Misophonia vs. Annoyances
Observation shows us that each person’s triggers are unique. To be clear, everyone has different triggers. Many people have similar triggers (such as mouth noises). But there is no specific list or definitive set of what is and is not a “real” trigger. If a person has an adverse reaction to a sound (discomfort, anger, disgust, fight or flight response, etc.), it’s considered a trigger for that person. This applies to some visual experiences as well. Visual triggers have been observed and written about for over twenty years. Some people aren’t aware that visual triggers exist or think that it is a separate disorder.
No one can determine what a trigger for anyone but themselves is. Making judgments about what others consider to be their triggers is not supportive. It is easy to decide that something sounds more like a pet peeve or annoyance if it’s outside of one’s experience. But, this doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid trigger. Remember, if you have misophonia, your unique set of triggers does not affect all other people with this disorder.
People with misophonia, know how selective triggers can be. They can fluctuate in intensity and frequency. One can become less sensitive to a trigger under certain circumstances. Also, one may take on new triggers over time. As a result, misophonia is a subjective experience.
Are we wired to react?
There are other aspects of misophonia to consider. It is possible that people with misophonia are generally on guard against possible upcoming triggers. This hyper-vigilance comes at a price (increased stress). Also, carrying around leftover stress from past trigger reactions adds to the problem. Lastly, annoyances (although not triggers) could be further increasing stress levels.
Facebook Support Group members often discuss how stress increases their sensitivity to triggers. We know that venting about frustrations is helpful to people. So, venting in the group is something we accept as beneficial. The practice of sharing frustrations can be a tool in identifying triggers and alleviating general stress.
We hope you find this information helpful. Please remember that we are all individuals. People may share symptoms, but everyone has their own unique trigger set.