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I am also 17 years old. After reading all of your stories, I am so so so glad that I am not alone in my experiences.
I spend a lot of time in my room, away from my family, and I feel really guilty about it because I think that sometimes they feel like I am avoiding them. But honestly, I just need to be in a safe, quiet space. My triggers are also much worse when I am around family. I am affected by both Misophonia and Misokinesia, so the sounds as well as the sights cause me to feel unsettled and anxious. I find it hard to talk to them about it because I feel like they just won’t understand. During meals I usually plug my ears and avoid looking at anyone, and sometimes I make comments that unintentionally hurt their feelings. I know that they are supportive of me, but it’s so hard to explain just how much it affects me. I often turn to anger and yell at them, but that just leads to me feeling bad about the things that I cannot control.
School is very difficult, because students are always eating, chewing gum, etc. in class. Even the sight of someone reaching into their backpack for food makes me extremely uncomfortable and queasy. This year my Misokinesia has gotten worse, because things as subtle as foot tapping or fidgeting drive me insane.
I have told around four friends about my Misophonia, but I really only confide in two of them. Even when I vent about it, I usually hold back because I know that they do not understand. So again, it feels nice to know that people are going through the same things as me.
This year my Misophonia felt unbearable at times. It was a stressful year at school and my sleep schedule was not great, so I think that played a role in it. Eventually, I felt a lot less anxious when I regulated my sleep and began to focus more on my personal well being. (Sleeping with a fan at night usually drowns out excess sounds from your house or from noisy neighbors). I suggest taking time out of your day to appreciate the things in life that make you truly happy. Or, sit in a quiet room and read a book or listen to music. Taking time for yourself is important.
So Lindsey, Nicole, Riley:
We’ve got this. We all share at least one difficult, seemingly unbearable experience. But we will continue to persist and get through it. We are not defined by our Misophonia, but unfortunately, it is the card that we were dealt in life. Hopefully Misophonia gets more exposure, and hopefully more research is dedicated to identifying the causes and the cures. Until then, stay strong, and know that you are never alone.