All Episodes

May 7, 2024 47 mins

Misophonia is a condition in which certain sounds trigger people in very negative ways that can really disrupt someone's life. Listen in today to learn all about this fairly recently recognized condition.

See for privacy information.

Mark as Played

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hey, everybody, we are coming to a town ostensibly near you,
so putatively see us.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
That's right, May twenty ninth. We'll be in Boston, really Medford, Massachusetts.
The next night we're gonna go down to Washington, DC,
and then scooch back up to New York City at
Town Hall on May thirty first.

Speaker 1 (00:18):
Yeah, and if you're one of those people who likes
to plan way far in advance, then you can go
ahead and get tickets for our shows in August. We're
gonna start out where Chuck.

Speaker 2 (00:25):
We're gonna be in Chicago August seventh, Minneapolis August eighth,
then Indianapolis for the very first time on August ninth,
and then we're gonna wrap it up in Durham, North Carolina,
and right here in Atlanta on September fifth and September seventh.

Speaker 1 (00:38):
Yep. So you can get all the info you need
and all the ticket links you need by going to
stuff youshould Know dot com and hitting that tour button,
or you can also go to linktree slash SYSK Live.
We'll see you guys this year.

Speaker 2 (00:53):
Welcome to Stuff you Should Know, a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 1 (01:03):
Hey, and welcome to the podcast I'm Josh, and there's
Chuck and Jerry's here too. It's the trio, the Tom
and Jerry and Jerry of podcasting.

Speaker 2 (01:13):
Yeah, okay, I like that.

Speaker 1 (01:16):
Well, no, how about Tom and Jerry and Jerry's little
like nephew who's always getting in trouble but he's super cute.

Speaker 2 (01:22):
Is that a character? Yeah? I'm not sure if I
remember that.

Speaker 1 (01:26):
He was a little great kid in diapers, very very cute.
Even Tom wanted to take care of him.

Speaker 2 (01:31):
Sometimes it feels like so many shows and cartoons felt
the need to bring on like a little cute edition
every now and then. Whether it was cousin Oliver, I
was gonna say him on The Brady Bunch or god Zuki?
Who Godzilla and god Zuki? Mm hmm, Yeah, it was

a little cute baby Godzilla.

Speaker 1 (01:54):
Oh that's great, we'll good. Way to go, Godzilla. You
really slip went past Goalie or whoever?

Speaker 2 (02:01):
This one? Who's this one? What's his name?

Speaker 1 (02:05):
I don't know, Jerry. That's why I said Tom and
Jerry and Jerry, I gotcha. There's also don't forget Captain
Caveman and Son. Yeah, pretty straightforward stuff. Uh, but that's
not at all what we're talking about, Chuck, Let's just
get serious here. Let's get down to brass tacks. Let's
get down to the facts. In other words, as our

Cockney friends say, we're talking about misophonia. And there was
an O in there somewhere, but my voice hitched mesophonia.
And it's possible I just accidentally set some people off
because when I said it that second time, I articulated
it clearly the oh. And vocal articulation or speech articulation

where you're really pronouncing a phoneme can can trigger mesophonia,
which we should say means hatred of sound and is
essentially a outrage just nervous reaction to sounds that make
the average that the other the average person doesn't even notice.

Speaker 2 (03:09):
Yeah, and we'll get into like all of the stuff
here with me sophonia, But it's it seems to be
more like, uh, generally, more like sounds people make, like
you often hear about like chewing food or lip smacking
or chewing gum, just sort of like body sounds that

people make yawning sometimes.

Speaker 1 (03:32):
Yeah, particularly oro facial like this yeah, or nose yeah.

Speaker 2 (03:38):
So that's typically it. I mean, you know, there's a
range of stuff, but I thought maybe we could chat
very briefly just about sounds that you hate, Like if
you have any triggering sounds at all, it.

Speaker 1 (03:51):
Triggers probably a strong word, because I don't like fly
into rage. I don't necessarily feel disgusted. Like the closest
would be someone using a leaf blower. I just think
those are the worst people on the planet.

Speaker 2 (04:06):
I forgot about that. You're you're long running feud with
the I can't stand them chucked the blowers. I know
I'm with you, So I have a couple of things,
but uh, similarly to you. Similarly uh oh, here we go.

Speaker 3 (04:20):

Speaker 2 (04:21):
It's like a noise thing, like an ambulance crossing close by,
Like I plugged my ears like a five year old.
I can't take it.

Speaker 1 (04:31):
How about his new ambulance sirens are like who? I've
heard those.

Speaker 2 (04:36):
I've heard those save bonkers. But if I'm on a
on a on a street and there's like a rush
of emergency services, I have to plug my ears. When
I'm using an airplane toilet, I have to plug my
ears for that that sucubus flush sound. Cannot hear it.
But those, I think are just like loud noises, which

is we'll see, isn't the same as mesa phone. The
closest I can come with mesophony as far as like
an emotional thing that really feels like it's connected to
my brain is hearing two kinds of music at the
same time. And it's when Ruby was growing up. It's
a big thing when like we'd be playing music and

she would come into the room with some dumb kid
toy that plays music, and it just it makes me
crazy and angry very fast. And it's clear it's not
just like, oh that annoys me. It's like a real thing.

Speaker 1 (05:31):
You're like, I'm trying to listen to pavement.

