Phonophobia: causes, symptoms, therapy
Phonophobia is apsychological disorder in which those affected are afraid of specific sounds or react hypersensitively to them. This fear can also be expressed in anger and arises as a reaction tomostly everyday noises. Loud noises in particular are affected, although most of these cannot be objectively classified as harmful. Other manifestations of phonophobia include recruitment,hyperacusis andmisophonia..
Phonophobia is often due to noise trauma. It is therefore learning processes in which negative experiences are associated with certain noises that lead to the development of reactions such as fear and rejection of these. It is also assumed that the sounds are cognitively evaluated as particularly loud and potentially harmful.
In phonophobia, those affected exhibit specific or non-specific reactions. Reactions to the trigger sounds include:
- Change in heart and breathing rate
- Tense muscles
- Panic attacks
- Nervous breakdowns
- Vomiting, nausea, gastrointestinal disorders
The symptoms can lead to severe restrictions in everyday life. This often results in avoidance of the negative sensation in the form of social withdrawal. Avoiding social activities can in turn lead to complete isolation or depressive moods.Phonophobia treatment/therapy
Early treatment measures were aimed at avoiding the feared situations, for example by covering the ears with earplugs. However, this tends to exacerbate the phonophobia, as the reduction in acoustic stimuli leads to an increase in the sensitivity of the nerve pathways. Newer approaches rely on sound therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling. In any case, professional help should be sought at the first symptoms in order to avoid negative consequences.