“Misophonia – literally the hatred of sound -can be defined as a hypersensitivity to background sounds or visual stimuli that are generally ignored by other people. More importantly than the individuals inability to block out the offending stimuli or “trigger” is the acute negative emotional response experienced as a direct result of being in contact with a trigger.
The response has been described as a reflexive emotional flood of rage and panic with a storm of fight-or-flight reactions becoming paramount. Adrenaline flooding, face flushing, heart-pounding and/or shaking and the need to physically flee or attack are often experienced. The mindful thoughts that the emotional reflex/response is unreasonable given the facts of the stimulus is often actually harmless come only after the fight-or-flight response is in full force and the affected person may find themselves in a constant mode of “talking themselves down” into a normal state of calm.
The majority of trigger stimuli are counted as harmless or just part of every day to day life by the “normal” person, but to a person inflicted with Misophonia, they are a tremendous burden, often the analogy of nails down a chalk board or exposed nerves have been used to describe the disturbing response.
Often a sufferer is forced into a life of isolation, shrinking away from the general population and the offending triggers, not by choice but out of necessity for their sanity. Many withdraw from social occasions due to the fear and anxiety caused that a trigger may be present. Often relationships are destroyed due to misunderstandings and misdirected negativity. Work opportunities are reduced or obliterated altogether.
When asked how they feel, a sufferer will often detail the tremendous levels of guilt and turmoil they feel due to their reaction, their fear of an ever collapsing tolerance and the ever increasing restrictions imposed on them by the condition.
Although the initial list of Triggers was thought to be focused around soft sounds or eating and bodily noises it has since been identified that an ever increasing list of audio and visual stimuli may trigger the above reaction. Not everyone who has this condition is affected equally, with some being unaffected by trigger noises that torments others, while others still seem to have no negative response visual stimuli but are completely overcome by sounds.”
(Join their forum for others who suffer with Misophonia)
Some Common Triggers~
* ahhs after drinking
* crunching (ice, other hard food)
* gum chewing & popping
* kissing sounds
* nail biting
* silverware scraping teeth
* sucking (ice,…)
* talking with food in mouth
* tooth brushing
* tooth sucking
* wet mouth sounds
* jaw clicking
* Mostly enraged by the sounds of someone close that they love making these sounds; a sibling, parent, spouse, or best friend
* Misophonia usually becomes a problem in Pre-teen ages
* They can produce these same sounds themselves and usually are not bothered by them
* They are usually very remorseful afterwards feeling bad and guilty for hurting others
Misophonia is increasing in attention in the press and the medical field. I am seeing more people in my office with this condition and I find I am having wonderful results relieving people of this chronic state of fight or flight response.
If you or anyone you know has an unusual response to somewhat simple sounds in our environment to the extent it is making life difficult to live, please contact us for more information!
A Thought from Dr. Lise’