We have now been living with misophonia for almost two years. Misophonia was a sleeping monster inside my little girl… awakened during the summer of 2012.
Misophonia is condition of extreme sound sensitivity. It is characterized by an immediate, acute, negative emotional reaction to certain sounds. People with misophonia experience a fight or flight response to simple everyday sounds like tapping fingers, typing on a keyboard, crinkling wrappers, sounds in speech, eating noises such as chewing, swallowing, or crunching. The fight or flight response creates panic and rage, and sufferers can become violent and emotionally explosive when they hear these triggers.
The easiest way to relate, would be to imagine being trapped in a room with someone who is scratching their nails down a chalkboard and will not stop. Most people will have a powerful, negative reaction to this scenario… first a cringe, cover their ears… but if the noise persisted, soon they would flee or get angry and demand that the sound stop.
My daughter feels this intense reaction to small, insignificant sounds.
Unfortunately, misophonia triggers can also be specifically focused on one person. In my daughter, her emerging misophonia presented as an intense aversion to my voice. In fact, emerging is not quite the right word… misophonia looks more like the sudden transformation from Bruce Banner to the Hulk. Quick, violent, immediate, and terrifying.
I wrote about that crushing few months in Sound Desperation and Sound Hysteria.
If you have never heard of this condition, you are not alone. No one seems to have heard of this condition. Doctors and mental health professionals are unaware. Which means that as parents and sufferers of misophonia, we are largely on our own, trying to cope with a disorder that looks like a giant temper tantrum. Without being understood or respected as a true health crisis, misophonia can quickly tear a family apart, destroy relationships, and create a life of isolation and desperation.
Since we began dealing with misophonia, Lydia’s triggers have increased. She now has powerful reactions to her sister as well, a heartbreaking reality I wrote about it in Sounds of Our Crisis, Living with Misophonia.
Her list of triggers are growing every month.
It has been bad. Really, really bad. I will admit here, that there have been weeks of time where my husband and I wondered if we would be able to raise our child. I have googled boarding schools in our area, feeling my heart may just disintegrate in my chest like a wet tissue.
Two years in, I am relieved to report that things have gotten so much better.
I finally feel like I have something constructive to say! So, here is what we have learned, and how we are coping. I want to share it, to help others who are in those really dark places right now.
It seems like every health article out there begins the same way… perhaps because even though we don’t want to hear it, the truth and healing lies in diet, sleep and exercise.
Bleck. I know.
Misophonia is easiest to relate to when you think about irritability. Moodiness. It is really hard to understand Lydia raging about the way I say my S’s, but I do understand what it feels like when I am too tired, too hungry, or too inactive. Human beings are more likely to overreact, say cruel things, tantrum, or embarrass themselves if they are sleep deprived, hungry, or have a lot of pent up, unreleased frustration.
Lydia must have regular, good sleep. We rarely allow her to have sleep-overs with friends or stay up late on weekends because being tired makes Lydia impossible to live with. We are very, very strict about her sleep schedule. I am afraid as she gets older this will be harder for us to manage well, but for now, she doesn’t have much flexibility.
We find that she does so much better when she is really active. We will always have her in a competitive sport that requires exhaustive exercise (like swim and soccer and track) because this makes her feel so much less irritated… and she sleeps better.
When she is hungry, watch out. When we plan poorly and she gets too hungry, or if we get lazy about healthy snacks, Lydia has a much harder time with her misophonia. It’s an almost guaranteed disaster if she gets into that low blood sugar zone.
#4. HEAVY BLANKETS AND TIGHT HUGS
Misophonia is worse with overstimulation. When Lydia is feeling triggered, she will often come get a really tight hug from me. The squeezing is helpful in reducing sensation and sensitivity, and calms the nerves.
We also bought Lydia a heavy blanket… these are straight from heaven. We bought ours here…
It is a blanket filled with beads or rock. They come in various weights and sizes. Lydia sleeps with hers every night, and the heaviness does the same thing as a tight hug. It calms her overstimulated nerves and helps reduce sensation. When she is in a meltdown mode, we will send her to her room to calm down, often under her blanket.
We got really focused on the sounds Lydia hates, but the trick is to reduce stimulation while masking the sounds she is triggered by. Bright lights and lots of noise chaos can make the sensitivity worse. We found these apps that have all kinds of noises… rain, static, chimes, wind…
We turn down the lights, turn off the t.v. and then Lydia can chose one of these sounds to help distract her from her triggers. We prefer to have this playing because we want Lydia to be able to manage herself with the most mild forms of intervention possible. But, many times she still has to eat in a separate room, or use headphones to more thoroughly block sound. It’s a slow process. Even our four year old will acknowledge in gratitude the days that Lydia joins us for dinner.
#6. NEUROFEEDBACK THERAPY
For about a year and a half, Lydia saw a neurofeedback specialist, Rae Tattenbaum. Here is the link to her practice:
We were also featured on a local show, Better Connecticut.
Kara’s Cure: Inner Act and Neurofeedback
When the misophonia was nightmarish, Lydia would go at least 2 times a week. We were able to cut down to once a week, and we did that for a long time. This treatment did help her enormously, and we saw a huge improvement in her coping ability. In the beginning, seeing Rae was the only thing that made me feel like I could raise my daughter, the only thing that made our situation liveable. Once we had things more under control, we began to realize that the neurofeedback was not a long term solution for us. When we stopped the treatments, she would slowly slip back into misophonia meltdown mode. Eventually, we felt stable enough to look for alternative answers.
#7. HEARING AIDS
In February, we found a professional who had actually heard of misophonia! We took Lydia to see Melanie Herzfeld, an audiologist at the Hearing and Tinnitus Center in Long Island, NY.
She recommended a set of hearing aids for Lydia, which emit a white or pink noise. They help mask all of the small sounds that make Lydia go nuts. She does not have to wear them all of the time, just when she is feeling triggered.
The hearing aids have saved us. I was very nervous about getting them, because they are so expensive and also not covered by our insurance… but worth every single penny. We bought her hearing aids one day before we drove from our home in Connecticut to Washington DC for spring break. It took us eight hours. Normally, this would have been an epic nightmare. We have been on way shorter trips that have been emotionally scarring for all of us, car rides where I contemplated hitchhiking home.
She wore her hearing aids and watched movies with her sisters and I talked to my husband in the front seat… It was a miracle, truly. I had been unable to speak while in a car with Lydia for the last two years. I was so afraid to believe that it was not some kind of random fluke… but we drove all the way home without trouble, and have been doing well in the car ever since!
#8. PAIN MANAGEMENT
The audiologist also strongly recommended cognitive behavioral therapy with an emphasis in pain management. She stressed the importance of finding someone who will not try immersion therapy techniques (making Lydia listen to the sounds she hates). Pain management would help Lydia learn coping techniques to redirect and refocus her attention.
