The Hatred of Sound
September 23, 2012 3:12 PM   Subscribe

When a Chomp or a Slurp Is a Trigger for Outrage For some people with misophonia, the simple sounds of someone eating can send them into an instantaneous, blood-boiling panic-filled rage. A basic fight or flight response can result from just a wide range of sounds such as breathing, typing, finger tapping and more. Most of the sounds would barely be noticed by your average person. The disorder was diagnosed in 2001 so many doctors are unfamiliar with the disorder and will often misdiagnose those afflicted with mood or anxiety disorders.
posted by 2manyusernames (158 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite

 
misophonia: greek for "hatred of the sound of japanese soup being slurped"
posted by hippybear at 3:21 PM on September 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


For a while, I had a coworker* who would eat soup at his desk extremely loudly. It was like nails on a chalkboard to me. I can't stand people slurping or eating with their mouths open and this was like all that on steroids. But FFS, not every pet peeve is a pathology.

* Immigrant from Vietnam
posted by graymouser at 3:24 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


A basic fight or flight response can result from just a wide range of sounds such as breathing, typing, finger tapping and more.

Perhaps this condition is the result of long-term teaching? I didn't used to hate finger tapping that much but now I think it should be a hanging offense.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 3:26 PM on September 23, 2012


Is there a cure for misophonia?

No.


Actually, there is. Close your mouth when you chew.
posted by klausman at 3:26 PM on September 23, 2012 [39 favorites]


I have this!

Finger tapping, foot tapping, fidgeting, and most importantly loud/sloppy eating all make me want to tear my ears off and stomp them on the floor. Sometimes my eyes, too, because I can see a thing out of the corner of my eye and I get all fighty/flighty in response.

It's hard to explain to people without offending them, because most folks take for granted that you can sit down and have a meal with them and never notice how loud they crunch their salad or how awful it is when they slurp their noodles. But I do notice, and it makes me INSANE, so much so that the crunchers and slurpers never get a second invitation to share a meal unless they're family.

Weirdly, the solution for misophonia is completely different from the solutions for a panic or generalized anxiety disorder. Exposure treatment, which is very helpful with social and generalized anxiety, does not work with misophonia and in fact exacerbates the condition. The only effective strategy is avoidance, which is the opposite of what a therapist would normally recommend.
posted by brina at 3:27 PM on September 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


(And yes, it is indeed an actual disorder, just like claustrophobia is real.)
posted by brina at 3:29 PM on September 23, 2012


Cool. I'll add this to Trypophobia under "Things I Didn't Know Were a Thing so I'm Not That Weird After All" category.
posted by bibliowench at 3:30 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have this!

Finger tapping, foot tapping, fidgeting, and most importantly loud/sloppy eating all make me want to tear my ears off and stomp them on the floor. Sometimes my eyes, too, because I can see a thing out of the corner of my eye and I get all fighty/flighty in response.


Just curious, if you don't mind answering, but do you do any of these things? That's not an accusation, just curious question. Say with fidgeting, do you just not move when sitting or standing?

Naturally, feel free not to answer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:35 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


For a while, I had a coworker* who would eat soup at his desk extremely loudly. It was like nails on a chalkboard to me.

Yes, I have a cow-orker who can be a bit ...loud... when drinking his morning coffee and especially if he's in early, when I had counted on spending a quiet half hour or so alone getting on with stuff, it's frigging annoying, though not to the extent as featured in the post.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:38 PM on September 23, 2012


Usually, I don't do any of those things. I am super self-conscious about them, and I tend to notice not only when others do it but when I do it as well. I have spent years perfecting the art of sitting absolutely still, eating as silently as possible (I try to eat popcorn without crunching it), and only eating noisy food when I am alone.

But yeah, I don't get FURIOUS at myself when I do these things, which makes it feel like I'm being a sociopath when I feel those emotions directed toward others. That's the distress part of it -- not just being enraged but also feeling like an asshole for being enraged.
posted by brina at 3:40 PM on September 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


(Also, this makes going to the movies practically impossible. Usually other viewers will have popcorn, slurpy drinks, or chewy candy, and will inevitably sit near me, so I need to go to uncrowded movies and sit as far away from others as possible, or I will not be able to pay attention to the film.)
posted by brina at 3:41 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does it count if I want to kill people who manage to draw out eating a bag of crisps for 15-20 minutes on a train? Rustle, rustle, draws out single crisp cos they are refined, snap, crick, crick, crick. Repeat.

Of dear, I think it probably does, doesn't it?

5 hours on a train tomorrow.
posted by biffa at 3:42 PM on September 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


(biffa: You want these. They make the world silent for you, and make trains tolerable.)
posted by brina at 3:48 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was really happy when I found out about this, because I always thought I was just being a jerk about loud chewing, whistling, foot tapping, and a host of "little sounds." (When I was a child, I always tried to figure out/explain why the "little sounds" bothered me but nothing else really did.) Of course, I never said anything about it to anyone, because that would be rude, but it sometimes makes me want to run out of the room. The worst thing is that it's such a stupid-seeming neurosis (at least when I apply it to myself) that I never want to mention it; what a rude thing to be annoyed by, from people who have done so much for you and who you love!

From the literature I've read, it says that the condition is exacerbated by an emotional attachment to the chewer, which is obviously makes it worse. For the most part I am okay around friends and strangers, particularly when I am also chewing; I can mostly block it out when I have to. Unfortunately, I live in a house where there is never someone not eating; it's kind of amazing, particularly with the house's current obsession with super-crunchy matzah. I love my parents but I've had to come up with a series of solutions, including: waiting it out, talking a lot, putting headphones on when I'm working and someone sits next to me with a giant bowl o'crunch, and gum. The worst solution is going and getting something to eat as well, which is really not good, because we eat enough already. I try to chew as quietly as possible to project good behaviour; I can't remember the last time I tapped my fingers or my feet.

If anyone's ever seen the episode of Buffy in Season Four, "Living Conditions," there's a scene where she and her roommate Kathy hear everything each other does in a ludicrously amplified way; it's kind of a great representation of misophonia. Unfortunately, the rationale behind the annoyed perception turns out to be gradual soul-removal, so maybe that's a bad analogy. Anyway, I'd never snap at anyone about this, or even say anything; everybody's got to eat, and I don't want to make anyone self-conscious. But the not-alone thing? Nice.
posted by ilana at 3:51 PM on September 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


Meanwhile, those with the condition cope as best they can. Ms. Siganoff says she remains enraged until she says something like “shut up” or “stop it.”

“If I don’t say anything, the rage builds,” she said.


So, moving away from the offending sound is not an option? I feel sorry for her, but her chosen solution sounds like the worst possible one to come up with.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 3:56 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now that this is recognized as a thing, can advertisers be convinced to stop adding those horrible crunchings and slurps and 'Ahhh's and 'Mmmm's to nearly every food commercial?

That stuff has cause me to yell at my TV more that I'd like to admit.
posted by Silly Ashles at 3:56 PM on September 23, 2012 [15 favorites]


I HAVE THIS. I even have this article bookmarked because I think it was the first time I had read a real account of it being a disorder of some kind. and it has affected me since I was a kid. I remember continuously yelling at my little brother for eating obnoxiously even though I didn't really get why it reflexively bothered me.

it is TERRIBLE. it isn't just me being annoyed. it causes actual distress for me. I can't focus on anything else, I cringe.. just.. gross. one of the worst triggers is that awful gum snap/chew thing. *gag* I also notice I have far less tolerance of the behavior from those I know and am surrounded by personally. it doesn't make it easier in a restaurant. but I can at least mentally if not physically excuse it in public with strangers.

yes.. movies are terrifying for me as well, though.

on preview: omg ilana. you've described me exactly. hi, soulmate. I have reacted in every way you have described.
posted by ninjew at 3:57 PM on September 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Huh. I once dated a woman who might have had this. I wonder if things might have ended differently had she or I or anyone in her family known this information.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:01 PM on September 23, 2012


MY TRIBE I HAVE FOUND YOU AT LAST

Interestingly, nails on chalkboard do not bother me, but rubbing cardboard edge against cardboard will make me glitch. And pretty much any loud high frequency sound. I have several pair of earplugs in one pocket and a set of Etymotics 'phones in the other, always.

But the chewing noise reaction is a ... source of friction ... at home.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:02 PM on September 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Hi, ninjew! *waves* Clearly we should all meet and have a support group. I would suggest all getting together for lunch, but I don't know if that would be a really good or terrible idea.
posted by ilana at 4:03 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't feel this way live and in person, but oh man do I hate overdone mastication in TV and movies.

Foley artists of the world: when the script calls for a pointed silence while a group of people are eating dinner, that does not mean you need to fill the gap with smacking, munching, slurping, and swallowing sounds turned up to the volume of normal conversation.
posted by ceribus peribus at 4:03 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


For its counterpart we have Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

(I stumbled on this reddit community yesterday and got trapped for a while [I'm not sure about the scientific merits])
posted by Knigel at 4:06 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lunch could be great. We'd all just be sitting there trying to out-silence one another with our perfect eating habits. First to crunch pays the check.
posted by brina at 4:07 PM on September 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


this is also 100% a relationship deal-killer. cause how could you spend the rest of your life with someone if eating meals with them causes rage.
posted by ninjew at 4:08 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


liana: From the literature I've read, it says that the condition is exacerbated by an emotional attachment to the chewer, which is obviously makes it worse.

