Zed Misophonia StoryThis is the #14 edition of our My Misophonia Story series. This week features Zed (37) 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. Zed, take it away…

Where are you from?

Lancashire

What do you do for a living?

Aeronautical Engineer

What are you passionate about / what are your hobbies?

Family, Dog, Paragliding

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

22

When did you first find out it was called misophonia?

About four years ago

What are your 3 biggest triggers?

Dipsticks eating crisps/crunchy food. Wet mouth (chewing gum, slurping etc)

Do you have any other sensory quirks?

I have exceptional hearing. Above average according to the audiologist. I can hear a duchess fart at a thousand paces and know when some unknowing dipstick is about to whistle through their teeth. I hate seeing people eat, tap or high heel stomp on a hollow floor.

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

Yes. At first it was just my wife but in the past year have told everyone who is able to listen. It really helps! I thought that they would react in a “that’s just weird/you’re mental/that’s not a thing” kind of way but they didn’t. Everyone close to me has been very supportive.

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

I went to town on a Gent at an outside a restaurant near a theatre about his awful, horrendous mouth noises that everyone on the planet would probably skin him for if they heard him. I picked up his food (with my hands. it was hot) and launched it across the road. Turned out he was the lead in the play that we were going to see. And he winked at me during the play. Ooops!

What helps you to cope with your misophonia?

Fidget toys/attention aids – they’re ace. Remember to focus on them and not just play with them. Spinners, cubes, spinning tops, gravity bars, Chinese balls, coins, colouring books, crappy games on your phone.

White noise generating Apps – not always tangible in social circumstances but really distracts.

In ear white noise generators – Helps to immerse in sound without listening/hearing annoying sounds.

And playing inordinate tones through my harmonica. Sometime when sounds are reaching the point of eruption, I get out my harmonica and just blow through it. People stop what they’re doing, look at me, don’t really know what just happened and tend to stop the annoyance. A friend of mine shouts “Danke shoen” wicked loud and has the same effect.

What are you misophonic superpowers?

My job involves me inspecting carbon fibre vehicles for flaws. Often I have to tap the surface to listen for changes in pitch. My attention to detail and changes in the noise enables me too identify irregularities quickly and accurately. I get it when my buddies are stressed, wife’s had a bad day or my son is frustrated. #theygetittoo.

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

You’re not a mentalist. Thousands of people around the globe are suffering with the same thing. Remember though, the people making the hated noises aren’t doing it to wind you up. They don’t know it winds you up and why would they!

What’s your very best life hack?

A wet knife cuts through mushrooms and eggs really easily without them breaking. Perfect slices.

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

Yes. Whinge, whine, tell the people you love, tell the people you don’t, tell your colleagues. Push the medical professionals and don’t take no for an answer. Misophonia is “a thing”. It’s ruining lives and needs recognition. I’m getting help. We all need help. We can all get help.

And finally! The quick fire round…

Favourite place you’ve visited:

Nepal

Favourite song:

Way on Down by Elvis Presley

Favourite book:

The doors of perception – Aldous Huxley

Favourite work of art:

Land Rover Defender 90. By Land Rover. No arguing, it’s a work of art ya’ll.

5 things you couldn’t live without:

Family. Fidget toys, Shorts, Elvis, weather Apps and my spork.