Navigating Life With a Neurological Disorder
Misophonia is not in the DSM-V, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. On July 8th, 2013, a group of people who suffer from misophonia 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, such as age, sex, education; information questions about the disorder, such as at what age did you first notice triggers; and a host of assorted medical and lifestyle questions. For a complete discussion of the results, click here or see "Descriptive Statistics of Misophonia" on academica.edu.
Important Numbers to Know
Age of Onset. The average age of onset across all ages was 12. This was the average age of onset for baby boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials.
Triggers. The two most prevalent triggers are chewing and eating. These are followed by sniffing, snoring, and licking, triggers that are also associated with the nose and the mouth. A large percentage (68%) reported that sight presented triggers, underscoring the prevalence of visual triggers
Sensitivities: Anecdotal reports by people with misophonia indicate that an unknown number of people with misophonia have other occurring sensory sensitivities. Smells presented triggers for16% of the sample. People with misophonia report being touch sensitive, i.e., have sensitivities to wool, tight clothing, turtle neck sweaters, the insides of socks etc. They also report being disturbed by being inadvertently touched in a crowded environment.
Number one Response to a Trigger: The rankings indicate that anger is the most foremost emotional response associated with a trigger, followed by disgust. Hate becomes more apparent as a third most associated emotion. Fear, which is a key factor in phobias and anxiety disorders, does not appear to be associated with misophonia. Guilt is even less associated with the disorder.
When combined, anger and rage account for the most prevalent response. A review of the individual 495 responses found that 99% indicated anger or rage as one of their top three responses. Disgust is listed by 63% of respondents as one of their top three responses.
Number of Triggers . This survey demonstrates that almost every respondent has two or more triggers.
Triggers by Age. It appears that the number of triggers is greater as the age progresses. When asked, "Have you ever had a trigger that is no longer a trigger?" 91% of respondents replied no.
Symptoms Through Time. For the majority of the sample population the disorder has grown significantly worse.
Therapies: 89% have not found any medicine, treatment, or therapy that seems to prevent symptoms. Two percent use alcohol and marijuana as a form of prevention of symptoms.
11% describe mechanisms that help to prevent triggers; 3% are from prescribed medications.
Seeking Help: 81% of the sample population responded “no” to the question, “Have you discussed your misophonia with your doctor?”