This is the #7 edition of our new My Misophonia Story series. This week features Deborah (12) from Canada. Each week we’ll feature a new reader story, so if you’d like to share yours, please drop us a line. Deborah, take it away…
Where are you from?
What do you do for a living?
I’m only 12 years old, so I’m in school
What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?
I love gymnastics and playing the flute.
How old were you when you first realised you had an issue with certain sounds?
I first started having problems when I was 11, so about a year.
When did you first find out it was called misophonia?
I found out a few months ago. I thought I was going crazy but then when I saw a Buzzfeed article about misophonia and I got so happy because what I had was a real thing and I wasn’t going crazy.
What are your 3 biggest triggers?
Breathing, any eating related noise, and sniffling.
Do you have any other sensory quirks?
I can hear really high frequencies and I have an extremely strong sense of smell.
Have you told other people about your misophonia and if so what was their reaction?
Most of my friends and family know. My mom isn’t so understanding as she thinks the only treatment I need is to “Rewire my brain with breathing exercises” but she lets me eat separately from my family. At school I’m allowed to go into another room at lunch so I don’t have to be with my other class mates. My friends are understanding but they always do that thing where the come up to me and say “Does this noise bother you” and make some really annoying noise like chewing loudly. I try to explain to them that that is pretty much the equivalent of going up to someone with a broken arm, punching them in the arm, then asking them if it hurt. But they just don’t understand.
What’s your funniest/most ridiculous misophonia-related moment?
I don’t think I have any funny misophonia moments.
What helps you to cope with your misophonia?
Headphones are a absolute life saver. Also leaving the room and go to the washroom and staying in there for five minutes. If there isn’t a full meal going on, they will most likely be done eating by the time you come back.
What are you misophonic superpowers?
I have amazing hearing. I remember one time I was at my grandparents house and my mom turned on their super old TV and once the sound came on the highest pitched noise came on. It was so loud and high pitched and my mom was so confused when I immediately covered my ears and begged her to turn it off. I was so confused that she, or anyone else in the house couldn’t hear the noise.
What’s the single most useful piece of misophonia related advice you’ve learnt?
Don’t be embarrassed about having misophonia, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
What’s your very best life hack?
To open a keyring, split it open with a staple remover. It’s painless and saves time.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow misophones?
I might have some information about why we have misophonia. My mom’s cousin is a psychologist, she doesn’t know very much about misophonia, but she knows professionals who are researching misophonia. They think it might be a symptom of a different problem. I don’t mean to worry anyone because this is just their theory and it is not confirmed.
And finally! The quick fire round…
Favourite place you’ve visited:
Niagara Falls (Canadian side)
“Weight in Gold” – Gallant
We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
Favourite work of art:
The Water Lilies series by Claude Monet
5 things you couldn’t live without:
Music, friends, family, books, and chocolate