We have looked around, but have not been actively pursuing this therapy for Lydia right now. The techniques in #1-7 have helped get us to such a safe place, we don’t feel it’s necessary right now. But I also know that things change. Lydia is going to change. We will grow and adjust with her, and it’s good to know where we will look next if we need more help.
There are websites and support groups popping up on the internet now that can also be sought out. Personally, I avoid them, although I am sure they are very helpful for others.I can not bear the stories told in those groups. Most of them just fill me with heaviness and desolation, wondering if I will raise my daughter and never see her again when she is old enough to leave. Will she be able to call me? Visit? Will she know her sisters and be a part of our lives? Will she be able to have deep, meaningful relationships? Love, without feeling tortured?
I have to believe so. And while I ache for those that are in that pain now, I am not prepared to be a part of the support group. I can’t. Because today, things are ok. I can only look forward and believe that my daughter will be ok, and I will have the privilege of always being in her life. But I offer all my love and support in sharing our story here.
And I will contact anyone who needs to hear a person say, “I understand.”
You don’t ‘fix’ your child, you create the conditions for them to RISE.
photo credit: phyllis meredith photography
I’ve suffered from misophonia my entire life, and like your daughter, one of my triggers was my parents voice. Of course that was 20 years ago and I had no idea and no means to figure out what was happening. I too would eat dinner in separate rooms and time my eating so that I was never the last to finish (lest the chewing would make me insane), but let me just give you some hope with all of this! I’m now 28 years old and have a wonderfully healthy relationship with my parents. It didn’t take long (about a semester at college) for me to realize I needed them and it seemed the absence of their voice-trigger had made it far more bearable and easy to handle!
You’re article has been so helpful to me. I appreciate it greatly. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences here on this blog!
Thank you so much. I am just starting on this journey. I am looking for recc.s for an exercise/running playlist without techno music – can’t stand it or rap – the repetiveness. I came across your blog and can’t wait to share it with my family doctor. Thanks again so much.
Does anyone know if there is a doctor anywhere that can help me cope? My mother thinks I am just making this up for attention. The worst part is I sought help from the doctor I usually go to, and she agreed with my mother. I’m feeling completely hopeless and don’t what to do. I just need someone to convince my mom that I’m not making this up. PLEASE help! Thanks in advance.
Show her the comments on this page. My father sometimes is hesitant about misophonia being “a real thing” but I can assure you pretending to be in such misery every minute of every single day can’t ever be worth the attention it might bring. Some cases of misophonia paired with feeling alone often lead to additional depression or anxiety, and some people have taken drastic measures because of it. From me to your parents, please understand your child is not crazy and really needs your help. Please listen:) I hope this helped
I realize this post is old but in case this helps anyone you could show your doctor or parent the Misophonia Support Network website: http://www.misophonia-provider.com/What_is_Misophonia_4S_.html
Pingback: When You Hate Sounds - ThatOrganicMom
I barely found out what Misophonia is by my brother and now understand a little bit better what i am suffering. I have been having misophomia for about 2 years now. It has made my relationship with my family a lot. I am Mexican-American and live in San Diego, California. My family has very low income and since my mom still does not understand why i have these “triggers” she thinks i just do it because i hate her but it is very difficult because most of my “triggers” come from her. Your article has given me many ideas about how to help myself a little more. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
I suffer from misophonia and have done for a while. Over the last year or so I have noticed how much worse it has got.
I can’t stand to spend time with my family for the noises and personal habits they have will set my misophonia off and my reaction hurts them so I stay away to spare them of it.
I share the pain you feel but from a sufferers point of view. My family don’t understand this condition and think I’m just being petty and rude, and even make the noises louder and laugh amongst themselves to annoy me more.
It breaks my heart that I flinch every time I’m near them and fear it will get to the point where I can no longer spend any time with them.
I live in England and misophonia is not very well known or spoken about, most people who have heard of it believe it to be made up, so there is not much help for sufferers.
Your advice has been so helpful and I shall give all suggestions ago. Hopefully it can help me in some way.
Thankyou for this.
I’m glad to see you have found effective ways of maintaining a healthy relationship with your daughter. I know it must worry you to look forward to her future and wonder what difficulties she will have to face and overcome without you.
I’m 23 now and have dealt with it for as long as I can remember. If there’s any ounce of confidence I can give you, its that this isn’t a socially crippling disease. The outbursts and fighting will subside as she grows. Her ability to maintain composure while in the midst of an episode will grow. I cannot say she will ever outgrow it. I know I haven’t.
I found this article after having an episode at work. I work in an office and the sound of keys typing makes me so angry I want to throw up. I actually almost did today. My family has really come around to understanding this is something I suffer from and a good form of coping is to walk outside and call my sister.
It never goes away, but it gets easier. It seems to be a growing community of people coming out as sufferer’s and those with a direct connection. As time passes more resources will be available to her. She will be able to love and to be loved. She will have friends and a fruitful career. Just be there for her now, so she can always remember the support she had during her journey to understanding and acceptance within herself.
This little blog helped me so much. I have just been Diagnosed with misophonia after a few nasty months of irritation and irrational behavior to sounds, having two noisy beautiful young sons who trigger me doesnt help. My audiologist said cbt was the only possible avenue that *might* help. It is helpful to know im not the only person in the world who understands how hard it can be to just be a normal functioning human without going psycho at the first trigger sound of the day which just starts a roller coaster of triggers and irrationality for the rest of the day. I hope lydia and your family can all learn to get through this together (as you obviously are) and i wish you all the best. Thank you for this insight.
Hi. I am 14 and I have misophonia. Unfortunately my parents don’t understand me like Lydia’s do. All they do is continue to annoy me. Neither i or them have the money to pay for any treatment what so ever. If anyone can help me, please try.
Hi Katey, I’m sorry that you’re going through that. As a misophonia sufferer myself I know what it feels like to be in a family that doesn’t understand your condition. What I think you should do is search the internet for doctors in your area that know about misophonia to at least get a diagnosis and an explanation for your parents. They’re more likely to trust the word of a professional, but some doctors or psychologists will tell you what you have is made up because they don’t know it (I know I don’t have to tell you it’s painfully, really not). If all else fails, you can gather research and personal accounts available on the internet and have them give them a read (I even recall seeing a sort of letter directed to relatives of misophonia sufferers somewhere). You should always emphasize that a lot of people suffer from it, not just little kids and teenagers, it’s not something you grow out of, and that you really need them to understand if they want you to get better at handling your condition and live a better life. For some parents it’s hard to come to terms with because it’s difficult to understand when other people’s perceptions vary so wildly from our own. But, more importantly, it’s hard because that would mean admitting that their daughter is facing an illness they weren’t even aware of as such. Their saying you don’t have anything and making light of it is probably their way of subconsciously trying to convince themselves that everything is fine and they’re not doing anything wrong. If it serves as any consolation, my parents did similar things during my teens but when we found a doctor they started being more understanding. I think they would’ve come around sooner if I had had the courage to sit them down for a talk and show them all the material on the internet. Don’t be afraid to speak out! Just be sure to do it with a cool head. If you show them how serious you are, they’ll listen. Good luck!
