What is Misophonia?

Misophonia is most-likely a neurological affliction that causes a fight/flight/freeze response to otherwise normal visual and audial stimuli. As of now, there is no official consensus on what exactly causes the disorder. Though it was coined in 2001 by Jastreboff and Jastreboff there has been little research published under the disorder’s current name.

Researchers such as Joseph E. LeDoux and Stephen Porges have been researching auditory over-responsivity. However, the name of the disorder matters little since researchers are more focused on what’s going on inside the brain and body and not merely perceived notions and sweeping generalizations.

Many that sufferer from misophonia struggle with similar symptoms. Commonly, tapping, whistling, chewing, and other repetitive sounds cause this severe reaction. Though the disorder manifests with aversions to sights and sounds, many are proposing that its cause is physiological and not psychological.

There are currently no experts on Misophonia and no one doctor or researcher can claim that they have all the answers. This is also true of treatments and coping methods. Before trying a treatment please ensure that you are aware that new disorders not only carry a lack of treatment but also a risk. If you are trying experimental treatments please be wary. If you feel uncomfortable with your treatment provider, do not hesitate to refrain from continuing.

Please chew with your mouth CLOSED!
Please chew with your mouth CLOSED!

As of now, much of the research must be geared toward preliminary findings. The first steps to understanding Misophonia comes from academic and ethically conducted research that will lay the groundwork for future studies and findings. The IMRN works vehemently to ensure that several angles of research are being explored. We are not committed to one theory over another. Our focus on research is about the journey. As research changes and develops, so will our ideas on the disorder.

There seems to be an overlap between SPD SOR (Sensory Processing Disorder; Sub-set Sensory Over Responsivity) and Misophonia. However, this overlap is entirely based on symptoms. Whether or not the two are related remains to be seen. Though, due to the close over-lap, Lucy Miller of the SPD Foundation has joined the IMRN advisory board to help facilitate research to see if the two may in-fact be related. If this is true, this explains the similarities between misophonics, autistics, Aspergers patients, as well as other disorders.

The cause of Misophonia is secondary right now to its impact on the lives of sufferers. As a magazine and news site we hope to connect sufferers with their researchers. Since there is no official cure it is important that we act as shoulders and support systems for each other. Together we can ask for answers. The IMRN does not believe that one researchers proposals are more important than another. Though we may currently be fundraising for one lab this does not mean that we are not exploring all avenues. A cross-disciplinary approach is our best case scenario when it comes to finding answers. This means that audiologists, neurologists, psychologists, and several professionals are the key to finding answers. When asking ‘what is misophonia?’ we must realize that it is through working together that we find the greatest answers.

July 22, 2016


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