The fear of noise is also known as Acousticophobia. It is an intense and persistent aversion to loud noises, even those that most people consider to be “everyday” noises.
Reasons For The Fear Of Noise
Those who suffer from Acousticophobia find street noise, music, and other common noises to be grating – even the sounds of the human voice. People with this phobia will feel irritated and upset when they cannot escape from the source of their displeasure.
Often, those who suffer from this phobia will be forced to change their lifestyle and curtail their activities in order to stay away from noises that bother them. In our busy world, honking cars, screeching brakes, and big machines abound, causing all manner of loud noises which may irritate. While most people learn to filter out the sounds that distract and annoy them, the person with Acousticophobia finds it impossible to focus on anything else.
Some people with this aversion may avoid babies, children, and pets, because they are often noisy. This phobia can impact relationships, as some noise and confusion is basically a given in families and other primary relationships. The inability to handle noise can take a toll on love relationships and influence career direction as well.
Many jobs and vocations are loud. Some examples would be factory work, where machines whir and clang, or construction. When Acousticophobia becomes a problem, the phobic person may retreat in misery, seeking out the quiet that soothes their soul.
Autism Can Cause This Phobia
In some cases, autism can bring with it some element of Acousticophobia. Autistic people, especially children, are very sensitive to their environment, and they can be thrown off balance quite easily by loud noises etc.
Gifted children with markedly high I.Q.’s often exhibit some distaste for loud noises. It may not be true Acousticophobia, but it is a common source of agitation for gifted children. They will show consternation when faced with noise in classrooms, or movie theatres, and they may avoid activities that other children find very pleasant.
Some Noises Are Dangerous
Some common noises that trigger this fear can include high-decibel sounds such as airplanes, exploding bombs, erupting volcanoes, and earthquakes. In some cases, as with an earthquake at its epicenter, noise can be enough to incapacitate or kill.
Many people with this phobia are frightened by the prospect of sudden, very loud noises. They live with this fear every day, worrying about where the next painful onslaught of sound will come from. The element of surprise with regard to noise seems to be a potent trigger for Acousticophobia.
Retraining the brain to respond to loud noises without terror and anxiety requires therapy. If there is an underlying medical or psychological basis for this phobia, proper treatment should be a priority.
From a therapy standpoint, cognitive remapping can be useful. Alternative therapies such as “tapping” allow the brain to let go of negative memories and images that block the mind and hinder well-being.
Along with psychotherapy, anti-depressants may be prescribed to ease the symptoms that often accompany such a disorder. Common symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, terror, and heart palpitations.