Does the sound of chewing, sloshing and crunching make your blood boil? Do movies get ruined for you by the sound of another moviegoer chowing down on their popcorn?
If you’re like me those sounds can literally drive you crazy and make you want to slap the chewer in the face – not that I condone any type of violence – for munching too loudly on chips or sloshing too much with gum in their mouths.
It’s even worse when it’s a family member, friend or even your partner – it can turn into a 24/7 non-stop torture!!!
Turns out we could be among the thousands of people worldwide suffering from a genuine brain abnormality called misophonia, according to researchers at Newcastle University.
Now a diagnosable disorder, Misophonia sufferers have a hatred of sounds certain sounds like eating, chewing, loud breathing or even repeated pen-clicking – and was first named as a condition back in 2001.
A report in the scientific journal Current Biology stated that brain scans of misophonia sufferers showed changes in brain activity when a ‘trigger’ sound like chewing or breathing was heard.
People suffering the disorder also appear to have an abnormality in their emotional control mechanism according to the report – causing their brains to go into overdrive on hearing the individual trigger sounds.
The sounds were also responsible for increasing the heart rate and the amount some sufferers were sweating.
Tim Griffiths, Professor of Cognitive Neurology at Newcastle University and UCL commented:
“I was part of the sceptical community myself until we saw patients in the clinic and understood how strikingly similar the features are – I hope this will reassure sufferers.”
During the study the scientific team used MRI scans to conduct their research, measuring changes in brain function and patterns in both misophonia sufferers and non-misophonia subjects when listening to a range of sounds.
Starting off with pleasant, calming sounds like rain, a quiet forest & boiling water, the test subjects were then bumped up to (tortured with) unpleasant sounds like a screaming person, baby crying and finally, trigger sounds like breathing, chewing and eating.
Upon hearing those TRIGGER sounds sufferers of misophonia had very different responses to the material heard, giving scientists insight into this new condition.
There you go fam, we’ve officially got a diagnosable condition to brag about! I can’t wait to use it as an excuse next time I tell off somebody in a movie theatre.