September 6, 2011

Misophonia — "a newly recognized condition that remains little studied and poorly understood."

A newly recognized condition... or an old irritability with a name that helps irritable people feel less irritated by their own characteristic of being terribly irritated by other people?
Many people can be driven to distraction by certain small sounds that do not seem to bother others — gum chewing, footsteps, humming. But sufferers of misophonia... [are believed to have something that] is hard-wired, like right- or left-handedness, and is probably not an auditory disorder but a “physiological abnormality” that resides in brain structures activated by processed sound....

Misophonia (“dislike of sound”) is sometimes confused with hyperacusis, in which sound is perceived as abnormally loud or physically painful. But Dr. Johnson says they are not the same. “These people like sound, the louder the better,” she said of misophonia patients. “The sounds they object to are soft, hardly audible sounds.” One patient is driven crazy by her beloved dog licking its paws. Another can’t bear the pop of the plosive “p” in ordinary conversation.

93 comments:

rhhardin said...

Misophonia is sometimes confused with hyperacusis

It might not be confusion.

Fred4Pres said...

I have experienced the opposite. There are certain people who speak who for some reason are just a pleasure to listen to. It is not what they are saying, it is something about the timbre of their voices that make it pleasurable to hear them speak. It wears off after a while, but I still occasionally get it (it happened far more often when I was younger).

MarkG said...

Whispering in the library. I can't stand it.

Paddy O said...

I totally have this. Though a mild case if I compare myself to those in the article. Still... noises totally bother me and undermine my focus. Earplugs and fans are my friends and I can't study in the library. Too much rustling and movement and whispers.

Cell phones are my nemesis. They make every otherwise quiet spot a place to listen to someone else's uninteresting phone calls.

So, does this condition bring any kind of federal financial relief?

Andrea said...

Huh. I think I've got that. Loud noises (like rock music) don't bother me, but little tiny repetitive noises (like the termites chewing on the walls of my childhood home) would drive me insane.

Ooh, I have a condition! I wonder how much disability I can soak the taxpayer for. (j/k)

Ann Althouse said...

I need extra time on the standardized test because the scritchy-scratch of pencils drives me nuts...

Ann Althouse said...

If the sound of someone chewing is driving you crazy, it's a sign that you don't love that person anymore. I think that happens in "Anna Karenina."

But if anyone chewing drives you crazy, you could have misophonia or you could be a curmudgeon.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't mind people chewing, but I can't stand if they let the fork or spoon click the plate.

I'm just asking for everyone to stop doing that.

MarkG said...

Got that, Meade?. Ok, now what about Ann drives you nuts?

ricpic said...

I lived in apartments for decades and could never get used to it, the issue being the near impossibility of ever living in a state of uninterrupted quiet. There was always something: footsteps above me or the faint sound of a voice carrying from the apartment next door or the thud of a closet door being closed or something being dropped or a squeaky floor. That's why owning my own modest unattached home is the greatest luxury imaginable

CJinPA said...

So that’s why my wife Paula reacts angrily when I tell her I put her precious pottery in perilous proximity to playful puppies. It’s not me she’s annoyed at, it’s those popping “Ps” and her misophonia. What a relief.

Ann Althouse said...

"Got that, Meade?. Ok, now what about Ann drives you nuts?"

Meade doesn't do that. Nothing Meade does even annoys me. I love everything about him.

Mary Beth said...

I'll turn on the TV while I'm working because I can ignore it and it covers up the small noises that would otherwise annoy me.

pogo101 said...

I may have a touch of this. Example: I can sleep with a ticking clock or the "white noise" of a fan .. but if an otherwise quiet fan has a tiny little (non-rhythmic) click noise? It keeps me awake.

Random Arrow said...

“misophonia... “

Who is selling hearing aids behind this new diagnostic?

LordSomber said...

Uptalking makes me want to break jaws. That and the sound of Sarah Vowell's voice.

Ann Althouse said...

