What is Misophonia?

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 (when people eat), 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.

There’s still a long way to go, and while misophonia is starting to become recognised as a genuine neurological disorder, health professionals are largely in the dark about the condition (very few have even heard of it). Doctors will often prescribe treatment or medication for depression or OCD.

To date the word ‘misophonia’ is yet to be included in the Oxford dictionary. For a brief history of misophonia, what causes it and what is means, click here:

Did Darwin, Kafka and Proust suffer from Misophonia?

Darwin was said to find 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 condition. One of the greatest tasks ahead is to try to work out how sufferers can work alongside misophonia and lead full and fulfilling lives that harness the positive aspects of the condition.

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