8 Misophonia Coping Strategies

by | Mar 2, 2017 | Articles | 158 comments

misophonia coping techniques

The question I’m most often asked by readers is what are the best misophonia coping strategies?

Are there any techniques that we can use to help us cope when we hear misophonia trigger sounds and how can we stop that feeling of sheer panic from ruling us?

Let’s start with the good news. Just discovering that our disorder is real and has a name is enabling. It gives us that all important foothold with which we can start to find acceptance and get help.

Many of us will have spent a large proportion of our lives thinking that there was something wrong with us and it’s a horrible feeling. Knowing that this is a genuine disorder is a validation, a weight off the shoulders. We’re no longer haunted by the unknown.

And because misophonia finally has a name, it also means that we can finally connect with one another and empathise and share stories. If you’ve ever tried explaining what misophonia is like to someone who doesn’t have it you’ll know just how important this is.

What follows is a set of techniques that you may find helpful. This list has been compiled based on readings from:

1. The current body of peer-reviewed studies on misophonia – We’ve catalogued these on the site for you here. Some really exciting findings have been released and I urge to take a look when you have the time. I also try to incorporate any wider literature on the brain in general, which may be relevant or useful.

2. Reports from other misophones via Allergic to Sound and other relevant sources – The misophonia community is a valuable source of support, knowledge and insight. Every week I get dozens of emails and comments from people with misophonia and their parents, partners and carers. I’ve tried to incorporate useful insights here (you can also see a full list of reader’s coping techniques here).

3. My own experience with misophonia – I’ve included the coping mechanisms and techniques that have personally helped me, over the years with my misophonia. We’re all different and what works for me may not work for you but I’ve added here anything which I think might be useful.

This is about acceptance of the disorder, knowing your own body and having different tools at your disposal to work with your misophonia so that you can find what works for you.

1. Always have a set of earphones on you, just in case

fMRI scans in the brains of patients with misophonia have revealed that we have difficulties with something called ‘sensory gating’. This means that certain sounds, that would simply melt into the background for neurotypicals, can be startling and impossible to ignore for someone with misophonia.

By making a different sound your primary input, you can help mitigate this response.

Keep a pair of earphones with you in case things get desperate and you’re feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope. Rather than sitting there boiling over, recognise that your neurophysiological makeup means you have trouble filtering out certain sounds. Try putting on some music, white noise, the radio or a podcast to help dampen the triggers.

Earphones are an invaluable tool on public transport but can also be incredibly useful in work or study situations. While this technique shouldn’t be thought of as an avoidance strategy to be used in every situation it can be extremely effective in cases where you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you think you might need permission to wear earphones in your organisation try speaking to an understanding teacher or boss first. Explain that you’re more productive when you listen to classical music (sounds classier) and block out distractions.

You don’t even need to go into the details of your misophonia with them if you don’t want to. Most people get the concept that headspace without distractions is better. The antiquated Victorian system that most of our modern day schooling is based on and the battery hen like conditions we see in many offices is not a natural environment. If you’re able to frame your request in such a way that’s positive for them (i.e. they’ll get more work out of you!) it should be a win win situation.

2. Background noise during mealtimes can help

This is also based on mitigating some of those the difficulties we experience around sensory gating and filtering out sounds. For someone with misophonia, the sound of a person chewing or banging cutlery or slurping is like a thousand klaxons being blasted simultaneously. Many misophones report feeling panic, disgust or anger in the presence of these sounds.

Putting music, the TV or some background noise on can help. I know, outrageous! Recommending watching TV when you eat with your loved ones! It doesn’t have to be TV it can be any kind of background sound – like the radio, or some music.

It might sound counterintuitive – adding sound to sound – but the background noise does two things. It helps to drown out and dampen the triggers and distract the brain.

Yes, you will probably still experience some triggering but they are likely to be less intense than if you were in an environment where the only thing you can hear is eating.

If you are in a relationship – and mealtimes are becoming particularly fraught – you could also trying sitting beside your partner rather than opposite them. This will help to keep the misokinesia (visuals) to a minimum and may also lessen the impact of the trigger sounds, simply because of the way sound travels.

3. Stay on top of your stress levels

Easier said than done, I know, but this means your health and stress levels in general, outside of you misophonia.

The more relaxed you are in other areas of your life, the better you will be at dealing with triggers.

Yes, you will still trigger, and being less stressed won’t magically alter your brain and body’s physiological reaction, however your ability to copy will be boosted significantly. You’ll have more headspace to react faster and deploy other coping mechanisms during a misophonia episode.

Make sure you get good quality sleep each night, try to exercise (long walks are great) and get plenty of fresh air.

It’s also worth trying mindfulness or meditation each day (even if it’s just for 10 – 20 minutes). Headspace have a fantastic app which has a free set of mindfulness sessions. If you like it you can choose to subscribe, but the free sessions are great as standalones and you can simply repeat them if you wish.

4. Have an escape plan for emergencies

You’re in the middle of a misophonia episode and you feel like you’re about to explode. Your brain’s fizzing in a state of total panic and you worry that any moment you might do something you’ll later regret.

Maybe you’ll say something unkind… or get caught mimicking the person making the noise… or roar in frustration. So what do you do?

Take a tactical time out! If you have reached your limit find a way to politely excuse yourself.

Here are some phrases that I find work well:

“Hey, I’m just going to the toilet/bathroom.”

“I’m going to grab a glass of water (you can replace this with any drink), can I grab you one?”

“I’m just going outside for some fresh air.”

“Does anyone want a tea or a coffee?”

“I’ve just realised I’ve forgotten my [insert item here], I’m just going to go get it, catch you later.”

“Do you mind if I excuse myself? I’ve got this deadline that I really need to hit.”

“I’m just going to get some salt/pepper/ketchup, can I get you anything?”

“I don’t want to be late for my appointment so I’m going to head off a little earlier.”

These are just a few examples and you’ll find some work better than others in different environments. For example I often use the tea one at work.

The good thing is you don’t actually have to lie. If you say that you’re going to the bathroom people won’t ask why (and if they do, you might want to hang out with less creepy people!)

When you go the bathroom, lock the door and try to shake the tension out of your system (think jazz hands and a bit of a shimmy). Take some deep breaths, sit down and splash your face with cold water – you’ll feel much better.

The other thing you can do is try to make the negative into a positive. Misophonia is a cruel condition and episodes are, let’s face it, unbearable at times – so suck out the poison from the situation and try to make something good out of the upset.

You’ll notice in a couple of the above have acts of kindness weaved in – for example the offer of getting someone a drink. You get to remove yourself from the situation, rest yourself AND make friends in the process. Bingo!

5. Request a quiet desk or days working from home

If you’re in full time employment the office can be a personal hell.

Colleagues eating at their desks… fidgeting and clicking, coughing and spluttering. It’s a daily torture.

Don’t suffer in silence – speak to your boss about it.

You’ll be the best judge about whether you to tell him or her about the misophonia (that’s up to you) but whatever you do, explain that you get your best work done where there are no distractions – no phones ringing or people chatting.

See if there’s a quiet desk or room in the office where you can work when you’re feeling stressed or you really need to concentrate.

Tip: Meeting rooms are a great place to get some quiet time when they’re not booked up.

Also see if you can work from home one day a week. I do this and it has changed my life – only having to cope with 4 instead of 5 days of work triggers each week is a huge, huge help and has greatly lowered my overall stress levels.

6. Try to avoid lashing out when you’re having a misophonia episode

If the people around you are on edge, you’ll be on edge too and the situation can escalate.

Again this is easier said than done. The rush of feelings can be overwhelming and it will may feel like you want to physically stop the source of the noise…  or scream… or tell them to stop.

I’ve never met a violent misophone but it’s easy to verbally lash out and tell someone to stop what they’re doing or to say something cruel. Something that you wouldn’t normally say in a million years.

If you have a deep and connected relationship with the person making the noise (and they know and truly understand how misophonia can affect you) then you may be able to let them know, gently, that you need some space or that you are being affected by a certain noise. However, on the whole it’s best to try to avoid aggressive confrontation because it can often makes things worse.

Think of situations outside of misophonia. What normally happens if you yell at someone and tell them to stop doing something?

They are likely to get defensive and upset and may even do the opposite and make more noise.

There’s a strange ‘you can’t tell me what to do’ quirk embedded in most of us. I don’t know about you, but if someone tells me not to push a big red button I spend the entire time wanting to push the big red button. Add to that a negatively charged, emotional tone to the request (and during a misophonia episode it’s very hard to do anything calmly) and you’re even less likely to get the desired outcome.

At best the person you’re speaking to will get defensive and at worst they’ll carry on with renewed vigour. Even if they do stop, both of you are likely to feel defensive and self conscious. This is something that can fester and creep into day-to-day life especially if they then start feeling that they need to tread on eggshells in your presence.

7. Get to know the science behind misophonia

We are learning more and more about this disorder each year. One thing we do know, with a degree of certainty, is which areas of the brain are affected when we hear trigger sounds.

fMRI scans have revealed that it’s the amygdala that’s activated – a cluster of almond shaped nuclei buried deep within the temporal lobes of the brain. The amygdala is the primordial, alarm centre of the brain and is responsible for processing danger signals.

When someone with misophonia is exposed to a trigger sound, we know that the amygdala is activated and initiates what is known as the ‘freeze-fight-flight’ response, or survival mode.

The body releases adrenaline and cortisone – hormones which increase the heart rate and levels of alertness and readies our body to react to a perceived threat.

The problem for anyone with misophonia is that in reality there is no threat or danger. There is nothing inherently dangerous about someone eating soup loudly, or chewing gum. Unfortunately the amygdala doesn’t know that.

For whatever reason it interprets these noises as danger signals – akin to a human or a wild animal acting in an aggressive or threatening way.

We currently don’t have an effective way to halt or rewire this response but there is some fantastic research underway.

In the meantime just knowing and understanding what is really happening, during what is otherwise a confusing, disorientating and frightening experience, can be a help in itself.

8. Take deep breaths, focus on your breathing and remind yourself that it’s the misophonia and not the person making the noise

There are two paths we can take in dealing with misophonia triggers.

One is to roll with that instinctive feeling that the source of the trigger (the person making the sound) is to blame and to focus all our (negative) energy on that. The second is to do everything we can to resist that feeling, to try and rationalise what’s happening and focus on and understand our own body’s response.

This is not easy, in fact it’s incredibly hard – the hardest thing on this list – but it is one of the most important.

Try to focus on your breathing and allow yourself to notice the changes in your body, like the quickening heart rate. You may still feel some hurt, upset or anger towards the person making the sound and that’s ok, but if you can have a parallel narrative running in your head – one in which the ‘rational’ you is explaining to yourself that this is your body and that it’s reacting in this way because of a neurological event (as covered in the previous point) it will help in a number of ways.

Firstly, it will help to dehumanise the trigger. This means that you can recover faster once the noise stops because you’ve already started work on detaching blame from the situation.

Secondly, it can help improve your long term relationships because if you keep the narrative going when you’re not experiencing an episode (the narrative being that misophonia is a neurological disorder and not someone else ‘doing a mean thing to you’) you’ll start to see your friends and family in a different light. Misophonia can be a relationship wrecker so anything we can do here is worth trying.

