Have You Been Searching For Misophonia Treatment?
Do certain sounds make you angry, anxious, disgusted, or wanting to escape? Are these sounds repetitive, low level, or possibly coming from a loved one? Also, do family members or friends think you are overreacting, being overly emotional, too sensitive? Unfortunately, most people have no idea what Misophonia is and when they do learn about it, they definitely cannot comprehend it. Sadly, many mental health providers do not know what Misophonia is. They often send sufferers to a cognitive behavioral therapist for exposure therapy. It should be noted, exposure therapy does not work in Misophonia treatment. Misophonia is a selective sound sensitivity and while there is no official therapy for Misophonia, many things can help.
Common Misophonia Triggers:
Bass through walls
Many People Struggle With Misophonia
Misophonia was thought to be a rare disorder, but as it’s becoming well more known, more people are sharing their personal struggles. Women seem to report Misophonia more than men. But, the male to female ratio is not officially known. Misophonia usually appears around the preteen/teen years but can occur later on in life. It often begins in the home in reaction to a parent or other family member but can also begin from a traumatic event. Also, Misophonia can run in families. If you are struggling with Misophonia, you might have a family member struggling too, or they are possibly sensitive to sensory stimuli. Lastly, while most people with Misophonia have auditory triggers, some people also have visual triggers. Repetitive visual triggers are called Misokinesia. An example of this is someone tapping their pen repeatedly.
Working with a Misophonia therapist can help.
While there has not been a lot of past Misophonia research, current research is showing to be quite exciting. Mainly, Misophonia creates heightened autonomic nervous system arousal with a resulting negative emotional reactivity. The amygdala (brain’s alarm) sets off the flight/fight/freeze reaction which then creates panic, anger, rage, or disgust in a person. Undoubtably, that person will probably flee the scene. Basically, telling a person with Misophonia that “these sounds can’t harm you” or “calm down” don’t work because the brain reaction happens in milliseconds.
Kumar, et al. found that the anterior insula in the brain ( ) has shown to be hyperactive when someone with Misophonia witnesses a trigger. The insula has also shown to be abnormally connected to other parts of the brain like the amygdala and hippocampus. One of the more recent studies have shown that people with Misophonia possibly have hyper activation of the mirror neuron system. Mirror neurons fire in a person’s brain when they see another person doing something. Simply put, if the person with Misophonia sees someone chewing, mirror neurons in their own brain light up like they are actually chewing.
How I Provide Misophonia Treatment
As a Misophonia therapist, when providing treatment, I do my best to tailor the treatment to the individual client. There is no official Misophonia Treatment out there. But, there are treatments that have been proving to help people.
Currently, I am training in Sequent Repatterning Therapy. Sequent Repatterning Therapy utlitizes Internal Family Systems (Parts work), Coherence Therapy, and Hypnosis. It creates a new learning in the brain via memory reconsolidation.
I am also influenced by the counter-conditioning techniques of Tom Dozier CLICK HERE and the techniques of Dr. Ezra Cowan’s EASE therapy for Misophonia, CLICK HERE. Also, I am influenced by the work of Amsterdam UMC. They have done extensive work in the study of Misophonia. Additionally, I use techniques from Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping), EMDR, somatic work, and mindfulness. I am part of a monthly consult group with other professionals treating Misophonia.
Because many people are triggered by specific people in their family, I look at family dynamics and any home stressors that may be happening. Additionally, I screen for a trauma history and treat that accordingly. In a small study, EMDR was shown to be helpful for Misophonia. To see how I work with trauma please click HERE. Also, I provide tools and teach techniques to calm down an overactive nervous system. There have even been ideas that people with Misophonia may be hard on themselves, have perfectionist qualities, or come from rigid families. I discuss all of these ideas with my clients. Overall, Misophonia is a very complex issue. With help and support from therapy, triggers can be a thing of the past.
Why I Became Interested in Misophonia Treatment
As a kid growing up on Long Island New York, my father would be driven crazy by that little squeak or clicking noise coming from a mysterious place in the car. Also, I was told that his father, my grandfather, was very similar with the “car noise” annoyances. While I wasn’t bothered by the classic Misophonia trigger noises as a kid (chewing, sniffling, etc), I had very sensitive hearing. I could hear faint snoring coming from across the hall when I slept. Additionaly, if I had to sleep in the same room with someone and I heard their breathing noises, I couldn’t sleep. Also, ticking clocks definitely had to be left out of my room. Overall, I used earplugs to bed at a very young age.
Fast forward to college, my next door dorm neighbor would keep me up every night playing loud music. Basically, this made me very anxious and I eventually had to leave the University. This is when my sound sensitivity got worse. After this traumatic event, throughout my adult life, any neighbor noises in apartments would make me anxious. In my 20’s and early 30’s I saw numerous therapists that had no clue how to help me. My best advice was- “Sipora, you probably can’t live in apartments”. Unfortunately, that advice wasn’t great for a young adult living and working in New York City. Eventually, after some research, I had learned about the word Misophonia and I finally felt very validated.
In my mid-30s when I was living in Los Angeles California, I decided to look into my sound sensitivity a bit more. I found some interesting people working in Misophonia Treatment. But it wasn’t until I finally moved to Ojai California when I decided to make Misophonia treatment part of my therapy practice. Long story short, I was sitting in my new house (not apartment!), and the traffic noise outside was bothering me. How could this be I thought?! This is crazy?! Consequently, I then dove into my first Misophonia Treatment training and haven’t looked back.
Additional Misophonia Pondering
Older misophonia therapy modalities used coping techniques. Basically, this might be headphones, ear plugs, not eating with the family, avoiding triggers. While coping techniques can be important sometimes, the goal is to eliminate or lessen the reaction to the trigger.
To sum up, Misophonia can be a debilitating disorder, but you do not have to struggle alone. I offer a free 20 minute phone consultation to discuss my treatment methods and possibly working with me. My therapy office is located in Ventura (close to Ojai, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks). I also see many clients in Los Angeles County and throughout the state for online therapy.
Get In Touch
5550 Telegraph Rd. Ventura, California 93003
Located near Ojai, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks.
Also seeing clients for online therapy all over.