The Doctors: Is Misophonia or “Hatred of Sound” a Real Thing?
The Doctors TV show talked to Emma, who has a condition called misophonia. Misophonia literally translates into “hatred of sound.”
Her mother said that she started having problems when she was 8-years-old. She didn’t like the sound of crunching especially, and it progressed to computer keys, licking, chewing, smacking, breathing, eating and swallowing.
According to Emma, immediately after she hears a sound her body gets really hot and she gets short of breath and agitated to the point where she’s almost in a rage. Sounds that people usually wouldn’t pick up on are agitating to Emma.
Fear of Sound: Misophonia is Common
Emma and her mother appeared on The Drs. to talk about her misophonia. Dr. Jim Sears said that he sees this in his practice and it’s a lot more common than people think. He said there are a lot of misdiagnoses, like autism, but kids with misophonia are sensitive to specific sounds.
Emma said that it started out with the sounds of family members chewing, and it’s amplified over time. Currently, her main trigger is the sound of sniffling. Hopefully no one in the audience had a cold that day!
The Doctors: Misophonia is a Physiologic Disorder
Dr. Marsha Johnson, who has specialized in misophonia for 15 years, called in to the show. She said that Emma’s symptoms are pretty consistent with other people who have misophonia.
She said misophonia is not something that a child chooses or dreams up, and it’s an actual physiologic disorder. Millions of people around the world have this, and Dr. Johnson said that they’re thinking it might be a genetic condition.
The Doctors: Misophonia Management Protocol
There’s a treatment that Dr. Johnson has been using for the last year called the Misophonia Management Protocol, and about 85% of the people who have gone though the program have seen improvement.
Emma said it helps her to remove herself from the situation when there’s a sound she doesn’t like. She also does yoga and other relaxation techniques. She said sometimes she fears going to work or school so she tried to go for a hike or do something relaxing.
To help Emma relax, The Doctors sent her and a guest on a five night yoga retreat to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in western Massachusetts. Learn more about misophonia in the video below.