Most people will have moments where they feel irritated or angry by things like a neighbor’s loud music, someone mowing the yard early on a weekend morning, or a constant horn honking. And, if you have ever endured a meal eaten in near silence, the magnified sound of people chewing and swallowing can be pretty uncomfortable, but in the majority of cases such incidents are fleeting and quickly forgotten.
Someone with misophonia, however, will experience particular sounds, (known as ‘triggers’), in a different way. The noise itself, and sometimes even the anticipation of it, can lead to severe anxiety, withdrawal. fear, and loss of control resulting in shouting, screaming and even violence.
Typical Signs Suggesting You May Have Misophonia
It’s fairly likely that those with the most extreme symptoms will have an idea their reactions are not natural, but misophonia can also be much milder, or escalate over time to become life impairing, so figuring out you may have this condition early can only be a good thing.
A Dislike of Eating with Others
Sounds associated with food and drink are very common triggers amongst those with misophonia, so if you find yourself irritated by slurping, biting, chewing or lip smacking when people around you are eating to the point where you leave the area, or avoid such situations altogether, that’s a strong signal that you have a problem.
Sensitivity to Sounds Others Don’t Seem to Notice
Pretty much any sound can be a trigger with misophonia, so if quite common noises like sniffing, tapping fingers on a table, cracking joins or clicking a pen on and off only ever seem to bother you that’s another positive indicator.
Regular noise sensitivity provokes irritation, but misophonia often makes people either lose their temper, cry, scream, and wail, or come very close to such reactions. People with this condition report feelings of terror, and the urge to make the sound stop – by whatever means necessary, or to run away from it. Identifying with any of these things suggests you could have the condition.
If you are still not sure if you may have misophonia, keep a daily record of any uncomfortable reactions to sounds, and if possible find out how those around you feel about them, so you can monitor what is happening.