Monday, February 11, 2013

Fast and Easy Ways to Annoy People with Misophonia

Do you live with someone who has misophonia? Better yet, what is misophonia? Misophonia is a very complicated and little understood disorder that affects a person's sensitivity to noise. You may have noticed your son getting upset over the slightest sounds or your husband telling you "Stop raking your fork on your teeth!"  Individuals with misophonia get emotionally upset over sounds and ticks other people rarely hear.

My husband and daughter have misophonia. It wasn't until my Mom watched...
20/20 about a teen suffering with the disease that we realized both Steve and Sloane have the disorder.  I  learned to deal with what I thought to be short tempers from both of them. I feared Sloane had inherited a poor character trait from her Dad. She inherited a real disorder.

The word misophonia literally translates to "hatred of sound". Hatred of sound is in fact an understatement for those who suffer from this disorder. Misophonia sufferers are extremely sensitive to sound, so much so that they have sometimes violent reactions to a certain set of sounds called "triggers".

Here are the top 10 triggers at our house:
  1. Crunch ice (My son-in-law loves to crunch ice, uh-oh)
  2. Eat potato chips (I'm a closet potato chip eater!)
  3. Rake your fork on your teeth (I can't seem to eat without raking my fork on my teeth)
  4. Any kind of continuous tapping (I can't seem to cook without banging a spoon on a pot)
  5. Gum chewing and popping (If I get to chew gum, I can't blow a bubble or pop)
  6. Nose Whistling (my husband says my nose plays a different tune every day)
  7. Humming a tune (with your mouth and not your nose)
  8. Heavy footsteps (my husband has always told our oldest daughter she walks like an elephant)
  9. Typing on a keyboard or texts with sound (silence is golden at our home)
  10. Water bottle squeezing (I can't seem to drink out of a water bottle without it making a loud noise)
My family found some sympathy for Steve and Sloane after the 20/20 episode. We thought they were just being awfully dang picky! The household experienced turmoil when they stomped from a room when crunching became too loud or they called us out on every little noise we made. Steve manages his better since he's older and we feel Sloane may mature into the management of her disorder too. Now, we are cognizant of their disorder and at least try not to purposefully annoy them. Ah! Sweet harmony! My nose has even quit singing! There's interesting misophonia information on Google if you want to learn more about the disorder.
misophonia
Misophonia makes these two Dr. Jekyll and Miss Hyde!
Being very, very quiet,
Tammy
The Happy Handicap

68 comments:

  1. That must be what Michelle has, she hates some sounds. Interesting.

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    1. Shirlene,

      It probably is! Sloane has it really bad. Mother used to think she was spoiled and got really upset when she left the table when people were eating. After she saw the 20/20 segment, Mom makes sure nobody crunches now! :)

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  2. that is good info for everybody.

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    1. I certainly agree it is good info for everybody! Helps us understand people. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I feel like this is totally something that many people have degrees of, and reading the triggers here made me think that my mother probably had this. Very helpful post! Stopping by from SITS Saturday Sharefest.

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    1. It has amazed me how many people feel they have this disorder to varying degrees. Thanks for stopping by. Going to your blog now!

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  4. Very interesting... I am just so glad you found it through watching 20/20 and at least have knowledge of it all, and your family can deal with this disorder. Sounds so awful to live with for your poor kid and hubs! So sorry... Visiting from SITS!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Don't worry :) I love them unconditionally and after all, I am the "Happy" Handicap. They have things to deal with pertaining to me also! Happy Sharefest!

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    2. Thank you so much for sharing your family's story of Misophonia. I have had this for over 50 years, but only found out 2 months ago that others have it also. It is a very debilitating disorder, but it is becoming more recognized as people like yourself talk about it. As we speak, there is the First Annual Misophonia Conference happening in Arizona with many professionals attending to try to help the sufferes of this disorder. You are wonderful to want to help by talking about it. I have a wonderful support group, also, and it is not easy for them either. Things will get better the more people who become aware that it is something that the sufferer can't control and we need to find a cure, especially for our young people. Thanks again, Anne

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    3. Anne,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I am so glad you finally found out you suffer from misophonia. I'm going to look into the Misophonia Conference, sounds interesting and definitely enlightening. Please share our story with your support group. Stay strong!

