A lot of people I see (especially parents) worry that misophonia will get worse as a person ages. However, I want to come and tell you that there’s no evidence that this is true. In-fact, most people seem to stick with the same triggers they have (there’s about ten of them that are common: think whistling, chewing, coughing, snoring).
Misophonia, instead of getting better or worse over time, “waxes and wanes” (Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout). What this means is that there are times when a person is more troubled by sounds, whilst during others they can handle them more. If you’re stressed out during exams, a divorce, or any other life event, then it stands to reason that your neurosystem and fight-flight are going to be completely out of whack too. Similarily, during low-stress and happy times, misophonia can be on the backburner. For example, I remember misophonia being less of a concern whilst completely in bliss after my partner said “I love you” for the first time. It was an opportune moment to go to a movie theatre (and I think we actually did).
Similarly to this, avoidance is not going to make triggers better or worse. It’s completely okay to take your time and stay at home, or wear headphones. There’s no reason to believe with the current research that people are going to make misophonia worse by avoiding triggers.
I know that I can say if I take regular breaks and have boundaries that my over-all happiness level is much greater!Want to learn more? Join a Workshop with Dr. Jennifer Brout or Duke CMER at Misophonia Education.