Oh, wow, that was totally the woman I dated. She was hardest on her parents, especially her dad, who, if you heard her talk, you'd swear she'd lay down her life for. I was often dumbfounded at how angry she'd get at him over something he couldn't control. (She was not, like you, polite about her frustrations, at least in private.) Then, as time went on, she started getting upset with me, and the longer we were together, the more upset she'd get. Eventually we broke up, because I was convinced that she actually didn't enjoy my company any more. Since she didn't know about this condition (she'd been diagnosed as being depressed and put on meds that gave her intense mood swings - she eventually stopped the meds and grew to deeply district doctors) she didn't really have a way of explaining what was going on. Last time I saw her she'd just gotten married to a dude who was so quiet I didn't even notice he was there til she introduced him.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:09 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


(oops, sorry ilana, for misspelling your username)
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:10 PM on September 23, 2012


I was actually really bothered by the use of the word (ugh) "slurp" in the first link. This is onomatopoeia, right? Or have I negatively associated that word with the sound of its action so often that I'm confusing myself?
posted by klausman at 4:10 PM on September 23, 2012


This is onomatopoeia, right?

Right. Try to say it while breathing in and you'll see.
posted by howfar at 4:15 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


eustacescrubb, did we date?
posted by brina at 4:19 PM on September 23, 2012


FFS, not every pet peeve is a pathology

Holy SHIT is this the truth. If I ever get the money to print this on a bunch of T-shirts, I'll split the profits with you.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:21 PM on September 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


* Immigrant from Vietnam

Thanks for sharing this by the way.
posted by howfar at 4:21 PM on September 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Right. Try to say it while breathing in and you'll see.

Ew.
posted by klausman at 4:21 PM on September 23, 2012


eustacescrubb, I totally identify (obviously) with your ex. Emotionally, it's extremely hard to deal with being so annoyed, being mad at yourself for being annoyed at someone you love SO MUCH for something they can't control, while at the same time trying to bottle it up because it's both a weird hang-up nobody knows what to deal with, and it makes you sound mean for no reason. It takes a lot to keep it all in; I'm just happy that I've managed to keep it to myself. I wonder if misophonics know they've met "the one" when they're not annoyed by the sound of their chewing (I'm pretty okay with my fiance, amazingly, and that's after eight years), or if that should cause worry because you're "not emotionally attached" enough? Anyway.

Don't worry about the username thing. Heck, I managed to write "is obviously makes it worse."
posted by ilana at 4:23 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Does this have anything to do with the freakout many people have over the word "moist"? It would seem to be in at least a related category.
posted by etaoin at 4:24 PM on September 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wonder if this has anything to do with my kissing issues. Does other people kissing bother anyone else?
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:26 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I learned to eat in absolute silence due to constant badgering by my sister, who particularly hated the sound of utensils making contact with teeth. Years later, still trained by these incidents, I visited her to find, click clack, her spooning I don't remember what -- yogurt? -- without a care for sound of spoon on teeth. What happened, I asked her? Oh, I got over it, she says. Mmm, nice for you.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:33 PM on September 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


out of pure curiosity, are any of the folks here who identify misophonia parents with small kids? if yes, how do you cope/deal with that? (if you care to share). just thinking of this today because my housemate had the kids over she nannies, and those are some loud chomping little suckers.
posted by circle_b at 4:35 PM on September 23, 2012


circle_b, badly is how I cope.

Though no I don't have this disorder, I just cant stand the sound of loud mastication.
posted by wilful at 4:40 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


hmmm. i have something similar, but i always thought it had to do with how strictly i was raised to chew with my mouth shut. other people chewing with their mouth open or making masticating noises still drives me nuts.
posted by camdan at 4:44 PM on September 23, 2012


During periods of intense reflection, which are usually those times when I am trying not to scream, the rage seems to come from a chain like this: 1) this sound is painful 2) I've mentioned how that sound is painful in previous circumstances 3) they're making that sound anyway 4) they've forgotten 5) i'm going to have to say something or go mad 6) either of those things will ruin the meal 7) the meal is ruined anyway at least for me 8) i don't wan to ruin it for everyone else but 9) chompchompslurpchomcrunchpaararrrggghhhh

One curious thing: my misophonia is worse when my blood sugar is high. Unfortunately it's really hard to eat low carb now with all of my annoying new food sensitivities. Still, there are good days and bad days.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:48 PM on September 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't think I have this, but I can't be in a room while peope with false teeth/dentures are eating. They somehow magnify all the mouthnoises - and every inch of my skin starts crawling 'round to accumulate on the side farthest away from them.
posted by subbes at 4:50 PM on September 23, 2012


From the article: "Everybody understands a headache,” she said. “Nobody understands what we have.”

Well, sure. When people are bothered by the sound of other people eating and breathing, it makes sense that others might not understand, because people need to eat and breathe.
posted by sweetkid at 4:56 PM on September 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


Good post! Interesting.

I'm sure I don't suffer from this, but I do get extremely agitated when my cube neighbor has his lunch, which invariably starts with carrots and ends with apples. I think he believes he is competing in a loud-crunching competition. When he munches, it seems as if I have bat-sonar; I can make out every tooth, filling, and contour in his mouth.

Thank god for Spotify and earbuds.
posted by The Deej at 4:57 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't have the full-on rage reaction, but I do get annoyed by eating sounds and certain high-pitched noises. That's why you should always play music while eating, IMHO. But what really gets my goat these days is the highly compressed incidental noises producers and directors are using in TV ads. I think it's a reaction to the fact that a large percentage of the audience is actually watching TV with hi-def and 5.1 surround sound, so they use these (to me) piercing noises to get viewers attention. It drives me fucking batty is all I know.
posted by vibrotronica at 4:57 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


And the one that drove me insane during a year's commute on a very early morning train were the card players. They cut the cards and slapped them onto the table at a really high volume. But it was cutting of the cards that drove me batty. It sounds silly I know but I can hear the noise right now and it pisses me off. And yes, I tried to avoid them but about three times a week, we'd wind up in the same car.
posted by etaoin at 5:07 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Finally, THESE people are the ones identified as being weirdos and not people who properly recognize that air makes food taste better (not to mention HowTF do you get your teeth far enough apart to chew anything with your lips held closed?).
posted by DU at 5:07 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also have a mildish form of this. One thing in particular I dislike is finger licking. I dislike eating foods that get my hands messy in a way that a dab of a napkin won't cure and I absolutely abhor watching/listening to other people lick their fingers.

Also, those pictures of your kid with their face smeared with cake or whatever? Beyond gross.
posted by maxwelton at 5:10 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why, yes, air does make food taste better! Allow me to provide even more airspace, courtesy of my friends Burleigh & Stonginthearm.
posted by maxwelton at 5:13 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


simplynoise.com, pink noise channel, has made it possible for me to live among the eaters at work without losing my mind. At home as a teenager, I ate in my room whenever I possibly could because my father chewed with his mouth open...
posted by ariel_caliban at 5:14 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Um. Holy Cow. I have this. I have had it since I was young. I didn't know it was a thing. My mother threatened to take me to a doctor because it used to very visibly agitate me because she thought I was just acting out. Even then I wasn't showing the absolute and uncontrollable feeling I was having. I would feel so terribly guilty about it and would often cry after dinner because I didn't know how to change my reaction.

It still does drive me up a wall, more so with some than others, but I've learned to deal with it as much as I can. Thank you a million times over for posting this, OP.
posted by manimimi at 5:15 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


There are lots of variations on this. One version is called Hyperacusis. It's caused by nerve damage in the inner ear, and is usually associated with tinnitus. I've seen lists of triggers for hyperacusis and the two top ones seem to be babies crying and dishes clattering. Here is a very interesting article that discusses the differences between hyperacusis, phonophobia, and misophonia.

Hyperacusis has been defined as 'unusual tolerance to ordinary environmental sounds' and, more pejoratively, as 'consistently exaggerated or inappropriate responses to sounds that are neither threatening nor uncomfortably loud to a typical person'. Common to both is the implication that the experience can be evoked by sounds of low intensity and that sounds in general, rather than specific sounds, are problematic. This is less true of phonophobia (fear of sound) and the recently proposed misophonia (dislike of sound), both of which carry a suggestion that the intolerance may be specific to certain sounds with emotional associations. In neurology, phonophobia tends to be used specifically for the loudness intolerance reported by some patients with migraine. For the wider types of hearing hypersensitivity, therefore, the term hyperacusis is preferable.

I personally don't find bodily noises annoying, except for one specific case. There's this guy in an open plan office where I worked who blows his nose so loud it sounds like a trumpet. It breaks my concentration from 200 feet away (yes, I measured it, it's a warehouse with cubicles). However, this isn't something anyone would categorize as seeming unpleasantly loud just to me and not bothersome people generally. Everyone is annoyed by the guy, and they get in arguments about who has to take the cubicle next to him. People have quit rather than work near this guy.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:15 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


If it wasn't about body & eating noises I would swear I have this. For me it is: whistling, tapping, and a particular high pitched sound you get when sharpening knives, bare skin sliding on sheets in a particular way, rings on metal ... ugh I am getting the jeebs just thinking about it.
posted by dame at 5:18 PM on September 23, 2012


it makes sense that others might not understand, because people need to eat and breathe.

