Posted by: Glow-worm PJ25 APR 2012
The first Monday in May has been designated “Misophonia Monday” by the organisation Misophonia UK. Misophonia (literally “dislike of sound”) is a condition characterised by heightened awareness and sensitivities to various sounds, irrespective of volume. It is also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome.
Most of us have certain sounds that we find irritating, such as chalk scraping along a blackboard or dogs barking, but misophonia sufferers are overcome by a sudden intense rage when exposed to trigger sounds. The condition can cause relationship breakdown, loss of employment and even suicidal thoughts.
Onset usually occurs during childhood, and symptoms are often overlooked because of a lack of awareness among parents and carers, teachers and healthcare professionals. Not surprisingly, it can seriously affect education and personal development.
Among the aims of Misophonia UK is an improvement in recognition of the condition by the medical profession, and increased public awareness through greater media coverage, in the hope of raising funds for research.
As a syndrome it does have recognisable symptoms, which can vary widely from person to person. A common example of misophonia is intolerance to the sound of other people chewing, which can progress to becoming enraged at the very sight of someone else eating. Treatment consists of developing coping mechanisms and avoidance strategies, such as, for example, avoiding other people at mealtimes and masking problem sounds with ambient noise.
Little research has been carried out because as a multispecialty disorder it requires input from a range of medical disciplines. This means that data relating to its aetiology and epidemiology are patchy. An autistic link has been suggested, but lack of research means there is little evidence to