My Struggle With Misophonia

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I was only nine years old when it started. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Hummel, didn't usually allow gum in class-but one day she did, and we called it "Gum Day." "Gum Day" for me was basically the end of the world. That whole day, I was filled with constant anxiety and couldn't go five minutes without yelling at a classmate, "Chew with your mouth closed!" Being nine, I thought it was just a small annoyance. Over the years, gum chewing, among many other noises, grew from 'small annoyances' to absolute torment. It wasn't until seventh grade that I learned what was happening to me: Misophonia.

Misophonia and I are old friends. I'm just as familiar with misophonia as I am with the scar on my pinkie, the freckles on my arm, and my reflection in the mirror. Misophonia has been right by my side ever since it first showed itself when I was nine. Misophonia translates to "hatred of sound" (hatred being an understatement). Misophonia is a name for the way someone’s brain perceives certain sounds, and these certain sounds trigger negative responses ranging anywhere from slight discomfort to full-on panic and rage.

My responses tend to be on the more extreme end of the scale. When I hear a 'trigger noise,' (chewing food, smacking gum,...

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