"There was always something: footsteps above me or the faint sound of a voice carrying from the apartment next door or the thud of a closet door being closed or something being dropped or a squeaky floor. That's why owning my own modest unattached home is the greatest luxury imaginable."

Ah, yes! It's been a long time since I've lived in an apt., but what I hated was hearing any music or TV through the walls, especially the thumping of the bass of the music that was otherwise inaudible.

The sense that some other person was inflicting his bad taste on me... that's what I hated.

(But I don't in any way think I have a disorder of any kind. It's a matter of temperament, which is part of human diversity.)

Random Arrow said...

Not fair, what I said. Misophonia is possibly maladaptive. Fair enough. We need hearing - ecologically tuned - to identify predators.

edutcher said...

I can sympathize. Every now and again, a certain noise can really drive me up the freaking wall.

Actually, this may be more what ADD really is than what the teachers' union claim it to be.

PS The real name of this condition is, "For Christ's sake, will you stop that? I've read the same sentence 10 times".

I believe it's started several wars.

Random Arrow said...

haha, edutcher said, "but DAD, why? what did you say, DAD? HUH? I CAN"T HAVE THE KEYS TO THE CAR?"

Starts at home ...

traditionalguy said...

A good conscience is a continual feast and a guilty conscience is a continual fear, someone once said.

I have known mothers that could hear their boys make the smallest sounds.

Her boys got very frustrated and said that she had eyes in the back of her head.

It is psychological in the sense that a context to interpret sounds is an inner tape running through the minds.

But now days only DNA molecules are the supposed answers to every question.

Therefore I blame evolution. But that means the people who irritate us must not survive. It's science, you know.

CJinPA said...

LordSomber -

Uptalking annoys me too? Not sure why it comes off as insincere but it does?

caplight said...

edutcher -very funny and true.

"Meade doesn't do that. Nothing Meade does even annoys me. I love everything about him."

"There were birds on the hill
But I never heard them singing,
No I never heard them at all...
Misphonia"

I thought "misphonia" was when you "butt call" someone with your cell phone in your pocket.

Paddy O said...

Ricpic, so true for me. And now that I'm back to living in an apartment in the city, surrounded mostly by just out of college graduate students, the irritations are near constant.

I'm trying to find my way to finding wisdom and growth by not letting it get to me, but it's hard work.

That unattached house sounds great, though it'd be unimaginably great on about forty acres.

What's interesting to me is that it's almost entirely people noise that gets to me. I love the sounds of birds, of wind in the trees, of a running stream, or any of the other innumerable more natural sounds.

Windchimes, however, drive me absolutely crazy. Ruin the sound of a good wind with random tinkling is absolutely baffling to me.

Also, gas leaf blowers. Despise them. An offense to ears and nose.

Hey, this is like the grumpy folks cafe!

Paddy O said...

I also think it's temperament and diversity. When I get total quiet, my mind wanders in very creative directions, and I'm a much better writer and thinker.

So, I yearn for that wandering, but every random noise is like an arrow shot at my thought balloon, causing me to crash back down to earth.

I spend a lot of the day with earplugs in, but being so close to other apartments, sometimes the noise breaks through. I also have a pair of Etymotic MC5 earphones, which are like earplugs with speakers. Had the Er6i until I finally wore them out with use.

Love those.

Joanna said...

I can't stand silence, because it never is. All the little noises are deafening.

In my house, the TV is on pretty much nonstop (including when I fall asleep), in attempts to drown out the noisy silence.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

"There was always something: footsteps above me or the faint sound of a voice carrying from the apartment next door or the thud of a closet door being closed or something being dropped or a squeaky floor. That's why owning my own modest unattached home is the greatest luxury imaginable."

Ah, yes! It's been a long time since I've lived in an apt., but what I hated was hearing any music or TV through the walls, especially the thumping of the bass of the music that was otherwise inaudible.

The sense that some other person was inflicting his bad taste on me... that's what I hated.

(But I don't in any way think I have a disorder of any kind. It's a matter of temperament, which is part of human diversity.)


/sarc

Donna B. said...

"Another can’t bear the pop of the plosive “p” in ordinary conversation."