Speaker 2 (05:35):
Yeah, but it triggers me in such a way that
I'm like, oh, I think I understand that neuro connective annoyance,
which is not the same as just like I don't
like that sound.

Speaker 1 (05:45):
So you has mesophonia. She's never been clinically diagnosed, but
she very much has it. Yeah, Oh yeah, for sure.
It's like the orofacial stuff like chewing, that kind of stuff.

Speaker 2 (05:56):
You're just now telling me that she's I know.

Speaker 1 (06:00):
It's just fun to sit back and observe when you
guys are all in the same room together. Right, So
she has like I would say, maybe middling middling mesophonia.

Speaker 2 (06:13):
Okay, she can control it, but I think.

Speaker 1 (06:16):
If there's like she's having a bad enough day, yeah,
or she's stressed or something like that and it's triggered,
she'd be more likely to be like can you chew
any louder or something like that. Right, But normally she
can like just kind of just chill and like deal
with it. But now that I've done the research, I'm like, man,
I like I feel for her more than I ever

had before as far as that stuff is concerned. And
it's not like this is news to me. Like I
knew she had mesophonia. I understand it, but just the
degree that it affects people. She just plays it really cool.
And knowing now that what's going on inside of her
while she's playing it cool makes me never want to
eat around her again, just out of out of support.

Speaker 2 (06:58):
Yeah, well that's a that's whet be playing it cool
is the UMI way, So that doesn't surprise me. And see,
you know you mentioned her if she's already anxious or
something about something else, like as we'll see, there are
comorbidities that can definitely make it worse. And I imagine
just being in an anxious state, like with anything else,

something annoying will could you know, push you over the edge?

Speaker 1 (07:22):
Exactly, You're already right there. And yes, it's a it's
an emotional reaction, a profound emotional reaction. And you said
something else too that I think is worth worth really
kind of digging into for a second, Like you don't
like ambulances. Nobody likes the sound of ambulance. That ambulance
siren is designed to annoy you, to basically get you
out of the way, to catch your attention, right, but

not in a good way. They don't want you standing
around like jamming out to the siren something. Right, So
that makes sense someone chewing. The sound of someone chewing
doesn't send the average person into a state of like
anger or in severe cases like rage. Yeah, you know
where you're yelling at the other person because they're chewing

like a normal person. That's really where mesophonia begins, where
just a sound that wouldn't really upset anybody else really
affects you.

Speaker 2 (08:16):
Yeah. Absolutely, And we heard from the reason. I mean,
we're getting to it kind of late. But when we
did our ASMR episode, we heard from a lot of
people with mesophonia that were like, hey, a lot of
this episode triggered me, and like, it's a real thing,
and I think we might have even poked fun at

it a little bit. And we're like even doings like
smacking sounds and things because we were oblivious at the
time to what a real thing it is. So we're
doing this to make up for that in a way.
And we're not gonna give examples of sounds because we
do know that it's a serious thing. It's not something
to be made fun of. Our laughed at is to

be taken now rely. And that is part of the
history of mesophonia, and continuing history is clinicians basically being like,
I don't know what this is, but you learned to
deal with it. If you don't like the way your
husband choose.

Speaker 1 (09:14):
Yeah, let's talk about history. One of the reasons why
people who finally go in to get diagnosed and treated
for mesophonia, one of the reasons they run into that
kind of thing. Their doctor might tell them just where
earplugs or get a hold of yourself or something like that, yeah,
or their psychologists might be like, you clearly have other issues.

This is just some symptom of it. Mesa phonia is
like a very new thing. It has no clinical definition anywhere.
Apparently there was a committee that got together as recently
as like, I think two thousand, fourteen, fifteen sixteen, very recently,

I don't know.

Speaker 2 (09:57):
No, twenty twenty two was when the expert committee got okay, yeah.

Speaker 1 (10:02):
So during COVID that's how recent this was. Time now exactly,
They're like, I guess we'll get around to it. But
they finally said, Okay, this is a thing. This is
what this thing is, it consists of, and this is
how we think maybe you could conceivably treat it. It's
that new. It was only back in two thousand and

one that it was first described. Two thousand and one,
the twenty first century, it's like a brand new disorder.

Speaker 2 (10:29):
Yeah. In two thousand and one, that was when a
couple that is going to figure pretty heavily in this one,
because they were sort of the ogs, Powell and Margaret Jastreboff.
They were from Poland, the married couple. They were professors
of otto, laryn larryonology, laryngology. Yeah, jeez, I had it right.

It sounds funny, that's a E and T study. Basically,
they were here at Emory, I guess in Atlanta, and
Powell was studying tenadus TRT, specifically tendus retraining therapy, and
Margaret she was studying cancer research. But I was like,
I'm also involved in this tenantus thing, and we're both

going all in. It's two thousand and one on what
did they call the grouping over sensitive hearing well Decreased
sound tolerance conditions DST conditions, which at the time included hyperacusis,
phonophobia with a B and then misophonia with an N.

Speaker 1 (11:36):
Yeah, that's a lot of info.

Speaker 2 (11:39):
It is a lot of info.

Speaker 1 (11:40):
And by the way, I can just hear you saying
like I had a bout of tenidus while I was
getting it to two. I'm going with tonitis, all right.
I'm also going with Pavel because differ from poland, so
I think his name's Pavel.

Speaker 2 (11:55):
It was a w A I think, so, yeah, you're
probably right.

