(STUDY FINDS) – Up to one in five adults suffer from a rare condition that means they get angry at the sound of people making noises such as chewing or breathing. Scientists say these individuals may have misophonia, a condition in which hearing others making minor sounds irritates them.
People with misophonia have strong negative reactions when hearing certain common sounds, like sniffing, slurping or yawning. Researchers at the University of Oxford estimate that 18 percent of the general population in Britain battle the condition. The sounds create a fight-or-flight response that triggers anger and a desire to escape.
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‘The experience of misophonia is more than just being annoyed by a sound. Misophonia can cause feelings of helplessness and being trapped when people can’t get away from an unpleasant sound,” explains co-author Dr. Jane Gregory, a clinical psychologist with the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford, in a statement. “Often those with misophonia feel bad about themselves for reacting the way they do, especially when they are responding to sounds made by loved ones. More research is needed to understand what causes misophonia and how we can help those people whose symptoms disrupt their day to day lives.”
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