PTSD Solutions Needed
January 12, 2013 9:02 AM   Subscribe

I get triggered by loud noises. Specifically firecrackers, gunshots, sudden cars backfiring and the like. To a very major degree.

Where I go into sheer panic, crying, wanting to die - the whole nine yards. What I do for immediate relief is take a pill, put in ear plugs, put in some loud music that says what I feel (at full volume) and if needed will drink something as well.

Been to therapists over the years - it never did anything for the trauma. Did EMDR - that got a lot of residue shit out but nothing was resolved in terms of the PTSD and loud noises.

I've lived in war zones my entire life. From early childhood to middle age. On war fronts. Literally having rockets and missiles flying over, under and near me. I got freaked out and stayed that way.

I need to get this resolved now once and for all. I can't continue living like a basket case. It's no way to live and I don't want to rely on chemicals to alter my perception either. For now, since I got no choice that's what I'm doing - but down the line - for sure - no.

I can't start shelling out big bucks either. I have to keep this as much in-house as possible. I'm looking for EFT specifically geared for fear of noise, music that I can play LOUD, have a F you, I'm still alive and breathing message (Pearl Jam works very well for this) and anything I can use to HEAL MYSELF from this bloody affliction. Which it is - hands down.

Thanks for any help.
posted by watercarrier to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This is a different sort of approach, but maybe it could be useful: there is a type of electronic earplug that hunters sometimes use to protect their ears while shooting. It lets in ordinary sounds, but blocks sudden, loud percussions over a preset decibel limit. Here's an example (that's a clunky behind-the-ear model; for more $$$ you can get the barely visible in-the-ear type). Knowing that all sudden loud noises would be edited out of your perception while wearing something like this might give you some well-deserved peace.
posted by Corvid at 9:39 AM on January 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It's more than I can afford right now...but thanks corvid
posted by watercarrier at 10:28 AM on January 12, 2013

Not specific to noise, but I've recently seen research that people with PTSD who practice mindfulness meditation have less of a startle reaction to noise after a month or so of practice. Anything by John Kabat Zinn is a great start to a practice and there are lots of free meditation audio tracks online for free. I'd be happy to point you in the direction of some sites if you'd like to memail me.

As a therapist who specializes in empirically supported treatments for PTSD, I can't help but plug either Prolonged Exposure or Cognitive Processing Therapy. Research shows about a 90% success rate for treatment completers. PE is similar to EMDR when it comes to the imaginal part, but the in vivo component might help a lot when it comes to the loud noises. CPT is quite a bit different, but is also effective in reducing symptoms of hypervigilance. You may be able to find some sliding-scale treatment providers who are trained in either method in your area.
posted by gilsonal at 11:27 AM on January 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Can you keep a physical object with you to remind you that you're safe? I have a necklace that I wear for this reason. While I still get triggered, the panic lasts for much less time because I can touch the necklace and feel the proof that I'm not in danger. Even putting it on in the morning helps: it's a nice little ritual to start the day, reminding myself that I got out of the unsafe situation and nobody is going to hurt me.
posted by a hat out of hell at 11:40 AM on January 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I asked this question a while back. Some of the answers reduced my stress response. I feel for you.
posted by kamikazegopher at 12:52 PM on January 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

Not nearly the same intensity but I did find mindfulness reduced my startle response to things as well (noise and unexpected touch were my two big ones). I still startle, and sometimes panic, but I can damp it down a lot more than I used to. Some is getting older and better, some is being able to react mindfully to the panic response which I've never been able to do previously.

When I need noise I quite like The White Stripes (Seven Nation Army in particular), Nine Inch Nails (HyperPower and the Saul Williams remix, Survivalism, The Art of Self-Destruction), Tool (Hooker With A Penis, Vicarious, Ticks and Leeches, Schism) and How To Destroy Angels (Parasite, Ice Age) and Marilyn Manson (Seizure of Power). Oh and pretty much anything by Rage Against the Machine. Just as a reminder the song Vicarious, and the entire Year Zero album, have some war themes/imagery that might be unhelpful. Check out Love Outside Andromeda and Curve as well, for some other nice wall'o'sound therapeutic deafening of the noise inside your head.
posted by geek anachronism at 4:16 PM on January 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's a much less expensive mechanical variant of the "stop the sudden loud noises" earplugs, FWIW. I've had a pair for thirty years, and they work fine.
posted by chazlarson at 6:45 PM on January 13, 2013

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