Speaker 1 (11:59):
I think they actually spell vodka with the W over there.
It's just off to be alive, right, So at first
they were saying like, Okay, there's all these things that
are kind of lumped together. Like you said, the DSTs
to decrease sound tolerance, and they can kind of present
in different ways. Hyperacusis is definitely its own thing. They

think that maybe something happened to your ear, you damaged it.
There's a facial muscle that controls it, that controls like
how much your ear intensifies or amplifies a sound, and
if that muscle is damaged, this sound is going to
just come raging through your brain. So if you hear
somebody typing on a keyboard, you might have to crawl
under your desk and want to die.

Speaker 2 (12:42):
It seems like really loud, though not annoying exactly. I mean,
I'm sure it's annoying, but it's it's the decibel level
is the issue.

Speaker 1 (12:49):
Yeah, it seems to have more of a produce, more
of a physical reaction than just an emotional reaction. And
if it is an emotional reaction, that seems to be
more like suffering than rage. Yeah, phone of phobia. They
were like, okay, that's a separate thing too for now.
And that is a fear of loud sounds. And the
reason that it's a phobia is because you're afraid of

loud sounds. That can't actually hurt you, like the sound
of traffic or the sound of emergency services.

Speaker 2 (13:15):
Yeah, an ambulance or something like toilet and a plane.

Speaker 1 (13:18):
So if you felt fear while you were plugging your
ears and maybe even ran away, you would probably have phonophobia.

Speaker 2 (13:25):
No, it doesn't reach those levels. It's just it bothers me.
And I'm not afraid to look like a five year
old in public.

Speaker 1 (13:31):
Okay, Man, I want to see that so bad. I'm surprised.

Speaker 2 (13:37):
I surely I've done that in front of you.

Speaker 1 (13:38):
Maybe not, I've not seen it. I would definitely remember.

Speaker 2 (13:41):
I mean, I know one thing, we've never been in
an airplane bathroom together.

Speaker 1 (13:44):
Do you know what I'm going to That's true. You
know what I'm going to do is next time we're
on tour and we're hanging out backstage, I'm going to
start a fire right and sit around and wait for
the show.

Speaker 2 (13:54):
That's a great idea, Okay.

Speaker 1 (13:56):
And then there's mesophonia too, which is the topic of
this episode.

Speaker 2 (14:00):
Yeah, And I think they went on, you know, kind
of studying that stuff for about a dozen years, and
then in twenty fourteen is when they said, and this
is the couple the Jasper boffs, Yeah, yst Or, it's
probably yastrobof.

Speaker 1 (14:16):
Uh pavel yastra bof is what I'm going with.

Speaker 2 (14:19):
That sounds so much better than Powell yasterbof, Jester bof
Jasper Bof. Anyway, they got together in twenty fourteen and said, dear,
I think we should reorganize this stuff. And Margaret said,
don't call me dear. We're in a professional environment.

Speaker 1 (14:36):
Also, could you choose any louder?

Speaker 2 (14:38):
Could you to any louder? And they said, let's just
reorganize our taxonomy here. And I believe what they did
was they tucked the phobia under phonophobia under mesophonia and
basically said there's pretty much two things, hyperacusis or mesophonia,
with phonophobia underneath phonia.

Speaker 1 (14:57):
Yeah, you kind of touched on the distinction between them two.
Hyperacusis is some sort of mechanical issue. They think it's
not in the brain. It's just like the sound itself
is being delivered to your brain way louder than it
is to other people for some reason. But with mesophone
and phonophobia, the research seems to strongly suggest that not

only does it have a neurobiological a brain basis. It
also may even have a genetic basis as well. They're
starting to figure out. So it is definitely something going
on with your neurology. And again, just in twenty twenty two,
they finally created a diagnostic definition of mesophonia. So it's

we have no idea what actually causes mesophonia, but the
studies that are out are pretty interesting and they seem
to point to something that I'll point it out when
we get to it, but I think it's it's the
smoking gun. It's the reason for mesophonia.

Speaker 2 (15:53):
If you ask me, ooh, well, that sounds like a
fun cliffhanger.

Speaker 1 (15:56):
Oh, I agree.

Speaker 2 (15:57):
All right. Well, you know they say, if you introduce
this smoking gun and Act one, you have to fire
it and Act three.

Speaker 1 (16:03):
That's right.

Speaker 2 (16:04):
So we'll be back right after this commercial break.

Speaker 3 (16:07):
Earning stuff from Josh stuff you shout, all.

Speaker 2 (16:28):
Right, so we're back talking to me siphonia. One thing
we should mention is, as the yastrobros there are in there,
what is going on with me? The yastroboffs, we're doing
their work. It started to become a just a more
known thing on the internet in twenty eleven. That was
a New York Times article by Joyce Cohen that sort

of got it out there in a more public way.
The growth of Internet forums and Reddit and stuff like that,
all of a sudden, people are getting online and saying
in the twenty and saying like, hey, wait a minute,
like I've been living this my whole life, no one's
ever taken me seriously. And that's kind of one It
can be one of the great things about the Internet
is bringing people together for a common ailment that had

not previously been taken seriously.

