In the assessment of a chronic pain or stress sufferer, we often seek information on “the things you hear, see, smell, touch, and taste”. Some of these can be DIMs (dangers in me) or SIMs (safety in me).
I was talking to counsellors and staff at STTARS (Survivors of Trauma and Torture Assistance and Rehab Service) last week about DIMs and SIMs and we were discussing “the things you hear” that could be DIMs, thus contributing to danger activity in the brain. The conversation was about noise not language. I gave examples from my world – how the sound of an ambulance could evoke memories for some and make them stop in their tracks and sweat. Other examples of mine were how the sound of a dentist drill can lift sensitivity to all inputs and also how music can sound dangerous.
Then from almost another world, the STTARS staff reminded me that for some the sound of the police siren as the secret police visit, or the sounds of drills as used in torture, or loud, painful repeated music have a massive impact.
I realised I didn’t know much about noise and pain. There wasn’t much in the pain literature either, though I was delighted to see that there was a Noise Health journal. On reflection, when contemplating noise, I did have a focus towards decibels and kind of noise. The STTARS discussion reminded me that attention to attitudes, beliefs and memories related to the source of the noise (or perception of the source of the noise) would better the collection of DIMs and SIMs.
I would love to hear all noisy thoughts.
– David Butler