Share Your Tips for Coping with Misophonia

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  • #1010332 Reply
    Timothy Verret

      I wanted to lend my two cents to the idea that while “noise aggravation” has been attributed to the diagnosis of misophonia, I am trying to get to the bottom of why the aggravation. What is happening in my world is the fact that across the street from me, there is this guy who drives a noisy truck. Every time he starts the truck and races it (why does he race it?…like the sounds of his noisy truck, I guess), I feel like I’m going to go out of my mind. I have tried noise-cancelling devices and even started listening to
      loud racing trucks on YouTube. I think I may know why: I was in a near-fatal car accident about a year ago and it was an awful experience. I survived it, though. I guess when this noisy truck guy starts his truck and races it, I am triggered by the sounds of my car during the accident that gave me complex PTSD. Now that I know that, I still get no relief and would be welcome to hear any suggestions other than what I have tried. I even told my landlord about it and she said she would talk to him but what good might that do? And like it wasn’t annoying enough, the noisy truck guy tends to go back and forth in his truck ALL DAY LONG! I mean, where does a person go ALL DAY LONG back and forth? I’m trying to “deal” but feel like I might murder the guy. I also tried window styrofoam stuff that does blunt its initial effect but still can hear it. And with the all day long back and forth, it feeds my anticipatory anxiety because I never know when he is going to start the truck and go. It’s really hellish, to be honest.

      #1010593 Reply

        Why would your landlord have a word? Maybe follow him and find out where he goes / bump into him accidentally and get to know him then discuss it? Maybe go to your GP to discuss the PTSD issue? Move? How you getting on anyways? Any update?

        #1010743 Reply
        Jenna Hagen


          I was studying in my universities’ ‘quiet study room’- but it was anything but quiet. I could hear a lady chewing gum and I shot her very ugly looks across the room. She was oblivious. We had aircon in the room so I switched it on-I view this as white noise, which muffled out the sound of her chewing. But she got irritated and told me to switch it off. I resisted. And it made her upset so she came all the way to switch it off herself. I switched it on again. She switched it off. I switched it on. And told her I don’t want to hear the sound of her chewing gum and she became defensive saying that chewing gum was for herself-whatever that meant. She told me she’ll call the security, she did and shortly the security came but I stood firmly and told the security I am not gonna put this aircon off till I am done. Lol this lady ended up shooting me the dirty looks while she had to put earphones in her ears.
          So when you’re around trigger sounds and you can’t leave the room or space, it’s best to put on a white noise- aircon, fan, crack a window open and sit next to it (wind is white noise).
          I hate telling people to stop eating, be quiet so its best to suss out the space you’re in and choose to be in spaces where people don’t eat or talk. Ask the manager or an authority to put up no eating posters.
          I personally can’t handle people talking around me and I hate radios. I got into fight s already about that and it makes me super angry, Whistling is the worst for me as well. In this case, I definitely leave the room immediately. Earphones only work when the noise is somewhat at a distance but not when people are literally in front of me talking. I will leave before I end up punching them. Best solution is to find many options for places that’s really quiet.

          #1010818 Reply

            I live near a deep sea port. 24/7/365 there is the sound of ship generators running, which creates a very deep hertz discordant sound/vibration that drives me nuts. Earplugs do not work as it is as much vibration as sound. My “fix” is a base heavy bluetooth speaker that I stream a low hertz 12 hour soundclip that has a low, but even tone rumble. It masks enough of the port vibrations (which are not even, but annoyingly random) that I can often get to sleep. Might work for people trying to mask other deep hertz sounds that earplugs do not help with, e.g. music base, low hertz industrial sounds etc. I hope this is helpful.

            #1012078 Reply
            Stew Hikts

              Help! It’s my wife who has the misophonia, but her main trigger sounds are the noises my power wheelchair makes! But I can’t just sit still all day. Has anyone else heard of any triggers like this?

              #1012135 Reply

                I’d like to give a shout out to Sony MDR-1000XM3 sound cancelling headphones. They are very pricey at about £250, but they have been worth every penny many times over for the relief they’ve given me over the years (am on my second pair after the first died after three years).

                Although these are considered best in class (along with Bose Quiet Comforts etc.), the frustrating thing about noise cancelling headphones is that the technology still isn’t quite there to totally cancel sound out. So when I know that triggers are around (e.g. in the office, public transport, on the street, in a shop…basically…everywhere!) I still can’t rely on listening to normal music as you can guarantee that someone will bite into an apple or whatnot right at the moment that the song quietens down.