Speaker 1 (17:14):
Yeah, for sure. That Joyce Cohen New York Times article
from twenty eleven, by the way, is called when a
chomp or a slurp is a trigger for outrage, and it,
like you said, it really helped a lot of people. Right,
So flash forward to twenty twenty two, we've got the
diagnostic kind of definition of it. And what they figured

out is that when you have a about of mesophonia,
when you're triggered to sound triggers you not only do
you have like an emotional reaction. Typically it's anger, anxiety, disgust,
and again, like this is a pronounced emotional reaction. It's
not like you're just kind of a little annoyed, like

you're disgusted.

Speaker 2 (17:56):
There was.

Speaker 1 (17:56):
Olivia helped us with this and she turned up I
think on a Reddit board that somebody who if you
heard the sound of somebody clipping their toenails, Oh god,
I'm so disgusted that you would not be able to
like drink coffee even twenty minutes later.

Speaker 2 (18:12):
Yeah, stuff like that. I like that one.

Speaker 1 (18:14):
So that's discussed. But I think the kind of the
classic emotion is rage or anger usually associated with it. Like,
so in addition to the emotional component, there's also a
physical component too, And like it's been documented, these things
happen to your body when you're suffering about a misophonia.

Speaker 2 (18:31):
Yeah, and they sort of smack of sorry, I don't
even know if these words trigger like the trump smack.

Speaker 1 (18:38):
Yeah, probably so I.

Speaker 2 (18:39):
Didn't mean to say that, but you know, like anxiety,
it sort of mirrors anxiety. Your blood pressure might go up,
you might start sweating, you might get tightness in the chest, goosebumps.
I think I said heart rate, and it's it's not
necessarily you know, it kind of depends on the person
as to whether or not there's a single trigger that

affects you or whether you have a lot of them.
It's not always the same in everybody, and it's there's
also behavioral responses like like you said, like if maybe
you mean was having a particularly bad day, she might
be glaring at you from across the dinner table and
you're like, you know, stop with the fork in your mouth,
and you're like, what what of.

Speaker 1 (19:21):
Course chunk of spaghetti hanging out of the side.

Speaker 2 (19:23):
Of my mouth, now you know what?

Speaker 1 (19:26):
Yes, And I knew what before, but again, like I
just did not. I hadn't done the research, I hadn't
been around it long enough. I've never met anybody with
it before. So yes, I was gosh, man, I guess
I wasn't a very good husband for a little while there.

Speaker 2 (19:41):
No, you were fine. You just didn't know. We're all
we're all better people now than we were when we
got together.

Speaker 1 (19:47):
That's true. That's true. I like to think that too, Chuck.

Speaker 2 (19:51):
But it can lead to, like you said, ragy episodes,
and it's pretty rare, but it can lead to actual
like violence, feelings, self harm. I think they've documented that
that's almost always isolated to cases where people have, you know,
some other mental condition that is comorbid with like it

maybe a last draw kind of thing, but it can
you know, it's again just more than an annoyance, and
I think that's probably the name of this episode.

Speaker 1 (20:19):
I think you're right, you hit upon it. There's also
some other things that studies have turned up. They found
that people with mesophonia don't respond to loud noises any
different typically than other people. So somebody with mesophonia probably
wouldn't respond with a a mesophonia response to those ambulance sirens, right,

it's more usually kind of softer, probably wet or something
like that sounds. I'm sorry, I'm really trying not to,
but that would make sense why the ASMR episode set
so many people off, because it's exactly those kind of
like soft sounds. Like that's why if somebody's like, can

you tune me louder, You're like, I'm not doing anything unusual,
but you're making a soft sound, and that is what
they hone in on. So there's no difference between someone
with mesophonia and someone without it as far as loud
sounds go. It's where the softer sounds are, and then
other sounds that upset most people. Again, this ambulance siren

siren Well is still very deep. I'm going to go
back to it again, okay, But also like a baby
crying or something like that, who wants to hear that? Nobody,
and that includes people with mesophonia, but that doesn't necessarily
trigger rage in them or mesophonia.

Speaker 2 (21:39):
Yeah, And you know, in cases of baby's crying, even
if you don't have mesophonia, a lot of times that
is coupled with lack of sleep from new parents, and
it can get pretty severe. I mean, we were lucky
with the sleep situation, but I've heard horror stories of
new parents who are getting you know, three hours of
sleep a night and a colicky. It's just it's terrible.

You know, I feel so much, have so much empathy
for those situations. But back to mesophonia, I guess I
was just sympathizing for a minute. If we're going to
talk about how many people have this, the Yastrabofs did
a I guess, just sort of a a round guess

of three point two percent in twenty fourteen, but they
based that on people who came in seeking treatment that
also usually had tenatus. And obviously, you know we've said
this before about lots of things you can't really base
a number like that on people who seek help because
so many people don't, especially when it's something like this

that's underdiagnosed and treated right.

Speaker 1 (22:47):
So otherre's other like people who've studied it are saying, no,
it's more like twenty percent of the entire population, which
is that's a lot of people's a lot of mesophonia.
They also think that women are overrepresented among people with mesophonia,
as much as eighty three percent of people with mesophonia

might be women. And then there's one other very important
thing that we need to point out. People with mesophonia
do not have better or more acute hearing than anybody else.
That's not the problem.

Speaker 2 (23:20):
Yeah, that's not it.

Speaker 1 (23:21):
It's it's it's a difference in the way their brain
is connected, is what it seems like.

Speaker 2 (23:27):
Yeah, well we should. I mean, that's a good setup
for getting into the brain.

Speaker 1 (23:30):
I've been doing this for years now.

