Can’t stand the sound of chewing? Maybe you are suffering from misophonia

Can’t stand the sound of chewing? Maybe you are suffering from misophonia
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Misophonia is a problem that has recently been recognised by science, which is manifested in the form of auditory repulsion for certain types of everyday noises. From chewing noises to the scraping of a knife on a plate, this problem can be very disturbing for people who suffer from it. 

What is misophonia?

Many people cannot tolerate certain types of sounds -the sound of nails on a blackboard, or the noise made by someone chewing. For some people, these specific noises can cause negative emotions, such as anger or disgust. This auditory repulsion is called misophonia, a term which means “hatred of sound”.

This problem has only been studied relatively recently, and it is rarely diagnosed. It was discovered by American researchers towards the end of the 1990s.

In 2013, psychiatrists in the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam led a new study on 42 people suffering from misophonia. Since then, it is increasingly being recognised as a distinct psychiatric condition.

According to neurological analyses on affected individuals, this syndrome is characterised by a repulsion to specific everyday, low intensity sounds.

The symptoms of misophonia

Most of the time, misophonia emerges from a young age and can lead to numerous physical and psychological reactions:

  • excessive sweating
  • increased heartbeat
  • muscle tension
  • a feeling of frustration
  • becoming more isolated, etc.

This symptoms can be disruptive to daily life. If you feel you are affected by this problem, consult a psychiatrist. In any case, these reactions can be exacerbated by stress or fatigue.

The causes for this problem remain unclear. Studies suggest that it could be linked to an abnormal evaluation of signals sent by the emotional centre of the brain, which is why misophonia is difficult to treat. Among the most effective treatments, therapy consisting of listening to the target sounds and associating them with pleasant sounds appears to work (taking approximately 9 months).