There's a New Film About Misophonia, Where People Get Enraged by Certain Sounds

A documentary about people who fly off the handle at the sound of someone chewing.

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Jun 17 2016, 4:30pm

Jeffrey Gould is a longtime sufferer of misophonia, or "hatred of sound," a neurological disorder that can cause people to feel uncontrollable anger at common sounds such as chewing, tooth-brushing, opening a bag of chips, or the slapping of flip-flops on heels.

In addition to anger, people with misophonia often experience disgust, sweaty palms, and a racing heart when confronted with certain sounds, some of which may be barely noticeable to others.

Gould found out he had the disorder after a friend showed him a news article about it. Gould raised money on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to produce Quiet Please..., a documentary that interviews misophonia sufferers, focusing on the isolation that can come from the disorder.

Quiet, Please... isn't a big-budget film, but it could help spread awareness about what could otherwise be interpreted as simply a vile personality quirk. The disorder tends to alienate its sufferers, since their friends and family make noise that drives them to rage. "Imagine normal, everday sounds consuming, dictating and even destroying your life," says the trailer for the film.

Science doesn't have many answers for people with misophonia, reports STAT, but awareness is growing, thanks to social media and personal essays like this one in the New York Times.

The film has already had one victory. In writing this post, I noticed that someone I know likes one of the misophonia Facebook pages. As it happens, this person once snapped at me violently for chewing gum. At the time, I thought that he was a jerk, and that I must be a horribly loud gum smacker to have provoked such an intense reaction. Now I know: It was misophonia the whole time.