Misophonia is one of these syndromes that were invented in our western world to put scientific-looking words on something stupidly common. Misophonia literally means hatred of sound. People with misophonia are triggered by a few particular sounds or noises, to which they react with a “fight or flight” reaction. This is an uncontrollable and deep reaction. Yet another form of crazy people. This “syndrome” is quite uncommon, although studies show that it might be largely underestimated, and present in much larger proportion in population with tinnitus (those who listened to loud music in the young years). Amongst triggers, the most common one is mouth noises, like mastication and deglutition.
To imagine what misophonia is, imagine being allergic to smurfs while forced to watch smurf-porn 8 hours a week, only to go home and find your wife blue-skinned and dressed as smurfette. Horrific isn’t it? Another realistic way to put it would be - imagine you have a really, really, reaaaally strong need to pee. Like, your bladder already exploded twice and we’re now talking of a level-2 grade of peeing yourself event. And the Skytrain stops in the midway, doors closed, the speakers say “the train is broken again for who knows how much time”. And the person standing next to you keeps repeating: “Pee. Pee. Pee. Pee. Peeeeeee. Peeeeeeeeeee. Pee pee pee pee peeeeeeeee”. This is what a misophoniac feels when escaping or fighting its trigger is not an option.
What can be done against misophonia? Not much really. This apparently tends to get worse with time. The best remedy consists in suppressing the triggers.
Why do I want to speak about this shitty shit from hell that doesn’t carry even the slightest remote interest to anybody here? Well, of course, because I am triggered by these mouth noises, and I’m not alone in this situation. We are at least two in this 10-people company with that syndrome, which makes it a solid 20%. Sitting next to “loud eaters” is extremely hard for us. The only possibilities are to either sit through and endure having somebody poking you with a nail in your ears, or fly away. It is also extremely hard to talk about these things, because, well, they are quite intimate - it’s kind of the same thing as having to tell somebody “you smell”, except that my point is regarding mouth noises, and that I’m the one with weird ears. While it’s fairly easy to avoid these triggers by just staying away from them, it is sometime made harder, when they occur during a meeting or a pizza party.
So speaking for the MILF assembly of the office (Misophonia International League of Fraternity) - please help us not wishing to die by adopting one of these easy to do solutions:
- Be conscious about it
- Grow a moustache in July to fight it
- Close mouth when eating or masticating
- Control the noise you’re doing when eating or drinking
- Not eating during meetings and calls
- Not speaking with a full mouth
- Avoid noisily slurping from a cup
- Preventing eating with headphones (they tend to make us louder)
If nothing I just said might convince you, please have a look at this sad face: