Brianna - Advocacy and Support in Misophonia Journey

S2 E17 - 8/19/2020
In this episode, Adeel speaks with Brianna, a psychology student and mental health advocate, about her journey with misophonia. Brianna shares her early realization of her triggers at age 12 and how it impacted her life. Initially feeling isolated, she eventually found relief and a sense of community through online forums. It wasn't until she was 16 that Brianna opened up to her parents, who, despite their initial lack of understanding, became a strong support system for her. Brianna also discusses her proactive approach in managing misophonia, from educating her therapist about the condition to strategizing future work and family environments to minimize triggers. She emphasizes the importance of being open and advocating for oneself, as well as the power of finding support from those close and within the misophonia community. Adeel and Brianna also touch on the need for more research and understanding of misophonia, particularly its comorbidity with other conditions such as anxiety and depression. Brianna's story is a testament to the impact of support, self-advocacy, and community in navigating life with misophonia.


Adeel [0:00]: Welcome to the Misophonia podcast. You're listening to episode 17 of season 2. My name's Adeel Ahmad and I have Misophonia. On this episode, I talk to Brianna, a psychology student at San Diego State and an advocate for all things mental health. kind of in the vein of last week's episode with Malia, who's in high school. Here, Brianna and I talk about the support system she's built in place since school and now through college, how she got there, her supportive parents, her boyfriend and her friend circle, and how she's now very confident and proactive at telling people about her condition, including sometimes having to educate her therapist. A reminder that the Misophonia Association Convention is coming up, totally virtual this year, October 8th through the 10th. Lots of great speakers, plus yours truly. Links in the show notes on how to get access, or just Google, for the Misophonia Association Convention. I want to do a shout-out from Misolist, again this time, Field of Vision Photos. Owned by a Misophone photographer based in Melbourne, Terry sells prints of his photos to support himself through his Etsy store. He says, photography has been a great outlet that enables me to be creative, get out into nature and relax, and also be able to do it alone when I need to. Check out links in the show notes or on our social media. And if you know a business operated by a Misophone, please hit the add button on All right, now here's my conversation with Brianna. Yeah, Brianna, welcome. Welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Brianna [1:47]: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Adeel [1:49]: And cool. Well, you know, I always like to start kind of like, you know, kind of around where you're located.

Brianna [1:57]: So I'm from San Diego, California.

Adeel [1:59]: Cool. And, you know, you wrote when you initially so when you initially scheduled the podcast, you know, you said you've had this from a young age and it's shaped your life like it's shaped quite a few of us. And you kind of want to dig into that. Do you want to maybe talk about those early, early days and how did this develop for you?

Brianna [2:20]: Sure. Yeah. So. I feel like it's very similar to other people who have been on the podcast. The first time I can actually remember like vividly having like those triggers and like realizing I was having them was when I was around 12. And from there, it was just kind of like for those next couple of years, I just thought that I was like, I just thought it was weird. And like there was just something wrong with me. And then at that point, I had gotten like an iPad and I started just, I was like, I need to figure out what this is. So I read some forums on misophonia and I was just so relieved to learn that I wasn't the only person that struggled with it. And then it wasn't until like, I kept it to myself until I want to say I was, I think it was 16 when I finally told my parents about it. Because like many people that I read about and spoken to, usually it affects us you know most with our the people that we're closest with so i thought kind of bad because i didn't have any problems with my friends or anything so i um when i finally told my parents of course they couldn't really empathize with it like it was so new to them um but they're they're so supportive they're amazing they were they made accommodations for me to feel more comfortable and um all of that but i just remember like i don't know they're just specific memories that I have that I just, like, I think back to, and I'm wondering, like, how did I get through that? Like, I wouldn't be able to at this point. Like, I remember one time I was – my parents and I were watching The Help. Yeah. Great movie, by the way. Suggested to everyone. And we were watching The Help, and we were eating popcorn, and I just remember, like, my dad was eating popcorn, and I was just so, like – Um, at that point I knew what misophonia was, but I hadn't told them. And I just remember I like wanted to cry and I was just sitting there and I remember I kept raising the, um, like raising the volume of the TV thinking that would help. And then my dad asked like, well, like, why are you raising it? And then I just remember in that moment, I was like, oh my gosh. Cause I couldn't, I didn't feel comfortable telling them yet. But at the same time, like, I understand why he was asking that, you know, cause I was putting it really loud. Um, but I don't know. I just, I think back to that and, um, or to moments like that. And I just think like, wow. it's, I don't know. I really empathize with anyone who's going, um, through this from a young age and don't understand fully what's, what's happening. So, um, but since then I've really been able to, um, be vocal about it. And now I'm like, I'm actually really happy because I've reached a point now where it's not so much like if I'm in a group and I have a trigger, then I'm comfortable telling the person like, Hey, this is what I struggle with. And, um, I'm going to leave or I'm going to put my headphones in, not because it's anything personal with you, but just because I'm being triggered right now.

Adeel [5:09]: And you, you know, we'll go back to some of your, maybe some of your memories around when you were 12, but I'm curious, you know, you were reading about this online, but it took a few years to tell your parents. Sounds like you were not comfortable or did you hear that some, you know, some people get bad reactions? I'm curious what, what, what, you know, what were you thinking during those, during these? Cause I'm sure you were probably wanting to let, let your parents know. I'm curious what, you know, not, I don't want to say like what took so long, but kind of what led you to the point to finally tell them?

Brianna [5:48]: I think it was trying to remember. Oh, okay. Yeah. I remember. So I didn't want to tell them because I was reading those forums online where people were like, parents were brushing them off or, you know, all of those things. And I think I was just more, worried my parents have always been super supportive of me throughout my entire life so um i'm not i don't think it was so much like they're not going to um like believe me or like respect those um those triggers it was more like i didn't want to man i actually sorry i'm trying to think back to like my age brain i actually don't know um why maybe for the same reasons that i didn't tell my friends at first like i didn't want them to feel like self-conscious Um, but it just got to a point. I remember I was actually at my best friend's hockey game where we were like, my mom and I were driving back from it and she was just chewing gum in the car. And that's like one of my biggest triggers, um, from, especially from my parents. Um, so I, I just couldn't take it. And I remember I was like looking out the window and like bouncing my leg and acting like rude. And then, um, I just felt, I remember I got home and i just like broke down because i was thinking like i don't want my mom to think that she did anything wrong or that i'm mad at her or anything but i just felt so like so overwhelmed and that night that was when i asked her to come into my room and i told her um and then after like a little while on that same night i told my dad too because i just i couldn't do it anymore so um but oh my gosh that moment when you tell your parents it's just so like oh it feels so good

Adeel [7:28]: That's amazing. Yeah. Okay. So you came home. Wow. That's, that's a great moment. So you came home, you were being triggered in the, in the car and then you, yeah, you asked your mom to come into your room. How did you, did you just kind of like tell her, did you show her, you know, stuff online? How did that conversation go? Because I'm sure there's a lot of people who are thinking about doing that conversation and just curious kind of how you, everyone's different, kind of curious how that went.

Brianna [7:52]: Right. Oh yeah. No, that's a great question. Thanks for asking. Um, so I remember I asked, I started by asking for both of my parents, I started by asking if they were familiar, if they had heard of the term misophonia, um, both of them had said no. So then, um, that's when I went into what it was. And I, I think their initial reaction was just like, kind of like, just, they were listening very well, but I don't know exactly. Like, I don't think they exactly knew how to react because I mean, it's a big thing to spring on someone who hadn't heard of it before. Um, but I. I can't remember. They were really supportive. Um, and I would suggest to anyone out there who's like, they're having a hard time, um, like bringing it up to a friend or like a, you know, a parent or a significant other, um, maybe just start by educating them or like explaining what it is. Um, instead of just saying like, I have this and this freaks me out, like take the time to really explain it to them so they can understand it a little bit better. And then just ask for their, um, respect and tell them it's not personal, but I just get triggered. So if I put in my headphones or something, it's not because I don't like you. It's just because I'm going to go crazy if I don't.