But do people need to hum tunelessly and growl at themselves and make all sorts of other distracting sounds when working in an open-plan office? Because honestly, pajdljkgdlkgdnlkdanldanldsmfsdmfsdsakldmkL.

Finally, THESE people are the ones identified as being weirdos and not people who properly recognize that air makes food taste better (not to mention HowTF do you get your teeth far enough apart to chew anything with your lips held closed?).

I do not know you, and I do not know your mouth, but I know many many people who have no trouble chewing with their mouths closed.
posted by psoas at 5:18 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


whistling, tapping, and a particular high pitched sound you get when sharpening knives, bare skin sliding on sheets in a particular way, rings on metal ...

I feel like I've just watched a preview of Paranormal Activity 4. That's an interesting list.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:21 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


OH THE FINGER LICKING PLEASE DON'T. yeah that's another one ahhhh *dry heave*
posted by ninjew at 5:24 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have the opposite disorder. I get a visceral pleasure from many scratchy / dissonant / crunchy / gurgling / slurping / whispering type sounds. To me these sorts of sounds are generally much more pleasurable than normal music.
posted by idiopath at 5:24 PM on September 23, 2012


When people pop their gum and loudly chew all the bubbles out of it I want to kill. I'll change cars on the subway to avoid it. I'm happy to know that there are more of me out there.
posted by drowsy at 5:29 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Durn Bronzefist, you've given me a whole new outlook on my life as horror movie. I think it helps that it is currently sunny & warm & California-ish here right now, which makes the undercurrent all the better.
posted by dame at 5:46 PM on September 23, 2012


Growing steadily more deaf has helped, but I still regard loud gum-chewing and gum-cracking as a deliberately aggressive act.
posted by Peach at 5:51 PM on September 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


Now that this is recognized as a thing, can advertisers be convinced to stop adding those horrible crunchings and slurps and 'Ahhh's and 'Mmmm's to nearly every food commercial?

I haven't eaten a once at a Carl's Jr in more than an decade because of their incredibly irritating "If it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face" commercials, with all the disgusting crunching, slurping and lip smacking. If a group of friends want to go their, I'll walk somewhere else. And if I ever meet the person who came up with those commercials in the street, they better run faster than me.

Does Hardee's have the same commercials? If not, I may be moving east.
posted by roquetuen at 5:53 PM on September 23, 2012


This was a huge revelation to me. I have this! It's ruined relationships, and yes I work my life around it without realizing it. I can only be around someone chewing gum if I am also chewing gum. I HATE to listen to people eat, or tap their feet, etc. I have never felt so validated as I did reading this. Thanks for sharing. You made my month.
posted by MrChowWow at 6:06 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


...the condition is exacerbated by an emotional attachment to the chewer...

Hmmm. Perhaps this is why one of my sons flies into a blind rage whenever his brother eats or breathes at the table. Then again, maybe it's just two boys who share a room also sitting six inches apart for all meals.

In other words, maybe my sons need to learn to get along. :7)

But wow, this being a thing -- well, it could explain a lot. Thanks for the post!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:08 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, yes yes yes.

I hate chewing and breathing noises. This, I figure, is why most good restaurants and responsible dinner party hosts play music during dinner. It's not normal to listen to other people chewing.

That said, I'm not sure it can't be classified as an anxiety disorder, in the same way that phobias are. My fight-or-flight response to people chewing went down dramatically after I started taking medication for depression and anxiety.

That said, I will never ever ever be able to partner with someone with bad table manners. Mouth closed! No slurping! No smacking!
posted by jaguar at 6:15 PM on September 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Finally, THESE people are the ones identified as being weirdos and not people who properly recognize that air makes food taste better (not to mention HowTF do you get your teeth far enough apart to chew anything with your lips held closed?).

I find this comment bizarre. First, the closed mouth is not a hermetically sealed chamber. Air can pass in and out of the nouse while one is chewing with closed lips. In fact, that is how the "air" contributes to the taste of food: through the sense of smell.

If you find it unwieldy to chew with closed lips, may I suggest that you take smaller bites? I am not talking about wee morsels the size of a baby pea, either. I just checked and I can comfortably chew a piece of food the width of my thumb joint at its widest with closed lips and without the slightest strain. Most children have a handle on chewing with a closed mouth by the time of preschool. Perhaps I am not the most sophisticated person, but this is the first I have heard of smacking with a gaping maw as being an integral part of the foodie experience.
posted by Tanizaki at 6:17 PM on September 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


For me it's not so much chewing as chewing surrounded by silence. Chewing is no big deal if I'm listening to music (even without headphones) or there's background noise, but it feels like an affront if said chewing interrupts peaceful silence.
posted by Turkey Glue at 6:23 PM on September 23, 2012


I almost never see TV commercials from the US or Canada. What TV I do watch, I tend to download, because that's the only way I can get it. Occasionally I see a pre-roll ad online, or the rip someone's done of Craig Ferguson or something has an ad or two in it, and I see ads once every few years when I go back to Canada to visit my mom. So I guess this is something I'm just not inured to yet.

But in the last... I dunno... decade or so, there's been the growth of this certain voiceover voice, done by any number of voiceover guys, that I think of as the archetypical superfriendly, lilting but very slightly-gravelly, I'm-your-30-something-perky-pal-trust-me voice, and it's used in what seems like every second commercial.

It fills me with fury.

Does that count?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:24 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and by the way, if you hate open-mouth chewing, or noisy gum enjoyment, do not come to Korea. Even after a decade and a half to get used to it, I still get the heebiejeebies sometimes.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:26 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


From coping-with-epilepsy.com:
Seizure Background
Son would lose consciousness under psychological stress, have apparent anxiety attack, pass out and stop breathing for 3-5 minutes. Possible Aspergers related. He cannot tolerate being near people chewing/eating food and never goes to restaurants. If he sees, hears or thinks too stronly about me chewing, he has to hit himself in the chest or ears to distract or counterbalance whatever it is he is experiencing. ...
When I was a sophomore in HS, I became very irritated at the way my father would click his oatmeal spoon against his teeth at the breakfast table.

And I'm finding I can't bring myself to tell the rest of that story.

But anyway, I do think this problem is a kind of long shadow that seizure disorders cast across the normal population in many cases.
posted by jamjam at 6:34 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I get this from snoring! Finally, I get to be special, too! Everybody check your privilege!
posted by kafziel at 6:35 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Even after a decade and a half to get used to it, I still get the heebiejeebies sometimes.
posted by hippybear at 6:35 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I guess it helps to know you're not alone, I don't think I will ever have a full on rage triggered but when 'trapped' in a social meal near a loud chewer I certainly come close the hitting the anxiety wall. Bathroom breaks can help, so what if everyone thinks you have a urinary disorder...
posted by sammyo at 6:37 PM on September 23, 2012


This tall and heavyset lady would get into the elevator with me every morning: I didn't know her, she worked on another floor in another industry.
Every morning she would buy some kind of hot flaky pastry, a pie or a sausage roll or even a hard shell pastry samosa from this oriental bakery near our building, and get in the elevator and stand behind me and start eating it.
It didn't matter how many people were in the elevator, she would start jamming that hot pastry into her slavering maw.

But it wasn't so much the sound of the pastry or her slick saliva munching that annoyed- it was the white paper bag the food came in.
Before she would start to eat, she would rustle that bag, it would rustle and crinkle and crackle and by christ it was a sound that literally made me wince.
That damn white paper bag, and every time she would take another bite that white paper with little growing clear oil windowpanes showing through it would crinkle and rattle and hit this one particular note that went right through me and lodged inside my head, right in the middle of my head.

I started coming into work earlier, or later, just to avoid the morning elevator ride. And that worked, for a while, until our work patterns again matched up during lunch and there she was again, like a shadow, crinkling her damn white paper bag.
Sometimes, I would watch her in the mirrored walls of the elevator and she knew, she knew for sure, that the sound of that white paper bag was something- she loved the sound of the white paper crinkling, I think it was some kind of pavlovian thing she had going on there, the white paper meant flaky hot pastry and that meant delicious and she would rustle that paper bag for her own pleasure.

One day the elevator stopped at her floor and I saw workmen dismantling the reception area and taking down the signage, I never saw her again.
posted by Plutocratte at 6:38 PM on September 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Could you guys type just a little more softly? You're killing me.
posted by Karmadillo at 6:41 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


So I said to him, "You pop that gum one more time..."
posted by pernoctalian at 6:48 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been like this since I was a little kid. My dad used to have a way of slurping his coffee while inhaling at the same time that was eventually so irritating that I stopped eating with him for thirty years. Frankly, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Mostly though, I've tried to convince myself that I'm overreacting, I'm a mature & reasonably well-adjusted adult, and that it's probably not a great idea to fly off the handle at a company dinner, or at my neighbours at work. So far I've managed to tolerate my kids because, well, they're too young to find out what an a**hole I can be. Also I've yelled at them for standing over my shoulder and munching stuff in my ear, which helps.

And, to the person three cubicles over who insists on eating with china plates and a knife and fork, if this continues, I am going to break your fucking arms and shove that cutlery somewhere I'll never have to listen to you eat ever again. Not only that, but QUIT EATING AT YOUR DESK SO YOU CAN TAKE A GODDAMN HOUR FOR LUNCH TO GO SHOPPING!1!
posted by sneebler at 6:49 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


OM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 6:52 PM on September 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wow, interesting to know this is a thing.

