Because misophonia is not currently in the DSM-5 (the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the U.S), finding a misophonia diagnosis is nearly, if not literally, impossible. Because of insurance codes, American medicine relies on diagnostic codes to classify disorders. However, this is changing. More and more conditions are being judged on a handful of symptoms instead of a cookie-cutter diagnosis. Unfortunately, this system will not happen over night.
How do you obtain a misophonia diagnosis?
The short answer for obtaining a misophonia diagnosis is that technically, you cannot. However, many doctors are compassionate and understanding. Dr. Linda Girgis, MD, discusses the particular challenge of misophonia diagnosis.
Rare diseases are difficult to diagnose just by their virtue of being rare. But, more importantly, science does not understand all of them so well either. Some patients can go years until they are diagnosed and others simply never are. And when they are diagnosed, sometimes no treatments exist. Additionally, third-party insurance companies can stand as a barrier to getting to a diagnosis and the treatment that is needed.
Misophonia diagnosis has many barriers. Luckily, researchers are avidly working to ensure that these problems will not exist forever. For now, though, many wonder what they can do. There is no cut and dry answer. Finding compassionate doctors can be a great help toward coping with the disorder. A growing number of professionals are willing to help you find the answers that you seek.
The Misophonia Provider Network
The Misophonia Provider network is a project developed by the IMRN. This network provides a map of professionals that have at least a basic understanding of misophonia. In the future, the Misophonia Provider network will provide courses to educate professionals. For now, the provider network features US providers only, but will add additional countries as they grow. Clicking entries on the interactive map will take you to provider information and biographies. Additionally, you can browse for providers based on their type.
Choose Therapists/Doctors you are comfortable with
If you are not comfortable with your doctor or therapist, please consider finding another. While some may have trouble with this because of insurance many therapists are understanding of this predicament and will do their best to find solutions for you. If you are not comfortable with your doctor or it is “not a good fit” then both parties may be wasting their time and your money. If your therapist or counsellor is not compassionate and willing to understand (or learn about) your disorder, then you should consider finding one that will.
Consider asking your therapist/doctor to help you achieve work or school accommodations
Accommodations for your disorder could include a change or workspace (somewhere quieter), exams in a private location (for students), headphones, and whatever else you may feel comfortable with. You can print this sample letter and take it to your doctor as an example of an accommodation request.
Want to learn more? Join a Workshop with Dr. Jennifer Brout or Duke CMER at Misophonia Education.