This person probably would not enjoy seeing Mr. Popper's Penguins.

Henry said...

Paging Dr. Poe:

He suffered much from a morbid acuteness of the senses; the most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only garments of certain texture; the odours of all flowers were oppressive; his eyes were tortured by even a faint light; and there were but peculiar sounds, and these from stringed instruments, which did not inspire him with horror.

traditionalguy said...

The NPR had a book review last week about the subconscious mind's alertness to different stimuli.

Pictures of things cause mildly alert reactions.

But pictures with animals and humans cause red line alertness. If a later picture has a structure removed , few noticed that, but if an animal or a human goes missing all see that.

The theory was that we are evolved to instantly track all animals and men because they are either our food source or we are their food source.

So sounds may be similar in nature. And then there is the case of Bob Dylan's singing voice!

DADvocate said...

While working, people talking distract me somewhat. (We work in cubicles.) Some voices are quite irritating. One woman's voice inspired me to buy headphones which I don't like to wear because I like to be able to hear someone sneaking up behind me.

For a while, one coworker had a computer mouse on which the wheel was quite loud. I thought he was chewing loudly for a long time.

With dozens of keyboards, quiet conversations, cursing under one's breath, people walking about (I find the sound of dragging hills slightly irritating), occasional earthquakes, etc, someone with misophonia would go crazy where I work.

Henry said...

From the article: “I don’t think 8- or 9-year-olds choose to wake up one morning and say, ‘Today my dad’s chewing is going to drive me insane,’ ” said Marsha Johnson, an audiologist in Portland, Ore., who runs an online forum for people with misophonia.

That is true. Every healthy 9-year-old wakes up every morning and says 'Today I will drive my dad insane.'

Dads are resilient, though.

Michael said...

I am deeply offended by the bass that precedes a car blaring hiphop with all windows down. You can feel them coming before you can hear them and you can hear them many car lengths before they are abreast.

there is an antidote, however, and that is Johann Sebastian Bach, a cantata, any cantata, at full blast. It is like a whistle blast in the ears of a hiphop devotee.

DADvocate said...

The NPR had a book review last week about the subconscious mind's alertness to different stimuli.

In psychology, we studied a phenomena call an "orienting reflex," upon the hearing of a strange or unusual sound one would "orient" to that sound and try to identify its source. This was considered to be a survival mechanism too. It can be great fun to play with cats using sounds. Cats react to almost every little new sound.

Class factotum said...

I was ready to slap the guy next to me on the plane who stroked and groomed his felt hat for 20 minutes. Not noisy, but so damn fidgety. I had to avert my eyes.

I am also not keen on the sound of people chewing.

Dale said...

That dry mouth condition that old people get that makes that wet sound when thy speak

Dale said...

and dry smacking mouth in the morninging.



Cats react to almost every little new sound.

What's really fun is when they are declawed and can't make it up the curtains when you hang something just out of jumping reach. Hysterical!

Coketown said...

Why is everything becoming pathological? Why can't we have fusspots and curmudgeons and wet blankets without their personalities becoming "physiological abnormalities"?

One noise that bothers me is the bass from my downstairs neighbor. He's a government-subsidized shut-in who spends ALL day, EVERY day playing World of Warcraft because he doesn't have to work, and with housing subsidies his family could offload him and make him someone else's problem. Namely, mine.

I also hate--hate, hate, hate--rattles and noises in my car's dashboard or doors. Rattling in other people's cars doesn't bother me, but if it's in mine it drives me absolutely batty, mostly because I paid good money for a new car and it's infuriating that it should develop rattles. But my current car has been perfectly quiet for 50,000 miles, and that makes me very happy.

DADvocate said...

mostly because I paid good money for a new car and it's infuriating that it should develop rattles.

A woman I worked with bought a new car that had a rattle that just wouldn't go away. After several months of unsuccessful attempts to fix it, they gave her a new, new car. They then tore the first car apart on found a glass pop bottle that had been stuck in a body panel by someone on the factory assembly line.