That’s it for now. This is very much evolving article and will be added to over time.

Please bear in mind that our disorder is still relatively unknown and remains unregulated so please please please be extremely wary of any ‘proven’ treatments you might find online and read this article first before parting with any money. What we do have at our disposal is useful data and subjective reports about what may work well for some people. There are no proven treatments or cures as yet.

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who leaves comments on posts and in the forum and writes in – I do read everything and every tip shared benefits the community.

If you’ve had success with any of these techniques or you’ve developed your own, please share them in the comments section below.

158 Comments

  1. Rhiannon Brown

    Thank you so much for the suggestions you have offered here. I suffer with Functional Neurological Disorder and I have only recently discovered that there is also a name for the craziness I have been feeling regarding certain sounds and movements! (I also have misokinesia) I will definitely be trying these coping mechanisms in the future.

    Reply
      • Brett

        My God, this has gotten continually worse for me over the last 10 years and I had NO idea this was even a thing until I got my 23andMe results back. I, and my family, laughed because “oh my god you DO hate it when people are chewing!” And I thought it was just the chewing thing. But it’s so much bigger than that and as I read these articles I realize I’m not completely batsh*t crazy! Thank you for all of this info, I feel like I can start to deal with so many life issues I had no idea were tied to this!

        Reply
        • Ruth

          Brett, does 23andMe DNA testing tell you if you have this?!

          Reply
          • Laura (Laurance)

            I did find out via 23andMe, but not directly. I found out when I answered one of their questionnaires. Now, what was the question? Something about having trouble with sounds, like feeling rage at the sound of someone chewing.

            Well, wow! The lights went on! What?? You mean I’m not the only person in the world, and that I’m not a Bad Person Who Does It On Purpose??

            Just now I went to Google and asked for 23andme misophonia. I got a whole bunch of websites. Yes, apparently it’s a real disorder and it’s a genetic thing. I see that one site tells us that around 20% of the population have this problem to one extent or another.

            Now, mind you, I found out about misophonia via 23andMe a few months ago and have not looked at the further information that has apparently come out. Time for me to some reading on the internet. Apparently there’s more information now than there was even several months ago.

            It sure is nice to know that it’s real and I’m not just a crazy person who makes things up.

        • Ruth

          Thank you so much for this website – I had heard of this condition and suspected I might have it but now I am being triggered by a neighbor’s barking dog, and after reading the info on this site I’m convinced it’s what going on with me. It helps to know I’m not alone. Thank you!

          Reply
          • Barbara

            I’d hug you if I could! I posted a long comment here but it was accepted. It’s considered SPAM.

            I’ve been so sick and fearful because of what’s going on with me and barking dogs. I’ve never heard of such a problem before. I’ve been too ashamed to tell anyone about the effects our neighbor’s Doberman’s barking have on me because I’ve been ashamed.

            I ended up in the hospital because I hadn’t slept in three days and I had seizures while in the ER.

            I’m sorry that you’re affected too but I’m grateful that you’re here. Thanks for being brave enough to share.

    • Gustavo Mesa de Leon

      please be careful with the recommendations given regarding misophony. Avoidance behaviors only make matters worse. Those named in this article, only manage to alleviate the male at that time, but increase it in the future. Please be serious about this problem. I have been treating patients as a psychologist for years and this is not the way. Thank you.

      Reply
  2. Stacey

    Sorry, one more thing.

    Misophonia has been included in the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA requires employers to take “reasonable actions” to accommodate the employee.

    The sound of high heels on a hard floor is one of my roomie’s worst triggers. Her old office had hard floors and she spent all day with her headphones blasting. She couldn’t take it anymore and approached her supervisor about it. Within a week, she was moved from a cubicle to an office (with a door she could close at will)!

    Reply
  3. David

    Thankyou very much!!! You have no idea how that
    has helped. I thought I was the only person in the world who suffered from this, I had no idea what it is and certainly did not know there was a word for it.

    Reply
      • Mark Butcher

        It was a huge relief to discover the symptoms I experience are recognised as a condition.

        For years I really believed I was going insane.

        The most innocuous behaviours exhibited by other people would trigger one episode after another.

        It seems that at times I’m analysing every noise that come into my airspace. It feels like certain noises as invasive and encroach upon my personal space.

        I worked with my father in construction in my teens, but his constant habit of throat-clearing and sniffing literally drove me to the point of despair.

        I found myself a different vocation to get away from the noise. My dad is great by the way and he is blissfully unaware of my issues!

        I still suffer with misophonia, but some of the strategies laid out in this article have been very helpful.

        Reply
        • Allergic to Sound

          Hi Mark, I’m thrilled to hear that you’ve found some of these strategies effective, thanks for commenting.

          Reply
          • Tanya Stainbank

            i didnt know what was wrong with me when my husband cleans his teeth i have gotten passed the point of screaming at him and i would rather hurt myself like pinch myself so hard it leaves marks if i could i would literally take a needle and stub it under my finger nails. sometimes i just break down in tears. i cant deal with it these sounds are all over. after reading this it sounds familiar but i don’t even know how to start to implement the strategies. at work i use headphones so this has been a great help its just everywhere else?

    • josh

      David I thought the exact same thing. that I was the only person with this craziness that I had experienced from a very young age and for the longest time I blamed my mom because she would fuss at the other little kids for smacking while eating and I later realized that smacking drove me insane but either it has gotten worse or I have realized over the years I have a lot of other trigger sounds that include almost any noise while eating right down to a spoon clanging a pot or heavy breathing. almost any long lasting high pitched noise will almost put me to my knees. finding out this us an actual thing and I’m not the crazy butthole everyone has said I am when I finally hit that breaking point rather in a soft way or a total freak out.. it’s just an amazing relief to know I’m not crazy

      Reply
      • Tina

        I remember my mammy used to give me a stern look at mass if I started to sniffle and she’d ask me where was my handkerchief. I became obsessed with this and I am like a crazy woman now when people around me make any type of noise or sound such as sneezing, sniffling, throat clearing, etc!! So happy to know I’m not the only one going from 0 to crazy in 4 seconds flat!! ??

        Reply
      • Steve

        Hi – I have been reading all of the posts here and it’s great to feel that I’m not alone in this. However, if it were just momentary noises I wouldn’t be as concerned as I am. My triggers include chewing, eating, crackling popcorn packets in cinemas (particularly behind me) etc. However, by far my most worrying trigger is my Mother’s voice – she has a high pitched voice and it often triggers an instant rage within me that is unbearable. I love her deeply and have managed to avoid saying anything to her but it seems to be getting worse and I am afraid it will rob me of a good relationship with her in the final chapter of her life. If anyone has any good suggestions I’d love to hear them. Does anyone think there will ever be an actual cure for this rather than just coping strategies? Thanks for indulging me – my prayers and well wishes are with all fellow sufferers. Kind regards, Steve

        Reply
        • Katie

          Hello Steve, I was just reading through the comments and as i was reading yours i realized i was no longer the only one who found voices as trigger noises too. Most are okay, but there are a few in my daily life whose i can not bear. I very much hope there is a cure one day for the sakes of our relationships with these people. -Katie

          Reply
  4. Sam

    Do you know what DNA is associated with this disorder? I have been told it is on the rs2937573 marker?

    Reply
  5. Rachel

    Thank you for the tips. I like the reminder that its misophonia not the person. I have just moved back home and have noticed that my dad puts his hand to his nose and breathes heavily or blows his nose on purpose to try and get a response out of me. It’s hurtful and stressful but it is good to be reminded that it is misophonia so i don’t say something i regret.
    Any tips for explaining my situation again to him? It did not go well before.

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Thanks Rachel, you’re so right! It’s just the miso not the er… dado.

      In terms of helping explaining it to him I would try pointing him to some external resources. Show him this site if you want, or show him papers from the latest misophonia research that’s out there (you should be able to find links to these in the research section here)… or how about finding him an article about misophonia from a news resource he trusts?

      It might come across more neutral from a third party, especially if he has some time to absorb and digest the information in his own time without feeling under pressure. Trying to explain miso mid-trigger is a bit of a nightmare as everyone’s emotions are likely to be high and therefore you’re more likely to elicit a defensive response.

      Reply
  6. Diana

    Thank you for the invitation I feel relief

    Reply
    • Davie

      Wow I can’t believe this is an actual real thing as I also thought I’m the only one that feels so enraged by the sound of chewing or dripping water or people tapping continuously. I remember as a kid wanting to mureder my loving father at the dinner table because of his chewing sound lol. I actually experience this with my partner and child now when they eat. I always thought they were just rude and didn’t know how to chew properly without making a sound. After reading up on this stuff it’s quite enlightening to know that the problem is with me and not them so therefore I can actually learn strategies to cope with this thing..

      Reply
  7. Kathy Castillo

    I cannot stand rhythmic low bass sounds and someone rustling paper drives me crazy-I get physically ill at the former and antagonistic with the latter. Good to know other people get this is a disorder-Thanks

    Reply
    • Kate

      Low bass sounds are the worst for me! I had to sneak out of my own wedding reception to get away from the noise. I had to send my husband over to the DJ and have him turn the bass completely off. Unfortunately now, I live next to neighbors who like to sit in their pool with the bass on a stereo turned up and it’s all I can focus on at times and it makes me miserable. And they’re not the kind of neighbors who respect other people :/

      Reply
      • Latte

        I have that same exact reaction to low bass. Unfortunately, now it seems like high-pitched or treble does it to me, too. 🙁 I am really suffering with this disorder.

        Reply
      • Paul

        Kate,

        I know your post was a long time ago and this suggestion won’t help at weddings (especially not your own..) but noise cancelling headphones, even a mid-range set, will block out most low frequencies.

        I also hate the low frequencies and especially the noise of people walking on the floor above me but the headphones save me every time. They even block out many of the higher frequencies.

        It can be tricky to get the right pair of noise cancelling headphones so do some research.Or I can suggest a few different pairs.

        Reply
      • Barbara

        There are times when sibilants almost make me scream–including my own. Some days I cannot watch certain television shows at all. People who lisp make me physically ill but then there are days when I’m not bothered at all.

        Cars with speakers in the trunk make me wish I had a Harry Potter wand and was above the law.

        Reply
  8. Beverly Benoit

    My twelve year old granddaughter has this. It’s getting worse. She cries sometimes if she is in a room where sone one is making an irrating noise. She gets upset with us as well. She is going to get help from a therapist. I will tell her about your website.

    Reply
    • Shane

      My parents sent me to a therapist before misophonia was a thing, make sure to let her know it’s a real thing and that other people have it. It hurt me so bad with them not believing me and thinking I was just an *******. It really messed me up, I ended up self medicating with drugs. Just let her know that even though she acts out she is loved.

      Reply
      • Elida Hoyle

        My son has misophonia. We live together. He travels extensively & when home stays in his room. He is reluctant to tell me when I trigger him; he doesn’t want to harp at me. So he gets angry. Would it be any good for him to tell me what noises trigger him?

        We mainly have the TV on & talk then.

        Reply
    • Dawn

      My 13 year old daughter Has this also.. it’s awful it’s ruining her life..

      Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Thanks Beverly. I wish the very best for your granddaughter and I hope you/she find the site useful.

