The coping techniques so far divide between those that physically exclude the sound (by leaving the room or drowning it out), and what I’ll call experiential: those that work through dealing with the sound. I have used the former, but at 35 now, I want the latter, as I want to exist in everyday life where these noises are without withdrawing.
As a teen, the one experiential technique that offered a glimmer of hope, when covering my ears was impossible, was mimicking the noise. I think what helped was the brief control. There was something I could do to deflate the power the noise had over me and throw it back on itself. Eventually it’s a war of attrition—people always seem to have more energy to make the sound than I have to combat it—and its utility eventually wears off.
My experience is complex when I suffer from a sound: there’s the 1) pain it causes me, 2) anger that rises up, 3) feeling of loss of control over myself, 4) isolating self-focus as I’m drawn into myself where the pain is rather than being with people in the real world, 5) the fear of it, the shame and guilt, self-judgement and eventually self-pity from suffering and fuming over something so “small.”
The “be happy in the situation” that some have mentioned is interesting if it actually reduces the problem. I think what might work about that is to keep a person outside of themselves, instead of going inside. I’m looking into “tapping” right now; a series of taps you perform on different pressure points on your body to reduce anxiety and pain. Obviously not something I could do while a sound is happening but maybe preventatively as a way of dealing with the fear and my feelings around the noises.
I think there may be some hope in what one person brought up about EMDR. My counselor did one session of that with me a long time ago in regards to noises my dad makes, and a few of the milder noises he makes that used to bother me don’t anymore. I don’t know why I didn’t follow up with more sessions of that—the technique feels a little silly and I was afraid it was a little like hypnotism, which I don’t like—but I’m going to try it again and will report back, as I’m sure we all will, if it or anything else helps.