Have you ever heard a sound that makes you want to clamp your hands over your ears? Well, for people with misophonia, this aversion to certain noises can be debilitating and get in the way of their jobs, relationships, and daily lives.
Now, researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine are looking to better understand the symptoms, characteristics, and impact of misophonia on younger patients.
Currently, researchers are recruiting participants for their study. To qualify, patients must:
- Be 8 to 17 years old,
- Be able to visit Baylor 1 time, and
- Experience either anxiety or misophonia (sensitivity to certain sounds).
Participants, and their parent or guardian, will undergo:
- Heart rate monitoring,
- Audiological testing,
- Electroencephalography (to monitor electrical activity in the brain),
- Clinical interviews,
- Questionnaires, and
- Behavioral tasks.
Upon study completion, patients will receive $100, plus $10 for any associated parking costs. After the study, there will be additional opportunities for surveys at $20/each.
If you are interested in participating in the study, or are looking for additional information, you can email Gifty Amos Nwankwo at email@example.com.
The name “misophonia” translates to “hatred of sound,” an apt description for this chronic condition. People with misophonia are extremely sensitive to certain sounds. In fact, hearing those sounds can result in intensely emotional, but involuntary, reactions such as disgust, anger, rage, fear, anxiety, or even violence. As a result, people may have difficulty maintaining their social and professional lives.
Misophonia isn’t caused by a physical problem with the ears. Rather, the sound impacts the brain in a strange way, causing the body to react. Sounds which trigger misophonia include:
- Lip smacking
- Pen clicking
So, as you can see, it is usually triggered by some sort of repetitive sound. Misophonia is often misdiagnosed as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Symptom onset occurs in late adolescence or early teenage years, generally from 9 to 13. Symptoms include:
- Aggression towards the cause of a noise
- Fear or agitation
- Depression and anxiety
- Loneliness or social isolation (as the only perceived route to escape the sound)
- Physical sensations, like “skin crawling”
- Violent outbursts
- Suicidal ideations
Currently, treatments include antidepressants, hearing aids, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Learn more about misophonia here.