Adeel [9:02]: Right. And yeah. And so going, going back, so now going back to, you know, you, I guess you're in junior high, how did it, um, you, how did you replace to try and get a bunch of triggers, uh, at, at school, maybe I'm assuming, or, or at home, but I'm curious, how did it affect maybe your, uh, your life around that time?

Brianna [9:23]: So really, it only affected me at home. At school, I was fine. I can only remember a couple of instances in high school even where it affected me. I would say it affected me more in college, probably just because there are more triggers now or more stress. But in middle school, actually at school, I was okay. I was fine.

Adeel [9:41]: Okay, that's great. So yeah, it's interesting. So if kids were triggering you with the same sounds as at home, you weren't bothered as much?

Brianna [9:50]: No, yeah, no.

Adeel [9:52]: Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. That's great. Cause I always worry how kids, kids are, how it would, it might affect kids scores and stuff and grades in school. I was also lucky to escape without, without too much, but so, but it's, but I, you know, I'm seeing more and more parents starting to hear about it and, you know, trying to, trying to get treatment for the kids. So that's, that's promising. And do you have any siblings too, or is it? Okay.

Brianna [10:20]: It's just, yeah, I'm an only child.

Adeel [10:21]: Okay, cool. Yeah, there's good and bad stories of siblings. But interesting. Okay, so are you in school now? Are you working?

Brianna [10:36]: Yeah, I'm about to go into my last year at SDSU, San Diego State University.

Adeel [10:40]: Gotcha. Okay, so how was that transition going to Colleton from high school? It sounds like obviously more stress. Yeah. Yeah, tell me more about that.

Brianna [10:51]: It actually wasn't too difficult, luckily. I mean, I'm from San Diego, so I had a lot of friends going into college that went to the same university. So luckily, thanks to them, they really helped me assimilate into university life. And I actually commuted for my first year from home to SDSU. But then for my junior, I'm sorry, for my sophomore year and also this past year, I lived off campus, which actually did help. the situation quite a bit less triggers and you know sometimes with my roommates there would be occasional like if I'm trying to work on an assignment um there would be occasional triggers but it definitely did take a lot of um like mental stress off of me I would say um plus I mean my boyfriend's up here and every just everyone that I've told about this that's like close to me in my life has been so um accommodating and just I I've been blessed with um with people who respect my triggers, my boundaries. But the transition, like schoolwork wise, wasn't too bad. I mean, my grades haven't, grades are still good. So it's not, it didn't, misophonia didn't take a big toll on my schoolwork. But in college, I have gotten the opportunity. I'm a psychology major and I want to go into counseling in the future. So it has really given me a really good, like, not only network, but it's given me skills that are, um, really helpful when like communicating with people regarding misophonia, advocating for mental health, um, and just for mental health awareness in general. So I've been really, really lucky that way.

Adeel [12:35]: After you told your parents, how long did it take you? Did you start to tell your friends right away? I'm curious, uh, how that went. Okay.

Brianna [12:43]: Uh, so I told probably the first friend that I told was, um, maybe like a few months after um only because i felt we were having like a you know heart to heart and like um she was telling me about like anxiety and depression and all of that and so um i also have struggled with those and continue to struggle with them as well so it was kind of like a segue into it um so i ended up telling her and then i didn't tell i remember i think well i my therapist i told my therapist and um i think the next person i told was probably my boyfriend, which my current boyfriend, which was like in 2018. So it was a, a large gap, but ever, but since then I've just been really open about it. So, um, yeah.

Adeel [13:27]: Sure. And, and you're, yeah, you're, you told you, okay, you're after a friend, did you therapist even had your therapist heard about misophonia or no?

Brianna [13:35]: Oh my gosh. Um, no. So she hadn't. And, um, she, like, I was hoping that maybe after, um, like opening up to her about it. She might, you know, go out and do her own research or whatever, but she kind of tried to like, I guess, console me. Like she would say, oh yeah, you know, my coworkers being their spoons annoy me sometimes too. Kind of like trying to relate with me, but I tried to explain to her it's completely different. It's not like an annoyance. It's like literally you feel disgusted. You feel anxiety. Like sometimes for me personally, I just want to cry. And yeah, I just did not have great experiences with that therapist.