      Reply
  9. Olivia

    whenever i become aware of a repetative sound and think that this is possibly a trigger it becomes a real trigger for me. Ive gotten to the stage where i find it challenging to watch TV with anyone. What could i do to help this??

    Reply
  10. Shane

    My misophonia comes from people, generally women, drawling out their “s’s” when they talk. Ex. Spearsssss.

    ….it’s been happening since i was 11 and my parents sent me to a counselor and at that point in time misophonia wasn’t a thing and they though I was just an *******… I have triggers with eating, snoring, and other things as well… now my fiances voice is triggering me… out of nowhere… it’s ruining everything, we have kids…. it’s killing me and I don’t know what to do, it’s a voice and I can’t put in earbuds or running away during a conversation. What the **** do I do…?

    Reply
  11. Chloe

    This has made me feel so much better! I just had a total breakdown at the tea table listening to my mums partner eat and got called pathetic. Which makes you feel even worse! People need to understand how serious this is and how horrible it makes us feel. I’m just glad I’m not going crazy! Definitely going to take some of these tips on board

    Reply
    • Abigail

      Hi, Chloe! I get exactly the same thing! I really struggle to sit and have meals with my family but it’s not just the noise but watching someone eat whilst I’m not is hard to put up with. I haven’t seen a specialist or anything I’m not sure where to find one or anyone who could help with these things so if anyone does please tell me!! Xx

      Reply
  12. Wiam

    Only Misophoniacs are the ones who can imagine how amazing i felt after learning this was an actual brain disorder. Im 17, suffered from Misophonia since i was 10. Its one of the hardest things to cope with, especially when none in the family believes its an actual disorder. I was never sent to a therapist about this. I wish i could. Misophonia is a part of daily life now. My body has learnt how to cope with automatically. I spontaneously imitate thd trigger sound, and even when in a quiet place i cant stay put. I have to walk. My body is programmed to do everything while walking; it reduces the stress a lot. I wish i can tell my family how i wish i could sit with them, eat with them, watch TV with them once again. I wish i can go back to my childhood before Misophonia. This thing is killing me here. What can i do? Who can i speak to? No one understands. I dont understand either. Why all of u, scientists, up there in ur laboratories inventing thousands of machines everyday. Invent something for us! Doctors, do something! We cant live. I cant live! I feel terrible about this. Im tired of crying. Each day, each hour, each time my brother breaths loudly, or my mom sneezes. Im tired of being called a psycho or crazy. Ur comments here all scared me. It seems impossible to share a house with kids and a partner! Do i have to lock myself in a cave all my life?
    Im sorry for complaining over here i just needed to say this all.
    It seems more and more impossible to get rid of this “thing”.

    Reply
    • Josefine

      You’re not alone…as I sit in my room with my headphones ? that I wear at the gun range on my head because the sound of kids playing is driving me insane

      Reply
      • Jayne

        I have exactly the same problem,my misophonia is through the roof ,I live in an end house(cul de sac)kids are constantly outside playing football ,the sound of the ball is driving me insane,the thing is I have the headphones but the music is also torture ,what can I do!!?

        Reply
    • Merle

      I’m 56 years old, and I too have been dealing with misophonia since I was 10 or so. I don’t remember exactly when it started. I do understand how you feel, and wish I could offer some hope for a cure but I can’t. I have managed my life by working in jobs that keep me away from people for a good deal of the time. I did a lot of truck driving. I am single. I did find some comfort when misophonia was recently recognized; I feel less like a freak.

      Reply
  13. Kati

    Thank you so much. I think you saved some other people’s lives today! Haha.

    Reply
  14. Katrina Ferguson

    Hello! I think I answered every question with ‘A’ response. The two sounds that have the most affect on me are opening packets . Eg people opening chip packets at the movies and the other is chewing. Especially my mother and husband . It sends me mental !! ?. Strangely my sister has the same thing! She is 3 years older. My mother has a nerve deafness and I have severe tinnitus. Not sure if any of this is connected. Thank you for your suggestions! I’m definitely going to try them! ?

    Reply
    • Ann Kelday

      Hiya. I struggle with exactly the same issues with rustling packets and people chewing loudly. It’s gotten so bad that my partner of 15yrs is now so fed up with it and my reactions that she’s leaving me. Someone needs to invent a tablet or treatment to help all of us who suffer from this. Everyone thinks I’m just a **** and I deserve for my partner to be leaving me as I’m always moaning about her eating it’s just because I can’t cope with it + they don’t understand. I’m going to lose everyone I love because of this disorder!

      Reply
  15. sandra

    Acutally, (#8) – sometimes it IS the person. People who clip finger nails in the office, or eat at their workspace – what ever happened to basic manners? Everyone is so rude today. Anything goes. I worked with tow women who both played music at their desks, one right next to me, one directly behind me. Um, rude! I ended up leaving the job because it was so obnoxious. Also, the one woman chewed with her mouth open, chomping on lettuce. Buh-bye!

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi Sandra. Thanks for the comment.

      There will always be people who do and say thoughtless things and some people are more/or less self aware than others.

      The thing is people who don’t have the disorder can see/hear someone eating messily and have no physiological or neurological response to it. No panic, anger, fear or disgust – other than maybe noting the fact that maybe that the person wasn’t taught to eat a certain way. They might feel mildly annoyed… or even humoured.

      Other people (strangers, family members, friends, colleagues etc) aren’t responsible for our neurological condition, in the same way my next door neighbour is not responsible for my dyslexia. They haven’t caused it and they probably aren’t even aware it exists.

      Regardless of whether someone has ‘good manners’ or not, our neurological condition means that we have a disproportionate response to certain sounds that the vast majority of the population don’t have or even know about. It’s not our fault, but by the same token it’s not their fault either. No-one that I’ve met or come across in adult life has ever ate or fidgeted with the intention of upsetting or hurting me.

      I feel really passionate about this. If we get into a rut of thinking that “the world is doing it to us” or that “people need to be less rude” it’s a downward spiral which can destroy relationships and social interactions. In my experience it’s better to work on accepting the situation and finding coping mechanisms for those elements in our lives that we can control.

      Reply
      • SnappleSauce

        Unbelievably well said, and thank you for the reminder. I’m normally a very logical person, but it seems even thinking about these triggers sounds causes any logic to go completely out the window and my emotions are calling all the shots…never a good thing. I appreciate your respectful approach and balanced outlook, it inspires me to hold myself to a higher standard just a little longer and God willing we’ll have a “cure” soon. Like e everyone else I’ve ever heard discuss the topic, my overwhelming shock and insane relief at not being alone in this is a moment I’ll never forget. I went home that night and sobbed with relief watching a video of different sufferers talk about it. But the fact that we were all shamed into silence because those around us insisted we were ridiculous or dramatic is a great reminder to me that I should try my best (TRY being the operative word there) to tolerate without judgement the people who I would secretly swear are intentionally triggering me. I admire that you’re able to logic through your emotions like that, I literally struggle to keep the violent fantasies in my head at those moments. For years, I’ve feared I will finally snap one day. I’m a 39 yr old female, and although the disorder has haunted me since about 10 or 11, I’ve definitely seen it reach new heights as my hormones have started to fluctuate. In recent weeks, looking into the relationship with estrogen and other hormones, I can at least say it’s starting to make a lot more sense. I’m starting g for the first time ever to try and retain logic at those trigger moments, and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever struggled with. Thank you for your suggestion/example of internal dialogue, I’m most definitely going to give it a shot. I really think it’s very important that we all keep this discussion going, now that we finally know we’re not crazy. Hopefully that way we can prevent others down the road from suffering through the everyday he’ll that we do.

        Reply
  16. Kaitlyn

    Hi i am 15 about to be 16 and i have been suffering with this for about 3-4 years and it’s killing me. I have trouble with the sounds of crunching, smacking, slurping and a lot more. Im now starting to get to the point were I can’t look at a person while their eating or I will get very angry or disgusted for no reason. Does anybody else feel like that when eating with someone. Also, many times during class I being to cry from someone smacking on gum or chewing to loudly.

    Reply
    • Angie

      I’m 15 and struggle with the exact same thing. I also cannot stand anything that has to do with fingernail clicking. I have always had sensory issues. It first was the clothing and touch, but once I turned about 10, it switched to sound. I can escape it when I’m at home, but in the car or at school is the worst. It is hurting my relationships because at some points, all I can do is ask my friends or family to stop making a certain sound. My family seems to think that it is a joke, and that I am trying to bug my little sister. I’m glad that someone mentioned that it is under the ADA. I will definitely pursue accomadations when it comes to testing because I won’t be able to perform well if there are triggers.

      Reply
      • kyrah

        i have issues with chewing, breathing, whistling, papers rustling, and even my sister’s laugh and my father’s voice. i never thought of looking for accommodations in school while it definitely affects my performance. it’s so nice to know that I’m not crazy

        Reply
        • Tanya

          I’m so glad I’ve found this site. I’ve just had a miso episode.
          Reading the paragraph about understanding that it’s the misophonia not my partner that’s making the noise was so incredibly helpful and I’m going to try putting it into practice next meal or drink time. It might just make a real difference to our relationship. For years I’ve blamed him for having bad habits (Not verbally but in my mind) and it’s made me so angry. We have other issues but this has triggered a thought in me that maybe I’m unreasoably intolerant because of my sensitivities and I need to look inward not outward in many respects
          This could really help my mental health right now.
          Thank you so much. I will report back .

          Reply
  17. Mike

    I have Asperger’s so its par for the course I guess. I was perfectly fine until about 2007 or so, and like a lightswitch, it flipped on. For me, if I am at work, or hyperacuitly focused on something it doesn’t bother me much. But the minute I get in relaxed mode, or at home its like a knifeblade. environmental noise like big booming bass, kids playing outdoors/screaming, engine/dirtbike revving, and especially banging/tapping noises or when I am in hotels, the feet/squeak noises from upstairs. GRrrrrrr…. Right now I have not figured out a good way to cope with it. The absolute worst is when I am attempting to go to bed, or in-bed and I hear it. instant rage mode.

    Reply
    • Mike

      To follow up with my last post, The one thing I cant seem to figure out is if I am somewhere not in my “comfort zone” like a friends house, or out and about, etc it does not bother me in the slightest unless its really loud of course. Work is 50/50, but more importantly. when I AM in my comfort zone like arriving home or at home, that’s when the triggers begin. I cant seem to figure that one out either. As you can imagine, I tried the apartment life and that failed miserably. So now I am in housing life which is better but not much.

      Reply
      • Laura (Laurance)

        Hello, Mike…I just found this site and joined this discussion this morning.

        I wonder if your condition is somewhat similar to mine. Scroll down to April 12th to read what I already said today.

        Of course my house and my car are physical comfort zones. The comfort zone for me that matters most is more about who I am with and what the relationship is. If it’s a dog or cat making the noise, I don’t mind. If it’s a stranger when I’m out and about, no problem.

        It’s when I’m with someone close to me, a family member or a partner. If I’m being treated well and the relationship is not problematic, well, no problem.

        But if I’m in a situation that is abusive towards me and the abuser is someone I’m unable to get away from for one reason or another, oh, that’s awful!! My comfort zone has been violated and invaded. The very place where I should feel safe is not safe. The person who should be treating me well is suffocating and crushing me. My comfort zone is now being poisoned.

