My name is Mathias, I’m 23 years old and I’m studying mechanical engineering. I share a flat near the university with two other students. Actually I like this living situation very much, but ….

It’s always the same stressful moment in the morning. My boyfriend, my flatmate and I sit together at the living room table and work on our assignments for university or for the internship. Then my boyfriend gets up and makes himself some muesli for breakfast. My body already tenses up when he’s just chopping the apple in the kitchen. When he sits down with us and starts eating, I get aggressive, it takes all my energy not to freak out and yell at him. I read the sentence in my text for the fourth time, but I can’t concentrate. I want to rip his head off. An irrational rage grows inside me that only subsides when he has finished breakfast.

For a long time I dismissed these feelings as a normal reaction to unpleasant noises. Smacking and eating noises are generally not accepted in European culture, they are considered rude and are signs of bad manners. So I never really questioned my aversion.

My boyfriend eventually noticed that I no longer answered his questions logically while he was eating his breakfast. I was no longer able to sustain a conversation. For one reason, all my concentration went into not giving in to my violent fantasies. On the other hand, because I had a hatred for him. When I finally told him that his eating noises were making me aggressive, he got to the point: misophonia.