LarynxaParticipantFebruary 6, 2017 at 10:14 amPost count: 1559
I am a peaceful creature, but there are some sounds that send me into a blind rage. There are two names for this: Misophonia (“hatred of sound”) and Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome (4S, for short).
It’s a neurological condition, and we ADDers seem to have more than our fair share of it. I believe it’s one of the reasons why we can suddenly fly into a terrifying rage for no apparent reason, only to have it vanish a minute later.
For reasons that aren’t yet fully understood, certain sounds trigger the brain to unleash the “fight or flight” hormones that are essential when you need to escape from a life-or-death situation, but are dangerous when the “situation” is just someone chewing gum near you, and you feel an overwhelming urge to scream at them and rip their jaws off.
What’s interesting to me is that there’s a flipside to Misophonia: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR, for short), in which some sounds are so pleasurable to your brain that they trigger a release of feel-good hormones that leave you tingling and tearful with sheer pleasure.
It seems that one person’s ASMR is another’s Misophonia, because the common trigger-sounds are the same for both: whispering, clicky typewriter sounds, repetitive sounds, ocean waves, heartbeats, deep pounding bass, trickling water, thunderstorms, raindrops on different surfaces (tin roof, leaves, shingled roof), scratching, babies laughing or babbling…
I was reminded of this when I did a market research survey, a few days ago. It involved rapidly choosing one of two logos from an onslaught of moving images and words on the screen. If you got it right, there was a loud “reward” tone. There were ONE HUNDRED repetitions of this. Doing it at the high speed they required, meant that the loud beeps came at least once per second, ONE HUNDRED TIMES. I had to turn off the sound once I hit 25 repetitions. Just when I thought the torture was done, the damn survey made me do it again with different logos!
At the end of the survey, they asked if I had any comments.
I’m very proud that gave them a thorough schooling in Misophonia and Sensory Overwhelm, without swearing once. I received a prompt, sincere, and apologetic response from the survey company. It remains to be seen whether they’ll take it into consideration when designing future surveys.
What’s your Misophonia / ASMR experience?
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