Do you know someone who gets really annoyed by certain sounds? Are you one of those people?
Well, that condition has a name and it’s called misophonia. When you break it down, it translates into “the hatred of sound.” It is a condition many people may not be aware of. People who have misophonia typically hate certain sounds. The sounds could include: slurping, swallowing, singing, mumbling, gum chewing, sniffing, snoring, breathing, laughing, etc. It can include repetitive noises.
The hatred of the sounds could range from slight to chronic. People who have chronic misophonia may suddenly burst out with anger and they might feel like something is crawling under their skin.
For me, it developed when I was in middle school. I began to become bothered slightly by people when they ate loudly, but I usually ignored it. It wasn’t until I got to high school that I developed chronic misophonia.
In most situations, I cannot eat with my family without getting annoyed by their loud chewing sounds. The sounds would make me cringe and want to throw something at them. That usually does not end well. Not only does my family annoy me when they eat, they also get annoyed when I consistently complain about it. They want me to let them eat in peace and I don’t want to be selfish, so I leave the room and eat by myself. People who have this may feel like it detaches them from social situations and can ruin their relationships.
For the longest time, it felt like I was the only one with this condition because the loud slurping annoyed no one else. People give me weird looks when I tell them about my hatred of certain sounds, so I decided to search up what these characteristics meant.
It was shocking to see that doctors do not know what triggers misophonia, but it is a relatively new researched condition. I was relieved to know that I wasn’t crazy and that there are others that are annoyed too.
Although researchers are still trying to understand why misophonia develops, they have come up with some ideas about why it affects people. According to misophonia-provider.com,
According to webmd.com, it usually appears between nine and 13 years old and happens mostly with girls. It’s weird I happen to fall into that category when I developed it. Doctors believe it’s partly mental and physical.
Misophonia is not anxiety or an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) which people often mistake it for.
I thought it was OCD too, but now I know that it’s not the same thing though the two seem to have similarities. It’s known as a sound sensitivity disorder according to disable-world.com.
Researchers say that there is no cure, but it can be managed through temporary solutions. They recommend drowning out the noise or focusing on something else that is more important. I manage it by drowning out the sound with more noise in the background. For example, turning on a fan or putting on headphones can help. If there are no other options, finding a quiet area works as well. Hopefully this condition will go away so people suffering with this disorder can eat with others in peace and not be labeled as a weirdo.
According to misophonia.com, you can also try out the Dozier Misophonia Trigger Tamer available on iTunes for $39.99. It’s supposed to let the user “repattern” their brains to reduce their aversion to certain sounds.
Dealing with this every day can cause a lot of stress, so finding ways to temporarily cope with the side effects helps. If you have misophonia, you are not alone.
For more information on misophonia, visit the Misophonia Association website at misophonia-association.org.