A client came to me recently who had misophonia. I did not have any experience of working with misophonia so did some research to find out where there was some expertise, where I could suggest this client go for support.
I put this sheet of suggestions for what to do together for them and wondered if it might be of use to others so here goes.
This paper is the most useful research article I found which includes an approach to how decrease sensitivity (pp115 – 117) rather than simply blocking out offending sounds with earplugs etc. This, it seems, can be counterproductive in that a person can just become even MORE sensitive to, and less tolerant of, sounds they find difficult:
FB MISOPHONIA SUPPORT GROUP
A group full of people who understand what you are dealing with and from whom you can draw support when perhaps those around you don’t “get” what is going on for you.
Some ideas from members of this group (but please see “proceed with caution” note under ear plugs and buds section later):
Bose noise cancelling ear-phones for mobile ‘phone.
BOSE Bluetooth transmitter attached to the TV so the person living with misophonia could use headphones to block out their spouse breathing / sniffing / chewing, and their spouse could listen normally i.e. did not also have to wear headphones.
Of the ear plugs in the amazon link below one person said “This was the best £9 I ever spent! Enables me to go to the cinema, restaurants etc.” These earplugs cut out background noise but meant they could still hear their partner or the film.
If at all possible be referred by your GP to NHS services because if you go privately then you have to pay and if you do not have health insurance, bills can soon run up.
EAR PLUGS AND BUDS
For some people blocking out “trigger” noises works, for others though it makes them even MORE sensitive to such noises as they start listening out for them through whatever ear barrier they are using so proceed with caution:
It seems that referral to hospital probably means a range of tests (possibly involving an MRI scan) to ensure there is no physiological reason for decreased sound tolerance then, if misophonia is the diagnosis, working with an audiologist and a psychoanalyst (a type of psychotherapist / counsellor).
I expect that the psychotherapist / counsellor is working on what it is about the particular trigger sounds that makes it so unpalatable and produces such strong emotions i.e. what core beliefs are being offended by the sounds and how to change (or come to terms with and accept), those core beliefs. I would add from my own experience that when a person is anxious or stressed the trigger noises become even more annoying so perhaps use exercise and relaxation techniques to keep stress / anxiety levels down generally.
Pages 115 – 117 of the paper at the top of this page details sound therapy tested out on some people living with misophonia.
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