S4 E21 - 7/21/2021


This week I speak with Christina, a fashion photographer in New York/New Jersey. We start by comparing our elevator pitches for how we explain misophonia to others. We end on speculating what misophonia is. This was recorded before the latest research paper from Dr. Kumar’s group so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Christina on Instagram @deo_christina

Sponsor: My daughter launched a new podcast, The Animal Q&A Podcast. Perfect for kids of all ages! 


Disclaimer: These are machine-generated transcripts and so are not completely accurate. However they will be manually updated over time until they are.

[00:00:00] Adeel: Christina, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here. Thanks for having me. Do you wanna do you wanna first tell us where Beth's your location? We were just talking about that.


[00:00:10] Christina: so I'm from New York, but I'm currently reciting in Jersey City and I just happen to pick the busiest noisiest section in Jersey City. So that is where I'm currently reciting, trying to manage all the noises every single day that this apartment has.

[00:00:25] Adeel: Yeah, I'm in the Midwest on one of the first, nice days of the year.

So obviously there's like leaf blows going everywhere, , but I think you'll have them relatively at bay for hopefully the next hour.

[00:00:34] Christina: Are leaf leafblower? Are leafblower like the main kind of like annoying noise? Cause I guess people have yards over there. Where I'm at, there are not that many yards

[00:00:43] Adeel: Yeah. It's I think the homeowners are smart enough to not have 'em. It's the we live near our college and so the like the managed apartment rentals, they, for some reason, they feel like they need to send an army of leaf blowers every day. To do that. Or at least the beginning of the season.

[00:00:57] Christina: So yeah. It's so interesting when environments have their own kind of special set of, sounds like when you're in a really urban environment like I am, you have the super loud music, you have construction, but then I hear if you go even in more rural areas, you still have Dogs barking from your neighbors.

Like all still, like tr sounds are true. There's always no matter where you live, there's always like a set of noises that you become familiar with, I guess depending

[00:01:22] Adeel: on you. I was just in the, yeah, literally yesterday I was at my in-laws deep in the country, so it's all like deep in the country and so it's farmland.

Yeah. So it's totally different. There's, it's it's obviously. City shit. But it's like some, there's, there's some birds that have, some unusual, not as, not the prettiest sounds. That's true. Especially when they come in like in, in large flocks. So yeah, you

[00:01:46] Christina: yeah.

Yeah, and that's true. Actually, I went to Lebanon two years ago. My husband is Lebanese, so he went to his very small town in Lebanon, right south of the border. I am from the Bronx. I have not heard roosters in real life, but Oh my goodness. Yeah, 4:00 AM I don't know what time it was, but like the jarring sound of the roosters just, yeah, going crazy.

I'm like, oh, this is interesting . But I do assume though, more on the countryside, I guess I always fantasize that it's like a little bit more peaceful. You have nature.

[00:02:17] Adeel: Oh, it totally is. That's that. No, it totally is. But yeah, it's yeah, I mean it's, I didn't mind the birds. Some other people were bothered by it.

Not miso level, bothered by it, but Yeah. Yeah. You know how it is. They got those weird, it's also, if you go into the, Yeah, if you go into some of those smaller towns, you got all the, , all the guys that need motorcycles and large motor to, to overcompensate for themselves.


[00:02:40] Christina: for sure you get to pass by all that stuff on the rose. Oh, I still have that here. It would be like 4:00 AM in the morning, 5:00 AM in the morning and I don't know what person with insomnia has issues, but they like go through my neighborhood , like rearing their engines and ugh. I'm like, come on guys.

We aren't turned

[00:02:58] Adeel: on By that, aren't all women turned on by that?

[00:03:00] Christina: That's absolutely not. That's definitely not the case. , I speak for all women. We do not. Okay. When you mention your in-laws, does, do your in-laws know you have miso

[00:03:13] Adeel: corn? Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yes. Do.

[00:03:16] Christina: Oh, that's cool. Yeah. Okay.

So this is like what I wanted to ask you. I've just been thinking, do you have not elevator pitch, but do you have a digestible short description to tell people who haven't even heard of the word misophonia, like what do you tell them?

[00:03:32] Adeel: Yeah, that's so funny. I

[00:03:33] Christina: don't fear how.

[00:03:35] Adeel: I don't have a go-to.

But I would use, I have some, the terms I would use in no particular order they would just come out as I as I, organically would be like, focus on the fact that it's a sound sensitivity. So it's like an oversensitivity and I can't, so things like, I would probably say it's.

super sensitive. My mention it's a disorder I'll definitely mention that lots of people have it, and definitely mention that it's far more than just an annoyance. And there was another thing I would mention oh, that I have the people with disappointed just have problems processing certain sounds.

