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A Brief Summary on Misophonia

"Misophonia is a neurological disorder that affects many people around the world."

Google definition:

Select sound sensitivity syndrome, sound-rage. People who are sensitive to certain sounds sometimes cope by blocking them out. Misophonia, literally "hatred of sound," was proposed in 2000 as a condition in which negative emotions, thoughts, and physical reactions are triggered by specific sounds.

Misophonia is a neurological disorder that affects many people around the world. The exact number of people it affects is unknown, but there is a self-help group in the US that consists of 1,200 members who suffer from misophonia. There is, however, many, many more people around the world who suffer from misophonia.

Not many people know about misophonia and that makes it hard for people to explain it people who have never heard of it. The lack of knowledge of the disorder also makes it hard to explain the true effects it has on the people who suffer form it. Many doctors aren’t aware of the disorder either. This makes it hard to get a diagnosis. For some people, a diagnosis could be very important as it helps them to accept the fact that they do have this disorder and it is something that is going to affect them. Many people also find it hard to tell people about their condition because they are embarrassed about it or feel that the people they surround themselves with simply won’t understand.

There is no cure for misophonia and it is very unlikely that there will be one for many years to come. While misophonia is being studied at the moment, there is still a very long way for the research to go before a cure or sufficient coping mechanism is found. Some people find that headphones can be a huge help, but any noise cancelling ones that would work are hugely expensive. They also cannot be used all of the time and in social situations can be very impractical. For some misophoniacs, headphones aren’t the way to go as music could be one of their triggers.

Triggers are what people in the misophonia community call sounds that cause the ‘fight or flight’ response. A person can experience many triggers and can find them becoming worse over time. Some people suffering from misophonia find that as life progresses and they get older, more triggers tend to arise. Misophonia sufferers tend to find that the people who trigger them most are people they are close to (e.g. family and friends). This causes a lot of problems for them as they are people they love and want to be around, but can’t because they find it too hard.

Many people who suffer tend to forget the impact it has on the people around them. Families, for example, feel they have to be careful around sufferers because they don’t want to upset them. Misophoniacs can make their families lives miserable as a result to the way they react to the triggers. It makes family life hard. Neither side can help the way they feel or react, and it isn’t either of their faults. For more on the way it can affect family please look at this website.

Recently, some scientists have suggested that the ‘flight or fight’ response is similar to the way a person would feel if they were being chased by a lion. It makes the person feel like they are in danger and that they are being attacked by their senses. Scientist have theorised that the brain of a person with misophonia is wired slightly different than a person without misophonia. This is what made it become a neurological disorder.

Sufferers start to show signs of the disorder around the ages of 10-12, although some show signs later or earlier than that. It is a lifelong condition that doesn’t fade over time and has no cure.

Some popular triggers would be:

  • Sounds produced when eating
  • Snoring
  • Breathing
  • Accents/People’s voices
  • Screaming
  • Whispering
  • Laughing
  • Lip smacking
  • Throat clearing
  • Sniffing
  • Coughing
  • High heels on floor

And the list goes on.

Some people who suffer from misophonia also suffer from a rarer disorder called misokinesia. Misokinesia is the hatred of movement. It is where a person gets upset or angry at certain movements, such as biting nails, rapid leg movements, chewing lip, and the list goes on. The person will feel similar to a person who suffers from misophonia. There isn’t much research done on this condition and when it is typed into the search bar, most of the stuff that comes up is for misophonia.

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