This is the #18 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Jim (37) from the USA. Each week we’ll feature a new reader story, so if you’d like to share yours, please drop us a line. Jim, take it away…

Where are you from?

Illinois – Chicago land

What do you do for a living?

Graphic Designer / Quality Assurance

What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?

Sports, Nature / Wildlife, Movies (at home without a bunch of people eating popcorn), Going for Walks, Jogging, the Beach, Traveling, Gardening / Landscaping, Trying new restaurants, building things…

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

It probably really started to kick in around 16 / 17 years old.

When did you first find out it was called misophonia?

4-5 years ago when doing research about being sensitive to sound.

What are your 3 biggest triggers?

People eating (as I am sure it is for most), when I can hear people stomping/walking around on the floor above me (specially when the floor boards squeak), AND cutting finger nails.

Do you have any other sensory quirks?

I tend to be sensitive to textures of foods. If I see people eat, sometimes that bugs me too.

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

I have told people at work about it and they think it’s weird. So lot of times they will come down to my office to eat an apple in front of me. There is also a gentlemen who always tells me he knows the human brain and has studied it. I just need to get over this. He always tells me the best way for me to get over this is to experience it first hand (exposure technique) and learn to deal with it.

I do feel bad for my family cause they try to be cautious about it which is really nice but I want them to feel comfortable to do anything. I do not want them to change their ways cause of me.

There are a lot of people who I do not tell.

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

I wish I had a funny moment. I always seem to try to get away from it. Panic and anger take over.

What helps you to cope with your misophonia?

I try to relax or take deep breathes to relax myself but that does not really work. Head phones work the best for me and I sleep with a fan on cause it drowns out a lot of noises and I can relax. I do turn a fan on at work sometimes as well to drowned out the sound.

One interesting experience is when I went to see a therapist once about this (she did not even know about misophonia), she tried eating chips in front of me but that did not actually bother me so much. I told her I thought it did no bother me cause she was trying to help me in the sense and I knew that so it did not bother me. My focus also was not on something else or trying to relax. I was trying to improve my well being.

Noises bother me almost all the time, but if I tend to be more stressed out or in a rush, the sounds bother me even more and I cannot concentrate.

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

Enjoy the peaceful quiet times! : )

What’s your very best life hack?

Treat others the way you would like to be treated. And farts are usually funny!

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

You’ve always got hope that one day there will be a healing treatment to sensitive sounds!

And finally! The quick fire round…

Favourite place you’ve visited:

Fort Myers Beach, FL (very relaxing with good restaurants and bars in walking distance)

Favourite song:

Jars of Clay – Worlds Apart

Favourite book:

I should read more to exercise my brain!

Favourite work of art:

I don’t have a specific work of art but I usually love anything that has to do with landscapes, nature, beaches, and abstract. Love wood work as well. It’s so easy know to find local artist or artists from anywhere that are not big names but do amazing work.

5 things you couldn’t live without:

(Only 5, lol) TV, Family, God, A Fan when I sleep, Food (Ironically, lol. Even though I can’t stand the way a lot of foods sound when eating and we need it to live, I do love good food – cheese, pizza, pasta, combo’s, wings, burger, etc… Love different restaurants and cooking at home)

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