Misophonia – Surviving sensitivity to sound

Misophonia is an aversion to sounds made by other people. It is characterised by feelings of disgust and anger at noises associated with eating, drinking and even the sound of breathing.

Individuals can become highly distressed as their fight or flight response becomes activated.

As sufferers are often embarrassed to have misophonia, they tend to avoid situations where they are exposed to trigger sounds. This can lead to isolation and if untreated can lead to other disorders such as agoraphobia and social anxiety.

There are many reasons which may have caused Misophonia to develop. For example, if an individual experienced a traumatic event where there may have been someone making a particular sound, they would then attach the fight or flight response to the sound, causing the schema that shapes their misophonia and therefore causing sensitivity and distress at future exposure to that sound.

Locating the source of the schema is essential to overcoming misophonia.

Ask yourself;

  • What sounds trigger you?
  • Do you remember a time that you didn’t get angry at those sounds? 
  • Did you notice any sounds made by people who were unkind to you?
  • Was there a stressful event involving the individual that triggered your misophonia?
  • Did a stressful event change how you feel about noise?
  • Did the presence of an eating disorder cause a resentment towards human functions such as chewing or swallowing?

Writing a timeline can also provide you with the answer. When you identify the cause it will allow you to take steps towards viewing the incident(s) differently. Consider that these noises such as eating and breathing are essential actions that help us stay alive, and other noises which sufferers may find triggering such as behavioural tics may be indicative of an individual having an anxiety disorder.

Living with misophonia can be extremely challenging, however, you are not alone. Here at Trauma Research UK, our belief is, ‘it’s not what’s wrong with you, it’s what happened to you’. With this philosophy, we believe that everyone can successfully overcome their mental health issues if given the right help and support. Read more…

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