Kelly Ripa Diagnoses Herself With Mysterious Neurological Disorder

kelly ripa

Do certain sounds drive you crazy?

Does the sound of your husband’s chewing make you want to punch him in the face?

Yesterday, there was a story on the Today show about a woman with misophonia, a condition where certain sounds can literally drive a person crazy.

And I’m thinking, this is really interesting, too bad there’s no celebrity angle…

And then, this morning, my prayers were answered! Kelly Ripa opens today’s episode of Live! with Regis and Kelly by telling guest co-host Seth Meyers that she believes that she has misophonia! Ever since she was a child, the sound of chewing drives her nuts.

Her children have been trained to eat quietly with their mouths closed, and she “has to leave the house” if her husband, All My Children actor Mark Consuelos, eats a “juicy peach”.

Hatred of Sound

Misophonia literally means “hatred of sound” and is a form of decreased sound tolerance. The term was coined by American neuroscientists Pawel and Margaret Jastreboff in 1991. For those with misophonia, everyday sounds can lead to extreme reactions.

Misophonia is not a problem with the hearing pathways in the brain. Instead, there is an abnormally strong reaction of the limbic (emotional system) and autonomic nervous system (body control system) which are closely connected with the auditory (hearing) system. Hearing the hated sound activates a “Fight or Flight” response — either you become angry and potentially violent or you get anxious and run away.

According to support organization Misophonia UK :

  • the age of onset will often be around 10-12
  • the “trigger” sounds which tend to be most difficult are connected with eating and breathing
  • the reaction starts with the sound (or some aspect of the sound) and often develops to include actions associated with the sound and even anticipation of those actions
  • the closer the sufferer is emotionally to the “trigger” person, the more offensive the sound tends to be
  • the reaction is experienced most commonly as extreme rage
  • the trigger sound can create an overwhelming fight or flight response in the sufferer, so they experience a desire to do extreme violence to the maker of the sound, or to escape the vicinity of the sound at all costs.

The Sounds of Silence

There is no cure for misophonia, but some treatments have shown promise for some sufferers:

  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is a form of habituation (tolerance) therapy designed to help people who suffer from tinnitus (ringing ears). Relies on a patient getting used to a low level of the disturbing sound.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) teaches people to change negative thinking and behaving that contributes to their illness.
  • Psychotherapeutic hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to deal with triggers and the response to them.
  • Antianxiety medications

Here is a video of the story on Today:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Is there a particular noise or sound that drives you crazy?

Please share your experiences with us.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

73 Comments

  1. Dr. Marsha Johnson

    September 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Good article and nice to see someone well known who can admit to this issue. I would offer one correction in that the term misophonia was coined in 2001, I believe that to be true. A new provider network has been established in the US, http://www.misophonia-provider.com, to allow sufferers to reach regional centers where newer treatment protocols are going to be offered. Great publicity! Dr. J

    • Dr. M

      September 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks for your comment, and the link for folks who may want to talk to someone about treatment.

    • Valerie

      September 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm

      I am almost crying to know that i am not the only person in the world that has this! I can actually almost give a concise time line to when and what caused this in me! My family thinks i don’t know what about me when this stuff happens to me. I can stand someones nails down a chalkboard but not the sound of someone typing on the computer! I can stand my sons band when he was a teenager but i can’t stay in the same room while my husband eats chips! Hopefully, i can find someone to help me here in my city!

      • Dr. M

        September 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm

        THere is a facebook page for people with misophonia: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=299375912551&v=wall
        You may be able to get a local contact there.
        Good luck Valerie.

      • Seymour

        January 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm

        I very much did cry when I met someone else with misophonia. The relief, despite it not changing any symptoms, is enormous.

      • Miss B.

        September 10, 2012 at 1:19 am

        Me to Valerie, you’re not alone!

      • L'Oreal R.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm

        I feel totally the same way! I thought I was just crazy and that it was all in my head. But now knowing that what im experiencing actually has a name I feel a whole lot better. I literally cannot stand hearing the sound of chewing. I have to cover my ears and even sometimes when I cant do it because I’m at a diner table or it would just look disrespectful, or the covering just isn’t enough I start twitching and it drives me NUTS!! Once i was taking a test (the class was dead silent) and my friend was chewing on who knows what right beside me and I swear I felt like punching her in the face! I didn’t want to feel like that but sometimes it’s just too much!! I’ve left the room a countless number of times! I feel I cannot even sit at the lunch room anymore because I may go crazy! I pray to God I will get over this!!!

        • Judy S

          February 7, 2014 at 11:36 pm

          I am so happy to know I am not crazy! People chewing potato chips and snapping gum while chewing are the worst for me. Sometimes my husband with eat microwave popcorn out the bag it is packaged in. The sound of the bag crackling when his hand is in it makes me nuts! then the sound of him chomping on the popcorn. People eating popcorn around me in a theater makes me want to flee. I usually plug my ears as best I can without being noticed. At home I will either go into a bedroom or bathroom and stay there until I think the food has been consumed. It makes me so nervous I will cry in the other room.

