PSY A 34 – Fear of Loud Noises
Here we distinguish two types:
What is Misophonia?
The term “miso” is of Greek origin and means hatred or aversion; the Greek “phonie” in turn means noise. Misophonia thus refers to the intolerance of certain sounds, such as the dripping of a faucet, the common typing sounds of a keyboard, the chewing of gum. In addition to the above scenarios, many other situations can
trigger tremendous irritability in sufferers.
Also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome, misophonia is a neurological problem in which sound impressions are confused with other stimuli in the central nervous system. As a result, a person with misophonia cannot ignore irrelevant sounds. The stiffened concentration on the unpleasant situation, then becomes the trigger for extreme upsets.
Precisely because such incidents involve inconspicuous sounds, they cause serious interpersonal problems. The noises can become so unbearable for the affected person that he or she may even become abusive toward the person causing the noise. As a result, sufferers often avoid leaving the house.
Reactions to unpleasant sounds can vary between mild, moderate or severe, depending on the degree of misophonia. Here are the main symptoms of the disorder:
- excessive reaction to simple sounds
- desperate attempts to leave uncomfortable places
- disproportionate irritability
- bad mood
- fits of anger
- insults to the person causing a sound
What is phonophobia?
This disorder is determined by the fear or anger when listening to certain sounds – in extreme cases of misophonia it is also called phonophobia. In such a situation, the affected person may suffer a nervous breakdown, sweating and even heart palpitations, for example, at the sound of cutlery on a plate.
Fear of loud noises such as horns, alarms, sirens, fireworks and traffic noise in large cities also falls into this category. Here are some signs of phonophobia:
- Panic attacks
- nervous breakdowns
- accelerated heartbeat
- excessive sweating
- unexplained physical pain
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