Misophonia In 2019. Are We Closer To A Cure? Is it intolerable for you to sit in the office because your co-worker is popping chewing gum for the past 10 minutes unstoppably? Do you get scared while crossing the road when you hear a honking bus? Do you feel like punching your sibling when he/she is munching popcorns in the TV room? Does the sound of typing feel like hammering on your head?
If you get annoyed by some common sounds, including sneezing, coughing, sounds produced while eating, sleeping, or even breathing, you are affecting from Misophonia –a hatred for sound. It is a selective sound sensitivity syndrome that means not all sounds you hear drive you crazy; some specific sounds do.
Why Misophonia Happens
There is no explanation as to why you react so strongly to certain sounds, or what triggers the emotional or physiological reaction? You may feel discomfort, outrageous, or anxious to some sounds or may start panicking with a strong desire to fight-or-flight.
This hearing disorder may be lifelong and tends to appear mostly in the pubescent period –especially among girls. Some doctors associate misophonia with anxiety or bipolar diseases. A study has established that Misophonia is a neurological disorder; the problem does not lie in the ears but between the pair of ears, i.e., your brain. Part of the brain responsible for long-term memories or evoking emotions also triggers the reaction to certain sounds.
It’s 2019. Is There Any Cure For Misophonia?
The intensity of your response to selective sounds may have affected your mental health. You may have developed the desire to escape and distant yourself from the triggers. Do not let fear, or anxiety control you –do not give up so easily.
Medical science has not provided a specific prevention measure for misophonia yet, but some ways can surely help.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
It is an ear training therapy designed to improve the hearing tolerance level of people with misophonia. The idea is to recondition the subconscious reflexes associated with a certain sound. After eliminating the negative response to a sensation, and a positive emotional connection is established.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a psychiatric practice aimed to restructure how a person thinks and behaves when exposed to certain triggers. Perceiving a sound in a different way than you usually do may also help.
Adding Background Noise
You can not eliminate the sounds you dislike from the world. If a sound is disturbing you, how about tuning it out with your favorite song? A pair of Earbuds may protect you from getting into stress.
Another way to reduce the annoyance is to add background noise to your environment. Fans and generators may produce enough noise to reduce triggering noise. However, these sounds may also cause you to freak out.
Isolating yourself will only aggravate the problem and may evoke suicidal thoughts in rare cases. Work on yourself, voice your feelings, talk to people.
Control your anger and not let it control you. Breathing techniques, meditation, regular exercise, and adequate amount of sleep will be helpful.
If you feel lonely and no one understands your frustration to certain sound triggers, if the fear of embarrassment is taking over your self-confidence, know that there is a way out. Misophonia is a real disorder, and you deserve to get the best help. Contact us and schedule an appointment with Stephen Katz at the Misophonia Cognitive Center in NYC.