    • gary

      December 16, 2012 at 1:39 am

      I have had this misophonia my whole life .MAN i COULD TELL YOU SOME STORYS .hOW CAN i GET HELP

  2. Alysha

    September 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Hi, My nana told me about the episode with Kelly talking about misophonia. I just wanted to say that I have been dealing with this very thing for a long time. It got really bad for awhile and it is cool that someone else feels the same way I do. All I can say is my ipod has saved my life.

    • Dr. M

      September 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you have found a way to deal with the problem. Maybe others with misophonia will try using their ipods as a way to help themselves!

    • Loulou

      March 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      My brother and I both have this condition (self-diagnosed) but we can barely tolerate the sound of our mother eating or swallowing. Eating is the worst for us usually but like other people here have said, our ipods have saved us on many a situation and thanks to my brother’s advice I invested in ear defenders (ear plugs for musicians) which block out a lot of sound and are quite discrete. I wore them at the cinema one time and I never looked back! The films now-a-days are loud enough for us to still hear all the dialogue but the sound ot noisy pop corn munchers and rustlers is drowned out very well, it’s like being alone with the film. Previously the rustling, talking and eating noises would have me extremely distracted from the film and fantasising about brutal violence towards the oblivious idiots making all the noise.

      So I recommend the ear plugs to people.

      Not sure if it is genetic as our parents just think we have intolerant personalities but my brother an I agree fully on this subject and are bonded in our disgust with the noisy people around us.

  3. Pingback: If My Mom Ate An Apple In The Forest, I Would Hear It « Logy Express

  4. Brandi

    September 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    http://www.misophonia-uk.org/

    I’ve found this website to be extremely helpful. Though there is no cure per se, it is comforting knowing that you’re not the only one.

    It’s awesome that a celebrity has come forward with this “mysterious neurological disorder”. It is as real as can be.

    • Dr. M

      September 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      So right you are Brandi! For someone with the disorder, it is very real. Unfortunately, since it is not well known, even among physicians, sufferers may not get the help they need. I’m glad we were of some help.

    • Miss B.

      September 10, 2012 at 1:17 am

      Thank you so much Brandi. I am excited to check it out!

  5. Tiffany T

    September 18, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I don’t have an opinion on Kelly Ripa coming out, other than it may help the visibility of this issue that plagues many of us who felt alone in their pain. I’m glad to see that misophonia is getting some press and hope that it helps with increasing research in the near future.

    I do wish that the Today video came with a disclaimer, the number of trigger sounds in the video were highly distressing to me. I had to rip my headphones off my ears and yell out every time there was an eating sound or other trigger. I know that the sounds were used as a method to help others understand what sounds bother those with misophonia, it was just disturbing and upsetting for me.

    I have not been formally diagnosed as I only learned a few months ago that there was a name for what I was experiencing. I am hoping to participate in/benefit from any research that may be forthcoming.

    • Dr. M

      September 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      Thanks for your comment Tiffany. I hadn’t thought about the audio on the Today video as being a potential trigger. Wow! Live and Learn.

    • Loulou

      March 29, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      AGREED! it was horrible

  6. Madge

    September 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Finally, I know what this is, my ex-husband snored so loud and ate so noisially I cound’nt stand the thought of being near him, this drove us apart, I remember when I was a kid, certain sounds drove me crazy, I had to have mt hearing tested about 10 years ago, the doctor said I can hear things normal people can’t, maybe this is a clue, also I talk very low, making it difficult for others to hear me. I’m accused of mumbling constantly, but I can’t speak any louder, without becoming cranky.
    I have another hearing test soon, I will discuss this with the specialist, thank you so much.

    • Dr. M

      September 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks for your comment Madge. It’s good that you will be having it checked out by a specialist. Good luck to you. I hope this will allow you to get some relief from your symptoms.

    • Lori

      September 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Wow. When I first heard of this I was so relieved. I thought I was crazy. I didn’t realize others had the same experience and always thought there was something really wrong with me. And exactly as you have, I had my hearing tested and was told that I hear things that “normal” people wouldn’t be able to hear. I wear ear plugs at night.

    • Miss B.

      September 10, 2012 at 1:27 am

      Oh my gosh, this happened. to me. I’m divorced and a portion of that was from the things you said. I slept in a different room. Couch. Even a tub on vacation. People say I mumble to. I used to hear the high pitch squeel of dept store flourcent lights and it made feel dizzy and sick. Everyone said I was just imagining it. It was real.

      Your the first person, I have ever heard this from.

