Share Your Tips for Coping with Misophonia

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This topic contains 56 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Court 3 days, 23 hours ago.

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  • #1008947 Reply

    Carin

    Hi, everyone – lifelong misophone here, daughter of another misophone. I have serious problems with repetitive high-pitched noises, bass sounds such as music outside or neighbor sounds, and breathing sounds. My mom’s version focuses more around mouth sounds, but she shares the repetitive noises thing with me. We’ve both developed a lot of coping mechanisms over the years, but I’ve recently found something which does a far better job.

    I know I’ll sound like a spokesperson for Bose here, but hand to God, I promise I’m not. Bose recently came out with a thing called Sleep Buds. I took an interest in them because I had been considering buying specialized hearing aids for tinnitus sufferers which pump pink or white noise into your ear, but they’re somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 across the board, absolutely unaffordable. The Sleep Buds are $250, and they are, if anything, better than the hearing aids, because you actually can sleep with them in, unlike a hard hearing aid or noise-canceling headphones. They use bluetooth to play a selection of white/pink sounds in your ear, and they have a battery life of about sixteen hours.

    With the ear buds in, but not turned on, the volume on the world is turned down already. Played softly, the ‘downstream’ track eliminates crackling, gurgling, and whistling from speech sounds. Played at mid-range, eating noises are eliminated. Played at the highest level, I can’t hear anything but the very loudest noises, for instance, a door slamming right nearby. Snoring, chewing, snorting, clicking, all of it GONE. My husband played Youtube videos of my most rage-inducing sounds, and I couldn’t hear them. Guys – I could not hear them at all. I don’t even need them in all the time, because having them nearby and knowing I can put them in whenever I need to is a stress reducer by itself.

    To some, $250 is a lot of money, but I can’t say this fervently enough: the salvation of your sanity is worth this price. Please get it, get it now, and find out what it’s like not to have your system soaking in adrenaline all the time. It’s like getting to leave hell at last.

    #1008994 Reply

    CJ

    Pulling faces at people talking with food in their mouths has given me a lot of success. Saying “Urgh” is a sarcastic, but friendly manner has often worked a treat. It also calms me down a little, somehow!

    A long and sustained “BBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” at people tapping or clicking pens has done wonders for me.

    It still bemuses me why people are so oblivious and ignorant with how I react.

    #1009062 Reply

    Bobbi

    I’m now in a very pro-active phase of trying to manage my Misophonia because it is affecting my relationship with my boyfriend. I just set up an appointment with a Behavioral Therapist. He seems to have a least a glancing understanding of the disorder. I also am going to go to an audiologist with the hope of getting some sort of a hearing devise to play “white noise” whenever I’m triggered.

    #1009150 Reply

    Jade

    I have a few coping mechanisms. One is to just play music to drown out the other sound or mimic the sound being made. This helps for most of my triggers.

    I also have the trigger of sounds made by certain fabrics when someone starts shaking their leg. I’ve noticed that if I start shaking my leg then I trick my brain into thinking I’m making the sound and then it doesn’t bother me.

    #1009217 Reply

    Rdw

    Just wanted to say that hearing people’s triggers can be triggering. This thread title is tips for coping – now what sets you off. It would be great if just tips could get posted, or if we could start a new thread that is just tips.

    #1009224 Reply

    Eliza

    Has anyone tried high fidelity earplugs, like Vibes or Eargasm? I’ve used silicone earplugs for years, but I’m looking for something more healthy and durable.

    Or, can anyone share experiences with wireless earbuds?

    #1009500 Reply

    Isabella

    I remember when I was a kid the sound of chewing never bothered me. Then one day out of the blue I started noticing people chewing. Ever since around 8th grade I have had the biggest problem with gum chewing, loud smacking, and the sound of a fork scarping someones teeth. My parents used to get so upset at me when I would tell them to stop chewing or that the sound bothered me but then they discovered this was an actual disorder. When I found this out I was finally able to not feel insane but I still absolutely HATE the feeling I get. All my friends know about my disorder but I still have lots of problems dealing with it. I can feel them all hate me when I ask if they wouldn’t mind spitting their gum out. Im also about to start college and am sooooo scared about gum chewing. How would someone handle it if you were in a meeting and someone was chewing gum? I mean you cant leave so what are you supposed to do?

