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Thread: Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

  1. #1
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    Jun 2016
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    Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

    Hi,

    I see there have been threads on this subject before, but they are all dead, so I though i would start a new one.

    My neighbour's teenage son likes to play music when his parents are out. They have a high quality sound system that generates a lot of bass and is situated next to the party wall. On several occasions the music has been extremely loud, and has caused panic attacks.

    I'm not sure of the root cause, i have had problems with anxiety before, but not with a trigger such as this.

    The music comes on once/twice a week, as soon as I hear it i become extremely angry at the rudeness and the invasion of boundaries. I then panic as i'm not sure what i should do about it, whether the noise is even unacceptable, what the neighbours might say when i challenge them etc.

    I have approached the neighbours on several occasions who have said they will turn it down, but any improvement is short lived.


    It's got to the point now where bass music at barely perceptible volumes is causing a strong stress reaction. I can tell the instant the music starts, but have to mute the TV to make sure, so it's obviously not at much volume.

    I become anxious any time a car drives past my house with audible music (this happens a lot it's a busy road). I become anxious when i hear footsteps next door, doors closing, voices etc. as i fear those noises will be followed by the dull thud of bass music.

    This is ruining my life.

    I can wear earplugs, and closed back headphones to drown out the noise, but i have a wife and baby so this is not an ideal solution.

    I have started to spend some time listening the binaural beat sounds to try and condition myself to low frequency sounds and this seems to have some positive effect in that i feel calm when the sound is playing as i know i'm safe from the neighbour noise, but if i hear music from the neighbours unexpectedly, i still panic.

    What other treatment options are there? I feel that if i could reframe the problem, it would go away, but i am at a loss as to how to do this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

    I can only relate as to that bass sound... Rap music and vehicles that have sub-woofers and have that nasty vibration that rattles the walls creates the same visceral reaction in me as well. I have some misophonia and certain sounds trigger a negative reaction. Exposure has been the best method to treat it for me.

    Positive thoughts
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  3. #3
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    Mar 2014
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    Re: Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

    I don't have any pearls of wisdom for you but if I see anything I'll make sure to pass it on. You're dealing with it really well, you're being so rational about it and that's awesome

    Dealing with it rather than finding ways to avoid it is prob the best way to handle the issue but try not to be too hard on yourself.

    Maybe it's not about the music and it's something like a lack of control, you mentioned something about invasion of boundaries?
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  4. #4

    Re: Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

    I had the same feelings with my neighbor. Thankfully they didn't trigger panic attacks, but I'd get so mad some days and just be in a rage over it. Tried talking to him, tried calling the police about it, nothing helped. It's just so rude and such an invasion into your home. In the end I just had to let it go. Nothing was going to change him and it was only making me worse. Karma helped out too, he's in jail for a bit.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2016
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    Re: Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishmanpa View Post
    I can only relate as to that bass sound... Rap music and vehicles that have sub-woofers and have that nasty vibration that rattles the walls creates the same visceral reaction in me as well. I have some misophonia and certain sounds trigger a negative reaction. Exposure has been the best method to treat it for me.

    Positive thoughts

    Thanks for your thoughts


    Yes, it's the wall rattling thud thud thud sounds, as opposed to other loud musical sounds like singing/guitar/whatever.

    I have the more common misophonia too; lip smacking/eating noises. The lip smacking stress reaction comes as goes as my general well being does, so if i'm well rested and in a good mood, it doesn't affect me so much.

    However i'm currently going through a phase where my coworker's constant mouth-open chewing and bubblegum popping is only annoying (as opposed to enraging), but my reaction to the bass music is still extreme.

    ---------- Post added at 18:41 ---------- Previous post was at 18:35 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Lexilou View Post
    I had the same feelings with my neighbor. Thankfully they didn't trigger panic attacks, but I'd get so mad some days and just be in a rage over it. Tried talking to him, tried calling the police about it, nothing helped. It's just so rude and such an invasion into your home. In the end I just had to let it go. Nothing was going to change him and it was only making me worse. Karma helped out too, he's in jail for a bit.

    This is sort of where I am with this.

    My wife finds it rude and thinks the neighbour is a dick, but that's it. If I could treat myself somehow and achieve the same mentality, that would be great.

    So I could try and write the neighbour off as an inconsiderate prick who will never understand the hell he is causing, and try and think of him as a fact of life like the weather; often annoying, but totally beyond my control. The danger with this is, if I stop complaining, it might get worse.

