Patients with Misophonia Require Help and Understanding

Posted on November 28, 2015

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Only recently garnering attention from researchers, misophonia is a condition where individuals have a decreased tolerance for certain sounds. Chewing, coughing, scratching, or pen clicking can provoke an immediate aggressive response. Verbal tantrums are common and in severe cases, sufferers may even physically attack the object or person causing the noise.

Many sufferers begin to structure their lives around their struggle with the disorder and avoid triggers by socially isolating themselves. Public spaces like restaurants or parks are readily avoided and in extreme cases, eating or sleeping in the same room as a loved one can feel impossible. Even establishing or maintaining relationships is very challenging.

The cause of misophonia is currently believed to be neurological, where the patient’s limbic (emotional) and autonomic nervous systems are more closely connected with the auditory system. This may be why hearing a disliked sound elicits an emotional response.

Misphonia remains greatly misunderstood. There is a lack of research examining its causes or possible treatments. There is no cure, and some critics even wonder if misophonia should be considered a disorder at all, arguing instead that it’s just a personality quirk.

Researchers in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Amsterdam say that DSM classification may be necessary to pave the way for more recognition and research on the disorder, and that if misophonia is not regarded as a distinct psychiatric condition, it should at least be viewed as part of Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorder (OCSD).

Category(s):Anxiety, Social Anxiety / Phobia

Source material from Psychology Today

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