Bells, Buzzers and Ringing

Does anyone have problems with these sounds?

I've had panic attacks from thesee sounds for decades.

I hear a buzzer or a ringing sound, I may be the door or the telephone. I panic, my heart starts a rapid irregular beat, I sweat and generally panic/don't know what to do.

I've changed my phone ringtone to less threatening music.

I sometimes wake up instantly at night when I imagine a buzzer or ringing.   I check, there is no one at the door!  The phone has not rang!

Do others here have these problems. 


  • My first thought would be that this is a learned behavioural response. For example: if the phone goes, you're expected to enter into an interaction (possibly with someone you don't know, and a whole world of unknown variables). Likewise, if the front door bell goes, it means there's another person there that you're forced into social interaction.

    Personally, I detest using the phone - as it does make me anxious. I tend to write better than I speak. So for me, there are all sorts of negative associations attached to any noise that denotes the presence of social interaction!

    Similarly, I really (really) struggle to concentrate when there is music or the radio on - as even hearing other people's voices tugs at my concentration, and makes my anxiety levels worse.

    But, any monotonous sound - like a wind-chime, heating boiler or ticking clock etc - can actually be quite soothing. For me, it's all about what's associated to the sound in question.

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