Misophonia literally means “hatred of sound”.
It comes from the Greek words miso meaning “hate” and phon meaning “sound”. It’s also known as ‘Selective Sound Sensitivity’.
So what is it?
Simply put, misophonia sufferers have an adverse reaction to certain noises or sounds. Typically these sounds include chewing, lip smacking, tapping, crunching, rustling at other common day-to-day sounds.
Misophonia, noun, “A neurological disorder in which negative experiences, such as anger or disgust, are triggered by specific sounds”
Very little research has been done into misophonia and to date less than 200,000 ‘known cases’ have come forward for diagnosis.
However, thanks to more recent exposure on Internet health forums, Twitter and community portals such as Reddit, the condition is starting to be talked about and recognised.
This is fantastic, but we still have a long way to go.
While misophonia is starting to become recognised as a genuine neurological disorder, health professionals are largely in the dark about it (very few have ever even heard of it). Doctors too often prescribe treatment or medication for depression, anxiety or OCD.
To date the word ‘misophonia’ is yet to be included in the Oxford dictionary. For a history of misophonia, what causes it and what is means, click here:
Did Darwin, Kafka and Proust suffer from Misophonia?
Darwin was said to have found it extremely difficult to filter out noise when he was working, as did Kafka.
Proust once said: “I need solitude for my writing; not “like a hermit” – that wouldn’t be enough – but like a dead man.”
There’s evidence to suggest that a number of prominent, historical figures may have suffered from the disorder. One of the greatest tasks ahead is to try to work out how sufferers can work with their misophonia and lead happy, fulfilling lives that harness the positive aspects of it.
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This wonderful video guide comes from Dr Jennifer Jo Brout, founder of the Misophonia and Emotion Program at Duke University and the Director of the International Misophonia Research Network (IMRN). You can find more of her work online here at Misophonia International...
It's one of the great unsolved mysteries... Forget the Voynich Manuscript, quantum entanglement or Prince Harry's living arrangements... How on earth do you pronounce misophonia? “Is it meee-so-phonia, mizz-o-phonia… or miss-oh-phonia?” I’ve spoken to a number of...
Mum was my biggest misophonia trigger growing up. The day-to-day sounds she made (through no fault of her own) just seemed to trigger me more than anything else in the world. Far more than teachers, school friends or strangers. It was as if every sound she made went...