As I type this article on my computer, I realize that the word « misophonia » is underlined in red, which signifies that the software doesn’t recognize it. It sees it as a mistake. That sums up perfectly my situation when I try to explain my condition and seeks for any form of treatment. My symptoms are not readily apparent but I suffer deeply.
I suffer from the impostor syndrome. I don’t have cancer. I can walk perfectly fine. When I ask regular people if they are bothered by such and such things, like people eating with their mouth open, most people tell me that it is indeed an irritant. So what the fuck is my problem then?
My problem is debilitating.
There’s light misophonia, and then there’s misophonia.
Misophonia has destroyed my life to such an extent and I don’t see the end of it.
Have you ever hit rock bottom? If not, let me tell you how it feels.
I feel hopeless. I think about suicide every day of my life. As a matter of fact, there is a rope in my closet, waiting for me still, from a previous attempt. (Note to myself : maybe it’s time to remove it now.)
I would be quite happy with my previous misophonia, my « light » misophonia. That is, before the visual triggers became commonplace. My light misophonia was mostly related to noises, so I could wear earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. It was manageable to an extent. I had some visual triggers, but they were rarer. They didn’t preoccupy me on a daily basis.
Nowadays, I see one of my triggers for half a second and I will have phantom thoughts for one week afterwards. Sometimes two. Some of these triggers are so infuriating that I still have phantom thoughts months after the event. I think about these past events almost every hour of my life. I have that strange sensation in my brain, as if something gets fired up constantly. It is unpleasant and overtly taxing. I have a hard time concentrating at work, sleeping, and being remotely happy.
I recently ordered special filters to put over my glasses so the world around me would look blurry. When I’m in public, I have to look at the ground to make sure I don’t see my triggers and I have to wear earplugs all the time.
I have pumped so many drugs. Cymbalta, Zoloft, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Paxil, Anafranil, Clonidine, Trintellix, Effexor, Xanax, Ativan, Zopiclone, Zolpidem, Vyvanse, Ritalin, Strattera, Seroquel, Neurontin… I even tried illegal psychedelics. As a result, I have electrical shocks and burning sensations throughout my body. I had to take a medical leave from work. I am now on Lyrica to control these sensations to an extent, but that does not work all the time.
So when a doctor tells me : « Have you tried this medication? », I answer : « Yes, probably, or something similar… ».
I cannot live in an apartment anymore. As a matter of fact, during my four college years, I lived in ten different places. Do the math. After college, I moved at least once every year. In the end, I bought a house. That didn’t fix the problem. The passing cars make my life insufferable. I punch the walls in my house to vent my anger. My hands are crippled. I have to wear compression gloves and put Voltaren everyday, and I see a physiotherapist once a week.
I have seen two hypnotherapists, one occupational therapist, one psychiatrist, too many psychologists to recall them all, a neurologist, and a plethora of doctors. Nothing helped.
I have cried for hours on end in a fetus position, on the floor, in a chair, on my bed, in my car. without being able to move anymore, on more than one occasion. My body was shutting itself down.
I used to have a nice girlfriend and a good social life. My invading thoughts ruined my love life and I barely see anybody anymore. I live in my basement, my windows are barricaded, I have a white noise machine running at full volume 24/7 and I always wear earplugs. I do not go outside often. My neighbours probably think I am a big creep.
Every interaction is a challenge, every move I make is risky. I am always on the lookout. My body is stressed out all the time.
Even watching TV is risky. So I try to rely on video games for my entertainment needs, because virtual characters don’t trigger me. Yet. That makes life somewhat bearable.
So if anybody tells you to get over it, or that they think they have misophonia too because they cannot tolerate that one single sound from their partner every now and then, tell them to go fuck themselves.
Misophonia is like the new OCD… If you think you have OCD because you prefer to have your books in alphabetical order, you are an idiot. The invading thoughts from real OCD make daily life almost impossible. The same goes for real misophonia.
Real misophonia is DEBILITATING.
It only seems to get worse from there…
Post by J-P BélangerLooking for more information on misophonia? Consider attending our workshops at Misophoniaeducation.com