  7. Tanya

    September 20, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    When my mom told me about Kelly’s talking about this and how much it sounded like what I have lived with most of my life I was so thrilled. My first thought “WOOHOO, I’M NOT ALONE!!!” and “I’m not psycho”. I can’t remember when it started it’s been so long, and I’ve often thought it would be so much easier to just be deaf. Thank you for getting this out to the public. What a relief!

    • Dr. M

      September 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Letting people know that there are others dealing with the same thing is one of the reasons we started Celebrity Diagnosis.

  8. Marissa

    September 28, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Every sound a person makes drives me absolutley insane. Crinkling wrappers and water bottles, chewing, slurping, high heels clicking, people yawning and making noise, and so many more things make me want to punch a hole in the wall. For the longest time I would sit at my dinner table and clench my fists as tight as I could and try and take the sound of chewing. Then I would go in myroom, punch my mattress and cry. This disease/ condition has made high school so hard to deal with and none of my friends understand that I want to punch them when they crinkle candy wrappers. At least I know im not a psycopath for getting so irritated!

    • Sharon

      July 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      You just described me. I have dealt with this since I was 8 years old. Noone could understand
      why sounds affected me so deeply. It is such a relief to finally have a name for this annoying
      problem. My thanks to Kelly Ripa.

  9. Kevin L

    October 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I’m currently working on the theory that at least for some people this is related to a low/medium elevation of norepinephrine in the brain.

  10. Robert

    October 13, 2011 at 4:09 am

    I am unsure, but perhaps this explains why I get really aggressive when I hear the sound of a bell. Usually it’s a high pitched bell, but an bell sounds set me off. Would this be the same thing?

  11. Tracy Ainsworth

    November 18, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    With all due respect, if Kelly has this disorder (I can relate) then why does she chew her gum like a cow chews it’s cud, or a woman of the streets chews her gum? Do people with this disorder not hear themselves. I’ve seen her on live television during their fitness week and it’s awful to see her chomping gum on national television, yet believe me, I am HUGE fan of her intelligence, humor, quick wit, etc. Lose the gum, or put on a mic and listen to herself, and the gum tower back stage, very uncool. Snapping gum is like a chalk board and nails to me, so when I see all of that about her, I was just surprised to learn of her disorder…

    • Jen

      December 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      “Do people with this disorder not hear themselves.”

      The majority of those with this disorder (myself included) aren’t bothered by their own trigger noises. The noises that enrage me when other people make them (like gum chewing, nail biting, slurping, pen clicking, etc) don’t bother me one bit when I do make them. I don’t know why, but that’s just the way it is. Strange, huh?

      • Tanya

        December 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm

        I’ve been asked about this. I actually am bothered by many of my own sounds. Most I have no choice but deal with. I CANNOT chew with my mouth open. I fight fire with fire when I’m in a situation where I can’t get away from the sounds and I try chomping right along with them, but my jaw wears out fast as I’m not use to chomping like a cow. I cannot chew gum for more than a couple of minutes and then only in an emergency (out of mints). When my TMJ acts up and my jaw pops I can’t eat, it drives me out of my skin. If I accidentally slurp something I feel like throwing up from the sound.

    • Tanya

      December 6, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      I agree there. Can’t stand the gum. Really can’t take it when people chomp on TV, on the phone and in person. Cashiers, hairstylists and secretaries chomping like a TV street walker. Just like nails on a chalk board. No tolerance for it here either. Not to mention its just totally unprofessional!

  12. Kristine

    December 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I sure would like to see more information for those of us who have a loved one with this condition. It also has an effect on us. It’s difficult to not absorb the extreme anger that emanates when they have a reaction. It can come out of the blue. Although they might deal with it as appropriately as they can, slamming doors as they leave the room and/or yells of rage DO affect the people who are emotionally connected to them. It’s very difficult to creep around the kitchen fearful that any chink of silverware against a glass plate will send them into a rage. I can’t use the microwave, eat crunchy food, wash dishes, prepare food using pots, pans, silverware, glass…..it gets very impractical after awhile. Communication is a must! Every time I think I have this figured out and what to avoid, something new comes along. Or something that doesn’t bother him one day will bother him the next. How do I live a calm life going about necessary activities, while at the same time avoiding triggers? I’ve been left a weepy mess even though I know his anger will be temporary. When you really do care for someone, you really don’t want to be the source of the problem, or have them feel revulsion for you….even temporarily. Sometimes I feel like asking him to go for day and try not to make the same sounds (that if I make would be a trigger, but if he does it it’s not). It doesn’t seem fair that he can eat an apple, but I can’t. I finally said that I have to be able to do things like use the microwave…he needs to own some of this and either put his head phones on, or offer to do it for me. That seems to be working….giving him some control to intervene does help. He has been very good about offering to warm my tea up for me and things like that. Encouraging him to be proactive (rather than reactive) is helping a lot. Just not everything.

