Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Noise sensitivity and screaming


Curious if anyone else has a loved one with increased sensitivity to noises, (lawn mowers) and resulting screaming? Any strategies that helped?



My son does have increased sensitivity to noises. I read that the tendencies for heightened senses is from the brain staying in, what I would call, an alert crisis mode. I will try to explain - its like when something startles you in the dark. Adrenalin kicks in, your heart races and you become hyper aware of sound. Almost like a switch has flipped in your brain. Most of us get pretty jumpy when that switch flips on.

The researchers who did the study were trying to find out if it could be used an indicator for future scz. If I recall correctly, they found that most infants when exposed to a sudden loud sound would have a lesser reaction when the sudden loud sound was repeated. They discovered that for a small number of infants, the second loud sound caused the equal reaction as the first loud sound. Their brains didn’t adjust for the second sound, they startled as though it was the first time.

My take away from this was that my son with his extreme paranoia and anxiety was often living with this " heightened sensitivity switch" wide open.

What an awful state of being to also hear voices in! Some people told us that noise blocking headphones did help their family members and others said music playing in headphones helped theirs.

Understanding that is was an actual physical sensitivity helped us be more sympathetic.