An important part of coping with Misophonia is soundproofing. Since Misophonia is a hard disorder to live with on the best of days, it is important to have a safe, relatively noiseless space. Misophonia soundproofing can be a detrimental part of living and coping with this disorder. While a professional, perfect- soundproof experience would be structural and costs thousands of dollars, there are still ways to cope on a budget. If you suffer from severe Misophonia and have some costs that could go toward your coping, you may want to consider upper-level solutions. However, many of these solutions require you to be able to change and renovate the space. In this article I take into mind living in an apartment or otherwise un-editable space.
“Misophonia soundproofing can be a detrimental part of living and coping with this disorder.”
Sound absorption and echo reducing can be helpful from keeping the sounds from lasting if they do occur.
The doors of rooms can let a lot of sounds in. After-all, sound is just “waves” and doors often have as much as half an inch of empty space between the wall and the door. Underneath and above the doors can also let in a lot of sound and air. Weatherproofing strips can be helpful for this. The thicker and heavier the strip the better the sound will be kept out. The stripping should be snug to the door so that it keeps out sounds. You may want to experiment for best placement (outside or inner frame) of your strips.
If you own your home, or have reasonable landlords, it can actually be relatively cheap to replace the doors of one (or sometimes all rooms, depending on your budget) with thicker, sound-proof alternatives.
This guide has many tips for soundproofing doors extensively.
The way the inside of the room looks can make a huge difference. This Sciencing.com page points out, “If expensive remodeling is out, you still have plenty of options. The way you decorate a room can do a lot to control the sound that gets in and out. Rooms with bare walls and hard floors are much noisier than rooms with soft carpets on the floor. Hang thick drapes and lay carpets and rugs to reduce sound. Choose upholstered furniture (Lavita cheap outdoor furniture) with textured coverings to help deaden sound.”
On the insides of my paintings, I have filled the “empty space” with foam. This means that instead of bouncing off the walls, the sounds will be absorbed by the paintings. The paintings that I filled are ones I personally painted, but you could get some cheap-canvas paintings or even buy canvases and decorate them yourself. The more wall space covered, the less echo the room will have. While this does not stop sounds, it does mean that the sounds that exist will sound less abrasive.
Windows are another large problem area for sounds. This is especially true of older homes. Currently, I live in a home with large windows that let in snow in the winter. So, if the snow is getting in, I can be damn sure that the noises are too.
Thick carpeting and rugs can be a great solution for the noise that comes from floors. The heavier and thicker the upholstery, the better noise reduction that can be seen. This logic also works for windows and curtains. I have thick curtains that block out light, but also block noises.
An interesting resource, “Quiet Home Lab” brings up some important points about filling in the gaps. You can also find information on quiet appliances on this site.
Sound waves travel through the air, so it is important to fill in any gaps that will allow sound to escape. Cracks, vents and even electrical outlets will carry sound into your apartment. To help reduce the sound coming from these areas:
Install electrical outlet and wall plating insulation behind each electrical outlet and light switch.
Wrap a small piece of foam around dryer connections and where the water pipes connect to the walls.
Fill in damaged caulking around the shower, bathroom pipes and the space between the bathtub and the floor.
Here are some resources for professional soundproofing:
If you have more tips for soundproofing, please add them to the comments and we will update the article!Want to learn more? Join a Workshop with Dr. Jennifer Brout or Duke CMER at Misophonia Education.