Ligyrophobia is gotten from Greek word ‘ligyro’ meaning sharp and ‘phobos’ which means deep fear.
Ligyrophobia, also known as the fear of loud noises, can be referred to by other names such as: sonophobia, acousticophobia or phonophobia. All of these stem from Greek origin and terms which mean ‘sound/alarm/loudnoise’ and can be used interchangeably.
Security alarms, alarms and detectors are often installed and set by humans as a security measure against thieves and to prevent breaking-entering operations.
Although we are aware that if any of these above named gadgets gets sensitised a sharp and loud noise will be emitted to alert us, we still get frightened when it does. This short lived panic may be long lasting and persistent in some individuals with adrenal insufficiency, panic or anxiety disorders and/or a ligyrophobic individual who usually feel the effects of the sound and are unable to perform any counter action, a form of paralysing fear.
Naturally, a normal human being is startled or shocked when a sudden loud noise is heard even if s/he is aware of the imminent noise. There are no stereotypical restrictions of ligyrophobia as it is known to affect both men and women alike.
Causes of Ligyrophobia:
Since the emergence of mankind, loud noise from unknown sources may mean imminent danger and incur the instinct to flee, fight or take cover for protection. Therefore to a rational extent, the fear of loud noise phobia is inherent in man.
Traumatic or negative experiences such as bombings, ghastly car crashes, falls, natural disasters, etc in which loud noises are produced before the incident takes place. Children as well as some adults are sound sensitive and may react to loud sound more easily than individuals who are not. This kind of stimuli is usually short lived and more common in children in the early phase of their lives.
The loud noise is then associated to imminent danger in the mind of the phobic and when any loud noise is produced at a later time, the past traumatic event is replayed in his/her mind. This is the brain’s way of trying to remind and protect the individual from further trauma and ensure survival.
Misophonia, hyperacusis, panic and anxiety disorders and adrenal insufficiency are other conditions that may aggravate the fear of loud noise in individuals. Here, the individuals are not able to function properly or concentrate or perform any reasonable action due to their intense sensitivity to loud sound. Autism and other communication disorders may also be a contributing factor to the fear of loud noises phobia.
Human beings are different and unique in the way they react to situations occurring around them. In the case of loud noise, some individuals may become moody, angry or experience post traumatic stress due to the noise. Others may get sick, have migraine headaches or become dizzy. These negative reactions may lead to ligyrophobia.
This is not to characterise some humans as being worse. It is just basic nature for humans to differ in both genetic and phenotypic characteristics as some are better then others in sports, socials, etc. This basic variation can be applied to highly responsive people to loud noise and those who do not react negatively to it.
Symptoms of ligyrophobia:
Common to all other phobias and social disorders, the degree or severity of symptoms shown is relative to the depth of their fear.
Some symptoms such as dizziness, disorientation, incoherence and fainting are most common. Others include;
* Fleeing or hiding from the location or source of the loud sound.
* Nausea and vomiting
* Being isolated and careful of crowded places
* Inability to coordinate oneself, mood swings and anger when they are in a noisy place e.g. markets, beaches, malls, etc.
* They generally avoid fireworks, church bells, cars and large vehicles such a trailers, trains, aeroplanes, etc.
* Using their hands or protective gear to cover the ears and eyes
* Panic and anxiety attacks during confrontations with the object of fear
* Refusal to make eye contact and fidgeting with objects when they hear loud noise.
This can be debilitating to the normal professional and personal life of the phobic.
Treatment of the fear of loud noises phobia:
The first course of treatment is carried out to find out the root cause of the phobia which would help the psychologist to know what methods to adopt in treating the phobia efficiently. This should be done at the initial stage as prevention is better than cure and also to prevent tumultuous living and full body distress.
The most popular therapy is the use of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) which is proven to have the best overall positive result in treating cases of ligyrophobia.
CBT is a form of self enlightenment technique where the phobic is exposed to the object of his fear and is given positive thoughts and facts about them. This enable the ligyrophobic to replace the negative thoughts and feelings s/he had about loud noise and replace them with rational and normal ones.
Another method employed is the use of Exposure therapy/Gradual Desensitisation technique which is a direct conceptualisation of gradually reintroducing the phobic in in tandem steps of developing acceptance of loud noise by the phobic.
Family members and loved ones may also contribute but not teasing or playing pranks which may aggravate the phobia. The phobic can then be taken from his comfort zone which might be his home or office to a place where s/he might feel relaxed and happy.