ALP said...

"...or an old irritability with a name that helps irritable people feel less irritated by their own characteristic of being terribly irritated by other people?"

If only that were true - I'd be very happy if merely giving it a name made me a less irritable person! I do like having a name for it - misophonia sounds much better than "mind weasels", which is my term for the condition.

Coketown said...

After several months of unsuccessful attempts to fix it, they gave her a new, new car.

You know, with my first car that developed rattles, people kept telling me to bring it in as it was under warranty, but I thought it was such a trivial thing that it couldn't possibly be covered by warranty. But it is. And reading various car forums, I've found a LOT of people who did the same thing. And I've read a lot of people whose deciding factor in buying a car is whether it develops noises. I'm sure soon we'll have a misophonia advocacy group with its own consumer reports magazine: "Forget MPGs. Which car rattles least? We give our Top Ten. PLUS: How to make a fuss about clinking silverware without sounding trite."

Coketown said...

I'm also irritated by Obama's whistled S's. During his speeches, I notice one, then wait for the next, then soon it's all I'm paying attention to. Which is a shame because I end up missing the substance of his speech. Oh wait.

ndspinelli said...

I have both abnormalities..I hate the sound of my dog licking his balls, people eating loudly, and loud sounds like those reverse gear fucking beeping vehicles. UW vehicles have the loudest, ear piercing, beeping vehicles. I hate the beeps @ a gas pump. I believe I could live a good life deaf. I become less tolerant of noise every year.

Pogo said...

Being annoyed by sounds or other intrusive stimuli is normal, because it is tied to our threat surveillance system, and therefore difficult to ignore.

This disorder is more than annoyance. And I think the doctors here are missing the boat.

The patients here are describing the hypersensitization that occurs as a result of an over-activated fight-or flight response.

The article quotes one woman: "“The reaction is irrational,” said Ms. Siganoff, ...“It is typical fight or flight” .
Neat, but she's got it backwards.

The autonomic nervous system itself is overactive, with anxiety and psychological stress manifested by over-sensitivity to stimuli.

Central sensitization, defined as an augmentation of responsiveness of central neurons to input neurologic receptors, with altered sensory processing in the brain, augmenting sensitivity to a variety of peripheral stimuli, including mechanical pressure, chemical substances, light, sounds, odor, cold, heat, and electrical stimuli.

The normal braking system for the brain is the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), which sits at the temples. The VLPFC inhibits motor, cognitive and emotional responses to stimuli.

In people with overactive fight-or-flight, inhibition is extremely difficult or even absent, resulting in rage or anxiety.

Some people claim to have multiple chemical allergies, or say they are allergic to electricity, or have pain and cannot be touched (fibromyalgia).

Females predominate in this; I expect it's also why they are better at mirroring emotion. It's all related, IMHO.

David said...

I used to be annoyed and distracted by all sorts of sounds, many of which were quite common. That's not true anymore in my case. The change came when I rearranged my life to get rid of two situations that were really annoying me on a daily basis. Once that change was made, the rest of the stuff stopped being a problem.

David said...

Pogo, I think you explained why my responses changed. All day, every day, it was fight or flight. Then it was not. This changed everything.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The sound of certain types of crickets causes me pain. The back of my head feels the vibrations from their sounds. It's like a small vibrating drill and it hurts.

I like the silence, however, I do agree with Joanna. It really isn't silent.

My husband and I will sit in the house and read in silence with only the ruffling of pages and an occasional comment, laugh or reading aloud of a good passage. Often we will be cruising on the internet with just the little tippy typing sounds from our respective computers. Our normal background sounds are the birds and other sounds of nature and an occasional vehicle going by on the road to remind us that civilization still exists.

I can't stand the sound of constant television in the background. The inane yammering. If I want low soothing background sounds I'll play some instrumental or classical music.

Mostly I can tune out the sounds if I wish and not be irritated....except the damned crickets.

A. Shmendrik said...

The sound of Joy Behar is pretty disturbing to me. Does that qualify?