    ---------- Post added at 18:44 ---------- Previous post was at 18:41 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by HalfJack View Post

    Maybe it's not about the music and it's something like a lack of control, you mentioned something about invasion of boundaries?

    Could be. The neighbours also have a row of tall trees that block out all of my light in the evenings. This also plays on my mind a lot, although doesn't make me mad or panic as such. I have asked if they are going to trim them, and they are, but it worries me that if they don't, i don't have a great deal of comeback that isn't going to cause conflict.

  6. #6
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    Re: Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

    You have my sympathy, i am suffering with the same problem, mine is due to loud talking and laughing coming from my neighbours house and also my husband insisting on having the TV on loud. I have starting panicking whenever I sense the noise from next door is going to start, can i add, they are nice people and not going out of their way to be noisy, we just have poor insulation in the house. I am discussing this at my CBT and have been advised that exposure is the way to beat this. My current strategy of avoidance is apparently feeding the problem in my mind. I hope you manage to find a way to deal with this.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

    Noises used to be a problem for me too. I found it was very much like how light can be and the more you just move forward in your recovery, these seem to reduce. Fight or flight does sharpen senses too, so it makes sense.

    The eating thing used to wind me up to but now it's just gone.

    Your neighbours are expected to stick below certain noise levels or they can be prosecuted. Have you considered a formal route?
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  8. #8
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    Re: Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

    Just thought i'd give a bit of an update

    I made an album of sounds/noises to play through earbuds when i'm at work, white noise, brown noise, loud foot steps, thuds etc. The white/brown noise clips are quite long, and good for drowning out general noise. The footstep etc. tracks are a much shorter play length and appear suddenly. Kind of simulating intermittent sounds from the neighbours.

    I have seen something of an improvement. The eating noise from my coworker no longer sends me into a rage, which i consider to be a major win. At first this was because i was blocking noise from her with white noise which i had running constantly, but over time i've been able to reduce the volume of the white noise, and now often don't use it, until she starts doing something particularly annoying.

    At home, i've downloaded a binaural tone generator which i play through some better closed-back bluetooth headphones, i set the pitch to about 25Hz, which seems a good match for the frequency of noise i find particularly upsetting. With this setup i can gain almost instant relief, which helps reduce the fear of the noise occuring. I know i have a reliable safety net.

    I find the presence of immediate relief from the panic inducing sounds a great comfort. I know that of something starts to annoy me, i can drown it out instantly. Also, i think the extended exposure to low frequency noise is helping.


    The final part of the solution is a bit more risque, but i have found it has helped greatly. As i said in my first post, part of the anxiety surrounds confronting the neighbours. I guess on some level i wonder are the purposely trying to upset me. In my minds eye the shared wall between us is some impenetrable barrier from behind which anxiety inducing sounds could occur at any moment, for any length of time. They hold all the aces and i've got to cower on this side of the wall with my headphones on.

    So anyway i bought a cheap wall microphone so i can hear what is happening through the wall. This helps when the music is on, as this way i can hear the rest of the music, and not just the thud, thud, thud, of the bass. Being able to recognise it as loud music, as opposed to threatening noise, has been useful. But also what i can hear, is sounds of a regular family doing boring things and talking about mundane things. I can't make out what's being said, but it isn't about me and isn't aggressive in any way.

    I still find the bass music upsetting, but not nearly as bad as before. I am now able to see it as a problem i can work on, as opposed to something which will destroy me

  9. #9
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    Re: Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

    That is really good, llo. I am glad you are finding some ways to tackle this and make life easier for yourself.

    I do so sympathise. When my anxiety is high, I cannot tolerate any kind of background noise, such as builiding work in the neighbourhood (it has been hellish the last few years here...one neighbour finishes their loft conversion and the another opposite started theirs) or my neighbour's kids playing loudly. Sometimes even bird sounds.

    Sounds can be torturous sometimes.

    I find that when my anxiety reduces, so does my sensitivity, but even so I still can't abide much noise around me, even high volume on the TV.

    I think it is great you are being so proactive about this and wish you continued success.

  10. #10
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    Re: Bass music from neighbours causing panic attacks

    I can empathise with that but even people with out any illness the loud music would bother me too and would if it continued report it to your local council Glad you are combating it though

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