Does chewing bother you? You may have a newly recognized neurological condition, called Misophonia (the pronunciation is debated, but you can see my view on it here). This condition has been called a few other things. I’m not going to list them all. Mostly because there’s not enough press, science, or research to back them up. However, “chewing rage” and “sound rage” are some of the most interesting. A lot of people have asked me, “why does chewing bother me?” I wish the answer was simple. Perhaps, one day, our researchers will be able to answer this in greater detail. For now, I can tell you that you are certainly not alone in this phenomenon. First recognized as a sub-set of SPD, Misophonia (or perhaps SPD SOR) was recognized roughly 20 years ago. Though the two conditions haven’t been “officially” linked, the remarkable overlap in symptoms has not gone un-noticed.
“A lot of people have asked me, ‘why does chewing bother me?’ I wish the answer was simple.”
If you believe you have Misophonia but aren’t sure, we’ve put together a checklist. Since the condition is so new, there is not nearly enough information for a classification of the disorder, let alone a diagnosis. This can be frustrating for sufferers, and I get that. As a person who suffers from the disorder myself, I first found support groups that welcomed me in and helped me to come to terms with a condition that ruined my life, without me even knowing its name! It’s important to note that the name “miso” (hatred) “phonia” (sound) leaves out a lot of the disorder. Many sufferers have claimed to be (over) sensitive to smells, sounds, visuals, and even touch. This is perhaps the most compelling reasoning that Misophonia is a subset of “Sensory Processing Disorder” (SPD). Sensory processing disorder is common with folks with autism, but it is not just autistic persons that have these sensitivities.
Misophonia, if part of SPD, would be part of the sub-set SPD SOR, or sensory over-responsivity. In this case, the brain has trouble filtering out information, not unlike an air filter that hasn’t been cleaned recently! This also accounts for triggers “accumulating” or getting “worse” over time. After-all, your filter is just getting more and more clogged. I like to think of researchers as repair-men that are coming up with a safe, efficient way to maintain our brains!
You’re not alone though, and you can find out everything you need to know about research from our articles or from the International Misophonia Research Network. We’re here to help you, and we’re going to help you to advocate for yourself. Misophonia may feel isolating when you’ve avoiding “triggers” but, you are truly not going through this alone!
If you’ve ever found yourself saying or thinking any of the following, you may have this condition:
- Why does chewing bother me?
- Why do people shake their legs so much?
- Why do people click their pens?
- I can’t stand people chewing gum!
- I can’t stand keys jingling
- Why do people make so many noises?
- Stop whistling! It’s so rude!
It’s important to remember that the person “triggering” you probably doesn’t know that they are. This condition, though not your fault, can cause you to view others as a problem or a ‘threat’. Since you often go into a fight/flight/freeze response, it’s important to recognize what is fact and what is fiction. It is a fact that the sound or visual makes you feel threatened, however it is fiction that the person wants to hurt you. Unless the person is deliberately using your disorder to hurt your feelings, which is abusive. Then, I suggest you try to stay away from the person. Disrespect is disrespect!