Speaker 2 (23:34):
If if you're wondering if they ever stuck somebody into
a wonder machine and smack some oatmeal in their ear,
then the answer is yes, of course they have. They
have done experiments, but as we'll see that, there haven't
been a ton of them because it is so new
and probably underfunded. But they did put people in an

fMRI machine, the Wonder machine, and they found that the
interior insular cortex the AIC, which in this makes total sense.
It helps integrate sensory data from like organs and stuff
like that, but it's also associated with the parts of
the brain that are responsible for emotion, fear, long term memory,

and stuff like that.

Speaker 1 (24:19):
Yes, here's this is where I think the smoking gun is.

Speaker 2 (24:23):
The aoc act too. We're a little early.

Speaker 1 (24:26):
Because well I haven't fired it yet. Okay, I'm about
too though. The anterior insular cortex is also a major
component of what's called the salience network, which is the
region or the network of your brain that takes stimuli
from the environment, like you said, from even down to
your internal organs, and sorts through all of it and

says not important, not important, not important, Oh, that's important,
and amplifies it up the chain, and it keeps getting
amplified and passing through more and more filters until it
becomes the brains awareness or attention becomes focused on it. Right,
So that salience network is like, that's important. We need
we need to let the brain's consciousness like in on

this thing, and now all of a sudden, you're paying
attention to that stimulus. What they think, what I think
in particular, is that there's a hyper activity and or
hyper connectivity within the ai C that takes things that
other people are able to filter out and turns them

into a sound that can trigger you emotionally. And it's
because your salience network is basically supercharged.

Speaker 2 (25:41):
So that would actually back up what they did with
the studies with the MRI scans, not the fMRI correct.

Speaker 1 (25:48):
Yeah, where they turned up the medial frontal cortex.

Speaker 2 (25:51):
Yeah, well they what they found was the what you
just said, the medial frontal cortices. If you have mesiphonia,
they have more or myelin, which we've talked about before.
It's a batty substance that insulates the nerve cells. But
they're saying that the excess of myelin kind of backs
up the idea of that hyperconnectivity with the anterior insular cortex.

Speaker 1 (26:15):
Boom, the gun has just been fired, is now smoking
bright red, white and blue smoke.

Speaker 2 (26:21):
Yeah, it's a nerve gun. Of course, people were you know, you're.

Speaker 1 (26:24):
Right, Yeah, for sure. There's one other thing that seems
to be a bit of a boondoggle in misophoni or research,
and that is that there's a theory or I guess
a school of thought that it's actually triggered by overactive
mirror neurons in somebody.

Speaker 2 (26:40):
H or old friends, and in particular the.

Speaker 1 (26:45):
Motor cortex that has to do again with orofacial movements,
that those mirror neurons are hyperactive, and that when you
see somebody or here's somebody chewing, it triggers those mirror
neurons and it creates a reaction or response in you
that you can't control because your mirror neurons have have
taken over. That seems to be untrue.

Speaker 2 (27:05):
Okay, well, even so, we did an episode about mirror
neurons many many many years ago that it's still super
interesting to me. And just the quickest sort of summation
is the idea of mirror neurons are like when you
see someone in a football game on TV, like break
their leg in a painful way and you literally feel

that in your own leg. Yeah, I mean, that's the
dumbed down version, but that's what we're talking about.

Speaker 1 (27:33):
No, I mean, that's that's a great example. When I
when I watch sports like I find myself like leaning,
like if the guy's trying to avoid a tackle, all
like turn as well. It doesn't help the guy at all,
But I can't. I can't stop myself because I'll be
on the treadmill watching like basketball or something, and all
of a sudden, I'm like off off balance a little

bit because I'm moving along with the guy who's like
doing the layup.

Speaker 2 (27:59):
I see people do that when they're gaming, like first
person games. That's the exact same thing, I think, moving
their body around in weird ways. It's pretty interesting, like
if you train a camera on somebody gaming. You did
mention genetics. It may have a genetic component. I think
they did just an analysis on what's called a gwas

a gen M wide association study about just rage related mesophonia,
and they found that it does cluster with PTSD anxiety
and depression, which indicates it could, you know, have a
genetic component, right.

Speaker 1 (28:36):
Yes, which makes sense for sure. I didn't see the
gene that they targeted it to, but I didn't either.
It does seem to be related genetically. There's also there's
a researcher from Oxford named Jene Gregory who also suffers
from mesophonia, and she posits that that mesophonia could be
like a relic, like an evolutionary relic from back when

it was advantageous for a group to have a few
people who responded to sound like way more than other
people because they essentially served as like alarms for the
rest of the group.

Speaker 2 (29:12):
All right, that makes sense.

Speaker 1 (29:13):
It's I mean, this is the place that we're at
in mesophonia research. You can just toss stuff out like
that and be like yeah, probably.

Speaker 2 (29:20):
Yeah. It's also can be comorbid with miso kinesia, and
that is when you have a mesophonia like response to
someone's fidgety motions. So I think someone clicking a pin
can be a mesophonia trigger, but that's also sort of
a fidgety thing, So that kind of makes sense.

