Easily Annoyed By Sounds? You Might Be Suffering From Misophonia

annoyed man wearing white top
annoyed man wearing white top (Photo: Tim Gouw/ Pexels)

Are you easily bothered by a certain sound so much that it makes you feel so angry without reason? Do you just want to lock up yourself in a quiet room just to avoid these sounds? You are not alone and not crazy. Experts regard your situation as misophonia.

WHAT IS MISOPHONIA?

Misophonia, as discussed by a health blog named WebMD, is a disorder that is triggered by certain and common sounds such as the cracking of chips, the chewing of apples, and even the ones created while breathing. Also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome, most people suffering from these disorder experiences anxiety, anger, fear, emotional distress, annoyance, and even panic attacks.

CATHY ALTER'S TESTIMONY ABOUT HER HATRED OF SOUNDS

Cathy Alter, one of the writers of The Washington Post, shared her testimony of being someone who is suffering from misophonia. According to her, her disorder started when she was in her seventh grade, where she didn't understand what's going on.

It was not just in her adult years that she became more aware and disturbed of her situation. That was when she overheard her friends while chewing a piece of gum. The sound they were creating is like "a cow chewing its cud," as described by Alter's grandfather. During that entire time, she said she's having a real hard time controlling her emotions.

WHY DO CERTAIN PEOPLE SUFFER IN MISOPHONIA?

"For people who suffer, it's as though the brain misinterprets the auditory stimuli and experiences it as harmful or toxic or dangerous," explains Jennifer Brout, a psychologist based in Connecticut, US, who specializes in treating children with misophonia. Once the auditory stimulus is received, the body tends to either respond into fight-or-flight mode. Given these, the person becomes angry, anxious, and things as that.

CAUSE AND TREATMENT

There is still not enough information regarding misophonia, as reported by the South China Morning Post. The cause of the disease is still unknown. Because of insufficient information available, some patients are even misdiagnosed as oversensitivity or mood disorder.

Meanwhile, misophonia disorder is still considered incurable as of the writing. But despite that, experts offer several options to help patients manage not just their health condition but specifically the way they react towards a certain auditory stimulus. These options include tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), cognitive behavioral therapy, and counseling. All these are focused on helping patients to tolerate the annoying sounds better. 

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