    • Dr. M

      December 7, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Kristine. It sounds like you are really trying to work out some of the difficulties associated with living with someone with misophonia. Best wishes to you!

    • Tanya

      December 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      You are right. It does also effect family members and friends of those with this condition. It is so important that we remember that our loved ones don’t always understand what we hear and feel. I have lived with this for so long without knowledge of others and knowledge of what it was. All I knew is it was my problem. After all these years I have had to learn to deal with it. Try not to take it out on others around me. And although it hasn’t been easy, my loved ones thought I was just over sensitive or just plain nuts, I have just accepted that it isn’t something I can stop, but it isn’t anything they can change either. I put plugs in my ears, if I leave the room I try to contain myself and not slam doors or get huffy (sometimes not so easy). I apologize a lot. My husband knew I had this problem before we married, so it wasn’t a surprise to him. He apologizes for smacking his lips, crunching or slurping and I tell him it’s my problem, not his. If plugging my ears or putting headphones in my ears don’t help at any particular moment I quietly “go to the bathroom”. I try to remember they don’t hear what I hear. I get funny looks in public when I put tissue in my ears, people ask if I have an earache. Sometimes I just say yes, others I try to explain whats going on. I am also aware that if I’m having an especially senstive day or time I try harder to not take it out on those around me. I’m not perfect and I do go off half-cocked sometimes, but I apologize when I realize it and we go on.

      Keep up the love and patients and it’ll pay off. Good for you for trying to understand and help find ways to make both your lives easier.

      • Dr. M

        December 20, 2011 at 9:41 am

        Thanks for sharing your experiences Tanya, we can all learn something from them.

        • jason

          January 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm

          thank god , i cannot belleive what i am reading here…me and my (twin)brother suffer from this strange disorder. i think it started around 6 yrs.old. its definately lead me to live a somewhat isolated life.. i still function as a (normal) person day to day but i limit myself.very few freinds and avoid going to public places where i cant flee…we are 42 yrs. old now,,,,…..iam raising a 9 y.o. daughter by myself., and i dont lead on that i have this condition., but she asks all the time why i eat upstairs and not with her, also when we are driiving she likes to figit with her fingers and bounce her legs up and down(so normal)i just calmly tell here it distracts me .. man i hate this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! iam so afraid to tell anybody and very ashamed….i pray to god my daughter does not get this …….my pet peives are long, just some here.,,.,. sniffing,any noise made by the mmouth in general,pen clicking,tapping fingers,sraping or hitting the bowl or plate,.sluping., even the sight of the mouth moving as people are chewing., get this blinking of the eyes., the list goes on and on…….its so hard not to think that it is directed at you on purpose.. but rationaly i know thats not the case.. i constantly tell myself its me not them… GOD BLESS YOU DR. FOR TAKING THE TIME AND FOCOSING ON THIS DISORDER…. YOU ARE A BLESSING.. AND TO ALL THOSE OUT THERE SUFFERING (YOU ARE NOT ALONE) HOPEFULLY IN THE NEAR FUTURE WE WILL HAVE A CURE… THANKS

          • Miss B.

            September 10, 2012 at 1:31 am

            Jason, you’re so not alone! See Miss B. It’s just really nice to know, even if there isn’t a cure that I’m not alone. Keep doing a great job rasing your baby girl!! Don’t worry God will help you out! Somehow….

  13. Paula Schwartz

    January 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    http://www.misophonia-provider.com

    Here is a website the lists providers throughout the US dealing with this form of misophonia

  14. Girl

    January 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I was so happy to find this. I feel like I’m going more and more insane from this problem. People who are very close to me are driving me absolutely F-ing nuts with their eating noises. It’s like I can hear their salivary glands pumping away and it makes me want to smash my head into a window. It’s getting that bad for me. I need to find a doctor to help me but I do not want to have to take anti-anxiety drugs. I worry that I’m going to lose control of myself sometimes. It is something of a relief to know that other people have this issue as well.

  15. Jack

    February 7, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m a little offended that she would state on public television that she believes to have this disorder. Having lived with this for a long time now, I can honestly say how horrible and debilitating a condition this is to have. I can’t go out and do normal things. A trip to the store is hell on earth. Kelly is active and happy and famous and is surrounding by clapping audience members and a ton of other normal and common triggers among 4S sufferers and yet she shows no signs, but because the single sound of chewing bothers her she claims to have this condition making people think it’s not that bad of a condition at all since someone like her with it can rise to such fame. I feel she has hurt the cause and disguised how bad it really is to truly have it. I hate having to explain my condition only to have most people respond back “Oh, I think I have that too.”

