Acousticophobia Can Be Controlled with the Right Information
Do you find yourself avoiding social places out of fear of noise, voices, or even simple sounds? Or do you fear hearing specific sounds, including your own voice?
Does thinking about the sounds of yelling, whistling, guns, or your own voice cause you anxiety?
This morbid fear of sounds, including your own voice, is commonly known as acousticophobia.
But don’t worry, there’s help out there. With support from family and friends, some self-help, and perhaps professional guidance, you can learn how to overcome the debilitating effects of this phobia.
In this article, we outline the details of acousticophobia and share ways to manage it. Let’s jump right in!
What Causes the Fear of Sounds?
Acousticophobia causes typically include a combination of factors along with the occurrence of traumatic events at an early age.
The factors may include genetic predispositions, environment, brain chemistry, and mental illnesses. It can also stem from a traumatic event—any kind of event in the past concerning the subject of the fear, in this case sounds.
Acousticophobia may also be associated with other physical conditions that can make a person sensitive to noises. Some common ones include adrenal insufficiency, misophonia, hyperacusis, or autism.
Some Things You Need to Know about Acousticophobia
Acousticophobia is a fear-based phobia that centers around irrational and excessive thoughts or feelings towards noises and voices, including one’s own voice.
Acousticophobia is also called ligyrophobia, phonophobia, and sonophobia. Most of these phobias are used interchangeably and refer to the same fears.
Phonophobia refers to a fear of sound and is the closest to acousticophobia. A fear of loud noises is called either ligyrophobia or sonophobia.
If you often find yourself jumping at the sound of firecrackers or loud horns, you might think you have a phobia of loud noises. But that’s unlikely.
While each person might have some fear of loud noises, it doesn’t easily develop into a full-blown phobia.
Symptoms of Acousticophobia
Someone with acousticophobia might experience symptoms that range from mild to severe which impact the person’s body or mind.
Symptoms of acousticophobia are likely to occur when a person comes into contact with a trigger. These triggers can be thoughts, actions, objects, or events. While the triggers can differ for each person, the symptoms are typically debilitating.
Here’s a checklist of physical and psychological symptoms to watch for:
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tension
- Trembling, shaking, or palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
- Inability to articulate sentences or words
- Mood swings or irritability
- Feelings of dread
- Panic attacks
- Feelings of dread
- Fear of dying
- Guilt, shame, or self-blame
- Withdrawing from others
- Confusion and difficulty concentrating
How Do You Deal with Acousticophobia?
While many find relief from the fear by keeping their distance from physical triggers and thoughts, it’s hardly a useful form of acousticophobia treatment.
A well-defined plan that addresses your irrational thought patterns and reduces symptoms and stress is crucial.
Read on for two main ways you can deal with acousticophobia.
Self-Help: Strategies to Help Yourself
If the thoughts of treatment overwhelm you, self-help may prove ideal.
Self-help is discrete and incorporates lifestyle changes, so you don’t need to feel self-conscious. Self-help can also reduce stress which helps you lead a more normal lifestyle even during treatment. Self-help strategies may also prove useful in managing anxiety-related phobias.
The following self-help strategies are easy to implement and require little to no equipment.
- Eat nutritious food
- Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night
- Include some exercise in your daily routine
- Practice relaxation strategies or meditation
Along with adding these beneficial activities to your daily routine, try also to avoid unhealthy habits. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, stop smoking, and reduce other stress-inducing behaviors.
Acousticophobia Treatment: Professional Help for Acousticophobia
Due to the irrational nature of this phobia of sounds, it is common to treat it with help from a professional.
A mental health professional will help patients learn the root cause of their fear and teach coping strategies.
Here are some types of acousticophobia treatment your doctor may consider:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a popular therapy that’s useful in the treatment of a long list of fears and phobias. It uses introspective strategies to help patients understand and rationalize their fear and fear responses.
Exposure therapy uses desensitization strategies to help with acousticophobia treatment.
It involves gradually exposing the person to the trigger in a safe environment to help them overcome the fear. However, exposure therapy often requires assistance from an experienced professional.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a useful treatment that helps with the regulation of emotions surrounding fear or anxiety. Such therapies often involve encouraging the person with the phobia to think about the subject of fear and develop improved responses to it.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
In an NLP-based acousticophobia treatment plan, a therapist will observe the words, phrases, facial expressions, and body movements of the patient. This is to help them understand the flaws in perception that may be causing the phobia and to accordingly develop a treatment plan.
Hypnoanalysis or Hypnotherapy
Hypnoanalysis involves accessing the patient’s subconscious mind to understand the root causes of fears and suggest helpful ideas.
Although no treatment strategy guarantees successful acousticophobia treatment, the phobia is treatable.
Often, a combination of professional treatment along with self-help strategies makes the most impact.
Consistency is important with both self-help and professional treatments. Learning how to better cope with those everyday stressful moments will provide relief.
Learning to Cope with Acousticophobia
In addition to self-help activities and professional therapy, you’ll need coping mechanisms to maintain a normal lifestyle while receiving treatment. Simple tips like these below might help:
- Keep an optimistic outlook
- Learn more about acousticophobia
- Attend discussions
- Meet support groups
- Surround yourself with supportive people
The Bottom Line
Overcoming acousticophobia is no simple feat, but it is possible.
And now that you’ve taken the first step here, you’re set to make a powerful start in your journey toward recovery!
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