Monthly Archives: October 2011

Fibromyalgia and Sounds/Noises: Misophonia

“One of the greatest sounds of them all-and to me it is a sound-is utter,complete silence“, Andre Kostelanetz

There is a new (at least to me) term called “misophonia” (Wednesday, September 7, 2001 , Life section, The Globe and Mail) in which sounds can cause severe reactions in people ( article written by Joyce Cohen). It has occurred to me that many of us with fibromyalgia experience extreme discomfort over certain sounds. For me it is the clicking of heels on pavement,  a dog slurping its food, chewing loudly by others, humming of a motor or heating system, a baby crying, boom boxes…the list is endless. Even more alarming is an unexpected loud noise, such as a motorcycle or firecrackers. I realize that most people can find many of these sounds alarming, but for the person with misophonia, the auditory nervous system is in overdrive. Cohen writes about one  19 year old woman who becomes distressed with some specific sounds enough to “make her chest tighten and her heart pound”. I believe that those of us with a hyper-aroused nervous system suffer universally from anxiety and not only do we experience a visceral response to violence , but to anything that startles or is grating to the ears and can raise our anxiety level.

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