When Sounds Drive You Crazy

There’s a new commercial on television for Yoplait Yogurt – it shows several people eating yogurt and each one going “mmm” over and over again. It’s enough to make me want to break the damn TV! This is even worse than the Kit-Kat Halloween commercial with the constant cracking and snapping of the candy bar and once again a set of “mmmm”s. AARRGGHHHH!

For those not aware of it, let me introduce you to a condition called Misophonia. Misophonia translates to “the hatred of sound”. Now obviously I don’t hate sound but certain sounds drive me absolutely crazy, sometimes to the point of wanting to strike out in anger in order to make it stop.

This is an excerpt from http://www.misophonia.com:

Symptoms and Triggers

The literal definition of misophonia is hatred of sound but a person with misophonia does not simply hate all sound. People with misophonia have specific symptoms and triggers and are sensitive to only certain sounds and occasionally are sensitive to visual triggers as well. These problematic sounds are usually in the background but any sound or noise can become a problem to a person with misophonia. Other people do not seem to take notice of the sounds that negatively effect people with misophonia. Each person suffering from misophonia will have their own symptoms and triggers which can be referred to as their trigger set. Sounds can be added or (less often) subtracted from this dynamic collection over time.

When a person with misophonia is exposed to a sound in their trigger set, it results in an immediate negative emotional response. This response can range from moderate discomfort to acute annoyance or go all the way up to full-fledged rage and panic. Fight or flight reactions can occur. While experiencing a trigger event, a person may become agitated, defensive or offensive, distance themselves from the trigger or possibly act out and express anger or rage at the source of the offending sound.

I have suffered from this since my teen years, a typical time for the onset of Misophonia. For decades I thought it was just me, that I was just weird, with my family and friends thinking I was just being testy or over-sensitive. When I discovered information about Misophonia a few years ago, I felt relieved to know that I wasn’t alone and that it was something real.

Some of my triggers are: when someone is chewing gum or eating with their mouth open, pets licking themselves, people clicking their pens or tapping on their desks, the constant clicking of a computer mouse, heavy breathing, ticking clocks, whispering, and slurping. When the sound happens, I literally want to slap the person even though it is not their fault. I will say that with less stress in my life this last year, I have not been reacting as strongly.  This makes me think that stress makes it even worse. Although those damn commercials get me every time!

I also suffer from Hyperacusis – when certain sounds seem too loud and hurt your ears and your head. For me it is the sound of dishes clanking together, loud trucks driving by, children crying or screaming, certain songs, and any loud noise. All of these make me cover my ears.  They quite literally hurt.

Both of these conditions are thought to be inner ear issues or how the brain perceived sound signals. I just wanted to put this information out there for those who are suffering and don’t know or understand why. I have added the informational websites to my “Find Support” page.



10 thoughts on “When Sounds Drive You Crazy

  1. I have some of the same issues, however I have linked them to past experiences. Making mouth noises while eating as a child equaled being slapped or worse. So now I’m hyper sensitive when others make noise eating.
    I was never allowed to play so I would sneak around at night or when left at home alone and do things I wasn’t allowed to. I had to be so quiet though as not to be caught. I even learned how to climb the stairs using only the railings because the steps themselves were too squeaky. Now I am sensitive to loud noises. I often have to adjust the TV volume because loud commercials or music is overwhelming to me. My partner has learned to give me the remote so I can adjust the volume as needed for my comfort.
    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one triggered in these ways. Thank you for that.
    Stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

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