Throat clearing driving me insane

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    I have just stumbled across this site as I desperately look for a way to deal with a repetitive sound that is literally driving me crazy. I wonder if I may have Misophonia and would be grateful for any help because I am at the end of my tether.

    I live with my partner and mother in law who, for the past few years at least, has constantly cleared her throat. Since I noticed it I cannot unhear it, I anticipate it and I’ve noticed that the way I respond to it is completely irrational. It makes me want to flip my lid and is actually making me really dislike her. My heart starts racing, I get hot and I want to get away as fast as possible, I cannot hide the agitation I feel and I think this makes her do it more because she has noticed my annoyance! I now cant stand to be around her which is difficult as we live together. My partner and friends dont understand how I feel and basically tell me I’m as obsessed with it as she is with doing it and tell me I’m mental. She has been for CBT after we brought it to her attention, so I do feel guilty for feeling this way because I think she has a lot of mental health issues herself. But no matter how much I tell myself she cant help it, I cannot control the way I react when she does it. I have now noticed that she is desperately trying to stop clearing her throat but this makes a weird noise which is now also driving me insane.

    I counted once that she did it 80 times in 1 hour and to me it is like a form of mental torture. My partner and I row about it and I cant see a way out of this apart from splitting up with my partner and moving out (which is ridiculous I know!).

    Please help! What can I do to just accept this is part of her and is not going to go away? I have tried focussing on the fact that she is an amazing lady and that I love her to bits, I tell myself that this noise is not going to kill me and I try to look at all the positive aspects of my life (I have a lot to be thankful for) but as soon as I hear this noise, everything goes out of the window.

    Would CBT be good for me? Or hypnotherapy?! I will add that I have suffered from anxiety in the past so whether this has an impact I dont know.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.


    #1011222 Reply

    Hi Andrew, from your description I would definitely say you have Misophonia.
    Everything you say resonates (no pun intended!) with me, although my triggers are only at certain times so it is usually easy enough to cope for that time by turning music up etc. An exception to this was when my mother in law was staying for a few weeks over xmas, as she snorted all the time. I couldn’t have coped with that permanently.
    As your trigger is all the time it will be really tough for you.
    I’ve tried a self-hypnosis CD, which did help reduce the intensity for a short period but nothing miraculous.
    also don’t think CBT would work for me.
    The best way to cope is avoidance in my experience, whether you can be in a different room, or have to have headphones on all the time, but clearly isn’t ideal.
    A big help is just being able to vent about it and hear other peoples stories, which you can do on here, although for me it is frustrating as posts don’t always go up very quickly and replies can be missed etc.
    I’ve just joined a Facebook group (I despise FB generally!) called Misophonia Support Group, that has 20,000 members and a lot of posts every day, so I suggest joining that. There is also a FB group called Misophonia Alliance, which is specifically for people that DON’T have misophonia but live with someone that does, which may help you partner / Mother in law?
    I personally feel that it would be good if there was a telephone helpline for Misophonia sufferers, or a way to chat with others as you can’t really vent properly in text!
    Best of luck, maybe see you on FB, Dave K

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