      Take care,
      Tammy

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  5. Hi Tammy,

    Now, I understand why other people are soo sensitive to sounds and they somehow react to it differently. Thank you for sharing your family story. This is very informative.

    Judy
    pursuitoffunctionalhome(dot)com

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    1. Thanks Judy! I used to think people were just being petty but now I am educated and understand. This has been my most popular blog post ever, 600 views. That's a milestone for me!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  6. Bryannon LaughlinAugust 8, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    I swear just reading your list made my blood pressure go up and annoyed me! I have lived with this for as long as I can remember (I'm 32) I am so glad that this is getting out there and people can see that we really are affected by these things and not just being overly sensitive!

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    1. Bryannon

      I'm glad it has finally been identified as well. I'm hoping for a treatment also. My daughter's cheeks flush red as fire and she has to suck on ice to cool down. It really is distressing. Please take some deep breaths so your BP will go down and have a great rest of your evening. Thanks for stopping by.

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  7. Wow, I wonder if I have this? I am crazy when it comes to repetitive noises, especially at work where I need to concentrate. My big thing is with people talking or with music. I just can't block the words out of my consciousness and it makes it hard for me to write an Email or concentrate on a spreadsheet when someone around me is talking a lot. I used to have a lady over the wall from me with a constant nervous giggle. Some days I would literally want to strangle her! Sometimes I have to pick up my computer and go work in the Cafeteria or something.

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    1. You probably have it! My husband and daughter both leave the room at times because of different noises. My husband has learned to deal with his over the years but my 21-yo daughter cannot control hers as well. Her face turns red and she looks like she will explode! If you've realized you have it, I hope it becomes more manageable for you. Let me know. :)

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  8. This is literally the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. Why does everyone have to have a "disorder" nowadays? That's why society is filled with self-entitled spoiled brats... people are JUSTIFYING their behaviors! And some of these comments? Ridiculous!! My god the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

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    1. I welcome all comments. Thank you for yours Kristin!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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    2. I have this. My brother has this. My daughter has this. Why do you even care, dont read stuff you dont agree with. And, you must not have any mental illness, because you r the one being selfish. Oh this is for kristen, who thinks she knows everything. Congrats, i certainly wish i was you. Must be nice.

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  9. I have never heard of this in my life! I'm so glad they were diagnosed and not just labeled "picky!" Wow. Your daughter is beautiful! I hope they both find peace and quiet everyday!!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Peace and quiet for them is something I pray for every day. :)

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  10. I had no idea this existed, but it would explain so much about my middle daughter. Thanks for writing about this! Sloane is beautiful--she looks like you! Visiting from SITS...

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Nicole. It explained SO much about Sloane and my husband. I hope it helps you understand her better. I think Sloane favors me too, but she says she can't see it! lol

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  11. I have heard of sensitivity to different sensations (particularly ones related to touch) but I didn't realize there was a specific word for people who had a sensitivity to sounds. I can only imagine how awful some of those sounds sound to your husband and daughter. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Bev. They are hard to watch sometimes when sounds that I don't even notice are driving them crazy. Have a wonderful day!

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  12. Funny insights to a little known disorder! Beautiful picture of you and your husband too!

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    1. Thanks! I turn most things into humor. It helps me stay positive and happy. Thanks for stopping by Debbie.

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  13. I have a couple of nephews who are on the autism scale. They both have sensitivities to things, one being noise. It must be very hard to live with. The world is a loud place! Happy SITS Day!

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    1. Yes, the world is a loud place and with misophonia a pin drop is like a supersonic boom! Thanks for stopping by. Love your name, happysuz!

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  14. I struggle with misophonia. Tapping and whistling will drive me from the room. I try to hard to let it go, but it hurts. It was very helpful when I figured out what it was a couple of years ago and explained it to my son. He's a tapper and a whistler. Having me read the description to him helped him understand it was a real thing and not just that I found him irritating. But it's still tough.

