@Martin Re: Cabbage
"OMG I went into a public environment and some of the people therein are having the temerity to audibly communicate with each other!!!eleventyone"
It's not for me to comment on why the tube is so stressful in the first place, I'll have to take your word for that, but why does hearing other people conversing make it more so?
I ask as someone who strongly values a bit of contemplative solitude himself, but would never expect to achieve it on public transport.