Not sure what my next move is.

by Zoe


I have just recently come across this site after constant google searches relating to my issue. I guess I wanted to see if anyone else was struggling with the same things I do and my searches bought this page up.

Since as long as I can remember, I have been very sensitive to certain sounds. I have always been extremely bothered by the sounds of 'distant music' or 'distant television', however the sounds only bother me when they are 'distant' ie - through a door in another room. As I live with other people, I fall asleep with my fingers in my ears so I don't have to hear that 'canned' distant sound of the TV in the next room. If I do happen to hear it, I become extremely irritable and my heart races. I know it sounds bizzarre, but it makes me so stressed that I have been known to burst in to tears of frustration. Of course, this hasn't helped my relationship with the people I live with and I can't help but resent them - yet would never admit my issues to them. As a result of wearing ear plugs or sticking my fingers in my ears each night, I have been prone to ear aches and wax blockages which is concerning.

The main issue for me is sniffing. I have always been extremely sensitive to people that sniff and cough. I remember being around 6 years old and screaming and crying at my sister when she had a cold because the sniffing absolutely grated on me. I can't have been very easy to live with. Now, I am working in the same office as a man who has a habitual sniff. The constant sniffing has

become such an issue for me that I regularly have to take myself in to the bathroom to cry. I've even become obsessive about the sniffing and recording how often he sniffs - to try and take my mind off how upsetting it is for me. He has this 'constant sniff' for around 10 months teamed with 'constant throat clearing'. I know to any normal person it would merely be slightly irritating and nothing more but I can't seem to cope with it. I dread coming in to work and have even contemplated quitting just so I don't have to be around this man anymore. I take ear plugs with me to work but they don't block out every sound and I am becoming quite a recluse at work. I don't speak to people because I feel constantly on edge. I realise that this is making me seem like a very unfriendly and unapproachable person.

I'm not sure if it's linked at all but I also have problems in touching certain objects and foods and saying certain words. There are some foods I will refuse to eat and even say the words of. I will not touch certain wrappers, certain drinks, anything sticky, certain foods and products. I will not drink out of cups and mugs that have contained something I have a phobia of. I say phobia, because I really do feel that is what it is. The sheer thought of touching or eating or being near these certain foods/products absolutely mortifies me - I simply will not do it. These issues aren't as destructive to me as the sound problems but I am not sure if they can at all be linked?

I'm really struggling to know what to do :(

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Jan 11, 2015
A little help for you
by: Zinzani

Hi Zoe,

I have no help for your condition, but I have a cure for that sniffing guy in your office. He clearly has a post-nasal drip which causes the constant sniffing and throat noises. He needs medical treatment for that. I don't know how you're going to go about telling him, but obviously he doesn't know that.

If you can't do it, maybe you can ask somebody else to talk nicely to him and tell him that there is a cure for him. I really do hope and pray that you will at least be able to get rid of that noise. It would drive me crazy too.
Best of luck.

Feb 02, 2014
Sounds like SPD
by: Kristi

Sensory Processing Disorder, from what I've read and heard about, means that two or more of your senses are hyperactive. (Misophonia by definition is only related to hearing.)

I suffer from SPD, I can't stand noises or being touched. The sound of someone chewing gum, tapping, coughing, sneezing, biting their nails, sniffling, swallowing, breathing, etc. just make me want to so irritable and upset. I'm 34 now, and I'm finally realizing that I'm not alone. This IS a disorder and I DO have it. My biggest hurdle right now is getting my family, friends, and co-workers to understand how their noises affect me, and why I constantly appear to avoid being around them. I feel like such an ass, and am always apologizing to them afterwards, but when the sounds come on, I feel so much anger and irritability. I also cannot stand being touched in a quick or hard way. Like poking, tickling, massage... I will smack someone if they do these things to me. It's pretty embarrassing that that's how I react, but from what I've read, my body is taking a fight or flight response, and that's why my first instinct is to hit, or fight.

I'm considering seeking an occupational therapist, but don't really know that that would help at my age. I feel like trying to avoid the noises is easiest, although we all know that that is impossible:-/

Sep 25, 2013
I feel for you
by: Anonymous

Hi Zoe,
I think your the first person that understands those "distant" noises. If I'm trying to go to sleep or read, and my husband is in the other room watching TV, I'm going insane. My solution was to give my husband headphones. Bodily noises? OMG That constant sniffling would drive me insane. My husband does this hacking thing every morning and I cringe every time. I have this thing about beeping. It drives me nuts. If there is any kind of beeping going on around me I "have" to know what and where it is, and I can't concentrate on anything until it's over. I don't even like using the horn of my car.

I have a food "phobia" thing too. Well it's not really a "phobia" but Mustard and pickles are just skeavy to me. So much that I freak out if they get on my food or even on ME. Even the smell of them bugs me.

I have ADD also, and just realizing the SPD. As far as what to do next? First know that there is nothing "wrong" with you, your not alone. I'm looking for my next move, and I found you. I feel better just knowing I'm not the only one with "mustard" issues. :o Hang in there. And give the sniffles guy a box of tissues for me.

Aug 17, 2013
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling. I'm not an expert but any means, but would suggest that what you are dealing with might be more of a combination of OCD and misophonia rather than SPD. Maybe you could find some answers if you researched those conditions. Best of luck to you!

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