Desperate for advice – Misophonia at work

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  • #8622 Reply

      I am at a point where my Misophonia is affecting my mental health and jeopardizing my employment.

      I work in a small office with 5 other people. I am seated next to our new office girl who sings loudly (and badly) to the radio, makes constant inappropriate verbal noises, eats constantly (family bags of crisps, crunches hard sweets, explodes chewing gum bubbles) non stop throughout the day.

      My role requires me to really focus on resolving complex issues and I can’t function. Yesterday I was almost in tears (I had to go and stand outside to calm down for a while). I had become quite good at controlling my misophonia. I feel my well being is really taking a nose-dive with the level of sustained stress this is causing.

      I have tried playing music through ear phones however this cuts me off from people in the office when they need to call me over and just isn’t very professional for my role. Are there earplugs that will cut out the types of noise she makes but allow me to hear for example if someone call my name?

      She is aware she affects me (I have let her know really really nicely) but she is too greedy, socially lacking, unintelligent to modify her behavior.

      I can’t tell you how much I would appreciate any suggestions at all.

      #8632 Reply

      Hi Eppie,

      I’m not usually a fan of earplugs as it can exacerbate the miso when you’re not wearing them… however it sounds like you’ve got a really tricky situation on your hands and they could be helpful from time to time. If you ask your doctor or audiologist about earplugs for hyperacusis they might help. These plugs are designed to dampen sounds without completely blocking everything out.

      Hope this helps!

      #8633 Reply

        Noise-cancelling headphones are my constant companion. Disability-rights laws require employers to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace. Talk to your employer about your disability and the coping mechanisms you’d like to use at work (and follow up in writing so you have a record if it goes badly). I was able to get accommodations to wear noise-cancelling headphones during the bar exam, where it is notoriously difficult to get dispensation. Of course you know your employer best and what they will and will not be receptive to, even if the law requires it. Good luck!

        #8634 Reply

          Thank you both,

          I have ordered these:

          I will give it a few days and let everyone know how I am getting on with them. Ever hopeful, the main trigger is slurping soup as we speak so I have paid for one day delivery!

          Best wishes x

          #8663 Reply

            Someone on this website mentioned an Alpine brand of earplugs that shut out background noise, but the website for the company mentions several types of earplugs, I’m not sure which one was recommended.

            I was with an employer for 11 years. They remodeled the office to a more collaborative, open-concept design with high ceilings and very little carpet – no acoustics whatsoever. I lasted a year before I had to get another job. The constant noise caused so much anxiety, I was in tears daily because, as an accounting clerk, I couldn’t concentrate to analyze problems and had to stay well into the evening to finish my work or go to the office on my time on the weekends and it was no longer worth it. Took a huge cut in pay to switch companies, but grateful for the peace in which it resulted. The struggle is real.

            #8657 Reply

              Hi Eppie, can you not ask your / her boss to have a quiet word? Works for some people. If not give her a pantomime BOOOOOO everytime she’s annoying and do it in a friendly expression.

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