A California man claims he has ended relatives and not spoken to certain family members for years because the sound of them chewing is unbearable.
For as long as Derrol Murphy can remember, mundane noises like chewing and throat clearing would make him ‘fly into range’.
Murphy, from San Diego, says he’s left dates after someone has chewed loudly and had nearly assaulted colleagues due to clicking pens.
Finally, 11 years ago, he diagnosed himself with misophonia, a condition in which people experience extreme emotions such as rage or fear to ordinary sounds humans make.
Now, Murphy, 41, says he has learned to better manage his disorder and wants to spread awareness so people can understand why he reacts the way he does in certain social settings.
‘I thought I was crazy for many years. Little noises would make me just fly into a rage,’ Murphy said, according to The Daily Mirror.
‘People don’t understand it and I can’t explain it. It’s affected relationships, especially people I’ve been dating and family members because you take it out on the people closest to you because you think they should understand.’
Murphy said Derrol finally put a name to his condition when he was 30 after he was left feeling so frustrated, he googled his symptoms
Misophonia is a condition that triggers anger or other negative emotions from common sound such as breathing, yawning or chewing.
The condition is not widely studied, so researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes it.
People with misophonia start experiencing symptoms around age 12, according to Harvard Health Blog.
There is no cure, but sufferers can be treated with white noise or headphones for distraction, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
There are several sounds that can set Murphy off, but one of the biggest is chewing.
‘One noise can stick out and if I’m in a restaurant, I hear one person’s voice and then I hear the cutlery, it makes me go crazy,’ he said.
‘The rustling of plastic bags drives me absolutely crazy, and I haven’t been to the movies for more than 10 years because people opening food bags is a very bad trigger.’
He admits that he hasn’t spoken to some relatives in years and it’s caused romantic relationships to break down.
Murphy has been dating his co-worker, Kurt Vin, 41, for the last two years, but warned him in advance about his condition.
‘When Kurt chews, his jaw clicks and when we first started dating, he was eating with his mouth open on the first date,’ he said, according to The Mirror.
‘I thought there was no way it was going to work and had to tell him pretty quickly.’
However, Vin now makes a ‘warning signal’ if he believes he’s about to make a noise that will bother Murphy.
‘Kurt will shout to cover my ears then I can brace myself,’ Murphy said.
‘It’s huge that Kurt is so understanding. Most people say they understand but he just has to look at my face to know when noise is getting to me.’
Murphy says he’s now learned several ways to prevent sounds from bothering him such as wearing headphones or distracting himself by watching TV or listening to music.
He says he hopes to spread awareness of the disorder so people can understand why he reacts that way he does in certain social settings.
‘Hopefully, people will get a bigger understanding of it and realize that just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there,’ he said.
‘It’s actually real and people need to be patient with people who have to deal with it.’
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share”!