Misophonia: Enraged by the Sound Other People Make

Most of us find hearing other people chomping and slurping rude and annoying, but to some, the sound of other people eating, coughing or even breathing can be enraging.

Here's the strange case of misophonia (lit. "hatred of sound"):

For people with a condition that some scientists call misophonia, mealtime can be torture. The sounds of other people eating — chewing, chomping, slurping, gurgling — can send them into an instantaneous, blood-boiling rage.

Or as Adah Siganoff put it, “rage, panic, fear, terror and anger, all mixed together.”

“The reaction is irrational,” said Ms. Siganoff, 52, of Alpine, Calif. “It is typical fight or flight” — so pronounced that she no longer eats with her husband.

Many people can be driven to distraction by certain small sounds that do not seem to bother others — gum chewing, footsteps, humming. But sufferers of misophonia, a newly recognized condition that remains little studied and poorly understood, take the problem to a higher level.

Joyce Cohen wrote this interesting article on The New York Times (just don't read it aloud, mmkay?): Link


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I have this, i hate it. At work i sit in a cubicle surrounded by other cubicles. As soon as i hear a chip bag opening or the first bite of an apple (or celery, or carrot) I run. The noises make me absolutely insane - i'm clenching my fists, plugging my ears and almost to the point of crying. This is ruining me, when my daughter is eating i stare at her before i leave the room and she just yells at me that its normal (for her to make noises while eating), normal for her not so much for me. Nice to find these threads to know i'm not alone and crazy.
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People affected by this phobia couldn't live in Gran Canaria... loudest people in the world. :( Otherwise they are nice, and the weather is great, but sometimes you wish to be deaf...
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I always thought I was overly sensitive to these sounds. I find myself glaring at people and then realize I am the only one bothered by it. Understanding it as a condition can/will help me cope better with it.

Thanks Alex for posting this story.
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The only time it bothers me is when my dad eats his breakfast. He always has 2 eggs lightly fried so the yolk and half the egg whites are just pure liquid and he eats it with a spoon, slurping the mess up while half of it runs off his spoon and back onto the plate prolonging the torture. gah!
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