When specific sounds irritate you?

Ever met people who get very irritated with a specific type of sound... For example the sound of nails on a blackboard, the scretching sound of a car braking, the sound of someone eating chips in front of them...  all these cases are probably suffering from various degrees of misophonia.

What is misophonia?
The word misophonia literally translates to "hatred of sound". Misophonia sufferers are extremely sensitive to "specific sounds" which are called as "triggers".

Most common are - nails on blackboard, sliping of chalk on blackboard, people eating food, the crunching of ice or chips in someones mouth, the sound of a certain persons voice, heavy breathing etc.

Symptoms most commonly seen -

1. The age of onset is often after 10-12yrs.
2. The sudden change in behavior or emotional pattern is a reactive episode which starts with a trigger sound (or some aspect of the sound)
3. The emotional/behavioral reaction is severe when a person is in a comfortable environment.
4. The reaction is experienced can range from sudden irritability, anger to even extreme rage.
5. The trigger sound suddenly starts a fight or flight response in the sufferer, so they experience a desire to do extreme anger towards the maker of the sound or want to escape from the vicinity of the same.

Why does it happen?
There are 2 theories for the same -
a. many consider it as a physiological development defect in the brain. Which has no cure.

b. Other consider it part of OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder, with some post-traumatic subconscious association with the sound.


1. Know Your Triggers

Keeping a track of those things that set you off, helps you prepare for a situation in advance.
Going for a meeting or on lunch with someone who chews with his mouth wide open...
one can create mental images and try to calm down, before going exposute.

2. Disengage from a place

If possible, excusing yourself and moving away from a situation helps to control the rage reaction.

3. Do Things That Make You Happy and always be positive about yourself.

Thousands and millions of people have misophonia, that doesn't mean you cannot indulge in activities and you have to stay put at home.

4. Work With Your Doctor

Misophonia normally doesn't need any cure. But one has to be given "SOS" anti-anxiety medications.
Medications to be taken only the day one has the episode or when a person is fearing he/she will experience the episode within next few hours.

5. Most people never give importance to such a problem. But the sufferer of the same, is really sad.
Many times the sadness even pushes them to think about suicide.
Provide them proper support and help treat the depression/suicide thoughts by consulting a good psychiatrist/counselor in your region

Your suggestions and queries are most welcome at -

email - eksoch@gmail.com 


Dr.Hemant Mittal
(Neuro-Psychiatrist, Motivational Speaker and Counselor)
website - http://mindmantra.in/services.html
address- 15, shreeji plaza, next to ice n spice restaurant, opposite seawoods station, seawoods (east) 
Navi Mumbai

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