Living with a condition that is typically laughed off, or at, and gets you characterized as weird, grouchy, or plain unreasonable is something that no one wishes for. That is part of my story.
I often thought I was just weird or that something was wrong with me and I am pretty sure others did too based upon my actions that would be classified as odd or highly unusual. Let me give you a few examples.
I could go on all day, but I believe I have convinced you of my weirdness.
It is called Misophonia and it is a real neurobehavioral disorder. I did not know that it had a name until recently. More on that in a second.
What is misophonia? Translated from Greek words it means “the hatred of sound.” Do not confuse it with the fear (phobia) of sounds. Fear and hatred though close friends are vastly different. People with Misophonia are hypersensitive to sounds. It is more than just being bothered by noises. It goes well beyond that. When you live with Misophonia you feel attacked by and physically harmed by noises.
The brain misinterprets sounds as toxic or threatening and sets off our survival system, better known as the fight/flight response. The onset of this toxic or threatening response in the brain to auditory stimuli happens in milliseconds.
The term Misophonia was coined only twenty years ago by Jastreboff and Jastreboff in 2001. As a result, the research and treatments methods for this condition are still developing. In 2013 Dutch psychiatrists officially laid out diagnosable conditions for this syndrome.
Misophonia is a lifelong condition that evolves over time and often increases in intensity. There is no cure or proven therapies to date.
It is not for pity. That is for sure! It is for anyone who has suffered from any condition that evokes shame, confusion, or ridicule from others. I know how you feel. For me, there was a great sense of freedom and relief at the point of being able to say that my weirdness was real and diagnosable. I know that getting a diagnosis is not always freeing for others but for me, it lifted the weirdo label metaphorically off my back. There is power in knowing that you are not alone. Knowing that others share my struggle and share your struggle too brings a sigh of relief because of the shared bond that exists.
We all live with different conditions that shape and affect us. We were not meant to suffer alone in silence. A community exists inside and outside the Body of Christ for this and every other known disorder. And God no doubt knows all of our needs before we ask them.
In addition to Misophonia, I can also add Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE) and double Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) to ailments that I live with. Other than being great trivia questions, scrabble word scores, or things that Microsoft Word does not recognize as a word these things are conditions that shape my life but do not define it.
The only label that truly defines me is that I am a child of God. I rejoice in the two following scriptures.
“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me, Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26
Thanks be to God for His goodness and for claiming me as His own despite all my weirdness.
Additional resource on Misophonia.