You are peacefully enjoying breakfast on a quiet, sunny morning when suddenly someone beside you slurps up a milky bite of cereal. Then, even worse, they begin crunching, and you can hear them trying to suck down the milk as they chomp. Just when you think you are going to scream if you have to listen one more round of this disgusting repetition of crunch slurp, crunch slurp, it finally comes to an end.
Slowly you look up only to see another spoonful being lifted to their lips.
How To Know If You Have It
If you find yourself feeling rageful or panicked as you read the description above, you may have misophonia.
According to Misophonia.com, a website dedicated to the condition, “misophonia elicits excessively negative and immediate emotional and physiological responses” to repetitive sounds. It’s also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome.
Most commonly, these sounds are made with the mouth (chewing, swallowing or slurping), the nose (sniffing or breathing), hands (such as a constant tapping or clicking) or feet (toe taping, for example). This is not an exhaustive list. Different individuals have different triggers that can cause them to escalate.
Misophonia was identified fairly recently and isn’t officially classified as a disorder, but researchers are beginning to study what triggers it and why some people have this heightened sensitivity to repetitive sounds.
While we all have visceral reactions to certain noises (nails on a chalkboard, anyone?), misophonia sufferers are often bothered to the point where they aren’t able to function on a day-to-day basis.
Mild reactions can include feelings of disgust, anxiety, discomfort and a desire to flee. More severe responses can include rage, anger, hatred, fear, panic or even suicidal thoughts, according to WebMD.
What To Do If You Think You Have Misophonia
If you are affected by misophonia, seeking treatment from a qualified professional can help. Treatment options may include sound training and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Watch the video from SciShow to learn more about misophonia.
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Another Under-The-Radar Aversion Gets Attention
Another little-known aversion has come into the public eye recently.
Trypophobia is an intense, irrational fear that’s triggered by patterns of holes or bumps. The holes in a lotus pod, for example, have been known to disturb those who have this phobia.
The creators of the TV show “American Horror Story” tapped into this phobia for ads promoting the show’s new season. One of the ads featured a woman sticking out her tongue to reveal the underside of her tongue filled with holes. Another shows a head missing half its skull and the brain within is patterned with holes.
(We won’t feature the images in order to spare those who are triggered, but you can click through to see them here.)
While the ads are amusing to some, for those who have this phobia, the images can provoke nausea, anxiety or even panic attacks.
As with misophonia, trypophobia isn’t a classified disorder, but researchers are beginning to study it with greater frequency.