Consider ear plugs too. They have been a life saver for me! I do not take a test without them now, and can finally focus on them again.
There is currently no cure. You will just have to learn to modify your life and get creative to avoid those noises that set you off.
The cause is thought to possibly be a mis-wiring of the brain that links your listening center (Wernicke’s Area) somehow to your emotion center (the Limbic system). But that is about all they know now. I am studying neurology (how the brain works) and am always looking out for more information. But at this point there is unfortunately not a lot.
And I had a similar experience with my parents. (I still struggle to make them understand and I am going to be a doctor in two years! But it is getting slowly better.) Sometimes people just have a hard time thinking something is that bad for you when they cannot experience it themselves. So don’t give up trying to make them understand. If you go about it in a mature way, and are not dramatic about it, it will likely go smoother.
I also found that rather than only complaining about what upsets you, try to offer solutions. That will also show them that you are serious. (For example, I can only eat with the radio on in the background, and while we always fight over the volume, we know it is a solution that will keep me more or less in control over my emotions. Not always, but it helps. And when I am about to explode, I am allowed to leave the table to cool off for a bit. They think I am being crazy and difficult sometimes, yes, but they let me do it, and sometimes that is the best you can ask for.)
Stray strong. While the disorder will never get better, as you grow older you will learn what works for you to help you manage it, and that will definitely make it better to live with. 🙂
I am so relieved to find out that I’m not the only one out there dealing with this. My nine year old also awoke his sleeping monster of misophonia last summer and it has been a complete nightmare. You wrote the words of your article as if you were talking out of my mouth. All of it. We have tried traditional therapy and hypnotherapy but the triggers also just grow and grow and the sensitivities get worse, not better. I am glad to see a few things to try here. He was really excited about the hearing aides, for whatever reason, so maybe we can find someone in Germany (where we live) who knows about that. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. You can’t imagine how much I appreciate it!!!!
I have had this problem my entire life (56 yr old male). I get very stressed out when someone chews out loud, slurps coffee, chews gum, or eats crunchy foods. Those are HUGE trigger sounds for me. I try to tell myself that the other person does not mean any harm to me while they make these sounds, but my blood pressure goes through the roof. I have to leave the room or eat my dinner real fast to get out of there. I’ve even delayed coming to the family table to eat so that they can get started without me hearing those sounds and then I can eat in peace by myself. Eating in restaurants with background noise makes eating dinner with my family a breeze because I can’t hear them chewing.
I do find that I can tolerate better the sounds made from one of my sons, but not others. Not sure why that nuance is part of my misophonia. Very odd. But as a general rule, I cannot stand those sounds I mentioned above. I feel really embarrassed/sad because I have this problem and can’t eat a full dinner with my family. Wish there was something that I could do to get rid of this daily problem.
I also have trouble sleeping almost every night. I am not stressed out about anything and I don’t lie awake at night thinking about anything in particular. Am wondering if there is any neurological connection between the insomnia and misphonia. Anyone else have a common “thread” like that along with their own misophonia? I have a great marriage and family life otherwise.
Tom, I have extremely similar experiences and do have frequent insomnia. I don’t know that there’s a connection with misophonia, except perhaps we are more sensitive to snoring and breathing noises our spouses make in their sleep. Because we tend to anticipate trigger noises, it makes it harder to fall or stay asleep. I have seen some improvement in misophonia this summer because I’ve been getting outdoors a lot and doing gardening. The exercise also helps combat insomnia. Make sure you are getting enough magnesium. I have increased my magnesium intake and it may have contributed to slight improvement too. And even slight improvement is good news.
I’ve suffered from misophonia for as long as I can remember. I’m now 36 and have two beautiful children. The ones noises When eating I can handle and the others I just can’t. My daughter will say that my son is making way worse noises, why don’t I moan at him? I couldn’t figure it out either. Good to hear that I’m not the only one. I have found that my patience for the eater most certainly does not correspond with how much you love the person. Some people’s chewing just doesn’t seem to be on the same frequency as others I suppose.
It’s amazing to read everyone’s comments and realise other families are dealing with the exact same issues as us. Tom, i hope you can become less embarrassed as it’s just a condition to be managed and not your fault in the slightest. There are moments when I feel sad too, but I keep thinking there will be new technologies one day hopefully soon, where you can plug something discreet into your ear and cancel out the offending noises. Hopefully! Like you we find when we eat out at busy noisy Italian /family restaurants my daughter has no issues it’s great. Wish we could eat out every night, although it might not be so great for the wallet and the waistline!
I have suffered with Misophonia for as long as I can remember and I am 54 years old. It is much worse in the past few months and I am more sensitive to noise than ever before. This is such a depressing and anti social condition. I am going to explore whether you can get hearing aids that make everyday noises sound different. Sounds crazy but I noticed that if people on TV wear a microphone I have no dislike of the sounds they make. It has to be a personal microphone rather than a film scenario which noise sound exactly like real life sounds. Has anyone else experienced this? It may just be particular to me but if it helps someone else it would be great. Happy to keep in touch with anyone that wants to see how I get on. I would love to be able to mix with people without the worry and stress of which noise will they make next. I know that everyone with this condition feels the same. Good luck to all in finding some relief. Carol
I’m not quite sure when my Misophonia monster awoke. I’m 14, and I’ve had for a while now.. There are times when it’s more severe than others, sometimes I can endure it, and then there are sometimes when I leave the room, out of breath and almost in tears. My parents know about my Misophonia, but they simply say its a stage and I’ll grow out of it. My main trigger noises are all chewing noises, drinking/swallowing noises, gum chewing and foot tapping. I have a fear of eating at the table with my family, since my mom (who I sit right by) makes most of my tigger noises. I can’t simply ask her to stop, I’ve done it before and gotten yelled at for being rude, so I sit there in agony, my appetite completely gone, waiting for dinner to be over. I’m probably not as severe as some people, but having this disorder really hinders me from having a proper social life. Hopefully some of the tips that were listed will help me. Good Luck to everyone else with this disorder!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with misophonia. I’ve also dealt with it my entire life (27 years old). I have many of the typical triggers (chewing, snoring, humming, etc), but have also realized I have visual triggers as well. I’ll never forget sitting in the back of a high school classroom watching a girl twirl her hair and literally holding back the tears of frustration because that was the only thing my brain would focus on! Have you noticed any visual triggers that Lydia deals with? Like many have said, it is absolutely possible to have a normal social life. She will continue to find solutions to cope with the various situations where triggers arise. I’m a college graduate, business owner, and traveler. Plus I’m lucky enough to have a husband who, while he doesn’t understand completely, is very patient and tries to help me find ways to cope as well. In elementary school when I was dealing with the worst of my misophonia and anxiety, I (nor my parents) never dreamed I’d be able to accomplish what I have. Hang in there! You are doing an amazing job!
