for misophonia’s sake mind your manners.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a noise? Yes. Not because it literally made a noise but because I probably heard the reverberated vibrations of annoyance the crack from the tree falling made and made some nasty remark about cutting down all the trees in the world after hearing it (I know not very “green”..sorry). If a tree fell on the moon (saying hypothetically the moon had trees) I would hear it.

Kevin was watching the Today show the other morning while I was in the shower and when I came down he told me I had to watch the next segment because he finally figured out what was wrong with me.

“Wrong with me?” I asked thinking, good morning to you too honey.

“You will see, trust me.”

Knowing Kevin, who thinks A) 99% of what is on the Today show is crazy (props KLG and Hoda) and B) that everything and everyone is over diagnosed I knew something was up.

And how right he was….

The segment came on and as soon as they described what could only be liked to a severe “allergy” to specific noises it was like the heavens opened and angels sang.

They call it misophonia. It is an EXTREME sensitivity to noise. Chewing. Typing. Breathing. Taping. Clicking. Popping. Crinkling. Teeth touching silverware. They are all the equivalent to water boarding torture to me, having bamboo shoots shoved up my finger nails or better yet having my blood literally boiling inside of my body. They say that people with misophonia actually register specific noise as pain and have a severe irrational “fight or flight” reaction to it.

And yes it is that bad.

I can’t go to movies, people eating popcorn and fidgeting with their cardboard noise death traps (boxes of candy) makes me so angry and irritated I can’t even hear the movie. By the time we leave my blood pressure is so high and I have such a migraine and I am exhausted from trying to just sit and enjoy the movie like everyone else. I beg myself to “suck it up” but I can’t.

When I was little I actually burst into tears when I had a sleepover and one of my friends ate chips with their mouth open. I just cried and cried saying the noise actually hurt.

No one understood. I felt crazy. So all I could do is try to keep a straight face when hearing these noises all the while I felt like I was dying on the inside.

If someone sucks on hard candy or cough drop around me my brain literally short circuits. The nerves in my head explode and all I can do it pray that it will stop.

Poor Kevin has had to deal with it our entire relationship. When we first started dating in middle school he would swish his pop in his mouth before swallowing it. Even though it made my insides crawl I still loved him – that’s how I know he is my soul mate. That is some serious love.

Over the years I am pretty sure his saliva has evolved to be highly acidic is hopes of placating me. He is careful with every chew and usually eats with a plastic spoon or fork to minimize clinking.

My pugs can’t sit or stay on command or even walk on leash like normal dogs but they do know the stop licking command. All I have to do is glare at them and their tongues freeze and their curly tails go straight.

In high school the girl in front of me clicked her pen so many times between that and the buzzing of the fluorescent lights during a math exam I had to fake sick and go to the nurse because I was so overwhelmed. I came back before school the next day to complete my exam when I could actually think.

In high school I did find some relief when in my human relations class other people described their disdain for chewing but still wasn’t sure anyone was bothered by it as much as I was.

But now there is a name. A condition. Other people who share my crazy.

For example Kelly Ripa says she has to leave the house when her husband eats peaches. Maybe she can come over here and we can sit in silence together while her hubby and Kevin run off to eat things like chips, apples or eat hard candy in peace.

After hearing about this disorder and watching the girl on tv describe living with misophonia I looked it up. I found lots of groups, sites and studies all dedicated to misophonia.

I read post after post of people echoing my revulsion for noise. It was really weird to see all of my thoughts and feelings that I thought for so long was just me just being a horrible petty person shared by so many who also thought they were alone.

All in all it doesn’t change anything. I still hate those noises. There is no magic cure or treatment that will make chomping and slurping  tolerable. I still wish manners upon people when we are out to eat. And I loathe people who snap gum or feel the need to crinkle the bag of chips they are thinking about buying at the grocery store. And if you eat popcorn around me I may actually explode.

Anyone else bothered by noises like this? Or is it something else that drives you mad? Or am I just crazy?

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15 thoughts on “for misophonia’s sake mind your manners.

  1. Oh my God! I have this! I never knew there was a name for it! I would always have to eat in my room as a kid! Thank you for sharing! It is too funny to read all the things that drive you crazy because it is the exact same for me!

  2. My daughter has this, it really a very horrible thing to have to live with. I never could understand why she would get so upset and worked up over these noises. We thought she was the only one but discovered misophonia a couple of months ago. Sorry you have to live with it like my daughter. I wish you the best of luck.

