Although I haven’t been “officially” been told by a medical professional, since it is rarely diagnosed condition according to this Wikipedia article, I believe I suffer from a mild case of misophonia. I say it is mild because the condition is basically defined as “the hatred of sound.” Now, I don’t hate sound. In fact, there are a lot of sounds I like: music, the sound of my family, the joyous bark of my dog.
But when the TV is blaring, and the music is thundering from upstairs, abd the children are bickering and the dog is barking at the mailman… CALGON TAKE ME AWAY! Perhaps that isn’t misophonia, perhaps that is sensory overload.
Another symptom of misophonia is when seemingly trivial sounds make you want to self-destruct. I think this is specifically evident when people are eating – the scraping of the bottom of the yogurt container, the incessant crackling of the chip back as the last few are retrieved from its bottom, the crunch after crunch on raw carrots. And, oh, for the love of God, the sound of someone clipping their nails!
You get the picture.
So when those annoying sounds are served up in abundance, the next true quiet that comes is so blissful. Usually I tune the sound out with headphones and am able to get my anxiety to subside. However, when pure absolute silence comes, it is like nature’s Valium. It just covers you in a warm, soft blanket of solitude where you have nothing but the sound of your thoughts and the occasional ambient sound. I have had quiet for the last couple of hours and truly I truly feel both at peace and invigorated.
And then the mailman comes.