Ligyrophobia (Fear of Loud Noises)
Ligyrophobia is the irrational fear of loud noises. Someone suffering from this mental illness may find it extremely difficult to live their day to day life as hearing loud noises may be inevitable, especially if you live in a city or work in an environment where loud noises are commonplace.
Someone with ligyrophobia will typically experience a large amount of anxiety when in the midst of very high decibels. This reality may make it very difficult for them to cope as it is not always possible to escape from loud noises (e.g. thunder, car horn, etc.).
Someone suffering from ligyrophobia may avoid going out in public and become isolated so that they can “protect” themselves from potentially hearing loud noises. Doing so may make them lonely and even experience symptoms of depression. Living with this phobia often comes with constantly being afraid of hearing a startling, potentially dangerous loud noise. They may be anxious people to begin with and may even suffer from full-blown generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), as well as ligyrophobia.
Like with every other type of phobia and mental disorder, the severity of ligyrophobia can range anywhere from extremely severe to manageable. The amount of anxiety, as well as the intensity of the noises that someone may be able to handle will most likely vary considerably from person to person.
Symptoms of Ligyrophobia
There are many different symptoms of this disorder. However, the specifics will often vary greatly from person to person based on genetics and environment. Someone with ligyrophobia may find that they are highly anxious and “jumpy” most of the time. They may become particularly anxious during thunderstorms and will often avoid places where loud noises are inevitable, such as concerts, party’s, haunted houses, or bars.
They may be overly concerned about loud noises even when there is no threat that a loud noise may occur. Their symptoms of ligyrophobia are typically out of touch with reality and are often seen as an “overreaction” to hearing a loud noise. For instance, someone with ligyrophobia may react to a loud rustle of thunder as if eminent danger and death were merely moments away.
They may be able to think rationally about their fear of loud noises when they are in an emotionally neutral state of mind. However, when in the midst of a panic attack, they are typically unable to think rationally about their fears. Nevertheless, the exact symptoms and the intensity of symptoms of ligyrophobia will often vary from person to person.
Below, you will see some of the most common symptoms of this illness:
Intense anxiety when hearing a loud noise
Anxiety when thinking of loud noises
Avoiding places where loud noises may be
May react irrationally after hearing a loud noise
Causes of Ligyrophobia
There are no known causes for ligyrophobia. However, genetics and one’s environment may play very significant roles in it’s development. Someone who has a family history of mental illness, especially with anxiety disorders and phobias may have a higher chance of developing ligyrophobia. Having such a predisposition may mean that all that’s needed to develop a fear of loud noises is a traumatic event of some sort. This is where one’s environment comes into play.
For instance, someone may develop this mental disorder because they were traumatically frightened by thunder as a child or perhaps they experienced an explosion of some sort. It would also not be uncommon for people serving in the military to suffer from this condition as well. Hearing gunshots and bombs detonating may be traumatic enough for someone to develop ligyrophobia.
Another reason as to why someone may develop ligyrophobia is that it may merely be an extension of another mental disorder that they already have, such as generalized anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, or OCD, among other illnesses. So, having another mental illness, especially another anxiety disorder may mean that you have an increased risk for developing phobias like ligyrophobia. However, there are many different factors that come into play when looking at why some people develop certain mental illnesses while others don’t.
Ligyrophobia Treatments (abridged)
There are no known treatment methods specifically designed for ligyrophobia. However, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and anti-anxiety medication may be able to help minimize the symptoms associated with this mental disorder.
Talk therapy, or CBT therapy would work by having you and your therapist come up with different ways you can think about loud noises and in a much more productive way. You can also expect to learn multiple coping skills that you can use when you experience the symptoms associated with ligyrophobia. If you can, you will want to try and find a therapist who has a lot of experience with treating phobias and other anxiety disorders.
Exposure therapy is another common form of therapy that can help to treat ligyrophobia. In this context, it would work by having the therapist slowly expose the patient to loud noises over a certain period of time. The therapist will start off slow and as to not overwhelm the patient. The goal is to desensitize the patient from their irrational fear of loud noises by be repetitively exposed to those loud noises.
