Many psychological disorders can be troublesome. For instance, a social anxiety disorder could distort your worldview. In addition, a depression disorder could hurt your ability to function. But, what about Misophonia? Misophonia is a condition in which one emotionally reacts to an everyday sound. Such sounds can include sniffling, coughing, chewing, tapping, etc.

Misophonia occurs when the limbic system is wired to the auditory system. In other words, it occurs from a miswiring incident. It is why one would feel a panic attack coming when someone sniffles.

Of course, getting it everytime is tiring. But, the thing is that people who have misophonia cannot control it. Since they cannot control their reactions, they can easily aggravate their friends and family. Therefore, misophonia has a strong potential for Isolation.

When you're consumed with rage

In May of last year, NY Mag interviewed a 28-year-old magazine editor who describes the process of hearing a trigger sound. Her trigger sounds consists of gum chewing and lip smacking. Whenever she hears them without her headphones, the first thing she does is to identify the source. When she identifies the source, she gives them a nasty glare. She said that she felt “pure rage” towards the source because they “probably have the worst manners.” Therefore, people with misophonia are seen as “easily annoyed” to their friends and family.

Dr. Barron H. Learner, a professor with misophonia, said that “most typically, advice offered to those who insisted upon help was to ‘use ear plugs,’ or ‘learn to live with it.’”

When learn to live with it isn't enough

In October of last year, the NY Post reported on the suicide of Michelle Marrese. Marrese had "battles about noise (which ‘no one else can hear’)" that destroyed her marriage and health.

The apartment that she lived in had a lot of her trigger noises from "the 18 months of shrill noise coming from the toilet next door” through the “construction sounds of interior renovations.” If not the apartment, then there was also her husband who was a “noisy eater.” Getting headphones may work temporarily, but for Marrese, it was “when the misery began.” Audiologist Marsha Johnson claimed that those with misophonia have “fragile lifelines” because reactions to trigger noises can worsen.

In the case of Marrese, her reactions disrupted her marriage. Her reactions consist of “heart palpitations, anxiety attacks, and migraine headaches.” Scarily, she even wondered if she might have a risk of a stroke or a heart attack. Marrese claimed that her husband didn't understand the emotional pain that she went through. Therefore, Marrese and her husband would often fight. In addition, Marrese claimed that lack of empathy reinforced her suffering. So many people told her to “just move” in response to her complaints. Evidently, she saw no way out with misophonia. For that, she left her last message to Joyce Cohn: “Forgive the intrusion and the outpouring. I have left your name for my husband.

If I can’t stand any more agony, at least you can write about me.” Michelle Marrese died on October 30th, 2016.

What can we do

Getting ear plugs or headphones or just simply “learn to live with it” may work as a temporary reliever, but it does not help in the long term. The best permanent solution is empathy. Of course, it sounds quite unrealistic, especially to a misophonia sufferer. So, what can we realistically do? Well, there are Facebook groups. Groups like Misophonia: Vent It Out, and Misophonia: Coping and Solutions offer people with misophonia a safe environment to air out their aggravations. From there, they would able to build a support network with people who can easily sympathize with their condition. Misophonia is a devastating condition that may ruin lives, but these Facebook groups might make living with this condition a little more bearable.