I wonder if this is at all related to the issue I have with particular sounds associated with children? I have had panic attacks and rage attacks caused by the sounds of children playing outside my window. I cannot tolerate the sound, or tune it out, and the sound of a child shrieking makes me irrationally angry beyond words. Even normally, the noise can make me so stressed I get headaches severe enough to incapacitate me.
posted by strixus at 7:02 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


For me it's not so much chewing as chewing surrounded by silence. Chewing is no big deal if I'm listening to music (even without headphones) or there's background noise, but it feels like an affront if said chewing interrupts peaceful silence.
To me, the only time that's acceptable is in that scene from When Harry Met Sally when they're eating dinner very awkwardly after having slept together.
posted by SillyShepherd at 7:18 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder if this has anything to do with my kissing issues. Does other people kissing bother anyone else?

Yes! Particularly in films where the slurping noise is exaggerated. I have to fast-forward through love scenes it's so nauseating.
posted by orrnyereg at 7:19 PM on September 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


My peeve is people who make them into pets. Peeves are meant to be wild and free.

Peeve liberation!
posted by srboisvert at 7:19 PM on September 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Think it's something to do with mute non-gesticulating Americans, but I don't know where to go from that concept.
posted by saber_taylor at 7:27 PM on September 23, 2012


QA:

1. No, not every pet peeve is a disorder. Not every experience you don't have is invalid. It's a disorder because it's beyond something trivial like a pet peeve.

2. I do sometimes produce the sounds that I am annoyed by. I don't see a contradiction there, as I'm not arguing that producing those sounds is immoral, only that I find it difficult to stand them. I infer from other people's outward behaviour that they aren't inordinately bothered by these sounds, so I don't feel guilt about producing them myself. See 4.

3. No, moving away from the sound usually is not an option. If you have to be somewhere, like at school or work, you are usually forbidden to go and be out of range of the sound, and to establish a workspace that enables you to protect yourself from the sound.

4. Some of the noises that bug us are unavoidable, but some are completely avoidable. The avoidable ones are often the same ones that are officially classified as rude, though not always. I do of course try to avoid making the Code Rude sounds. Additionally, sounds produced by a person's own body - like speech, chewing,
breathing etc - sound completely different to the person producing the sounds, which is why we don't recognise our own recorded voices. Some people are unable to physically tolerate the sounds of their own voices though. And thank God the sound of breathing doesn't bother me.

And Brina: AAAAARGH THE PAINFULLY SLOW CRISP EATERS THE RUSTLING, THE RUSTLING

I know somebody who never uses cutlery at church lunches because hey, it's church, a place of no stuffy acceptance! Instead, she licks the entire meal off her fingers, noisily smacking the food off each finger in turn and then revisiting them. I try not to eat in the same room as her, but the church had to sell that place, and now there isn't another room... smacking the food off each finger in turn and then revisiting them. I try not to eat in the same room as her, but the church had to sell that place, and now there isn't another room...
posted by tel3path at 7:32 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah it's important to be a socialized creature. But if any of you haven't noticed, masticating food with an open mouth mixes more oxygen with the food in a way that amplifies the taste. But of course, happy girlfriends are a much better value. Still, try chewing with your mouth open when you are alone sometime.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:37 PM on September 23, 2012


I'll never forget taking a cold Medicine where one of the side effects was "extreme irritation". That night the "irritation" was was people breathing and chewing or people breathing AND chewing. I thought my skin would crawl off. That feeling has never gone away. I am now officially haunted.
posted by dutcherino at 7:44 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Still, try chewing with your mouth open when you are alone sometime.

No. Gross. I do it occasionally when I have a cold and can't breathe, and even then I gross myself out.
posted by jaguar at 7:48 PM on September 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


A place of non stuffy acceptance, I meant.

And ermahgerd that pastry woman, now she is haunting me and why? Why?

At a previous workplace, a guy sat two feet from me whose entire job was to talk on the phone all day, every day. That, I class as a distraction, and a relentless one. I was driven crazy by trying desperately to program in the face of his relentless baritone wumbling. Most of the time they were meta conversations about when to have the actual phone conversation. All day every day, there would be a blast of dial tone over his cranked-up-to-the-max speaker, then the BLEEP BLEEP BOOP BOOP of dialling, then the RING RING. RING RING. on the other end. Mercifully he would turn off the speakerphone when someone answered, but it was hard to work with that being repeated literally hundreds of times a day. He usually worked 14-hour days.

But that's distraction, not sound quality. Here is the sound quality story:

One night I was nearly in tears trying to fight through the relentless dial tones and wumbling to meet a legally imposed hard deadline. It was nearly 9pm. In mid-wumble, his cell phone rang and he picked it up and snapped "I can't talk now, I'm on the phone." His GF. This happened a couple more times and No I'm on the phone, can you not understand this, here is a lengthy explanation of why I am on the ohone and cannot talk, I am working, I have a job to do, before turning back to the landline to resume negotiations with the customer's PA about when the phone call itself could be scheduled. Cell rings again. Enraged public argument ensues.

Finally he gets up. I almost weep with relief - he's going home! I can do my work!

Behind me, there is an almighty rustling like a herd of twenty-seven agitated elephants stampeding through a cellophane factory. Involuntarily, I jump thirty feet in the air.

Puzzled at the startled look on my face, he says, "oh sorry tel3path, did you want one of these doughnuts?" Dumbfounded, I shake my head.

He returns to his desk, blasts the dial tone, and turns his cellphone off. Waving the cellphone at me, he remarks, "I dunno, tel3path, why are women so irrational?"

There was an explosion of red inside my eyes.
posted by tel3path at 7:54 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


But if any of you haven't noticed, masticating food with an open mouth mixes more oxygen with the food in a way that amplifies the taste. ... Still, try chewing with your mouth open when you are alone sometime.

I have tried this before when by myself just to see if I could find any truth in such claims. I couldn't. Chewing with my mouth open seemed to dull the flavors and throughly grossed me out.
posted by Silly Ashles at 7:56 PM on September 23, 2012


I'm happy to know that there are more of me out there.

I totally agree!

As a parent, I cope by trying to train my kids to eat quietly under the guise of teaching them good manners. There are some rough nights. Sometimes I get carried away, including when someone ate an apple in my ear today, and I'm sure my kids consider me a huge pain in the ass, like I did my dad. Now I love eating with him — he's so quiet!
posted by theredpen at 7:58 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chewing with my mouth open seemed to dull the flavors and throughly grossed me out.
posted by Silly Ashles


Were you eating Cheetos?
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:59 PM on September 23, 2012


Do you have a fully functional nose?
posted by jaguar at 8:02 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now I love eating with him — he's so quiet!
posted by theredpen


I do agree that super-quiet public eaters are very elegant.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:02 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Were you eating Cheetos?

What? No...?
posted by Silly Ashles at 8:04 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know what else really fucking annoys me? When someone talks into their phone unnecessarily loud when I'm in the room too.

MY CO-WORKER IS DOING IT RIGHT NOW AND IT'S FUCKING DRIVING ME BATSHIT INSANE.

HELP. ME.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 8:05 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oxygenating the food makes the food taste more like the food. That can be good thing or not.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:06 PM on September 23, 2012


You know what else really fucking annoys me? When someone talks into their phone unnecessarily loud when I'm in the room too.

MY CO-WORKER IS DOING IT RIGHT NOW AND IT'S FUCKING DRIVING ME BATSHIT INSANE.


Oh god. I had a coworker (at that same company with the nose blower) that had a bluetooth headset, he would wander around my cubicle, pacing back and forth, yelling at the headset mic in his deep voice. Drove me nuts.

Hey everybody, modern phones use digital, not like those old carbon transducers that pushed electrons into wires, down to a switchboard. You don't have to yell, they won't hear you any better. That mic is only inches from your mouth. You could whisper and they would hear you. Yell, and the circuitry will actually lower the volume because YOU ARE TALKING TOO LOUD.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:12 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do agree that super-quiet public eaters are very elegant.

Because my mother has made such a *drama* out of my dad's loud (admittedly gross) chewing my whole life, all of my siblings and I have extremely quiet eating habits, but I find it almost...creepy when we're all eating together silently, as if we're embarrassed about our human need for food. I like the verve with which other people eat!
posted by sallybrown at 8:14 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can we please not conflate "pet peeve" with "legitimate diagnosis?" There are people *right in this thread* telling you that this is a real thing. One of my best friends has this; when she found out that it was a disorder, and not that she was a horrible person, she cried for nearly fifteen minutes straight with the combination of relief and despair. Just because you have been sad and then got happier doesn't mean dysphoria isn't a real medical condition--and just because some noises annoy you but don't send you into a blind rage or a panic attack doesn't mean that misophonia isn't a real medical condition.
posted by tzikeh at 8:19 PM on September 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


In case it wasn't clear earlier, my 'does that count' comment was just a joke. I know it doesn't count.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:55 PM on September 23, 2012


Lab meeting combined with lunch combined with my boss's eating habits is honestly one of the worst parts of my job. In this case, though, the volume of eating sounds is almost impressive enough -- seriously world-class -- to almost overcome my normal panic-rage-revulsion reaction.

