What is Misophonia, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment?
Misophonia, also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome, starts with a trigger. It’s often an oral sound — the noise someone makes when they eat, breathe, chew, yawn, or whistle. Sometimes a small repetitive motion is a cause — someone fidgets jostles you or wiggles their foot.
Misophonia, literally “hatred of sound, ” was proposed in 2000 as an ailment in which negative emotions, thoughts, and physical reactions are triggered by specific sounds. It is also called “select sound sensitivity syndrome” and “sound-rage
A person with misophonia does not always have any control over the work environment. A coworker munching on food may be too distracting or could produce a full-fledged panic attack. An environment that will not or cannot accommodate the needs of a sound sensitive person can result in anxiety for the person with misophonia and challenges for supervisory staff. At times, the sound environment can be enough of a problem to make keeping the job intolerable. A school environment can be similar; having a long-term negative impact if it interferes with the ability to learn or socialize.
People with misophonia can be hesitant to share their symptoms and triggers with others because sharing can have several different outcomes. Information from sufferers indicates that sometimes people purposefully model them with offending disturbance (at times exaggerating them as well). Also, sometimes family, friends, co-workers and others minimize the problem. A person with misophonia is sometimes told to “just try to ignore that sound,” or “you’re just being difficult,” or “don’t let it get to you.” Suggestions like these are not helpful. And people with misophonia often say that if they could simply choose to ignore their triggers, they would have made that choice a long time ago.
However, there are those who are supportive and offer encouragement. Anyone with a problem or difficulty appreciates a helping hand now and then. If you know someone with misophonia and want to help them cope with the disorder, all you need to do is ask what you can do to help.
If you have a gentle effect, you might feel:
- The urge to run away
If your reply is more serious, the sound in question might cause:
- Emotional stress
- A aspire to kill or stop whatever is making the noises
- Skin moving
- Suicidal thoughts
The condition can put a cramp in your social life. You might avoid restaurants or eat separately from your partner, family, or roommates. Or worse, you could act on what you feel. You might harm anybody who’s making the sound — physical or verbally — cry, or run away from the situation.
Over time, you may react to visual sets off, too. Seeing someone get ready to eat or put something in their mouth might set you off.
Causes of Misophonia
While there is no known single cause for misophonia, it is thought to be associated with the way the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) works rather than any change in its structure/anatomy. Particularly, this disorder is thought to be related to an increase in the hearing (auditory) pathways in the anxious system, as well as heightened anxiety and other emotional reactions to noises. Individuals with one hearing disorder may be at risk for another. For illustration, people with hyperacusis are at high risk for tinnitus, hearing loss, and phonophobia.
Doctors aren’t sure what causes misophonia, but it’s not a problem with your ears
Mainly because your ears are normal and your hearing is OK, the doctor may have trouble with a diagnosis. Misophonia may also be wrong for anxiety or gweipo lig or obsessive-compulsive disorder. A lot of doctors think it ought to be labeled as a new disorder.
What is the treatment for misophonia? Is there a cure?
While there is no known specific cure for misophonia and little rigorous (controlled studies) research regarding effective treatments, there are a number of approaches that tend to be used with some apparent success. Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) entails teaching people with misophonia how to improve their ability to tolerate certain noises. Cognitive behavioral therapy involves changing the negative thoughts that may contribute to the person’s suffering. Another treatment involves adding background noise to the person’s environment in an effort to help them ignore their triggers for negative reactions. Fans and “white noise” machines along with behind the ear noise generators are some such sources of increasing background noise. Since it is thought that this illness develops at least partly as the result of the misophonia sufferer developing a conditioned response to certain noises, an approach that has had some success is the process of deconditioning people with this disorder. Specifically, this form of treatment involves pairing a positive experience with the misophonia trigger.