4 Facts On Misophonia

Misophonia is a disorder made to describe someone who suffers emotional consequences due to the occurrence of commonplace noises. This can include but is not limited to: chewing; loud breathing; metal clinking; and even yawning or sneezing. Harvard Health states that people who are affected by misophonia “create a fight-or-flight response that triggers anger and a desire to escape” (Cartreine, J) when faced with one or more of their trigger noises, and the result depends on how badly said noise affected the person. As someone who struggles to control their misophonia, I will be discussing four facts about this disorder that many people do not know.

 

Misophonia Is A Mental Disorder

While it can be difficult to diagnose, misophonia is classified as a mental disorder with many similarities to other disorders, including OCD and other similar disorders. Unfortunately, there is no current reliable treatment for this illness; if you are suffering from any form of misophonia, the best to be done is to limit your chances of exposure to your trigger noises and speak with a counselor or therapist regarding your episodes. Some ways to limit exposure include but are not limited to: wearing headphones; wearing earplugs; distancing oneself from trigger sounds; and practicing self care/meditation to relax when not around trigger sounds.

Misophonia Is Surprisingly Common

Have you ever experienced a certain noise that caused an extremely visceral reaction in yourself? If so, you may be experiencing misophonia without even realizing it. A British-based research team studied 42 individuals, almost half of whom suffered from misophonia. These individuals reacted very similarly to universally unpleasant noises (babies crying, screaming, etc.) as others that didn’t have misophonia, but also experienced similar reactions due to more common sounds, such as those listed in the above paragraph (Cartreine, J).

 

Violent Tendencies With Misophonia

While uncommon, some individuals may experience mild or extreme cases of violent tendencies when having a misophonic episode. This is caused by the fight-or-flight reaction when said individual comes into contact with their trigger sounds. There have been occurrences of children with undiagnosed misophonia who became incredibly violent towards their parents without reason or explanation. Only after seeing a therapist and discovering the triggers behind their actions were the children able to control their reactions and limit their exposure towards the triggers.

 

Misophonia Can Be Linked To Sight

According to the IMRN (International Misophonia Research), “Some individuals with misophonia also describe visual triggers” alongside their audio triggers. Similarly with the audio triggers, these visual triggers cause a fight-or-flight response in the viewer and can lead to severe discomfort, fear, and even rage. This is because misophonia is a neurological disorder causing heightened sensitivity “in which certain auditory stimuli are misinterpreted as dangerous” (About The IMRN).

 

While not as dangerous or severe as some mental illnesses, misophonia can drastically affect one’s quality of life, and can make experiencing the outside world a difficult, and sometimes terrifying concept. Although there is no current cure for this disorder, there are many ways to treat misophonia. If you believe you may have misophonia, you should consider talking with your therapist about possible treatment options.

 

Related Articles:

Are You Oversensitive To Sound? You May Want To Know About Misophonia

 

Sources:

About The IMRN. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://misophonia-research.com/

 

Cartreine, J. (2017, April 21). Misophonia: When sounds really do make you “crazy”. Retrieved

     from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/misophonia-sounds-really-make-crazy-2017042111534

 

Dresden, D. (n.d.). Misophonia: What it is, symptoms, and triggers. Retrieved from

     https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320682.php

 

Like Nails on a Chalkboard: A Misophonia Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved from

     https://iocdf.org/expert-opinions/misophonia/

 

Misophonia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.spdstar.org/basic/misophonia

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  1. This sounds very similar to sensory processing disorder… I guess the difference would be that in sensory processing disorder, the discomfort is more physical?

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