  16. Oceana

    March 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Everyone,
    I just found out two days ago that I am not a lone. Sorry to hear that you guys have this condition too. I have been dealing with this for over thirty years. I am in my 50ties now. I started showing the vedio to my daughter and even with this vedio she did not believe people could be the way we are. She always tells me “mom just ignore it” She looked at the vedio for an second and said “she sounds so stupid” I stop the vedio there and told her well I am trying to show you proof that I am not the only one. Well there goes any support that I was trying to get. She believes we could ignore the sounds that irritates us. I guess she is right, I mean, what esle can we do for now. I need support. I went on Facebook and I did not see no support there. Does any one know what site I could go on. I just want to add something that I think was so funny. My ex all of a sudden would hum as he cooked, bath etc. I would get so annoy at him humming. I would yell out “what are you, an old lady humming in the store” he look at me and say now I can’t sing either. I’ll say, sing!!! you call that singing. Anyways we broke up not to long ago. Can someone tell me something they found funny with people that don’t understand us. I really would like to hear it. I just love to laugh. We have too or we’ll go insane.

  17. Dr. Ravn

    May 14, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Misophonia Sufferes,

    and anyone else that can’t stand irritating noises

    Please read

    I am a doctor dedicating my life to finding a cause and cure of Misophonia. I have this problem myself, and I know what its like.

    Please email me to take a short survey.

    You response will be greatly appreciated, and you will be the first to know when there is a cure.

    DR.RAVN@Aol.com

  18. Michele

    May 19, 2012 at 2:21 am

    While I am fortunate that I do not have the severity of the symptons I have seen on the web, and TV. I wonder if I don’t have this issue to some degree, or IF as I have feared, I am just a bitchy person! LOL I cannot, cannot stand the sound of someone coughing. I become so annoyed I have to leave the room, and I have sometimes asked the poor sick person who is coughting to stop. I have yelled at my husband and children and have just been plain rude.I feel such a pit of anger in my stomach that I think I will burst! I become anxious if I think I have to be around someone who will cough and I avoid sickly people who I know have some sort of chronic condition that causes them to cough.
    When I am at the movies, if someone coughs I just lose it! I have left theaters and or been asked to leave because my reaction was so rude and disruptive to others.
    Lately, even though my husband has been snoring ever since we married 25 years ago, when he snores beside me I begin to start experiencing the same anger and anxiety and I swear I have comtemplated hitting him or even smothering him with a pillow! That is scary! The snoring and my response to his snoring causes me to stay awake all night and then sleep during the day while he is at work, however I have to have the TV or radio playing loudly to drown out the sound of his snoring when I am downstairs or I will begin to experience to anxiety and rage.
    I do have OCD, I have the hand washing and general anxiety in public places, not because I am fearful but because I am just so annoyed and impatient with people and their actions. My son jokes with me when we have to wait in line at a department store, “Have you taken your meds, Mom?”

    • Jan

      May 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      My daughter, who now has a name for what we have witnessed from her, suggested I read some of the various articles about this condition. When I read your comments about snoring, I could see myself. The same type of thoughts would go through my sleepless head. Finally, I convinced my husband to get the doctor to request a sleep study. He has sleep apnea – and stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time and the snoring, in part, is regaining his breath. I used to hope and pray that I could fall asleep during his “quite time” – little did I know that he wasn’t breathing – a CPAP was prescribed, and the first night he used it was pure bliss.Hope you get help for your husband – you are not the only one who may have a problem.
      I do have tinnitus (since I was 17 and am now in my mid-60′s) and from what others report probably a mild case of misophonia.

  19. David Foster

    May 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    My wife has suffered from this for years and just sent me the story. This is her to the T. No corn on the cob, no apples, we haven’t gone to a movie together in our entire relationship.
    I am glad for a diagnosis.
    A possible treatment could be EMDR which has helped many through PTSD. Dispersing the reaction throughoput the brain may take lighten the fight or flight response

    • Dr. M

      May 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks for the feedback David. Good luck to your wife as well.

  20. Jodina

    May 30, 2012 at 9:22 am

    For years, the sound of dogs barking would drive me insane. I would yell and vent about it and when I look back, I get upset because I took it out on my two daughter’s. The frustration was horrible. However, I cannot stand to hear people slurping, crunching on popcorn at the movie theatre, the base of music coming through the walls. and snoring can send me over the edge. I always felt that I had something buried in the center of my brain which caused this problem. It makes me feel better that there are others that deal with these situations.

  21. Brenda

    May 31, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I remember seeing an interview of coach Jon Gruden, and he said be can’t eat at the table with his kids because of the sounds. That was the first time I thought there was someone other than me like this. I didn’t realize there was an actual disorder that was causing it. I was diagnosed with ADD as an adult, but now wonder if part of my problem has been all the noise around me. I get to take exams in college in a quiet room by myself and that really makes a difference.

  22. Brooke

    June 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    With me, the “trigger” has nothing to do with chewing but I do hate when people smack their gum, or pop it, it drives me insane. 
    But the main trigger is when someone makes a bopping sound with their lips. It started when I was in 3rd grade and my math teacher, who I disliked (she was crazy-weird) started bopping her lips when she said “line up!” when we left her classroom. From then on, I feel like I’ll go AWAL if someone bops their lips or gum, especially their lips. 

