B1 Intermediate US 208 Folder Collection
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Many of you can probably relate to being annoyed at the sound of someone tapping their foot
incessantly, breathing really loudly, or clicking pens.
But for some people it's more than an annoyance, certain sounds cause serious distress.
This was the case for three patients who were referred to the Academic Medical Center in
Amsterdam in 2009 for what their doctors thought could be obsessive compulsive disorder.
But after interviews and assessments, the specialists at the medical center realized
that the symptoms they were presenting like extreme anger at certain sounds and impulsively
trying to stop them,were not diagnosable.
They did not fit any of the criteria in either the DSM or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases handbooks.
As you probably know, these are like bibles for the medical community - if something is
not listed there, medically speaking, it's like it doesn't exist.
But clearly, based on these three patients, something was going on.
So researchers at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) decided to take a deeper dive into what
seemed to them, like a potentially new sound disorder.
Now, back in 2001 two researchers at Emory coined the term misophonia, which means 'hatred of sound.”
They noted abnormally strong physical and psychological reactions to sound that were completely involuntary.
And theorized that these may be stemming from enhanced connections between the brain and auditory system.
So, the idea was already out there, but more research was needed.
So the researchers at the AMC set out to determine if it could be classified as an actual disorder.
For their study, the researchers recruited 42 Dutch participants who reported having sound aversions.
They then conducted multiple interviews and assessments, including using a modified version
of the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale, which they called the Amsterdam Misophonia Scale.
This asked participants to rate things like how much time they spent thinking about or acting on their misophonia,
how sound affected their social lives, how much anger they felt when they heard certain sounds,
and how much they struggled with controlling impulses to stop sounds.
In 2013 they published their results in the peer reviewed journal PLOS One.
They found that all participants were bothered by sounds produced by humans, not animals, or cars or anything else.
And for the vast majority of participants, 81%, sounds that had to do with eating were terrible.
About 60% mentioned being stressed out by clicking or typing.
What's more, five patients were also triggered by repetitive movement - such as rocking feet back and forth.
Many of you, myself included, can probably relate and find some of these things super annoying.
But unlike most of us, these patients weren't just annoyed.
They were deeply upset - they immediately experienced a physical aversive reaction like
irritation and disgust that turned into anger.
In fact, more than a quarter of patients reported occasionally getting aggresive and more than
10% even admitted to hitting an ex partner once.
For people with misophonia, certain sound cause so much daily suffering that they attempt to avoid them at all costs.
The problem is that these sounds are everywhere, so they end up isolating themselves.
And, this negatively affects their work, school, and social activities - preventing them from leading normal lives.
This is why some medical professionals, like the researchers in this study, are advocating
to classify the most extreme cases of these annoyances as a discrete psychiatric condition.
Classifying it would facilitate treatment and research.
Which is important, because research is currently scarce.
Scientists think it is caused by something in the central nervous system - that it has
to do with perception in the brain and not actual problems with the ears.
But without additional funding and research it's tough to know for sure... and consequently,
tough to help those who may be suffering.
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Why Does The Sound Of Chewing Drive Us Nuts?

208 Folder Collection
B.Y.l published on December 1, 2019    B.Y.l translated    Evangeline reviewed
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