what is misophonia

Repeated noises such as chewing, tapping, sniffing or scratching can annoy or frustrate someone. But for people who live with a condition called misophonia, these noises are torture . With misophonia, the small sounds, and many others, can be really unbearable.

This condition was originally known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome. Misophonia involves extreme sensitivity to certain sounds . In fact, the name comes from the Greek and literally means “hate on sound”.


  • What is misophonia?
  • Symptoms of Misophonia
  • Common Triggers of Misophonia
  • What causes misophonia?

What is misophonia?

This hypersensitivity causes a fight or flight response to sounds . For example, you may urgently need:

  • leave the room immediately
  • Cover your ears tightly
  • Shout out to the person making the noise to stop

some triggers can cause so much distress that the person begins to avoid certain situations and people as a result . If the sounds of food usually trigger this response, you can start eating alone and avoid going to restaurants, cafes or any other public places where people can eat.

Researchers named this condition in 2001, so its study is in relatively early stages. Some experts consider misophonia itself as a condition , while others believe that it could develop as a symptom of other health conditions. mental health .

Symptoms of misophonia

In general, you can recognize misophonia by its main symptom: a strong negative reaction to hearing trigger sounds . More specifically, this response can include a variety of feelings, emotions, and physical sensations:

  • Feelings of irritation, irritation and anger
  • Anger, rage, or feelings of aggression, including the desire to lash out physically or verbally at the trigger of the sound
  • Nervousness or restlessness in situations that may trigger sounds
  • A feeling of anxiety or panic, such as feelings of being trapped or losing control
  • Tightness or pressure throughout the body or in the chest
  • Increases heart rate, blood pressure and temperature

These symptoms usually first appear during preadolescence or adolescence . If you live with misophonia, you may recognize your somewhat extreme response to certain sounds. However, you may find it difficult to deal with the distress these sounds cause you or to control the intensity of your reaction on your own.

If you have a hard time dealing with the triggering sounds of everyday life, you can start avoiding places where you usually hear these sounds. This could mean avoiding friends and family, or frequently missing work and school. Definitely, misophonia can gradually change your daily life .

Common triggers of misophonia

triggering sounds can vary quite a bit from person to person . These triggers may also change or increase over time. Although misophonia begins in response to a specific sound, as it often does, other sounds can trigger a similar reaction over time.

Some of the most common misophonia triggers are the mouth sounds that other people make. The most common sounds can be:

  • Chewing gum or eating chewy things
  • drink liquids
  • hair swallow
  • breathing hard
  • clear your throat or cough
  • smack your lips

Other triggers can be:

  • the face
  • Make noise when typing
  • The “click” sound of a pen
  • Roll paper or fabric
  • the sound of a clock
  • The sound of shoes on several floors
  • Clinking of glasses or cutlery
  • The sound of felting or cutting nails
  • The mechanical buzzes and clicks
  • The song of birds or crickets
  • The sound of animals preening

For some people, visual triggers can cause a similar reaction . For example, to see someone doing the following actions:

  • Move or shake your legs or feet
  • rubbing nose
  • touch your hair
  • Shake a pencil or pen between your fingers
  • Chew with open mouth
  • Move your lips or jaw in a chewing motion, with a piece of gum, for example

If you live with misophonia, you may find that when you make the same sound, it does not provoke a reaction. Some people with misophonia find that mimicking trigger sounds can help reduce the distress they cause you .

What causes misophonia?

Researchers are still not sure what causes it. Yes, they know that it happens more often in people who also have :

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Da fro)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • tinnitus

A possible link between misophonia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has also been suggested. While misophonia appears to be a condition of its own, it definitely overlaps with other conditions, including similar symptoms.

It usually starts around puberty, with the first symptoms appearing between the ages of 9 and 12. The initial trigger often comes from a parent or other family member , but new triggers can develop over time.