        And wow, do I ever have a horrible time! Chewing, sniffing, bodily mouth noises drive me crazy and cause me to feel like there’s electricity going up and down my back.

        Reply
  18. Joelle

    I have thought I was crazy and my family and friends thought I was just weird. This has affected me so badly I have thought about strangling people who chomp on ice. The worst is I havent been able to sleep in the same bed as my husband because the sound of breathing sends me over the edge.

    Reply
  19. Tracy Jones

    My dog licks his lips and paws all night and my husband snores. My lifesaver is special sleep headphones called Cozy phones I found on amazon. I listen to beach waves and thunderstorms all night now.

    Reply
    • Joyce

      Tracy, i have had the identical issues. I now live alone. I just discovered this problem has a name. I have a small Chihuahua whose barking is unbearable as well as the feet licking. Try spraying “Uck” on your dogs feet. For me it is also a visual trigger. Unfortunately, I have this dog because a very dear friend passed & I couldn’t find a GOOD home for him. When he barks too much, he irritates his throat then coughs. His coughing is beyond horrible!!! I can only stop his coughing by working on his throat w/SCENAR (a Russian technology). Without SCENAR, I don’t know what I would do as there doesn’t seem to be anything that can stop his coughing from his irritated throat. The more he coughs the worse it gets. I can’t take it!!! I just want to cut out his throat!!! We just went through 2 days & 2 very rough nights from another siege of coughing. He is finally peaceful & hasn’t coughed for 2 hrs & 15 min!!! My nerves are very raw & the other triggers are now bothering me. The radio helps a great deal. I was about to “snap” as I just couldn’t cope w/his coughing anymore. I was a 24/7 caregiver for my “dad” who grunted 24/7. The radio & tv saved me from ramming my head into the wall.He passed last June. Yes, I thought I was going CRAZY. Again,i’m so grateful to find others who suffer w/this condition.

      Reply
  20. Laura

    I find some comfort in knowing this is a real condition. I get very agitated when my husband eats nuts with his mouth open, chews hard cookies and eats chips. I feel so bad for the way i must give him an annoyed look. I am a calm person in every other way but with the chewing noises, my heart starts to race and I feel like a mean person to have negative feelings.

    Reply
    • Hana

      I am suffering on daily basis with my colleague. She loves to eat apples in the office and if she is not doing it, she chews the gum… I am getting mad on days when I forget my headphones… Don’t want to tell her anything since she is not the most pleasant person to work with and it would probably make it even worse…

      Reply
  21. Diana

    I am so glad to find you. This so describes my son and how he reacts. It is so hard to understand what appears to be such an irrational response to things we do for our survival like eating and breathing. I have tried to ask him how it makes him feel and what his thoughts are when he reacts but he seems unable to put it into words. I assume it is because he is still young. He is 14 and this started about 3years ago progressively getting worse. He rarely eats or watches movies with us and always has headphones with him. While I understand why, it makes me sad to feel like we are becoming more and more disconnected and I miss him. I would like to send him to a counselor/therapist but wonder if going to just anyone would help or if we need to find more specialized help. Any recommendations for what to look for in a therapist?

    Thank you for sharing and helping us from the other side of the situation understand what it’s like to have misophonia. I think he has other sensory issues also like an aversion to touch or the way things feel. Please help me help my son. Thanks

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi Diana, you’re very welcome and thank for your kind words. If you contact me directly (hello@ this website address) I can try and point you to some external resources where you may be able to find recommendations for therapists etc.

      Reply
  22. Angie

    From point #6: ”
    At best the person you’re speaking to will get defensive and at worst they’ll carry on with renewed vigour.”

    I’d like to add to the “at worst” part. If it’s someone you love, then “at worst” they will develop a complex about their natural unconscious bodily sounds, such a chewing and breathing, and feel they have to live their life walking on eggshells whenever they’re around you. Now two people are miserable instead of one, when neither should have to be. People with misophonia often don’t seem to consider how their coping (or lack there of) with their disorder affects the loved ones who are the target of their rage. If you want empathy, you need to find a way to give it too. Don’t put just put it on your love ones to stop making the sound— work to find a way that you can be more comfortable when in the presence of an unavoidable trigger. I understand that misophones truly feel pain from their trigger sounds and want others to be sympathetic by making an effort to limit the sounds within reason; Misophones need to also to understand that pain experienced by their loved ones from constantly being told that their normal breathing or chewing is too loud is equally real and emotional/psychologically damaging, and make an effort to cope without lashing out angrily.

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi Angie, yes, that is such an important point! I’ve talked about the eggshell phenomenon elsewhere on Allergic to Sound but it absolutely deserves to go here too (and I’ve duly added it).

      We’ll all benefit from approaching these situations, both misophones and non-misophones, with as much empathy and sensitivity as we can.

      Reply
  23. Maria

    Misophonia is destoying my life.. 🙁 I wish there was a cure for it. I can no longer cope with it. Chewing a gum with an open mouth makes me want to cry and scream and dissappear from this planet. I get really bad panic attacks ?

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi Maria, keep your head up, you can do this.

      Try to learn as much as you can about your misophonia (there are plenty of research papers online and on this site) it’ll really help you understand the disorder and help with coping techniques.

      Reply
  24. Alex

    I have a problem with yawning, chewing/lip-smacking and whistling, I think I handle those pretty well, but there’s THIS ONE sound my dad makes with his tongue against his teeth that just makes me wanna scream/cry/punch him. He does it ALL the time, and when I can’t resist it anymore I start mimicking it so he realises how annoying it is, but he never does. My sister rolls her eyes when I tell her it makes me angry, the only one who remotely understands is my mom but she still doesn’t do anything about it. Knowing my dad, if I tell him he’ll do it even more often and louder on purpose. What can I do? I’ve tried EVERYTHING on this list.

    Reply
  25. Patrick

    “Misophonia can be a relationship wrecker…”
    This about sums it up for me. My misophonia started last year when I was 32, and its only gotten worse. Before it began, I don’t know if I realized that I am capable of so much hatred, but I know it now. I hate everything about it..how I had to change first my seating location at work, and then my job. How life with my wife and two children has become a nightmare from which there is no “legitimate” escape. How it makes me feel physically (skin crawls and tingles, headaches, chest pain, just gross). How it makes me feel mentally (hateful, overwhelmed, irritated, frustrated, defeated). How I act when triggered (shouting, threatening, insulting, passive aggressive, throwing objects, disgusted looks on my face). But most of all, I hate how it’s separated me from my wife. Of all the things, that’s the most devastating. It’s interesting to hear so many people say they are “relieved” that this is a legitimate condition. Quite the contrary for me…when I discovered that this is an actual “thing”, my world fell apart. I didn’t feel validated, I felt doomed. Most of the coping skills are useless for me mainly because of the point that is made above, how when the amygdala is hijacked, you CAN’T remember how to think, or how you should think. All you think is “STOP”. I ONLY feel relief when I have lashed out in some way. I won’t list what my triggers are, they’re too personal and too depressing. Even still, there are things that keep me from ending my life. 1) Belief in God 2) Being alone as much as I possibly can 3) Lashing out 4) Excercise of any kind

    Reply
    • tanya

      While I cannot understand the full depth of your problem, I can relate to you. I cannot cope with my misophonia. I am a lot younger than you (24), but I have had this condition for about ten years.

      It is a relationship breaker truly. I only feel relieved when I have lashed out, whether it’s my family or my boyfriend. My parents don’t understand and even if my boyfriend tries to, I lash out in the most brutal way.

      I think I will have to be alone for the rest of my life to truly cope with misophonia.

      Reply
      • Allergic to Sound

        Hi Tanya, just jumping in to say that you’re not alone. We’re all here with you with support and understanding. You’ve got this.

        Reply
  26. JP Marx

    Coping suggestion to get up and offer to get a drink or condiment or food item means that thanks to your courtesy, someone else will be gulping, slurping, tearing open little packets, etc. Not a good idea for a misophonic–!

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Haha, you need to choose wisely JP.

      I certainly wouldn’t recommend offering to get someone food, only a condiment if they’re already eating (the idea being they by the time you’ve got back they’ll have finished more of their meal!)

      The tea thing works a treat for me, but if you’ve got yourself a gulper next to you then you’d definitely need to use a different tactic.

      Reply
  27. Jewel

    I’ve been like this ever since I was a little kid. And now that I’m older it is really effecting my relationships with everyone in my life. I hate it. I don’t mean to lash out but I can’t control it. It’s drives me crazy. It always triggers me to sweat super bad. Someone please help me.

    Reply
    • Taylor

      Hello Jewel! I’m sure you’ve been looking up coping skills on misophonia since you’ve discovered it has a name. Earplugs & headphones help me the most.

      That said, you’re the only other person I’ve heard mention the sweating reaction. I get that too! Just started using an over the counter product that seems to be working… it’s called “Certain Dri” & is labeled “prescription strength clinical.”

      Please know you’re not alone.

      Reply
  28. Yvette

    Thank the heavens! I thought it was only me. I just went on a scream rage in the office, because my college’s phone goes off every 10-15 seconds. It’s the only thing I can hear / concentrate and think about. I start counting the beeps and the time in between. So I Googled it and here I am. Thank you, I will try and use the tips.

    Reply
  29. Sarah

    I have struggled with this for a while. Other people eating is the worst for me. Is it that hard to chew with your mouth closed?! Husbands family is the worst. Husbands jaw also often clicks when chewing. Makes me want to scream!!!! I believe its a neurological disorder/yet at the same time I think – don’t be rude and chew with your mouth closed! How can they not realize what they are doing?!

    Reply
    • Lee

      Popcorn, people eating ice, gum smacking and popping, and people eating with their mouth open is the worst. I keep wax on hand to put in my ears and can just ease it up to hear people, or tighten it to not hear. But seeing people eat with their mouth open just irks me and I don’t have to even hear them eat. Ahhhh

      Reply
  30. Emily

    These are great tips, thanks! Ear plugs have also been a life-saver for me. I use them mostly at home when one of my kids is sniffing constantly (seasonal allergies) – they block the sound right out! Everyone has to talk a little louder, but we all agree that is better than mommy being a rage-monster.

    Reply
    • Barbara

      Ear plugs have affected my hearing. They cause ear pain and seem to increase ear wax. I cannot sleep without them though but also worry that I might not hear the doorbell, the phone, the fire alarm or a family member calling for help. The noise reduction rating is 32 decibels.

      Reply
  31. Krissa

    Thank you for creating this website. I’ve known for years that I have this and it has pretty much destroyed my life. Today I started doing this internet search because it’s finally taken a toll on my physical health.

    When I first started noticing it I think I was about 18 years old. Back then, some sounds my family made triggered me, but somehow (and I am very thankful for this because it seems like everyone else gets triggered by their family no matter what) that stopped. And I’ve never been bothered by sounds animals make unless it’s neighbors who allow their dogs to bark for hours.