Speaker 1 (29:43):
I think, Yeah, if you want to empathize with people
who have mesophonia and miso kinesia, go on to reddit. Actually,
any any condition that could be debilitating, go on to
Reddit and look at the reddit board for that condition,
and your heart will just go out to people. And
I looked the miso kinesia reddit board and just the

first few posts are like the language they use, like
like want to die. It can't live like this. They're
not they're not they're not talking about self harm. They're
saying like it's so like like this is just bonkers
out of control, and they're talking about being in class
and everyone's just kind of bouncing their knee and they
like they they're just so overwhelmed by that and unable

to not pay attention to it that they just feel
like they're losing their minds and in just the worst way.
It's really awful, And I'm not overstating the way that
they describe it at all.

Speaker 2 (30:36):

Speaker 1 (30:37):
One thing I did notice though, on the Misokenesia board
is one poster said sorry, one op said that they
counteracted the experience by I guess kind of like mirroring
what the person was doing. So somebody's bouncing their knee,
they use their hand to kind of keep time with

the person's knee, and it's so somehow counteracted or short
circuited the miso kinesia in them.

Speaker 2 (31:04):
Right then, Well, I mean they've said the same thing
with mesophonia is that sometimes people will make that sound
themselves to counteract it, and that can help.

Speaker 1 (31:14):
Yes, So if you're ever clicking a pen and your
coworker stands up and just shouts.

Speaker 2 (31:18):
Click click click click click.

Speaker 1 (31:20):
They probably are having a mesophonic episode, right then, Yeah,
for sure, and you stop clicking your pen.

Speaker 2 (31:28):
It can you know, it can affect obviously the workplace
in negative ways, but it can also affect your relationships
and your your family. It can. It has been described
as contagious in a way because if you're let's say,
in a close relationship, maybe like married to somebody or
coupled up with someone or living with someone with mesophonia,
you might become very attuned to their trigger sounds. And

it's not the same as having mesophonia, but it's it
is contagious in a way in that all of a sudden,
like if you then were really on the lookout for
the sound of people, you know, chewing their food because
of being married to you me that obviously it's not
as bad for you, but it can get into your
brain and sort of take over in a way.

Speaker 1 (32:11):
Yeah, And I don't think it's like it could trigger
mesophony in somebody else. I don't buy that. Well, you've
just become hyper vigilant on behalf of your spouse because
you care about them so you could conceivably get angry
at somebody daring to chew around them because you know
what it's doing to them. That's what I take that as.

Speaker 2 (32:30):
No, no, no, absolutely, but I think that they say it.
It can be worse with people that are close to you,
right than like out in a restaurant with a random stranger.
You might get more bothered by your your family members,
your coupled person.

Speaker 1 (32:45):
Yes, if you have mesophonia, usually it's the people who
are closest to you that can set you off the easiest.

Speaker 2 (32:51):
Right I with your spaghetti and your mouth.

Speaker 1 (32:54):
I've not figured out exactly why. My guess would be
that they know that you know what they're going through
and you're still doing it. Maybe you see very thoughtless
or careless. Yeah, right then that would be That would
be mine my guess. But there's a huge component of
this that I think really kind of supports that salience

network hypothesis of mine, let's hear it, and that is
that the sounds seem to have also like a personal
emotional component to them, like the yastrobofs their Their theory
is that, like the Olympic system, is very much involved,
which it would explain why emotions there. So if you
combine the Olympic system with the salience network, the emotions

you're feeling are like personal. It feels personal to you.
Hence why you would feel something like outrage or profound
disgust or something like that. You feel like you're being
personally attacked.

Speaker 2 (33:48):
Right then, Oh, yeah, that makes sense.

Speaker 1 (33:49):
Yeah, like your brain has told you this is a
very very important stimulus and you need to respond to
it in kind. That's that's the salience hypothesis.

Speaker 2 (34:01):
I like it. Can we call it the Josh Clark
salient hypothesis?

Speaker 1 (34:04):
I've been hoping you would say that all episode.

Speaker 2 (34:07):
The j C s h it almost spells Josh, it does?
Can we rework that?

Speaker 1 (34:12):
Yeah? Can you turn that scene into it?

Speaker 2 (34:16):
Well? Sure?

Speaker 1 (34:17):
Can you tell?

Speaker 2 (34:20):
I wasn't sure if you knew what you were saying,
So I was just giving you a backdoor.

Speaker 1 (34:23):
But no, no, I knew it, Josh.

Speaker 2 (34:25):
Yeah, I just did it for you. Hey, you may
have been at one point. You never know, all right,
So well, let's take a break now and we'll come
back and talk about what you probably think is coming
with your myriad forms of CBT behavioral therapies. Right after this.

Speaker 3 (34:44):
Stuff, Josh stuff you shut.

Speaker 1 (35:05):
So one of the saddest things about misophonia and misokinesia,
aside from the fact that people suffer from it, is
that they're like the treatment landscape is so hit or miss,
that there's so little widespread information out there among clinicians
that you very well might go to see a E
and T or a psychologist or a psychiatrist or even

like a neurologist that's particularly uninformed. You might basically say,
this is your problem where your plugs, like just relax,
go do mindfulness or something like that, and some of
that stuff can help. But if that's all you're being
met with, like that's not that's no treatment whatsoever. So
fortunately there are people who have really started to study

how to treat it, and one of the things that
they've discovered is that good old cognitive behavioral therapy CBT
seems to work for it, at least as far as
any decent study has shown. It definitely has some effect
compared to control groups.