  23. Darren

    June 24, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    It all makes sense for me personally now I always wondered why I get so angry when I hear people eating

  24. yh hazelwood

    July 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I have been suffering since I was about 7 or 8. Many times eating with my sisters when younger I would lose my appetite and just stare at them unbelieving the obscene, obnoxious noises coming from them while eating. My husband even called me a jerk when I shoved my Ipod in my ears while he was eating next to me. Paper bags rustling, whispering, chop smacking…the list goes on. I knew it had to be more than me just being intolerant of others. The rage and disgust you feel is…off the charts! Not to mention the powerlessness of not being able to stop the offending sounds. I don’t like to tell anyone I suffer from this because they think it’s a joke and make the noises on purpose. At work I know my co-workers think I don’t want to talk to them when I put my Ipod on but the truth is I can’t listen to the cutlery clinking or the smacking of chops on food. I would tell them but…I don’t want them to start feeling self-conscious because I have a problem. And is it me or does it seem it’s mostly women suffering from this? I dunno…but I feel like parents are a more strict with girls in terms of manners and being “nice”. So when we are little girls and chew with our mouths open we get a stern warning and thus become like Pavlov’s dogs…

    • Dr. M

      July 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Well now you realize this is a real medical condition, and that you are not alone in this. Best wishes to you.

  25. Miss B.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:15 am

    THANK YOU to Kelly Ripa. I almost cried and wrote her a letter, when I saw that episode. It was the first time I have ever felt I wasn’t alone” with this most difficult and lonely problem.

    I have been told, : “Just get over it”. “You’re weird/freak”. “Get used to being alone forever, because you can’t stand sounds”. “Just think of something else”. “You can control it.”

    I will trip over myself to grab the remote and mute the sound, if there is a horrible commercial with food crunching! AHHHHH!!!

    Sounds that make me angry or in a panic:

    ANY kind of chewing.
    Lunchroom? I watch my personal DVD player loud w/ earbuds
    Silverware on dishes. ie. when people are eatting, cutting meat.
    (i preffer eating w/paper or plastic plates & plastic silverware.
    Slirping
    Fingers/nails tapping on a key board
    Anyone snoring, I can’t sleep. earplugs haven’t worked, I can hear myself breathing and my heart beating. Wide awake now.
    My own eatting/chewing sounds. I prefer to eat in front of TV.
    Someone filing/clipping fingernails
    Squeeking car brakes
    I wake up at the smallest of sounds or littlest bit of light
    Dogs barking
    Sound of someone spitting

    Anyway, I just wanted to share, maybe someone else won’t feel so alone anymore after reading this.

    Tired in Seattle

    • Vera Olson

      January 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Miss B. I would love to give you a complimentary session it you are up to that.

  26. Mary Hensen

    September 14, 2012 at 12:05 am

    So good to see a celeb come out with this. I have it, as does my daughter (I really tried to keep it from her, but she came down with the “symptoms” around age 12. :( Oddly, the only people who bother her with the eating noises are her dad and me. And oddly, the only people who bother me with them are her dad, my siblings, and when they were alive, my parents. My hubby didn’t bother me for years, so I figured it was just close blood relatives. Darn! My daughter and I both really want to get over it. I wonder if anyone has this experience? (We don’t mind AT ALL when other people chew loudly, but when it’s her dad – or me, for her – forget it!)

  27. Bob

    October 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I have this, exactly as described in the article. Same onset age, same reactions. It’s difficult to even listen to myself chew. I eat at home with music on. I’m glad to see this article out because it will raise people’s awareness that those of us who have this can’t help the way we react to things like chewing, that it’s nothing personal and we wish it would just go away.
    Also, if you’re one of those it affects, now you know you’re not crazy and you can share this article with all your friends who think you are.

  28. KC

    October 18, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I can’t be around snoring, coughing, sniffing, snorting, throat-clearing…. Hearing you all have dealt with this too is like…WOW I’m NOT freaking INSANE. On trips, I’ve slept in the hotel bathroom on the floor for YEARS, since I was about eight, I think, due to being entirely unable to stand my parents snoring…and the best means of decreasing the sound is distance and closed doors between me and the sound…and of course my collection of white noise machines. I’ve often wished I could be deaf at times. I’ve had this my whole life, even among my earliest memories, the avoidance of, and hatred of, these noises has been strong and persistent.

  29. Larry baum

    October 21, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    People with misophonia seem to have different sensitivities. For me, I don’t mind chewing at all. But I do feel upset when my wife yells at our kids or my daughter screams when she plays. Some people with naturally loud voices or certain tone qualities bother me. I’m even bothered by some quiet sounds, such as clicking on a laptop mousepad. I just endure my discomfort silently, but I feel terrible and wish I could avoid exposure to these sounds.

