Misophonia Questions Answered

I suffer from misophonia and people make fun of me for it and does the sounds more to annoy me. What do I do?

First of all, let me state, I am sorry that persons are treating you this way – that’s a terrible way to treat friends, family, or anybody! It’s terrible that they’re treating you so horribly, especially since you cannot control it. For most persons that haven’t heard of Misophonia, it’s a “weird” quirk and nothing more. Self advocacy is going to be your best tool here. Share resources with these persons, and try to help them understand. I am sorry that they are not taking you seriously. Sometimes it is important in life to advocate for ourselves. Avoidance is also helpful when possible. Explain the disorder when you are calm, not triggered. If you attempt to confront a person during a trigger, it may lead to a fight.

 

How do you know you have misophonia ? Have you been diagnosed with this condition?

It is rare for there to be an “official” diagnosis of Misophonia, due to the nature of the disorder. As Misophonia is newly recognized, it is not in the DSM 5, or other medical diagnostic manuals. This does not mean the condition is not real – it is very real, and is being researched at great institutions, including NYU and Duke University. My doctor has mentioned my auditory over responsivity and Misophonia in my medical file, though there is little that he can do beyond that. There is an option to find coping skills providers – but some may be very limited. It is important that you talk to your doctor/therapist and educate them on the disorder if they have not been already.

How can I deal with my excessively talkative and loud mother when I have misophonia?

Misophonia is often triggered most by those we love. During a Webinar in 2016, Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout of the International Misophonia Research Network explained that Misophonia sufferers are around their parents, friends and family the most, and therefore have the most memories associated with them. A stranger triggering you is not likely to evoke the same response as a loved one. This can be furthered when emotional relationships are strained, and outside emotions are brought into a situation that would have initially been dictated by a receding fight/flight response. You can find a guide specifically made for parents here: //www.misophoniainternational.com/parents-quick-guide-misophonia/.

 

Is neural repatterning treatment (NRT) really effective for misophonia?

The research is simply not there. As of now, there is little reason to believe this will work, since Misophonia is a complex physiological problem. These therapies are expensive and not likely to work. While we must be hopeful, we cannot in good faith recommend these treatments. There is also a potential for harm, because these treatments have not medically been proven to work on this condition. It is always best to err on the side of caution. Luckily, there is a clinical trial at Duke University that may happen in the future, and with this means the potential for treatment – right now, the only thing keeping the study from happening is the funds. As of now, there is NO treatment that will help Misophonia. Some things may help for coping techniques, and vastly lesson the effects of the disorder. You should not try a medical treatment until there have been treatments that have been scientifically vetted by professional researchers and clinicians.

My family doesn’t believe I have Misophonia and mock me, but whenever I show them proof, my mom gets mad. What can I do to convince them otherwise?

I am sorry that your mother gets mad. That is unfair to you, and disheartening to hear as an advocate for this condition! Misophonia is not a joke, and you are not acting out just for attention. This can sometimes be hard to explain to a parent. However, there are some great advocacy tools that have been made for the very purpose of explaining this disorder to people, including parents. You can find a guide specifically made for parents here: //www.misophoniainternational.com/parents-quick-guide-misophonia/. This guide was written by Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout, a PsyD with numerous years experience with sensory disorders. Dr. Brout is also a school psychologist. It is important that you explain to your mother what is going on, and that you provide her with high quality information. Be patient, and try to explain the disorder when you are not triggered – as explaining during a high-trigger period can lead to an unnecessary fight and residual resentment.

 

 

How can I explain to my mother that I’m suffering from misophonia?

Misophonia is not a joke, and you are not acting out just for attention. This can sometimes be hard to explain to a parent. However, there are some great advocacy tools that have been made for the very purpose of explaining this disorder to people, including parents. You can find a guide specifically made for parents here: //www.misophoniainternational.com/parents-quick-guide-misophonia/. This guide was written by Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout, a PsyD with numerous years experience with sensory disorders. Dr. Brout is also a school psychologist. It is important that you explain to your mother what is going on, and that you provide her with high quality information. Be patient, and try to explain the disorder when you are not triggered – as explaining during a high-trigger period can lead to an unnecessary fight and residual resentment.

 

Would you consider having a relationship with someone who has misophonia?

Since I have Misophonia, I can tell you I have been in relationships with others, while having this condition. You may be happy to know that I know several happily married couples where one party has the disorder! Some of these couples even have children. For me, I think it would be challenging to be with another person with the disorder, but I’d certainly try.

 

Are there any hearing aid like devices that can help with my Misophonia?

Not a “hearing aid” type of device, but audiologists can have you fitted for sound generators. These generators can generate white noise, or other forms, and are fitted to your ears. However, they are very expensive and may not be covered by insurance. You could mimic this process with ear buds on your phone and a white noise app. While this is not a cure, it can be helpful to mask triggers in public. Unfortunately this will not work for visual triggers – or the visual perception of a sound trigger (ie. Seeing somebody

 

Do you have misophonia so bad that simply looking at the source of irritating sound without even hearing it disturbs you?