And yes, it is a relationship issue on both sides. I knew early on that I'd have to either find someone silent or find someone who could take the occasional "Keep it down over there, willya?" comment.
posted by supercres at 8:55 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


See, all this does is reinforce my ideas that Manners are a good thing and desperately needed in these high stress, overcrowded times. There is a reason that polite society once demanded that you chew with your mouth closed, because its disgusting not to. And it makes people feel disproportionate rage and pain.

Also, I'm surprised that no one in my office has died yet. We have a loud gum chewer who talks non stop on the phone and a random whistler. There's also a lady who hums to herself when she eats.

Thanks, now I don't want to go to work tomorrow even more than normal.
posted by teleri025 at 8:56 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


There is a reason that polite society once demanded that you chew with your mouth closed, because its disgusting not to.

I fear that in some ways society is rapidly moving in a direction which I do not wish to participate in.
posted by ovvl at 9:23 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Goodness this is me. I hate several sounds, chewing being one of them. I also hate the sound of ice. Weird, right? That grating sound when ice crunches, I can't stand it. Today I was at a buffet-like bar with my partner, and I looked at the fruit and said "Oh my god is that counter covered in ice?" She poked it to check. I had to ignore it until I could leave the room. Even *looking* at the frost made my skin crawl. I couldn't not think of what it would sound like if you moved the bucket. Walking on snow is absolutely horrendous.
I was also watching a movie once, maybe about a serial killer, and a scene cut quickly to a creepy guy eating an apple up close. It made me have a panic attack.
I also hate how rough napkins feel. I made my partner carry my sub sandwich the other day because it was wrapped in napkins that grated against each other and made this terrible sensation. It was like I could feel the sounds.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:36 PM on September 23, 2012


I first heard about this right here on MetaFilter. Someone made a comment (either on the blue or the green, and I have no idea how to even search for it) that the sound of a dog lapping water from a bowl filled them with intense feelings of revulsion and rage.

I was all like, "What? Really?", but I guess really. Huh.
posted by trip and a half at 9:49 PM on September 23, 2012


Oh dear. This was not supposed to be real. The rage, the skin-crawling, the revulsion... it is so intense. Dogs licking/panting/drinking and humans chewing/snuffing/snorting are the absolute worst, and it's on the TV too. It's intense, but it was not supposed to be real.

I was supposed to be some sort of overly sensitive, angry freak who just needed to get over it. I WANTED to be some sort of overly sensitive, angry freak who just needed to get over it.

My chosen field is Speech and Language Pathology. I have to spend the next 4 years listening intently to breathing and lip smacking, working closely with patients with cleft-palates and cerebral palsy and their mouths, and helping (shudder) with feeding and speaking valves.

I thought I would just get over it. I thought, by the time that I would have to deal with tracheotomies and swallow studies, I would just get over the whole thing.

Please tell me I will just get over it...
posted by Vysharra at 9:56 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thank god for these threads on MeFi. There have been a number of AskMeFi posters looking for "answers" over the years and I have followed each thread excitedly but I haven't yet seen a solution - only coping mechanisms. Just talking about it and reading other people's comments is therapeutic for me.

And my specific current peeve within this sub-category of peeves is when characters on TV slurp/inhale when they drink as if to prove to the audience that there is actually liquid in their cup. (This is most ridiculous in shows where enjoyment hinges on suspending a considerable amount of disbelief already.)
posted by cranberrymonger at 10:10 PM on September 23, 2012


Regardless of whether it's a 'legitimate condition' or not, there is a way to respond nicely and a way to be a dick about it. The way to be a dick about it is to imply that there is something inherently wrong in making sounds when you eat. The more you do this, the more I will suspect that the disorder is rooted in a deep belief that there is something problematic about people making sounds when they eat, and that you are a superior person who does not make sounds when they eat. The more you talk about 'manners' the more you will reinforce this belief in me. If you give me one of those non-apology apologies where you're clearly saying 'I'm sorry I have such refined and delicate sensibilities', then I will suspect that this 'disorder' is highly functional for you.

If you apologise sincerely, explain that it is a personal private problem of yours and that you feel at least a little bit bad about the fact that your talking about it makes other people feel self-conscious and enjoy their food less, then I will be understanding and try to accommodate you as best I can.

Can we please not conflate "pet peeve" with "legitimate diagnosis?"

As far as I can see, the overwhelming majority of the people doing this in this thread are the people claiming this diagnosis for themselves.
posted by Acheman at 12:10 AM on September 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Hi MeFites, I'm a neurologist, been lurking on the blue for years. Read your thread on misophonia with interest, finally joined in.

Most of the patients I see with symptoms like people are describing in this thread have (what I consider to be) other disorders of sensory processing, with central hypersensitivity to (at least some) sensory stimuli, including photosensitivity, phonosensitivity (which is what misophonia is a form of, not really hyperacusis which is more about perceiving sounds as louder than they really are), motion sensitivity, etc.

Migraine is the main neurological diagnosis that ties these conditions together. Many migraineurs have one or more forms of hypersensitivity, even years before they develop headaches or other forms of episodic migraine (which don't have to include headaches at all, but can consist of pure sensory experiences like dizziness/vertigo or visual phenomena). A classic example is the kid who's always motion sick, who develops migraine headaches in his teens or twenties.

Many of the migraine patients I see have severe and/or frequent migraines, and/or various unusual sensory experiences like misophonia. This is why they're seeing a specialist -- their symptoms are unusual (or at least unfamiliar to their GP), or unmanageable, or both. I've noticed that many of my migraine patients are stimulus sensitive (as we say) in one way or another. The reverse is also true: most of the patients I see for unusual subjective experiences (phantom smells, persisting tingling, constant mild dizziness, etc) have migraines.

A similar relationship is found when it comes to migraines and non-neurological symptoms. Many of my migraine patients have one or more unpleasant and chronic/recurring symptom from the neck down. They get diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, or endometriosis (or dysmenorrhea), and can be described as having chronic pain (including chronic back pain, chronic whiplash, TMJ syndrome, recurring non-cardiac chest pain, etc), chronic fatigue, or other persisting problems. Most of these conditions are diagnosed as syndromes, meaning there are few or no tests that make the diagnosis, just the pattern of symptoms. Which is not to say their suffering is not severe, or important, or even sometimes disabling, just that we describe that suffering mostly in terms of a pattern of symptoms rather than a known underlying cause.

As a brain doctor I tend to think these conditions have something in common -- an altered or intensified sensorium. Routine stimuli can be amplified or heightened, often distorted unpleasantly in the process. Motion sensitivity is a good example of this, as is the photosensitivity to bright lights that can trigger migraine headaches, or at least seem unbearably bright during a migraine. Sensory experiences can even be produced by the brain whole cloth without an outside trigger, such as the flashing lights or other patterns seen in a migraine scotoma. They're illusions, Michael.

Anyway, I wonder if the posters in this thread who've identified their past experiences as misophonia would be willing to list or even describe their experiences with (what I think are) related symptoms and diagnoses, particularly migraines in their many forms. I wouldn't want to pressure anyone to disclose anything they're not comfortable with, but I would appreciate hearing your stories.
posted by Plasmon at 1:07 AM on September 24, 2012 [53 favorites]



Yeah it's important to be a socialized creature. But if any of you haven't noticed, masticating food with an open mouth mixes more oxygen with the food in a way that amplifies the taste. But of course, happy girlfriends are a much better value. Still, try chewing with your mouth open when you are alone sometime.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:37 PM on September 23 [+] [!]



a) Now we know how your carpet got sticky

b) GROSS GROSS GROSS EW EW EW EW seriously ugh


I am very much one of these people. I can't abide noisy chewing, smeking, slorping noises CHEW. WITH. YOUR. MOUTH. CLOSED. I have sought refuge from co-workers during the times we are supposed to be eating together in a hidden space in between the basement air ducts because I feel it is my responsibility as one of their supervisors to not FLY INTO A SNARLING RAGE at the disgusting sounds that several of them make while eating their pizza. My room in Hell is riding in a car with my father eating sunflower seeds. I try not to show it, I do, but people... perfectly nice people! notice me shaking, and my poker face is not so good sometimes.

Also awful - super loud foley kissing noises in movies. AUUUUGGGHHH.


Weirdly enough, my cat makes super loud slurping noises when she cleans herself and eats, but she is forgiven because she is the awesomest cat. But humans? For your own safety, I beg of you, chew with your mouth closed in my presence.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:52 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plasmon - very interesting. I have had very infrequent migraines. More often I experience some visual or auditory - not hallucinations, per se, but I see and hear things I know are not there, especially when I am sleep deprived.

As I am a shift worker, that happens more regularly than I would like.

I have always had unusual sleep patterns, though. And my raging hatred of horrible chewing noises predates my forced marches until well past dawn.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:04 AM on September 24, 2012


Dated someone who had this. We had other problems, certainly, but I can't say that the way she'd rage about my chewing helped our relationship any. Having someone yell at you at random intervals over something that literally no one else has ever mentioned feels uncomfortably like being gaslighted... even if you know it is a for reals syndrome and even if you know that the yelling is the only thing that can make it go away.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:33 AM on September 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Plasmon - I have had the symptoms of misophonia as long as I can remember, I had one very painful migraine when I was a teenager and that's it. I am very interested in helping research etc as I do not believe this is just a "peeve" or phobia, I would be happy to discuss more if you want to message me?
posted by sarahdal at 4:53 AM on September 24, 2012


My SO has this. And yes, he was very relieved to find that it is a real thing that many people deal with.
He has definitely lost one roommate over this.
I have learned to eat very quietly. He says that I do a good job of avoiding the sounds that particularly annoy him- but I can still see the way he looks at me sometimes. It's this sidelong eyeroll... I leave the room if that happens.
The part that makes this hard on the non-misophonic is that the level of rage is highly dependent on the person (his parents take the brunt - he has to drink alcohol copiously at family functions). How can we not take your rage personally if it is so person dependent?