Without necessarily saying sensory processing disorder. Cause I feel like that needs to be, maybe be. Diagnosed, but those are the kinds of things I would mention. Extreme STEM sensitivity, difficulty processing disorder, just to throw in the the fact that it's a little bit, it's, more of a hope, we think more of a medical, biological issue. But, I don't have to bring it up a lot because I'm, at this point I tend to opt for the flight portion of the fight or.

[00:04:44] Christina: Interesting. So yours more flight than, ah, that's so interesting. So yours is like more panic kind of thing, like flight aspect

[00:04:52] Adeel: of it. It's, it's more the internalizing and then thinking, oh God, I, is this gonna end? Or do I need to leave ? Yeah. As opposed to the lashing out, which, the temptations are always there to lash out, especially. I don't know, especially if you feel trapped, if you're sitting down at a meal whether it's at home or a restaurant. But even that, just because you, just, cuz the onset comes on so hard, I think for me at least, I feel like I need to try even harder to shut down and try to look for a way out.

[00:05:26] Christina: That's really interesting. Yeah, it's interesting to. how people react differently. Yeah.

And then

[00:05:32] Adeel: the whole explanation part, and this comes up, this has come up on a number of shows as well. It's just at some point you're like it's, it becomes exhausting because you know that you're probably, the probability that you're gonna be dismissed. Or be, it will get that weird deer in the headlights kind of stare is high enough that you're like, this isn't even worth bringing up. Why can't I just, what if I just get outta here ? Just that's the easier ways to, I think all those factors are why I tend to go for the flight sometimes.

It's usually not worth it in. You

[00:06:00] Christina: know what I feel very similarly when I tell people, like my kind of little pitch is, Hey, I have a sensory disorder slash condition that I, it gives me a fight or flight response. When I hear certain trigger sounds, then usually the person's what are the trigger sounds?

And then I say, chewing, coughing, sneezing, clearing your throat, certain people's voices. And then that's when it start, , I, I stop myself from going too much. I usually just say like mouth noises. And even though unfortunately as I get older, I have noticed the list has been getting added onto.

Oh yeah. But but yeah, sometimes it really depends. If I'm not gonna be with people in enclosed position enclosed space and we're gonna be eating, I like, all right. I think I should probably mention, I have this in case I need to give them a heads up. Hey, We're gonna have dinner together in this, in your house.

Can we just play some music? Like I need something in the background and I'll explain if needed. But for the most part, ugh, I've, I I've spoke, I've told some family members , and it's very much like I, I the careful balance of, I don't want them to act too comfortable around me cuz these are sounds that they can't really control.

But at the same time, it causes me so much. Instantaneously that I'm just always being stressed out. Sometimes though, like it's. The careful balance of like how much discomfort you wanna be and how much , you wanna make the other person comfortable if they really don't get it, which most people won't to a degree.


[00:07:36] Adeel: it's weird. Yeah no, exactly. It's yeah, you don't want to, then that's come up before too. It's like you don't want to it you, it almost, that's, it adds stress on you if you see it if you think about people, or on eggshells around you, and then that stress exacerbates your kind of your misophonia yeah. Yet another reason to really calculate if I need to mention it or not.

[00:08:01] Christina: Yeah. The issue with me though is that my response is extreme anger. Like I get very, yeah. The fight just straight up. This comes full force. Like I just want. wreck havoc. If I cannot, if the, if I'm getting triggered, I'm just so angry right away and I actually, did you say something

[00:08:18] Adeel: or you just clench your face kinda

[00:08:20] Christina: thing?

Oh, so you know what? It's been strange because of covid. Let me explain Yeah. Before Covid. Yeah, because I told you I'm in the New York City tri-state area essentially, and I would have to commute to Manhattan pretty frequent. And I'm gonna tell you, public transit is the worst because, so you can imagine you're stuck in a moving vehicle of some sort, train, bus, subway, and you're stuck with these sounds that you can't control and people are wearing their masks back in the day.

Like it's public transit was such a huge issue for me to the point where I sometimes wouldn't even go on the subway. If I see someone like chewing, like I. It was just it was so terrible. Like you can't just tell someone, Hey, can you stop breathing? Like are, they're breathing heavily, yeah, that sounds like a threat. Probably gonna get punched in New York. you saying not to strangers. So before Covid, I was constantly being triggered, whether it be indoor dining or public transit, that feeling of trapped ness. But then, now that covid is a thing, unfortunately. I've actually been getting triggered a lot less, so I don't, because of that, because there's more space between my triggers, even though unfortunately I have been getting a lot more triggers, I am able to hold back a little bit.