Adeel [14:19]: It's amazing the range of responses I've heard about therapists. Some know what's going on and then others are just completely tone deaf.

Brianna [14:29]: Right, and they won't even look into it.

Adeel [14:31]: And then you told your, so how did it go with your boyfriend? How did he react?

Brianna [14:36]: So I remember, I think it was one night and I was just like, I'm really awkward sometimes when I bring up things with people. So I remember wording it kind of weird, like, hey, so there's something that I need to tell you. And I remember like this might have been my perception, but I was like, please don't think that I'm like trying to say anything bad. I remember that he was just very, like when I told him I could see in his face, he was just like trying to process, like trying to process what I was telling him. And he was super, again, couldn't really empathize, but super understanding. And ever since he's been super accommodating, like even if we have to eat, If I'm stressed or something, we feed in separate rooms. He's amazing. He's the best.

Adeel [15:20]: That's super cool. And then you said since then you've been pretty relatively open, I guess, about miso. Are you just kind of like on street corners or is it just kind of like, you know, telling friends as you, you know, at social events or... Yeah, kind of both.

Brianna [15:40]: I've advocated it on things like Instagram, but also... And with friends, I'll tell them, like, if it comes up, I'll explain to them what it is. And I actually have a couple of friends who have, like, close friends who have reached out to me and said, like, when I've talked about it on Instagram, like, oh, my gosh, I have the same thing. I didn't know what it was for all this time. And it was really cool because I work in a place, I work in testing services. It's an office at SDSU. I remember one day I had given a I gave a speech about misophonia and about the stigma surrounding mental health in one of my previous professors lecture halls. And when I was at my job at testing services, this girl came in to take a test and she she came up to me after her test and she asked me if I had like if I was in her class. And then I guess that she had heard the speech and she had struggled with it for years, not knowing what was going on. So I think it's just moments like that where I feel like a lot of people can relate to this where it's like it kind of opens your eyes and you realize like, oh, my gosh, what I did made a difference and made someone's life a little bit easier because at least now they understand what's going on and can find better ways to go.

Adeel [16:53]: Yeah, that's amazing. There are a lot of people hiding in the shadows or maybe they don't even realize what's going on. Like a lot of us at one point thought we were crazy. And that's great that you're able to touch people like that.

Brianna [17:05]: I reached out to the founder of the club at UCLA because I was interested in starting something similar at SDSU. The only thing is I talked to my one of my close friends who's actually very high up in the student government at our university. And just with the, if I had started like months or like months and months earlier, I potentially could have had it going for this year. But it was just, it was a lot of like, what's the word I'm looking for? Like logistics and just all of the specifics and trying to work it out just with my schedule this upcoming, this is my senior year. I just, I couldn't do it. And plus now, obviously with everything going on, it's gonna be really tough.

Adeel [17:53]: Right, right. Totally.

Brianna [17:54]: I would love to, though, but maybe if I had another year.

Adeel [17:57]: Yeah. So, yeah, I guess speaking of COVID, you're probably not going to classes or anything. Yeah. And how, yeah, I mean, I guess, how has COVID affected your triggers? Like, you're not in classes, but are there more triggers at home with your roommates? I'm just curious how that experience has been.

Brianna [18:20]: Yeah, so when COVID first started, I moved back in with my parents for a while because I was living in an apartment up here, but I went back with them. And it was a little more difficult just because, again, more stress and, you know, stress with classes and just with everything going on. The stress, I think, just exacerbated my triggers, my misophonia. And when I was home, I would just find myself getting triggered even more easily. It was bad, but when I moved, and then I moved in with my boyfriend a while, like, let's say a few weeks ago. I'm here for a while and it's helped a little bit, but even here, you know, I still get triggers occasionally, you know, from him, from roommates and things. So it's definitely been a lot easier being able to like separate myself from, not from home necessarily, but just from any triggers. But it kind of, this whole thing kind of sucks. I know that I've heard other people speak about this on your show as well, but, or on the podcast, but it really, you know, it affects your relationships with family, with friends, because of course it's nothing like, you can't control it. So you want to have these close relationships, but sometimes certain things, even, you know, like at times like breathing, you know, just these smallest triggers can affect you being able to even be in close proximity with them. So I don't know, that's just kind of, I definitely know that throughout my life that's happened like with my parents. And of course I don't want that to happen, but it's just, yeah, it's just, it's an unfortunate situation all around.

