Misophonia is a disorder in which some sounds become unbearable. They incite unpleasant and sometimes severe emotional and physiological responses in some people. The response can sometimes be so unbearable that you will feel that are being driven out of your mind and may want to flee. All sounds will not affect you, but certain sounds may.
Misophonia may be triggered by
- Oral sounds such as eating, breathing, or even chewing
- Sounds of certain musical instruments
- Repetitive sounds such as finger snapping, foot tapping, wipers in a vehicle
- Visual stimuli that accompany repetitive motion such as fidgets, jostling, foot wiggles etc.
- Visual triggers also include objects that create the troubling sound
It is not clear why a person suffers from misophonia. It may be a problem with the hearing mechanism or the way the brain processes the auditory stimulus. The disorder can range from mild to severe.
Mild misophonia responses include anxiety, discomfort, disgust and urge to leave the place. Severe responses may include anger, hatred, fear, panic and emotional turmoil. Mild or severe, misophonia can limit social life. You may avoid situations and occasions that you think may bring on an episode. If you have a severe case of misophonia, you may develop anticipatory anxiety of situations that you perceive as triggers. These reactions will inhibit your social life.
Treatment and management of misophonia
A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to manage misophonia. Treatment options for misophonia include
- Sound therapy by audiologist
- Supportive counselling
- Adopting coping strategies
- Wearing hearing devices that create soothing distracting sounds
To help you manage misophonia you can adopt certain habits such as wearing ear plugs or headsets to tune out sounds, and set up safe places or quiet areas in your home where you will be protected from disturbing sounds.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle will help you cope with misophonia better. Be active and exercise regularly, sleep well for at least 7 hours a day and take up any activity that will help you manage stress.
Misophonia is a life-long condition and cannot be cured, but with help and support, you can manage it to live a normal life.
For all your mental and psychological problems, consult our psychologists.