Home Advocacy Is Misophonia Real? Of Course, So Please Stop Tweeting These Inflammatory Remarks

Is Misophonia Real? Of Course, So Please Stop Tweeting These Inflammatory Remarks

by Shaylynn Hayes-Raymond
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Misophonia is not a social issue. Misophonia is a brain based disorder that has been verified to exist by esteemed researchers. There is a growing trend of therapists and other “influencers” on social media sites asking their audiences if misophonia is “real”. I’m tired of this kind of behaviour. Could you imagine if these same people asked, “is Autism real?” or “is depression real?”. I can’t.

I have made my own poll in response:

Now, I can’t fault these people for not knowing whether or not misophonia exists, it’s a newer disorder and it is not yet in the DSM-5. Fine. That’s completely true. And yet, a quick search of PubMed would have given them numerous articles that show evidence that the condition is very real and incredibly hard for persons with misophonia to live with. At times, I feel like a circus sideshow that’s here for the “mildly interesting” crowds who like to poke at weird conditions. Oh, you experience excruciating pain and fight-flight from chewing, whistling, snoring? How hilarious!

The abstract for the Consensus Definition is below:

“Misophonia is a disorder of decreased tolerance to specific sounds or their associated stimuli that has been characterized using different language and methodologies. The absence of a common understanding or foundational definition of misophonia hinders progress in research to understand the disorder and develop effective treatments for individuals suffering from misophonia. From June 2020 through January 2021, the authors conducted a study to determine whether a committee of experts with diverse expertise related to misophonia could develop a consensus definition of misophonia. An expert committee used a modified Delphi method to evaluate candidate definitional statements that were identified through a systematic review of the published literature. Over four rounds of iterative voting, revision, and exclusion, the committee made decisions to include, exclude, or revise these statements in the definition based on the currently available scientific and clinical evidence. A definitional statement was included in the final definition only after reaching consensus at 80% or more of the committee agreeing with its premise and phrasing. The results of this rigorous consensus-building process were compiled into a final definition of misophonia that is presented here. This definition will serve as an important step to bring cohesion to the growing field of researchers and clinicians who seek to better understand and support individuals experiencing misophonia.”

I’m not sure what these social media personas hope to gain by asking if misophonia is real? Engagement on a tweet at the sake of mocking the pain of people they are too lazy to even do a google search to understand? This reminds me of the time that Kathie Lee and Hoda mocked misophonia and called it “misophoney” while making trigger sounds and laughing.

People with misophonia are experiencing a fight-flight-freeze reaction which then manifests as pain, anger, depression, and impacts quality of life. Can you imagine when your parents, husband, and even kids are causing you distress and pain? Imagine not being able to attend family dinners? Movie theatres? Feeling intense pain in classrooms and having to drop out of school? These are all common things persons with misophonia report.

We’re not your punchline. Please learn more about our disorder, and come to this from an educational perspective. This is not a social cause, this is a medical one. We are real people and we come from many walks of life. Before you tweet, please consider the audience- what are you going to gain from this tweet? Who will you hurt?

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