Wow, you guys seem really great. Lydia is sure lucky to have caring parents like you looking out for you as others are not as lucky.
What an amazing range of coping strategies! I have been tormented all my life. Have moved home, countries and almost left a husband, but I have survived. I moved from rural Wales to São Paulo and eventually found the noise liberating because if I could stand it, I could do anything. Along the way though I have smashed a lot of glass, lost a lot of friends and learnt always live on the top floor, always live detached, put the fan on high in the summer, leave talk radio on with a quick switch for very irritating voices and don’t be afraid of the soothing lull of traffic sound.
I saw the photo of your daughters bed and wondered if she would feel safer and more secure sleeping against a wall- obviously not one that has noise on the other side! Just a thought as I strongly believe that animals need to feel they can’t be attacked and one of the reasons noise is so worrying is that we can’t hear where the attack is coming from.
Bless you. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate you. You are an amazing mother. I’m a misophonic. There are days I wish I couldn’t hear at all. Ironically, I’m a teacher of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. What I wish my family could understand is that I can’t help it. I dont choose to react that way. Purposely triggering me is the worst. Thank you for this.
So happy to read I am not alone. Tried to explain to people at work as I thought we were all adults. They now take great delight in torturing me 🙁
Repetative noises or sayings, commercials are some of my triggers so sorry I told them.
I have been stuggling with noises for so long, when I was a kid I could never have any of my Games consoles on loud, or even sound on, everything is muted as I can’t handle it. The same goes for pens moving across paper, people eating, people brushing their hands together, rubbing noises, walking noises, certain people talking, literally any noise in the world bothers me. I ask people to stop chewing loud or to stop rubbing their hands together, and all I get is told of for it, apparently I make it up, apparently I’m just moody, but it hurts that nobody understands, i just wish people know what I go through. My mum won’t take me to a doctor to get diagnosed as she doesn’t think anyone’s wrong with me, I’m 16 so I will arrange to go on my own, but I just want her to know how irritated I get from the noises. What my parents fail to understand is that, them telling me that my sound irritation doesn’t exist, is like me saying my brother doesn’t have dyslexia, he’s just lazy. I just don’t know what to do anymore it’s so unbearable
I have the upmost sympathy for you. I hope you can get a diagnosis and prove everyone wrong, good luck!
Hello, my 15 year old daughter has this condition.. though not such a desperate situation as others’. I have to admit (after reading the above posts) that I am afraid that it will get worse.. or that it will keep her from living a full enjoyable life. She hates the sounds of drinking, and eating, any sniffles, coughs, etc. She usually will avoid eating with us by saying she is not hungry, then will raid the fridge later. Luckily we enjoy most of her music.. so car rides can be smoothed out by the stereo. She spends many hours in her room.
We were alerted to the existence of this actual condition by an article on creativity/sound aversion. She is REALLY creative.. has enviable musical ability and artistic skills.. so that, perhaps, follows some pattern I suppose. Another interesting twist to her situation is that her mom, my beloved wife, is hearing impaired. We have been thinking that perhaps our girl’s hyper-sensitivity to sound is something like an opposite to my wife’s high frequency deafness (since birth). Our girl can hear high frequency sounds that I cannot.. such as a metallic ping in an antique kitchen clock mechanism and a slight sympathetic resonation by something to one key of her bedroom keyboard (piano).
One ray of light for her is horseback riding/barrel racing. She says that the sound of the horses eating and drinking (and our dogs’ eating etc) does not bother her. I am thankful of that as the animals give her so much pleasure.
Our latest worry is that, because her school allows kids to munch and snack during class, her grades are suffering as she sits there annoyed by her classmates. She says, “No”, but we wonder as since starting at this school she has struggled. She loves the art program there, so she may be suffering in so-called silence with regard to the rest of her day.
Sorry for rambling… thanks for posting your stories.. we just discovered that this condition has a name today.. although we have been struggling with it for some time.
Hi Patrick, This is a belated response, but perhaps you will see it. We have a 17 year old daughter who has misophonia and is also a very creative, talented and successful artist (she earns money selling her work). Kids snacking in class are a problem for her also, so I’ll share what has helped us with that. First, we are not shy about bringing it up with teachers at parent – teacher conferences. We explain that our daughter has told us that kids snacking in class can be very distracting during lectures, assignments and tests. Most teachers have been quite responsive. Frankly, I think some are looking for an additional reason to limit a behavior (snacking) they aren’t thrilled with anyway. However, when a teacher is not responsive, we have a trump card in our pocket. Our daughter has a document called a Section 504. The term refers to a portion of the American with Disabilities Act that legally requires accommodations for people with a disability. My daughter’s 504 was originally created because she was diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder. But many, many other diagnoses can open the possibility of a 504 (including sensory sensitivity disorders). I’d encourage parents whose children have been formally diagnosed with misophonia (or another condition) to ask the diagnostician for help in requesting/formulating a 504 from the school (or seek an educational specialist who can help you with the process). Though my daughter’s 504 was for CAPD, it serves all right as an umbrella for misophonia issues. Good teachers appreciate the 504 a resource and understand they are required to follow it. Do it soon if you think it will help because having a history of a 504 may lay a legal foundation for support in college. PS For my own reasons, horses were a real life saver for me as a child. My parents never knew that one of their greatest gifts to me was my relationship with my horse. Good luck!
Try earplugs. They are small, discrete, and you can pull them out when you need them. It is what I use.
I am 27, have lived a very enjoyable life and gone really far in school, and have suffered with this since puberty. One of my med school classmates also has this. So odds are she will also lead a happy life since her description is rather similar to mine. I hope this reassures you!
(She just has to learn to be creative to avoid the stressers. And when that fails, get really good at her coping skills.)
I truly do believe I have this disorder, but I’m terrified of trying to tell my parents. Since my dad had lung cancer, he has to breathe heavily and cough a lot, and my instant reaction to keep myself from lashing out has been to kick something, so car rides for me are almost torture without earbuds, since coughing and overly heavy breathing are both part of my trigger list. My parents have gotten angry with me in the past because they notice the pattern that everytime my dad coughs or clears his throat, I kick something. My mother always defends my father, and I know that if I told them it could lead to a much happier, more understanding home life, but I feel like that won’t believe me, and they’ll think I’m trying to make up some sort of excuse or something. Plus, I have to spend the majority of my time at home upstairs in the bonus room as far away as possible from my dad, or from either of my parents during dinnertime, since munching, crunching, chewing, and sniffing are all another part of my trigger list (my mom seems to sniff a lot more during dinnertime and I don’t know why but I avoid anyway). With all of this taken into consideration, I’ve basically settled on waiting until I move out and have my on insurence and such to get tested and properly diagnosed. Until then… *sigh* I honestly don’t know how this will work out. (Sorry for the really long comment!)
