Stephen Geller Katz LCSW-R
Misophonia Cognitive Retraining Therapy
Misophonia Cognitive Retraining Therapy
|Moderate to severe anxiety triggered by chewing sounds, including:|
You may also be affected by visual stimuli, such as repetitive foot or body movements, fidgeting or movement you observe out of the corners of their eyes. Intense anxiety, rage and avoidant behavior may develop as a result of misophonia.
* Do you feel your family and friends don’t understand how much you suffer?
* Do you often feel you can just suffer through a social event where there is eating present only to find that you must “escape” before you have a panic attack?
* Do you find that some people are at first understanding and make some efforts not to make the triggering sounds in front of you, but soon forget and constantly have to be reminded, causing you to feel angry, anxious and depressed?
* Are you avoiding social activities that you enjoy because of the misophonia?
* Are you fearful of losing your job and/or is the misophonia effecting your job performance?
You may be a candidate for Misophonia Cognitive Retraining Therapy, or MCRT.
Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R, with over 20 years of clinical experience, a New York University graduate, developed Misophonia Cognitive Retraining Therapy and founded Misophonia Cognitive Center in response to the growing number of people with Misophonia coming to his private practice from audiologists and ENTs. He discovered that by helping people to retrain and reinterpret the thoughts around their Misophonia, anxiety and depression symptoms began to improve. But even more important so did the Misophonic trigger response.
Do things other than sounds trigger misophonia? Sure, you might find little noises like the tapping of a pen or loud chewing to be annoying, but what if they made it impossible to focus on anything else? People suffering from misophonia don’t consider these sounds to be annoying but unbearable. Misophonia is a Greek word that means hatred of sound and was used to name the condition in 2001.
People also refer to this sound disorder as selective sound sensitivity syndrome. This condition is an abnormality of the brain, and people suffering from t exhibit physiological and psychological symptoms. In a recent study, experts compared the MRI scans of people with misophonia before and after exposing them to triggering sounds. They studied their brain structure and reaction to different triggering sounds.
Experts don’t know the actual cause and mechanism of this condition, but it is obvious that most people find auditory triggers harmful. Other than auditory, people also find some visual images as triggers. However, the sound can be so much pain for these people that they cannot tolerate it and undergo a fight-or-flight situation. These sounds also trigger their anxiety, causing them to panic and rage. Also, it leads to depression, isolation, and avoidance. Since there are limited researches, we know little about the condition.
Triggering sounds aren’t the same for everyone. What’s triggering for one person isn’t necessarily triggering for someone else. Furthermore, the intensity and may change with time. However, the most common triggers in this condition are mouth sounds. Here are some examples:
Besides sounds from the mouth, people also find these sounds irritating:
With time the auditory triggers turn into visual, causing irritation and annoyance. Visual triggers include:
You’re probably wondering how people with misophonia perceive triggers? To them, annoying sounds are more intense and feel like nails on a chalkboard. Suppose that whenever you hear a squeaky noise, your nerves flare, skin prickles, and you will do anything to make it stop. Sometimes, people don’t find these sounds annoying, but with misophonia patients, it is an everyday struggle. Furthermore, they also hear sounds that normal people’s brains don’t even pay attention to.
If you are looking for a single word that explains how a person with misophonia feels, it would be “awful.” Their blood starts to boil, the heart starts racing, and stomachaches are common.
When people suffering from misophonia listen to provoking sounds, they experience physiological effects. A few studies in this regard suggest that people with this condition undergo physical responses, including measurable autonomic responses. However, when people are in a control group, they don’t physically respond to these triggers. Misophonia and tinnitus, which are ringing in the ear, share some similarities. Consequently, some studies suggest that misophonia is a hyperconnectivity disorder. This makes it different from tinnitus. The reaction between the limbic and auditory system of the brain cause irritation and pain.
The hyperconnected nature of this condition means that there are numerous connections between neurons. Because these neurons relate to emotional and auditory abilities, people cannot tolerate triggering sounds. In one study, experts used MRI imaging to determine the brain’s response in this condition. They found that people with misophonia exhibit an exaggerated reaction. Experts analyzed and identified the changes in the brain after the participant listened to triggering sounds. The sounds influence the anterior insular cortex of the brain, which processes emotional feelings. The study confirmed the connection between the default mode network and the AIC. These neural networks promptly affect memories and associations.
Some brain sections of a person with misophonia have higher myelination in their nerve cells compared to the average person. That’s why their brain generates a higher level of connectivity. Furthermore, research suggests that high-level activity in the brain’s AIC creates different perceptions. Therefore, they experience skewed perceptions about a sound that isn’t really a threat.
If you read this article, it means that you or a loved one gets highly irritated when exposed to triggering sounds or events. You need a solution. The best way to overcome the effects of misophonia is to opt for Misophonia Cognitive Retraining Therapy. Schedule an online session with the Misophonia Cognitive Center to discuss your problem with a professional sound disorder specialist.
What are the most common misophonia triggers? Misophonia is a Greek word meaning “hatred of sound.” However, do not assume that the sounds of rough chalk on a chalkboard or fork scraping on a plate can trigger Misophonia in anyone.
Researchers and scientists refer to Misophonia as a selective sound sensitivity syndrome. Despite that, it is not on the list of the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as a recognized sound disorder.
Misophonia can have mild to intense effects on an individual’s life. However, severe cases involve extreme reactions that can cause aggression and anger to a great degree. In addition, numerous emotional responses occur when people with Misophonia hear certain sounds or noises.
Bear in mind that some people may not find these sounds and noises, such as rain, chewing, pen tapping, etc., unpleasant. Therefore, it is common to misunderstand someone’s sound sensitivity as a general attitude or irritation. The reactions that misophonic people may show include panic, aggression, distress, anxiety, etc.
