Do you suspect that you or someone you know has misophonia? You’re not alone. Read ahead to learn misophonia basics and treatment options.
If you have misophonia, you will have negative and abnormally strong reactions to normal sounds that humans make. Every day sounds like breathing or chewing triggers a “fight or flight” response. And you may have feelings of rage, panic, or anxiety.
Consequently, misophonia goes beyond irritation at someone chewing too loud. Having misophonia is so strong that it will interfere with your daily life. The term literally means, “hatred of sound,” but it isn’t a hatred of all sound. It’s very specific.
In addition, misophonia is a chronic condition and a primary disorder. That means that it doesn’t happen because of other conditions.
According to researchers, the most common trigger for someone who has misophonia is eating sounds. It affected 81% of the participants studied, while loud breathing or nose sounds followed not much further behind. And lastly, a close third most common trigger was finger or hand sounds.
Unfortunately, treatment options are limited because misophonia is a newly identified health disorder. This means that there isn’t a specific medication regime or psychotherapy that can be prescribed right now. However, there are some ways to cope if you have misophonia.
And, one way is mimicry. Many people who have this condition unconsciously mimic offensive sounds. This helps them handle uncomfortable situations better.
Other ways of coping with sound sensitivity may include:
- Limit the sounds you hear with earplugs
- Drown out trigger noises using music and headphones
- Sit away from trigger sounds in restaurants and buses
- Leave situations that have trigger sounds, if you can
- Reduce stress with relaxation, meditation and rest
- Talk to a doctor or therapist
- Talk about misophonia candidly with loved ones
Even though it’s a new disorder, there are ways to take care of yourself. Knowing the misophonia basics and treatment options, or lack thereof, can help you figure out what you can do to cope.