An Overview and Treatment of Misophonia

Also called selective sound sensitivity syndrome, misophonia is a strong dislike or hatred of certain sounds. This disorder causes a person to have intense emotional or physiological responses to specific noises, or “triggers.” Triggers can consist of anything from car horns or fireworks, to the sound a person makes while eating, yawning, breathing, chewing, or whistling. Sometimes a trigger is a repetitive motion, like a foot tapping or someone fidgeting. The repeating sound can then affect other auditory processes.

Information. This lifelong condition often becomes evident between the ages of nine and 13; however the official onset age is still unknown. Misophonia tends to affect more girls than boys. Not linked to any one event, this disorder comes on suddenly and quickly. The causes are still unknown as well, but doctors know that it is not related to a problem with the ear. They believe it is part physical and part mental. A recent study revealed that it is a brain-based condition. Since it can be difficult to pinpoint and diagnose, selective sound sensitivity syndrome is often misdiagnosed as anxiety, bipolar disorder, or obsessive compulsive disorder. Some doctors feel it should be its own new disorder classification.