We have just found out that this is a real thing and not just an irritable/mean kid. This has been such a huge relief.. a huge burden lifted off of our shoulders.. just by knowing. Car rides and eating have all taken on a much more calm feeling now that we have learned to adjust. Consider that.. and this.. that I can’t imagine any parent wishing their kid to struggle alone. I hope life gets easier for you!!
Lydia is a lucky girl. I would have given anything to have someone who understood (or at least tried to understand) this problem when I was growing up. It was isolating and confusing – a dark secret I was too embarrassed too openly talk about. My parents and siblings made things very difficult for me – and in fact, at age 40 they STILL give me a hard time about it. My misophonia made school unbearable – I wore earplugs hidden behind my hair and learned to read lips and study from the books. But somehow I dealt with it – while the condition doesn’t subside you become very good at understanding which waters you can navigate safely. I’m an attorney, mom or 3 and very happy despite my misophonia (and largely in part to a super supportive spouse). Thanks to the author for helping bring attention to this. For those of you younger folks really struggling, please know that it does get better as you become and adult and have more ways of managing this situation. There is hope. You are more than your misophonia. Best of luck
So great to read your comment Mary! Glad you have found positive ways to manage it and not stopped you from living a full life, it’s wonderful to hear
I’m 16 and can very much relate to Lydia. My dad supporting me throughout this struggle is probably what meant the most. So speaking on Lydia’s behalf, she definitely loves how much you do for her. I went to a psychiatrist about 6 months ago and began taking prozac. Although sounds still bother me slightly, it is no one near how much it used to. I know she is young and some people are against taking medicine like that, but I can’t describe how much of a difference it has made.
That made my cry.Im 16 and have misophonia and my parents think Im crazy.theyve called me that multiple times.Ive shown them videos and articles and they believed me briefly but whenever i get triggered they call me insane.my moms keeps talking to me with full mouth and she believes Im mad at her for something else because she cant understand how misophonia makes my life a nightmare.school,home,friends houses etc I cant be comftable anywhere.just in my room,with headphones,alone.weve just had a big arguement.i said <> and my dad said to me that Im insane and mean.I have noone to talk to.ive also been having suicidal thoughts lately.Im happy that youre daughter has such a good mother.she’s blessed.
Hi Mary… I am so sorry you are having such a challenging experience. I know things can be so hard, especially if you are feeling misunderstood. Please let me know if you would like to talk, and we could arrange a time. I am happy to listen. If not with me, please reach out to someone you trust and share your pain with them. There is hope for better times to come. Sending love and understanding to you…. Meg. Email me at Meg.poulin@gmail
This has made me have some hope. I am Hannah, 17. I have had misiphonia since I was young. I get no help AT ALL. So therefor its up to me to try help myself. I have a variety of noises that I cannot cope with! Such as: people eating loudly, my sister singing.. My dad on the phone speaking or speaking in general. People moving their feet, typing of a key board. They are the main ones. I was tormented at school for being “weird” last year. People would walk past me or sit and eat loudly laughing at the fact I would go mad to the point I was getting kicked out of school because of the torment I was getting. I cannot go out to a restaurant to eat because of this.I often sit in bed and think that I am not normal. I sit and wonder if there is any possible cure. I want to make misiphonia known by everyone, so they know we are not mad, insane. That we purely just cannot take the noise like other people can. To other people who may be reading this, I know how you feel. I understand you. And I hope we can find a way to get rid of this permanently!
I understand all these stories of people with misophonia. I am a mother of a 17 year old who has it. My daughter, Kathryn, says that noises started bothering her around age 8, but it did not get bad until she was 15 years old. She also has depression, anxiety, and OCD. Our home life, as well as all of her life, has been greatly affected. She dropped out of highschool in the middle of her sophomore year. I have homeschooled her, but she has such a hard time focusing that this year, her senior year, she has not completed any academic work. She does study on topics that she is interested in on-line. She and her parents are concerned about her future, but we are encouraged by the other people who suffer and have been able to get an education and be married. Our only hope has been that we know that the good Lord has allowed this disease in her life for a reason, and that HE has plans for her life. We trust in His sovereignty over our lives, and believe that ” God is our Refuge and Strength, a very great help in time of trouble. We will not fear….” Psalm 46:1
Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories. This is my support which I so desperately need. I now realize that my daughter is not the only person suffering so severely. May God be with you all and give you hope that He understands and loves you. My daughter looks forward to heaven someday where there will be no suffering or pain. Thanks be to God, our Creator and Savior.
I know I am late in finding this, but first of all, let me say how blessed your daughter is to have such loving and understanding family. I grew up in a neglectful and sometimes outright abusive household. I have often wondered if I would have faired better in one like yours. You are amazingly empathetic and caring! Also, the food component is so vital. I have struggled with eating disorders from the time I was nine until adulthood, and only recently realized (nearing thirty) that the times my misophonia was manageable were times that my ED was in remission. I recommend focusing on a good balance of high fiber carbs and good fats. Natural peanut butter is my life line when I’m struggling. Keep up the good fight! Sending warm thoughts and light. Keep doing what you’re doing; your daughter is beyond lucky!
Your daughter is incredibly lucky to have you. My parents told me I needed to ‘suck it up and get over myself or I would end up in a straight jacket’. I wish all people could be as understanding as you are instead of mocking people with misophonia or claiming it isn’t real..
So great full to hear your story I wish I can help my daughter too as she is going through the exact same thing as Lydia went through, I m deeply glad she is improved and as a 40 year old who is suffering myself from this monster for 30 years i believe now humans all suffer from sth in life but they learn their way to be strong I can assure you Lydia will appreciate such a great supportive familly.
I am eleven years old and these tips really help. Thank you! I’ve been seeing a therapist on Mondays a Fridays for my misphonia without MEDICATION!!🎆🎉 yay! I’m suffering from very bad misphonia from the sound of eating sucking and chewing/crunching. Especially gum. Gum is !y trigger I start from an energy level of 2 to 10 in minutes. I start screaming and can’t help it. I really try and I’m doing better but I just want this two be gone 😰 well that’s my story of suffering from the rare disease misphonia
My 18 year old daughter has suffered with misophonia since she was about 8 years old, but it has been bad for over 1 1/2 years. She also suffers with sensory processing disorder, anxiety, and OCD. She got a head concussion 3 years ago, and that is when things started going bad for her. She dropped out of highschool and homeschools. She has a hard time focusing, so school work is not getting done. She stays home except to go to doctors’ apptmts., church, and some shopping with Mom. She is to the point where she is getting so worn out fighting noises in our home that she says that she can not take it any more. We are getting various kinds of help, but I don’t know what else to do. We just tried the hearing aids, but she only wore them for 1 day and did not think that it helped at all. Our home life is VERY stressful and we are trusting in Jesus Christ to get us through every day. I am so sorry for my daughter as well as all of you, but we must trust that our life is valuable and has purpose, and we will be used by God to fulfill his purpose for those suffering.
