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Description: Are there particular sounds that bother you? Some sounds CAN be unpleasant or annoying like the hum or rattle of a neighbor’s air conditioner when we are trying to relax on our balcony or in our backyard and some sounds can be truly awful. For example even thinking about the sound of fingernails on a blackboard can make many people cringe and shudder. All makes sense but what if there were some people who found some sounds that other people make (sniffing, chewing etc.) so annoying that they react in ways described as ‘sound rage’ and this (not surprisingly) has negative impacts on their relationships. Aside from seeming rather odd does it sound to you like a description of something that could be considered a disorder?  Misophonia is the name that has been suggested for just such a disorder. It is not currently included within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of disorders or the WHO’s International Clisification of Diseases (ICD) manual. Have a read through the article linked below and, perhaps, the first journal article listed in the References/Further Reading section below to find out more about what this “new possible disorder” if thought to involve, what its diagnostic criteria might include, and a bit about why it is still a wannabe disorder.

Source: Misophonia: how ‘sound rage’ destroys relationships and forces people to move home. Ellie Violet Bramley, The Guardian.

Date: January 26, 2023

Image by naturepost from Pixabay                  

Article Link:

So, does Misophonia sound like a disorder to you? Should it be included in the DSM and the ICD? We don’t get to vote on inclusion as such decisions are long and involved and made by committees of researchers and clinicians. Despite this, the article does suggest a number of approaches to help people that seem to be experiencing Misophonia or whatever it is and this can be helpful no matter how the condition is categorized. Whether Misophonia is eventually added to the DSM will involve consideration of its possible diagnostic criteria, its impact on human functioning, on whether people who experience it in themselves or those around them perceive it as a problem. Issues of stigma are also worth consideration. As always, further research and reflection is required.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What is Misophonia thought to involve?
  2. What are some of the things suggested for people who seem to display signs of possible Misophonia?
  3. What would some advantages and disadvantages be of including Misophonia in the DSM?

References (Read Further):

Schröder, A., van Wingen, G., Eijsker, N., San Giorgi, R., Vulink, N. C., Turbyne, C., & Denys, D. (2019). Misophonia is associated with altered brain activity in the auditory cortex and salience network. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1-9. Link

Cavanna, A. E., & Seri, S. (2015). Misophonia: current perspectives. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 2117-2123. Link

Vitoratou, S., Uglik-Marucha, N., Hayes, C., & Gregory, J. (2021). Listening to people with misophonia: exploring the multiple dimensions of sound intolerance using a new psychometric tool, the S-five, in a large sample of individuals identifying with the condition. Psych, 3(4), 639-662. Link

Vitoratou, S., PhD, Hayes, C., Uglik-Marucha, E., Pearson, O., Graham, T., & Gregory, J. (2022). Misophonia in the UK: norms of the selective sound sensitivity five factor model (S-Five) for misophonia and prevalence of the disorder using a large sample representative of the UK population. PsyArXiv, 4. Link

Kokowska, M. (2018). Psychological Sensitivity to Sounds in Misophony and Phonophobia. Open Journal for Psychological Research, 2(1). Link

Schröder, A., Vulink, N., & Denys, D. (2013). Misophonia: diagnostic criteria for a new psychiatric disorder. PloS one, 8(1), e54706. Link

Taylor, S. (2017). Misophonia: A new mental disorder?. Medical Hypotheses, 103, 109-117. Link

Jager, I., de Koning, P., Bost, T., Denys, D., & Vulink, N. (2020). Misophonia: Phenomenology, comorbidity and demographics in a large sample. PloS one, 15(4), e0231390. Link