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SynonymsSelect sound sensitivity syndrome, sound-rage[1][2]
People who are sensitive to certain sounds sometimes cope by blocking them out.

Misophonia, literally "hatred of sound", was proposed in 2000 as a condition in which negative emotions, thoughts, and physical reactions are triggered by specific sounds.

Misophonia is not classified as an auditory or psychiatric condition, and so is different from phonophobia (fear of sound); there are no standard diagnostic criteria, and there is little research on how common it is or the treatment. Proponents suggest misophonia can adversely affect the ability to achieve life goals and to enjoy social situations. As of 2018 there were no evidence-based methods to manage the condition. Management generally consists of helping the person develop coping strategies; cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy have also been used.[3]


The term "misophonia" was first coined by audiologists Pawel and Margaret Jastreboff in a publication in 2001.[2]

Signs and symptoms[edit]

As of 2016 the literature on misophonia was limited.[1] Some small studies show that people with misophonia generally have strong negative feelings, thoughts, and physical reactions to specific sounds, which the literature calls "trigger sounds". These sounds are apparently usually soft, but can be loud. One study found that around 80% of the sounds were related to the mouth (eating, slurping, chewing or popping gum, whispering, etc.), and around 60% were repetitive. A visual trigger may develop related to the trigger sound.[1][4] It also appears that a misophonic reaction can occur in the absence of an actual sound.[1]

Reactions to the triggers can include aggression toward the origin of the sound, leaving, remaining in its presence but suffering, trying to block it or trying to mimic the sound.[4]

The first misophonic reaction may occur when a person is young and can originate from someone in a close relationship, or a pet.[4]

People with misophonia are aware they experience it and some consider it abnormal; the disruption it causes in their lives ranges from mild to severe.[4] Avoidance and other behaviors can make it harder for people with this condition to achieve their goals and enjoy interpersonal interactions.[2]


Misophonia's mechanism is not known, but it appears that, like hyperacusis, it may be caused by a dysfunction of the central auditory system in the brain and not of the ears.[1] The perceived origin and context of the sound appears to be essential to trigger a reaction.[1]


There are no standard diagnostic criteria.[3][4] Misophonia is distinguished from hyperacusis, which is not specific to a given sound and does not involve a similar strong reaction, and from phonophobia, which is a fear of a specific sound,[4] but it may occur with either.[5]

It is not clear whether people with misophonia usually have comorbid conditions, nor whether there is a genetic component.[4]


The diagnosis of misophonia is not recognized in the DSM-IV or the ICD 10, and it is not classified as a hearing or psychiatric disorder.[4] It may be a form of sound–emotion synesthesia, and has parallels with some anxiety disorders.[1] As of 2018 it was not clear if misophonia should be classified as a symptom or as a condition.[3][2]


Cognitive behavioral therapy

As of 2018 there are no evidence-based treatments for the condition and no randomized clinical trial has been published;[3] health care providers generally try to help people cope with misophonia by recognizing what the person is experiencing and working on coping strategies.[1][4] Some small studies have been published on the use of sound therapy similar to tinnitus retraining therapy and on cognitive behavioral therapy and particularly exposure therapy, to help people become less aware of the trigger sound.[1][2] None of these approaches has been sufficiently studied to determine its effectiveness.[2][6]


The prevalence is not yet known; it is not known whether males or females or older or younger people, are more likely to have misophonia.[1][4]

Society and culture[edit]

People who experience misophonia have formed online support groups.[7]

In 2016, Quiet Please, a documentary about misophonia, was released.[8][9]

Notable cases[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bruxner, G (2016). "'Mastication rage': a review of misophonia - an under-recognised symptom of psychiatric relevance?". Australasian Psychiatry: Bulletin Of Royal Australian And New Zealand College Of Psychiatrists. 24 (2): 195–197. doi:10.1177/1039856215613010. PMID 26508801.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cavanna AE, Seri S (Aug 2015). "Misophonia: current perspectives". Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 11: 2117–23. doi:10.2147/NDT.S81438. PMC 4547634. PMID 26316758.
  3. ^ a b c d Brout, JJ; Edelstein, M; Erfanian, M; Mannino, M; Miller, LJ; Rouw, R; Kumar, S; Rosenthal, MZ (2018). "Investigating Misophonia: A Review of the Empirical Literature, Clinical Implications, and a Research Agenda". Frontiers in neuroscience. 12: 36. doi:10.3389/fnins.2018.00036. PMC 5808324. PMID 29467604.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Duddy DF, Oeding KA (2014). "Misophonia: An Overview". Semin Hear. 35 (02): 084–091. doi:10.1055/s-0034-1372525.
  5. ^ Jastreboff PJ, Jastreboff MM (2015). "Decreased sound tolerance: hyperacusis, misophonia, diplacousis, and polyacousis". Handb Clin Neurol. 129: 375–87. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-62630-1.00021-4. PMID 25726280.
  6. ^ Cavanna, Andrea E. (2014-04-01). "What is misophonia and how can we treat it?". Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. 14 (4): 357–359. doi:10.1586/14737175.2014.892418. ISSN 1744-8360. PMID 24552574.
  7. ^ Cohen, Joyce (September 5, 2011). "When a Chomp or a Slurp is a Trigger for Outrage". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  8. ^ Jeffries, Adrianne (June 17, 2016). "There's a New Film About Misophonia, Where People Get Enraged by Certain Sounds". Motherboard.
  9. ^ Garcy, Pamela D. (January 27, 2016). "What Jeffrey S. Gould Can Teach Us about Misophonia". Psychology Today.
  10. ^ Lerner, Barron H. (2015-03-02). "Please Stop Making That Noise". Well. New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  11. ^ Misophonia: Kelly Ripa Has Rare Disorder. 20/20. ABC News. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  12. ^ Bisley, Interview by Alexander (2015-03-10). "Melanie Lynskey on Togetherness, realism and 'radical' nudity". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-06-30.