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Lively
Lively, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, 10 years experience working with individuals, couples, & families
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People noises irritate me and have made my life miserable.

Customer Question

People noises irritate me and have made my life miserable. This has been going on since I was a kid. People eating noisey,potatochips,gum cracking, sniffing their nose, taping fingers on table, eating apples, crunching food, whistling, and on and on and on. If people make the noise it gets to me but if the noise is none people I seem to accept it. Is there a name for this condition? Treatment? My wife suggested hypnotism. I've only met several people in my lifetime that have similar symptoms.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 8 years ago.
Hello:

It is interesting that you talk about being beaten for making these noises as a child, yet are irritated by them as an adult. It makes me think that you suffer from hypervigilence, which is a symptom of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

If you unconsciously associate these noises with punishment, yours or someone else's, it would make sense that they would bother you as an adult. When you hear these noises you expect punishment.

I would suggest some type of behavioral desensitization. Example: have someone eat potato chips or crack gum while you sit and listen to it for 30 seconds, taking slow deep breaths and telling yourself that it is perfectly OK for them to do this. Continue to increase the time until you can stand it for 5 minutes. Increase the time slowly. This will take a while, but you should be able to get over this.

You learned to become irritated by these noises, and you can certainly learn to accept them if you want to.

Warmest regards,
Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.
Lively :

It sounds like you might have Sensory Integration Dysfunction. This is not a diagnosis that is currently recognized by the American Psychological Association, but is a fairly common layman's diagnosis describing the symptoms that you mention. There is ample information about this disorder online and some suggestions for treatment as well. I think that most people find help from occupational therapists.

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Lively, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience: Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, 10 years experience working with individuals, couples, & families
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