Misophonia

Misophonia

Postby ohtheprofanity » December 27th, 2015, 6:58 pm

Hey everyone. Long time listener to the podcast, first time posting in the forum.

I've dealt with misophonia my entire life, but had no idea what it was until a couple of years ago. I'm not sure if putting a name to the condition has hurt or helped in terms of dealing with it, as I feel like a complete asshole when I tell people what misophonia is and how it affects me. Most people don't know what it is and I don't feel any better after telling others about it. I just feel like I'm the neurotic jerk I'm pretty sure I am who just needs to suck it up and find a way to just.freaking.deal with life. Sigh. If only it were that simple.

That's why I am reaching out here. I know that misophonia isn't a common condition, but I can't be the only one here, can I? It seems that the older I get, the worse misophonia affects me. It's something I struggle with on a daily basis. I use coping strategies whenever possible, such as brown/ambient noise, but I'd love to know what else people do to combat this condition, especially when it's not a simple as slapping on a pair of headphones and ignoring the rest of the world.

So, what do those of you with misophonia do to keep yourselves sane? How long have you had this condition? Let's talk and feel less alone.
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Re: Misophonia

Postby Dogless Dog Lady » January 13th, 2016, 8:23 am

Hey there. I appreciate you starting this thread! I don't think I personally have misophonia, actually, but I greatly sympathize with those of you who do - your experience sounds so difficult and frustrating in your post.

I've actually got a question for you. What does your misophonia feel like? I've typically heard/read about it described as sensitivity and anxiety/anger in response to human sounds (chewing, humming, breathing, etc.). While I don't experience that, I do experience another kind of "auditory discomfort," I guess. I've never heard anyone else describe it, but for me it's as if certain sounds (ambient noise, music, my own speech) become distorted to be really loud/big/overwhelming, or alternatively, really small and weak. It's not as if my ears actually perceive them to be louder/quieter, but it's like I feel the energy from the sound that becomes really huge and overpowering. It comes and goes and usually lasts a few minutes or occasionally hours. It happens once every few months, since around age 5 or 6, I'd guess (I'm 22).

Ever heard of this? Does this sound familiar to you (or anybody else reading)? (I do know that misophonia frequently co-occurs with OCD, which I do have, if that's relevant.)
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Re: Misophonia

Postby ohtheprofanity » January 13th, 2016, 4:48 pm

Thanks for your reply, Dogless Dog Lady!

To answer your question, yes, misophonia brings out anger and/or anxiety as a response to certain sounds. It's a little bit of both for me. The initial reaction is anger, starting with something like a dirty look if I'm not controlling myself and leading to downright rageful thoughts if it continues. The anxiety creeps in when the offending sound has repeated a few times and I know it'll happen again. The more it happens, the greater the anxiety.

From what I understand, the sounds that bother people with misophonia can vary from person to person and range in severity. My own worst offenders are chewing, throat clearing, and the sound that chip bags make. I've found that if I am in a quiet place like an office and I hear a sound repeatedly like a throat clear, it's like my brain fixates on it and suddenly it's all I can hear. In part, that's what drives me so crazy. I hear it loud and clear every.single.freaking.time it happens. I found it incredibly distracting when I worked in an office setting and ended up buying a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to drown the sound out. It's not like I could go up to the coworker who was clearing his throat (usually it is a guy for some reason when it comes to throat clearing) and ask, "Hey, do you realize that you've cleared your throat for the 10,000th time today? Do you *really* need to constantly do that? Maybe you should get a glass of water if your throat is that dry, but *PLEASE* shut the hell up because I'm gonna slap you if you don't stop." :) It's usually such an unconscious thing on the "offender's" part that s/he doesn't even realize how often they're making the noise that's driving someone like me nuts. But for someone with misophonia, it might as well be torture.

I can't say that my experience with misophonia is the same thing as what you're describing, Dogless Dog Lady, but that's got to be a tough thing to deal with as well. What happens when you start feeling overwhelmed by sound? Do you know if what you experience has anything to do with synesthesia, by chance? From what little I know about synesthesia, some scientists consider misophonia as a "branch" of synesthesia, so perhaps what you're experiencing is a part of the synesthesia spectrum as well -- related, but not quite the same.
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Re: Misophonia

