I started to notice sometime in middle school that I really, really hate the sound of chewing. It progressively got worse and soon there were more noises that were annoying me just as much (crinkling bags, dishes/plates clattering, doors shutting, loud cars). Those noises are often be the trigger for my anxiety and stress, especially when in social situations.
It wasn’t until high school that I found out there was a name for it, Misophonia. According to the top google search, “people with misophonia are affected emotionally by common sounds — usually those made by others, and usually ones that other people don’t pay attention to.” I finally had a name for what I was struggling with, but the unfortunate thing is there’s not really much research or treatments out there for it.
I try my best to cope with it, and since I’ve been prescribed an anti-depressant a year ago, I think it’s improved a little bit. But it is definitely still present. Chewing sounds are by far the worst for me, and it really sucks. I wish I could sit down for a meal with my family at the dinner table and not want to run away. I wish I could hang out at parties or family gatherings and not feel fear when I look at the snack table.
It’s hard to tell other people about it too. Sometimes they think it’s just a simple annoyance and start chewing louder on purpose to be funny. Or they just think it’s something I can control and think I can just ignore it. I really wish I wasn’t upset by these noises.
My only coping mechanisms are to either put in ear buds and listen to music, or to just leave the situation. Sometimes neither of those are an option though. I visited a doctor specializing in hearing who knew a lot about the condition, but the therapy she had me try wasn’t helpful. I was curious if anyone else here has dealt with Misophonia.
I’ve never really spoken to my dr about it, but there are noises like swallowing, there’s this noise like when people bite their nails and you can hear that wet lip sound, my dad rubs his feet together and it really irritates me. I can’t stand ASMR because you can hear that wet lip movement sound.
Even people breathing, especially when I’m trying to sleep. And the sound of cutlery.
Sometimes I just get up and walk away. Again I haven’t formally spoken to my dr about it so I don’t want to use any label to say I fully understand or have the same thing, but I can understand how irritating and infuriating those noises get.
Apart from what you’re already doing, I’ve heard the suggestions of cognitive behavioural therapy or counter conditioning to associate those sounds like a positive thought. I’d love to hear more about what your therapist went though with you if you feel comfortable
Its VERY common, but one of those things i think you just have to learn to deal with. I absolutely hate the sound of people smacking their lips when they eat, and I have flipped out on calls when people eat with a live mic.
But i mean, everyone has things they dont like - sometimes you gotta just tough it out. and other times - throw some earbuds in and listen to some Scandanavian Death Metal to drown it out.
I have it badly. I’ve never looked into treatment though. For my case. My husband eats as far away from me as possible and I will either have the radio on or the TV on to drown out the noise. Also my husband tries to be as quiet as possible because he knows it’s bad. At the same time, I must acknowledge to myself that this is very much a ‘me’ problem so I can’t get mad at him even though the eating sounds make my blood boil.
I have issues with more than just eating sounds. Like the ceiling fan in my office clicking. Stuff like that.
I’m not entirely sure if I have misphonia too yet, but I do have hyperacusis-- and that causes me great pain with a lot of noises. School bells, trains, dishes clanking together, high pitched frequencies, being next to drums-- all hurt my ears to the point I get to crying. Even in my case, there’s not much you can do except “get yourself normalized to these noises” by initially drowning them out with earplugs and just gradually bringing them back to normal volume.
Hoping something can be done, but I think for your case you would have to see someone specializing in neurology. Going to an ear doctor was a good start, but misphonia is more of the mind than hearing. I’m sorry I can’t provide any more information. Headphones are usually my own best bet. :((
I don’t remember the specifics as this was 5-6 years ago, but she had me wear these hearing aid like things that would play white noise. I guess it starts off as loud (but you can still hear what’s happening around you) and as the weeks/months progress it’ll get quieter so you can get used to hearing the annoying sounds. I only went through with it for about two weeks and I just found it was making me more anxious. Plus the aids were pretty uncomfortable to wear in my opinion. That therapy probably works for others out there, but it didn’t work for me.
Hey there @SliceOfBread,
I’m joining the club of people struggling with misophonia here. I’ve had it for a long time and sometimes it’s hard for others to understand it, as it’s not just about being annoyed by a noise, but deeply feeling this intense irritation and anxiety within. Triggers for me are generally sounds of people eating, but also any repeated sound (drops of water in the sink, my partner’s PC mouse clicking or the noise of his keyboard when he plays video games, the deep bass of a music played by a neighbour, a dog that would bark over and over, even the noise I make if I’m sick/caught a cold lol). But overall it’s any type of sound that feels intrusive and invasive to me at a given time.
I never received a proper diagnosis for it but never felt like I needed it. The way I understand it for me, is that it’s a “normal” result of having lived on a hypervigilant mode for most of my life, and still being in that state most of the time. What helps me the most is to make sure that everyday I have a quiet time, on my own (or multiple short ones), to relax and somehow “reset” my senses. I put either a very slow-paced music in the background, or brown-noise, stretch, read a book or use earplugs if I’m really exhausted and can’t stand any level of sound.
This can be a nightmare to live with, and I’m sorry you’ve been struggling with it. I know it doesn’t change much but pleast know that you’re not alone. I’m rooting for you.