As much as I like Sarah Palin, I think she could use some vocal training and an expert at sound shaping/graphic equalization/tweaking her microphones/sound systems at speeches. Her voice, particularly when she is amping it up to get over crowd noise, has an uncomfortable quality to it.

madAsHell said...

I'm not liking anything I'm hearin' these days!

Freeman Hunt said...

So it's hyperacusis if every time you enter a house with a television on, you wonder why it's blaring and can't wait to flip it off the moment the other people are out of the room?

WV: fackin As in, "Turn off your fackin TV!"

Tyrone Slothrop said...

When I went from thinking that people were jerks who didn't like my music to thinking no one should listen to my music unless they really wanted to was when I grew up.

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. That could be useful. "I'm sorry. Could you please turn off your television/stereo? I suffer from hyperacusis."

Freeman Hunt said...

That saves one from ever having to say, "Television/your music sucks."

ndspinelli said...

Freeman, I'm w/ you on tv's. When I was a juvenile probation officer I would visit homes that seemed to always have the tv blaring. This was before remotes were standard. So, before I say down, I would calmly walk over and turn off the tv. Problem solved.

The loud bass from a car stereo literally causes ear pain for me.

Alex said...

I have to admit chewing/slurping sounds drive me nuts. Also when people suck in air when they talk, when they do that smacking thing with their tongue. I get into an apoplectic rage at that point and want to stab my ears.

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Even total silence can be very scary. The smallest sounds suddenly make you jump in terror. I hate sleeping alone in an empty house. All you hear throughout the night are the creaks of the floorboards settling and it's very spooky I tell you!

Alex said...

If you wanted to get the ticking bomb out of me, your best bet would be to subject me to slurping noises.

Carol_Herman said...

Perhaps, teachers of old once suffered from this quirk?

But it's easy enough to solve. A hat with ear flaps. A pair of ear muffs. Even cotton balls.

Meanwhile, my dogs can hear the sirens coming long before I hear anything. And, they begin to sing.

Alex said...

Waterboarding, cutting off fingers I can take. Food chewing sounds is a terror beyond all.

Alex said...

Carol - for those of us blessed(cursed?) with acute hearing wearing a hat or even earplugs isn't sufficient protection.

EDH said...

The sounds they object to are soft, hardly audible sounds.” One patient is driven crazy by her beloved dog licking its paws. Another can’t bear the pop of the plosive “p” in ordinary conversation.

"Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment."

Leigh Fellner said...

I live in the middle of the city. A trolley line and an above-ground subway station are right outside my bedroom window. I can sleep right through this noise - and sirens, car alarms, barking dogs, you name it. But the sound of gum cracking - especially when the chewer keeps her mouth closed to muffle it - sends me right around the bend. I've been this way since I was eight or nine, and was always told by my parents to "ignore it". These are sounds I CAN'T ignore. The description of rage, panic and fear are right on the money. I can't describe how much this "crankiness" has affected how I feel about myself. Knowing others are bothered by these same, small noises is an amazing relief.

Palladian said...

"The autonomic nervous system itself is overactive, with anxiety and psychological stress manifested by over-sensitivity to stimuli."

Pogo, very interesting. I have a life-long struggle with anxiety/panic disorder and I've always wondered if it was somehow related to my sensitivity.

Without getting too personal, I have a condition that make me extraordinarily sensitive to most sensory stimulus. I've spent my life finding ways to cope with the problem, but it's not easy. I had great difficulty when I was a child because all television sets back then were CRTs, and I found their emitted frequency intensely painful. I have a similar issue with fluorescent lighting, which is one reason I'm so horrified about the ascendancy of the CFL. The refrigerator is also a challenge, because I find its frequency very loud and unpleasant. I live in a very noisy old building, right near an elevated subway; strangely, the clatter of the subway trains doesn't bother me too much (if the windows are closed), but the sound of a fridge is painful.

I survive in New York by wearing noise isolating headphones whenever I am outside. I actually hate doing it, because I hate the vulnerability of not being able to hear things, but it's unbearable without them.

