I know someone who can not tolerate crunch in any shape, form or sound! They cringe when an apple is chomped or nuts are munched. They pretty much want to punch the noisy eater in the face.
If you feel the same, you may be relieved to know that this is a genuine condition called Misophonia, which means ‘hatred of sound’.
According to Pretty52, this doesn’t mean that you hate all sounds, just that there are certain noises that will drive you delusional – such as slurping, coughing, pen clicking, heavy breathing and hysterical laughter.
It’s A Genuine Brain Abnormality
According to researchers at Newcastle University, it’s a genuine brain abnormality. Scientists scanned the brains of 42 people – 20 suffering from Misophonia and 22 without the condition – to find out why this happens.
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While being scanned in an MRI, the participants were played a selection of noises, such as screaming, chomping and other trigger sounds as well as more pleasant sounds such as rain.
The results revealed that the anterior insular – the part of the brain that correlates our senses with our emotions – was overly active in Misophonia.
“They are going into overdrive when they hear these sounds, but the activity was specific to the trigger sounds not the other two sounds,” Dr Sukhbinder Kumar from Newcastle University said.
Grrr…Makes Me So Angry
“The reaction is anger mostly, it’s not disgust. The dominating emotion is the anger – it looks like a normal response, but then it is going into overdrive.”
Olana Tansley-Hancock has suffered from the condition since she was eight years old and really struggles with sounds like breathing and eating, according to the BBC.
“I feel there’s a threat and get the urge to lash out – it’s the fight or flight response,” she said. “Anyone eating crisps is always going to set me off, the rustle of the packet is enough to start a reaction.
“It’s not a general annoyance, it’s an immediate ‘Oh my God, what is that sound?’ I need to get away from it or stop it’.”
No More Movies
Olana even had to stop going to the movies because of all the popcorn chewing and the level of annoying voices that come from the back row.
She told BBC News: “I spent a long time avoiding places like the cinema. I’d have to move carriages seven or eight times on 30-minute train journeys, and I left a job after three months as I spent more time crying and having panic attacks than working.”
Well, it’s interesting to know that this is a real condition, rather than someone just being really grumpy.
Are there any noises that drive you crazy? Tell us in the comments.