Misophonia: What is it?


What is misophonia?

Have you ever seen someone getting panic on hearing nails grinding on the chalkboard? This may be a case of misophonia.

Misophonia refers to a situation in which certain sounds give people a strong hatred, thus, it is also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome.

What are symptoms of misophonia?

This condition usually starts with triggers. And, triggers are numerous. It could be oral sounds people make or a repetition motion. Therefore, sounds of chewing, yawning, whistling, breathing can all lead to misophonia.

Symptoms of misophonia

In mild cases, the people with this condition may develop:

  • Anxiety
  • Discomfort
  • An urge to flee
  • Feeling of disgust

In severe cases, symptoms include:

  • Rage
  • Hatred or anger
  • Panic or fear
  • Emotional distress
  • A strong desire to stop whatever is making the noise
  • Skin crawling
  • Thoughts of suicide

Misophonia prevents its patients from enjoying their life to the fullest. They may fail to have lunch with others, maybe their spouse, family and friends. Sometimes, they even attack the noise makers verbally or physically. When the situation gets worse, patients may also be affected by visual triggers. Just seeing someone about to eat could make them feel tensed.

What causes misophonia?

Doctors still do not know what causes misophonia. They believe it is a combination of mental and physical issues, of how sounds affect your brain and how your body reacts to the triggers. Some doctors think misophonia should be classified as a new disorder.

Misophonia is a lifelong condition. It starts when one reaches the age of 9 to 13. Usually, females tend to develop misophonia more than men.

Diagnosis for misophonia is also a trouble. Sometimes, doctors may mistake it for anxiety, bipolar or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

How to manage life if I have misophonia?

As troubled as the condition, there are ways to cope with it.

Patients can try sound therapy in combination with psychological counseling. Accordingly, doctors will set up certain background noises to counteract the sounds triggering your condition. You will need a device which looks like a hearing aid. This device produces sounds that distract you from the triggers. Alternatively, you can make use of your headset and MP3 player. They work just as well.

Besides, there are other choices including talk therapy and antidepressants.

Practicing healthy lifestyle also helps. Do exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and control your stress. Plus, you can set up your own private, safe zone where there no one or nothing can bother you.

Moreover, you can always get some support. Have conversations with those who can help, such as doctors or other patients sharing the same condition with you. They may give you advice or useful tips to handle misophonia effectively.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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