The sound of an apple being chewed drives me up the wall. Usually, when I am eating with someone and they pull out an apple, i can come up with a reason to excuse myself (bathroom, gotta take a phone call, etc.), but not always. I have also tried telling the…

parizadhe said:

I’ve had severe misophonia since I was a kid. It’s not just apples, but a LOT of noises–particularly relating to the mouth and nose–that set me off. I have to be very careful in noisy situations that it doesn’t trigger a full-blown panic attack, and I’ve been known to pass out from thee stress of “dealing with” my aversion to noises.

The best thing I’ve found is to carry headphones and an iPod or something EVERYWHERE I go. I have headphones or earplugs with me at all times. And when the noise gets too bad, I put the headphones on and crank up the music and try to divert my attention. I find it’s best to just be very honest with people you’re around, if you feel they may be insulted by this. “I’m not trying to ignore you, I just have a severe reaction to certain sounds.”

I’ve found that it helps to just be honest with people about it. Telling them about your sensitivity, tell them *it’s not their fault* and *it’s not something you can help either,* and tell them you will be right back/you’ll take off the headset when they’re done with the apple.

At the end of the day, your mental health trumps their right to eat an apple anyway, so you’re perfectly justified finding a solution that works for everyone involved.

realsocialskills said:

Thank you for your reply. I think your suggestions about how to discuss this are really good.

I somewhat disagree with you about “your mental health trumps their right to eat an apple anyway”. Sometimes that’s true, but not always. Sometimes it’s a competing access need.

There are all kinds of reasons why people sometimes have to eat right now, and why they might specifically need to eat an apple or something else that makes horrible sounds. It’s probably not usually going to be possible to tell from the outside whether someone has an important need to eat an apple.

I think that it’s better to err on the side of assuming that both people involved have needs that matter.