1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Ergonomics and ME/CFS: Have You Hurt Yourself Without Knowing It?
Having a chronic illness like ME/CFS can make it hard to avoid problems that come from bad ergonomics. Jody Smith has learned some lessons the hard way ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Sound Sensitivity Causing Panic Attacks

Discussion in 'Neurological/Neuro-sensory' started by Carrigon, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    Messages:
    805
    Likes:
    72
    PA, USA
    Anytime my neighbor blasts the stereo, I get an instant panic attack. I can't take the noise at all. I think it's part from the advanced Lyme and that I'm also on the Autism spectrum. All I know is, I freak out with a blasting stereo. I can't function. Can't concentrate. I go into complete panic. My voice trembles. It has that bad an effect on me.

    So tonight, the neighbor started blasting the stereo at 4am. I was already awake. And it just panic'd me out completely. I called security here. They came and they were screaming at him to turn it down. And then he was arguing with the guards. There was total drama. They didn't tell him who called, but I think he suspects me. I'll just deny it. He's got people living in apartments above and below him, too. The guards were getting annoyed with him, so I'm hoping they report it, even though he managed to get them to say they wouldn't.

    But I'm definitely having a severe and bad reaction to loud stereos. Other loud noises hurt, but the stereo blasting just does something to me.
  2. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,309
    Likes:
    840
    UK
    Sorry to hear - I knew it all so well - even quiet rustling sounds were too painful and had to seek complete silence for quite a while. Can you ? Do hope your thoughtless neighbour has taken the point (even moved on as one did here after upsetting all the residents)
  3. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes:
    1,921
    UK
    Carrigon - I really feel for you - the sound sensitivity is awful - some sounds seem to just penetrate more than others, for me it was scrunching plastic carrier bags, I still can't listen to music very often so really sympathise. Hope he gets his marching orders or complies with a noise reduction at the least.
  4. LaurelW

    LaurelW Senior Member

    Messages:
    552
    Likes:
    92
    Utah
    There are noise laws against that kind of thing. That person needs to stop it or move out. I really feel for you!
  5. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    Messages:
    805
    Likes:
    72
    PA, USA
    He is being evicted, but the problem is, he gets lots of time. He appealed the eviction in June. He has a fancy lawyer his girlfriend is paying for. And this place still has to take him to court for a second time. So I don't know how long this can be dragged out for. Eventually, he will run out of appeals and have to leave. He won't win on appeal, they have alot of stuff on him. But he's dragging it out and making my life a living hell in the process.
  6. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

    Messages:
    161
    Likes:
    47
    This sound sensitivity problem has developed into a big problem for me. It has progressed slowly to the point of feeling rather dangerous in regards to the response it evokes. Any loud noise, but especially an unexpected startling sound, just sends me out of my body. Instant spike in blood pressure, instant adrenaline dump which is like a poison injection to me, and a physical reaction in which an involuntary yell comes out: Stress at a very high level. Stress is best avoided because it enables other aspects of our illness to jump forward, so sound sensitivity isn't to be taken lightly.

    Light sensitivity is also becoming much worse for me now. The flickering of a television, the light flashes that sports programs have adopted, and night-time driving all are actually painful now. I've been sick about 25 years, and this is the progression of ME/CFS in sound and light sensitivity.
  7. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    Messages:
    805
    Likes:
    72
    PA, USA
    I get the light sensitivity, too. I'm really at the point with the light and sound where I cannot go to a movie theater or anywhere near a concert. And shopping is hell for me and this is one of the reasons why.
  8. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes:
    530
    Washington State
    Sound and light sensitivity are major for me. I completely lose the ability to think and function. If it's a start-stop noise then every time it starts I get another adrenaline dump that feels almost like an electric shock all through my body. I do not feel panicked, as in I am not frightened, but I can hardly concentrate enough to figure out what the noise is let alone how to get away from it. It's like everything just stops, and it is so painful.

    It can be anything. A dog barking, a neighbor leaving their car running (not so much sound but the vibrations), a chainsaw several miles away, the road crew fixing things. A few times I've become so severe that the noise of rain on my roof literally drives me crazy. If a baby starts crying near me, I start yelling. It's that severe.
  9. Revday

    Revday

    Messages:
    27
    Likes:
    0
    Atlanta, Georgia
    I freaked out Sunday all over my nursing aid because when she returned from an errand, with her adorable four year old, I could not take the sounds of the cartoons anymore. Light is giving me neuropathy in my eyeballs. Sound feels like a cold wet blanket that has been dropped on me from a high distance. I can't differentiate words sometimes. And my headaches have returned with a vengeance. I've been scared about it. If I can't tolerate sound or light I probably am in trouble. I live alone. No family etc. But maybe I'll just get a seeing eye dog and have a pleasant even sound, as white noise, on some serious headphones. I wonder if I could sleep with head phones on? Having more despair then I can tolerate. I'll keep praying. And I think I have to have a few days of the comedy channel! Blessings.
  10. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,332
    Likes:
    1,853
    Australia
    Have you considered earplugs, or even noise canceling earplugs? Not ideal, but might make life tolerable. For sleeping, I can't go without earplugs myself.

    4AM - sounds like he is having a tantrum about his eviction..
  11. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    Messages:
    805
    Likes:
    72
    PA, USA
    Oh, he does have tantrums like a four year old. I just cannot wait till they throw him out.

