Many people have sounds they don’t like, such as chalk screeching against a blackboard or noisy eating in the cinema. But clinical misophonia is different. It’s a serious progressive illness which has wrecked lives and destroyed relationships, particularly with sufferers’ nearest and dearest, leading to estrangement and even break-up. For this reason, we call misophonia “the Midas disorder”.
The usual age of onset is in childhood. Misophonia hits children particularly hard – at crucial stages in their education and development.
Triggers can multiply to such an extent that, in extreme cases, a sufferer is rendered housebound and alone.
Misophonia used to be the “invisible” disorder. Patients were once not taken seriously, or simply couldn’t be helped, by their doctors, But sufferers are now mobilising in online communities. Misophonia is one of the first fully-fledged diagnoses of the Internet age.