    But there are times where I physically have to hold myself back from attacking strangers in the store, for example, for sniffing or rustling plastic wrap, etc. My biggest problem is two of my neighbors. And you can imagine how bad it is for me because people I know who have heard it and don’t have misophonia also think it’s bad (loud music, yelling everything they say, slamming everything, stomping, etc.). This is below and next door. And they sometimes apparently trigger the woman above me to stomp because when they get going, she starts stomping. She doesn’t do that otherwise. You can imagine how it affects my behavior. And I have all but lost my husband over this. He is rarely around and it’s because he couldn’t handle me reacting the way I do. I’ve gotten a bit better over the years at how I react, but that’s what has destroyed my health. Holding it in. I’m very underweight, lost a lot of hair, and now I have an ulcer. 🙁 Because mine is the worst at home and I can’t just stay away all the time, I’ve felt suicidal sometimes because of the feeling (and actually) being trapped and the hopelessness and the anticipatory anxiety during the calm moments worrying “when is it going to start again”.

    I appreciate you taking the time to create this site. And for everyone else going through this, I feel for you so much.

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi Krissa,

      You’re very welcome. I’m so glad you’re finding it helpful.

      I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through, misophonia can be such a cruel disorder. I think we all know how horrible it can feel when it gets all consuming. I hope we can help point you towards some coping mechanisms that work for you. I’m actually busy compiling a new list of user recommend coping techniques as we speak, which is an exciting project.

      Reply
    • Hannah Rosewater

      Krissa, I feel you so much!! I’m currently at university living on campus and even though I feel trapped in my room because of the sounds my dorm makes, I can’t even escape it in my room, as sniffling, throat clearing and all that can still be heard through the thin walls, and it’s driving me to the point where I think just killing myself would be simpler and less painful than existing like this, in anxiety constantly. I’m isolated here too, all my close friends live 100’s of kms away and I just hate living here. I can barely attend uni lectures too, especially during cold-season because people sniffling and coughing….. just thinking about it gets me upset.

      It’s been awhile since you posted your comment, so I hope you’re going as well as you physically can ?

      Reply
  32. Person

    I have it majorly does that still help?

    Reply
  33. JP Marx

    I’m reading AtoS update today and realizing how fortunate I am that other family members have misoponia along with me! All of you misophoniacs have my heartfelt sympathy if you have this disorder on your own.

    Reply
  34. Emeric

    I really wanted to thank you for this because I have been in a really bad mood lately, and it makes me feel better knowing that a lot of people are stuck with this “relationship killer”. My trigger is this kid in my algebra class that chews his gum that is not allowed at school in most ridiculously loud manner you could possibly think of. The advise in this website was extremely helpful. The only thing that would be helpful for me as a student are school friendly ways to overcome Misophonia.

    Reply
  35. Alan

    Thank you so much for this website. I have suffered for years with this condition, and I am glad there is a name for this madness that I feel. People eating chips, popcorn, or ice just about causes me to lose my mind. Kids outside bouncing a basketball in the driveway is the latest trigger of this condition. I hate large crouds because someone always does something to trigger my condition. Some think that I am just unsociable, but I can’t handle several people talking at once in a room just visiting. It feels like my head is just going to explode! I am anxious to hear more coping techniques. Thanks for your time in compiling a list that will help many of us with this condition.

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi Alan, you’re very welcome. So glad you’re finding it helpful.

      Reply
  36. Alex

    Great article, thankyou

    Reply
  37. Tabitha

    After reading everyones comments, I feel like I definitely need to share the daily issues I am dealing with. I have been dealing with this since I was about 7 if not before.. I remember growing up freaking out with my mom chewing with her mouth open, biting her nails, etc. I also recall freaking out on my best friend in 2nd grade for sucking on her choker back in the day.. this is just how I remember it beginning. I’ve always been irritated to certain sounds, growing up- my step dad would clip his nails and it would drive me absolutely insane. It’s just literally gotten so much worse as I have gotten older.. I am 22 now. I am married and have a 16 month old. I want to share the daily problems I am facing today.. I currently deal with so many things and it causes me to be in rage. I cannot stand to hear my husband breathe hard, my dog licks himself/scratches- I have come to HATE my dog due to this. My husband twists his beard and I can hear the small sound of that.. drives me mad. He also snores which I cannot sleep in the same room with him due to the fact. I HATE nail biting, loud chewing, gum, oh my gum. Oh when my dog eats and drinks water or any dog i seriously make them quit when I am around….. I am not even a mean person but when these things that drive me nuts occur I turn into a different person. I get mean and am not easy to deal with. It sets my whole mood.. for the rest of the night which is causing problems in my family. It’s SO hard to keep everything bottled up inside when all these things are going on. I feel like this has only gotten so much worse over the past 2 years. After reading about everyones comments I had to share.. it’s seriously really sad to see all these people, including myself that has to deal with this. I truly don’t think until a person has this problem they could possibly understand what it is like.

    Reply
  38. Laura (Laurance)

    Wow!! I’m 76 years old and only YESTERDAY, after all these years, I finally, finally learned three things:

    1. I’m not a bad little girl who makes things up on purpose and deserves a hard spanking!

    2. I’m not the only one!

    3. This is a real condition and it has a name!

    I notice that each of us has our own particular way of manifesting this miserable disorder.

    In my case it matters WHO is making the sound and WHAT the nature of the relationship is.

    A dog? No problem. A dear cat? No problem. Friends, other people in general? Usually (but not always) no problem.

    But people who are abusing me or making me feel oppressed, that’s another matter!

    My mother was harsh and critical with me. She was rigid and big on making me follow the rules. It was crushing. I was around age 7 when the sound of her eating and breathing started driving me crazy. I felt oppressed and trapped. Little girls are stuck and dependent on parents, and there’s no escape. Somebody who has me trapped will drive me crazy with those awful body sounds. On one occasion, early on, I had a screaming meltdown at lunch which had my mother in tears. Family mealtime was pure torture for me.

    I’ve been married twice (which is two times too many). Both husbands were abusers. The first was emotionally and psychologically abusive. The second added rage terrorizing behavior and intermittent non-injurious violence to the mix.

    Once again I felt trapped and oppressed and helpless.

    Those chewing sounds! And the breathing! Having to share a bed was nightly torture! I don’t need to tell any of you what a horror it is!

    Early on I got the idea of playing music at mealtime to make it bearable. And earplugs were a godsend.

    Am I the only one who has this situational/emotional component to the disorder?

    Thank you, thank you for this forum! This is the very first time I’ve ever been able to talk about this! I’ve always kept quiet because people would think I’m crazy and they wouldn’t understand.

    Reply
    • Someone

      When I study I get highly sensitive to any kind of sounds. Otherwise, when I am enjoying myself and don’t have to understand or pay attention to anything it doesn’t bother me.

      But certain sounds bother me no matter what, especially high pitch sounds or sharp clicking or colliding sounds of dishes/forks/knives.

      It’s actually painful.

      The last one bothers me always, when it reaches a certain loudness.

      However, like you, when I feel accepted and welcome, minor sounds do not bother me at all. They can actually be enjoyable.

      Reply
      • Laura (Laurance)

        Going Back to the Past…I don’t know if there’s a connection or not. At some point in my surfing of the internet I learned the acronym for a hearing difficulty involving listening to a voice in a noisy room. But I don’t know if that is connected with misophonia.

        Ewwww…so hard to go to a party where there were people all talking around me! I simply could NOT understand what someone was saying to me. And if the phone rang while I had music playing I had to run quick and turn the music off before answering the phone. And if there were other people talking when the phone was ringing I was sunk.

        This persisted till I was in my sixties (I don’t think it was my fifties, but I’m not sure).

        But now the problem has disappeared with age. I don’t know why.

        Now, as for studying, back when I was in college in the Dark Ages I liked to play music while studying.

        But it had to be the right music. It could be instrumental music. Or it could involve singing in a language I didn’t understand.

        But if it were in English or German, or, to a limited extent, French, I’d be so distracted by the words, my brain would get all jammed up.

        But I don’t know if this has anything to do with misophonia. It was distracting, but it didn’t generate the overwhelming feelings of rage. It’s that horrific rage (which I don’t act on, I only feel and suffer like the dickens) that characterizes misophonia for me.

        Reply
  39. Alex R.

    Good read. My trigger is anyone else but me doing keyboard typing, flip flops, and smacking food. I also have tinnitus, I think I heard somewhere that they might be connected.

    Reply
    • Laura (Laurance)

      Tinnitus! Tinnitus! Oh, I got the bells ringing in there! If they’re connected, what causes what?

      I’ve had misophonia since I was around 7 (around the same time the Tourette’s Syndrome made its first appearance). But I can’t remember now if I had the tinnitus then. I don’t think I did, but I can’t be sure.

      But I sure have it now, and have had it since, when? my twenties? Or a little later? I had it by my forties.

      I will go to Google (my go-to-guy) and ask about the tinnitus and misophonia.

      Reply
  40. Tori P

    I have been suffering from this for YEARS. I tried to explain it to my mom and she just makes fun of me and tells me I have problems – she has never taken it seriously. My job is becoming unbearable. The co-worker next to me never stops eating all day long. Chomping, crunching, smacking, slurping all with her mouth open. She also clears her throat so many times a day I have started tallying them because I am so obsessed. I also hear her breathing, sighing, sniffing, sucking mucus in her nose and making extra sounds when drinking which enrage me to the point I have to walk away. A new trigger that has just developed for me is her tapping plastic cutlery on plastic containers. I get so anxious and upset by all of her sounds it literally feels like someone is sitting on my chest. I am having the most difficult time disassociating her as a person from the disorder so I am SO hoping these coping mechanisms start to help me! I don’t want to have to quit my job 🙁

    Reply
    • Laura (Laurance)

      Oh wow, Tori! I can sure sympathize with you! In my April 12th post (scroll up a little way) I told of having a helpless awful meltdown at lunch and how my mother was crying over my behavior. I’m not surprised that your mother doesn’t understand. In addition to misophonia, I have Tourette’s, ADD/ADHD, and minor intermittent OCD. I’ve said that if my nervous system were a car, it would have been recalled decades ago.

      Now, about your co-worker. If you look at my post, you’ll see that in my case I get these awful symptoms when I feel trapped and helpless in some way.

      Do you feel trapped? Is being trapped and helpless a trigger for you?

      And if so, is there any way you can be moved to a space where you won’t be subjected to these sounds? Any way to lessen feelings of being trapped? You don’t say what your job is. I hope you can be moved to a space away from those awful sounds. (Just reading your description has me saying, “Yes! Yes! That’s what it feels like and how totally distressing it is!”_)

      Reply
  41. Brian

    Some of the comments make me realize that I don’t have it so bad, but it’s still there.

    I don’t get ill, just angry. It’s mainly chewing (especially with mouth open), and finger tapping. Shave and a haircut on the desk at work makes me go for a walk.

    Typically, I just put my headphones on and go on with my day, but lately, I have been developing some form of Tinnitus. Sometimes the earphones cause a kind of ‘white noise’ effect in my head. I’ll have to find another way to cope with it now. I’m liking the idea of identifying that it’s me, not them.

