Depression & Anxiety: Drowning out the noise
It took me a while to realise I don't just have 'sensitive ears'.
Depression both heightens and numbs the senses. Whilst your body feels completely numb and you can't focus on anything, you're also overwhelmed by external sounds.
Just the sound of someone raising their voice slightly makes me want to curl into a ball and forget about the world.
There is something so excruciating about the sound of a baby crying, the rattle of pans, the beep of a car horn, the wooshing of the wind, the train racing down the track. These are just some of the sounds that make every day that little bit harder for me.
It wasn't until this year that I realised my tolerance to sound was due to the amount of noise going on inside my mind. Besides depression, the majority of mental health illnesses cause us to overthink and cause an immense amount of thoughts all day and night. These thoughts are uncontrollable, emotionally taxing and bloody loud, so it's no wonder external sounds practically deafen us.
I like to reassure people that my winces of outrage are simply me being sensitive to noise.
To people who aren't ill, these noises are normal and when I have my good days, I don't see the problem either.
But for the majority of the time, these noises are so intense that I will do anything to avoid them.
I mentioned in my What I Got For Christmas video that I would be doing a review of my Senheisser noise-cancelling earphones. Now, I haven't used them enough to give a completely honest review. But I just want to note the importance of noise-cancelling earphones. Especially if you commute.
Commuting is probably the worst part of the day for me. I literally cannot handle the screams from children or babies, so I always have my headphones on me.
Before receiving my Senheisser earphones, I had the standard Apple ones that come with every iPhone. They were good, but did not have anywhere near the same effect.
These headphones actually stop noise as soon as you put them in. You don't even need to play music to start the noise-cancelling. When you finally play one of your favourite songs, instead of having to crank the volume up to ear-deafening height, you can leave it on half of the maximum reach and have the best sound you'll ever experience.
I'm not a sound tech so can't tell you the ins and outs of the technicals, but here's the specs for the Sennheiser IE60:
Excellent attenuation of ambient noise of up to 20dB
Extremely durable housing and rugged cable (very true.)
I honestly have no idea what these mean but you may be interested:
Impedance - 16 Ω
Frequency response - 10 - 18000 Hz
Sound pressure level (SPL) - 115 dB
THD, total harmonic distortion - < 0,1 %
Ear coupling - Intraaural
Transducer principle - Dynamic
Weight - 5 g
Attenuation - passive: Up to 20 dB (90 %)
So these earphones retail for around £130 (they're now on sale here) but if you struggle with noise like I do, then they are definitely worth the investment. They also come with a pretty sleek case which is perfect for travelling.
Do you ever suffer with noise? Let me know in the comments!