Whenever I am asked about treatment for misophonia, I am forced to be the bearer of bad news. To put it simply, without any pretense, there is no treatment for misophonia. I understand if you’re frustrated by this answer. I was too. Actually, it was pretty devastating to find out that this disorder that has taken so much of my life has no cure in sight. When I first learned that misophonia is a disorder, I was delighted to know I wasn’t alone. Then, I had to come to terms with the reality that there was no treatment for misophonia. I didn’t like that.
Finding out there was no misophonia treatment was a tough pill to swallow. Pun intended.
Without getting too far into details – anybody trying to sell you a “cure” or “treatment” is lying to your face. Skewing their data, pretending it’s working, or other means of pulling the wool over your eyes. If there were a treatment for misophonia I’d be delighted. I’d be the first person to SCREAM that this is our saviour. But, there is no treatment. There’s no app that could magically cure misophonia. CBT can make misophonia worse, neurofeedback, and all the likes. Hypnotherapy won’t cure you of your woes. What’s missing in these “treatments” is an underlying mechanism for the disorder. Without that, and without real and rigorous science, we’ll continue to see these half-assed attempts at ‘treatment’ that really just put cash in the pockets of those toting them.
If you don’t believe me, a sufferer of this disorder, that’s okay. You really shouldn’t be taking medical advice from some girl studying political science. Instead, you should take the words of the psychologists, doctors, audiologists and researchers that are vehemently opposed to treating this disorder. They are not doing so to be petty. They are respecting science. They are respecting the ethics that go with treating persons. They are also not blind, and can see when things aren’t working.
Jastreboff, who coined misophonia in 2001, has the following to say about the Trigger Tamer app, and other forms of misophonia “treatment”.
“I am familiar with this application, and I am concerned that it actually may make misophonia worse.” In regard to other treatments proposed, he believes neurofeedback is “neutral ― it will not help, but it will not harm” and that hypnotherapy is, “rather neutral, but with potential negative side effects.” — Huffpost
While there is no current misophonia treatment, that doesn’t mean that we’re in the dark. In-fact, it’s the opposite. Pending review, a paper on all of the current studies on misophonia will be released that will explain the current body of literature, and will help academia to recognize the growing body of literature. This aside, there have been wonderful breakthroughs on misophonia in the past few years.
While there is no misophonia treatment, this doesn’t mean there’s no research!
In January 2017, Dr. Joseph E. LeDoux and Dr. Lorenzo Díaz-Mataix. completed a study at the LeDoux lab at NYU that helped determine if memory reconsolidation therapy could be beneficial to misophonia, or auditory over responsivity. This study yielded promising results, and has led to the possibility of a study that would evaluate memory reconsolidation as a treatment option for human clinical trials. This study, which has already been proposed, will happen as part of the Duke University Misophonia and Emotion program. This program has been researching auditory over-responsivity and has been active in sensory based research since its founding in 2008 by Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout, who operates the International Misophonia Research Network. The IMRN includes an advisory board of top researchers, including Dr. Díaz-Mataix. The IMRN also features Dr. Kumar, whose breakthrough Misophonia study made waves in the research community this past year. In-fact, Dr. Kumar is part of one of the upcoming misophonia studies we are about to talk about!
Wondering what Memory reconsolidation is? Listen to Dr. Ledoux explain in this video.
Not only is misophonia treatment possible, but you can help it become a reality.
The Misophonia and Emotion program at Duke University currently has two studies slated to start in the upcoming months. The first, which has begun, is a sound study with Dr. Kumar, and Mercede Erfanian, which aims to find out why these particular sounds are triggers. This research will further the understanding of misophonia and why persons with this disorder seem to have overlapping triggers (ie. chewing, tapping, whistling).
The second study, which is quite exciting, is an extension of the memory reconsolidation study at NYU (supported by the IMRN) that I mentioned above. The second part of this study will happen at the Duke medical centre as the NYU lab does basic brain research, and does not work directly on human patients. The groundwork for this study has been initiated by the Misophonia and Emotion program, and this program continues to grow based on the donations of sufferers, benefactors, and other parties interested in this research.
Unfortunately, science is in a polarizing climate and research is often left un-funded. Since misophonia is a lesser-known condition, this study relies upon the goodwill of interested parties to help fund the study. Within the past year, nearly half of this program’s funding has been secured. What does this mean? It means we are even closer than before to a possible scientifically tested treatment for misophonia.
Please consider donating or sharing! Your efforts can help us all become closer to a remedy for this debilitating condition. I truly believe that science will be our salvation from misophonia.