    Reply
  42. Barbara

    I have it since about age 11. It was my father sucking teeth thru his teeth so loudly I could hear the nose thru a closed door. What bothers me most he was told how annoying this was and how i couldn’t be in the same room as him and All he said was “ I don’t know I do it”

    Reply
  43. Pam

    I only started learning of this named condition a year or so ago when conditions in my office of cubicles got so unbearable that I went searching. I’m 62 yrs old & realize this started when I was a child with my mother constantly clearing her throat. I can now identify at least 15 continuous sounds at work that make me want to scream at people. I’ve had to leave work & just go home several times. Thank you for your coping suggestions as I will begin trying them immediately. Too bad I didn’t know of this earlier in life as I’m retiring end of this year; however I’m sure this practice will help me outside the office as well.

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi Pam, thanks for your comment. I hope you find the coping suggestions helpful.

      Reply
  44. Stuck

    I have PTSD from certain abuse as a child. The PTSD is triggered by a particular sound, which actually causes me to physically feel the abuse all over again. I have no idea how to deal with this. I currently just try to avoid the sound. But sometimes there is no avoiding it and I feel so much rage and feel like I am stuck and about to explode. Does anyone else relate to this?? What do you do to help it? I’m also an HSP

    Reply
    • Swade

      Stuck,
      I have been diagnosed with C-PTSD(complex PTSD) due to an abusive marriage. I have been finding a lot of relief from a treatment called EMDR. It needs to be administered by a licensed therapist but many insurances cover it and the public mental health system is incorporating it into their methods , as well. Basically our brain resolves a lot of trauma when we are in REM sleep mode but sometimes gets stuck. When it gets stuck, EMDR is a method that is recreates the REM sleep mode except you are awake and guides you through processing the trauma. It works a lot faster than regular talk therapy I’ve noticed a lot of relief in the physical symptoms and the traumatic events seem so far away from me now. My misophonia is a whole ‘nother miserable issue that I have not had any luck with but my therapist has been doing research on misophonia to see if EMDR can be helpful.

      Reply
      • Stuck

        Thankyou so much for your response Swade. I definitely want to try this EMDR, I’d never heard of it. I hope you are able yo be completely free from your trauma triggers too

        Reply
  45. Billie

    hi.i am in high school and it is really hard when nobody realizes that this is a thing and im really glad that it is becoming more and more known.

    Reply
  46. Julia Dixon

    In addition to some common triggers and accompanying visuals, I am set off by mistakes in punctuation, spelling, and word usage. I found many in this article.

    I am on a bus right now. Where I was encouraged by your desire to educate fellow sufferers, I was put off by the preponderance of errors. (Also, the neologism misophode simply doesn’t work. It scans like the name of a prehistoric worm.)

    I can help you with this to make your article more readable.

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi Julia, thank you for the feedback.

      Apologies for any errors. I do my best to proof and spellcheck every article, but invariably miss things from time to time. I’ll respectfully pass on the offer of help (but thank you). It’s just that if I add another layer to the editorial process I’ll never get anything online!

      I hope the errors or neologisms don’t make it too unreadable.

      Best Regards

      Prehistoric Worm

      Reply
      • Dianne Wood

        Prehistoric worm! That made me laugh so hard. I think it was a desperate, out-of-control laugh but boy, did I need it. I came face-to-face with hopelessness about this condition this morning. I need a way to think about it in my mind – a way to frame it- that carries hope. I’m 68 and today my cat, who excessively grooms himself, was at it again, licking, scratching, biting, constantly moving around. So it’s the misokinesia as well as the misophonia. I know other people are bothered by their cats or dogs, too, so I’m not alone. It’s not nice to hate your pet and think about how they need to go. As a Christian, the hardest part is where is God in all this. So, in conclusion, thanks for signing off as prehistoric worm! Ha ha.

        Reply
        • Allergic to Sound

          You’re very welcome Dianne.

          I do my best!

          Best Regards

          Prehistoric Worm

          Reply
  47. John Stormnoiser

    What happens when your earphone don’t overwhelm the constant alarm of my neighbor or the heavy machines they use?
    Even with phone and musics, sometimes the sound is louder and this makes me rage.

    What happens if I think i’m a “strong” misphonic and even breathing and meditation techniques don’t help in an effective way?
    Normally when i do breath techniques i feel like i can hear better and this makes noises worst… It’s just me?:/

    I have read on the forum about this, but i’ll talk anyway, but i have problem in explaining my misophonia, my country barely talks about it, so people don’t believe and think i’m just a nut with lot excuses for bad behavior, not just that, is a pain to explain this to every person when they see you triggering, its makes me exhausted. And since i don’t knew about misophonia, i don’t used to warn people about it, now i’ll warn people before things happen.

    I feel ashamed with my trigger responses, i have lot of emotional response to things, so when i feel triggered i always so something physical, not against a human, but i already broke my door slamming it with angriness, biting things off, broke objects, for normal humans i’m like an animals in those events… 🙁

    Thanks, your website is helpful to me.

    Reply
  48. Kirsty

    I seriously need help!

    My Misophonia is getting worse!

    As I’m writing this I’m crying with anger because I don’t want too explode at the person making the damn noises!!!!!!

    They won’t stop sniffing and coughing, when they eat it sounds like they are eating rocks..no matter what food.

    Everytime I hear the noises I get worse and I want too scream STFU or murder someone!! It’s like they are doing it on purpose!

    I don’t think I can cope any longer! I’ve tried the breathing thing, removing myself from the situation but nothing helps!!

    I’m going insane.

    (The only thing is..when I do those things it doesn’t affect me….)

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      You’ve got this Kirsty.

      I know it doesn’t feel like it, but I promise you people aren’t doing this (making trigger sounds) on purpose to hurt you. Take a look at some of the research into misophonia and the science behind it if you have time.

      I’ve found it massively helps knowing that this is neurological disorder and not something that the rest of the world is trying to hurt us with.

      You have an amazing brain and once you can accept your misophonia (not easy, I know) you can really focus on your coping techniques. The more you can predict and find ways to adapt to your environment – whether it’s home or school or work the more you will be able to cope and every starts to get a lot easier.

      It really is possible to have a happy and fulfilling life with this.

      Reply
  49. April

    I have had Misophonia since I was 9 or 10 years old. My misophonia was with my mom. It started with the noise that came from her swallowing when she was eating and then it went to everytime she swallowed even if it didnt make any noise. Then many new triggers were brought on such as throat clearing, s sounds when she spoke, the sound of slippers on the floor as she walked, papers rustling, and others. We still dont have a good relationship and I am 37. Then about 2 years ago it started with my ex husband. It got so bad we split up and I lost my job. Now it just started with my new boyfriend. Its so bad I get so much anxiety when he is just in the room because I am thinking about when he will be swallowing next. I just started seeing a Misophonia Doctor and it seemed to help for a day but today it was worse. She said I need about 7-8 sessions to see any improvements. I am trying to stay positive but it is affecting me quite a bit in my everyday life. I really hope they make some sort of medicine for this soon.

    Reply
    • Laura (Laurance)

      Hello, April…what is it that the Misophonia Doctor does? Seven or eight sessions doing what?

      Reply
  50. Paul

    So, I’ve suffered with this since I was about ten.

    The noises that affect me are: people humming or whistling, or even singing. Not on a recording, generally, although certain popular music will set me off.

    Growing up, my mother and step father were completely insensitive to my condition, and would refrain from whistling, humming or singing, ever. In fact, my step father would go out of his way to torture me. I know this because, during a long ride we had to take together, from the Boston area to Upstate NY, I brought along headphones, and whenever I wasn’t wearing the headphones, he would hum or whistle. Whenever I put the headphones on, even without any music playing, he would stop. Every time. So, I kept them on the entire ride, and survived the trip.

    Also, at night, I am kept awake by the sound of people talking, wither on TV or the radio, or their being somewhere in the same residence. Any noise other than “white noise” will keep me from falling asleep, so I have a fan running in my room 365 nights a year. I’ve spent a couple of nights in hotel rooms not getting 1 minute of sleep because of people walking around in the room above mine, or repeatedly opening and closing doors or drawers in the room next to mine. Even if it stops by 2 or 3 am, I’m so tensed up by it I can’t relax enough to fall asleep.

    It’s horrible. Happily, my wife is somewhat understanding, and uses restraint above and beyond what many people would find reasonable.

    I’d like a cure.

    Reply
  51. David Alberts

    Hi I’m not sure I’m suffering the same I think my daughter need a to blow her nose constantly because of the sound my family eating drives me insane cause they chew so loud and I complain the tv is loud constantly even when it’s on a low number like 4 or 5! How did you lot get diagnosed with this ? Any information would be greatly appreciated .

    Reply
  52. Evie

    I have this really bad and I’m only thirteen

    The things that annoy me are my family singing whistling ,my brother making makes gun noises and sword noises and a few others and I kindly ask him to be quiet and I keep asking till I’m yelling at him and he says that he won’t listen to me and I do not know what to do.please help I get really mad and angry.

    My brother goes out of his way to annoy with me I really don’t know what to do.

    I think that the earphones trick will really help I haven’t thought of that thanks ~

    Reply
    • Paul

      Evie, my advice would be to not confront your brother, as kids generally aren’t very understanding. I’d wait until you’re both young adults and hopefully will have a good relationship. For the time being, go with the headphones to drown out the offending noise. Be careful of your surroundings while wearing them, though!

      Reply
  53. Christi

    I appreciate all these strategies and I’ve tried a few. I’ve requested an office away from people who rubbed me way wrong (a coworker who ate ice constantly for example) and learned to let people know quite plainly that certain things bother me and it isn’t them that’s doing it.
    My biggest issue is that my boyfriend drives me nuts when he eats. I can hear him from across the room. He’s not rude or anything. I can just hear him chewing. I have to leave the room just about anytime he’s eating. Also this seems to be getting worse. My coworker stirring coffee, repetitive sound of any kind really, pushes me from normal to crazed in seconds. My main trigger is people eating and it doesn’t even have to be that they are eating loudly. Eating ice and chips and popcorn is out of the question. I have the hardest time going to movies and it’s sad because i love going.
    One thing that helps in public are the earphones when I’m alone. I have a box fan app that I’ll turn on and then read a book. It’s a god send.
    Now to just fix everything else. People don’t get how debilitating this can be.

    Reply
  54. David

    Three things really help me with my misophonia. First, earphones playing your favorite music (or pink noise) is a life-saver! Second, I use healing crystals, specifically, grounding crystals, to help with anxiety and irritability. Some stones and crystals that may help are Hematite, black tourmaline, smokey quartz, any blue crystals, and there are many others for irritability and anger. The crystals help, at least, they do for me. And lastly, I sometimes take anti-anxiety medication when I really need it. I suggest talking with your therapist or doctor about that because some of the medications can be habit-forming. And if all else fails, I will just remove myself from the situation and find a quiet place to relax and center myself. Hope this helps.

