I remember the first time I read about misophonia. I believe it was a joke article posted on a friend’s Facebook feed “Maybe you have this issue, LOL.” I read the article and was relieved to know that others suffer from the same condition.
My first problem with sound arrived at school where I would be driven bat sh*t crazy by someone clicking their pens incessantly, or if they had a nose whistle. I couldn’t focus on anything else other than those noises.
After my husband and I moved into the first house we owned, I was subjected to a neighbor’s dog howling. It was the first time I realized that misophonia could have a negative impact on one’s physical health as I felt my heart rate sky rocket. Of course at the time, I didn’t realize that not everyone felt the same way I felt about a dog’s noisiness.
When my husband and I moved to another house, I felt relief. I thought there’s no way my new neighbors will have dogs that howl at all hours. Well, I was right for a few months and then new neighbors moved into the house next door with three big dogs they kept them in a tiny space on the side of the house. Every time they barked, it sounded as if they were inside my house.
And then the neighbor on the other side of the house redid their landscaping and put in one of those koi ponds with a cascading waterfall.
I thought I would go insane and I think I nearly did. The worst part is when I complained to my neighbors about the noise, they didn’t know why I had such a problem — it seemed weird to them that I would be irritated by a burbling fountain, especially when they knew that my family and I frequently vacationed right next to the Salmon River in Oregon. How did the artificial running water irritate me and the natural river not?
One of my biggest frustrations with my misophonia is the lack of consistency. My husband’s chewing drives me insane. The man on the plane’s chewing drives me insane. The guy chewing gum on the train drives me insane but my children’s chewing has no effect. The fake water running next door makes me want to scream but the real water is soothing. The neighbor’s air-conditioner is louder than anything ever but when it clicks on, I pass out.
With the rise of information about misophonia available on the Internet, I feel more at peace with this disorder. I know I am not alone and I know that I’m not crazy. It’s also a relief to know that there are scientists studying the brains of those with misophonia — you and I are truly not suffering with something that’s ‘all in our heads.’ And here’s hoping they some day come up with why it happens to some people and ways in which to effectively treat it. I certainly would not wish this on anyone.
I have my coping mechanisms (thank God for noise cancelling headphones), white noise apps for when I’m traveling, and fans for sleeping. And I’m always on the lookout for more ideas.
Thank you for sharing your struggle with misophonia. I can tell from the very detailed responses from others (and me!) that so many people are struggling with this misunderstood disorder.