                To counteract this – after much searching I found one perfect rain track (for me anyway) that provides consistent heavy rain and put it on repeat. A lot of rain tracks naturally ebb and flow, leaving you vulnerable to the horror of a few quieter seconds.

                I wanted to share a link but it wasn’t allowing that (I think posting links classes it as spam). Anyway, it’s on Google Play so apologies for those who don’t have it – hopefully it’s available on other platforms too for those who might find it useful. It’s called ‘Cats and Dogs’ on an album called ‘Rain Meditation’, and I can confirm that all the other tracks on the playlist pale in comparison to the reliability of this one!

                #1012245 Reply
                Fellow Sufferer

                  These reviews really keep me laughing, along with a sob of anguish in the back of my throat. (I won’t let it out, I would never want to cause any of you undo pain of such a sound…)
                  I know I’m probably not saying anything new, but I am almost 20 years old and I have been suffering with this for almost a decade. I always knew it was a real problem, but I only found out the name of the condition a few years in. I must say, that was validating. I have lived away from home for a couple years already, and it has gotten easier to control myself (I guess I care too much about what others think;p). I am now home due to the Covid-19 pandemic and, boy, my suffering is compounded! This being the case, I have taken to finding my empathy by reading articles and reviews of my fellow sufferers.
                  The most validating point was hearing that others are also triggered more by one individual. Unfortunately, that individual is my mother. Ironically, my mother has misophonia herself! My private theory is that she chews extra loud to compensate for others’ sounds, but I’m only realizing now that it could actually be me in the way I hear her. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother and ANYONE’s chewing wields immense power over my self-control. Somehow, she triggers me most to the point where I get angry watching her eat. Sometimes, I find myself watching her in horrible fascination, kind of like watching a murder. Dumb, I know, it makes me well up with an indefinable rage.
                  Recently, I heard a speaker talking about how he has misophonia and now his kids have it. I hope and pray that my children will never suffer from this affliction and that I can have a healthy marriage and supportive husband despite my disability. This got me thinking in how I can work on my character inwardly to help me manage my condition.
                  I have tried mindfulness, reminding myself that others are not trying to bother me, and best of all clenching my fists and pinching myself. I think of it as my own kind of cutting, a replacement pain: the harder the pinch, the less aggravating the chewing. Noone even has to know that you are doing this. For me, a great accomplishment is remaining at the family table for long enough that I can still appear somewhat sociable, without exploding or turning my face into a permanent glare of disgust. Recently, I have tried letting the sounds wash over me and telling my mind to allow them to be in their place. Working on my degree in psychology also equipped me with other techniques to get a handle on myself.
                  Best of luck to all of you, and know that I feel your pain!
                  Gosh, that felt good to write (even if noone reads this).

                  #1012445 Reply

                    I have had Misophonia since childhood. I am now 45. I know my anger to sounds is irrational. It feels like once I hear a trigger sound (eating, snorting, clipping, slurping, wheezing) I can’t think about anything else. I can’t not focus on the sound. My emotional reaction is as if the person making the sound is being aggressive to me. I feel intensely defensive. Afterwards I feel sadness and remorse. I’ve tried headphones and earplugs. Once I have heard the trigger sound, though, it is too late, nothing can cover the sound for me. Leaving the area far enough to not hear the sound is the only thing that seems to work for me. I wish there was a better strategy. This forum has been very comforting.

                    #1012999 Reply

                      I must have had misophonia as a child because my grandparents’ false teeth and accompanying mouth noises drove me up the wall. Plus, my dad would eat the little ‘cocktail’ peanuts (Planters in a can) with his front teeth to accentuate the noise. Argh. However, in the years following, I don’t recall any annoyances other than popcorn munchers in the theater. I managed my school years without issues because I only remember my grandma’s teeth. Move ahead 40 years when I had to work in close quarters with others. One co-worker had a chronic nasal drip and constantly hacked it up. He also chewed gum. Eventually I moved my cubicle near the AC room and the constant white noise of the air handler masked most everything. Later, after a job change, I had to use a white noise machine, then a white noise app on my phone to use with earphones when my co-workers were eating their lunches or snacks. The guy in front of me always seemed to have gravel as a snack. Or mixed nuts. In go the earplugs. So, crunching and munching sounds are my two greatest triggers right now. My wife has always been a noisy eater and it’s becoming more of an issue now that we’re stuck in the house AND the fact that I now retired. I have to move around when she’s eating something. But to make matters worse, she’s now using a spoon as her favorite implement. She slurps soup. She grates the spoon over her teeth, or makes a mouth sound that my grandmother always made when she opened her mouth. Kind of like a ‘click’. My wife knows about my sensitivities and tries to not make any noise, but it’s not possible, I guess. She’s very defensive and sensitive, so I have not yet tried using earplugs during mealtimes. I may have to resort to it, though. I’m 65 and th emiso seems to be affecting me more now. In fact, studies have shown that the affliction gets worse with age. So, those of you that are still young — it’s not going to get any better. Just mt $.02.