    Reply
  55. angel

    my mother doesn’t think misophonia is a real thing which kinda sucks because i have to eat with them and her and my father eat with their mouths open and slurp and crunch their ice. and the dog barks the hole time were eating. I’m not allowed to eat in my room or in the basement so if i want to eat something than I have to eat in the living room with them so atthis point i either sneek food up to my room at night or don’t eat so basically i don’t eat until they make me eat with them and then wait until 1:30ish to eat again and sneek food to my room. also my dad is a heavy mouth breather and my mom is always making so kind of noise so i stay in my room most of the day and don’t come downstairs unless i have to use the bathroom. but even upstairs i’m not safe because i have four cats and the one who sleeps in my room with me cleans herself at all times so i have o listen to her licking herself and I’ve gotten so upset by it that i threw a bottle at her. i later apologies by giving her lots of kisses and treats. but i’m always yelling at her. i also have two dogs and they are so loud when they eat/drink i can hear it from my room which is on the second floor and the eat on the main floor. also nights are terrible because my bedroom has a bed built into the wall and right under me is the squeaky staircase and my mom and dad go up and down it like 30 times before the go to bed and then they open and close their bedroom door like five times letting the dogs in and out and their room is right across from mine so i have to listen to this every night. also my mom like going to the movies we go about once a month and last time it was so bad that i almost turned around and punched this one girl in the face but i didn’t thank god i would have been grounded. i’m thirteen and i started getting misophodes right after i turned 12. its honestly so nice when i have to go to school because everyone’s talking so i don’t have to listen to my trigger noise and if i do its not as bad. but on the rare occasion that my class is sighlent theres always a kid coughing and i just wanna choke them because it make me so bad. lunch isn’t that bad though. because were to busy talking to eat. oh i also hate high heel shoes sounds in the hallway from my school. my ex was always making me mad because he kept putting his phone next to his keyboard and it makes so much noise and he would say isn’t that satisfying, so i would be sitting in bed lying to him saying yeah….. getting ready to drink bleach. i don’t know why but i just wana scream and yell at all the people i love when they make these noises somethimes when my dad slurps his drink and then leave for a minute to do something i dump his drink out. but i have worse vision of stuff i wanna do. like take his drink and throw it out the window or in his face. oh and getting milkshakes is tourcher because puts his straw like where its just barley touching the milkshake bt its making the slurping sound and i am always yellng at him to put the freaking straw all the way in the freaking milkshake. now anytime i drive with them i sit in the back if i don’t have their phone to use cause i don’t have my own, or if i do get their phone i put the sound to full blast just so i don’t have to listen to them. car sounds also annoy me. the hole time i was writing this my cat was cleaning herself so i have to listen to music but at this point i just tap her on the head and she stops for a minute or two but then she does it again. i kicked her out of my room ten(i counted) times because she comes in and then just starts cleaning herself. heres a list of my trigger noise. breathing any kind mostly heavy and mouth but any kind makes me mad, chewing can’t stand it when anything is being chewed, drinking, slurping, cats licking themselves, dogs eating, dogs drinking, dogs barking, toilets flushing, babies crying, walking on wood floor with heels, lip smacking, squeaky floor/stairs, some peoples laughs thats one reason i broke up with my ex because of his laugh, keyboards, tv static, crunching, crickets and frogs oh and loquats. and there’s the list i need help! i mean i already have dyslexia and auditory processing so i already have problems but the misophonia is out of hand!!!

    Reply
  56. Ellie

    Wow, I JUST found out this was a thing. My mom sent me a link just as shocked!
    I cannot stand the sound of people eating or any kind of tapping. I literally will throw shoes at my cat if it’s eating near me because I can’t stand it! My kids tap their feet, their pencils, rap on windows etc and I feel like a horrible mom when I yell at them to stop but it’s instant rage and I can’t deal with it.

    Thanks for the awesome article and tips. Still struggling with what to do in the car when I have to tell my kids for the 400th time to stop tapping, clicking their tongues or making slurping noises while I’m driving.

    Reply
  57. J

    I work next to a guy who has a stand up desk and walks on a treadmill all day every day(constant noise from the treadmill and the tapping of his feet as he walks) Every day at lunch he gets something stuck in his throat and spends the rest of the day coughing. It’s almost unbearable. Has there been any recent findings on ways to reverse the reaction? I get home every day and feel like I’m going to pass out from the anxiety.

    Reply
  58. Imane

    Reading your article during an escape session from a colleague who keeps eating apples. For me, the eating, chewimg, licking sounds are the worst. Even when my cat starts licking herself I get very irritated.

    I am already applying most of your tips. But it helped to know the agmydala are the ones responsible for the very confusing panic attack. Explain why it just happens without me being able to prevent it despite all efforts.

    I am still having hard time not hating the responsible
    person at that very moment, but I started telling my self that the trigger is a kind of energy sucker, and that I will not let it suck my energy up.

    My familly is understanding, but they still think I have some kind of craziness. I don’t want to take medication, so coping technique are the only thing left.

    Thanks again!
    Imane

    Reply
  59. her

    My office is my personal hell…. 5 days a week, 8 hrs per day… I talked to my boss twice- she didn’t get it at all. I was trying to explain, what is going on and how it feels. She just blinked with no understandindg and she keeps sniffing…. Most people are sniffing- my manager is the worst. He has got this nervous tick, I am afraid, and it is very compulsive nose sound. One lady is regularly smacking her lips… I am just afraif of my general health now.

    Reply
  60. Michelle Bills

    This is a great article. Thanks for this. For those of you who use headphones but tire of the music, I’ve found a program called “BrainWave.” It uses alpha sound waves to help achieve/alter moods. You’d think I’d hate it with the repetitive nature of it, but it helps me a ton when I need to escape the clanking of forks on dishes with coworkers or the throat clearers and sighers etc. Now, if I could just figure out the implant so that I can do it automatically when my kids are drumming their fingers on the table or when my pets are cleaning themselves. 🙂

    Reply
    • Laura (Laurance)

      Hello, Michelle…can you give us a URL for this program? Tell us more, please! Is it an MP3 thing, or some sort of app? Do we have to have one of those smart telephones, or do we use some sort of pod thing?

      Reply
  61. Miso Mom

    Excellent article and information! Thanks so much everyone!

    Reply
  62. May

    I do not see this as a disorder, I see it as my own personal quicker. I want to head punch people who chew loudly next to me. However. I have self control. As there is no way to make people chew chips softer, quieter. It is something I have to deal with. Call it what you will. I just see it as one of lifes trials.

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi May, thanks for the comment. Yes, it’s certainly a trial. Every person with misophonia has to exercise a great deal of self control each day and I think this is a credit to us all. The evidence does also suggest that misophonia is a genuine neurological disorder (in the same way dyslexia is a neurological disorder).

      Reply
    • Laura (Laurance)

      Hello, May…I don’t know what you mean by a “quicker”.
      That’s a word I’m unfamiliar with. It sounds to me as if loud crunching sounds are a simple pet peeve for you, a minor annoyance, a mere irritation. “Just” one of life’s trials.

      Misophonia isn’t “just one of life’s trials”. There’s nothing “just” or trivial about it!

      This is serious and life-ruining, utterly destructive to relationships and functioning in daily life. Those of us who have this problem for real cannot minimize the damage this disorder does to us.

      “Self control”? Well, obviously we can’t go around hitting people and freaking out! Obviously we have to use “self control”! We don’t want to end up in jail for assault and battery!

      The extreme difficulty of managing this problem consumes so very much of our emotional and mental energy. It’s exhausting and debilitating and cannot be dismissed as a trifle.

      You’re very lucky that this is nothing more than a little personal preference for you.

      I myself felt so relieved to learn that I am not the only one, not a freak, not crazy, not a bad person, that I’m not making this up, and that the extreme miseries I go through are for real. This is a genuine disorder and not a matter of personal taste.

      Reply
    • Paul

      May, you don’t get to decide what is or isn’t a disorder.

      Reply
  63. Anna

    My mom constantly belittles my Misophonia and tells me that it’s not real. I know it’s real, but she just won’t accept it. I love her, but she doesn’t understand how much this DOES affect me and gets defensive whenever I complain to her. It’s a constant struggle.

    Reply
  64. Esme

    I’m really scared, I really cannot stand it when people are chewing near me and my family tells me that I’m “being immature” and I should just “grow up”.

    Also for some reason I can’t stand certain people talking sometimes? I don’t know why it just makes me furious!

    Please help me, I’m only 12 and this is ruining my life!!!

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi Esme, I’m so sorry to hear that.

      I promise you that you’re not alone, you’re not going mad, and that by practising the right coping mechanisms this will get easier (search this site for coping if you want inspiration). You can have a really wonderful and fulfilling life with misophonia.

      Can you point your family towards some of the latest studies and research on misophonia? You can find links to a bunch of studies in the research section of this website from some of the world’s leading neuroscientists. Knowledge and understanding is the key here as it’s a very tricky disorder for most people to get their heads around.

      Wishing you all the best.

      Reply
  65. Elizabeth

    Thanks for this site. I don’t have misophonia, but I’m pretty sure my 9 year old son does. But only with his twin sister eating. He can sit with 10 other people eating at a table, but can’t be on the same floor of the house when his sister eats. We haven’t had a family dinner in about a year. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Laura (Laurance)

      Hello, Elizabeth…your post sure rings a bell for me! I’m an old woman now, 77, and my problem appeared, well, when I was a kid like your son. I can identify! Family meals were pure hell for me.

      It was my mother in particular. The sound of her chewing made me feel like electric shocks were going up and down my spine. I felt like I was going crazy. I wanted to jump up and run away screaming! Chewing, breathing noises, oh, I hated mealtimes!!

      I gather that some people with misophonia are pained when *anyone* is making the trigger sound.

      But what I came to see in *my* case is that the misophonia appears when I have some sort of problem with the person who makes the sound. I feel oppressed in some way. I feel trapped in some way, but I can’t talk about it and solve the problem.

      My mother was critical and harsh with me. She imposed so many rules upon my sister and me. I was failing over and over. My mother told me I was willfully bad, doing things because I was born bad.

      I remember severe stress, strong pressure, suffering daily because of my failure to live up to her standards. I wanted to be a good girl and fit into the family and society. But I was failing. I now know I have ADD/ADHD with co-morbid Tourette’s and very mild OCD symptoms. But these weren’t diagnosed until I was in my mid-fifties. I wasn’t a bad girl…I couldn’t help it.

      And I couldn’t stand her bodily sounds! No! No! I was going crazy at mealtimes and I couldn’t understand what was going on! Crunching and grinding and snuffling, no! No!

      I’m so grateful to have stumbled upon this site after all these years, these decades, and learned that I’m not making it all up!

      And I grew up and got married to a man who was very emotionally and psychologically abusive. Once again I was going crazy at dinner with the chewing sounds. I coped by playing music at dinner and struggling to keep myself together.

      But our little girl? Her eating sounds didn’t bother me. And our dog going slurp slurp? No, no problem. And our cats going nibble nibble nibble? No problem. Only the abusive husband.

      Thank goodness he stayed up late, and I could go to bed and fall asleep before he came to bed. The breathing sounds made me totally crazy if I had to hear them!

      Time passed, there was a divorce, and eventually a second marriage to a man who knew how to look really good before we were married, but then, once I was legally handcuffed to this person he became an abuser. (Wonder why I’m sour on marriage?)

      Please! Please! Don’t crunch potato chips by my ears! Misophonia torture!

      But pussy cats crunching their Kitty Crunchies? No problem!

      Bedtime? A horror show, those breathing and snoring sounds!

      But a snuffling dog next to me in bed, and cats purring across my legs? Just fine!

