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Friday, July 27, 2012

Dealing and Coping with Noise

I am overly sensitive to noise and I find it hard or impossible to block it out.  It has been an issue for a very, very long time.  It is only now that I've been working in an office cubicle environment that I am having a lot of trouble dealing with it.  In the past I've been able to go off on my own and work in isolation pretty much.  I can't do that any more.

I've received "Extreme Isolation" noise blocking headphones, which by themselves don't do much to help my problem.  I am wearing silicone ear plugs with the headphones and the combination doesn't block out enough.  I swear its like I hear through my nose or something.  I have been playing popular music, but that is also distracting.  I've tried white noise and that is annoying.

Some days I don't have to use the noise blocking very much, if at all.  But some days, even the slightest thing sends me into a freak-out.  Like today.  Its not like a panic attack, I don't think.  Its just that the noise level and different conversations and sounds all crash in at once and create an overload I suppose.  Like kicking a nest of hornets in my head.  I can't concentrate, I can't think and all I want to do is yell, "Shut Up!" over and over and over again.  I don't... very often, but I want to really bad.  When I put on the headphones and play music and I can still hear people talking its like, "What the #&*@** are you doing? Why the &*#& do you have to talk that &@#&# loud?? I have on noise blocking headphones and loud music and I can STILL hear you! WTF!?!?"  Turns out, its just me.

I have found a couple solutions that I am enjoying.  What I am doing now is I have the silicone earplugs, the noise cancelling headphones and listening to some calming music from http://www.purple-planet.com/#/royalty-free-music-calm and listening to http://www.rainymood.com/ at the same time.  This is helping to drown out most conversation.... yes, still not all.  I am concerned that turning the music up any more will hurt my hearing, LOL!!

I am going to get evaluated on the 8th to find out WHY I am like this.  It think that I am about to be diagnosed with Asperger's or CAPD or something like that.  In fact, some people have told me that I have to be 'on the autism spectrum' somewhere - people who have autistic kids or siblings.

Update: I never did get tested.  Insurance doesn't cover the testing, so I am fairly screwed.  Dealing with whatever this is that makes me so different from most other people really, really sucks sometimes.