Do nails on a chalkboard make you cringe? Imagine if a sound could make you panic or fly into a rage.
This is the case with misophonia -- a strong dislike or hatred of specific sounds.
Misophonia, also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome, starts with a trigger. It could be an oral sound like whistle, or an annoying sound made by people like scratching a chalkboard with nails.
When a person with misophonia is exposed to a sound in their trigger set, it results in an immediate negative emotional response. This response can range from moderate discomfort to acute annoyance or go all the way up to full-fledged rage and panic. While experiencing a trigger event, a person may become agitated, defensive or offensive, distance themselves from the trigger or possibly act out and express anger or rage at the source of the offending sound.