Christian Hughes

I wrote this song a few years back. It’s titled “misophonia (n.)”. Misophonia (my-so-fonia) is a disorder which means: “hatred of sound.” Isn’t that ironic? My life revolves around sound in almost every way. Singing and playing instruments has always been one of my favorite ways to relieve stress, yet, other sounds make my life nearly impossible. Perhaps the worst thing about this disorder is that it affects relationships in a negative way.

Because of misophonia, my ears pick up sounds that most people gloss over. Every person makes noises, and with the noises, they create a certain rhythm, or “song” if you will. Over time, the noises make relationships difficult, and either I have to leave- “I don’t want to hear your music anymore”- or the other person in the relationship has to change their lifestyle; “I won’t ask you to change, but won’t you change for me.” The closer I get to an individual, the harder it gets.

Over the years, this burden has left me feeling incredibly helpless, and lonely. “Helpless” because I don’t know how to fix it. And “lonely” because I feel like I would only ruin someone’s life by becoming a part of it. How do I tell someone, with whom I’m madly in love, that I can’t stand the sound of their voice? This song is an attempt at expressing that frustration.

Misophonia is when the afflicted’s brain activates an extreme “fight-or-flight” response when they hear certain trigger noises such as chewing, sniffing, coughing, etc. When I tell people about this, people tell me, “oh! I hate it when people chew loudly! It’s so annoying!” I agree that it is annoying. But when I hear these trigger noises, my brain sends a signal to my suprarenal glands telling them to release massive amounts of adrenaline. All rationality goes out the window, and I’m left wanting to fight, or run away (hence, fight or flight). The reason why I majored in Neuroscience, was to attempt to understand my brain better. Now I understand it better, but I haven’t been able to repair it. This disorder has been a part of my life since I was about 14 years old and is up there with the most difficult things that I deal with day to day.

Now, after having come to terms with this condition, I’ve realized something powerful. The things that I’m most proud of have stemmed from decisions I’ve made because of Misophonia. While it’s been incredibly difficult, I wouldn’t be the person who I am today, if I didn’t have this thing inside of me. So… after everything, I’m grateful that I have it because it has helped me discover who I truly am.

A HUGE thank you to everyone who contributed to this project, Hannah for being an amazing actress, Paesha for your incredible filming, Katie for your master violin skills, Melissa for producing, and Kenz for doing EVERYTHING to make the audio come together! Recording, arranging, playing, mixing, did you guys listen to that chorus?! Kenz you freaking killed it!

Also a huge thanks to Cindy (and family) for letting us use your house to film!