It is commonly suggested that misophonia is related to other neurological conditions related to sensory intake or pathological distortions in the limbic system, which helps regulate emotions.
If this were the case, it would explain the connection between certain sounds and the strong emotional, even antisocial reactions that people who misphonia exhibit.
Dutch research in 2013 showed a high comorbidity rate of misophonia with OCD, leading Arjan Schröder and his team to suggest it was its own psychiatric disorder and not merely another sensory sensitivity.
But is misophonia truly its own psychiatric disorder, or rather a learned response to specific stimuli?
My coworkers were already well aware of my adversity towards certain noises – specifically mouth sounds – when they first sent this topic my way. As I did more research on the subject, I was surprised to read about so many cases similar to my own, like the reactions of desperation and sweating to somebody using nail clippers, or gut-wrenching muscle tension brought about by someone popping their bubble gum too loudly.
Regardless, the evidence showing that selective sound sensitivity syndrome may just be a learned response or decreased sound tolerance was pretty convincing. The Jastreboffs themselves, who coined the term misophonia, do not think it should be classified as a psychiatric disorder.
At least in my situation, but also in the cases I read about, many trigger sounds have cultural implications, specifically regarding sounds we are taught to control in public like loud chewing, swallowing, breathing, slurping, gum chewing, foot tapping, and nail clipping. Perhaps the negative reactions brought about by trigger sounds are not caused by the noises themselves but rather by the thought that people should know better than to be making rude sounds in public.
Do you have misophonia, or are you confusing it with something else? Tom Dozier is an expert in the field of misophonia, and his YouTube page is practically dedicated to helping people understand, identify, and cope with the disorder.
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Watch this video and others to learn more about misophonia or visit misophonia.com, a website dedicated to the disorder.
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