      Now, what this says to me is that my misophonia is connected to my feeling trapped and disempowered in some way. When I get this creepy-crawly feeling and want to jump up and run away screaming when someone is making a bodily sound, it tells me I have some sort of problem with this person, some kind of unfinished and unacknowledged business going on.

      Now I know what’s wrong with me and I no longer have to feel guilty and anxious. I know what is going on with me when I have misophonia symptoms. I have to figure out what my problem is with this person or this situation. Hey, I think we have a problem, let’s bring it out into the light and talk about it.

      My body/mind is trying to send me a message. Something is wrong with this relationship. I need to figure it out if I want to end the suffering. My body has to communicate indirectly because my social situation won’t let me speak up or even recognize a problem.

      So when I read your post I thought, Okay, twins here. This brother has no problem with other people. But when it’s his twin sister something is happening. Is there some problem with his sister that this boy can’t talk about for some reason?

      Do you need to take a hard look at the relationship between these twins? Does your boy feel disadvantaged or disempowered in some way and is unable to figure out why he’s unhappy – or even comprehend that there *is* a problem or how to solve it? Is his misophonia a cry for help?

      My heart goes out to your son! I’ve been there! And I hope you and your family can figure out what’s happening rather than leaving your boy to suffer and not comprehend what’s going on and not get it figured out until he’s approaching middle age.

      Oh, I hope you and your family will be able to solve this problem! Thank you very much, Good Mother, for not thinking your son is a willfully bad boy who deserves to be punished. Thank you for going on the Internet and finding this site and information instead of condemning your boy. There was no Internet in the late 1940’s, so I can’t blame my mother for her ignorance. But I’m grateful to you on behalf of your son, that you’re giving your young man the chance nobody gave me back in the old days.

      Reply
  66. Karrots

    Thank you so much for these strategies! I’m trying to help my teen (and thus our whole family) with this. knowing this is an actual disorder hasn’t helped us get through family dinners and holidays any better, but we are definitely going to try some of these excellent suggestions and hopefully find our way through it together. Again, thank you!

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Hi Karrots, you are so welcome! I hope some of these help.

      Reply
  67. Marianne

    Thank you so much for writing this! It means so much to me.

    Before I had known this was a real disorder called misophonia, I was having these problems, and I blamed it on everyone around me for being disgusting. I constantly yelled at my siblings to eat properly and would scream into my pillow every time my mom coughed from 4 rooms over.
    My mom realized this and sent me to the doctor explaining how I “hated hearing insignificant sounds” and my doctor made me do a depression quiz. Then the doctor sent me home saying that it was “just a phase.” I was so pissed and the noises were just getting worse and worse, so I searched it up and found your article.

    I’m too scared to ask my mom to take me to the doctor for this again because she already hates that I have my headphones in 24/7 and avoid being around everyone, but at least I know that what I have has a name. That’s enough to put me at ease. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  68. Diane Merriman

    I, too, discovered I had this problem through the 23 and me testing. I am 71 and it has only started affecting me in the last couple of years. My husband has false teeth and whenever he chews anything, it sounds like rocks being ground up. Also, the sound of him slurping his coffee is maddening. Other triggers are any repetitive noises, like a wren tweeting every 8 seconds while in the nest in May, or rap music, etc. I am very thankful for your article and the comments of others. It helps me understand better.

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      Thanks for sharing your story Diane, so glad you found the article helpful.

      Reply
  69. Finn

    Thank you so much, I’m young and didn’t know what happened to me when I heard trigger sounds but after reading this it has opened my eyes!!!

    Reply
  70. Sagar Ganu

    Truly, it was such a relief when I came to know what I was feeling had a name and actually, it is a disorder and I am not abnormal.

    Reply
  71. Erica M,

    I’ve been suffering with this for as long as I can remember. I just found out that it was an actual condition about two years ago. Chewing and other mouth noises make me want to kill someone. Hearing people (especially my husband) eat popcorn has actually made me cry! I’m just so glad to know that I’m not crazy and I’m not alone in my struggle.

    Reply
  72. Timothy

    I live across the street from this guy whose truck sounds like a tank. And to make it worse, he drives back and forth all day in this truck. When he starts it up, he races the engine which just creates a panic in me. I like the idea of repeating to myself, “it’s not him…it’s my medical condition of misophonia.” I’ll try that but I have been wanting to move because of it. My landlord put some styrofoamy thing in the windows which has muffled the sound a bit, thank God. Like I said, he goes back and forth ALL DAY in this truck. I could see if just went in the truck less times than ALL DAY. That makes me SOOO angry at him. Someone posted about feeling ashamed about this, and that is how I feel. I want to go over there and say, “seriously, dude, you need to do something about your truck or I’m gonna’ put a banana in your tailpipe or sugar in your tank.” It sounds like a tank, I swear. I do have PTSD and had a near-fatal car accident, so maybe the sound of his truck is triggering my memories of the car wreck. If anybody knows of what I can do about this that is nonviolent (I would never do anything like mentioned above..I hope), I would appreciate the feedback. Thanks!

    Reply
    • GG

      Is it one of those Work trucks with a Diesel engine that makes the continuous loud vibration? The guy across the street from me has one. A Dodge Ram something something. I literally told him to stop parking his truck in front of my house. It made me insane. He stopped parking in front of my house period, but the fact that he lives across the street from me and still has that truck drives me insane, but I don’t hear it much anymore because I always have headphones on playing loud music to block out other triggers like barking dogs and Car Stereo Bass. I live in a dominant Hispanic American community where everyone thinks playing the loudest Bass over their car stereo is a measure of manhood. Even young women do this. I could block out the Truck engine and Dogs barking wearing headphones and playing loud music that make my ears hurt, but I can’t do anything against Bass.

      Reply
    • Hey

      Wow, my brother has this problem. He actually confronts all the neighbors who have loud mufflers or play loud base from their cars/trucks. The neighbors are nor cooperative at all. It is really something to see. He can also hear the car/truck coming from very far away, more than a normal person should.”

      Reply
  73. Amanda Samson

    Thank you for this site and the tips. I think my misophonia has got worse lately and didn’t realise that so many people also suffer from it. The problem for me is that my triggers are mainly in my own home as any intrusive noise from the neighbours in my flat sends me into a panic in a way that it wouldn’t as much if it was someone else’s flat or outside (even though I’m still slightly affected outside). I think this is because if it’s in my flat and something I can’t control I feel completely trapped. It’s also tricky as living in flats ideally requires thoughtful neighbours and not all neighbours are. It’s difficult as well as sometimes noise issues are real issues with inconsiderate neighbours. I had a young party type neighbour move in and his bass/music was coming through my wall and he wouldn’t listen to my requests to turn it down so eventually I called the local council who came out and said it was unreasonable, but the stress and anxiety it created in me was very high and my reaction to the problem was so extreme and upsetting that I don’t think other people who don’t have misophonia would have reacted this way. I have another neighbour downstairs and I can sometimes hear the bass of her TV coming through my floor which drives me mad. However, this is probably not something the council would deem ‘unreasonable’ which in some ways is more problematic. Additionally, this is an extremely inconsiderate neighbour who refused to turn down the volume and actually ended up threatening me after asking her a few times. As I’d had other issues with another neighbour it looked like I was the mad one and perhaps in some way that was the reaction from the misophonia. However, in another way, if someone can’t just turn down their TV a tiny bit for the sake of a neighbour then I feel there is also some blame in both directions, but I know we can’t control other’s behaviours and unfortunately when the noise is in my own home I think that is a big part of the trigger for me.

    Just out of interest, has anyone tried hypnosis as I was thinking about looking into this?

    Reply
  74. Phoebe Thompson

    I found out I had Misophonia when I was in the fifth grade. I’m currently a junior in high school. And as you would imagine school is a nightmare. Life is definitely a struggle. But I’m glad I’m not alone. On a scale of one to ten. Ten being the worst I am a seven.
    Unfortunately there have been times when I lost friends because of Misophonia. And the whole spending time with anyone is a struggle. We found out that listening to music through earbuds during dinner works the best. I wear an earplug in public places most the time. (Yes just one so I can still listen to a teacher for example and I can plug my other ear.
    Also every year I have a meeting with all my teachers to get accommodations and so they understand what is going on. Sometimes they still don’t understand. Which totally sucks. But oh well right? I’m aloud to leave the class when I need to and for testing. I also always have a seat on a corner closest to the door.
    When I go to the movies we get the hearing impaired headphones. It makes the movie sound louder so you can’t hear the other people in the theater. Which helps soo much.
    Hope some of these tips can help you guys as well.
    In 6th grade I was bullied because of Misophonia. The person would purposely make the noises because he knew it would drive me insane. After that I decided I wasn’t going to tell anyone about it unless I knew for certain that I could trust them and they needed to know.
    Speaking up about it is also very hard to do. And I’ve actually never met anyone that has it as well.
    Thank you for this post. I’m hoping it can help me even more.

    Reply
  75. Angga

    Thank you so much for the article. That’s lot benefit for me. I suffer from misophonia like throat clearing, heavy footsteps and loud door sound.

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      You’re very welcome Angga, so glad you’re finding it helpful.

      Reply
  76. Jenny

    I’m here because I was just talking to a friend who was eating chips while on the phone with me. The sound felt so intense that I wasn’t really responding much to what she was saying, I was so focused on not exploding. The conversation ended pretty abruptly, I think she noticed I got really quiet. I think this might help me explain things to her.

    Reply
  77. JM

    I havent yet found any successful coping strategies to help me get through this. I am a middle school student who gets picked on by people who try to make it worse. Just today in class, I had a mini panic attack and started freaking out and crying and I wasnt able to breathe. Nobody understands my dilemma and everybody thinks I am making it up to bother everybody for attention. This is the opposite from truth as I am more of a loner [because of this very condition] and try to hide these types of problems from classmates. I have known about this condition for a year or two-ish [which I predict I have had for a long time] but it seems to be getting much worse, lately. Nobody at school [or home] understands it and see my problem as No Big Deal. This makes me feel much more alone about things but reading some of the comments here has made me feel much better. The worst part is school and family meals, but especially when the teachers dont understand that I am having trouble with this. Thank you for this article.

    Reply
    • Allergic to Sound

      You’re very welcome JM. Keep at it, you can do this.

      Reply
    • Audrey

      I also started suffering with this when I was younger, and I have had to deal with family arguments over noises and uncomfortable requests to friends to please stop making certain noises. You are not alone and you can do this! One thing that really helped me in school was bringing earplugs for quiet class time or test taking time so that you can tune noises out.

      Reply
  78. Audrey

    I suffer from visual and audio cues, and I’ve found the headphones or earplugs trick works wonders. I’ve also found that finding the silver lining in the noise really helps, like for someone chewing you could think of how much they are enjoying their food, or for constant chatter you can think of how much those people are enjoying their conversation. It sounds silly, but it has helped me to ease the annoyance and anxiety that arises from my cues. For the visual, I try to turn my body or rest my head in my hand in a certain way that blocks the visual cue.

    Reply
  79. IM

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve always got annoyed by certain sounds, especially people chewing gum. I just find it disgusting and I get so annoyed because I think they’re doing it on purpose to annoy me (which is impossible because it’s people I don’t even know!) I never knew why it bothered me so much. I always listen to music on public transport and that helps a lot. Meditation is good too.

    Reply

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