I recently had the pleasure of working with a teenage boy who had misophonia. This condition is something that I have only come across a handful of times in my Hypnotherapy practice in Berkshire and it is always wonderful to help a person with such a debilitating problem.
The definition of misophonia is hatred of sound but a person with misophonia does not simply hate all sound. People with misophonia have specific symptoms and triggers and are sensitive to only certain sounds (and occasionally to visual triggers). Any sound can become a problem to a person with misophonia and this boy had a severe reaction to the sound of sniffing.
People who suffer from misophonia respond to their ‘trigger’ either in mild discomfort to full rage and panic. The person I was working with was unable to concentrate in classes as the sound of sniffing was causing him so much anger and he was always on high alert for it happening even when it wasn’t, eliciting the ‘fight or flight’ response.
We worked together over a few sessions where I taught him some ways of distracting his mind and changing the focus to break the pattern of thoughts. I gave him some tools to use and a combination of CBT, Mindfulness and Hypnotherapy helped to reduce the anxiety response. We also uncovered the route cause of the ‘trigger’, the event that caused the phobia in the first place. By doing this we were able to look at this event from another perspective and let go of any misconceived beliefs that had caused this fear.
After only a few sessions together he was able to concentrate more in classes, be altogether calmer and more relaxed.
Here is what his mum emailed me (posted with permission):