Postby Kismet » July 1st, 2016, 12:12 am

Ohtheprofanity, glad you're talking about misophonia, need to bring this more into public I think. I don't have this but my teen son does. I used to think symptoms were part of his aspergers and ASD spectrum so, for example, I spent years trying to make him eat with me and get used to sounds of eating around others or when I had cough drop in mouth, etc. when I learned about misophonia he fit symptoms so I began letting him go to room and close door when sounds would bother him. And sure enough no anxiety and anger and melt downs during these times. To answer Dogless DogLady, my son's is always there, never goes away, everyday is bothered by it in some way to some degree since he was a young child. Therapists may say try to learn to get used to get used to it, but I think if they lived with someone with it they would see is physiological not psychological. It seems to me that's like telling someone who's deaf if they try really heard eventually they will be able to hear- just not gonna happen. I worry for my son (and for you) is very lonely having to isolate himself often and also use headphones often. Also worry others think he's being rude, especially as he gets older and will enter workplace as you describe. but the more people are brave to talk about it like you, the more the public sees this is a real, more common than we think, physiological (brain-ear or whatever we find out) disorder. than public, co-workers and bosses can hopefully be more understanding if people who live with misophonia need accomadations like maybe quiet work area, headphones while working, take breaks away from area when bothersome noises arise- whatever you need, I certainly am not the one who knows. Anyway, thanks for being brave and starting the conversation! :clap:
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Re: Misophonia

Postby BreakingTraining77 » August 10th, 2016, 5:27 am

I’ve always wondered if I may have this as the symptoms appear to be very familiar. I can remember as far back as high school (30+ years ago) and telling a girl to stop talking because the sound her voice was driving me crazy. She didn’t react well. Another time, 20 years later, I suddenly asked a coworker if he wanted a cough drop because everyone could hear him clearing his throat (which, to be fair – he did constantly). So that, humming, whistling and snapping your gum won’t put you on the top of my friend list.
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Re: Misophonia

Postby ohtheprofanity » August 10th, 2016, 9:22 am

Thank you for your replies, Kismet and BreakingTraining77. Yes, we *do* need to get this issue more into the public so people are aware it exists. That way, people like myself won't feel like a complete nut case when, for instance, I break out the noise-cancelling headphones for nearly the entirety of my shift at work. I try explaining to my coworkers that it's not that I don't want to talk to them and/or cut off communication, but it's necessary for the sake of my own sanity due to this condition. Sometimes it's met with understanding, other times not. I don't think they understand just how profoundly this condition affects people.
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Re: Misophonia

Postby HowDidIGetHere » August 11th, 2016, 4:59 pm

It's funny. I'm pretty sure I've got this or a similar problem, but I would never tell anyone about it in real life. I've always thought it's just something I have to deal with to get through the world-as-it-is. One thing I don't like about how people describe it, though, is as "a dislike or hatred of certain sounds." That description makes it sound like some kind of emotional dysfunction. For me, problem sounds don't cause an emotional/aggressive response as much as a kind of nervous system discomfort that expands the longer it goes on until it's taking up all of my attention.

Out of curiosity, does anyone else find that they have other sound-related issues? I ask because I'm also aware that I don't understand speech very well, but I'm not sure whether that's part of this or a whole other thing.
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Re: Misophonia

Postby Kismet » August 12th, 2016, 1:30 am

Answering HowDidIGetHere- re:other sound/speech issues, that's an interesting theory, my son also had speech problems and needed to be in speech therapy (enough that he not only needed school therapy but private speech therapy a couple days a week as well) until he was about 10 yrs old. (Incidentally, not speech learning issues related to ASD, but saying sounds correctly because he couldn't be understood by others.). I think this connection should be looked into!
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Re: Misophonia

Postby ohtheprofanity » October 7th, 2016, 6:11 pm

I'm pretty sure I've got this or a similar problem, but I would never tell anyone about it in real life. I've always thought it's just something I have to deal with to get through the world-as-it-is.


THIS. No way did I tell anybody about this problem until I learned that it had a name. If nothing else, that made it more real for me.

To answer your question, @HowDidIGetHere...maybe? I sometimes confuse my words when I talk, but I have no idea if it's connected to the misophonia, the medication I'm currently taking, or if that's just the way I am.

I've recently had to be more open about my misophonia to my boss due to issues at work. He was understanding when I told him about it, thankfully, even though he hadn't heard of the condition prior to me explaining it. He's willing to work with me on this, but I must go through HR's red tape before we can take any action. Unfortunately, this is just one issue I'm having in my life at the moment and I think I might need to find a different job altogether. Something a little less stressful and ideally, part-time. Right now, I am working too much and I am overwhelmed by just about everything. It's like I forgot how to deal with life entirely.
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Re: Misophonia

Postby HowDidIGetHere » October 10th, 2016, 4:01 pm

Did anyone watch the debate last night? If so, did the whole combination of sniffing, swallowing, various other mouth noises, and what seemed like hypersensitive microphones make the whole thing just eleven different colors of hell?

The things we do to stay informed. :roll:
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