  3. I wish they knew about this when you were little… I knew in my heart it was something … sort of like your brothers audio perception disorder… but it was always dismissed. Maybe they will find a way to make it easier for you… until then … we promise not to eat popcorn or celery around you and to always suck our chips until they are a moist, soggy mess that no longer crunches lol =0)

  4. Found this post searching for the same disorder. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been terrified of hearing the sound of scraping metal, or metal against any other hard surface. My husband and I went out to eat and the sound of forks scraping plates drove me insane. When I heard one of the servers scraping leftovers off of dishes, I actually covered my ears and cried out in pain. To me, this is not a physical sensation but its as if I’m “hurting” mentally…it’s impossible to explane, but I find some relief in knowing I’m not the only one. When my sister and I were young, she would scrape her fork with her teeth and if I asked her to stop, she would get closer to my ear and do it again. That’s how I was sent into my first panic attack. Yes…full blown, can’t breathe, think I’m dying panic attack. Like you, I’m also sensitive to the sounds of people chewing and for years I would avoid being near anyone during meals. I’m not sure if it falls into the same category, or similar, but I also have a crippling fear of chewing on sweaters. I’m actually scared the fabric will somehow get into my mouth, which causes me the same painful sensation as these sounds. Glad to learn this actually has a name and is not entirely unheard of. Sorry you have to put up with the crap. :/

  5. Bless you. I can’t write coherently about this right now, but I could have written this whole post. Since learning that misophonia is a “real” thing, my mind has been reeling. My whole life, full of misdirected anger (often inward). My family, thinking I was intolerant or crazy. All that pain… this feels somewhat vindicating, but … I want to be healed.

  6. I don’t exactly have this, but i KNOW EXACTLY what it’s like. Ever since I had done some Rx teeth whitening treatments. Tires driving on packed snow? PAINFUL. The other comment about chewing on sweaters? gahgahgah. It hurts my teeth just thinking about it, and I haven’t whitened in years because of how painful sounds were.

    • I understand. One time when I was younger I fell asleep with one of those crest white trays in my mouth that is only suppose to stay on for 15 mins. I had pain for weeks, my pain/life tolerance was shot!

  7. Yep, Yep, and YEP! 🙂 Discovered this horrible thing had a name and was REAL for the first time a few years ago. I’m 29, and around age 11 discovered I could not stand my sisters sleeping noises. SInce them, it’s expanded to chewings, “s” sounds, nail clipping, crunching, slurping, sipping, and even some “visual” triggers such as blinking lights and wiggly feet (yes, that exists for many of us too!). I’ve built my life around this “thing” (I work from home, quiet neighborhood, and luckily ilke you, have a GREAT understanding husband). I “deal” but sometimes I become overwhelmed when I realize I face a lifetime of never being able to sleep next to my children without earplugs and enjoy their sounds, or eat Thanksgiving Dinner without the never missing ear plugs.

    I really am wanting to start a national awareness campaign for schools, as I’m absolutely certain there are thousands of children out there right now who are suffering in silence daily in the classroom, maybe having trouble in school because of it, and have confused teachers and worried parents that cannot find any answers. Even if they knew this is REAL and has a name, I feel would do a world of difference for a lot of these children. A lot of us grow up to be extremely depressed and suicidal because of this it seems, and I want to help those kids know they’re at least not alone!

    So, hopefully I can find a way to make that happen 🙂 I am a professional comic book artist and was thinking of drawing up an informational comic short to distribute to schools about Misophonia. But of course, I am not rich, and am not sure how to make it happen, but it’s a goal for me. If anyone has any ideas, my email is renaedeliz@gmail.com 🙂

    Anyway, rambling now! 🙂 As your other messages and all the TV attention lately has assuredly told you, you’re not alone!!

    And yes, Misophonia SUCKS! 🙂

    ~Renae

    • Finding out that there is a name and others have it doesn’t really help me…it almost makes it worse because now I know I am founded in my irritation and there is nothing I can do about it. Like you said at least my husband and family are so understanding!!!

  8. Misophonia Sufferes,

    and anyone else that can’t stand irritating noises

    Please read

    I am a doctor dedicating my life to finding a cause and cure of Misophonia. I have this problem myself, and I know what its like.

    Please email me to take a short survey.

    You response will be greatly appreciated, and you will be the first to know when there is a cure.

    DR.RAVN@Aol.com

  9. Ravn: Please identify your Medical Affiliation in more detail. I believe most people are extremely hesitant to initiate contact with little information. Thank you.

  10. Hi.. I am a 55 year old woman who just found out 2 months ago that there is a name for this condition I have suffered with since I was 5 years old. 50 years of sound sensitivity. A long time to think there is something terribly wrong with you. Now my husband is much more understanding since I have shown him all the videos and from the 20/20 report. Thank goodness, because he has put up with me for 34 years. As for Dr.Ravn..I am not if I can be sure of your qualifications.. so more info about yourself should be supplied if you would like a good response to your survey request. The statement “you will be the first to know when there is a cure” is very optimistic for a condition that will require lots of studies etc. I am all for it but leery of vague offers of help.

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