It's not just sounds, I am also very sensitive to touch, light, smell and color. These sensitivities, however, don't generally cause me the pain that my auditory sensitivity does, and I've actually been able to use them to my advantage, as a visual artist and now as a perfumer.

Alex said...

Palladian - thank you for sharing.

Paddy O said...

comments like Pogo's is why I love hanging out around here. Well, comments like Pogo's mixed in with all the jokes, curmudgeonness, and whatnot.

ndspinelli, I'm with you on the backup beeps. I despise those. I really do not need to know that a truck 2 or 3 blocks away is backing up.

When I was in Germany, there was a truck that made more of a swish, swoosh sound, loud enough to warn anyone behind them, not loud enough to tell the whole neighborhood. We need those.

Because every time I hear the trash trucks on our block, which is a 3-4 step process involving as many as 3 different trucks, every day, all backing up, I get images of barbarian Europe, and wish it were socially acceptable to take a battle axe to the those.

Speaking of fight impulse... I blame my berserker forebears for passing on this tendency to rage at irritating beeps, honks, clanks, clatter, and small talk.

Methadras said...

For me and how my synesthesia works, this can be an issue. It's not that there are stimuli that irritate or can irritate me, but more of how that sensory input translates itself to some other sense that I have to deal with. For example, I think we can all agree here that the sound of scratching on a chalk board more or less ranks right up there as one of the most unnerving sounds ever. Well, when I hear that sound, the two sensory translated offerings on get on top of it is basically what I call the taste of diarrhea and the smell of dried blood. Misophonia might be bad for some people but for me it's worse.

Original Mike said...

"...or you could be a curmudgeon."

Always a possibility.

MadisonMan said...

I'm fine with just about any noise, unless it's coming from a politician's mouth.

Pogo said...

Palladian, I hear you man.

People who have hypersensitivity to stimuli often have a history of PTSD or anxiety disorder due to repeated traumas. This literally changes the structure of the brain, especially the regions associated with the cardinal symptoms of PTSD, such as physiological hyperarousal and emotional numbing, and bodily symptoms such as sensitivity to stimuli.

Brain volumes positively correlated with age of onset of PTSD trauma and negatively correlated with duration of abuse.

One key to improvement may be to make use of what artists, musicians, gardeners and computer jocks have experienced: getting in the zone.

Focused attention on an activity can make people unaware of their surroundings; hours can pass unawares, even unaware of intrusive stimuli.

It's not simply distraction.

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) manages that ability, and when it is on the fight-or-flight system (FOFS) is in the "off" position, making the hypersensitivity response diminish or disappear.

One can practice making that area more and more, with certain techniques, and make it be on more of the time than the FOFS. The effort is making the PFC the default system, instead of the FOFS.

Carol_Herman said...

Hard to find clients! They don't even want to open the letters with the invitations, inside.

Besides, hearing deficits got studied ... because doctors can sell hearing aids.

Ditto, people with vision problems. They didn't come to get diagnosed. They came so they could leave with glasses, so they could see better.

PLUS, every single kid that's ever been outside playing, NEVER HEARD the call to come home. "Dinner's ready." Must be why this area hasn't been looked into very much.

(Though Huckleberry Finn has such a sad scene with Jim. Whose little girl survives scarlet fever. And, then? He yells first, before it hits him. The child's been left deaf and dumb.)

Just the way these things scale, Misophonia isn't on the list of human woes.

Pogo said...

Ack.

One can practice making that area more and more functional, with certain techniques, and make it be on more of the time than the FOFS. The effort is towards making the PFC the default system instead of the FOFS.

Jose_K said...

Have you ever been trying to read book while somebosy is typing in a computer. That is a nosie that drive you crazy

Jose_K said...

especially the thumping of the bass .. who invented the bass or began the everlasting fad of having them must be placed in hell beside Judas, the inventor of spam and who invented reggeton

DADvocate said...

The sounds that really bother me are the voices in my head.

David said...

Where did you learn all this stuff, Pogo? I thought you were a money grubbing capitalist with a mildly amusing sense of humor.

