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Understanding Misophonia

Some people have a rare medical condition that makes it unbearable for them to tolerate simple everyday sounds around them. The condition is called Misophonia and refers to a severe dislike and aversion to certain sounds. It is also known as Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome.


Some examples of sounds that can disturb a person with Misophonia are chewing, eating, heavy breathing, and more. People with the condition feel irritated and angry upon hearing these sounds.


To other people, these are barely noticeable, but for someone with Misophonia the sounds can lead to emotional disturbance.


Some people can also get upset with repetitive sounds such as pressing of keys on a keyboard, finger tapping or sound of windshield wipers. The affected person finds it difficult to be near the source of these sounds and prefers being alone in silence.


Kiran Kumar from Nalgonda district in Telangana, suffers from this rare condition. He has not been able to sit and eat with his family since the age of 11. He has consulted physicians and has been told time and again that nothing is wrong with him. Kumar is frustrated as most doctors have not been able to identify his issues.


Kumar, who is now married, prefers to eat alone. He is happy that his wife understands his problem and is supportive. Thanks to the Internet, he has connected to some others with Misophonia and does not feel so alone anymore.


"My mother took me at a general physician who diagnosed me as someone with childish behaviour. He told me when they are eating if you don't like it, leave the room. This is probably because then he didn't know about this disorder since they didn't study this mental problem or people didn't consider to be a mental disorder. "


The disorder has severe emotional impact on the person and also negatively impacts their social, academic and professional life as it becomes difficult to spend time with other people.


Sleep disturbances, panic, anxiety and depression are results of Misophonia. However, consultations with psychiatrists, counseling, and medication can help reduce the symptoms. Dr Venkat Iyer, Psychiatrist.


The condition is extremely rare and lack of awareness among the medical fraternity and society makes people with this condition feel isolated. They are not taken seriously and are labeled as crazy.


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