I think she will get better because you are being proactive. You are teaching her to cope best she can and investing in her mental and physical health. I understand about the support groups. Am new to this whole concept as well. I am 59 and have thought myself a neurotic most of my life because of my hypersensitivity to noise. So….after reading many of the adults accounts I now feel like the hearing aids would be a great addition. I have used a noise machine for 30 years, upgrading as they come up with new technology. I use the white noise function. And coincidently also use a very heavy comforter on my bed. In fact I cannot sleep at other’s homes due to the lack of weight in the bedding. High maintenance I thought. I am a highly functioning, although bit jumpy person with a sense of humor. I believe your daughter will grow up and be just fine. She will learn this is her normal and will find a way to live life in the noise lane. Bless you for all your hard work.
I have this and its gotten much worse recently. During dinners with my family I often have to make excuses to leave the dinner table because of the noises making so upset that i want start to scream or almost start crying. I’m trying my best but its hard. I also get very snappy when i hear unnecessary noise such as pencils tapping or even coughs during tests and other silent times. I’m not sure what to do and when I try to tell my parents they mock me or say that I am overeating/making it up. What do I do?
I’ve been suffering for as long as I can remember because of this damned disorder. I found this article out of desperation and I’m crying thinking of how others are experiencing this pain, too, and how I wish my parents were as great as you. No one knew about what I was going through as a child (a lot of people still don’t) and they only thought I was acting that way because I was a bad. Your daughter is extremely lucky to have parents that care that much. Your tips are really eye opening. I hope I can find someplace where I live that has the hearing aids. I come from a really small town, my doctor didn’t even hear of misophonia until I told her I had it. Thanks for unintertionally pushing me in a good direction. I wish the best if luck to your family.
I have suffered from Misophonia since I was about 7 years old and I’m 40 now. I’ve been through some very dark times but I’m in a much better place now. Childhood was really rough for me. My advice to parents of children with misophonia is to be accommodating and supportive. Try to avoid taking it personally, they really can’t help who and which noises bother them. This is a real condition, they are not making it up. The less supportive you are, the worse their symptoms become. I experienced this personally with my family. As a child, my parents were not accommodating and made me feel like it was all in my head. They would force me to eat at the table with family and go on outings to restaurants despite my angry outburst and panic attacks. They would continuously eat and chew gum around me no matter how much I begged them not too. I would walk around the house covering my ears. Even the sound of my mother’s voice would bother me. I would lock myself in my room and blast my tv to avoid hearing my family make noises. As a result, it got to the point where I would avoid being around them and I became extremely resentful towards them.
There were periods where I became suicidal because I felt like the black sheep of my family. I felt so alone, I felt like I was crazy. In college, I dropped out of a few classes because people in class would chew gum and I couldn’t take it. When I first saw a name for my condition online I cried, it was so validating. Finally, I could prove to my family that I wasn’t making it up all these years. It helped my family become more understanding but this progress was slow, it took about 30 years. My relationship with my family has drastically improved specifically in the past couple of years. Part of it was because my family was able to read about the condition and learn not to take it personally. Now they make an effort to warn me when they are about to eat, drink or chew something so that I can leave the room. Or sometimes, they’ll let me know they’re going to another room to eat something. They no longer call me on the phone while they are chewing something. They no longer give me an attitude or a guilt trip when I don’t attend family dinners. We focus on family activities that don’t involve eating, etc. It’s not easy but it’s possible to live a happy life despite the condition.
For many years, I saw therapists who had no idea what was wrong with me. I finally found a therapist a couple years ago, who actually knew what Misophonia was. He helped me learn coping skills like meditation and how to minimize my anxiety when faced with my triggers. I’m not cured but I’m able to cope a lot better now. To help me cope on a daily basis, I always carry Hearos ear plugs. I get the flesh colored ones at CVS. They block out some sounds like if the tone of someone’s voice bothers me or some chewing sounds. However, if someone is popping gum on the train, I have to use my I-pod or I’ll start to panic. I have a white noise meditation album on my I-pod that plays a constant consistent sound that blocks out really loud offensive trigger sounds. I also sleep with a white noise machine to help block out trigger sounds. A major trigger for me is being in an enclosed space with someone who’s noises bother me, like in a car. I’ve had several panic attacks when I was in a car with trigger noises. I feel a fight or flight reaction and I feel violently angry and emotional and like I’m trapped. It’s a nightmare. So now, I do not allow anyone to eat, drink or chew in my car. I try to create safe havens for myself where I control my environment such as my car and my apartment. This has helped me feel more empowered. I also have a husband & 2 best friends who are extremely understanding and accommodating in relation to my condition. I used to feel so hopeless but things have gotten so much better for me. So to anyone who is suffering, please don’t lose hope!!
To the author of this article, you are doing a great job. You really seem to be doing the best you can to support and accommodate your daughter. Thanks for all of your suggestions. Especially about the earplugs that play white noise, I’m interested in buying them for myself now. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your story. It reminds me that I am not alone.
I grew up in Kansas a small farm girl not knowing why I couldn’t stand the voice of my mother that I deeply respected and loved. Every time she read to me I would begin to cry and unfortunately she pulled me out of school in second grade when my father got sick, diagnosed with a brain tumor so we stayed home to take care of him. She decided the strong woman she is to home school all five of us kids and take care of my father. The hopes in my life has always been to get over this humiliating condition not only for me but also for my mother. Her voice to me is literally like nails on a chalkboard and there is no one in the world I love more than her, she is my best friend and I want to have the relationship that a mother and daughter should have. Needless to say in 2003 I moved straight to Denver Colorado to get away and have not returned since. Oh yes and don’t get me started on my friends chewing like cows taking road trips with them that taunting bag of chips being opened that 20 minute indulgence that they so loved but I literally wanted to throw myself out of the vehicle. Thanks for reading my story and I hope you have some positive feedback for me, I would love to get help and move on for both of these things,it has affected my social life and most of all the relationship with my mother.
Wow! Lydia is very lucky to have you!!! I am 14 and I think I also have misophonia. My mother think I don’t respect them anymore.Because when I hear my dad chew it makes me mimic the sounds while covering my ears or start jiggling my legs and make tantrum sounds when I get annoyed. I love my parents but I just can’t control myself.Its very hard and they think i’m playing a joke or something to them.As I said earlier, they think I don’t respect them anymore and they can’t believe i’m saying things like “sorry I just can’t control myself” and they will say that I am going crazy or I am abnormal. It hurts a lot and its hard for me to accept that its true.I don’t want to be called like that ,no matter how true it is.It makes me cry. I don’t want it to be like “Do you know Anne?” “Oh yeah, the crazy girl?”.I can’t blame anyone, after all my dad is not doing anything bad. The only problem is me and I don’t know how to make myself normal.I want to be normal but I just can’t control myself.It makes me feel like i’m the worst person in the world because i’m naive,i’m not smart,and this misophonia also added to the list of negative things about me.