    Earplugs irritate my ears and makes them itchy and sore. I'm allergic to the foam ones. I usually sleep with white noise on, it's just this insane neighbor has a stereo that is even louder than my white noise. I really wish there were tougher laws and rules when it comes to bringing any kind of stereo system into an apartment building.
  12. justy

    justy Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,567
    Likes:
    2,558
    U.K
    I have had sound snsitivity to varying degrees over the years. But i havent ever heard anyon describe this before. I have had the adrenaline pumping thing at loud noises most of my life - even before i was officially sick and was not a particularly stressed child. Last year it was so bad that the soud o my husband breath as he slpt would cause an adrenaline reaction everytime he breathed. I have never understood what this is or been able to explain it to anyone. Is this a common thing? i cant say how relieved i am to hear i am not alone in this, it is so horrible and really distressing.

    Carrigon - i am so sorry you are having to go through this with your neighbour, what a little shit he is. I dont have any advice, just keep strong and sending hugs. xx
  13. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes:
    1,921
    UK
    Justy I have this reaction to even a loud breathe too at times, a cough can give me an even bigger one, whats it all about??
  14. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    Messages:
    805
    Likes:
    72
    PA, USA
    Sometimes even the ticking of the clocks in here drives me crazy. I don't know, it's some kind of thing where the sound just plain HURTS and it disrupts everything in me. I need a quiet, calm environment. That's why I usually do much better all night when everyone else is asleep and things are quieter.
  15. alice1

    alice1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    457
    Likes:
    0
    Toronto
    You all are so sensitive to outside stimulus.When I'm having a brian fog day it's very difficult to be near any congested area, I become very claustrophobic so I try hard to avoid it.But not having that choice is awful.I hope this ass moves and maybe ask an audioligist for some suggestions.
    Good Luck.
  16. justy

    justy Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,567
    Likes:
    2,558
    U.K
    Weird isnt it? i have no idea what it is, but for me it is different to the noise hurting (i get this somtimes too) or sometimes noise makes me confused, but this is like a huge overactive startle reflex - happening simultaneously to the noise. It can be anything that causes it, and i can be really relaxed when it happens.

    Carrigon - yes i like the evenings when the children have all gone to bed and my husband is in his ofice and all is quiet and still. I have some family coming for christmas this year and the thing that worries me the most is the noise and too much activity around me. I will have to retreat to my room when it all gets too much and take my laptop with me!
  17. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes:
    331
    Southern USA
    Seratonin levels can affect your reaction to noise. Low Seratonin caused me to have noise stress until I got the level up. 5HTP was the key as well as Carniclear. Again, doctors sadly know very little unless you find a good one. I have two great doctors that have helped with the rigtht supplements and doses.
  18. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    Messages:
    805
    Likes:
    72
    PA, USA
    Now I'm really in trouble. A new neighbor moved in yesterday. Today, he started blasting a stereo right through my bedroom wall, complete with full on bass for a full hour. I left a message for the manager that if he can't get him to stop it, I'll have to move. So between the psycho neighbor, who also still blasts the stereo, and this new one, and then I have the one above me who also likes to blast the stereo on my ceiling every once in awhile, I don't know how much longer I can live here.

    I don't understand why there aren't much stricter rules in apartment buildings when it comes to stereos. People abuse them and use them to torture other tenants.
  19. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,332
    Likes:
    1,853
    Australia
    The 'down-filled' ones are the best for sleeping. (not actual down, but synthetic pillow type filling). They don't apply the pressure on your ears like foam ones so they hurt less and fall out less (though they take a day or so to 'wear in'.
    The problem is the best ones - Flents Quiet down / Bilsom 202 have been discontinued and so rare/expensive. You can reuse them for a while before they get too mangy though. ;)
  20. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes:
    530
    Washington State
    I'm with you guys. Whenever my caretaker is within earshot of me she has to say "cough" or "sneeze" and give me time to cover my ears before she does it because otherwise it causes problems for me. Startle reflex, involuntary yell, shot of adrenaline, and an inability to think, like the electrical impulses in my brain have all been overruled. I think someone earlier in the thread described it as a cold wet blanket being dropped on them.

    It varies for me too. I usually love the sound of rain on my roof, but there have been a few times it has become unbearable for me. People don't get it when I say I "can't stand" certain noises--they think I'm saying the noise is highly annoying. It is not annoying. It causes me significant physical problems and completely disables me when it is occuring. Afterwards I am completely exhausted and my sensitivity level is heightened. If it is a repetitive or continual sound I can't even think enough for it to occur to me to get away from the sound, or which direction to go in, or anything like that.

    If I was in a building and a smoke alarm went off I would drop to the ground with my hands over my ears and remain there, completely frozen, unable to think at all to process what's going on and what I should do. A while back I started a thread on the subject and someone here responded that that actually happened to them. After about ten minutes of crawling around the house completely disoriented they finally managed to find the front door and get far enough away from teh sound that she was able to think, to process what was happening. In that situation it was just something on the stove and there was no fire, but it could have been much worse. She has since disabled her smoke alarm, because for her it obviously does more harm than good. I have no smoke alarm in my building.

    For my own example, I once got out of the car and a bunch of dogs began barking. The sounds are so painful to me. THe next thing I knew my caretaker was asking me if I needed to go back into the car to get away from the noise. It wasn't hard to hear her but it was hard for my brain to process what she was saying and she had to repeat it several times before I understood. She had noticed I was frozen from the sound and rushed over to help me. Once I was inside the car again the noise was dimmed enough for me to think.

    For me, the sound issue is disabling. I have tried so many different earplugs, and they have all caused intolerable itchiness and irritation, and the pressure is painful for me. Note, this is from someone who wears a gas mask (think the kind of respirator that makes you look like Darth Vader) so I'm not put off by slight discomfort. I really wish there were some earplugs that were even remotely tolerable, as I would certainly use them.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page