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. This could be because they don’t have any.

No one can determine what is a trigger for anyone but themselves. Making judgments about what other members say are their triggers is not supportive. It is easy to decide that something sounds more like a pet peeve or annoyance if it isn’t a trigger that is in your trigger set. But, this doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid trigger for other people. Remember, your individual trigger set does not affect all other people.

You have misophonia, so you know how selective triggers can be. They can fluctuate in intensity and frequency. You can become less sensitive to a trigger under certain circumstances. Also, one may take on new triggers over time. Misophonia is a subjective experience.

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. Third, annoyances (although not actually triggers) could be further increasing stress levels. 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/or alleviating general stress.

We hope you find this information helpful. Please remember that we are all individuals. We may share symptoms, but we each have our own unique trigger set.