Noise sensitivity is pretty much exactly what it sounds like — it's when you have a sensitivity to noise that is almost painful. Sammi shares tips for coping with bipolar noise sensitivity.
Noise sensitivity usually happens when one is manic or hypomanic.
So basically, when you're manic, your senses are heightened. And this can apply to noise, as well. And you have a higher likelihood of becoming agitated and annoyed by certain sounds, especially repetitive sounds in my experience.
So certain sounds that I have noise sensitivity to are sounds that would be very benign, and you know, most people wouldn't even notice these sounds. They wouldn't bother them at all.
Noises that are relatively harmless to other people, they can be very annoying and agitate to someone who is going through mania or hypomania. The noises that bother me when I'm having these types of symptoms are things as simple as a fan blowing or an air conditioner blowing.
When I'm at a red light, and I click my turn signal on, and traffic isn't moving, I'll just turn the turn signal off because I just can't stand to listen to the repetitive ticking of my blinker. Loud conversations are also a trigger — so people talking too much without pausing. Sometimes I just need them to be quiet, and I need to move to a quiet area.
That is noise sensitivity, and it can be something that gives you a lot of anxiety. So now I'm going to talk about something that you can do about it.
Tips for Managing Bipolar Noise Sensitivity
Something that has personally helped me, which I did not expect, is getting on an anti-depressant. This anti-depressant has lowered my base level of anxiety to the point where repetitive noises just don't bother me as much.
That can be something you can talk to your doctor about, maybe getting on a SSRI, in addition to a mood stabilizer. That helped me — maybe it would help you as well.
Also, you can just talk to your counselor about it — venting the frustrations you have with repetitive noises — because if you try and talk to anyone else about it, they might think that you're crazy or overreacting so that they won't understand.
Make sure you take time out to have a quiet space so that when you do encounter those repetitive noises, they're a little bit easier to handle. So maybe do things like yoga and meditation and other relaxation techniques.
So if this is something that you go through, I encourage you to talk to your counselor or psychiatrist about it, see if they can help you in any way. And otherwise, you can do some relaxation techniques as I said.