I’m Tom and I live in London.
I’m pretty laid back, but one thing’s always been a bit out of kilter. I get stressed out – to the point of blind panic – by specific sounds.
I’ve always reacted to this sensitivity in different ways. When I hear one of these ‘trigger sounds’ I sometimes go quiet and sit there stewing (my head screaming).
Other times it’s so bad I have to find some way to leave the room.
What kind of sounds?
I’m not talking about cat’s nails down a blackboard (everyone hates that).
It’s not ‘obvious’ irritating sounds either. Like neighbours playing loud music at 5am… or people taking phone calls on public transport. Again, those are sounds that annoy everyone.
This is an aversion or allergy to certain, specific sounds that people make.
It’s the sound of someone smacking their lips when eating. It’s sighing… coughing… sniffing. Pen clicking… rustling a plastic wrapper – the list goes on.
When I was a child I assumed everyone had this, but over the years I realised it just didn’t effect them in the same way as me (if at all).
It was “my problem” and I decided I just had a heightened sensitivity to sound and a quick temper.
But in 2014 I stumbled upon people on forums talking about the same thing…
And at around the same time a friend of mine, a PhD student, happened to send me a link about misophonia.
It was then that I had the lightbulb moment. This is a REAL condition and it’s called misophonia
It’s a great word, misophonia.
It sounds like a forgotten goodness of the moon… a higher state of consciousness… the winner of a beauty pageant. The reality is more glum and it actually translates as ‘hatred of sound’.
There’s very little information about misophonia out there and there are relatively few studies. I’m keen to find out if those of us who suffer from it share different traits, maybe even positive ones as well.
This website is for misophonia sufferers. It’s a free, shared resource where we can help each other and find out more about the condition.
I also want it to be somewhere where we can educate the general public.
Until recently people thought synaesthesia was a delusion. Now that it’s recognised, the stigma has gone and more studies are being done.
Misophonia deserves the same recognition and attention.
You can read more about my story here.