Every now and then, there’s probably a noise that someone of something makes that really annoys or bugs you. We’re only human, and it’s totally normal to be annoyed by something small every so often. But for people with Misophonia, getting annoyed by sounds is taken to an extreme. Misophonia is translated literally as “the hatred of sound.” It is also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome, and has even been in the realm of spectrums for other disease, such as Autism. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that every single sound is bothersome to those afflicted by it. It is a disorder that creates extreme irritation, as well as negative thoughts, emotions, and physical reactions in someone due to a sound or even a stimulus. Each person usually has specific triggers, sounds, and symptoms that set them off. The most common are chewing, lip smacking, sniffing, coughing, tapping, dripping water, or other repetitive sounds. What ends up happening when the negative reaction occurs is that a person experiences an extreme reaction that very often is a burst of rage or severe disgust.
What’s equally as frustrating for someone living with this disorder and it’s symptoms and consequences, is when people don’t understand your condition or that certain noises can be very disruptive and irritating. Yes it’s ridiculous to assume that complete stranger in the bookstore trying to hack up their phlegm every 30 seconds should understand that you’re irritated by it and that they should stop just to please your needs, BUT it does make sense that they should recognize that what they’re doing is a little too much, not to mention something disgusting in the public.
Why it’s serious is because while it might not be as threatening as other diseases- curable or incurable- it definitely has a negative impact on physical, mental, and social aspects of living. It creates more stress for an individual due to the every day extreme reactions that cause a mental disruption and tense or harm the body in some other way. Living with this disorder decreases ones ability to focus on a mental task and surprisingly drives a stake between loved ones. If some family member, close friend, or significant other is a purporter of a noise that is just so happens to be a specific trigger for a misophonian, that means that they’ll either lash out in a fit of rage -eventually, if not a civil disagreement- towards this person, or have to leave the room they’re in completely to avoid these irritating stimuli entirely.
There are no known cures for this disorder, seeing as it’s only been known for a short amount of time and there has not yet been extensive or deep enough research into finding away to fight it. However, treatments include some therapies and lifestyles changes such as creating “noise free” environments for living.
But hold on there is some light that comes out of this hell. A recent study conducted by Northwestern University found that people who had a strong sound sensitivity had also showed the highest propensity for creativity. In short, those with misophonia could very well be geniuses. Boom, in your face.
These are some common instances and situations that people with Misophonia find themselves in on a day-to-day basis.
1. Not wanting to reveal to people you’re secret in fear of their judgement of you to be deemed as “f—ing crazy.”
Sometimes telling even a friend a secret is a risky game. Misophonians at first want to to tell someone, anyone of their affliction but also know how absurd their problem is and can shy away from doing so because they don’t want people especially friends and family to think that they’re certifiable.
2. When you tell people about your problem and they think you’re crazy anyway and don’t believe you.
“No you don’t understand, it’s a real thing! I know it is! Kelly Ripa acknowledges it and confirms she has it! KELLY RIPA, MOM!”
3. Those with misophonia all agree that loud chewing is satan’s activity and will go to all costs to avoid or get rid of it.
This includes not letting people eat certain foods because they would cause too much of a crunch, slurp, or smack in the process of eating. If you’re unsure if you’re chewing is bothersome just don’t.
4. When hearing an annoying sound/ irritated by a trigger, you create an inner monologue where you’re cursing out said person and imaging some sort of violent solution to this problem. Venting to a friend almost always occurs too in the form of a raging text conversation or phone call that for some time is one way because it takes forever to vent out all that anger.
Usually some violet verbal abuse attacking some innocent person sitting down or in the same room as you. But that extra bogey sniff they keep doing is making you angrier by the minute and if you don’t tell a friend how much you hate this innocent stranger and how much you want to rip their nose off and burn it, you might die.
5. When friends are considerate and ask if a noise they’re making or will make is going to bother you, it’s the same feeling as if someone has rewarded you with a million dollars.
“Oh my god. Yes, that toe nail clipping will actually drive me up a wall, or straight out the widow. Thank you so incredibly much for asking me. Seriously. You are a saint.”
6. You have certain songs or even playlists you go to when in situations with an incessant irritation.
Loud rock songs, house music, hardcore rap, and dub step. The essentials to surviving everyone else’s winter colds and springtime allergies.
7. It’s infuriating when someone tries to tell you that they have misophonia too because they got upset form someone’s pen tapping.
“Yeah I think I have that noise problem you have. I was i the library and someone kept hitting their pen on the desk and I was like, getting mad.”
OH REALLY? You think you have misophonia do you? When someone sniffs, chews, scratches their plate, or breathes too loud is it like knives in your back, neck, and face? Is it? Or do your ears bleed? Do you want to kill something when you hear gum popping? No you don’t. So shut up.