Once something becomes a trigger, we are also triggered by the memory of the response. This, like PTSD, means that your brain believes this event is “bad”. I have strong eagle eye, such as autism – so my visual receptors are far worse than even the common misophonic. For me, I am triggered by events in my memory even years later. Cognitive Behaviour therapy does not work because Misophonia is a learned response, which is also why we are so horrendously bothered by even the visual of an event, if the sound itself is not present.

 

Is it still misophonia if I hate sounds of murmuring people or people talking loudly and laughing at some point? Certain tones of voice make me feel whatever they’re saying is about me. Not the sounds of things, but people?

There is no reason to differentiate between if this is Misophonia or not – the fact of the matter remains that no actual studies have confirmed “what triggers” the disorder. It is very likely you have auditory over responsivity. Since Misophonia heightens threat responses, it is not out of the ordinary that you feel “attacked” by these events. While there is no cure, it is important that on a cognitive level you remind yourself that the person is not directing their emotions at you, and that it’s your brain skewing the event. This can be hard to learn, but in time, it can happen. As for the trigger, it will still occur, but keeping your threat-arousal levels lower will help your recovery time. Try to remove yourself from situations, as sensory information is cumulative. Breathe deeply, and “ride the wave” until you feel better.

What is the science of misophonia? What causes the disorder and the immediate negative response to certain repetitive sounds?

The science of Misophonia is new, and it’s complicated. Since the science is so new, that means there is room for changes. However, much of the research is stating that it is caused by the amygdala and fight/flight part of the brain. Essentially, when a misophonic person hears a “trigger”, their brain is processing the event as a threat. This is not necessarily the ear doing so, but the brain’s perception of sounds. More research is necessary to determine why certain sounds cause this reaction. A proposed study of this nature is starting shortly, with consults from Sukhbinder Kumar, Duke University, Mercede Erfanian, and Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout, who proposed the study.

 

What is the cause of misophonia?

While there is no official cause for Misophonia, because the research is preliminary, Misophonia is likely a neurological condition in which an aversive response to otherwise normal audial and visual stimuli occurs. This response happens, likely, because the amygdala is not processing sounds properly. This is physiological and occurs in the physical part of the brain, not cognitively. Because of this, Misophonia does not have a treatment, and cannot be “treated” by cognitive or basic therapies. A treatment for Misophonia may be developed, but it has not yet been.

Is anyone here struggling with misophonia? How do you deal with it? I am really suffering and it’s getting worse.

I have suffered from Misophonia for quite a few years now. It’s a horrible condition that sometimes leaves me with no hope. As an advocate for the disorder, I have met many wonderful people that are finding ways to live their lives. For me, I spend a lot of time alone and have a job ‘from home’. I limit exposure as much as possible, because exposure is cumulative and can make the disorder worse. Depending on your degree of suffering, coping depends on your own lifestyle. Management of Misophonia is imperative, as there is no cure as of yet. I suggest that you read over the coping skills that I will link to the bottom. I survive this disorder because I have hope. I have hope in the absolutely wonderful research that was conducted at NYU – and even more hope that the continuance of this research at Duke University will lead to an effective treatment within the next few years.

 

What is it like to see someone suffering with misophonia?

It depends on the sufferer. They become withdrawn and solemn. They will be irritable, and suddenly yelling at you for things that you do not think is a problem. The sufferer is not connecting on a cognitive level – in their brains it is physical. You see, when a person has Misophonia it is as though a knife is being held to their throat. The fight flight system of the brain has been activated at a deep level, and the person may not even understand their anger, and even physical sensations of pain. It is important to believe the person, and remain calm in the situation. If possible, discuss ways to lessen the triggers – simply exposing their selves to the trigger to ‘get used to it’ will not work.

 

Important links:

How to cope with Misophonia: //www.misophoniainternational.com/misophonia-coping-tips/
Information on treatment: //www.misophoniainternational.com/misophonia-treatment/

How to explain Misophonia: //www.misophoniainternational.com/how-to-explain-misophonia/

Sensory Diet (Coping skills by OTs): //www.misophoniainternational.com/product/sensory-diet-adults-susan-nesbit-o-t-digital-download/

What is Misophonia? //www.misophoniainternational.com/what-is-misophonia-3/

Current Misophonia studies: http://misophonia-research.com/current-research/

Research advisory board: http://misophonia-research.com/misophonia-advisory-board/

Misophonia Providers: www.misophoniaproviders.com

Donate to Misophonia research: https://www.gifts.duke.edu/dukehealth/?designation=3910412

 

Looking for more information on misophonia? Consider attending our workshops at Misophoniaeducation.com

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