Misophonia, literally "hatred of sound," is a little-known neurological disorder in which negative experiences (anger, flight, hatred, disgust) are triggered by specific sounds.
Misophonia: Do You Hate Certain Sounds?
Also known as Selective Sound Sensitivity, misophonia is abnormally strong negative reactions (annoyance and rage) of the autonomic and limbic systems to specific “soft” sounds (typically eating and breathing sounds made by emotional attachment figures) resulting from enhanced functional connections between the auditory and limbic systems for these sounds. These connections encompass both a high level of cortical level loop with involvement with cognition as well as subconscious connections, most probably involving the link between the medial geniculate body and the amygdale. The functions of these connections are governed by the principles of conditioned reflexes.
Pre-puberty seems to be a very common age of onset for the majority of those with misophonia, with lifetime persistence for most cases, and there appears to be a genetic component.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy has been tried, using bilateral sound generators and directive counseling
- Earplugs are often prescribed to help block out intruding sounds
- Cognitive therapy
- Desensitization therapies, including aversive exposure therapy
- Counseling therapies
- Rotating cycles of pleasant sound therapy paired with unpleasant sounds
For more information, resources and support, check out: Misophonia.com.