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4th of July Is Around The Corner...(Again)

(I typed this up and posted this on Twitter last night, but wanted to share here as well…)

Since I was a child, I’ve had to deal with a startle response disorder (Which is currently undiagnosed because I’m too FUCKING AFRAID to tell a doctor). Sudden/loud noises, and/or rapid movement of an object/person may cause me to have an exaggerated startle response. If I’m startled, my whole body literally tenses up or my legs jerk to the point where I can LITERALLY FALL DOWN and hurt myself (Which has happened).

As an example: I was out on my local Riverwalk with my parents and across the river is a Coast Guard station. As I was walking, a crew from the CG station was setting out on patrol in their boat. As they were leaving the dock, they blew the horn. I was startled so badly, my legs tensed up and gave way, causing me to fall down and hurt myself. My parents, who were ahead of me, didn’t notice since I was out of sight. As I sat on the ground after the fall, I could feel my breathing increase and my heart beat faster.

That’s one of the instances of how the startle response disorder affects me. Overtime, the disorder has steadily gotten worse. Now - many sights, sounds, and other things that I never would have thought could trigger a startle response, now startle me sometimes.

TBH, it’s gotten to a point where the disorder has become so debilitating that sometimes I have a hard time going out just for a walk because there are certain sounds that may trigger the disorder. It’s even gotten to the point where I’ve experienced suicidation in the past. It’s THAT BAD…

Now that July 4th is around the corner again, it’s becoming increasingly hard to NOT ignore when the neighbors set off fireworks. It’s a very difficult situation, but I know I’m not alone in my struggles.

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Hey TomsStillHere!

Megs26 responded to your post live with some great words of encouragement!

Here is a link to the video so you can hear their response for yourself,

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I have gotten increasingly sound sensitive since I’ve gotten older. Not only that, but I just plain resent unnecessary loud noise. I remember my grandma recoiling severely when the phone rang. Sensitivity to loud noises really sucks.

Medication for anxiety can help. There are also methods of desensitization that usually work. A therapist can help you with that approach. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about it, but if you believe the doctor is the wrong person to discuss it with, find someone else.

On New Year’s, and July 4, I usually wear earplugs, or noise canceling headphones. I use foam earplugs that are sold by the bagful at Home Depot. What I find interesting about them is that they enable me to be around loud stuff, like a chainsaw for example, yet my wife can still talk to me in a normal tone of voice and I can hear her just fine. It’s like they can stop loud noises, while allowing more comfortable sounds to pass through.

Headphones are good too, because you can listen to relaxing music, or music that can take your mind off the noise.

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