Noises can be very annoying.
The dragging of forks on plates and fingernails on a chalkboard makes many of us twitch in irritation. Yet what probably annoys most of us is the loud chewing of the consumption of food.
But for one man from California, his reactions exceed just twitching. Instead, his reactions are extreme, with violence, disowning of loved ones and ending dates early due to his need to rid his ears of irritable sounds.
The 41-year-old man Derrol Murphy claims he has not spoken to certain relatives and friends in years due to his aversion to mundane noises.
11 years ago, he self-diagnosed himself with misophonia, a condition in which people experience extreme emotional and physical responses when confronted with mundane sounds that humans create such as chewing, breathing and sniffling.
Murphy, from San Diego, would nearly assault colleagues at work and “fly into a rage” due to clinking pens. He also claims that he had not “been to the movies for more than 10 years because people opening food bags is a very bad trigger.’
Mr Murphy said: “I thought I was crazy for many years. Little noises would make me just fly into a rage.
“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.
“I’m not an aggressive person, noises just anger me. I’ve had to walk out on dates if they are chewing really loudly, my face gives it away – I pull a look of disgust I can’t hide.”
He continued: “Chewing is a big one and specific voices. I hear everything all the time.
“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.
“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.
“It’s definitely made dating interesting, and I haven’t been able to speak to relatives for years as the throat clearing would make situations tense.”
The condition which Murphy suggests he suffers from has caused issues in his relationships and friendships. Nonetheless, he is currently dating his co-worker Kurt Vin who understands and works around his condition, with Kurt warning his partner before creating a sound that he dislikes.
Murphy has also adopted many coping mechanisms such as distraction and wearing headphones.
Mr Murphy said: “When Kurt chews, his jaw clicks and when we first started dating, he was eating with his mouth open on the first date. I thought there was no way it was going to work, and had to tell him pretty quickly.
“Kurt will shout to cover my ears then I can brace myself.
“Misophonia contributed to the breakdown of my relationship with my ex, so 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 a noise is getting to me.”
Murphy hopes to raise awareness of this rare condition. He also hopes for those around sufferers to employ understanding and patients.
So if you believe your date was a loud eater, just remember, you could have had it way WAY worse.
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