Having lots of friends that have Misophonia has been an eye, and ear-opening, experience. Many times we can become egocentric through our struggles with disorders. Definitions such as “hatred of sound” try to paint us all with a broad brushstroke. In truth, we are complex and different. Each and every one of us has different triggers and experiences. The reactions are similar, this is true. It’s hard to differentiate between our fight/flight response and our aversive nature. This aside, we are different. We are unique. Most importantly, we are human.
Whilst eating on skype I’m now hyper-vigilant. Some friends are triggered by chewing and others are not. Some, tapping and pens drive them crazy. For me, loud noises, chimes, and whistling become a major disturbance. These differences have taught me valuable lessons. We cannot all escape into one branding or meme of our disorder. This is why when some one insults our disorder they are not just doing injustice to each and every one of us, but to our individuality. We are not all the same and we wouldn’t want to be. Films like Jeffrey Gould’s “Quiet Please…” are a reminder that we are not just sufferers, we are people.
Over the past year I have met some amazing individuals. Writers, musicians, mothers, fathers, and university students alike. Each person I have met shares their own story and difficulty. They are not defined by their disorders but by their choices. That aside, this disorder has an impact on what we can give to the world. We need to ensure that we are acting to help promote research and that we’re raising awareness. I leave you with the words of another suffer, her original article shown here:
When the trigger starts, I feel my brain is searching the area to hear the sound again. Is it there? Is it not there? Do I hear something? When it does, it locks on that direction. Then it’s almost all I can hear. The expression that comes to my mind about this is “target fixation” (I got that from motorcycle riding but it fits). After that I split in two. One part of me is looking for ways to avoid the sound and the other wants to keep hearing it…it’s like a part of me wants to get annoyed… and angry… and furious. I grit my teeth and make fists with my hands. Sometimes I bang the desk in front of me (if there is a desk) before realizing I’m doing it. I want to attack the source and scream. I glance angrily, I feel… possessed. My breathing changes and I really hate the source. — Alkisti, Athens