What is Misophonia? and what can be done about it?
Symptoms and Triggers
Misophonia is also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome and is a real loathing or hatred of sound, not all sound but specific noises. Oral noise is a fairly common trigger and is especially prevalent with breathing, eating, yawning and chewing. Sufferers will have their own specific symptoms and triggers and may have a collection of sounds which is known as their trigger set.
When a person is exposed to one of their trigger set, a negative emotional response is immediately created, which can range in intensity from moderate discomfort to real annoyance at one end of the scale to full on rage and panic at the other end. The fight or flight response can also activate causing offensive or defensive reactions with a high state of agitation and anxiety.
People with misophonia can often find personal relationships stressful and difficult as people close to them can often trigger the worst responses. Similarly sufferers can become socially isolated where an environment has known trigger sounds and they avoid people and places in an attempt to prevent experiencing their physical symptoms. The work place can be another difficult area in which there is usually no control over the trigger sound, this can result in distraction or could lead to a full blown panic attack which then becomes a challenge for the individual to do their job and indeed keep their job. The school environment can also be a challenge where long term anxiety can impact on the ability to learn and socialise.
It is not unusual for people with misophonia to keep the problem to themselves as sometimes others may taunt them with exaggerated offending noises, whilst others may try to lessen the issue with phrases such as "don't let it get to you", "just ignore it" or "don't rise to it" and of course if sufferers could ignore it they obviously would.
What can be done about it?
BWRT® can help by re-training the brain to learn a different response to the current one. All we need to know is how you would prefer to respond and feel instead of your existing response when confronted with one of your trigger sounds.