He DOES make these sounds himself but doesn't acknowledge it! One of his things is throat clearing and when I take a video of our cats or whatever it inevitably catches him in a cough or throat clear and he's like "what the hell am I doing!" He also hates fidgeting and is a fidgeter himself.

Alright, I feel bad about making him sound like a rage monster, he is really a great, loving, person.

He has never had a migraine.
posted by bobobox at 4:57 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


What helped me, as every meal for my life was a horrific stress and had very awful associations. So I lived alone for three years. I think this has removed the association; the noise of eating still bothers me but it is easier to put up with now than it ever has been in my life.

I mean, the noise of people eating used to send me into awful convulsive fits or severely violent rages, completely out of character. You can't seriously say that's just me being difficult or fussy!

My family are wonderful now, meals at my parent's house I will sit in another room but with the doors in between open so I can't see or hear them eat, but we can shout conversations through. Showing people an actual article helps massively with the persuading them I'm not just being a big weirdo.

The other thing is that since I have openly started talking about this, several of my friends have come forward and said yes, it's not just me. This may not be an unusual or rare thing? I would love to know what the f*ck causes it.
posted by sarahdal at 5:00 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plasmon, I do not remember ever having migraines as a young child or a young adult. I had headaches, but not to the level of a migraine. I've had them maybe twice in the past year, but my doctor suspects that is due to a new medication and I've not had one since being off of it. If you have any further questions, though, please feel free to message me.

I've never in my life been so darn sure I've had something than I have since reading the original post, however. I dislike arm-chair/self diagnosis, as I feel it can be dangerous and misleading. However, I'm a 29 year old woman who doesn't cry often, and last night I called my father to have him put me on speakerphone so I could talk (and cry) to both of my parents about our experiences with this. It started, as the misophonia-uk.com site lists in their FAQ, around the age of 10 and with my mother. It grew from there, to the point where I had to tell my SO when we started dating that if he was crunching on something in bed while we were reading, to please not be offended if I had to leave until he was finished. It's embarrassing to have to explain (and to do), but it's worse to have someone you care about think you're mad on them for their actually very good manners or that you truly feel something is wrong with *them*. It's also very hard to explain without just looking like a brat. The other sounds bother me, but most of them are things I can leave the room or otherwise drown them out if necessary, and without much comment. I've gotten very, very good at letting my feelings happen inside but not showing it outside while at restaurants.

Both of my parents stated last night that when it didn't go away in my childhood, they assumed it was perhaps the type and amount of medications I took from 3 years old on (due to chronic asthma) had some effect developmentally. Not sure if they're correct, but next time I see my doctor, we will be discussing all of this.
posted by manimimi at 5:08 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am as described in the linked article. I've never suffered from migraines or photosensitivity, and I've played loud electric bass standing next to a drum kit for enough years that I have no hearing left above 14KhZ. Spent months on small boats with no motion sickness whatsoever.
posted by Wolof at 6:38 AM on September 24, 2012


Eating noises drive me up the wall, but I don't fly into a rage the way some people in the thread have described. I just get really, really irritated. I think chugging liquid loudly is one of the worst noises.
posted by LN at 6:43 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plasmon: They're illusions, Michael

You had me at "I'm a neurologist," and then you quote G.O.B. Bluth. Well played, my friend. Welcome to MetaFilter.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:15 AM on September 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


Plasmon, I have had migraines since about age 10. I suffer about 2 or 3 a year, the pain amplified by sound, light or movement. I learned to recognize them and retire quickly to a darkened, silent room to head off the worst of it. I don't remember other sound sensitivity until high school, when I asked people to stop tapping, clicking pens and using emery boards (the idea of the sound of nails being filed makes me cringe). I have never been able to sleep next to someone without putting a pillow on my head to block the sound of breathing, and have often felt "attacked" by loud music or noises. For the last 20-25 years I've been diagnosed with IBS. No other chronic ailments. I appreciate your insight into the condition--it's spot on as far as I'm concerned. Almost spooky.
posted by condesita at 7:21 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plasmon, as a little kid I got carsick all the time. The misophonia started around thirteen. Migraines started maybe a year or two later, but got much less frequent by the time I was in my late twenties. Endometriosis, check. TMJ, check. Chronic back pain, check. At one point, my GI doc thought I had IBS, but that tends to be very much stress-related.

Most of this, I think, is some form of somatization, which is why I don't tend to bother doctors with it. (Nobody wants to be that patient who is all, "Doctor, doctor! I must be dying! My shoulders hurt and I poop too often!")

The symptoms, other than the misophonia, all line up with physical symptoms often displayed by adult survivors of severe childhood abuse. So I never figured any of it might be neurological, not even the migraines.

Is there a possible neurological component? (YANMD)
posted by brina at 7:23 AM on September 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nthing Etymotic earphones. They make the train commute tolerable.

And apples. The cracking of someone biting into an apple. Curiously, if I'm eating at the same time it generally doesn't bother me.
posted by stp123 at 7:34 AM on September 24, 2012


Plasmon: No headaches to speak of. Moderate, occasional & untreated "depression". I have some symptoms of Aspergers but I can fake being human occasionally. I don't like loud noises (e.g. concerts with any kind of amplification, clubs, sirens, PA systems, loud parties, loud people) except for an occasional action movie with explosions. I don't have problems with nausea, though I am presently allergic to lots of foodstuffs (the misophonia predates this).

Brief anecdote: yesterday we walked by a small DJ booth which other people seemed to find set to a reasonable volume level and the guy was doing some "scratching" thing, which every time it sounded felt like a spiked fist punching me in the brain. I couldn't see, think or do much of anything except keep moving to get away from it. (Quiet scratches are OK, like when I listen to music at home.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:35 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Kit noise"- the sound of a person's collective accouterments. While not exactly rage-inducing, I find it overly distracting and oddly annoying. I first noticed it as a kid- Mr. Weeks the janitor in grade school- he had this big round keyring, and a tool belt full of tools and made this particular collection of sounds, just walking around. Everyone that makes kit noise has a different signature, too- there's been several people over the years that I learned to identify on the basis of their noise signature.
posted by Phyllis Harmonic at 7:40 AM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


OMG. I get irrational fits when my partner eats chocolate. It's noisy, and chocolate shouldn't do that, IMO (I like it to melt). And the annoyance is completely out of proportion to the noise, and yes, I feel like a jerk for being annoyed. (It's a rather thick bar of Belgian chocolate he eats).
posted by Goofyy at 8:00 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another negative data point, Plasmon. I get this and have since childhood (not with open mouth chewing but with crunchy stuff - chips, raw celery or carrots) but have never had a migraine, nor most of the other possibly associated issues you list. I do over-react to certain textures such as unglazed pottery, I get seasick but not motion sick in cars/trains/planes, and I do have TMJ but it doesn't cause any pain, just a clicking jaw.
posted by hydrobatidae at 8:28 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


i have had fantasies about assassinating the inventors, producers, distributors, and consumers of a truly awful product called Corn Nuts.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 8:33 AM on September 24, 2012


(and it's possible to have a relationship; my husband goes to the back of the house when he eats cereal, and he doesn't eat chips when i'm in the house; in return, i don't file my nails when he is in the house)
posted by fallacy of the beard at 8:35 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Theres a UK Spotify ad running at the moment that features Jennifer Saunders expounding on the deliciousness of a certain sandwich spread that includes lip smacking and chewing. It causes me such distress that I've taken to drowning it out by wailing obscenities out loud. Jen, why did you do this to me sweetie, why? WHY?

Luckily I only listen to Spotify at home. Note to radio ad creators, lip smacks - no, never, just no.
posted by Ness at 8:52 AM on September 24, 2012


Plasmon, I do also get migraines, but the actual headaches aren't usually too bad, though I've had noise sensitivity with a few of them. The auras are generally more noticeable and of the "Alice in Wonderland" type where I suddenly feel very large or very small or like I'm light and floating or like I'm heavy and sinking.

I'm being treated for depression and anxiety, and the antidepressants, like I said, have come close to eliminating most of my extreme reaction to others' chewing and breathing. I have a close family who tends to grunt and breathe heavily whenever he moves, though, and I still have issues with that.

I do tend toward motion sickness, but almost always when I'm reading in a bumpy. Trains and planes are usually fine. And I have possible IBS, but more likely lactose intolerance, and I've never sought an official diagnosis on it.
posted by jaguar at 9:15 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder if this has anything to do with my kissing issues. Does other people kissing bother anyone else?

I have to change train carriages if a couple so much as links arms near me, in anticipation of the awful kissing sounds. I used to think it was grouchy jealousy, but now I know better. Thanks internet.

Now, who can't touch peaches?
posted by Summer at 9:17 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read threads like this and I wonder how we manage to live in a society with one another, what with all the pent-up rage all the time!

