It’s a beautiful Friday. I smile at the sunshine that greets me as I leave work. Driving home, my random playlist drops my favorite song and the commute home takes almost no time. Arriving home, I open the door and the quiet greets me like an old friend. I love music, but nothing equals the symphony of silence. I’m looking forward to a relaxing night with a cup of hot tea and the book I’ve been itching to read.
Cup of tea steaming on the table next to me. Comforting blanket wrapped around me just so. Favorite chair cradling me like a mother bear. I crack my book open to page one and settle in for my own personal mind-journey…
…and then it happens.
The neighbor’s door slamming shut shakes the house. Voices. Footsteps. Laughter and raucous music shatter my island of quietude into a hundred pieces and I am set adrift on a sea of anger. Mood darkened, I have now lost interest in the book I had been longing to read. As far as I am concerned, my entire weekend is ruined. All I can focus on is the constant noise coming from the neighbors and I hate them for it. I hate them with passion and ferocity because they are doing this intentionally. Don’t they have any consideration for the other people who live in this house? They aren’t the only ones who live here! How can they be so uncaring?
But it is not true. The neighbors more than likely are not being intentionally disruptive. They are living their lives the way they always have and may be completely unaware that they are disturbing anyone. And on some level, I know this. But that rational part of me is smothered by the rage that the neighbor’s actions have evoked in me. A rage brought on by the sounds that I cannot ignore. As annoying as they are, those sounds are the only ones I can hear and no matter what I do I cannot escape them.
This is what someone who suffers from misophonia experiences every minute of their lives. And the worst part of it is, there is no cure.
An article written by Barron H. Lerner, MD caught my eye and lends a sympathetic view to sufferers of misophonia. Because he experiences it himself, Dr. Lerner knows first-hand what it is like to live with this condition daily. The article also cites a study done in 2013 by Arjan Schröder that suggests misophonia should be classified as a discrete psychiatric disorder.
If misophonia could get such a classification, maybe more attention could be focused on what can be done to alleviate it. And maybe once and for all, give it and the people who experience it, the recognition and understanding they deserve.