My experience with misophonia

Over the last ten years or so I’ve discovered that I’m intolerant to certain sounds. Sounds that other people might find a little annoying, can trigger a full-on flight or fight panic response in me.

Turns out this response to sound has a name: misophonia.

According to the website WebMD, “misophonia is a disorder in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses that some might perceive as unreasonable given the circumstance.”

Different people have different triggers, they might find chewing, breathing, tapping or even dogs barking provokes this reaction.

For me it centres on my home, as it’s somewhere that should feel safe and a place you can relax. My neighbours TV, them shouting and their dog barking triggers this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m at home a lot, I mean we all are at the moment, so there’s no escape from the noise. If they decide to blare their TV for a couple of hours, there’s not much I can really do about it, as I don’t feel able to bring it up with them face to face.

My mental health has taken a nose-dive recently as they seem to have ramped up the amount of noise they are making, their TV is louder and sometimes they wake me up early in the morning with their shouting. I’ve spent the last month or so feeling on edge. I’ve bought some earplugs that do help me get a better night’s sleep, but I’m still finding things a struggle.

I’ve sought a bit of solace on an online support group. I read other people’s posts and feel grateful that my neighbours don’t throw parties that go on till the early hours, but still the panic is there. I think it’s awful that so many people don’t care about the impact they have on others.

I’ve been ruminating on whether my neighbours are trying to ‘send me a message’ that I’ve upset them in some way, but I suppose I won’t know unless I talk to them about it.

I’ve wanted to write a post for a while but haven’t been able to summon the energy for it, as my reaction to the noise has taken up a lot of energy. Would be interesting to hear if any of you can relate to this, or if you have ever lived next to noisy neighbours.

Finding things difficult

I’m sorry if this post isn’t very useful or informative, I do try to put thought into what I write in the hope that it helps someone else, but today I just need to vent.

I’m finding this lockdown very difficult. It’s the second major ‘lockdown’ in the UK. I hate to say it, but the first time around it was a bit of a novelty. It gave me an excuse to stay at home without needing to challenge my anxiety, I spent a lot of time in the garden as it was spring, but now it just feels relentless, like there’s no end in sight.

Last year I had plans to socialise more, to try and get used to spending time around other people, and now I don’t know when that will happen. I know there’s always online socialising, but it just isn’t the same, and due to my living situation, I don’t have much privacy, so I feel uncomfortable about being overheard. I feel claustrophobic. My mom and all the neighbours are off work and are always around which bugs me. I struggle a bit with noise sensitivity, and TV noise, dogs barking, people shouting gets a bit wearing. I found myself browsing Rightmove (a property website), looking at detached houses that I can in no way afford, which as you can imagine, made me feel much worse!

I’ve been on lots of walks and while I now know my town very well, I’m sick of that too. I feel bad about moaning, as I know I’m very lucky that my mom and I have our health and a roof over our heads. I suppose I just need to keep plodding on, as when the summer comes around restrictions will be relaxed somewhat, and there may be more opportunities for me to get ‘out there’.

I’m starting to lapse into being disorganised again, it’s funny how old habits have a habit of sneaking up on you. I have bursts of energy, I’ll buzz around the house, getting different chores or hobbies done, and then I’ll crash. Fatigue is always lurking when I sit down to relax. I think I need to get a handle on it and start writing down a plan for each day.

I’ll leave it there for now. I just felt like I needed to write things down. I know I’m not the only person struggling with the current situation, so I’m sending love to anyone else finding things difficult too.