    Ironically, I like constant music or radio news. Maybe it masks the irritating sounds or gives my hearing something else on which to concentrate. Perhaps this is analogous to the paradox that ritalin, a stimulant, works in hyperactive people. All the senses make extensive use of contrast and habituation, thus constant sound might habituate the auditory system to increase its threshold for activating emotional responses.

    I actually feel great joy in listening to music, humor, or stories or participating in conversation. I may have greater response, either positive or negative, to things in general, which may be the root cause of my misophonia (as just one symptom). Other people might have misophonia for different reasons, thus giving different manifestations. All of this is just my own guesswork, trying to analyze myself.

  30. kate

    November 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I’m pleased to see this condition getting more attention as well. I’ve been coping with a mild case of it since I was about 3 or 4–basically as long as I can remember. My trigger noises are the sound of hard plastic wrap being crinkled (like potato chip bags and candy bar wrappers), some eating noises, gum chewing and oddly, whispering. I don’t express my rage outwardly when I hear these sounds, but I do silently seeth and basically can’t function until those noises stop. Sometimes I just have to remove myself from the situation. I share an office with somebody who basically crunches and crinkles all day, and there are times I really want to throw my stapler at him.

    I know it sounds like a weird, made-up thing if you don’t suffer from this condition, but it’s really rather awful. I have found that regular exercise seems to make it a little better, but not by much.

  31. Becky

    November 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I have never enjoyed the sounds of a noisy eater, but my tolerance has gotten very low in the past few years. I’m wondering if some of the sensitivity is due to the chemo I was on. I still suffer from peripheral neuropathy, and wonder if it a type of neuropathy.
    i literally can not stand the sounds of crunching, being in a crowed movie theater where dozens of people are shoving mounds of popcorn in their mouths make me anxious.
    I certainly don’t need any more meds, but is their a way to desensitize myself against these obnoxious eaters.
    I get tired of being told I’m “nuts” or “crazy” and having people deliberately crunch food in my ear.

  32. Denizen K

    December 12, 2012 at 4:57 am

    As the general population becomes more and more involved with technology and media, it seems like sources of health information are also shifting to these mediums. Millions of Americans (80% according to a Pew study) have looked up health information online at one point or another, and millions of Americans get health information from shows like Grey’s Anatomy and ER. Although this increases knowledge about diseases, it worries me that many people are getting information that isn’t entirely accurate, or that they are applying it for do-it-yourself care.

    Kelly Ripa did this and it worked wonderfully, but for other people it doesn’t work out so nicely. The inaccuracy of some online health websites has led to a movement aimed at promoting those with valid, beneficial, information. This has come in the form of organizations like the Health on the Net Foundation that accredits websites that provide helpful medical information. The website will then be able to display an icon signifying that they have been approved. Unfortunately, not many people know the icon, or bother to look for it.

    Even with this accurate information, many doctors are still worried that patients will attempt to become the physician. This is a justified concern, because the general population isn’t qualified to provide medical care. There is a reason that years upon years of schooling are required to treat patients. Essentially, the information can be helpful and life saving, but it must be interpreted and applied in the appropriate way. Hopefully, this fact will become apparent, and people will realize that not every success story like this is the norm.

  33. Margaret

    December 30, 2012 at 1:07 am

    I saw, a long time ago, on the Dr Phil show, a lady who couldn’t tolerate sitting at her family table b/c of the sounds of her family’s chewing—–and Dr Phil pretty much told her to not let those things bother her … Or something to that affect.

    I wanted to call that lady to tell her that I understood her !!!!!! I must have the same dx as her! Misophonia, maybe ???!!!!!

    When my husband bites on a peach and slurps that juice !!!!!—— OMG!!!!! I could just throw my laptop in his direction!!!!! He thinks I’m just being a nag —- yeah, like i raised my hand and asked God to plz give me a no-tolerance for annoying sounds!!!!!! Lol !!!!!!!

    Hope that find a cure for this soon !!!!

  34. Jane

    January 9, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    I just found this online and I have to say, this makes so much more sense to me now. I have just started to have very strong reactions to the sound/sight of hearing those around me chewing, especially those I am close to but this is something that I have dealt with for awhile, I have just been (dealing) with it. I guess after having children and some of stresses that go along with life kind of uncover it. Does anyone know if this goes hand in hand with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)?

  35. LRH

    February 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I just learned of this today & it has been an epiphany for me. I have found myself getting extremely angry over certain noises for years. The leading offenders:

    Dogs Barking
    Sirens
    Cars With Loud Mufflers
    Crying Babies
    Coughing

    The latter, especially, made me feel like a jerk, because my own 5 year-old sometimes has coughing spasms, obviously she can’t help it, yet I’d find myself screaming “would you stop making that noise” after she had coughed a few times in a row. I had even confined her to her room for a short time over it.

