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Classification and external resources
ICD-10 none
ICD-9-CM none

Misophonia, literally "hatred of sound," is a putative disorder of uncertain classification in which negative emotions, thoughts, and physical reactions are triggered by specific sounds. It is also called "soft sound sensitivity syndrome," "select sound sensitivity syndrome" ("4S"), "decreased sound tolerance," and "sound-rage."[1][2] Misophonia is not recognized as a disorder by standard diagnostic criteria in the DSM-5 or the ICD-10, and there is little research on its prevalence or treatment. Misophonia can adversely affect ability to achieve life goals and to enjoy social situations.


The diagnosis of misophonia is not recognized in the DSM IV or the ICD 10, and it is not classified as a hearing, neurological, or psychiatric disorder.[3] It is not included in the DSM-5.[4] It may be a form of sound–emotion synesthesia, and has parallels with some anxiety disorders.[1]

Signs and symptoms[edit]

As of 2014 there was no evidence-based research available on misophonia. 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, yawning, etc.), and around 60% were repetitive. A visual trigger may develop related to the trigger sound.[1][3] 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, or remaining in its presence but suffering, trying to block it, or trying to mimic the sound.[3]

The first misophonic reaction may occur when a person is young and can originate from someone in a close relationship, or a pet.[3]

People with misophonia are aware they experience it and that it is not normal; the disruption it causes to their lives ranges from mild to severe.[3] Avoidance and other behaviors can make it harder for people with this condition to achieve their goals and enjoy interpersonal interactions.[2]


The mechanism of misophonia is not known, but it appears that, like tinnitus and hyperacusis, it is a dysfunction of the central auditory system in the brain and not of the ears.[1][5]:254 The perceived origin and context of the sound appears to be essential to triggering a reaction.[1]


There are no standard diagnostic criteria.[3] 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,[5]:254 but it may occur with either.[6]

It is not clear whether people with misophonia usually have comorbid conditions, nor whether there is a genetic component.[3]


There are no evidence-based treatments for the condition; health care providers generally try to help people cope with it by recognizing what the person is experiencing, and by working on coping strategies with the person.[1][3] 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]


The prevalence is not known; it is not known whether men or women, or older or younger people, tend to have misophonia.[1][3] It appears that people who experience misophonia may also have anxiety disorders or mood disorders.[1]

Society and culture[edit]

Misophonia was first proposed as a medical condition by Pawel Jastreboff and Margaret Jastreboff in a 2000 publication.[2]

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

Notable cases[edit]

See also[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 Cavanna AE, Seri S (Aug 2015). "Misophonia: current perspectives". Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 11: 2117–23. doi:10.2147/NDT.S81438. PMC 4547634free to read. PMID 26316758. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Duddy DF, Oeding KA (2014). "Misophonia: An Overview". Semin Hear. 35 (02): 084–091. doi:10.1055/s-0034-1372525. 
  4. ^ "General Problems in the Misophonia Research: The Abyss of Misperception We Are All Creating - Allergic to Sound". Allergic to Sound. Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  5. ^ a b Aage R. Møller (2006). Hearing, Second Edition: Anatomy, Physiology, and Disorders of the Auditory System. Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-372519-6. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Joyce Cohen (September 5, 2011). "When a Chomp or a Slurp is a Trigger for Outrage". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  8. ^ Barron Lerner for the New York Times. Feb 23, 2015 NY Times Article Please Stop Making That Noise
  9. ^ ABC News Link 20/20 May 18, 2012 Misophonia: Kelly Ripa Has Rare Disorder

External links[edit]