                      #1013353 Reply

                        I used to think I was the only person around who had to wear earplugs at home, but now that I realize it is an actual problem, I feel relieved in a sense to know that I am not alone. I find myself nodding and agreeing to many of the “symptoms” or triggers that my fellow sufferers have written here. I am triggered by sounds like whistling and coughing, and loud conversations near me drive me insane. I have the urge to scream and shout at people for them to shut up!, and it takes a lot for me to control that urge, especially in the workplace (lots of loud people) and at home (dad always whistles and coughs, and takes it personally when I tell him to stop). I wear earplugs sometimes even when there’s no noise because I have this fear that the trigger sound is coming. My noise cancelling earbuds work to a certain extent, but like what some have pointed out, once I notice the sound, nothing can cover it. I have to stick it through by turning up the volume on my earphones or simply leaving. I am anxious and scared that this will continue for the rest of my life. I am trying meditation as well, not sure yet how it will go. Only hope lies in hopefully finding a better set of earphones/earplugs, or some treatment can come through.

                        #1013389 Reply

                          I have a aversion to movement. My poor husband can’t help but constantly shaking his legs, feet, picking at his cuticles, and the most infuriating thing even is… the swishing of his saliva or the constant lip/mourn movements. I want to claw my eyes out. Sometimes it makes my stomach hurt and I get extremely anxious. My solution (outside of wearing blinders – that might come next) is building what I call a pillow fort. I pull up pillows between us on the couch that block his entire body from my field of view. So I’m momentarily spared a mental breakdown but I can’t imagine that makes him feel great. It’s the only thing I’ve found helpful. Other than just not being in the same room.

                          #1014301 Reply

                            I know it sounds kind of dumb – obviously it doesn’t change anything, but I’ll often pretend that the sound is something else.
                            For example, I’m a religious Jew and as such, everyone in my family prays at least once a day. The sound of certain people praying can drive me mad (it’s sort of like someone talking in a really low whisper for a really long time) and there was a point where I would skip breakfast every day just to avoid being in that situation. Something I do now (although it doesn’t work perfectly) is to pretend it’s the birds chirping. I won’t put myself in the situation for too long, but the entire time I run into the kitchen, grab my breakfast, and prep my lunch, I’ll just keep thinking – it’s the birds chirping, don’t panic.
                            I’ve actually found it super helpful in making one part of my life manageable! Hope it helps someone else too!

                            #1014526 Reply

                              Noise blocking headphones or my Bose headset that I can listen to “pleasant music” if I am out at the fabric store and trying to concentrate.
                              Also, I’ve found that Hot yoga really helps my anxiety but for me the “ahhhh” feeling wears off
                              Wears off after a few hours. I also enjoy being alone, then I can choose what I can/can’t deal with. I’m happily married and my husband is so kind as he knows I need down time of quiet.

                              #1015130 Reply

                                Any suggestions for how to practice mindful eating when eating sounds (especially chewing and swallowing are your triggers? Just reading the description of eating mindfully in Simone Clarke’s book has me completely grossed out. There are so many benefits to mindful eating, but they won’t do me any good if trying it leaves me too disgusted to enjoy my food at all.

                                #1015331 Reply

                                  I’m not a native speaker, sorry if I make grammar mistakes

                                  I saw a psychiatrist for my miso a few years ago. He advised me to let myself feel the trigger, without escaping or “bearing” the sound. As I know, this is similar to some anxiety & panic attack coping mechanism that is usually recommended. It was pretty hard to apply this coping mechanism. But it kinda worked bcz I’m not annoyed at the sounds of my neighbors do at night as before (if they don’t make much noise), and I quitted using earphones while sleeping. But this advice might not work for everyone or every sound.

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