Adeel [20:05]: Yeah, I think I know what you're talking about. So it's, yeah, you can probably even kind of anticipate when you might be triggered and you kind of maybe will want to, leave before you need to or shut down a conversation um and it's probably you know not uh probably not going on a limb saying this is probably one reason why you didn't want to bring it up with your parents and there's you know there's all that shame and guilt and um that we all kind of deal with exactly Um, and, uh, do you feel like you, you know, so I know you weren't triggered at school, but do you think it affected, um, you know, the kinds of friends you had or the number of friends you had, um, or, or was it really just strictly, uh, mainly affecting your, your family life?

Brianna [20:53]: Definitely just my family life. I consider myself like a pretty social person. So unless I'm, um, I'm like in a silent room with people only eating or something. I'm not normally triggered, especially if I'm with a lot of different people and we're talking and things. I'm normally, I'm good with that. But so friend wise now.

Adeel [21:14]: Right. And it seems like your family is very supportive. Is it supportive? But how did it did it negatively affect? And, you know, like you're maybe not as close as you feel like you could be with your with your with your parents. You know, how have they talked about that as well? Like, you know.

Brianna [21:33]: when maybe went around when you told them like you know did they were they like this makes a lot of sense you know I don't know how to talk about that but did they did they notice that it affected yeah yeah so not when I told them I don't think that any pieces have really fallen into place like that yet because you know I'd only really been experiencing those triggers well actually at that point it was like four years but I don't I don't think they brought anything like that up it might have been like um I think I think it was my mom who mentioned something about like sometimes I would seem like agitated at certain times and that made sense um but like relationship wise not really I just feel bad because sometimes it's like even just you know like sniffling or like mouse clicking um will like trigger me things that people need to do you know you can't ask someone like hey breathe differently or um do things like that. So it's like sometimes if one of my parents is like on the computer or something, or if I'm really stressed, like with schoolwork, even like sipping coffee sometimes, it's just, it's frustrating because I just want to be, you know, even if I'm not like in an active conversation with them, I'd like to at least be in the same room working on homework or whatever. But it's, I just, I can't because of those triggers or I have my headphones in. And I know that sometimes that can come off as like, kind of like, passive or like just not in the moment, not present, but you know, it's because I need to have them in. So I feel like in that way, it definitely has added just a little bit of distance. Like when I'm on the phone or like texting or anything, I'm fine. Like I love my parents. They're like my biggest support system. They're, we're a team. But it's just made it really hard to, even sometimes just in the conversation, even just like mouth noises sometimes get me. So It's, geez, speaking about it out loud is always so, So weird.

Adeel [23:39]: That's interesting. So when you're in a conversation with your parents and you're being triggered, do you react? Do you do the glare? Do you cringe? Do you fight through it because you love your parents? Or do you kind of like try to get to the end of a whatever the conversation is? I'm curious what goes on in your head as you're being triggered mid-conversation.

Brianna [24:03]: Um, kind of all of what you just mentioned, actually. Um, sometimes it'll just be like, I'll try to think of something like fast to say what that's like, um, you know, that'll kind of bring the conversation to a halt or say like, oh, I need to go work on this or whatever. Um, other times I feel bad because, you know, like sometimes my knee will start bouncing and I'll start kind of like backing away. And, um, obviously my parents know, um, that I have misophonia, but sometimes I still feel like that can be perceived like me backing away or me acting like fidgety can be perceived as disinterested when really I want nothing more in the world than to just be able to talk to my parents just like openly and like with no other distractions. But it's just so, I mean, you know, because you have misophonia, but you can't really, it's very, very hard to focus on other things or even on what's going on in the moment when you are being triggered because it's like that's all your brain can focus on.