The f the frequency or the lack of frequency has been helping me because before I was just constantly on edge and now not so much to a degree. So it's like. There's times where I've, when I was younger, I did say something to someone, like some guy was chewing gum at Barnes and Nobles was trying to read something and I snapped at him and he looked at me like I was crazy.

Cause I was like 16 and I just ran away, , like stuff like

[00:10:13] Adeel: that. And so you did both, you did the fight and the flight? Yeah,

[00:10:16] Christina: I did. Yeah. Compound. There we go. And we're certain family members, especially when I was younger, especially. I had such little control of my environment, I would say something, but I didn't have the word in misophonia back then.

They just thought it was like a quirk in my personality. Yeah. So I would say something and unfortunately, a lot of times because they didn't understand, I would get dismissed. And like my first s episode, I guess you could say was just, . It was awful. Like I remember like it was yesterday. So it's just and I think you mentioned your podcast, you don't quite remember like the first time you've been triggered with Meson, right?


[00:10:59] Adeel: personally don't not exactly down to the right down to the day. Some people do, but most people don't. It's usually just around that, that, late junior high, late elementary school kind of time is when. Notice something weird is happening.

[00:11:13] Christina: Yeah. I feel like preteen there's so much research that needs to be done.

This is so relatively new, a new term compared to other, disorders that's been studied for so long. But for me, I was 12 and I remember it was just, it was so bad. Like I was trapped in a car with my dad. And my mom would give him lollipops because we would drive to visit my brother in college and it.

A five hour drive, six hour drive, and my dad would like to drive a knife, so we'll get there early. And unfortunately he would just eat these lollipops. And as you can imagine, lollypops are terrible when you have meson, to say the least. Yeah, it's so awful. And as, as I think I was 11 or 12, I would, I was crying and I was begging him to stop.

I was so angry and emotions. Overflowing. And I remember just kicking this his seat cuz I was behind him just kicking his seat, just begging him to stop and he thought it was hysterical. He's oh, cause he's kind. Yeah. He thought cuz he's from an environment and generation that, you only cry if you have a good reason, that kind of thing.

Or if you're about to die or something. Yeah. Don't show weakness, don't cry over something. And unfortunately he definitely, I wish he had the emotional intelligence to see, Hey, my daughter's super distressed. This isn't a normal reaction. Maybe I should stop doing whatever if you know it's bothering her.

Yeah, that certainly wasn't it. Hours upon hours, and this isn't the first road trip we took to visit my brother, I was trapped in this car. Just really stuck and feeling trapped, feeling so angry to the point where I wish I would. I am, I fantasize, like opening the car door and just jumping out , don't anything to make it stop.

Yeah. Yeah. And I remember, and I spoke to my mom about this and she's, she really apologized for not knowing like how bad it was. And I've explained to her misophonia is, and I'm not the only person who has this, but yeah. But basically I rem like I think back about that sometimes.

Like I remember. Like I even feel emotional just thinking about it right now. It's crazy. Yeah. It happened so long ago.

[00:13:31] Adeel: Yeah. Yeah. It had a huge impact. Was there ever a period before, before it was bothering you, where you were doing those road trips and it wasn't bothering you, and then suddenly it came on?

Or was it from the first road trip to your brother?

[00:13:45] Christina: I don't think we took any long trips like that. , I don't, I can't remember if there was, and if there was, it wasn't to that. That was just like the first memory I had. Yeah. But it was so bad that my whole body was reacting to the sound that even I knew back then shouldn't be causing me to get so upset and so incredibly angry and yeah.

So I don't remember before that, but

[00:14:11] Adeel: yeah. Did you start spread then to, eating at home and all the other usual places? You

[00:14:16] Christina: know what's interesting is that I didn't know the word miso phony until I was like 20. Like I said, like my family just thought this was like a quirk in my personality.

Yeah. Christina's a little different. I am but basically I I don't remember avoiding, I, I don't remember it because I didn't have a label. I can't quite pinpoint when exactly I've been triggered besides certain very, obvious cases like the Barnes and Nobles or, the car. Yeah. Like driving the car.

I just. Begging my mom, Hey, if we're gonna take, I, if we're gonna take a trip with my dad, can we just not give him any lollipops? Do not give him anything to eat cuz it's gonna, I just, I can't, mom, I can't do it. , she's okay, I'll try . And I think for the most part she like did, but like it's very different time back then anyway.

