I happened upon this article the other day, about a woman who feels blind rage when she hears her boyfriend chewing. OK, so I don't exactly respond with rage but I do have to remove myself from the kitchen when the Ball & Chain consumes his Grape-nuts every morning. Mind you, when he chomps on an apple right behind me I confess I get a little hot under the collar.
Don't come near me till you've finished that!
My children (and their friends, if necessary) are constantly told to close their mouths when eating, not only because it's bad manners, but because the sound of slurping and chewing makes me feel physically sick. And god forbid anyone should screech a knife across a plate. (Why does that make your teeth go funny, by the way?)
Growing up, most meals were accompanied by music from the radio (or the wireless, as it was sometimes called). I have vivid memories of us all gathered round the table for Sunday dinner with Jimmy Savile's 'Old Record Club' in the background. Anything rather than listening to mouth sounds.
Sitting in silence isn't actually silence when you have a table full of Misophonics - 'cause apparently that's what we are. Oh yes, We have a name as well as symptoms and no known cure. Look -
Misophonia literally means the hatred of sound.
It is caused by a physical malfunction of the central nervous system or the brain and is an abnormal response to sound.
Most sufferer's find their condition is only triggered by certain sounds.
These can cause strong emotional or physical responses such as rage, crying, screaming or nausea.
The most common triggers are chewing, breathing, throat clearing and sniffing.
There are no cures but some patients find relief through treatments such as hypnosis, cognitive behavioural therapy or meditation.
Source: Misophonia Association
And we even have an organization and a web site - Misophonia UK; "Taking Sound Sensitivity Seriously". Who knew?
So - at least now I know I'm not crazy.