Adeel [25:07]: exactly yeah i know i know what you're talking about and so we've we've mentioned i guess uh you know some of your coping mechanisms like how how you deal with conversations and you mentioned headphones what yeah tell me what are your what are some of your coping favorite coping mechanisms or what's what's worked maybe some things that haven't worked um so it seems like with the exception of my parents like if i'm with um my boyfriend or with

Brianna [25:31]: Other people who's chewing might sometimes trigger me. I found that it's always easier for me personally if I'm also like eating with them or like if some of my senses are being stimulated, like if there's music in the background or a TV, like a show playing or something. That makes it a little bit easier. If not, usually it's super hard for me. Yeah, headphones for sure. and um i actually i'm trying to still i need to practice this more um i actually have another friend who recently told me that she also um has struggled with misophonia but it's actually she's gotten um control over it by like um basically distracting her other senses as she's being triggered so like if she's being triggered she'll look and she'll find something and she'll say that whatever the object is is green or that is red and she'll just try to distract your mind and i have tried that as well um the only thing is it takes the mind away from the trigger at least for me but it also will take my mind away from the conversation i feel like it's a good one for if you're in a situation where you just definitely can't get out and you're being triggered and then if you're not if you don't have to be in

Adeel [26:41]: conversation with someone or actively doing something maybe that would be a good time to be to distract your mind in that other way maybe not during a conversation but um yeah like if you're on yeah if you're you're on an airplane you can't go anywhere that's right that works right um and uh yeah tell me about maybe some of your um i guess we don't want to describe triggers too much but i'm curious um more about um How did they evolve? Like, were there just a few triggers growing up and then maybe the types of triggers exploded in college? How did that go? And are you also triggered by visual things as well, like many of us are?

Brianna [27:22]: Oh, that's a good question. So for, yeah, I don't want to get, just for other listeners with misophonia, I don't want to get like too much in detail or like describe too many triggers. But mainly in the, ever since the beginning of it, my main trigger is chewing. And like mouth noises, that is like for sure my biggest trigger. And then it'll be like sniffling and mouse clicking and typing. Trying to think of anything else. Sometimes sipping, but really other than that, not too many unless it's like really repetitive. And as far as like visual triggers, like sometimes tapping of the foot. Dabbing of the foot for sure. And even now it's gotten to the point like the chewing is just so. It's just just visually like if I just see someone like chewing gum or eating, depending on what what mental space I'm in, sometimes I'll be triggered by that. But I definitely do get triggered visually as well.

Adeel [28:28]: Yeah, like many of us do. Yeah. Yeah, that's interesting. Do you feel like the visual triggers obviously came after? I wonder if does it feel like it's kind of like a warning you that you're going to be sonically triggered or?

Brianna [28:43]: Yeah, I think my brain's trained itself in that way. Honestly, I feel so bad because I remember sometimes even I ran track in high school and sometimes I would look up at the stands and this was mostly before before I told my parents about everything. but I felt so bad because sometimes I would want to, my parents were always so supportive and would always go watch me at my track meets. And I would look up to the stands and I would want to go up to my parents, but like my mom might be chewing gum or, um, you know, I would just, as soon as I saw the mouth moving, I was like, Nope, can't go up there. And, um, that kind of broke my heart too. Cause it was like, well, they're here supporting me and I want to go up there, but I will literally like probably break down if I go. So, um,

Adeel [29:25]: Yeah, that's such a classic misophonia and dilemma and guilt. But it sounds like you had visual triggers fairly early on, even before telling your parents. Your brain was trained. Interesting. Yeah, I'm curious, I guess, also about the friends who have told you they've got misophonia. It seems like you have quite a few. Are they kind of like your lifelong friends or are they people that maybe you've met because you've been so open about misophonia?