    #1009578 Reply

    Gordon

    @Isabella, I had a huge problem with this in college, I didn’t realize until much later that I had misophonia, and did not really have many good coping mechanisms. Couple that with being an auditory learner and I had a really tough time.

    If I had to do it over I would definitely try and get some help from whatever department handles disabilities — get a private room for test taking, see if you can record the lectures to listen to later (without someone chewing gum, snacking, or whispering behind you), get any other help they might offer. Sitting in the front of the class is good for engaging, but the absolute worst for misophonia, so try sitting in the back of the class. Also, keep earplugs with you at all times just in case.

    #1009601 Reply

    Sarah

    Unfortunately, although I suffer from the condition, hate eating around others, cannot bear certain sounds, chewing gum, smacking lips, slurping soup etc. I have the most understanding husband who bought home a pair of ear defenders from his work. They look industrial, so probably won’t look cool on the bus etc but boy, do they cut out the noise when he is eating. Bless him!

    #1010021 Reply

    Robotance

    Here are some techniques I have learned throughout the years to improve everyday life as a person with Misophonia:

    • Use white noise.
    • Use earplugs.
    • Music therapy.
    • Headsets at the theater.
    • Imagine yourself in their shoes.
    • Leave and breathe.
    • Explain it to people.
    • Therapy.
    #1010031 Reply

    Hunter

    The coping techniques so far divide between those that physically exclude the sound (by leaving the room or drowning it out), and what I’ll call experiential: those that work through dealing with the sound. I have used the former, but at 35 now, I want the latter, as I want to exist in everyday life where these noises are without withdrawing.

    As a teen, the one experiential technique that offered a glimmer of hope, when covering my ears was impossible, was mimicking the noise. I think what helped was the brief control. There was something I could do to deflate the power the noise had over me and throw it back on itself. Eventually it’s a war of attrition—people always seem to have more energy to make the sound than I have to combat it—and its utility eventually wears off.

    My experience is complex when I suffer from a sound: there’s the 1) pain it causes me, 2) anger that rises up, 3) feeling of loss of control over myself, 4) isolating self-focus as I’m drawn into myself where the pain is rather than being with people in the real world, 5) the fear of it, the shame and guilt, self-judgement and eventually self-pity from suffering and fuming over something so “small.”

    The “be happy in the situation” that some have mentioned is interesting if it actually reduces the problem. I think what might work about that is to keep a person outside of themselves, instead of going inside. I’m looking into “tapping” right now; a series of taps you perform on different pressure points on your body to reduce anxiety and pain. Obviously not something I could do while a sound is happening but maybe preventatively as a way of dealing with the fear and my feelings around the noises.

    I think there may be some hope in what one person brought up about EMDR. My counselor did one session of that with me a long time ago in regards to noises my dad makes, and a few of the milder noises he makes that used to bother me don’t anymore. I don’t know why I didn’t follow up with more sessions of that—the technique feels a little silly and I was afraid it was a little like hypnotism, which I don’t like—but I’m going to try it again and will report back, as I’m sure we all will, if it or anything else helps.

    #1010072 Reply

    Court

    Hi, I have had misophonia for as long as I can remember. It has only ever effected my life negativley it forces me to alienate myself from my friends and my family and they wondery why I do it because I feel like I am unable to explain it. Honestly I have multiple times but im either hit with “your crazy” or “It’s in your head”. There is no professional help around my area (Buffalo NY) and I feel lost and consumed by this disorder. I feel as though all its doing is pulling me away from any relationships with people and I cant even explain why because Im dealing with something literally only other people with it can truly understand. Some people Ive told say they understand and then they sit right next to me and start eating and then I either have to be weird by asking them to moving or by me leaving the room. It causes so much social anxiety creating angry thoughts that I dont even want to have about my friends but when I hear them making chewing noises it makes me want to punch them in the face. This disorder is eating me from the inside out and I feel like I cant tell anyone who will understand or talk to anyone face to face who has studied it or at least had the same issues. There are no professionals to talk to except for a therapist which isnt a terrible thing but its clearly not a good solution at all. All im asking is do I have a chance at living a normal life or will I constantly be in a battle with myself hurting everyone around me?

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