.
When these two symptoms are acute, my senses are like the volume knob on a loud stereo turned all the way up!

You asked how do I manage. Before I walk out the door I do a self-assessment, think of this as a pilot doing a pre-flight check on an aircraft:
  • What's my current level of arousal, 1-10?
  • Can I feel or hear my heart beating, pulse pounding?
  • Do I feel tightness in my body (stomach, throat, etc)?
  • Hows my skin--sweaty? Cold?
  • My breathing--rapid? Shallow?
  • Can I name two emotions I'm feeling right now?
  • What thoughts are passing through my head right now?
Completed my body and mind check. Next, what do I need right now and what can I do right now to improve any or all of these just slightly before I go outside?
  • Sit and be still, pay attention to my breathing until it slows.
  • Place my hand on flat on my heart, just breathe.
  • Listen to some calming music with headphones.
  • Run cold water on the insides of my wrists, splash it on my face.
  • Hold an ice cube in each hand and squeeze hard.
  • Change my clothing to something more comfortable.
  • Smell a comforting scent (orange? Cinnamon?)
  • Watch something that will make me laugh.
  • Call a friend.
  • Put on blue or purple colored sunglasses.
  • Is this a time to take my anxiety med?
  • Should I stay home?
Realizing that I'm already at anxiety level 8 out of 10 before I'm even out the door, that helps. Then taking care of my self by clicking that number down to a 6 or 7, which I can only do in an environment where I'm comfortable and safe.


Hope this was helpful!
 
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