Many people with bipolar experience heightened sensitivity to sound—an almost painful reaction to noise, especially during mood episodes—usually mania. If it’s not possible to find the solace of silence, here are some coping suggestions:
#1 Acknowledge the hypersensitivity
It’s important to accept what our body is doing and realize it’s normal to feel anxious and we should try not to fear the sensitivity to sound. Practice self-compassion and remind yourself you are facing your fears.
#2 Be prepared
Do some problem solving with your therapist and make a plan for the next time noise intrudes your life. Decide on a plan of action if you find yourself in an intolerable situation—be prepared to leave a movie theatre or other public place without feeling embarrassed.
#3 Know your triggers
Once you understand what sets you off, you can do your best to avoid these situations or at least mute the effects. Wear noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds to eliminate unwanted noise or listen to something more pleasant. Incorporate some white noise into your environment—use a white noise machine, or install a white noise app on your smart phone.
#4 Check your state of mind
When sounds are starting to bother you, analyze where you are mood-wise. Putting your noise intolerance into the context of symptomatic hypersensitivity may highlight the need for some overall self-care.
#5 Consider the source
If someone, not something, is creating an intolerable noise, try to ask yourself if the person actually intends to aggravate you. Chances are, the answer is no. Remembering that may help keep you from overreacting.
#6 Identify quiet zones
Create a designated area in your home where silence reigns supreme. Look for safe environments where you can retreat to, such as a library, outdoors in a quiet park, or a church.
#7 Re-direct your attention
If possible, switch your focus from the pain of noise to something else that requires extreme focus but that’s enjoyable for you. Have a plan with a family member or friend for them to help re-direct your attention away from the offending noise.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community