I first struggled with depression at age 12. For the most part, I had recovered from depression when I discovered I had misophonia in 2013. I had good days, and I had bad, but my life was starting to get back on track. My life was finally starting to come together, and in my Thought Catalog article I explained that this was like crawling out of one hole to trip into another. As you can imagine, misophonia triggers my depression. Even as I have become secure in other aspects of my life, and finally carved my own path – misophonia still leads to some of my darker moments. Misophonia is hard.
Realizing that some of your social relationships are fractured, and may never fully-recover, because of the bitter pill that is misophonia, is really hard. Living day to day in fear of triggers, feeling trapped and isolated, is really flipping hard. Hell, even complaining about the disorder becomes hard because you worry if you’ll ever be more than your triggers.
Looking toward the future – to trips you’ll never take because there’s no way you’d be able to manage on a plane, looking through travel brochures at all of the plans and goals you used to have – yep, that’s hard too.
Leaving a job that you loved because somebody whistles or clicks their pen – not easy either. Then, you’ll have to explain this to friends and family while they look on – either disinterested, or simply able to help. Yep – it’s all really flipping hard.
I’m sick of complaining about misophonia – and I’m sick of thinking about all of the things that I’ve lost. And yet, the depression still creeps in. The sadness that accompanies my grief at a life I might never have, or at the very least, the life that make more time to get. I have faith that the Memory Reconsolidation Study will render treatment – but until then – what?
But, I don’t want this to be a rant. I want to stand up and I want to take charge and help others feel better. I want to live my life, or whatever remains of one. So, here are my tips for struggling with misophonia depression.
1. Accept that things are different, but don’t give up.
Yes, misophonia is hard. Yes, there are days that are harder than others. You might never go to the movies with friends. You might have to give up restaurants. But, there are things you can do. Find activities that you can enjoy where your triggers aren’t. Take bite-sized pieces. If you were in a wheelchair, you’d simply attend venues that are wheelchair friendly.
2. Accept help for depression.
There may not be a cure for misophonia – but the sense of loss, hopelessness, anxiety and depression that go along with it are treatable. Try to separate the two and treat the symptoms of depression. In doing so, you might become more equip for handling with triggers, and then the depression that follows. It’s not a blanket-cure, but you might be able to find good in the moments where no triggers are present.
3. Try to keep doing the things you love.
Giving up the things I loved has increased my depression. The more time I spend canoeing, painting, watching TV, or gaming. The better I feel. You should also try to socialize when you can.
Do remember that research is happening. We’re not alone. Even if it feels that way. It’s going to be okay.Want to learn more? Join a Workshop with Dr. Jennifer Brout or Duke CMER at Misophonia Education.