Reply To: Ruining my relationship

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Hi Damon, I really feel what you’re going through and it must be incredibly hard and frustrating at times. Humans absolutely do make noises, it’s not bad or weird or wrong, it’s just a natural thing.

I just want to clarify something regarding reactions though (and I hope this will be helpful). Misophonia doesn’t always allow the patient to control their immediate reaction. The part of the brain that is activated when a trigger sound is heard is the amygdala, which is an ancient part of the brain which is responsible for detecting threats/danger.

Certain sounds (i.e. misophonia trigger sounds) can instantly activate panic/alarm in the amygdala before the patient has a chance to conceptualise it, or do anything. So when a misophone’s body tenses… or they shoot out a glare or emit a noise, they may not have had any ability to control it.

The problem is we’re often playing catchup with these pre-conscious alarms going off in our head that we have no control of. It’s a bit like someone creeping up behind you and pinching you on the arm. You wouldn’t, in that millisecond, be able to suppress a wince but in the seconds that follow (as your brain catches up with the scenario) you may be able to exercise greater control.

I hope this helps. That expression of upset, in the moment, is not about you (or whoever is making the sound) it is about the sound itself.