I don't quite, it wasn't until I just remember bits and pieces throughout my childhood and . That I had these kind of outbursts or intense feelings of rage over a sound. But it wasn't until like my early twenties that I felt that it was very problematic. Like I, like it was distressing like almost every day kind of thing.

Right? .

[00:15:31] Adeel: Yeah. It's not coming to me. I know I was bothered by back then too, but it wasn't like , it was, first of all, I wasn't, I didn't really notice it. I don't really remember it bothering me at school. Thank God that I Yeah,

[00:15:40] Christina: Same a little bit. Yeah.

[00:15:42] Adeel: And but yeah, once that independence starts to happen around college plus college is when yeah.

Things, it's just a blossom. And that's when it gets crazy. Did Okay. Yeah, so it sounds like similar for you, right? Like it didn't it didn't didn't do anything too crazy. What do you remember anything with friends where you're like, yeah, I can't I can't hang out that, that friend anymore, or

[00:16:03] Christina: No.

Cause I wouldn't, no, I wouldn't really. I what's good about my high school is that you weren't allowed to chew gum. So I never like, had issues in quiet settings. For me, it's a quiet. If there's no noise, then that's when it's the worst when I'm hearing this trigger sound. But like for the most part, I'm from a very noisy family.

in a noisy environment for better, for worse. And for the most part it's always been like background noise. Yeah. Light noise in the background. Yeah. , did you ever have a nine to five kind of job where you're like in the office, like how oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So like how did you, like, how did you deal with that?

Cause for me, that's when I was like, Ooh, this could be a real issue. I'm having a hard time.

[00:16:47] Adeel: Kids. Let's, I do want, yeah, I do wanna talk about your line of work too, but Yeah. But but yeah, no, I have had so currently, current, so I'm a software, basically, engineer. So right now I just work, I'm here in my home office up on the third floor attic of my house.

Nice. But there have been times where I've been every kind of office, open office, that startup or like a office with doors and walls offices with cubicles. And yeah, honestly the most recent job I've had, like they in tech they're companies are generally pretty good about a letting you wear headphones, but b sometimes even giving you headphones because it's not even just the visas that want that kind of quiet be able to concentrate.

My company just gave us, gave everybody like nice headphones and but in. But in, yeah. But if you're just naked out there in an open office it's rough. I don't like eating, like having lunch with the team. I like going to lunch down the street, grabbing something, and then I'll just go back to my desk and not I don't want to sit around watching people eat, especially think every single day. And I always thought that I was just being I always thought. Back when I was younger I was just bored by the older guys, but I think I just didn't want . I just didn't wanna literally just sit around watching people eat, and so yeah, I've been, but yeah, I've been in every kind of situation, but it's you gravitate towards the headphones and you gravitate towards the home office and eventually, that takes care of itself unless there's leaf floors outside.

[00:18:10] Christina: So my newest, yeah, leaf floors. My newest, one thing I did learn about a lot of like classes or lectures, especially if they were recorded before Covid, they were all over YouTube and other, these other websites.

, if you're like, trying to learn a new skill and what got me that I had to stop watching those classes, that if someone were to cough or sneeze off camera. Yeah. Yeah. I immediately had to turn off. I had to turn it off because it caught me so off guard. So it's interesting cuz even in the virtual space, Zoom and video calls.

My, my husband's working at home and if someone's coughing or sneezing, like I, it's even then it I always I never not hear it and I may not have the super instant reaction of anger, but it always shakes me up and it's just, I totally

[00:18:58] Adeel: agree. Let's stupid. Yeah, I totally agree. I watch YouTube Yeah.

All the time cuz I'm like a d in terms of what I wanna learn and interest. It's, but sometimes it's not even, sometimes it's even the the video the teacher, if they have the, if they put compression on their vocals in the wrong way. And then you hear everything like at the same volume, kinda like on the radio, kinda like a radio voice.

If you do compression the wrong way, then you feel, then you hear everything as loud as your, your loudest speech. And so sometimes I'll just hear, I'll just. Throat sounds as loud. Oh my goodness. As the talking and it's just, I have to shut it off. I've done, I've definitely have to do that.

And that goes back, I remember that I remember one particular video I saw back in I think it was like 2008 or nine or something. And that's that's one of the few, like real memories I have at some point. A watching video on some programming language or whatever. And the guy just he just, I just heard everything not just his speaking.

