If you are undergoing treatment for behavioral health issues, talk to your counselor or doctor about the effect noise might be having to you. Unless you live in a completely isolated area, you likely get noise most the time, from lawn care equipment to radios and TVs, not to mention traffic. Noise pollution can contribute to stress and depression levels, and reducing your noise exposure might help make things easier for you.
Extra Stress and Anxiety
Noise can affect your emotional and mental health in a couple of ways. One, it can bring on and exacerbate stress and depression symptoms. Noise hasn't been proven to be a cause of actual mental illness, but according to a 2007 study in the "Southern Medical Journal," you could have noise-induced stress, anxiety, and a whole host of other emotional and related physiological side effects. The study did find that "those with underlying depression may be particularly vulnerable" because their coping mechanisms are already compromised.
Noise pollution can also disrupt your sleep, and sleep deprivation can make it more difficult to handle life in general. You might not be able to get to sleep as soon as you'd like or stay asleep. That same 2007 study reported that the effects of noise pollution on sleep had secondary effects including "depressed mood and well-being."
Noise pollution, or unwanted noise, is a problem for pretty much everyone in urban and suburban environments, so if you're already dealing with behavioral health issues like depression and anxiety, taking steps to reduce your noise exposure may help make it easier for you to deal with symptoms and cooperate with treatments.
For example, blackout curtains, meant to block out light, can also block out a lot of noise. If you can install multi-pane windows, those can help reduce the amount of outside noise, such as traffic, that gets into your home. And if you have a noisy household, either getting everyone to quiet down or moving to a more supportive environment is a good idea, if your doctor or therapist like one from All Seasons Mental Health agrees.
One phenomenon you might want to check out to counter noise pollution's effects on your sleep is "pink noise," which is a blanket term for relatively even noises like rain. "Prevention" magazine reports that a Chinese study exposing sleepers to pink noise found that 75 percent of the participants actually felt like they got better sleep.
This is something you should clear with your doctor first -- sounds like rain can occasionally make people sad, and you don't want to exacerbate your condition. But if your doctor gives you the go-ahead, pink noise might be a good way to improve your sleep and thus your daily life.
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