Science has come up with an explanation for why some people are driven nuts by the sounds made by noisy eaters. If even the sound of the Cat slurping up his Turkey Delight makes you’re teeth chatter, rest assured that you’re not crazy – you just have a ‘special’ brain…
The condition is called misophonia. Those with this brain structure variant (I won’t say ‘abnormality’) experience hyperactivity in parts of their brain that bring on anger and anxiety, elevated heart rate and changes in skin. Scientists note that such responses start around puberty (age 12 or so) and continue life-long thereafter.
Most folks, though, don’t even seem to notice such sounds, much less react to them in any way.
So, what’s going on?
If you are misophonic, your brain is just hyper-sensitive to impulses generated by certain sounds when they interact with your inner ear. You can’t help it. Such noises are going to upset you every time. You can’t desensitize yourself to them or choose to ignore them. Misophonia is a basic reflex-level condition.
However, scientists say that knowing how it works does pave the way for eventually finding a cure. That’s the good news. The bad news is, misophonia is not currently considered a medical issue and is not being actively looked at in terms of treatment. Now that science has nailed down its cause, though, a treatment seems much more certain in the future…
~ Maggie J.