Going Crazy From Annoying Sounds Is An Actual Medical Condition Ew, noisy chewing! Ack, clickety pens! If those sounds drive you crazy, you're not alone, and it turns out it's an actual medical condition called misophonia.
NPR logo

Going Crazy From Annoying Sounds Is An Actual Medical Condition

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/513532460/513532461" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Going Crazy From Annoying Sounds Is An Actual Medical Condition

Going Crazy From Annoying Sounds Is An Actual Medical Condition

Going Crazy From Annoying Sounds Is An Actual Medical Condition

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/513532460/513532461" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Ew, noisy chewing! Ack, clickety pens! If those sounds drive you crazy, you're not alone, and it turns out it's an actual medical condition called misophonia.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Trigger alert - does someone incessantly...

(SOUNDBITE OF PEN CLICKING)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...Clicking their pen drive you crazy? Or do noisy eaters make you irate? (Chewing) Ah, the things I do for NPR. Well, researchers at Newcastle University in the U.K. have proven that noise sensitivity is an actual medical condition. It's called misophonia. Apparently, sufferers experience changes in brain activity when they hear an annoying sound. A sound as innocuous as papers rustling can trigger a fight-or-flight reaction. One sufferer of misophonia told The Telegraph newspaper that her doctor laughed at her when she explained her symptoms. She said, it's a huge relief to know it's not all in her head. Olana Tansley Hancock said, the sounds of her family chowing down at dinner time used to drive her to flee to her room. She said, quote, "I can only describe it as a feeling of wanting to punch people in the face when I heard the noise of them eating." Olana, I feel your pain.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE BEAU HUNKS SEXTETTE'S "THE PENGUIN")

Copyright © 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.