I am 13 years old and have severe misophonia. I cannot talk to my mother about as she gets mad and tells me I just have to deal with it. My father gets very worried and makes me have to comfort HIM. I really do not know what to do.
Just curious what triggers it? For me it’s my mom’s voice and people chewing like cows.
I have had a hatred of people eating and making chomping sounds since I can remember . My family used to think it funny to come up to me with an apple / crisps and eat them in my ear . I never knew I had misaphonia and I have only recently taken it seriously
I am now married and my condition has ruined our relationship as the triggers have gone from eating to my wife’s fidgeting ( she cannot sit stillnand moves her feet over the sofa ) and her snoring which drives me to despair , even the sound of her running up stairs sends me potty
I have a very high pressure job which makes things even worse and my triggers and recent behaviours towards my wife have torn us apart and she has moved out of our marital home .
I went to see my GP on my wife’s advice who had never heard of the condition and it has taken her leaving me to realise just how hard it is for someone to live with a person suffering from misaphonia , the glares the instant rage , the bulging eyes , the swearing , the threat of physical violence ( I have never laid a hand on my wife nor would I ever ) but my emotions go off the scale and found it a coping method without realising how hurtful and frightening my actions had become.
When I look back all the issues that we had were down to my condition , a condition I never knew I even had . My thinking was that if she knew I didn’t like her doing things why would she keep doing it ….. Eating , moving running up the stairs ( all of which are just basic human functions )
It has taken my wife moving out for me to look into and acknowledge my behaviour ( I have been very blinkered all my life and didn’t realise how damaging my condition was ) I have found reading other people’s experience a tremendous help and comfort as I can empathise with the sufferer and sufferers of the condition .
I would like to wish you , your daughter and the rest of your family all the best for the future and I only wish my parents would have been as supportive and as understating x
You are awesome! My daughter was in her late teens before we figured out what Misophonia is – so there was a lot of anger going both directions for a while as she shut herself away in her bedroom, started wearing earplugs everywhere, and yelling at me for breathing 😉 She is 24 now, and we still haven’t gotten any effective management for her. She dropped out of college because of the intensity of her symptoms – and I think that part of the problem may have been that she was seeing a counsellor who tried immersive therapy. It’s a long road – especially when you can’t find a doctor or audiologist who even believes you!
I just came across your post. I am so sorry to hear that your daughter was pushed to dropping out of college. If you would pass along this message (below) to her from me I would be really grateful. And it IS a long road. Just keep working with her and do not let her give up. And immersion therapy…. *shudder*.
Anyway, here is my message for her:
“Hi! I see that you are 24 and are unable to handle a college environment due to the impact of noise on your life. I am 27 and also suffer from misophonia and completely understand what you are going through. All the stress it brings to life… everything. And it is hard when no one believes you. My parents knew I had issues but misophonia was not even coined until a few years ago. So they had no idea. Even many physicians today don’t know what it is.
I did want to reach out to you though and encourage you to consider going back to school. A college education makes life SO much easier and in today’s world there are so many different ways to get such a degree without physically being on a campus. Perhaps you might take online courses in the privacy of your own room?
I would just hate to see this condition compromise your potential. Without misophonia school is hard. With it, things are even worse. I get it. Even while listening to online lectures, I have snapped a few pencils out of frustration when the teacher keeps smacking his lips on the microphone. And when the person next to me starts chewing gum? (Yes….. you know what I mean.)
But it IS possible to work through this and continue to a higher education. I am in medical school now – two years away from becoming a doctor – and there is also another girl in my class who has misophonia. Both of us refuse to let this disorder define us, even though we are frequently forced to seek creative solutions to the barriers that are set before us. You can do the same.
Another incentive for going back to school is that the more education you have (or expertise in a given area) the more ‘power’ you hold in life. This ‘power’ will let you take more control of your environment someday to minimize the pain caused from the noises. Think about it. If you are the CEO of a giant company and request your own room for lunch and ask that no one eat during your meetings, people will listen. They will HAVE to listen. Or in my case earning enough money to afford a house with a big office and huge master suite inside so I can have two roomy safe havens to escape my future family and cool off in when I am about to explode. (Space seems to calm me down, so they need to be large spaces away from the main living areas.)
Please note, your worth as a person is NOT determined by the degree you hold or the education you pursue. All I ask is that you do not settle and give into misophonia. Do not let it prevent you from attaining whatever dream you have set for yourself (in your case this might be a college education). Because there is ALWAYS a creative way to make your dream work. There is ALWAYS another angle to see something. You just need need to find it.
I wish you all the best of luck as you continue your journey through life. Stay strong!”
Hello , My name is Ajah and I’m 13 I have misophonia and I’m glad that you have found the key terms to misophonia and I will try them . to see if they work for me . Thanks for understanding me
Hi my name is Margie my parents don’t understand me and I am felling lost as i get into more competitive sports I am feeling like I can not be heard my three brothers do not understand why I can not join them for dinner and they say i have it easy and I get special treatment i have been suffering for five years and I am now 12. i hope that I would be able to talk with you because you can’t scream though a screen.
What you have is real. I am 27 and have also had misophonia since I was your age.
While there is currently no cure, as you grow older you will learn what works for you to help you manage it. Because everyone is different. That will definitely make your condition better to live with. I promise! 🙂
In the meantime, here are two of the secrets I use to cope with the noises that bother me:
#1: Earplugs. They are cheep and I can carry them with me so I can use them when I need too to block out the bad sounds.
#2. The radio. We play the radio while my family eats dinner. While we DO frequently argue over the volume (I always want it louder and dad wants it quieter) this helps just enough for me to be able to sit through at least part of our family dinner.
I hope this helps.
Hi , our 15 year old son has misaphonia we only became aware last year, but our in a very bad place, he will not try anything to help eleviatate the symptoms, he stays in his room gaming with his ear phones on and mutes when people online chew or slurp. He is seeing a hypnotherapist but we believe that exercise and a good sleep would benefit him, but as he will not try anything, we find ourself getting frustrated and loosing sympathy as he won’t try anything we suggest, our relationship with him has broken down and I’m suffering with depression myself we have two other children and I’m feeling overwhelmed with negativity and feelings of failure as a parent. Would be lovely to talk to someone who understands as I’m at a point where I feel I may crack! Yours desperate mother from UK,
I have misophonia, but I can’t tell anyone because they will not believe me and think I am saying it to hurt them. My mom is the worst, the way she eats no one else would call disgusting, but it is loud and gross. I am home schooled, so I have no escape. My dada’s drives me insane, because he chomps every damn thing he puts in his mouth. Any suggestions?
You need to talk to them for your own sake . The triggers you have are very real and will become very damaging over time
How do you cope around the dinner table ?
I just try to talk over it to distract myself, I hum, I do anything. I’m only fourteen years old, so I can’t really just leave. Listening to music or having ear plugs is not an option, because that takes away from family time. Is it a part of it to only notice these things about your family? I notice it around tother people, but it doesn’t make me lose my inner peace as much.