This isn't a thing for me, but occasionally when I am very tired it can become a problem. For example, my baby's sleep schedule has collapsed and consequently so has mine. I was trying to get some sleep a couple of nights ago, and my husband was typing away on the keyboard in the other room. I could still here it and asked him to stop. I went back to bed, and he kept typing but maybe a bit slower. (He had an important thought to share with the internet.) I came out of the bedroom and said something like, "Why so much with the clackety-clack? WHY!!!??? CLACKETY CLACK are you trying to keep me from sleeping? Why do you hate me? Arrghhh. But I know this is absurd. But I am so tired. Why so much with the clackety-clack???"

Yes, he laughed at me.

When I was a child I lived with a relative who later developed some rather serious psychiatric conditions. I was a pretty quiet, polite kid, and this relative just raged at me one morning for eating my breakfast. Relative accused me of making noise just to ruin that relative's life. It's not fun to be on the receiving end of someone's rage.
posted by stowaway at 9:25 AM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Plasmon, I have trigeminal neuralgia, and have had it my whole life as best I can tell, which brings along with it a sensation very much like many people describe having migraines in terms of the symptoms I present (I'm somewhere weird in the spectrum between Atypical Facial pain and full blown bilateral type II TN).

I'm highly photosensitive (my pupils don't seem to contract enough), and have to wear very dark sunglasses most days in order to see outside without my eyes watering. I'm also very sensitive to particular noises, to the point certain noises can trigger panic attacks because of how much I associate the sound with pain. For example, pounding on a door or ceiling, or children screaming, or the sounds of someone tapping on something wooden all trigger very violent emotional reactions from me.

Because of the TN, I also react pretty negatively to having my face or scalp touched, to the point I shy from most physical contact in those areas. I also cannot wash my hands with hot water, because for some reason the hot feeling feels like the pins and needles feeling of a limb being asleep.

I chalk nearly all of these up to either some form of sensory processing disorder (I'm dyslexic as well) or to classic conditioning of association of some sensation with pain.
posted by strixus at 9:37 AM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Plasmon, I am not misophonic but I have other sensory hypersensitivities. And I'm dyspraxic, and I get migraines with aura. I messaged you with more details.

Hands up everyone who can't understand people when they talk if there's background noise! And then your partner says "You need to frickin get your hearing checked!" And you do, and your hearing is EXTRAORDINARILY GOOD, you just can't understand a goddamn word people say!
posted by KathrynT at 9:58 AM on September 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


I have a cow-orker who can be a bit ...loud...

This is my new go-to insult: cow-orker. Not sure what orking is or how you do it to a cow, but it does sound nasty. Heh.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:36 AM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just reading this thread was terrible. Good to know that I have company, but all the descriptions of the horrible noises people make when eating? Could have done without that.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:46 AM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Friend of mine had this. No one else has ever complained that I eat too loudly but occasionally it bugged her. I wish she would have just said "could you eat a bit more quietly please?" Instead, she would REALLY piss me off by saying "Is that good? *wait for answer* Because it sure SOUNDS good." I don't know why but that seems incredibly rude to me (asking a question that is not genuine and then turning it around on me) and I absolutely hate it.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:36 AM on September 24, 2012


Does misophonia manifest the same way in cultures where noisy eating isn't frowned upon? In other words, are there people driven crazy by the sound of slurping noodle soup in countries where slurping is the "proper" way to eat noodle soup?

On an unrelated note, if you're going to clip your nails, do it over a trash can in private. Preferably in a soundproof booth. But for the love of crap, NEVER, NEVER at your desk at work.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:39 AM on September 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Plasmon, more anecdata:

I've always had motion sickness, usually exacerbated by reading in the car. I also get dizzy if I'm outdoors and there's nothing much on the horizon -- my eyes seem to overload if there's nothing in the foreground to focus on. I get like this if we're driving across long stretches of flat land, too.

I get migraines, which only started in my early twenties, but which are now down to two or three a year in my forties because of preventive meds. My right eye usually swells shut and the hearing gets wiggy in that ear. I don't react much to light and don't get visual disturbances or aura, but everything is suddenly TOO LOUD and my head is unbearably sensitive. I don't really like my head being touched at any time.

My father was incredibly sensitive to noise, so I grew up learning how to eat and drink silently. He didn't even like us laughing out loud at the TV, so I repressed that too. (I am no fun at comedy shows, because I just smile and do my laughing on the inside. God, that sounds tragic.) I always sit perfectly still and don't fidget, hum, whistle, or tap my toes or foot, but it drives me potty when other people do it.

I haaaaaaate throat-clearing, cutlery clicking on teeth, and people who hum/moan while they eat, which are pretty much unavoidable in everyday life. I can avoid fingernails on blackboards now I'm decades out of school, but people clipping their nails or eating sunflower seeds on the bus drive me batshit crazy to the point that I will get off the bus if I can't get far away enough.

When I'm tired, everything is even more unbearable, and I'm more likely to snap at people making the noises.

Yes also to endometriosis, depression, and a lifelong inability to fall asleep.
posted by vickyverky at 12:00 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have this, as does my daughter, and we both have trouble with migraines. My migraines were worse when I was younger, and I absolutely could not take any kind of hormonal birth control because they got extremely bad then. Even now I tend to get them around "that" time of the month when I do get them.

I also have ADHD and seem in general to have trouble with sound/hearing. I cannot have a conversation with someone if other conversations are going on nearby. It's like I hear everything at the same volume and can't filter--it drives me nuts.
posted by cottonswab at 12:16 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does this have anything to do with the freakout many people have over the word "moist"? It would seem to be in at least a related category.

I've always assumed people forgot they were quoting Dead Like Me. Never heard that objection until I watched the show. Now it crops up incessantly.
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:48 PM on September 24, 2012


Aspie here, with ADHD.

I have been experiencing migraines with aura since I was 9 or 10. At first, I had them with no noticeable headache, though that began to change. They did not last terribly long, maybe an afternoon or so. I was always able to maintain normal activity, though not without discomfort and misery.

Over time, I stopped getting migraines with aura and I very rarely get them now. Instead, I get the pain, usually on the right side of my head. This happens almost every month now, but it can range from deeply misery-making pain like a vice is clamping my eyebrow ridge and cheekbone and going on for 4 or 5 days while Nurofen goes right through me without touching the sides - to very little or no pain (this is when I've had a really great week working out and doing lots of nice yoga and sleeping well and everything going my way in life). I also used to get a lot of sparkly-type floaters if that's relevant, but I rarely get them now (just the permanent fixture type floaters which never go away). Almost all of my migraines are the kind where I can go to work and maintain normal activity, though I just can't bear to do strength training (all that weight pulling on my face muscles, ow).

Only on a few occasions per year do I get a migraine that feels so bad I can't face normal activity, and that's really more because I'm too miserable than because normal activity is literally impossible.

Once I got something where I had vertigo and couldn't sit up or read or keep food down at all for several days, and the doctor said it was either migraine or gastritis and if it persisted I'd have to go into the hospital; fortunately it cleared up with treatment. Holy fuck do I never ever want to experience that again. If that's a standard migraine, I have been leading a charmed life.
posted by tel3path at 1:09 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plasmon, it was like you were describing my husband specifically.

We're pretty sure he has misophonia and has had since childhood. He has been having migraines for the last two years or so (he just turned 42). He never remembers a time when he didn't get motion sickness from riding in a car or a carnival ride. He recently saw a gastroenterologist for what was suspected IBS or celiac or Krohn's; didn't have any of those. He very much does not like to wear long-sleeved T-shirts (but is able to bear it if he has to). He has exceptional hearing for a man who has played drums in bands since he was 15. He was diagnosed with ADHD about a decade ago.

Fascinating.
posted by cooker girl at 1:31 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


tel3path, for me a migraine is like: I wake up with a hangover, but I've not been drinking. I feel out of sorts, a little nauseous, and nothing I eat or drink or take really helps. After several hours, I stop being able to read out of my left eye; I can take in the shapes of the words, and I could pronounce them, but they have no meaning, just sounds and shapes. That is my cue to get to bed as fast as I possibly can, hopefully to sleep, Before The Pain Comes.

As time passes, light becomes deeply unpleasant, then sound to follow. Then I start getting blackening around my field of vision. Around this time, I lose my ability to read completely; also to do even the simplest arithmetic. I start to have trouble finding words to talk with, and that's the point in which I really have only minutes until The Pain Comes. I get clumsy, my limbs drag. When The Pain Comes, it's like being struck on the back of the head with a sledgehammer in slow motion, a radiating of incredible intensity that makes me want to unhinge my jaw. My vision sparkles, the blood roars in my ears.

Eventually (within 3 or 4 seconds) the pain reconvenes above one eye, usually my left. I consider getting the power drill out of the garage to drill through my skull to let the pain out, and then I remember that I always think that when I am having a migraine and that it is a bad idea. Hopefully by now I am in bed; sometimes I still have to make it there, which is hard, because my spatial perceptions and balance are blown all to hell, so I have to stumble and crawl. Once I am in bed, I can usually use the self-hypnosis techniques I learned to manage childbirth to get myself to sleep despite the pain.

I wake up somewhere between three and twenty-four hours later, ravenously hungry and feeling like I've been beaten with a Hefty bag full of Cokes. It usually takes me another 12 to 24 hours to fully recover, but at that point I at least have all my faculties and no more hypersensitivity.