In simple words, certain common sounds may feel like nails on the chalkboard to misophonic people. Moreover, it is extremely difficult for misophonic people to control their reactions, such as anger towards the person or object involved in the Misophonia trigger sounds.
Therefore, it gets troublesome for misophonic people to carry on with their normal daily routine while under distress or guilt of acting aggressively toward someone making trigger sounds unintentionally.
There is a long list of trigger sounds that can bring out a number of different reactions from a misophonic person. Misophonia triggers are generally human and environmental sounds, such as slurping, chewing, tongue clicking, rain, clapping, screeching, etc.
The Misophonia trigger sounds are auditory stimuli responsible for mild to severe responses from misophonic people. Initially, the severity of the irritation might not be high, but as the sounds keep increasing in volume and remain consistent, they may incite aggressive attitudes.
Did you know that if misophonic people make the same Misophonia trigger sounds, it will neither irritate them nor incite any unusual behavior? Further, Misophonia trigger sounds do not have the same effect on people with misophonia. For instance, a chewing sound can incite aggression in one misophonic person while the other might not even notice it.
Here is a comprehensive list of the Misophonia trigger sounds (including human and environmental noises) that can also change in misophonic people over time.
Also, you should know that misophonic people can perceive sound triggers from visuals of certain actions as well, such as:
Scientists, researchers, and doctors have not pinpointed the real mechanism as to how the brain interconnects the sound information that triggers aggressive behavior in misophonic people. Doctors believe that Misophonia is part physical and part mental. Hence, certain sounds are able to produce automatic physical reactions.
This ensures misophonic people don’t have any problems with their ears. It means ear damage or other conditions are not responsible for the severe reactions that Misophonia triggers generate. Often, due to misclassification of Misophonia, doctors consider it obsessive-compulsive or bipolar disorder associated with anxiety effects.
Once a misophonic person comes in contact with a Misophonia trigger, the mind generates stimuli that result in the autonomic “fight or flight” response. Most people with the following conditions have higher risks of experiencing Misophonia:
What puts many people into confusion is the similarity in all the signs and symptoms of these conditions with Misophonia. For example, a bipolar person might feel the same distress or irritation as a misophonic person. Moreover, rapid heartbeats and perspiration are some more common symptoms that also exist in OCD or bipolar people.
Additionally, it might be possible that you develop Misophonia due to genetics. What’s more, a single irritating sound of childhood can begin the onset of Misophonia triggers, which may comprise various sounds in time.
Do you or someone in your family struggle with coping in their daily life due to Misophonia? Then, you should seek professional medical care from Dr. Stephen Geller Katz LCSW-R at the Misophonia Cognitive Center. Check out our official website to learn more about Dr. Katz. You will work your way to recovery and learn coping techniques for Misophonia.
Dr. Katz treats clients from all over the world via Skype, Zoom and other popular and secure online video platforms. Dr. Katz speaks 5 languages fluently. Schedule an online session today.
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What are some common misophonia triggers? Misophonia is a disorder in which people suffering from it have anomalously strong negative reactions to sounds like chewing, pen clicking or loud breathing. They tend to get extremely irritated by such sounds and often display their discomfort by exiting the room, wearing earphones or even yelling at the source of the sound in an attempt to stop them from doing so. This condition is also called selective sound syndrome. Common reactions of misophoniacs range from mild annoyance to extreme rage and anger.
It is interesting to note that the source of most sounds that trigger misophonia come from a human. The sound of a dog licking itself will not be as annoying for them as the sound of another human’s chewing.
Some of the most common triggers of misophonia include oral sounds, i.e., breathing or chewing — keyboard tapping, pen clicking, scratching nails against the wall or the sound of windshield wipers. Sometimes a small repetitive motion can be the cause as well — for instance, someone sitting next to you wiggling their foot.
According to a research in Amsterdam, eating sounds affect 81% of the subjects being studied. Loud breathing or nose sounds affect 64.3%. Finger or hand sounds affect 59.5%. While some even said that they get irritated by the sight of someone repeatedly shaking their knees. This means that misophonia has to do with visual triggers as well.
Since misophonia is a newly identified disorder; proper treatment options are still limited. Some doctors even confuse it with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Individuals suffering from it usually develop coping mechanisms to give themselves some relief. Using headphones or wearing earplugs to lower down the effect and when possible, leaving the room where there are triggering sounds. Practicing self-care, meditating and seeking a supportive therapist is a great option.
Avoiding social gatherings because of it can be a little problematic for the individual’s social growth. They can even lose friends, which is most definitely not a good thing. Social interactions are extremely important for one’s healthy personal growth. What they can do is, explain to their friends in a polite manner that they suffer from this condition and that they are sensitive to certain sounds.
Moreover, one should not simply tell misophoniacs to ‘ignore and focus on their own work’. It would be very similar to telling a depressed person to be positive and move on. Disregarding someone’s problem and telling them to ignore it and snap out of it is a very insensitive thing to do. It can be very hard for them to focus on their work if the constant triggering sound is annoying them and messing with their head.
To conclude, misophonia is real. It is as real as depression or any other disorder. If you get triggered by sounds that humans make and you feel like punching the human who’s making it, then my friend I’m afraid to let you know that you may be a misophoniac. Do not worry or panic, look it up in detail now that you know that it exists and it has a name. You may even want to discuss this matter with a Misophonia specialist if you think that it is beyond your control and needs proper treatment. Good luck.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best Misophonia specialist in NYC and find out solutions, tips and tricks to tackle all your misophonia related problems.