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Noise anxiety

Community Member

Hi all, this is my first time posting and I suffer from noise anxiety.

My noise anxiety only exists in my own home, I work in a noisy office environment and this is not a trigger at all. In the past we have had noisy neighbours, air-con units, loud music etc all causing me to think about when the noise will happen again and this causes me to worry about constantly. Even to the point of missing out on enjoying things because I need to try and control situations.

At the moment we are in our own house and the neighbours have a dog that barks ALL THE TIME. It’s sensitive to everything and anything and is causing me anxiety because we cant go out to our backyard without being aggressively barked at. The issue has been brought up with the neighbours and they are aware that the barking is disturbing me and my family but not a lot has been done.

I'm tired of worrying and thinking the worst of what ‘might’ happen.

I'd like to hear from anyone that suffers the same type of anxiety and if they have tips on how to deal with it.

Thank you.

41 Replies 41

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello PeggySue, and a warm welcome to you.

Being annoyed by noises can sometimes be known as Misophonia, although I'm not qualified to say, but a dripping tap can affect how I feel, it annoys me while dripping in the background.

If you've spoken to your neighbours about their dog constantly barking and nothing is done, then you can go to your council and report it.

This may cause negativity and could affect on how you feel, as you have told us, but you can put some earphones on, playing music that you like, the more relaxed you are in other areas of your life, the better you will be at dealing with these triggers.

Go and do something away from where you are and try to turn the negative into a positive, something you like doing to get rid of this persisting noise.

If people around you are agitated this is only going to worsen how you feel, try and step away.

Another option is by having desensitization therapy which a psychologist can help you with or you can teach yourself.

Let us know how you get on.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi PeggySue,

I hope it’s okay if I extend a very caring welcome to you here. I feel the barking must be causing you so much distress and frustration. Noise anxiety sounds very debilitating...

Sorry, I don’t have noise anxiety personally so I have no personal experience to share. The only thing that I can think of is perhaps noise-cancelling headphones that could help block out the barking?

I’m not sure if you feel this is a helpful option or not, but perhaps it’s something you might like to consider...

I’m thinking, and only if you feel up to it, you might like to write in again to let us know how you’re holding up (since your opening post) with the barking dog and your noise anxiety. It sounds so stressful. Or you could write about how things are going generally...anything you wish to talk about, really...

Kind and warm thoughts,


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi PeggySue92,

Welcome to the community! I too have noise anxiety but have never thought to label it as that before! It makes sense now giving it a title.

My husband and I have moved house 4 times due to barking dogs driving us both nuts. We have tried talking to neighbours, offered to take bored dogs left at home all day for walks, offered to have the dogs in our yard when I am out gardening (neighbours said NO).

We moved to the country, living on 5 acres hoping that might help. The neighbours didn't have dogs when we moved here, now they do.

We have involved the council and still nothing has been done. I am afraid some people do not understand just how debilitating, distressing and upsetting a barking dog can be on a person with mental health issues.

The garden used to be my safe place, my spot of tranquillity, where I could relax and unwind. Not any more.

I have tried all kinds of devices, radios, booming stereos, ear plugs, head phones, psychology, tried to tell myself it is just a dog barking, all with limited success. Especially so on days when my depression is prominent and all I need and want is some peace and quiet to calm my mind.

I'm not of much help sorry! Just thinking about barking dogs makes me depressed and angry! Ha. Ha.

Cheers from Dools

Community Member

Hi PeggySue,

This is my first time posting as well. I’ve been doing some online research about noise anxiety, as mine seems to be worsening, and I stumbled across your post. I feel some comfort in knowing I’m not alone in this experience, so thank you for sharing.

