I am disordered in many ways, although not in this particular way, thankfully:
Ever since she was a little girl, mealtime has been a torture for Adah Siganoff. The eating sounds – the chewing, the slurping, the chomping – drove Adah to distraction. The noises grated on her nervous system, sparking anxiety and rage. To this day, she can’t sit next to her husband at dinner time – she has to go to the peace and quiet of another room to eat.
“The fear is that I won’t control the rage,” Siganoff told TODAY’s Mara Schiavocampo. “It’s huge. It’s physical. It’s everything I have turns into a boiling pot of rage. And then I have to talk myself down because this isn’t the way you’re supposed to live.”
Whether it’s finger nails scraped across a blackboard or the sound of someone slurping up soup, there are noises that annoy all of us, sounds that just seem to get under our skins. But that reaction pales in comparison to what people like Adah feel. For them, the reaction is instantaneous and intense. It feels like their whole bodies are exploding in reaction to this horrible sound.
Adah and others like her suffer from a little-known condition that has recently been dubbed misophonia by the few experts who have begun to look into it.
“It’s all about the reaction,” Siganoff explained. “The rage. The anger. Not being able to stop it. For people with this disorder, the sound is like 200 people pulling their fingernails down a chalkboard at the same time. It’s that same intensity and it’s very overwhelming.”
UPDATE: Within 24 hours of posting this, I have learned that two of my closest friends/family are so afflicted. Who knew?