The Science and Hatred of Sound

CLICK CLICK! For some, the mundane sound a pen clicking is simply unbearable. You could be an easily peeved person or you are probably suffering from a rare disorder known as misophonia.
Also known as selective sound syndrome, misophonia commences with a trigger. This could be a sound like chewing, breathing yawning or that infernal click of the pen. Or it can begin in the form of a jarring motion like a fidget, wiggle or jostle. To learn more, click here.

It’s a relatively new disease that only came to light 17 years ago, springing upon teenagers and almost one in four men and women.

Sukhbinder Kumar, lead researcher and a research fellow in the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University, is an expert on misophonia. After he wrote a study about the strange disorder, he started receiving emails from several people claiming to have it. He decided to do some preliminary research by inviting four people to the clinic. They found that all four people responded similarly to each trigger they presented.

Kumar exampled the process:
“The study examined three categories of sound. The first included trigger sounds for people with misophonia: eating, breathing, drinking water. The second category included “normally annoying sounds, such as somebody screaming or sounds of a baby crying. And then we had a third category of sounds, a neutral sound such as the sound of the rain.”
The problem with the study is that it can’t tell the difference between someone with real misophonia or someone that is just genuinely peeved by a noise. I mean, who wouldn’t have a strong reaction to Gilbert Gottfried singing songs from “Frozen?”
Source: Giphy
Kumar’s experiment shed light on misophonia and has made them better understand the underrated condition that that majority of the public isn’t aware of.
As they continue on their path toward learning more, the source of misophonia is still unclear. Where did it come from? Can it be cured? In the meantime, people with misophonia will need our love and support as we avoid whistling and clicking our teeth in front of them.

November 20 is Misophonia Visibility Day. Use  on social platforms to bring awareness.

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