Conditions of the mind can be touchy subjects; no one wants to hear that you have suppressed feelings for your grandpa which make it difficult to watch hair color for men commercials. However, when an issue impacts those around you, I feel it’s best to come clean and I think I may be ready to do so, with you, my close and personal friends.
(See how awkward that felt? That was me proving my keep-your-crazy-stuff-to-yourself theory. You can breathe now.)
I suffer from (keep breathing) Misophonia. I will pause to allow time for people to gasp, clasp their hands over their mouths and try to hide tears as they pretend to know what I’m talking about…
Misophonia is a condition where the sound of another person’s chewing incites a rage akin to that of your candidate losing the Presidential election; the difference being that people chew constantly, in virtually every arena of life, some even continue in their sleep, whereas half the country is incited to vacate the premises every four years, eight at the most. So, Misophonia is much worse.
This is an actual condition, first brought to the public’s attention by fellow sufferer, Kelly Ripa, who has bravely reported that the sound of her husband’s chewing has brought her to the brink of murder on more than one occasion. I have to wonder, however if her husband considered her less brave than coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs, which, unfortunately make a crunchy sound thus setting a vicious circle into play.
Before the Ripa revelation, I wasn’t aware that I had a condition; I mistook my rage as a justifiable reaction to people selfishly disturbing my inner peace by nourishing themselves. Fortunately, for those of you who awoke today and thought, “I wonder if I have Misophonia,” a foolproof test has been developed to determine whether the world is out to make you crazy (paranoia) or the more subtle condition of Misophonia is your cross to bear.
I am going to recite the lyrics of a well known jingle; Afterward, any diagnostic questions will be cleared. Ready?
Give me a break. Give me a break. Break me off a piece of that @#$% Kit Kat Bar. (I improvised a little, but this won’t effect the test.)
Here’s the question: Is your response; hmm, I’d like one of those crunchy confections to satisfy my sweet tooth? If so, Mazel tov! You are not afflicted.
However, if the same commercial makes you want to track down every person involved in the making of this diabolical tour’d force of torturous consumption and slowly twist the life from their bodies until they promise never to chew into a microphone again, there’s a chance that you may suffer from Misophonia.
I know what you’re thinking; You poor dear, how have you managed to live with this debilitating affliction? I appreciate that, but I don’t need your sympathy, I need you to stop chewing; you and your masticating ilk. However, since there is little chance of that, I’d like to share a few coping methods I’ve developed which don’t include murder.
One: always have a source of noise available when dining with loved ones. Music or television (sans Kit Kat commercials) works, putting your fingers in your ears and comparing your loved one to cows does not…for them. It works fine for me.
Two: store weaponry away from the television area. TVs are expensive and you can only destroy a few before your spouse starts to notice the credit card bill.
Third: either avoid the movies, or see Sci-fi or Adventure films with continual explosions to mask the popcorn cacophony.
I have developed these methods because I love my family, despite their continuation of a practice which clearly disturbs me. For those of you who chew ice or snap gum in public, know that there are people with Misophonia who are not as stable as I am, so consider mending your ways, or else. I don’t know exactly what else but understand that some people watch Dexter and take notes.
If you are living with someone who suffers from this malady, there are ways you can help; stop eating. If you aren’t willing to make that small sacrifice, then you’ve no one to blame but yourself when your Misophoniac (take that spell check) writes a blog exposing your selfishness to the world.