Attention: your neighbor can be a torturer! Not that he commits atrocities with someone held captive. The victim could be you, who even in total safety inside your home can’t stand the psychological “aggression” he has been causing without caring anymore. In what way? With the work that never ends, with the dog he keeps locked up all day while he works, or with the car alarm that goes off every night and he never turns off.
“The effects produced resemble those of real torture”, informs Gabriela Malzyner, a psychologist, psychoanalyst and professor of the psychoanalysis training course at CEP (Psychoanalytic Studies Center) and at the Meniá Prevention Center, in São Paulo.
It is considered “violence” when it always occurs in an unequal relationship, in which the agent exercises “dominion” over the other, subjecting them to continuous suffering, with no direct chance to defend themselves, and sometimes intentional. It’s no exaggeration to say that even someone else’s music listened to for hours and hours against their will is “torture”. Songs by Barney and His Friends, Sesame Street and Mettalica, for example, have already been used for this purpose in prisons.
“Torture” that reverberates in the physical
In 2003, the British BBC reported that US interrogators were using heavy metal and children’s music, culturally offensive in Iraq, to destabilize their prisoners. Then Sergeant Mark Hadsell reported: “They can’t take it. If you play for 24 hours, your brain and bodily functions start to fail, your train of thought slows down and your willpower is broken. they”.
Back to our reality, it would be no different with the noises, tremors and noises caused by the neighborhood for hours and days in a row. It may not reach the extreme suffering of a war hostage, but stress, anxiety and anguish trigger and even worsen if there is no tranquility, especially for work and with segments that require concentration and reading, and periods of silence and peace necessary to enjoy leisure, focused meals.
Noises that are repeated for hours further impair sleep and can lead to insomnia. “And, when you sleep less, the body begins to have symptoms such as tiredness, memory failure, slowing of thinking and learning, inattention, irritability. In the long term, there are also cardiological consequences and high predisposition to anxiety disorders and chronic depression”, alerts Júlio Barbosa Pereira, physician from UFBA (Federal University of Bahia) and neurosurgeon.
For some, the torment is even worse.
Anyone who already suffers from high blood pressure, migraine, resting angina, auditory hypersensitivity, gastritis, uses drugs that constrict blood vessels or has disorders such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), ASD (autism spectrum) , TBH (mood bipolar), TEI (intermittent explosive) has a greater sensitivity to excessive environmental stimuli. Disabled elderly, with Alzheimer’s, too and lose control.
Decompensated patients can have a heart attack, have a stroke, and severe depression have a tendency to commit suicide. “But it is worth seeking medical help even when any external factor causes, however small, loss of focus and loss of productivity, which does not necessarily have to do with an irritation”, says Yuri Busin, psychologist, doctor in behavioral neuroscience and director of Casme (Center for Mental Health Care) in São Paulo.
In general, there is almost always one or more disturbing sources behind these symptoms (traffic, construction, alarms) acting together with routine problems, but in a specific way. For example, while volumes above 65 decibels (equivalent to loud dog barking) alter hormone levels and immunity and from 85 decibels onwards cause hearing loss, continuous vibrations in the body affect the circulatory, digestive and motor systems.
Don’t stifle stimuli, resolve them
In order not to be hit by what comes from the outside and is beyond our control, it is necessary, in Busin’s words, “to work the disconnection of a stimulus and activate what really matters”. This means that playing loud music, ranging from 90 to 120 decibels, to disguise the noise of a busy avenue or a private show at a neighbor’s house does not solve the problem, as it further aggravates the problem, which is overlaid by more stimuli that can injure the eardrums.
“I suggest doing mental focus exercises, mindfulness meditation techniques to fully surrender to what you are trying to do, and seek a psychologist/psychiatrist if you don’t get results, or if you suspect a disorder and you can’t prevent irritation and anxiety,” adds the director. of Casme. In this context, it is also worth seeking help if other people in your community do not complain about the same noise, with the most common noises being dripping, wind, and clock.
Now, when the situation, in unison, is felt with great discomfort, it is necessary to take other, tougher measures. If the use of ear protectors doesn’t work and you feel harmed by neighbors, install decibel and vibration metering apps on your cell phone to check abuse, gather other evidence and report it to the manager and/or 156. Not resolving, it could be that have to fight a court battle or consider a move.