Self | Mental Health

How I Live With Misophonia

Why it’s not as simple as, “Just ignore the noise.”

Sean Kernan
6 min readFeb 17, 2024

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Pic via Freepik Images

My friend Ryan was a great guy overall. He was funny, smart, loyal, and helpful when I needed advice. We were in our early 20s and became closer over the years as we worked together. But good lord, he drove me nuts if we were having a meal.

He waited until his mouth was entirely full to start talking. He slurped his drink loudly and smacked his lips while chewing. I’d sit there and quietly clinch my fist under the table to capture the tension, as my forehead sweated, feeling like I was about to start shouting.

In Ryan’s defense — this is a “me” problem. I have misophonia. People with this condition get triggered by noises and can be unreasonable in their psychological and physical response. His was the first case where I legitimately felt I was loosing my cool. To be clear, he was being rude at the table. But I shouldn’t have been reacting so strongly. The problem is — my misophonia got worse as time went on. Even simple things were hard to ignore.

In my final corporate office, we shared a grid of cubicles. The office chairs that were bulk purchased all became more squeaky over time and I was in earshot of a dozen of them. There was an immediate cube neighbor, Matt, whose chair…

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Sean Kernan

Writer and writing instructor. Always on the hunt for a good story. That guy from Quora. Writing out of Tampa, Florida.