Brianna [30:01]: Kind of both. One of them is a very close friend of mine. And then I've had a couple that I knew from high school that, I mean, we were friends, but it wasn't like we were really close. And that's actually kind of brought us closer, what we have in common. And then a lot of the feedback and support I've gotten actually has been through people who don't have misophonia, but either have family members or who know about it and know people with the disorder, which has been really, really nice because people are actually I mean, it's not, they're finding, you know, that it's not quote unquote as rare as people once thought it was. So it's just very, it's very like uplifting to hear and like feel that support from others. But yeah, some of the people I've just like been acquaintances with and they've opened up to me about it. So I really feel like once we really start the conversation, which is another reason that I really appreciate this podcast, people will realize they're not alone. And like, we need to normalize that stigma surrounding mental health. You know, we're not crazy. Everyone has their things. And misophonia is just one of those things that people might struggle with.

Adeel [31:12]: Obviously, yeah, I could not agree more. And so that's beautiful to hear that you've become closer with that person who you may have known in high school and it's kind of brought you together. And yeah, so I'm curious, you know, as you're about to leave college, are you privy to maybe some, to keep track of some of the research that's going on in the field in Misophonia? In Misophonia?

Brianna [31:39]: Yeah. I actually have not. I should probably focus more on that right now. I'm just trying to focus on like counseling and just getting involved with advocacy. But I'm not really going to the research side. Sometimes I will read articles here and there regarding misophonia. But like as far as statistics and things like that, no, not really.

Adeel [32:02]: Gotcha. And yeah, I'm curious. So now that you are kind of like about to leave college, are you thinking about like work environments and coworkers and how you're going to deal with the rest of your life and misophonia?

Brianna [32:19]: Right. So when I think, I typically don't like to think like super far into the future because it stresses me out. But work environment, I have not. I'm not really... I want to say like worried per se about my work environment, just because if I, you know, I eventually want to get my LCSW. So I want to be a licensed social worker working with, but focusing on counseling. And I found that if I have like a set, like if I know that I'm going to be with a person or with a group for an hour. And even if I have triggers with that person, if I don't see them like super often and I don't have a problem with it. It's the weirdest thing. My brain just has weird ways of organizing itself, I guess. Um, so as far as that, I'm not really concerned. I guess the biggest concern with that would be just, um, with my coworkers that I might be with, you know, all the time. Um, at my current job, I have not had much, like sometimes, you know, I'll get triggered by like gum chewing. Um, but it's not enough to like make me lose focus on what I'm doing. Um, so with that, I'm not too worried with family life. I'm or like with my future family and everything. I'm not too concerned because I plan on, um, like when I have kids and everything, I want to make them very aware, like about the mental health field and, um, make sure that they know, like, just because something is going on, it's not, it doesn't mean you're weird. It doesn't mean you're abnormal. Um, you know, everyone has their things and I'll make it very clear to them from the beginning, like this is what I deal with and that's why we have music playing at dinner or that's why we're watching TV tonight while we eat dinner. Um, and I mean, right now my, my boyfriend is extremely understanding and I'm just, I guess that part I'm not too worried about.

Adeel [34:15]: yeah that's interesting people people uh i guess um you know think about you know should they tell their kids or not um because where some people are not are you know wondering is this going to just pass it on to them or not and obviously this we a lot of research that needs to happen to figure out like how does this whole thing start um But I mean, I think obviously in general, it's good to normalize for kids that everybody's different. People feel different things and their brains are wired differently. So yeah, that's obviously a great approach. Yeah, I guess in that regard, I'm curious with anxiety and a number of other conditions that I think, like you said, can be core morbid. Did you ever think that misophonia was just one of those conditions for you? Yeah. And maybe how did you learn to kind of separate those?

Brianna [35:10]: I did. So the first therapist that I had brought up earlier, she diagnosed me with this flat out anxiety. And actually the reason that I went to her in the first place was because my parents were, I mean, I had just, I felt so bad because I just couldn't handle it anymore. So they were like, yeah, let's go. we got to take you to see someone. So I went with her and she, I remember talking with her and she, at first when I told her, like when I first realized that I had this and I was just telling her like, you know, as a what 17 year old person would do, she, she just laughed and she was like, yeah, you can't self-diagnose yourself. And I just remember it in that moment. I was like, so just like, I was just kind of like speechless because I was like, you're my therapist. You're not supposed to take away the validity of your client. Anyway, sorry, side note.