Carol_Herman said...

I wonder if you forced people to attend the opera if the numbers of identified cases would go up?

The key being that you'd be forced to go.

gadfly said...

Let me count the ways -- whether it called Misophonia, Hyperacusis or even Tinnitus it all falls under the general term, Noise Anxiety.

I have my theory, having had to put up with teenagers -- that ear-blasting music has to be the primary cause. Having said that, old folks get Tinnitus simply by being old folks. Audiologists make a fortune selling hearing aids to solve a problem that is likely unsolvable.

For all other folks with Noise Anxiety, there is the cheap fix called ear plugs.

Tari said...

All of you are so glad you don't live in my house. My boys are experts in all these sounds and would drive y'all nuts. I am still alive: that must be proof that I do not have misophonia.

random thoughts said...

As the mother of an Aspie, I can tell you that this is entirely normal for a lot of Aspergers people. My son is a drum, violin, and trumpet player. The louder the music, the better for him. He is one loud kid. Small noises drive him over the bend. I had his hearing tested and it turns out that he has incredibly sensitive hearing. When I was a child I could hear the alarm system at the doors at one of the stores at our mall. I didn't lose that ability until I was in my teens. I tried living in the city and was miserable from the sounds, but living in the country is wonderful. It is the only way I can sleep- without all that city noise and electricity- even though I can sleep through my son practicing his music in the room right over mine. And I threaten physical violence to people who smack gum, chew with their mouths open, or slurp their soup. Nails on freaking chalkboard to me.

Jane said...

I have this. I can't eat with my husband and kids, but they understand. I've put it to them that it's my problem, not theirs.

We rarely had family meals growing up - I wonder if my Dad had the same problem. He used to ask me firmly but kindly to stop certain noises, such as cleaning a vinyl tablecloth with a sponge.

mesquito said...

Without a doubt, the most irritating sound in the world is an unwatched television showing a C-SPAN call-in show.

Sixty Grit said...

Going deaf is a blessing.

Pogo said...

@ David: I am a man of mini talents.

"Misohornia"
A newly recognized condition that remains little studied and poorly understood.

The need to endlessly repeat the lines from movies seen when you were 12 to 35 years old.

Fred4Pres said...

Misophonia is sometimes confused with Garofalopobia

Justin said...

I suppose I'm the weird one in that none of the above mentioned noises bother me in the least. It helps having gone to an "open concept" high school where one was subject to the noises of several classrooms while attempting to concentrate.

DADvocate said...

Misophonia

I like the sound of it.

Roux said...

Everybody has a disability.... and I mean everybody.

Lem said...

I think I got the common garden variety of Misophonia.. better known as MisObamia.

Whenever I hear Barack speaking.. for more than a minute, I start having convulsive spasms ;)

Carol_Herman said...

School starts. And, this was the story you chose to "hang" today.

I wonder if your hearing becomes more acute and sensitive ... as you get to start another year?

Who else but teachers would be alert to the sound of gum being chewed?

Did I ever sit at a school desk that didn't have a piece of gum pasted on the bottom?

As to teachers afflicted with misophonia ... can they go out on disability?

I'd think most teachers just end up really liking "their" kids ... And, then when school ends they hate to let go. (It's a big investment.)

At least the kids come in all excited. And, not just with new clothes. And, shoes. And, backpacks! Today's kids have cell phones. And, Laptops. (And, they Google the reputations they can find on line.) They're not depending on the school's "biographical data" either.

And, since I do think teachers have "special hearing" ... they're using it to connect to students. It's the opposite of a disease.

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onamichin said...

Love this thread. Your insights. My husband has this quirk...er...medical condition. I'm sensitive to it and pay attention to my sounds. I love the second comment @Fred4Pres, that said he may have the opposite, I'm with you. LOVE all sounds, weirder the better!

Teresa Brunson said...

I have this I cant stand the sound of people who are congested, breathe heavy when talking, snort, chomp when chewing, constintly clearing their throat, coughing consistantly, loud talking, etc...