Don’t pop your gum…it bugs my new disease

OMG. We have a fancy new medical condition and it’s all the rage! And I do mean rage since this is the reaction of those who’ve contracted it. It’s called Misophonia. And I lied, it’s not that fancy, it sucks if you have it. Nonetheless, some people can’t help but go nuts when they hear certain noises like the pop/smack of gum chewing, the slurping of a cup of coffee, the err-err sound of throat clearing, even nose blowing or simple breathing can be huge triggers. It sucks to know we may have another disorder to add to the list doesn’t it?
But it’s true, and now you might be wondering… do I have it? So, read on, and decide. Bottom line, Misophonia is an intense sensitivity to certain bodily sounds that come from certain people that we may be close to (mother, husband,etc.). And the disease attacks victims young, even kids eight years old! A lot of adults have it pretty bad, even Kelly Ripa has it, she says she wants to scream and go crazy when the triggers show up, and most of them are derived from her very own hubby.  Example: Husband is innocently enjoying a meal, but suddenly, and inadvertently, begins tapping his spoon lightly, and repeatedly against his soup bowl, happily slurping down the soupy juices.
But Kelly can’t help but react, and not in a happy way. She has, however, learned to control it by getting far, far away from the sounds, and far from the intense irritation it causes. The noises are so amplified for Misophonia people, even shallow  breathing can cause a full fledged outburst attack. Crazy right? It is, but for me — I now have a name to such an annoying condition that I have unknowingly dealt with over the years. Turns out I am super sensitive to these kinds of noises. I have known myself to plug my ears in work meetings just to make the chalkboard-scratching sounds stop! The coffee slurping and hard swallows literally vibrate endlessly through my body, blocking out other sounds and voices. I know of many a work meeting where a former boss swallowed her decaf deep and hard. The painfully long, slow slurps echoed through the room placing what seemed to be a stranglehold on my nerves, carrying on long after the coffee went cold. Innocent (but loud) gum-chewers are big time triggers too and can definitely stress out a Misophonia sufferer without them even realizing the depths of the irritation they cause.
Clearly it’s a bummer especially when there is no real treatment for it besides grin and bear. But now you know and now you’ve got a name. So yeah, you’re NOT crazy, just know that you should never get on a plane without ear plugs or an iPod with lots of music (major triggers, lol) especially if you think you have it or are slowly getting it.

19 thoughts on “Don’t pop your gum…it bugs my new disease

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