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Repetitive Movements and Some Sounds Make Me Feel Horrible

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There are movements that people do that make me feel very angry and horrible. It’s one of the main reasons I’m happy this school year is over. When someone in class would tap their feet on the ground/move their feet repetitively, click their pen, tap their hands on their desks, etc., I would feel so angry inside. I always had to use my hands to block it from my view or cover my ears. One time the girl next to me wouldn’t stop swinging her feet and I spent the whole class with my right eye closed so that I didn’t have to see it. I also have an anxiety disorder, and I’ve had to leave class many times to try to calm myself down in the bathroom because it gives me so much anxiety. Math class was the worst; the boy next to me always tapped his feet and made beats on his desk with his pens, a girl in front of me was always swinging her feet, and another girl was always bouncing/shaking her legs. I was always irritated and had so much anxiety. One time I left the class crying which I think scared my teacher a bit.

I have a friend that I hang out with a lot who does these things and she never takes me seriously when I tell her to stop; she just finds it funny when I get irritated. I got pretty angry once and said “I swear to god, I will f**king kick you out of my house if you don’t stop tapping your foot and you’ll never come back here” and I meant it.

I also get like this with some sounds, but the worst out of all these things is when my brother plays his drums. It makes me so angry, I can’t even explain it. It always makes me cry and one time it randomly made me tear apart two stuffed animals I had in my closet. It (and not just this, other sounds/movements) also really makes me want to kill myself. I told my mom that once when my brother was playing the drums and I was angry; you’d think she would’ve taken me seriously considering I’ve tried to kill myself before.

I’ve mentioned this to my psychiatrist and therapist, but they shrugged it off. I’m not sure if I should bring it up again. (From Canada)

Repetitive Movements and Some Sounds Make Me Feel Horrible

Answered by on -


Yes — without a doubt. I am sorry your psychiatrist or therapist hasn’t responded better for you. Please try again. I would write down and explain the wide range of agitations you are experiencing. You may then want to ask them to give you tests concerning your level of distraction. Clinical or school psychologists may be able to do this.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Repetitive Movements and Some Sounds Make Me Feel Horrible

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Repetitive Movements and Some Sounds Make Me Feel Horrible. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 12 Jul 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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