Sibling help required

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  • #1008949 Reply

      My 18 year old son has Misophonia, and as a family we have known for about 2 years. My wife and I try to make it as easy for him as we can, he doesn’t have to eat with us, we dont eat snacks or anything around him and just try to make this as easy for him as we can. He is seeing someone to talk to and trying hypnotherapy to see if that helps.

      The problem we have is with his 16 year old sister, although she understands his condition she doesn’t see why it is always her that has to stop eating if he enters a room or not have a crisp or something to eat if they are in the same room. Is my son being unfair in asking for everyone to change? He wants her punished if she eats something while he is there, how can you punish someone for something they see as totally normal.

      Your views would be most appreciated.

      #1008956 Reply

      Hi there,

      It sounds like you’ve been amazing and incredibly thoughtful to your son, he’s very lucky to have you as parents.

      My feeling (and it would be interesting to hear what others think) is that there could be some more consideration from your son here.

      Your daughter doesn’t have misophonia and isn’t doing anything wrong by eating crisps from time to time. Misophonia is tough on your son, but it will also be difficult for her and for you and your partner. It’s a cruel disorder but none of you should have to feel like prisoners in your own home.

      I think it’s about balance. If someone’s purposefully goading him and trying to trigger his misophonia then that should obviously be clamped down on. In other situations it sounds like there could be more awareness from his side. Ultimately he is the one with the disorder (not the rest of the family) so he needs to be willing to make adaptations too.

      If he’s feeling triggered he can leave the room or take a time out. Otherwise if everybody is treading on eggshells around him the whole time it could lead to a very tense/anxious family environment.

      The ideal scenario (easier said than done!) is being mindful and forgiving of one another. Maybe being aware that if he shoots a glare from time to time, it probably isn’t him, it’s the misophonia being triggered. Carrots, crisps, apples… are like foghorns to misophones so maybe try, where possible, not to be right up in his face doing it (not that it sounds like any of you are). By the same token if comes into a room where someone’s eating it’s no big deal, he can go somewhere else for a bit.

      When he gets a job and/or leaves home one day he won’t be extended the kinds of courtesies that he’s had at home by strangers or colleagues. It will help him in the long run to work on his own coping mechanisms. If he can do that, he can take on the world.

      I hope this helps.

      #1008957 Reply

        Thanks for the reply, it’s good to hear an independent view. Your right this is a cruel disorder and my heart goes out to any one that is suffering from this. Unfortunately in our family and I would imagine in lots of family’s around the world so many other emotions come into play with this.
        It is hard to ask my son to take a time out if my daughter wants to eat, as you say we are continually treading on egg shells.

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