Welcome back blog readers,
In this blog post, I’d like to talk about Misophonia. To better explain what Misophonia is I’ll direct your attention to this link.
For those of you that don’t want to read an article about Misophonia, basically, it’s a condition in which certain repetitive noises/sounds trigger an irrational rage/annoyance.
The most common trigger sounds are loud chewing, heavy breathing, gum smacking, whistling/humming.
Here are the sounds that bother me.
I experience this regularly. I’m not a professional, but I wouldn’t classify my triggers as severe because there are a handful of repetitive sounds that I have difficulty enduring more than a few seconds of.
Loud (open-mouthed) Chewing/Slurping: I often avoid the community break room, too many people with a good chance that I’ll be set off and I fear just yelling STFU. It hasn’t happened because I choose to leave rather than cause a scene.
Smacking Gum (open-mouth) “Cud chewers”: I can spot them a mile away, and I avoid them if I can. Just seeing them from a distance smacking their gum is enough to evoke rage and violent visual images of throat punching them and walking away. Again, I have never acted, just can’t stop the visual that appears when I’m triggered.
Stirring spoon in a ceramic mug or spoon scraping the bowl: The constant clang, clang, clang. I get it, you have to stir, and I can tolerate a few, but for the love of god, you’re not mixing a large vat. The same goes for finishing soup or cereal or ice cream and the noise of trying to get every last bit out. If you can’t pick it up with the spoon, you’re done. Clearly just talking about it evokes anger because I can see it and hear it.
Licking: The noise from one of my pugs cleaning her foot. I’ll give her a few minutes, maybe she’s working out something between her toes/pads. If she goes on longer than a few minutes I have to stop her because she would keep going up to 30 minutes. I’ve turned up the TV, that doesn’t help because I can see her and the movement and I can still hear the sound in my head. Lick, lick, lick, lick, lick. She’s actually licked so much that she created a bald spot on the top of her foot a few years ago.
Loud Crying from kids: I’m triggered out in public, mostly at work when I can hear go on for more than a minute throughout the store, and it gets louder and louder. Most of the time the parent isn’t doing anything to console their kid, they keep shopping and have clearly tuned the screeching out. I can tell the difference between a newborn and a toddler. I’m not bothered by the cries of a newborn. I’d like to clarify that just because I am triggered by the sound, doesn’t mean that I don’t like kids or that I can’t babysit. For some reason, the noise while I’m able to control the situation doesn’t bother as it does when I’m not in control. Honestly, I’m very good with kids.
Heavy mouth breathing: Whether it’s someone with a case of COPD or someone that normally breathes through their mouth instead of their nose. I try to rationalize, knowing it’s most likely a medical condition and they can’t help it. But I do find it hard to focus on what they are saying when all I hear is heavy breathing.
While the trigger noise is taking place, I can’t focus on anything. I hear the noise, and the feeling of anger/rage comes over me. The temptation to want to yell “Enough,” “Chew with your mouth closed” is repeated in my head, but I do have enough control to rarely let the inside voice become an outside voice. Unless it’s my dog, to which I do communicate my frustration. Once the trigger noise has stopped, I take a deep breath and continue with what I’m doing.
For those of you curious enough about your level of misophonia you can take a quick test to see where your tolerance level is. I have to make the disclaimer that this test is not meant to officially diagnose you. It will be a good indicator as to how much you are bothered and how you might seek help if you score above 50%. For those inquiring minds, I scored 47.3%.
I feel it’s important to talk about my experiences no matter how awkward, bizarre or quirky they might be. I know that I’m not the only one that suffers from this, but that doesn’t mean other people that are also suffering have to go on thinking they are “crazy” or feel embarrassed to talk about it, now that they know what “it ” is. Treatment is available for those of us with severe cases.
Welcome to the Misophonia Club! Loud Chewers need not apply ~ Hannah