First, Dr. Stephen Porges (an esteemed researcher) believes that misophonia triggers become unbearable and continue to be so even when we think we are “calm”. Because of this, it is unlikely that CBT, or any other “cognitive” therapy will work. You can listen to the full podcast to learn more. I know this can sound treacherous when trying to find a treatment – but I assure you, it is not worth the risk. Duke University asserts that there is no treatment, and that trying these un-vetted “cures” could actually make the disorder worse.
There are some misophonia coping tips that can be helpful.
- Try a sensory diet that has been developed for sensory processing disorder. The SPD Foundation believes there may be a connection between Misophonia and SPD. If this is true, a sensory diet (which is a set program of activities) can help connect the brain and muscles and this type of program goes along with the work of Dr. Stephen Porges. You can find a sample of a sensory diet, written by an OT, via this link.
- Find professionals that understand, or at least are empathetic to your disorder. Misophonia Providers works in association with the Misophonia International Research Network and is a growing list of professionals across the US that understand the disorder. While the list is small, it is always growing.
- While there is no diagnostic code for misophonia, you can ask your therapist or doctor to help you find accommodation. A well written letter could help you to wear earplugs or headphones in class or at work, have a desk that is separated from others, and find meaningful ways to help you cope. This sample letter can be printed and brought to your therapist as an idea.
- Do not be too hard on yourself. You do have a real condition and while it is not yet well-received by the world, it is okay that you are unable to attend every function. By accepting yourself, you may be able to cope better.
- Have meaningful conversations with family and friends to garner their support. If a person loves you, they should not want to hurt you. Share resources with them so that they understand you are not lying, and hopefully, they will come to terms with your disorder.
- Use resources like Misophonia Awareness to help advocate. Consider helping to fund-raise for research, or donate. The more people understand the disorder, the better equipped you can become for yourself.
In the world of research it is interesting to note that Dr. Joseph LeDoux, a top Neuroscientist, is looking into the possibility of “memory reconsolidation therapy”. This, in the future could be life-changing for sufferers. Do you have tips? Add them to the comments!
In this video, I’m going to share 5 Tips for Misophonia Coping that I personally use on a day to day basis.
I apologize for the sound quality of some of these videos. While my condenser microphone and tripod (both at once, yes) continue to be jerks… we’re going to have a bit of a rocky ride. I hope to have something a little more formal set up within the next few months.
Misophonia can be hard to cope with. We all know that. But, how do I cope? This video summarizes my misophonia coping tips. I didn’t mention everything, but I’ve found these steps to be very helpful.
- Earplugs paired with music
- Adjusting my position in a room to ensure I am not triggered (or where I sit on a bus)
- Prepare in advance for intimate experiences that will have triggers (such as family dinners). You should explain to family/friends about the disorder (but don’t do so when triggered)
- Manage stress (unwind, watch movies, take baths)
- Leave the situation if you can
I fully understand that not everyone can react to situations in the same way. I encourage you to stand up for your health and find out what helps you. Once you’ve discovered this, you should advocate for yourself and try to find the best balance you can. In order to deal with this disorder, we’ve got to have our own backs. These misophonia coping tips are only meant to help you consider your options. You should talk to a medical professional about any lifestyle changes you may want to make.