Speaker 2 (36:06):
Yeah, there was a trial in twenty twenty randomized clinical
trial that found that there was significant improvement in thirty
seven percent of the group that completed CBT versus zero
percent for the control group and that a year later,
those thirty seven percent seem to be holding, which is great.

Speaker 1 (36:25):
Yeah, that's what they call statistically significant.

Speaker 2 (36:28):
I would say. So we also should mention as we're
going through these various treatments, there are good people doing
a lot of great work, but there are also you know,
just be wary. There are also people online that are
just lining up to take your money to help you
with this that may be quacky.

Speaker 1 (36:48):
Yes, So like if somebody has earplugs that the description
almost makes seem magical, you should steer clear of that.

Speaker 2 (36:56):

Speaker 1 (36:57):
Or if somebody says this supplement or this chrystal or
this tarot deck is going to help you, it's not.
So just don't go seek out a neurologist, a neuropsychologist
or neuropsychiatrist, I should say, and they should be able
to help you do research yourself and say, hey, I

want CBT or I want to try something called unified protocol,
which is called transdiagnostic therapy, meaning that you can use
it for all sorts of different things that stir up
strong emotions. It basically likes CBT. It gives you tools
to identify what triggers your emotional reactions, what you feel

like when you're having that emotional reaction, to how to
deal when you're having that emotional reaction, and then also
if you're lucky, how to distance yourself from the emotional
reaction and the trigger that causes it.

Speaker 2 (37:53):
Yeah, I think there are lots of I feel like
all of these are sort of just a reskinned version
of the same kind of thing, which is which are
those therapies identifying mindfulness, recognizing behaviors, learning, you know, one
thing called cognitive flexibility, like kind of retraining your brain.

The one that's a little different, I think is the
Tenatus Retraining Therapy, the TRT they've been using for misponia,
it seems like with some pretty good results. It's basically
sound therapy where you have a wearable device that plays
like a very low level like white noise or pink noise,
whatever your noise of whatever color noise you prefer, I guess,

but just below the volume threshold of that trigger sound.
And the Jastroboffs say that eighty percent of the patients
that have tried that have had pretty good success.

Speaker 1 (38:51):
Yeah. The key is you want to gradually increase, like
the volume of that trigger sound against the background of
that pink noise so that you can you're basically it's
a type of exposure therapy, which is very controversial with mesophonia. Yeah,
for sure, a lot of people say, do not try

exposure therapy. That does not work, and actually it makes
it worse because what you're doing is enraging yourself and
all you're doing is strengthening that neural pathway that triggers
that rage in the first place. So it's not only
not helpful, it's actually counterproductive. Other people say, no, no, no.
You can do certain types of exposure therapy like the
yastrobots TRT with the pink noise, but if you do

start to have an emotional response, stop, Like anybody who
has any understanding there as a healthcare provider of mesophonia
will tell you that if you have an emotional response
to mesophonia while you're trying to while you're under undergoing treatment,
stop the treatment, get away from the sound. That's like

best practices. If somebody is trying to force you to
just hang in there through it during disclosure therapy, you're
being treated by a quack and you need to find
somebody else to help you because they don't understand musophonia.

Speaker 2 (40:07):
Yeah, there's this one I don't fully understand. This is
Jane Gregory again from Oxford. She has worked on a
situation where or I guess, a therapy where she tries
to create a different association with that sound. And she
did this in one case at least by riding one
of those like an amusement park like Disney World. I guess,

like a dizzy ride, like a spinning teacup ride while listening.

Speaker 1 (40:33):
To what was it in this case, her husband's slurping tea.

Speaker 2 (40:37):
Yeah, Josh eating spaghetti, right, which makes sense in a way,
But then like, wouldn't that just make you dizzy? Wouldn't
you want to choose something that's not also awful? I
think that what she loved those rides.

Speaker 1 (40:53):
She must love those rides, And also I think she
was after making the whole thing silly, So like when
she her husband slurp tea, she would think about spinning
around in a teacup and and that might kind of
disarm her rage or something.

Speaker 2 (41:06):
Okay, I guess I hear that, and I'm like, those
are the worst rides because it just makes me sick
to my stomach.

Speaker 1 (41:11):
So I'm totally with you.

Speaker 2 (41:13):
Maybe the yeah, I get it.

Speaker 1 (41:16):
But yeah, so that is a weird, weird example. But
what the basis of that therapy is is that you're
you're you're listening to the trigger sound while also doing
something else or learning to associate it with something else
that's not that horrible emotional reaction.

Speaker 2 (41:31):
Yeah, okay, well that makes sense.

Speaker 1 (41:33):
And then also, Chuck, there's there's self treatment for me
sophonia that people have discovered along the way, like listen,
like wearing noise canceling headphones. Yeah, wearing headphones where you're
listening to pink noise or some kind of noise or music,
like just putting a barrier between you and any any
sound that you know might trigger you. And then there's

there's other techniques too, but they're very sad, like not
eating with your family because you are probably going to
get triggered and it's sad, but that's a really effective
intervention for mesophonia.

Speaker 2 (42:09):
Yeah. There's a woman named Shalin Hayes Raymond who is
a co founder of Mesophonia International, and her whole gam
is like self advocacy, So you know, don't just you know,
it's okay to tell your family that, hey, can you

try and avoid these triggering sounds? Can you be aware
of what I'm going through? Can you understand if I
have to leave the room during like a big family meal.

Speaker 1 (42:38):
Can you go stand the subreddit on mesophonia.

