Is Misophonia real or imagined?

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Lately, everywhere I look, I see articles about Misophonia. According to Wikipedia, Misophonia, literally “hatred of sound”, is a neurological disorder in which negative experiences (anger, flight, hatred, disgust) are triggered by specific sounds..

Do I believe it exists? Yes I do. I’m not sure that I want to classify it as a neurological disorder because I would have to admit having one. I started to notice my hatred of noise a few years ago. I noticed I was always annoyed except when nobody was home. It sounds almost selfish as I type the words but let me explain. It started with the television. I thought maybe something had gone wrong with the sound because I just wasn’t able to tolerate it for long periods of time. Add that to cell phone notifications chirping and beeping, video games in the background and possibly my daughter belting out her favorite broadway tune and I was on the verge of losing it. Then I started to notice the sounds of people chewing and smacking their lips together or biting their nails. It made me feel absolutely furious and I had no control over it whatsoever.

Just today, my husband and I stopped in at the bagel place on campus. I just wanted to sit outside and feel the cool air but all I could feel was the agitation with each and every noise. I noticed the cars engine as it accelerated after the light turned green. I heard the birds squealing and the beeping noise at the crosswalk almost like it was my own heartbeat blasting noise out of my chest. I heard the toddler at the table next to me crying and having a tantrum and I just wanted to go back home. The truth is, I don’t go out very often. I think this may be one of the biggest reasons why. I have quiet at home, just the way I like it. Home is my peaceful sanctuary of noiselessness and I am so grateful to find someplace that feels quiet. Maybe that’s even the reason I gravitate towards yoga so much. I just know my dislike for noise spoils many things that I once enjoyed. I used to love to go out to eat. I loved someone preparing the meal, serving it to me for a change and then actually cleaning it up. But now? All I hear is one table screaming over the other, so many times I prefer to just get the food to go. Real or imagined, there is no doubt noise affects my life in the most negative way. Don’t get me wrong, there are some noises I love like the sound of the waves when I’m sitting on the beach or the sound of laughter coming from my kids who I love so much. I also have tinnitus so I feel like the noise is there constantly and I do my best to quiet myself internally in hopes that it will carry me through the external noises of life.

What do you think about Misophonia? What are some noises that really get under your skin?

Here are my top five:

1) Dogs licking and scratching at themselves
2) Dogs barking
3) Cats spewing up hair balls
4) Televisions blasting
5) Chewing