Have you ever seen a person react strongly to everyday sounds? Sounds like water dripping, chewing of food, or pencil tapping are disturbing to people, making them react strongly to them. This is referred to as Misophonia, also known as Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome (SSSS or 4S).
If you have Misophonia, you are likely to get disturbed, irritated, or panicked by everyday sounds. These sounds might trigger an aggressive response as well. Misophonia is extremely rare but can last for years and can turn out to be a lifelong disorder.
Misophonia is not categorized under psychiatric disorders. It has a close relation with anxiety and anger issues. The disturbing sounds can trigger an emotional and in some cases, a physiological response. People witnessing your situation may find it unreasonable, but you tend to become aggressive, panicked, or irritated.
Your reactions can vary depending upon how the sound triggers your responses. Oral sounds the other person makes, like eating, breathing, or chewing and some other sounds of fidgeting or wiggling of feet prompt the person with Misophonia to react impatiently.
The intensity of motion with sounds may enhance their responsiveness towards it. You might also feel triggered through repetitive visual stimuli accompanied by sounds.
What are the symptoms of Misophonia?
If you feel triggered by some kind of sounds or visual stimuli accompanied by sounds, your reactions can range from moderate to severe. There are various kinds of emotional and physiological responses recorded by doctors. Initial symptoms of Misophonia shall display the following:
- You might feel anxious
- You might have an urge to flee and feel uncomfortable
- A feeling of disgust is also seen in many individuals
Scientists report that the symptoms are more common among girls and appear between the ages of nine to thirteen, the age of puberty.
When to see a doctor?
You should see a doctor as soon as you witness that your responses are becoming severe and they include:
- Feeling of rage and anger,
- If you develop hatred for the other person,
- If you feel panicked or have fear, and
- If you are experiencing emotional distress
This disorder is not classified under psychiatry but can hamper with your social life. You might tend to avoid social gatherings, family dinners, or even roommates and prefer situations that are noise-free and calm. The fear in you of eliciting a response impatiently can make you go under depression.
Consult your doctor immediately if you witness these kinds of situations appearing in your life. . Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.
What are the causes of Misophonia?
The definite cause of Misophonia is not known yet. But the doctors have confirmed that Misophonia is not due to any hearing disorder (problem with your ears) or entirely a psychiatric issue. It is considered partially a mental and physical illness, also known as a brain-based disorder. In many cases, Misophonia occurs along with an anxiety dysfunction like –
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Tourette’s disorder
- An eating disorder like anorexia nervosa (self-starvation) and bulimia nervosa (eating large amounts of food).
What are the complications of Misophonia?
Misophonia will not lead to any specific or severe disorder. It is more likely to change your way of living and reacting towards situations.
- You might get defensive or aggressive opposition to various situations.
- You might want to distance yourself from your family and friends and keep away from socializing.
What is the treatment plan for patients with Misophonia?
Misophonia can affect your daily life routines, but you must learn to manage it with peace. Here are some treatment plans that your doctor will suggest you take:
- An audiologist to perform sound therapies.
- You can try hearing aid devices to cut-off the noises that elicit a strong response.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) – You will be asked to tolerate loud noises and normally react towards it.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – This therapy focuses on talks and counseling. You should take part in supportive counseling, where coping strategies are highlighted.
- Psychotherapeutic hypnotherapy
- Regular exercising and getting plenty of sleep will help regulate your stress and Misophonia.
- Your family members can assist you in setting up a noise-free zone where no sound can bother you.
As of now, there are no pharmacological approaches to treat Misophonia.
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How can you manage Misophonia?
Misophonia is self-diagnosable, and a person has enough understanding to judge the severity of agitation or response. A few common methods to manage Misophonia are:
- Try avoiding crowded places and start wearing noise-canceling headphones.
- Taking support and coping up with stress levels will help you alleviate the symptoms and prevent Misophonia.
- A supportive family and an understanding friend are important to manage conditions linked with anxiety.
People suffering from Misophonia react impulsively and strongly to various sounds. It is a brain-based disorder with no pharmacological treatment being proposed yet. People suffering from anxiety disorders and tinnitus are often affected by this rare disorder. It is important to consult with a doctor for treating the same. With therapy, you can learn to manage Misophonia.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Misophonia genetic? Can I get it from my parents?
Yes, various theories have suggested that Misophonia has a genetic component linked to it. However, it is not understood entirely, but it is believed that Misophonia is due to the interaction of various genes and not only one specific gene. You may possess its gene, but depending upon your past life experiences, you may or may not show the symptoms of the disorder.
2. Is Misophonia a phobia?
No, Misophonia is not linked by any means with phonophobia. Misophonia is the hatred towards the sound, whereas phonophobia is the fear of sound. Many patients are misdiagnosed between these two. There are no pieces of evidence or research to prove their similarities. One is the hatred for sound, and the other is a feeling of fear.
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