Speaker 2 (42:42):
Yeah, sort of, but to advocate for yourself also, and
things like noise canceling headphones like you mentioned, or just
like getting out of there like you said, like leaving
the room, because from what I've seen, it calms down
pretty quickly if you can remove yourself from the sound,
you don't stay in that state for you know, hours,

generally from what I've seen, right, Yes, yeah, it can
pass fairly quickly, So that's the good news.

Speaker 1 (43:10):
Yeah. And then also the good news is that there
are smart people who have begun to study this in
addition to the yastroboths who are making some headway. So
hopefully there will be some sort of like verifiable cure
treatment for it in the not too distant future.

Speaker 2 (43:26):
Yeah. I mean, we're talking about a thing that's just
been seriously looked at in the last twenty years. You'd
imagine there'll be a lot of headway made, and I
think just getting like an episode out here for people
that maybe have been like poking fun at someone in
their life, not taking it as seriously, like hopefully this
will help that, you know.

Speaker 1 (43:48):
Yeah, we're the Joyce Cohen's of podcasting. Did you get that?

Speaker 2 (43:55):
I did? I mean that was I don't know. I'm sorry.
I thought you were talking about the self advocate who's
Joyce going.

Speaker 1 (44:02):
She's the woman who wrote the twenty eleven New York
Times article that told everybody who.

Speaker 2 (44:06):
Was that was the other person? I got it. I
thought you were saying Joyce Brothers who won on.

Speaker 1 (44:15):
What was that show, quiz Quiz Show? It was like
quizz show. Remember she won like big time on a
game show, and like you had to pick what topic
you wanted to be deeply quizzed on, and she chose
boxing and just wiped the floor with her opponent.

Speaker 2 (44:30):
Oh wow, yep, that was on our game show episode. Really,
I don't remember that that.

Speaker 1 (44:35):
For some reason, that always stuck out to me. Joyce
Brothers in boxing. It's like kind of cognitive dissonance. That
just stuck with me. Yeah, totally, you got anything else
on mesophonia?

Speaker 2 (44:45):

Speaker 1 (44:46):
Well, our heart goes out to all of you out
there listening to us who have misophonia. We hope we
didn't trigger you. We hope we've never triggered you. And
sorry again about that time with the asmr uh. And
since I said that it's time for listener mail.

Speaker 2 (45:02):
I'm going to call this is very interesting Irish famine connection.
Hey guys, listen every day on my drive to work
in rural Ireland. Luckily an episode is just rt link
for my forty mile trip on the Selects episode. This
is about an old one from famines in twenty seventeen.
You did a nice job describing the nature of the
Irish famine, But rather than bemoan the terrible response of

the British rulers, I wanted to celebrate the amazing gesture
of the Choctaw Nation of Americans of sorry Native Americans, who,
upon hearing of the plight of the Irish people during
the famine, gathered up one hundred and seventy dollars at
the time, which was fairly significant money to send over
for help. This incredible active generosity came from people who

had only recently themselves suffered terribly during the infamous Trail
of Tears, showing the true nature of them as a people.
This kindness had never been forgotten, has never been forgotten,
and thankfully, now that Ireland is a country of significant wealth,
we have been able to give back. There has been
a spectacular monument erected in honor of the Choctaw Irish connection,
and also a university scholarship program in and that's program

with two ms and a kN E in Cork where
members of the Chalcdaw nation can avail of a fully
paid bed or a master's degree. I guess b ed
is an undergrad. Yeah, and living expenses paid. Also. Wow,
this is something I teach my students in geography classes
on migration at a high school level, as I think

it is so important to recognize the and that's recognized
within the incredible human acts that take place in these
terrible moments. Really enjoy the variety of things you cover.
And thanks for looking beyond the potato in Irish history.
And that is from Bob Grace in County Carlos.

Speaker 1 (46:49):
That's awesome.

Speaker 2 (46:49):
Thanks a lot, Bob, super cool.

Speaker 1 (46:51):
Yeah, that's wonderful. I had no idea about the scholarship,
did you. I feel like we I feel like we
mentioned that in another episode. I don't remember which one.
Maybe Trail of Tears. Oh really, I don't remember, because yeah,
it does sound familiar, but I definitely don't remember the
college scholarship thing. So way to go, Bob.

Speaker 2 (47:08):
Well, you know me, I've forgotten anyway, so I'm happy
to relearn it.

Speaker 1 (47:12):
It's awesome. I wish I were you. You could just
watch movies over and over again.

Speaker 2 (47:16):
I'm like that Guy Memento.

Speaker 1 (47:19):
Yeah, Guy Pierce.

Speaker 2 (47:20):

Speaker 1 (47:22):
If you want to get in touch with this, like
Bob Grace did with a great story, we want to
hear it. You can send it off via email to
stuff Podcast at iHeartRadio dot com.

Speaker 2 (47:34):
Stuff you Should Know is a production of iHeartRadio. For
more podcasts my heart Radio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

Stuff You Should Know News

Advertise With Us

Follow Us On

Hosts And Creators

Josh Clark

Josh Clark

Chuck Bryant

Chuck Bryant

Show Links

Order Our BookStoreSYSK ArmyAboutRSS

Popular Podcasts

Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

Every week comedian and infamous roaster Nikki Glaser provides a fun, fast-paced, and brutally honest look into current pop-culture and her own personal life.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.