Anti-anxiety medication may also be able to help treat the symptoms of ligyrophobia as well. However, it should be noted that merely taking medication alone may not be the best form of treatment as to truly get over ligyrophobia you will need to learn how to improve your cognition and learn healthier behavior patterns. Though medication alone may be able to help minimize the intensity of anxiety you may experience from loud noises, it typically is not a long term solution.
If you think you may have ligyrophobia or if you suffer from some of the symptoms associated with this disorder, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can be properly treated or sent to a specialist such as a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Remember, you should always talk to your doctor before you decide to undergo any type of treatment or take any medication.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Ligyrophobia
DBT is a very effective form of treatment for people struggling with emotion regulation. It is often used to treat people suffering from borderline personality disorder. Nevertheless, it can also be very advantageous for someone suffering from anxiety disorders like ligyrophobia too. This is due to the numerous amount of coping skills you can expect to learn in a DBT group. These groups typically last about 6 months long and can have anywhere from two people to several people depending on how many join the group.
One very effective DBT skill for helping someone with ligyrophobia is half-smiling. This technique works by having you think about that which you fear or upsets you all while slightly raising the corners of your mouth by lightly smiling, thus the term “half-smiling.” Although, it isn’t enough to just think about your fear while half-smiling, you also have to try and refrain from entertaining those painful emotions that your specific fear may evoke.
Mindfulness meditation is also heavily used in DBT and can greatly benefit someone with ligyrophobia as it is done in a group setting, which helps to put the patient out of their comfort zone. These group mindfulness practices may include drinking warm tea to hone in on the sense of taste and tactile senses or simply focusing on the breath.
Coping ahead is another very useful DBT skill that can help someone with ligyrophobia. With coping ahead, you will want to find a place where you can sit down quietly without distraction. Close your eyes and then think about the many different possible scenarios where you would face your specific fear and overcome it or cope with it. Doing so will help you to be much better adept at coping with your ligyrophobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.
Yoga for Ligyrophobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from ligyrophobia. In part, this is due to the meditative state of mind that yoga tends to emit in those who practice it on a consistent basis. Yoga can be thought of as meditation in motion. It can help to relieve some of the anxiety associated with ligyrophobia due to the mere fact that by engaging in yoga, your attention will be redirected to something more productive.
There are many different types of yoga that someone with ligyrophobia can benefit from, such as hatha yoga or hot yoga, among many others. Nevertheless, regardless of the many different forms of yoga that exist, virtually all of them can help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that is associated with ligyrophobia.
If you have never practiced yoga before, then it may be in your best interest to take a class or watch some guided videos that can help you through each pose. Just like with meditation, the more you practice yoga, the more adept you will become at it. Besides helping you to reduce your symptoms of ligyrophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Ligyrophobia
CBT is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve one’s mental health. It is a modality that is often used to treat people suffering from anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. Someone with ligyrophobia may also be able to benefit from CBT as well seeing as how it would allow them to have a much better understanding as to why they think and behave the way they do in relation to their irrational fears.
CBT can be immensely helpful for someone with ligyrophobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with ligyrophobia is exposed to their fear, they will almost always have an instantaneous subconscious reaction to their fear. Such a lack of introspection is likely a large part of why someone with this condition will suffer to the extent that they will. CBT can help you to take a step back and analyze your fears more deeply than you typically would.
Besides learning to be more fastidious with regards to understanding one’s specific fears, someone with ligyrophobia engaging in CBT can also expect to learn various other skills aimed at helping to relieve the anxiety caused by their condition.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Ligyrophobia
MBSR is an 8-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training to help people who are suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and other sorts of mental anguish. MBSR may be able to significantly help someone who is suffering from ligyrophobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with ligyrophobia can expect to learn a plethora of different skills that can help them to relieve the intense anxiety that’s associated with their specific phobia.
Talk to your doctor or therapist to see if MBSR can help you to reduce the intensity of your symptoms of ligyrophobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Exposure Therapy for Ligyrophobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as ligyrophobia. It can be an efficient way to help desensitize the patient to their specific fears. Be that as it may, it is imperative that the therapist implementing it on their patient is very adept at doing so. For example, if the therapist were to slightly expose someone with ligyrophobia to their fear, then it may not be very effective as they may need a higher amount of exposure to truly trigger any sort of worthwhile change in the patient.
