Is misophonia a form of OCD? Misophonia is a relatively new condition that, unfortunately, not many people know a lot about. The mental disorder can sometimes feel like someone is having a jarring overreaction to the sounds they are hearing, which can be as mundane as people breathing or chewing.
The worst part about these triggers is that people with misophonia can seriously react to them. While some can show that they are physically uncomfortable, others can flare out and become violent with the object or person producing that sound. It can especially be bad when an individual is producing these triggering sounds involuntarily.
However, many have been wondering about this condition since it started becoming popular if it has a connection with any other mental illnesses. More specifically, does it connect with OCD since many of the symptoms from both conditions are very similar?
And after extensive research into the field, researchers found that misophonia shares very similar symptoms to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), making it a form of OCD.
The Many Similarities to OCD
One of the most prominent symptoms of misophonia is that people can have acute sensitivity to sound. While various studies show that people with the condition can have an overblown reaction to sounds like people screaming or loud bangs.
However, when introduced to some very mundane sounds, such as a pen clicking people chewing, they can have a visibly disturbed reaction to most sounds that people would otherwise not pay much attention to.
Similarly to misophonia, there are different types of OCD that an individual could face where they will have selective sensitivity to different sounds. It was the starting point that various clinicians and researchers used to find any possible overlap between both mental conditions.
Different Severities of the Disorder
Similarly to OCD, people with misophonia can also present differently across various people. While some can show more severe symptoms of the condition, others can have relatively milder symptoms, further increasing the similarities between misophonia and OCD.
Nearly all people with the condition have a unique trigger, and their reactions can also vary. Some people can only get annoyed or irritated by certain sounds, which means they can usually control how they feel by those specific sounds. However, some people can have very violent outbursts when introduced to their triggers, to the point where the individual enters fight or flight.
Therefore, they will likely try to stop the sound from the source, or they will try to get as much distance as they possibly can. The fight or flight response is also common among individuals with OCD, except that most people with the condition do not show as many violent tendencies.
Current research suggests that misophonia strongly relates to many of OCD’s obsessive symptoms.
The Types of Sound Triggers for Misophonia
Researchers have also gone in depth when finding the different types of sound triggers that can affect people with Misophonia. While the obvious triggers are still there, like people breathing and or women speaking loudly, there are more specific sounds. These can include my brother’s breathing or my father’s chewing. These specific types of sound triggers show that Misophonia is likely fueled by trauma.
Is Misophonia a Form of OCD? Conclusion
Despite being a fairly recent mental illness, misophonia researchers have been able to learn much about the disorder. By finding connections with other mental illnesses, treatments for misophonia can be more effective.
If you’re struggling with misophonia and have extreme reactions to small sounds, noises, or actions of other people, then get a consultation from Stephen Katz LCSW. Dr. Katz developed and is an expert at cognitive behavioral therapy for misophonia. With over 20 years of experience treating and in some cases curing misophonia and tinnitus, Dr. Katz is leading the research and treatment of these conditions.
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