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Whether it's snacking on chips, munching on salad, or simply chewing gum, when I hear someone do it within an earshot, it drives me completely bonkers!

It doesn't matter if it's my girlfriend, my mom, someone sitting next to me at the office, or random stranger on the train, it bothers me just as much. The "mouth open" chewing type makes me want to get violent, and I often find myself in a blind rage. I also notice the slower, and more "deliberate" the chewing/munching is, the more I get tense and more it bothers me.

Sometimes I feel like they are doing it on purpose, and completely fake, sort of like a commercial where they exaggerate the act of eating.

I want to know more about Misophonia or "Hatred of Sound"?

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Without first finding a documented precedent for this affecting other people your question isn't really answerable –  Rory M Jul 22 at 17:42
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Here goes: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misophonia –  unclepete Jul 22 at 18:16
    
23andme has a question about this. "Does chewing fill you with rage?" I thought it was absurd until a friend of mine said she absolutely said yes. –  Amory Jul 22 at 20:35
    
The title cracks me up. ;-) –  J. Musser Jul 23 at 0:53
    
Everybody has some sound or the other that enrages them. I hate the sound of chalk squeaking on a blackboard or a pin scratching a metal surface.. Likewise you hate the sound of chewing. Misophonia has been explained on the wiki already and unless you have any specific questions after going through that, I think your question has been pretty much answered already –  The Last Word Jul 23 at 13:17

1 Answer 1

Misophonia

Misophonia is a relatively unexplored chronic condition in which a person experiences autonomic arousal (analogous to an involuntary “fight-or-flight” response) to certain innocuous or repetitive sounds such as chewing, pen clicking, and lip smacking. Misophonics report anxiety, panic, and rage when exposed to trigger sounds, compromising their ability to complete everyday tasks and engage in healthy and normal social interactions.1

Physiology

The auditory pathways may be functioning normally, but there is an abnormally strong reaction of the limbic (emotional system) and autonomic nervous system (body control system) to which the auditory system is intimately connected.

Several definitions are listed for the disorder, including:

  1. “Abnormally strong negative reactions of the autonomic and limbic systems to specific sounds resulting from enhanced functional connections between the auditory and limbic systems for these sounds. The auditory system works in a normal manner, without abnormally high activation. At the behavioral level, sounds specific for a given patient evoke strong negative reactions. This situation may cause general negative attitude to sound as well. When fear is dominant emotion (patient is afraid of sound) phonophobia occurs (phobia – fear). Phonophobia is a specific case of misophonia.”

  2. “Selective sound sensitivity should be considered a type of misophonia, where soft sounds (typically eating and breathing sounds made by emotional attachment figures) are the focus, and the quality of those sounds causes annoyance and rage in the listener.”

    1. “Pre-puberty seems to be a very common age of onset for the majority of those with misophonia, with lifetime persistence for most cases, and there appears to be a genetic component.”

    2. “Misophonia can be considered abnormally strong connections between the autonomic and limbic resulting from enhanced connections between the auditory and limbic systems. These connections encompass both a high level of cortical level loop with involvement with cognition as well as subconscious connections, most probably involving the link between the medial geniculate body and the amygdale. The functions of these connections are governed by the principles of conditioned reflexes.”

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source:

1 Misophonia: physiological investigations and case descriptions
[2] MISOPHONIA 4S Provider Network USA

Great Site: http://lifewithmisophonia.wordpress.com/

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Please try to use quotes to support your answer rather than form it in its entirety –  Rory M Jul 23 at 13:31
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@RoryM: Thanks for the pointer, it was a typo. –  Devashish Das Jul 23 at 13:36

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