Clare’s Misophonia Story

by | Oct 28, 2019 | My Misophonia | 5 comments

My Miso Story Clare

This is the #42 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Clare (28) from the UK. Each week we’ll feature a new reader story, so if you’d like to share yours, please drop us a line. Clare, take it away…

Where are you from?

London, UK.

What do you do for a living?

I market books.

What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?

In no particular order: swimming, yoga, surfing, reading. Generally learning new things and living well.

How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?

About 9. I used to share a bedroom with my brother and the sound of his breathing at night drove me mad.

When did you first find out it was called misophonia?

My brother found out about it online about 5 years ago. He has it too.

What are your 3 biggest triggers? 


Do you have any other sensory quirks?

Yes, I have Synaesthesia – all numbers and letters have colours. My brother also has this too. There’s clearly a gene in the family.

Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?

I’ve only recently started to open up and talk about it. Some people have heard of it, others haven’t, but everyone so far has listened and tried their best to understand.

Because of the lack of awareness, and the unhelpful narrative that goes with it (selfish, intolerant etc.), I’ve spent years managing it on my own, but I’ve recently accepted that it’s not my fault and by speaking up I can begin to shape my life in a way that’s less triggering.

What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?

Missing a train because I’d forgotten to pack earplugs and I refused to travel without buying some first.

What helps you to cope with your misophonia?

• Earphones and Spotify
• Earplugs – there’s a particular kind called ‘Muffles Wax Earplugs’ you can get from Boots (a UK pharmacy) which are amazing
• Physically moving to another seat or removing myself completely from the room – always the best option
• Not being able to see the trigger – I’ll sit in a certain way or put an object in the way to block my view
• Taking regular breaks throughout my day – I’ll go for a walk or sit somewhere quiet
• White noise such as rainymood.com is very good for drowning out clicking sounds
• Having the radio or music on in the background when eating with noisy eaters
• Always opting for the quiet seats e.g. on the end of a row, at the back or the front of the room
• Surrounding myself with calm and considerate people
• Self-care – particularly sleep, avoiding things which can make me more sensitive (e.g. caffeine, alcohol, sugary treats), exercising, scheduling quiet time.
• Not being too hard on myself and knowing that I’m not crazy!

What are your misophonic superpowers?

It makes me hyper-aware of how noisy our world is, how far removed we’ve become from living in-line with our true nature and how agitated most people are (the amount of nervous, twitchy, shaky body language I notice!). Consequently, I spend a lot of time reflecting on what it means to be human nowadays and how we can best live in the world we’ve created.

It also led me to become a yoga teacher. Finding peace in my external world is hard, but yoga and meditation mean I always have a way of accessing quiet within myself. This for me is the ultimate life skill and why I learnt to pass it on to others.

What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?

To notice the moments where it’s good i.e. you’re not being triggered. It’s easy to focus on the negatives but actually there are lots of times in the day where it’s fine.

What’s your very best life hack?

Drink water. Lots of it.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?

Just that it would be great to meet one day!

And finally! The quick fire round…

Favourite place you’ve visited:

Sri Lanka

Favourite song:

Because the Night by Patti Smith

Favourite book:

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Favourite work of art:

Birthday by Dorothea Tanning

5 things you couldn’t live without:

Loved ones, lip balm, books, hot water bottle, a kettle (for nice teas and filling up the hot water bottle)

5 Comments

  1. Ryan

    I really liked reading this story. Recently i’ve been trying to do my own research to get to the heart of this. I’m also 28, male, UK and creative leaning like Clare. Misokinesia is a problem for me mainly, although i am also sensitive to sounds mainly from loved ones. I also have tinnitus. I’ve struggled to have a good relationship with my dad because he constantly fidgets and doesn’t keep still, literally every second and i can’t be around him, despite the fact that i love him. I have to tell him to stop fidgeting, but he carries on.

    Like Clare stated, she can see ‘ how agitated most people are (the amount of nervous, twitchy, shaky body language I notice!)’ and it’s terrible to witness.

    I wonder if this is a problem which is more prevalent in millennials like me and Clare? Could it be linked to our parent’s lifestyle, like whether they smoked, radiation exposure, the pill and how it affects children’s development in the womb. We already know that the pill destroys the gut bacteria, as well as smoking, and can cause issues in children. Two things which my mum did. Gut bacteria is passed down maternally. I had eczema as a kid (eczema is caused by poor gut health), but grew out of it thankfully. My sister has some sort of bi-polar, again psychotic conditions are linked to poor gut health. Like Clare, my sibling, my sister, also has some OCD and misophonia, and anxiety issues; she is 9 years younger than me.

    These are just additional things to take notice of which could be connected; who knows, as I can’t find a great deal of research.

    Anyway, Clare is right about meditation, exercise, connect with nature, and cut out all sugar. All are helpful in reducing cortisol and adrenalin. It has helped me a bit. But i wish my Misokinesia would disappear for good because of my relationship with my dad.

    Reply
  2. Liz Gomes

    Hey Ryan … perhaps Claire’s symptoms and yours are not only experienced by millennials and parents etc. I have pretty much all the symptoms as well. No parental influence,
    ( lost both as a teen). Besides I am an advanced senior citizen who has had all these symptoms since early childhood. My coping mechanisms have been biofeedback and simple avoidance or leave the situation. It doesn’t get any better or worst as I age- just constant.
    P.S. oh forgot, the tinnitus gets worst as I get older. Hope this helps. Liz

    Reply
  3. Elizabeth Gomes

    Misophonia. Tinnitus. Etc all these symptoms are experienced by seniors as well as millennials. Liz

    Reply
  4. Valerie

    Hey Ryan,

    What you said intrigued me. I am from Canada. Apparently my grandfather who was born in the 1930’s and who I never met, suffered from Misophonia. Growing up when I would get triggered and lash out, my mother would also say how I was just like her dad and they weren’t allowed to eat carrots around him or he would go mad.

    It was therefore not a learned behaviour for me, as I never met him but interestingly seems to be something thats hereditary and he was obviously not a millennial. I do have cousins who suffer from mild cases of Misophonia however I wonder if theirs is a learned behaviour from my pepere as they had the chance to spend many years with him before he passed as they are 20 years older than me.

    I think it may be a little bit of both.

    Reply
  5. paul

    Its really helpful finding this site and being able to share my experience of misophonia , the areas that i seem to struggle and cause me great stress are such a variety that its comforting to know im not the only person who struggles in the way that i do.
    I have been diagnoised with ADHD which often is a great challange in it self. I am 55 years old and was diagnoised in my early 50’s.
    Some of the areras that cause me to get stressed and often feel angry because i feel trapped.
    people eating loudly say chewing gum, eating and apple or crisps. loud noises can really get too me.
    I also in the last few years been getting even more stressed when ladies are touching their hair in a certain way it really gets to me. another area that gets to me with a similar emotion is when i notice people that have certain teeth missing it makes me feel very uncomfortable around them and i want to avoid being in their company, it feels like im scared.
    does anyone relate to any thing that ive shared loved to hear peoples views.

    Reply

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