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Struggle living in a shared house anxious about noise and cleanliness

Community Member

Hi everyone, I'm glad to find this forum. This is my very first post.
I'm facing struggles living in a shared house with two others.

I became to realize that I am extra sensitive to noise (I become anxious with the noise of doors, clicking noise of lighter, footsteps, flicking of light switches etc).
I value the cleanliness and tidiness of the space, but it seems like my standard of cleanliness is much higher than others. I have been doing the cleaning of the house most of the time, and I am always the one who takes the bins out and brings them back in. I made a cleaning roster and had a house meeting to discuss it more than once, but hasn't been working.
The sound of closing a door can sound like an uncomfortable slamming noise to me and make my heart beat faster and I would feel a contraction in my chest.
I've been trying to bring whatever bothers me up to discuss but I was told that I am complaining too much and that I am confrontational.

Now I am anxious thinking that I am too much, that I am a control/cleaning freak, that I am too particular... Now I am almost constantly anxious worrying that something that bothers me would happen anytime.

I have lived in multiple different shared houses, and it was fine at many places, but I had similar issues at some places. Ideally, I should be living in my own studio, but I can't afford at the moment, and I know with the right people, it should still work.
I'm overwhelmed with the level of anxiety I've been experiencing and it's been affecting my sleep...
I really appreciate any comments or thoughts. Thank you for reading to the end.

4 Replies 4

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Mullberries

Welcome to the bb forum and thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry to learn about your struggles in your share house and the way this situation is causing you worry and anxiety.

I lived in a number of share houses in my University days. Cleaning and house chores was often an issue, from my experience. You are certainly not alone on this one.

People have different expectations and comfort levels with mess and it can be really hard. I think it’s challenging to get roommates to engage if it’s not their problem—and right now it seems to be just your problem.

What do you think would happen if you stopped taking out the bins? If you stopped cleaning? Surely, at some point, it would become a shared problem and you might find the others become more engaged in having a discussion.

As for noise, I used to keep a small fan in my room. The white noise really helps. Or you could just play a radio or get some noise canceling head phones.

I wish you the best of luck sorting it out. Happy to talk anytime.

Kind thoughts to you

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Mulberries, and a warm welcome to the forums and thanks Summer Rose for your comment.

Sound sensitivity can be common among individuals with OCD, anxiety disorders and noise can be one symptom of this illness is having a bad reaction to particular noise you have to try and cope with.

People who don't have OCD and I'm not saying that you do, but it's a strong possibility, can't relate to someone who has, in other words, 'it's double dutch' to them and can't understand why someone is so sensitive or why a person needs to keep the house clean.

This is certainly no fault of yours and if I can suggest you have a diagnosis from a doctor, medication can help you, I take it as I have also have OCD, but it may not necessarily stop these feelings but reduce how you feel.

Cognitive therapy with a psychologist may also benefit you and a doctor can put you on a mental health plan which entitles you to 10 Medicare paid sessions.

We'd really love to hear back from you.


Thank you, Summer Rose for your comment.
I do understand people have different expectations and levels of comfort, that's why I have been trying to have honest and open discussions, but I am tired of initiating them and trying to make things work for everyone.
I tried to change my mindset, and have been cleaning the house simply whenever I want to, but frustration and a sense of unfairness stay in my heart.
I can't sleep without earplugs and listening to guided meditation now. And the pressure in my heart is getting unbearable hence I decided to make a post here. (There are more issues and factors to it that I haven't mentioned)
I will try to open up conversations again, and see what we can find as solutions....

Community Member

Thank you for your comment geoff.
Yes, I suspect that I have mild OCD... I have never been diagnosed but I was actually considering seeing a GP to get a referral for a mental health plan. (Although I don't have medicare...)
I was seeing a counselor and a coach in the past but it wasn't specifically for this matter.
The anxiety level and the pressure in my heart are getting stronger and unbearable so it might be a good idea to see a psychologist for cognitive therapy.