    Thank you for writing about it. And for trying to understand what your husband and daughter go through.

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    1. Gosh Robin I hate to hear you suffer from this horrible disorder. It really is difficult for everyone involved. It helped me SO much to find out it's real and many people have it. I try my best to be understanding. Hope you and your son come to peace about it.

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  15. Well this is just so interesting. I'm wondering if this is a spectrum disorder. My father, sister and I are all very sensitive to noise. I remember my father getting very irritated driving if anything was rattling... or we weren't allowed to talk while music was playing. I don't seek silence, but I prefer to have some background noise going to keep the intermittent sounds from interrupting me. Thanks for this post - very interesting (stopping in from SITS)

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    1. You are welcome Seana. My husband wears earphones at work in his IT environment because he can't stand the tapping of one of his co-workers. He can't stand rattling when driving either, we have to find it and stop it. It may be a spectrum disorder, sure sounds like it.

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  16. I was like this with my first pregnancy. My husband says that at the end he had to whisper. Of course the daughter from that pregnancy is very sensitive to noise. I hate repetitive noise of any kind but especially the ocean. Maybe I have it. Thanks for the info. Enjoy your SITS Day.

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    1. Hmmm never heard that about the ocean but it is very repetitive. I never really noticed any of the noises that triggers my husband until after we married. I notice everything now but it doesn't bother me. Has your husband picked up an awareness of noises?

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  17. My son is sensitive to sounds. I don't think he has this in an extreme form, but he gets frustrated at sounds much quicker than anyone else in the family. It's hard to deal with in a six year old (especially on with a 9 year old sister and a three year old brother), but I'm trying to be tolerant of his reactions.

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    1. Yes Rabia. Please be tolerant. I wasn't for a long time. It was very frustrating for my daughter too! I truly believe it is something they cannot control or have to learn to control it. Knowledge is power!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  18. I have never heard of this but it makes sense. I'm glad your family got an answer more than short tempers! Perhaps my husband suffers from this...I will certainly be paying closer attention!

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    1. He absolutely may, Heather. I'm so glad we got answers too! Thanks to the excellent reporting on 20/20! Thanks for stopping by.

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  19. I can't stand the sound of metal on teeth (which is why I often eat with a plastic spoon/fork). It REALLY bothers me. I have to plug my ears when I hear metal on metal, or metal on teeth. Oh my goodness! I didn't know there was a name for it! Going to do more research on this!

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    1. My husband is the same way Stephanie! I didn't even realize I was scraping my teeth with silverware but I did. Both Steve and Sloane have a rough time every Sunday at my parent's house, my Dad scraps his plate with his fork. YOUCH!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  20. I had no idea! I personally find all the noises you listed very annoying, so I can just imagine that your husband and daughter find them even more intolerable.

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    1. Yes they do Shana! I now find all these noises annoying too but not to the extreme that they do. Thanks for stopping by!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  21. Wow! Thanks for sharing this, Tammy. I've never heard of it before. Now I'm informed. Enjoy your SITS Day!

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    1. You're welcome Kimberly! I think everyone should know about it. Whether they choose to quit making noises or not is another story. Thanks for stopping by!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  22. WOW! I am so glad you shared this post! I had never heard of this disorder and I am SO glad you found the diagnosis on 20/20. What a beautiful twosome they are! HAPPY SITS DAY!

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    1. Awww thanks Chris! I think they're beautiful but I may be a bit partial! Thanks for stopping by.

