What is Misophonia? – Does it bother you when your table neighbor chews noisily? Don’t you like it when your partner cuts his or her fingernails? Or have you often been annoyed by your colleague’s ballpoint pen clicks? – Don’t worry, these reactions are quite normal.
But for people with misophonia, such noises can be unbearable. Those affected always overreact irritated, even developing anger and hatred. Aggressions can then hardly be getting suppressed. Physical reactions also occur, such as an increased pulse or heavy sweating.
Misophonia in summary
- Selective noise intolerance: The affected persons always react to specific, individually different everyday sounds with excessive negative emotions and possibly physical symptoms.
- “Misophonia” is composed of the two Greek words “miso” for “hate” and “phonie” for “sound.”
- There is a danger that those affected may withdraw socially.
- The disorder usually begins in childhood/adolescence. It may have neurological causes with the consequence of impaired emotional control mechanisms.
- Psychotherapeutic measures can provide relief.
Lets us check out the facts about misophonia!
A related video about “Overcome Noise Sensitivity (Misophonia)” here to watch.
Video Credit: Uncommon Knowledge
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Table of Contents
What is Misophonia? – Misophonia is a selective noise intolerance.
Typical for misophonia is that such a noise hypersensitivity is highly selective. In most everyday noises, such as rain splashes or city traffic, the affected persons do not feel disturbed.
Even unpleasant sounds such as babies’ cries or construction sites’ noise do not affect people with misophonia more than other people. It is instead an only individual, specific sounds that they hate. The sounds in question are individually different in people with misophonia.
In addition to breathing, eating, or writing noises, they can also be various other, actually harmless everyday sounds: the ticking of a clock, a dripping tap, the crackling of a paper bag, or the clicking of high heels.
1. Volume is irrelevant in misophonia.
Noise hypersensitivity in misophonia is not because a particular sound is incredibly loud or is perceived as excessively loud (as in so-called hyperacusis). The decisive factor is, instead, the type of noise.
2. Avoidance behavior and social withdrawal in misophonia.
If such hypersensitivity to individual everyday sounds is strongly pronounced, it also influences the behavior of those affected.
They then try to avoid disturbing noises. A person with misophonia may even withdraw from everyday life and the social environment.
3. Is misophonia a neurological disorder?
Misophonia often first becomes apparent in late childhood. At first, it is usually only a single sound that triggers it, but others may be getting added later.
Little is getting known about the exact causes of the disorder. Misconditioning is getting discussed. Recent scientific studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging suggest that misophonia is caused by brain changes, especially in those regions where sensory impressions are getting linked to emotions.
There is no specific treatment option for misophonia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or relaxation techniques are recommended, among others. By the way, misophonia is considered a disorder, but it is not getting recognized as an official disease.
4. Facts about misophonia
Misophonia, also known as selective noise intolerance, can be very stressful for those affected in everyday life.
- The term comes from the Greek and can be getting translated as hate for noises.
- In this disorder, specific sound sequences lead to irritability and even aggression or panic.
- The sensation can be chewing, sneezing, coughing, breathing, or other everyday noises like a ballpoint pen click.
- Misophonia must be getting distinguished from hyperacusis.
- In misophonia, the sound sounds themselves cause discomfort.
- In hyperacusis, on the other hand, the sounds are perceived as unpleasantly loud.
- Which sounds are getting perceived as unbearable in people with misophonia varies from person to person.
- Some everyday noises do not bother them at all, while others are almost unbearable.
5. How is misophonia getting treated?
Misophonia is probably a neurological disorder. Irritations are misinterpreted in the brain and lead to excessive reactions.
- Usually, the disorder begins with a specific sound that triggers the affected person. Gradually, other noises are getting added.
- The disorder often makes itself felt in childhood. However, it can also occur at a later age.
- Consult a physician if you suppose that you have misophonia. Only a doctor can diagnose selective noise intolerance reliably.
- There are various strategies for dealing with noise intolerance. There is no specific therapy for this yet.
- Those affected try to cover up the noise with music or avoid unique sources of noise.
- Relaxation techniques such as yoga, autogenic training, Tai Chi, or progressive muscle relaxation can better deal with stressful situations.
- Noise-canceling headphones can also help those affected. The headphones detect external noises and cancel them out for the most part by anti-noise.
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