For the most part, like you, my noise anxiety mainly occurs at home, with neighbours’ dogs barking, but can also occur in shopping centres, if kids are squealing indoors, and at work when multiple colleagues try to talk over the top of each other. It’s awkward at home because I love fresh air and having the windows open, but with the dogs barking I feel like I have to lock myself in a prison. I have tried talking to my neighbours, but as soon as you even mention their dog, no matter how polite you’re being, they get angry and defensive. I’ve read that particular noises can be extra anxiety inducing if you’ve had a bad experience with them before (like you’re already on your guard), which is certainly the case with me and yappy dogs. I had many sleepless nights in a former house because of a dog.

Like some others, I have noise cancelling headphones. They can be really good but don’t work in all situations. I’ve also read that plugging up your ears more often can make you even more sensitive. From what I’ve seem there’s sound desensitisation therapy available too, but haven’t tried it (am wondering if I can find out more about this and take a dyi approach). If the barking, or other noise, gets really bad I jump in the car and get away somewhere quiet (if I can). I find walking really helpful, more so than meditation - although I’ve heard some find meditation quite useful.

I do wonder if there’s some hereditary element, as my mum was very sensitive to noise and had anxiety more generally, but I haven’t looked into that yet. Like mum, I also have more general anxiety, especially social anxiety and anxiety related to being in crowds. I’ve never taken medication for this, although have considered looking into it several times. I don’t know if typical anxiety meds also help reduce noise anxiety, but this is something I may look into.

I wish I could be more helpful. I do hope you find some strategies and tools that work for you.

best wishes, leilems

Community Member
That sucks it's something at home as that's where you should be able to feel relaxed decompress and unwind. I've lived with loud neighbours and honestly the answer I'd recommend is noise cancelling headphones. Bose Quiet Comfort II's are amaIng for this.

If it's not in your control then blanking it out with something else isnt a perfect solution but it really helps if something distracts you to the point of feeling on edge against your will.

Community Member
Hi PeggySue92,

That sucks that it's happening at home, that's where you should be able to unwind decompress and relax. I've had noise disturbances from neighbours before, and honestly when it's outside your control I've found a solution in noise cancelling headphones.

Sure it's not a perfect solution but if the trigger is unrelenting and causing you problems then a straight down the middle proactive blocking of something with sound to drown it out can work wonders over time. Bose Quiet Comfort II's are amazing for this! Maybe give them a go?

Community Member

Hi all i suffer from noise anxiety quite severly i think i did not know that such a thing really existed untill just recently.I have dealt with it most of my life i am now 55 ,noises that effect me are from people eating loudly, snoring,sub woofer bass scraping noises ect, they make me feel anxious irrate and somtimes ill to the stomach.

I somes feel that my anxiety getting worse as i grow older,my only fixes for this are trying to get out of the enviroment,although somtimes this is not possible,or playing music through head phones some times not always possible.Somtimes trying to explain this to people is met with a reaction like ~ your just strange or wierd get over it ~

i know my post was not much help but in a way it helped me and i wish everyone with this thing all the best

Community Member
Sorry to add to my own post but thought i just say this, it is sad to know that others are affected by this and comming to realising that it is not only me.But discovering this post has helped

Elli J
Community Member

Hi Geoff55 and others

I can definitely related to this and its called Misophonia.

My issue developed when I was pregnant and hated loud noises because of it. It didn't help that our neighbors decided to build an "entertainment area" right next to my bedroom and newborns later.

I even felt bad to complain because I believed that they should be able to enjoy their house. But after 2 years of suffering, people thinking I was a crazy new mum and countless weekends of planning an escape to someone else house. I was in fight or flight mode constant.

I was diagnosed with depression and probably postnatal undiagnosed toooo.

In the end we moved and it caused trauma to me, my relationship and resentment all round.

Problem with moving is Misophonia moves with you. The lack of control, anger, frustration and having to confront people who are inconsiderate sucks.

Im currently trying to find help by Hypnosis and reluctantly medication.

To everyone who suffers, I believe you and get it.

Irony is I work in a Kindy. But I expect noise and can adpat to the loudness. Always the way.