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  23. Thank you for posting this! Working in an office with people who like to eat at their desks, makes lunchtime a nightmare, and a daily exercise of patience. Some of the sounds that *really* trigger my fight/flight response: heavy breathing, smacking/slurping, crunching & drumming. I’ve dedicated my work computer’s screensaver to making fun of these noises, to keep me sane throughout the day {If you think your husband would enjoy them, I can email some to you}. These sounds physically make me want to jump out of my skin – my chest, shoulders and throat immediately feel tight and hot, and I just want to do anything I can to stop/get away from the noise. I watched Twilight: New Moon the other day {don’t judge}, and the restraint and discomfort on Jasper’s face, when he caught a whiff of Bella’s blood, is how it looks & feels for me. It’s not that I’m judging these people for their noises {trust me, I know I make these same noises too}; it’s just physically distressing and I need it to S-T-O-P. On a lighter note  If you’re ever looking for new recipes to try or DIY tutorials, I’d love for you to visit me at www.domesticfemme.blogspot.com ~Happy SITS Day :)

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    1. I would LOVE the screensaver for my husband and daughter. My email is tammy.stafford@hotmail.com. Thanks so much and I hope you can control it like Jasper! No judgement here, I went to the midnight showing of all the Twilight movies! I'm such a girl!!! Can't wait to visit your site!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  24. Interesting post. It makes me wonder about my son. Happy SITS Day!

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    1. Thanks Renia! I've had a wonderful day. You should definitely watch your son for signs of the disorder especially if you're already wondering about it. Thanks for stopping by!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  25. I never knew about this - thanks for educating me Tammy! And enjoy your SITS day!

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    1. You are welcome Dana! I've thoroughly enjoyed my day! I wish I had a SITS day every month!!!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  26. I'm sure that my family would say I have misophonia - the heavy walking and constant tapping things drive me crazy!!
    Hope you are having a good SITS day!

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    1. Have you trained them to walk softly? Our oldest daughter had gotten better at walking softly and when she got married, it all went out the door! Thanks for stopping by!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  27. Thanks so much for sharing. This is pretty helpful! Happy SITS day!

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    1. You are welcome Stephanie! Thanks for stopping by.

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  28. Stopping by from SITS. This is so interesting! My husband does the nose whistle thing and it gets SO bad for me. I'm constantly jabbing him in bed so he'll turn over and away from me. Maybe I have a bit of this!

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    1. HAHAHAHA! I didn't know my nose was so talented until we married. I have allergies and my nasal passages are perpetually swollen. Maybe your husband has them too? Thanks for stopping by!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  29. Interesting post. I had no idea. Enjoy your SITS Day.

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    1. Thanks! My SITS day has been awesome and a bit overwhelming (in a good way)! Thanks for stopping by!

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  30. I understand your plight because I have to deal with a child with a slightly similar noise sensitivity that stems from another disorder. My 16 year old son has Asperger's syndrome and although that particular syndrome is a social phobia, people with Asperger's also have various sensitivities. My son has very sensitive hearing and vision and is always asking me to turn down the TV. He does his homework in very low lighting and will turn off the kitchen light when he's cooking. I always say if I had to pick a "disorder" I would probably pick Asperger's because I never have to deal with teens running in and out of my house and I never have to tell my son to turn down loud music or anything else for that matter. He pretty much keeps to himself; but I do wish he would open up and talk to me like he did when he was younger. As a teen, he acts like even conversation is a nuisance and he speaks only when necessary.

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  31. Just over from SITS. This explains a lot about my daughter's boyfriend who gets really upset when she eats crisps! I will pass this on to him and see what he thinks :)

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  32. Glad you're spreading the word! I have a very severe case of Misophonia, up to 31 triggers now. I'm a 15 year old girl, so it's not too fun.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad Misophonia is gaining attention too! Hang in there. My husband has learned to manage his as he's grown older. Maybe your triggers will decrease! :)

      Tammy
      The Happy Handicap

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  33. The fact that this has been identified has made it 10000000000000 % better for me. 20 yrs ago I thought I was borderline nuts and very confused about why I was going through this. Now I understand it and can explain it to my wife and try to work through it. It really is so much easier now. With education on it I believe it is helping so many people

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    1. I totally agree! Finding out there is a specific cause for being "annoyed" (that's a kind word) by sounds, noise is a huge step for management and acceptance! I am personally glad it was identified. I wish more education were available. Take care. Thanks for stopping by!

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