I hate them. I used to get them 3-4 times a year; now I get them about once a year. I have an abort protocol that I use that makes it much less awful, a gram of tylenol, 800 mg ibuprofen, and 300 mg caffeine. That means that I can usually function well enough to at least take care of my children, for a value of "take care" that includes "putting them in front of the TV with an open box of Cheerios." Before I discovered the abort protocol, there was nothing that worked to slow them down or stop them.

I inherited mine from my father, who for a while was getting them as often as once a week. My brother gets them as well, but only about every two years. My husband also gets them, but even more rarely, he's had three in the past seventeen years. We all have different auras. Honestly, I wish I knew more about them, they're fascinating when I'm not having one.
posted by KathrynT at 1:41 PM on September 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thank you so much for this thread. I had no idea this was a thing and always assumed it was my fault for disproportionally reacting to a minor stimulus.
posted by preparat at 2:55 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have trouble falling to sleep quickly an have had visual migranes (just a couple, but pretty sobering if trippy). I get motion sick in a car if I'm trying to read, but otherwise am OK. On a boat I'm a bit touchy but am OK if I can see the horizon.

As I said, this is relatively mild in me, rising more to the level of profoundly irritating than rage inducing. I've never asked anyone to make less noise and I've never fled the room. But have come close.
posted by maxwelton at 3:22 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


tel3path, for me a migraine is like: I wake up with a hangover, but I've not been drinking. I feel out of sorts, a little nauseous, and nothing I eat or drink or take really helps. After several hours, I stop being able to read out of my left eye; I can take in the shapes of the words, and I could pronounce them, but they have no meaning, just sounds and shapes. That is my cue to get to bed as fast as I possibly can, hopefully to sleep, Before The Pain Comes.

Mine also came with an aura. I had the aphasia, both expressive and receptive, the tunnel vision, the vaguely uneasy feelings, and if I could get to sleep before the pain started, I could avoid it. But if someone woke me, it would be there in all its majestic pain.

I also had scintillating scotoma as part of the aura. Even before the tunnel vision, I would look at something and there would be a blank spot nearly surrounded by scintillations. It would expand until it covered half my field of vision. If I tried to watch TV, my brain couldn't encode the flickering properly, so it just looked like a bunch of jagged lines. Once the tunnel vision started, I had to get up close to see anything properly, so I often couldn't tell whether the lights were on or off. Once the pain came, it hurt to have any light enter my eyes and I was just one huge ball of pain. It took a grain of codeine to knock me out long enough for it to subside.

Oddly, even though I outgrew the migraines when I reached my 20s, I still get that part of the aura, along with the vague uneasiness, but the headache never comes now, thank random forces of the universe.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:39 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Summer: "who can't touch peaches?"

Peaches I'm fine with, but cotton wool... ugh.

I had stomach migraines at least once every 3 weeks as a kid; I still get them once or twice a year. I'm ADD and have problems filtering out distractions. I suspect my brain's relationship with dopamine is to blame.
posted by subbes at 4:44 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another data point: I've been getting migraines with aura since I was 13, and I've been super sensitive to the noises of other people eating ever since I can remember.

One of my earliest memories is being at the dinner table and wondering how much trouble I'd get in for stabbing my father with a fork to get him to stop chewing so loudly. It probably would have been a lot of trouble, but it might have been worth it.
posted by ausdemfenster at 5:46 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ok, now there is really something going in. My anecdotes:

No migraines, but I was that kid who suffered terribly from motion sickness. I have a lot less trouble now, but if I'm not paying attention then a speed or direction change can be very jarring and unpleasant. However, I always assumed that my inner ear was damaged by a bout of meningitis at 3mo (due to the fact I cannot maintain my balance with my eyes closed).

Recently I discovered vertigo, but I assumed it was situational (both times looking up for a minute at a time).

I have always been prone to depression and I have a tentative ADHD diagnosis. I have some sort of complex tummy troubles, but I didn't feel like an official IBS diagnosis was worth the cost of another office visit.


plasmon may find the migraine/chronic disease/homicidal-anti-chewing-sound-people link with the power of metafilter. Maybe, just maybe, he would be willing to call it MetaSensory Filtering Syndrome.
posted by Vysharra at 3:03 AM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I spent fruitless minutes looking for the scene from Space Madness where Ren loses it over Stimpy tapping his finger on the table.
posted by zippy at 9:51 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plasmon, I have misophonia and I also have migraines and sinus problems. The misophonia has been present since early childhood, but the migraines started around my 10th birthday. I also have a sensitive stomach and am prone to inflammatory conditions. It's validating to know that this is slowly becoming a more recognized disorder.

My mother, conversely, also has migraines and inflammatory conditions, but she has a hyper sense of smell and wants to kill people and animals when they emit foul odors.

We both have lousy eyesight.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:37 AM on September 25, 2012


I get internally ragey about eating sounds, mainly when people take a lot of air into their mouths with each mouthful, which seems to amplify things.

Thinking about it though, the core of the annoyance is when the person eating isn't engaging with anyone but themselves. I don't even notice noises if we're having a conversation, but if they're just monologuing at you (like people who dominate conversations) or are eating on their own (either at the table, or because they're a coworker sitting across the desk for example) it gets extremely grating.

Slurping is fine, plenty of food is helped by slurping to cool it down say, but otherwise put your lips together! It's not hard.
posted by lucidium at 11:38 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


the scene from Space Madness where Ren loses it over Stimpy tapping his finger on the table

A favourite episode to be sure. But there's always shaking your eyes/sawing the table a la The Big Snit. (poor copy of NFB short; buy it for $1.95 if you like it)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:56 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been reading this thread with interest, because I have severe sensory issues. Sounds constantly bother me, but not really specific ones like others mentioned here. To me, it feels like every background noise is turned up to 11, every light is too bright and too close.

No one else is bothered by that rattling air conditioner over in the corner of the meeting room that distracts me so badly I can't focus on the meeting. No one else at the restaurant sees the bright as HELL sunlight bouncing off the water glass on the table over there. Every waiting room, eating place, store, and social function has a TV in it now. I spend my life thinking "My God, why is that so LOUD??!"

Plasmon, yep, I get migraines. I bet you saw that coming. Once every year or two my back gives me trouble but nothing chronic. From your description it seems like my problem is a sensory issue, which manifests as migraine. How do I tamp down the friggin sensory overload?
posted by toastedbeagle at 2:29 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I cannot stand the sound of people eating, unless I'm also eating or at least in a space made for eating. I'm still assuming this means I'm mildly nuts, but in a less weird way than I expected.
posted by talldean at 10:18 AM on September 27, 2012


Plasmon : the ex I describe above suffered from migraines.
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:25 PM on September 27, 2012


I thought of you guys when I let my daughter make popcorn today. I had to leave the room.
posted by theredpen at 5:59 PM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I made a semi-jokey comment about this early in the thread, but I genuinely think this describes me, though perhaps not as severely as some, generally I am only bothered one on one, not when eating in a group meal. Since I eat one on one with my partner more than anyone else then that is the biggest strain, it is useful to know that this is 'a real thing' and not just some anger issue I have.

Plasmon: for the record I have suffered from fairly severe* but happily fairly infrequent (stress/food triggered) migraines since I was a teenager. I also have chronic back pain but I think the misophonia predates it.

* very rapid onset, numbness in the face and extremities, nausea, pretty severe scotoma (tunnel vision once which was scary), language comprehension issues, photosensitivity, headache.

tel3path, KathrynT: If you have been suffering from migraines since you were kids it may be that you have not been back to a doctor about them in a while, I would really encourage you to consider asking about medication from the triptan family, I have had them available for the last few years and they can do wonders for taking the worst out of an attack. If you take one as early as possible when you feel an attack coming on it can really get you back on your feet a lot faster than trying to ride it out with painkillers.
posted by biffa at 7:51 AM on October 14, 2012


I might do that. For seven years, I was either pregnant or breastfeeding, which made me reluctant to experiment with new medications, but my last child has weaned now. The abort protocol I mentioned above is actually remarkably helpful, it turns the whole experience into a unpleasantly queasy moderately severe headache, rather than a complete apocalypse, but a better option would be great.

Funny migraine story: I mentioned that my father used to get severe migraines very frequently. What I didn't mention is that my dad is a research radiopharmaceutical chemist who does a lot of work with imaging, and therefore works in a lab that is just lousy with different kinds of scanners. When he went to his boss and said "I have to go home, I'm about to get a migraine" and his boss said "How do you know," he said "Well, the left half of my body has gone completely numb -- even my tongue -- and I can't read or even really see out of my left eye, and I'm getting weird tunnel vision and my field of vision is sparkling, and I'm starting to lose my sense of direction."

"Huh!" said his boss. "Are you sure you aren't having a stroke?"

"I hadn't thought of that," admitted my father. "I mean, I'm pretty sure, but I suppose I am not absolutely certain that I'm not having a stroke."

"Well," said his boss, "We have an MRI right here, why don't we make sure?"

So they did an MRI -- fortunately the audio defensiveness hadn't set in yet -- and confirmed that he was not in fact having a stroke, and his boss called him a cab and sent him home. The benefits of working in a research lab.
posted by KathrynT at 12:14 PM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


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