Today’s Vocabulary Word: Misophonia

For a change of pace, I thought I’d try something a little bit educational today.

I recently learned a new word: misophonia. Its literal meaning is “hatred of sound”, which is an issue for those of us with sensitivities to certain types of noise. They may include sounds like the thudding from a passing car whose stereo is cranked up, startling sounds such as screams from children, and crowd noise.

While misophonia is not uncommon among the general population, it’s rampant in people with bipolar disorder. I’ve been this way my entire life. What child doesn’t like birthday parties? Me, that’s who. Popping balloons and loud games were torture for me. As an adult, I also become quickly overwhelmed by ringing telephones and other routine office noises, which makes it difficult to focus at work. And repetitive sounds, like barking dogs, can make me crazy if they go on for too long.

Needless to say, living in a world where noise is a constant companion can be hellish. I’ve had to learn to go into a quiet room and turn on a fan to block out sound; the other thing I do is put in my noise-canceling earbuds and listen to calming music on my iPod. Either is preferable to flying into a homicidal rage, and it doesn’t take very long to get my emotions under enough control to return to the festivities. I also avoid places and situations where I don’t have the ability to manipulate the environment, such as loud concerts and large gatherings.

Some of it I’ve learned to live with, and some of it I’ll never be able to tolerate if I live to be a hundred years old. But while misophonia does limit me somewhat, I take comfort in knowing I’m not alone in this. I don’t know what the statistics say about the number of people who have it, but I think it’s safe to say there are a lot. Our world is too loud and too intense; let’s bring down the volume a little, shall we?

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

13 thoughts on “Today’s Vocabulary Word: Misophonia

  1. This post has helped me to make sense of this same thing in me. I absolutely hate laytex balloon. The fear of popping, let alone the actual popping, creates high anxiety!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I recently learned of this word, too, and it fits. I seldom even have music on (although when I do I enjoy it) and part of my preference for solitude, and my hatred of the phone, may somewhat have to do w/ misophonia.

    Some sounds I enjoy – nature, and the sound of the keyboard; the cooing (COOING I said, not crying lol). But most of the time I like the sound of silence!

    as always, nice to hear from you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t mind a dog who is actively barking at something for a reasonable length of time. I just hate that endless bored barking they do. Drives me nuts. My husband says he can’t hear it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it’s the dogs that bark all day when their owners are at work which really send me around the bend. I’ve actually called animal control before but they said they couldn’t do anything about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I carry earplugs with me that don’t completely block sound, but mute it just enough to take the edge off. Some crowded restaurants or social settings are just overwhelmingly loud, but if I can mute them just a little, I’m able to engage.

    Thanks for putting a name to this sensation!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was surprised that there is one. “Noise sensitivity” was the only term I knew up until a few days ago. Having a real word for this problem legitimizes it and makes people take it more seriously, I think.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.
    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back someday.

    I want to encourage that you continue your great job, have a nice evening!

    Liked by 1 person

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