Adeel [36:10]: It was about the comorbidity with other conditions and how you kind of separated that, yeah.

Brianna [36:17]: Sorry about that, yeah. So she just diagnosed me with anxiety and mild depression. And then when I saw other therapists as well, it was the same thing. so I am like on antidepressants and everything. And when I first got on them, I was hoping maybe they would help. Um, like maybe some of my triggers and it hasn't really, it's just, you know, kind of taken that edge off of just my general anxiety. Um, but yeah, that's, um, yeah, that's it.

Adeel [36:49]: Right. So I was going to ask you if you had been, uh, prescribing anything, cause it sounds like your initial therapist was just, it was just a therapist and like a psychiatrist can, can prescribe these things. And, and so you, you prescribed something, um, and it helped general anxiety, but misophonia not at all or. Okay.

Brianna [37:11]: Yeah, no, not really at all. I had, um, My initial interest in it was in the medication was I had seen a YouTube video like years ago of this girl who and I was actually surprised because, again, this is years ago. And this girl who had gone to a doctor with her misophonia and she I guess they prescribed her some kind of. medication but she said one of the side effects was that it would make her heartbeat like 200 beats per minute or something yeah so then i remember just thinking maybe just regular antidepressants which for me hasn't helped my misophonia um i definitely would not not suggest to anyone like they do help for sure just not don't expect it to specifically help your triggers or treat your misophonia

Adeel [37:54]: Gotcha. Yep. Cool. Well, I guess maybe we're heading up to about 40, 45 minutes. Probably around time to kind of start wrapping up. But, you know, I'm curious, as an advocate, is there anything you want to tell people, whether they don't know they have it, they're just trying to figure out how to navigate the world with it? Anything you want to tell people?

Brianna [38:19]: Regarding misophonia, I think the number one thing that I would recommend is just do not be ashamed. Don't be afraid to open up and tell people because the truth is some people might look at you like you're crazy and if they don't have it or they don't know someone who has it, they won't be able to sympathize or empathize. But I personally have not come across one person who's been like that. I've just read stories. But I would suggest just be open. That's the only way that people are going to hear about it and get educated about it. And hopefully we'll see more change occur in this area. So really just be open and don't be afraid, especially to reach out to support from people close to you. Do your own research and just kind of, I don't know, just See, there are so many different coping mechanisms out there. Do your research on that and just find what works for you because no one's the same. And also I would recommend like even searching hashtags or like I have followed quite a few accounts now that are misophonic. You have to do with misophonia like on Instagram. I know Twitter will have some. If you look on social media or just on the web, you'll see that you are definitely not alone. So I would really encourage you to... or to anyone out there who's struggling to even find their voice in it, just bite the bullet, because honestly, you're bound to find at least one person that's going to be there and be like, hey, I hear you. You're not alone, and you're going to get through this.

Adeel [39:48]: Yeah, I'm glad that you haven't had any negative experiences. Some people have, but I think many of us go through that. But the important thing is, like you said, there are a lot of us online who will more than happily jump in and listen, sympathize, and help you through it. And I think that's worth any kind of weird reactions that you get from other people. Honestly, yeah. So, yeah, I guess, Brianna, I want to thank you for coming on and sharing that and for just being an advocate and changing people's lives. That's great. And I wish you the best with dealing with this going forward.

Brianna [40:32]: Thank you. Yeah, you too. And thank you again for having this podcast. I've really enjoyed listening to all of the other ones. And I feel like it just really helps give us a voice and remind us that we're not alone in this.

Adeel [40:46]: Thank you, Brianna. Don't forget to check out the miso list,, M-I-S-O-L-I-S-T. You can email me, hello at We've got a little behind on my emails, but I'll get back to you ASAP. You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook at Misophonia Podcast or Twitter at Misophonia Show. Music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [41:20]: Thank you.