Suffering With Misophonia Interviews: Ashley, 31

woman-girl-technology-musicMeet Ashley, a 31 year old sufferer of Misophonia from Louisiana. This is a quick over-view of her struggles with Misophonia.

At what age did you start to have triggers for Misophonia?

6-7 years old.

What are your top 5 triggers?

Gum popping, food smacking/crunching, constant throat clearing, coughing, open-mouth eating.

What is worse, visual triggers or audial triggers?

Audial.

When did you learn that there was a name for your condition and other sufferers?

2012, approximately.

How did it feel to learn that there were other people like you?

It was a huge relief. It made me feel hopeful that I could overcome this disorder.

How do you cope with this disorder?

I have a strong ‘flight’ response. I leave if I can. If not, I just try my best to go to my ‘happy place’ and tell myself that it will be over eventually.

Are your family and friends supportive?

My fiancé is super supportive. He really tries to eat quietly and to make noise when other people aren’t. My parents are trying to understand, but they will slip sometimes and get annoyed when I have to leave during a meal.

Are you afraid to confront a person when they are triggering you?

Yes, I have had some negative experiences when trying to be honest about the condition. I’ve heard responses like ‘how dare you judge how I eat?’ or ‘you’re making me feel self-conscious.’

If a person does not respect your condition, how do you react?

I refuse to be around them if I don’t need to while eating.

Do you have other disorders that worsen your Misophonia?

I suffer from anxiety, but I truly feel like the Misophonia is the same no matter how I am feeling.

Do you think the name suits the disorder? Why? Why not?

I think it’s perfect. I absolutely hate some sounds.

Are you on any drugs that do or do not help (antidepressants, anti- psychotics, etc.)?

No.

What do you think could be done to raise awareness?

More doctors need to specialize in the disease. People won’t take it seriously unless they feel like it’s a real condition.

Explain the reaction when faced with a trigger:

At first I’m in shock. I’m shocked that a person cannot control their actions/noises and I feel personally offended. I will usually stare at the person, if I can without them noticing. Then I’m disgusted and I will get angry. Some people can tell that I’m angry because I will become quiet and I will start to fidget. Then the panic (or flight) response happens. If I can, I will leave immediately. Then I usually feel guilty.

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