Sound-Rage. A Primer of the Neurobiology and Psychology of a Little Known Anger Disorder
Sound-Rage. Commonly called "Misophonia"  
Groundbreaking research on a disorder commonly called "Misophonia" can be found in the book "Sound-Rage,"    available online from amazon.com.  The primer presents the first in-depth analysis of neurological and psychological aspects of the syndrome. 

Gum chewing, nose sniffing, throat clearing, pen clicking. finger tapping… and fingers pointing, legs swinging… For the vast majority of people, these particular sounds and visuals are barely noticed and seem to be nothing more than aspects of the background.  For a small discrete population,  these sounds and visuals trigger severe and immediate rage and set off a physiological urgency for flight.

The "Sound-Rage" disorder is not a result of auditory dysfunction and is not a hearing problem. It differs from all other known disorders in that the autonomic response to perceived threat is anger rather than fear.

The processing of information takes place at many stops along the route from someone sniffing to a sufferer storming out of the room. In the brain, there are neural pathways taken between different cortical regions where each cortical region may contribute to the evaluation of the stimulus or the evaluation of the necessary response.

How does the dysfunction come about? Which brain parts interpret the sound? At what juncture does a sound go from ambiguous to “danger!”  and” pain!” ? Do sounds and visual triggers change? How do thoughts and emotions have an impact? What therapies are effective?

The book attempts to answer these questions and more.  It provides detailed information that a fundamental change in the brain leads to an auditory trigger assessed by the brain as something other than simply a chewing sound. The author provides compelling evidence that the brain interprets the sound as “danger!” because the sound is assessed as affective, valenced [non-sensational] “pain!”

This website provides information about the disorder and describes the research of the primer. The book is available online from amazon.com. click here.

To listen to the Radio Health Journal podcast on misophonia, click here.

NEW:

On July 8th, 2013, a group of people who suffer from misophonia, self-identified as a “group of amateur researchers,” compiled a survey of just over 120 questions with the hope of generating a data base of information.  The survey, administered on the Lime Survey platform, was online for one month and addressed demographic information, information questions about the disorder, and a host of assorted medical and lifestyle questions.A twenty page descriptive statistics analysis of the dataset is available in pdf.format and presents an Introduction, Sample Demographics, Misophonia Characteristics, Treatment, and Summary. Please go to the contact page and request the Descriptive Statistics  PDF.

Some findings to consider:

  • The average age of onset of misophonia across all ages was 12. Both the median and mode were 12.
  • The two most prevalent triggers are chewing and eating.
  • Ninety nine percent of the subjects reported that hearing presented triggers. Roughly two-thirds or 68% of the subjects reported that sight presented triggers, underscoring the prevalence of visual triggers. 
  • While smell presented triggers, and is often noted by people with misophonia (here, 16%), it is interesting to note that subjects reported touch as presenting triggers.
  • Ninety nine percent indicated anger or rage as one of their top three responses to triggers. Disgust is listed by 63% of respondents as one of their top three responses. 
  • Females have a higher incidence of reporting significantly worse symptoms than men. In contrast, males indicate a slightly higher incidence of symptoms being substantially better, slightly better, and about the same.

 


Sound-Rage. A Primer of the Neurobiology and Psychology of a Little Known Anger Disorder is neither a diagnostic tool nor a medical text and is not intended to replace or modify therapy or the diagnostic and medical advice of a licensed practitioner.

photo credit: Image courtesy of renjith krishnan and Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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