Anxiety over Sounds

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    Jess

    So I remember having this issue even back as a kid. I think my youngest memory of feeling this fear of a noise was back when I was little – we had this faux Christmas tree and there was a little ornament – it was this metal ornament that had made a bird chirping sound when you moved it. For some reason I remember that sound really bothering me. I didn’t like it at all. I think that might be my earliest memory of feeling this way. Since then the noise triggers have been things like the squeaky creaky floors I would hear above me because we lived in apartments and we could hear people walking above us. Then it was things like slight vibrations or squeaky noises or whistles coming from heating units or heating vents, or doors that squeaked every time someone would open, or creaky noises from chairs or tables, or maybe the blinds or the chain on the blinds would tap back and forth because of the air coming in and out, vibrations noises or rattling from metal or things on tables rattling as someone would walk by, etc, etc. What I feel is fear. I start to focus on it, and I just feel this sudden fear that drapes over me and I just want the noise to stop. If I can, I do, but there are many times that there is no way of stopping the noises, so I have to just deal with it, and sometimes, especially as an adult, it has become more overwhelming. Sometimes I just want to get away from it if I can’t stop it. It’s almost like I go into fight or flight mode. I feel my anxiety levels rise to where my heart starts to race and I just can’t get my thoughts away from it. It makes no sense, because I know that the noises aren’t going to “hurt” me, so their is no sense to feel that fear or anxiety, but it’s just automatic, and it’s frustrating. The strange thing… it’s like some days the noises don’t bother me as much – maybe because I am preoccupied with something else, or my focus or mind is on something else. But then other days, those same noises become so overwhelming. I don’t know if there are days I am just more prone to get triggered. I just worry that this issue will affect me to the point where it will cause problems in my life. Whether at my job, home, on vacation, etc. It can hit me anywhere. I am 40…and it seems the types of noises that trigger me are more extensive now. It just sucks. How do you guys handle it? What are your best coping mechanisms?

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