Healthy Living: Misophonia – a real disorder, or made up?
Misophonia is the hatred of certain sounds. It's a newly recognized disorder, but some people think it's made up. Marcie Fraser reports.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
"I will swear and freak out. Sometimes I can get a little physical," said Jessie Babcock, a misophonia patient.
She says her outbursts are hardly controllable, and it's her mom that catches the brunt of it. The reason?
"If someone is chewing or snapping their gum, it just snaps in my head," said Jessie Babcock.
"She would say, 'you are a cow, you are a pig,’ it progresses to using swear words. She can't control it, screaming, yelling, she's thrown things," said Kristina Babcock, Jessie’s mother.
The hatred of sounds: Is it real, or made up?
"People often say, just get over it, you can't get over it. It is something that is a real condition that is going to require further research and empathy and understanding from parents and science," said Dr. Randy Pardell, psychiatrist.
It manifests in adolescents, when the brain is at height of developing and hormones are being secreted. The process begins when a noise is paired with the fight or flight response and gets embedded into the brain.
"With misophonia, the process is emotions get attached to strong emotions like anger and fear, get attached and also the autonomic system gets focused on as well and you get an increase in respiration, pulse and blood pressure," said Dr. Pardell.
She nearly failed school but over the past year she's managing, seeing a counselor and trying to live a normal life but it isn't easy. Because the disorder is only so newly recognized, treatment options are being researched.
"There is no treatment. She is counseling she sees psychiatrist, counselors, she has a family doctor, we have an ENT," explained Kristina.
Other treatments include anti-anxiety and anti-seizure medications, as well as cognitive therapy.