The same can be said for the antithesis of this scenario. If the therapist were to excessively expose someone with ligyrophobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their ligyrophobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with ligyrophobia has a very strong sense of just how severe their symptoms are so that they can know the level of exposure that the patient will likely be able to handle.
Reducing Caffeine for Ligyrophobia
It is no secret that consuming large amounts of caffeine throughout the day can aid in making you more anxious. This makes sense when we look closely at how caffeine affects our body’s physiology. When we consume a high dose of caffeine, our heart will start to beat faster and we become more tense. Essentially, our body will begin to go into a “fight or flight” state of mind. Such a frame of mind is often a precursor for someone with ligyrophobia to experience panic attacks.
So, consuming little to no caffeine throughout the day may be able to significantly help reduce your day to day anxiety. Although doing so will likely not make all of your anxiety go away, it will indeed help you to reduce any unnecessary suffering that you would have otherwise experienced if you were to consume a large amount of caffeine.
Beverages like coffee and tea are often high in caffeine, as well as some energy drinks. In fact, even some foods have caffeine in them as well, such as dark chocolate. Being more conscious of your daily caffeine consumption may help you to reduce some of the symptoms associated with ligyrophobia.
Psychiatric Drugs for Ligyrophobia
These types of medications aren’t only for people who suffer from depression as they can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders as well, such as ligyrophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of ligyrophobia.
These types of drugs are typically taken on a daily basis. They can indeed help prevent panic attacks from occurring, but they are more so used to help reduce people’s daily anxiety. Talk to your doctor to see if taking antidepressants can help to reduce your symptoms of ligyrophobia, as well as whether or not it is safe to do so.
These types of medications are very useful to help prevent panic attacks. Such drugs can be extremely useful for people suffering from severe ligyrophobia due to the fact that people with phobias often experience panic attacks as well. Some common anti-anxiety medications include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin, among many others.
These types of drugs are not typically taken on a daily basis, but they may be insofar as their ligyrophobia is severe enough. However, this is something that you should first discuss with your doctor before you decide to do so to ensure that it is safe and effective.
Exercise for Ligyrophobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including ligyrophobia. Specifically, cardiovascular exercise can significantly help to relieve one’s stress. This is not to say that weight-resistance training would not benefit someone with anxiety, but rather that aerobic exercise is has been shown to be more effective at releasing those feel good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins.
According to the American Psychology Association, exercise can help to condition the mind to better cope with stressful situations. This makes sense when we take into consideration the high amount of stress that the body is put under during strenuous exercise. So, if you yourself are sedentary, then engaging in some form of aerobic exercise may be able to significantly help reduce your symptoms of ligyrophobia by making it much easier for you to cope with the anxiety and stress that’s associated with this condition.
There are many different aerobic modalities that you can partake in to help reduce your symptoms of ligyrophobia, such as swimming, biking, skiing, walking, and jogging. You can also acquire the many benefits of exercise by playing sports such as tennis, soccer, basketball, and racquetball, among many other sports. Engaging in some form of exercise consistently may be able to help relieve some of the pain associated with ligyrophobia over time.
Meditation for Ligyrophobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from ligyrophobia. Specifically, mindfulness meditation has been shown to be quite beneficial for helping people to enter into a more equanimeous state. There are many different ways with which you can implement mindfulness meditation and there are also many different meditation apps which are designed to make things as easy as possible for you.
Mindfulness has the potential to significantly help those suffering from ligyrophobia due to how it will help one to distract themselves from their fear by refocusing their attention onto something else that does not have any sort of emotional baggage attached to it, such as by focusing on the breath for example. This is one of the most basic ways that one can meditate and be present.
For someone with ligyrophobia in the midst of a panic attack, redirecting one’s attention to the various sensations felt when breathing can actually help to reduce the amount of mental anguish experienced during such an influx of anxiety.
To implement mindfulness meditation to help relieve one’s symptoms of ligyrophobia, you can do so by paying close attention to the way the muscles in your abdomen and chest contract and relax with every inhale and exhale. You can spend time dwelling on how it feels as your chest expands during each inhale and how it sinks in with every exhale.
Besides focusing on your breathing, you can also focus on the sounds around you, the way your skin feels as you touch certain objects, the way foods taste, as well as the way certain aromas smell. Essentially, honing into your 5 senses can significantly help you to reduce some of the anxiety that is associated with ligyrophobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.