As a rule of thumb we are generally more comfortable around those we are closest with. Which is why you might feel more comfortable expressing frustration / loosing your inner peace near your family.
But from my experience a sound can set anyone off regardless of where or who it comes from. My main thought (based on what you said) is that you are not ALLOWED to leave the table during family dinners. (I had the same experience.) Because misophonia tends to elicit a fight or flight response, and since you cannot leave, you might feel more panicked / frustrated in this setting.
With a friend or stranger, in comparison, you can always leave the situation. (Only your parents can force you to stay at the table….) So in this case when you are subconsciously feeling stressed, you can quietly remove yourself from the aggravating stimulus just long enough for you to cool down. And then you can come back and the noise therefore will not bother you as much.
I’m fourteen, and I’ve suffered from Misophonia for years now. Just over the past year, I’ve noticed it worsening. It’s very hard for me to explain to my sisters and parents, and it seems as if they will just never understand. Just like the majority of people with Misophonia, my main trigger sounds are chewing, breathing, and repetitive noises like a person tapping their fingers to a beat. I have many more such as sniffling, feet shuffling, keys jangling, humming, nasal voices, chairs dragging across the floor, someone typing on a keyboard, when people pronounce Rs a certain way, material rubbing against itself, people picking at their nails, etc.
My mother used to tell me to stop complaining, and she thought I was just being moody, but now she has realized that this is a real thing. But as I said, I can’t explain it very well. I find websites that explain exactly how I feel, and send the link in a group email to my family, and my sisters always reply making fun of it. My mom says, “Well, your trigger sounds aren’t going to be everyone else’s.” But I tell them “this is exactly what it’s like”, so why is she still confused? Sometimes I feel like they’re trying to frustrate me with acting like they’re confused.
But my reaction is always the same– I instantly form tight fists, and hold my breath. My mom ordered a stress ball for me, and it should be coming soon, but I’m not sure if that will help much. I already have ear plugs that fit perfectly (they’re foam), but people start talking to me when I wear them, and I have to pull them out, then push them back in when they’re done, and my ears get sore quite easily. I hate when I get anxious, and my mom notices, because she tells me with a tone that triggers me, “Put your ear plugs in.”
I have visual triggers, too, like when my sister twirls her hair around her finger. I figure that it’s unnecessary, so I politely ask her if she could “please stop”, and she looks at me like I’m stupid and says, “Umm.. No!” She says that I’m constantly “nit-picking” her, when I’m really trying to make everything better. If she stops making the sounds or motions, I won’t have to “complain” anymore to her or anyone else. Also, my dad is deaf, and is unaware of how loudly he chews. He chews with his mouth open, and makes some of the worst sounds I’ve heard. I squirm in my seat and usually end up tearful. Then my younger sister tries to casually look at me without my noticing, but I see it, and it makes it worse. I hate crying in front of anyone, especially my family. It makes me look like I’m crying for no apparent reason, because they don’t have Misophonia.
Having many triggers, I usually hide away in my room after school (I’m homeschooled), which finishes pretty early, and draw the rest of the day. Whenever I hear the doorknob turn, I flip over my sketchbook and look up at the intruder. I’m always excpecting to be triggered, so I hate getting interrupted by people coming into the room (I’m temporarily sharing a room with my two sisters) because I get distracted from my work. I am seeing a therapist for my anxiety in general, and she’s suggested writing a list of ten to twenty things to distract myself from these sounds, but nothing seems to help.
Sometimes the volume in music I try to listen to changes, and I hear my dad chewing, or my sisters mumbling to each other, and my Misophonia lashes out and makes me anxious. Again with the fist clenching. Sometimes I try to make a sound myself to listen to so that I distract myself from my trigger sound, but it never works. Imitating the trigger sound, I read, is an unconscious reaction that we Misophonia suffers do to try to make it better. Sometimes I do this, and my sister gets angry because I “mocked her”, but I sit there looking almost frightened with her own irrational reaction.
I try to tell my family that I just can’t help it, but they still tell me that “the world can’t be quiet for me”. I keep thinking to myself, “yeah, but you can.” I try not to have rude thoughts, because that can worsen my relationship with my family, but it’s just another part of Misophonia– anger. I can’t control it, and I must admit I sometimes have physical reactions where I just try to tap my sister’s shoulder, but I end up hitting it. I have no intention to harm either one of them, but we’re already pretty separated. I’m closer to my younger sister, but still not very close. We are very different. I’m an INTJ, and my younger sister is an ENFP.
If any of you have suggestions for ways to help my Misophonia, I would love it very much for you to help me. My mom tries to be understanding, but she isn’t as open to ideas as she thinks she is. She doesn’t understand that all chewing bugs me, wether or not it’s unpleasant to her. Like when she chews lettuce, I glance over at her with a pained expression on my face (I don’t try to look hurt), and she says, “I’m not chewing loudly.” Inside, I’m screaming “I DON’T CARE!”, but I’m not a violent or loud person, so I surprise myself with my reaction, and I just hate it. My comment has gotten ridiculously long, so I will end here, but I’m glad to see there are others sufferers. Farewell.
Hi Kat –
I do want to say that while your misophonia may not get better, your ability to control your situation so that you can avoid your triggers will significantly improve with getting older. As a teenager, school was absolute torture for me. To the point where I would pass out and it really affected my social interactions.
As an adult, I’ve chosen a profession where I can work out of my home for the most part. The daily stress of it and the horrible anxiety misophonia caused for me just isn’t there anymore. I’ve occasionally had to “fake sick” in a meeting or social situation, but it’s rare. Noise cancelling hear buds have been a worthwhile investment for when I can’t control my surroundings. I choose to surround myself with people who understand or at least tolerate my situation.
I found what you said about your Dad being deaf really interesting. My family has a significant history of hearing loss/deafness but then other members of my family seem to be sound sensitive like I am. I have to wonder if there is some kind of auditory link there.
Best of luck. It WILL get better for you.
I am 15 years old and suffering from misophonia. I feel like all of my family members think I am lying about me being very frustrated and angry when I hear the sounds of chewing smacking and other noises like that. I really don’t know what to do and I need some advice on how I could stay calm when I hear those noises. I normally just go into another room but at the end of the day for me there is no escaping. Someone please help me out because that would mean a lot for me . I really want to get rid of this condition that I have because I don’t want to have to deal with this for the rest of my life !
Wow. I just landed on this site while trying to figure out how to help my 9yo daughter, who just developed misophonia a couple of months ago. It has progressively become worse, but I’m grateful that at this point, she only has one trigger apparently the most common one: chewing/eating noises. Just the 10 minutes I’ve spent on this one page have been enlightening to me, and I’m thankful for you sharing your story and for the others who have left comments.
This article has been so helpful! My family and I actually had a falling out yesterday, because they couldn’t respect that I can’t handle these terrible noises, but not even I really understood what the problem is. I am going to have them read this, so that they can understand what it is and hopefully be more considerate.