Do you find that everyday noises make you angry, frustrated, or anxious? It might be something called misophonia, and luckily for you, there is treatment available.
Having misophonia involves more than simply being irritated by certain noises. High levels of mental and emotional anguish are common among those who suffer from this disorder, to the point that they may have to make major life changes. If you suffer from misophonia, everyday sounds like chewing, breathing, or tapping your fingers might trigger intense agony, and it all may be related to the way neurons communicate in the brain.
What is Misophonia?
Misophonia, or selective sound sensitivity syndrome as it is often referred to, is a very uncommon disorder. It wasn’t until 2001 that it was officially classified as a medical ailment.
The effects of misophonia are genuine and may leave you feeling like an outsider in your own private world. Yet some people in the medical profession are still doubtful about whether or not it can be deemed a legitimate condition. These neurological symptoms usually begin between the ages of 11 and 12, on average. Despite the fact that there are several investigations on misophonia at the moment, the disorder remains veiled in mystery.
In its original Greek form, misophonia means “hatred of sound.” Normal activities, such as eating a meal, may become excruciating for the sufferer because of their body’s reflexive responses to the noises they hear. Anxiety, panic, and anger are just a few of the sentiments that might be triggered by certain situations.
Normal, daily stimuli might trigger these kinds of reflexive responses that can make even the simplest of jobs intolerable. Anxiety may be felt throughout the day, even from “lesser” triggers, since it constantly seems like we’re doing all possible to avoid the “worst” trigger circumstances. If you recognize these symptoms as anything you’re going through, here are some solutions that may make it easier.
Avoid Mouth Sounds
Recent research found that “mouth noises” were the most common stimulus for misophonia responses. Food and gum chewing, as well as other mouth noises like lip popping, fall under this category. Reactions may also be prompted by “nose noises,” such as breathing, sniffling, or blowing the nose.
Sounds produced by the mouth and nose are difficult to completely eliminate. However, you may limit your exposure by eating alone, warning your dining partners that loud mouth noises are a trigger, and politely asking them not to chew gum or snap their lips.
You may do the same with nasal sounds by staying away from those who have colds or allergies and politely asking loved ones to leave the room when they need to sneeze, blow their nose, or make any other similar noises.
Avoid Finger Sounds
Misophonic persons are also highly reactive to “finger noises.” Sounds created with the fingers include tapping, drumming, clicking an object like a pen, snapping your fingers, and typing.
Making others around you aware of this trigger and urging them to avoid acts that lead to a response is one way to safeguard yourself, just as it is with nasal and oral noises.
Consider Using Noise-canceling Headphones
When you can’t get away from a potentially distressing sound, noise-canceling headphones may help. White noise, music, or other pleasant sounds may be used in bespoke earmolds to help drown out distracting background noise.
Talk to a Therapist
Misophonia has features with anxiety disorders and may benefit from treatment aimed at reducing stress. It is really classified as a cognitive disorder rather than a hearing loss.
People who suffer from misophonia may find relief from anxiety therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy. If you’re experiencing anxiety, it may be helpful to see a psychologist or therapist who specializes in this area.
Consider Retraining Therapy for Misophonia
This is a kind of treatment that involves listening to soothing sounds to reorganize the manner in which you respond to certain trigger noises. Exposure treatment works by gradually increasing the duration and intensity of the triggering noises, eventually desensitizing the patient to them.
Share Your Misophonia Experiences With Others
Your ability to cope with misophonia may be enhanced by establishing relationships with others who experience the same thing. Additionally, it might teach you effective methods of dealing with stress. Communicate with people who understand misophonia by following the Misophonia Association on social media.
The medical and scientific community is actively investigating what occurs in the brain during an episode of misophonia since we still don’t know a lot about the illness(yet it seems to be more frequent than we previously anticipated). We live in a world filled with triggers, yet there is hope that one day we will be able to find a solution and live together peacefully.