Could you be chewing and swallowing any louder?
Loud chewers, nail clippers, unnecessary slurping, general mouth noises… these are a few of my least favorite things. And I’m not alone.
If any of these sounds, not to mention countless others like sniffling, swallowing, bubble gum popping, finger drumming, heavy breathing, or countless others irritate you so much as to result in a physical reaction, then read on.
Coined by neuroscientist Pawel Jastreboff and biological scientist Margaret Jastreboff in 2001, misophonia is defined as the hatred of sound, specifically, the anger, hatred, or disgust brought about by certain sounds.
According to research, this heightened sensitivity to sound may stem from an actual disorder in the brain.
Thought you were alone?
Also called Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome (4S), misphonia has been shown to result from abnormal neural signals in the brain’s anterior cingulate and insular cortexes, where pain, anger, and sensory information are processed.
Misophonia shouldn’t be confused with the mere dislike of certain sounds, such as nails on a chalkboard or other off-putting stimuli. For people with misophonia, trigger sounds can instigate repulsion and anxiety that they simply can’t ignore.
Studies have shown that people with misophobia turn to specific coping mechanisms such as masking the irritating noise with their own sounds or leaving the situation entirely.