    I’ve most certainly let neighbors with barking dogs know in no uncertain terms that it was unacceptable, I once called a local ambulance service to complain when I kept hearing their sirens numerous times that day even though where we live I knew we don’t have that many emergencies in a day. I’ve given people with noisy kids in public places dirty looks & even yelled out-loud “would you make your kids shut up.” When my kids were babies if they were having crying fits I’d still take care of them but with my ears plugged with an MP3 player, also with over-the-ears headphones on top of that, to block their crying, and I’d get people thinking “if you can’t handle the noise you shouldn’t have kids” when all I was doing was coping. I had a friend who, when I would stop by, would have their TV wide-open loud and I had just got off of work & was stressed, I started wearing earplugs & they got offended.

    People don’t understand–the noise really is unbearable. I’ve described it this way–it’s like taking someone who has a phobia of spiders, stripping them naked, tying them down to where they can’t move, then letting 5 tarantulas crawl all over them–and then getting upset at their reaction. We don’t need to “get over it,” we need accommodation–or we need freedom from judgment when we take the steps we do to cope.

  36. Glen

    March 4, 2013 at 1:41 am

    those sounds that drive Kelly Ripa crazy actually they are like a mantra to me and put me into like a trance I feel calm but I do not fall asleep but have the calmness of sleep

  37. Lee Ann

    April 2, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I believe my mother had this and I, too, see some of the same traits in me. She always told me that the things that were obvious triggers for her were “just good manners”…ie..loud gum chewing, pen clicking, leg jiggling, finger tapping, figgiting, nose sniffing, etc. As a retired teacher of elementary age children, I found myself dealing with those triggers every day. I saw myself getting irritated with the children who would do these things excessively. I also see myself getting irritated with my husband over the same items. I have yet to say much and hold all the anger and irritation inside.

    Can some of this be inherited and/or learned behavior?

    • Hope

      May 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      I think you are right in that there may be a genetic component to it. The same sounds that drive me to rage–smacking noises while eating, snorting, throat clearing, silverware clanging, just to mention a very few–are the same sounds that drive my aunt crazy. I didn’t know this until just now, when I was telling my mother about it. I just found this page, and like many others, I’m glad it’s not just me and that I’m not just a big jerk.

  38. Septimia

    June 11, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Oh my gosh thank you everyone here for confirming I am not just an unreasonable nasty b*tch! I’ve had this badly since maybe age 8 (perhaps before) and it’s mostly eating but yy to crinkling wrappers, mouth breathing, snoring, someone tooting a car horn more than once, in fact most repetitive sounds. People kissing loudly is another bad one for me, either near me or even in movies, perhaps because it sounds a lot like chop-smacking with food?

    I hate this condition. It has been so bad in the past, one girl I was at school with chewed EVERYTHING loudly with her mouth open, and ALWAYS chewed gum if not eating. It drove me to the point of violent thoughts which was scary. I’m not evil, I swear!

    It’s affecting my romantic relationships too now, I can be with a guy for a few months and think I love him so much that his chewing doesn’t bother me but sure enough at some point -bam- I’m giving them the death stare for crunching an apple or snapping at them for chowing crisps. I know I come across as a nag or just over-touchy but only because they don’t understand!

    I feel I’m going crazy a lot of the time and I’m sure people who know me enough to have been on the end of my anger/contempt probably agree :(

  39. Jamie

    August 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I can relate! When people eat crunchy foods like tacos, it’s the worst sound in my ears. It’s literally like they are sitting inside me chomping when they’re actually feet away.
    It’s hard to dine with people and turn of my annoyance triggers to their chewing noises.
    Even if people are chewing with their mouth closed, it doesn’t always help.
    Lets just say I find this disorder agonizing and unbearable at times!
    Like nails on a chalkboard!

  40. stephanie

    October 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Since birth I have had extreme reactions to balloons or Styrofoam. I will avoid restaurants with Styrofoam cups and have to get someone else to unpack items set in Styrofoam. I am happy a lot of companies are moving away from using them.

    Also, I hate cartoon voices. My daughter is upset, but I cannot handle Sponge Bob or any others that sound similar.

  41. Loulou

    March 29, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Just a question… for me sound is only part of the issue. I am also stressed out by hyperactivity. Anyone fidgiting or moving in any way that is not necessary or is repetitive is as destressing as the sounds for me and I do find that my symtoms are amplified greatly when I’m more stressed or tired in general. I also get quite mad if I feel people are too close or get in my way when I’m out in public or not showing any signs of getting out of my way when walking towards me leads to anger and stopping dead in front of me is infuriating.

    What bugs me the most is the felling I have about it. The apparent carelessness and obliviousness of the people enrages me as much as the sound and possibly upsets me more.

    How many others find this to be true?
    How many are also sensitive to movement?

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