Definition of Ligyrophobia or the fear of noise. This article discusses the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this phobia.
Ligyrophobia is an overwhelming, irrational fear of noise. While all of us are startled and jump, in response to a sharp, sudden noise, the ligyrophobic individual may be intensely fearful. The person impacted with Ligyrophobia may actively avoid any situation that might result in being exposed to noise. In its extreme form, the ligyrophobic person may withdraw completely from all social contact in order to avoid noise.
Ligyrophobia is sometimes referred to as Phonophobia and/or Acousticophobia.
What Causes Ligyrophobia?
As with all phobias, the person coping with Ligyrophobia has experienced a trauma at some point in their life. That traumatic event is then consistently and automatically associated with noise, especially loud and sudden noise.
Maybe, as a child, the ligyrophobic individual, for whatever reason, was purposefully and repeatedly exposed to loud, sudden noises. Perhaps this person has an underlying medical condition that remains undiagnosed, but has resulted in a hypersensitivity to noise. Maybe the person impacted by Ligyrophobia watched the response of others when confronted with noise and simply learned to imitate that reaction.
What Are the Symptoms of Ligyrophobia?
The symptoms of Ligyrophobia are individual and will vary among people. Some people, when confronted with their fear of noise, may begin to perspire, feel slightly uncomfortable or become nauseated. At the opposite end of the spectrum, other people are so severely compromised by this phobia, that they may experience crippling anxiety and/or panic attacks.
Other symptoms of Ligyrophobia may include:
- A Dry Mouth
- Heart Palpitations
- Heightened Senses
- Feeling Dizzy
- Muscle Tension
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Feeling Out of Control
- Feeling Trapped and Unable to Escape
- Intense Feeling of Impending Disaster
How Is Ligyrophobia Diagnosed?
The vast majority of cases of Ligyrophobia are self-diagnosed. The individual realizes that their fear of noise is irrational and is severely limiting their ability to function on a daily basis.
The ligyrophobic person may discuss their phobia with the primary physician. Rarely would the doctor diagnosis Ligyrophobia based on that initial discussion with the patient. More routinely, after ruling out any medical reason for this phobia, the doctor will refer the person to a mental health professional for comprehensive assessment and evaluation.
How Is Ligyrophobia Treated?
When the fear of noise becomes intense enough to disrupt an individual’s ability to function, there are a number of ways to treat Ligyrophobia.
These can include:
- A referral from the primary physician to a therapist who specializes in the treatment of phobias.
- Traditional “talk” therapy that will teach the person to recognize and control their phobia.
- Exposure Therapy.
- Self-help techniques such as purposeful muscle relaxation.
- Support groups with other people who are coping with this specific phobia.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Desensitization Therapy.
- Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization.
- In severe cases of Ligyrophobia, anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed.
Ligyrophobia is an intense, irrational fear of noise. Sometimes that fear can become so overwhelming as to completely halt a person’s ability to function on a daily basis. Unchecked, Ligyrophobia can become a debilitating condition that interferes with an individual’s personal life, their social life and job responsibilities. Untreated, Ligyrophobia can have a devastating impact on every aspect of a person’s life.