And I was like, holy shit. I think that's when maybe. Start to like Google around for what's wrong with me? Yeah. Cause I was on the computer anyway, so I was like, yeah. What's came across misophonia. So how did, oh yeah. When did you, realize that how did you get to the point where you realized it had a name?

Were you actually Googling for

[00:20:05] Christina: it or Not at all? Because I I grew up thinking that I was just, I just had this thing and I felt so alone, especially as I gotten older. It's getting worse. I was I was a receptionist at the art school. I graduated from the first year after my graduation. So anyway, receptionist at this office and one of my coworkers, we were just talking about like weird annoyances.

And of course I mentioned, oh, my people eat popcorn or they chew. I just wanna punch 'em in their face. Like I said yeah, I just have this weird thing about me where I just can't stand the sound of people chewing and she looks at me and. My boyfriend has that. You have me. So funny. And I'm like, Misa what?

Like what is this? What is that? And she was like, you should just go. Be like, go for it. I'm sure you're gonna see. And oh my goodness, I remember that night. It was so illuminating, but also depressing, illuminating, and nice in a way that you have a community of people who know how it is to be triggered and.

Feel so upset, ang angrier, anxious over certain sounds that are otherwise normal to other people, to find people that are, yeah, that are like dealing with this. It was nice to have that community, but then at the same time as I went down that hole on Reddit and it was just, ooh, sorry, I just cleared my throat when I went down the hole on Reddit and it was just very depressing.

there is this kind of, there is this kind of common thread that there's no cure and it gets worse as you get older. And you just have to live your life the best you can with this. And I was hoping there is some kind of tools or something I could take to help me, at least we're not alone.

But it is a very mysterious. that luckily now a lot of research is being done, but I wanna say back in 2014, barely, I was just happy we had this label, but that was about it. So that's how I discovered the word

[00:22:15] Adeel: misophonia. Yeah, no that's interesting then kind of word of mouth there.

Yeah, you're right online and that's why it's one of the reasons why I started this podcast is cuz online you can't definitely, you just hear people when. People go online to post something on this phone? Yeah, it's, they're in mega triggered states. So you see the, were the most errant kind of darkest stuff, which we all know about, but but yeah, it's and yeah, I'm not saying that there are any radical new tools or cures or anything, but at least you're not really missing . You haven't really missed out on anything, usually, what you've learned to do. Is, you just have to continue and maybe you learn some, maybe you find some solace, at least in in knowing that and one thing is like you get more freedom over time, like you're not in your . Giant, loud family anymore as you're getting older. So what I try to tell people and it's yeah, triggers get worse and there's no cure, but at least you can control your environments a bit more.

, it's like I can con, I'm an adult, I can control thermostat in my house. I don't have to freeze all the time cuz my parents are too cheap. It's the same with sounds. It's like I, I can control my environment a little bit more. And that's the, one thing we have, while there's hopefully more research happening and.

[00:23:24] Christina: Us. It's so interesting you say the word control, because that is a word that has been in my mind lately and it's funny for me how I personally have been trying to get better, not better, just try to adjust to what I have, is accepting the lack of control that I have and yeah, no, for sure.

Living on your own or like just now with your parents helps tremendously. But unfortunately I do. in the the most noisiest apartment I've ever lived in my life, and there's so many, I don't get musson triggers, but I certainly do find, just sounds like a, like my, it's weird. Maybe you have something similar where your brain can filter out noises that other people don't really hear.

Like it just filter. Like they're, they filter out certain noises. I can't, so any kind of ambulance, any. Someone's coughing across the street. My, my neighbors sneeze. I could hear that. It's crazy. Do the walls. Do the walls . Yeah. So it's and one thing that has helped me was just just meditating on the fact that this is what I have and I can't control it to a degree.

I really can't. And just accepting that and just remembering that even if I do have a huge misophonia An episode, there's so many more moments of my day that I don't, so that's the only way that kind of, when the ways, it gets me through it because as it gets, sometimes gets really stressful, especially as things start opening up in this country and stuff like indoor dining is gonna be a thing more and life will slowly get back to how it was.

[00:25:00] Adeel: Yeah. No you're right. It's, we, yeah. Most of our days are not me, so it always hits us every day. There's always something. Yeah. But it's funny because we. You would, none of us will want to think about it, but sometimes thinking about it in advance when there's no triggers, is a way to massage your mind into not being so afraid of what's gonna what you're gonna hear. Cuz that neighbor sneezing across, across the wall. Our brains think that something is gonna come and attack us through the wall or something, it's just like we can't , we can't we can't dangerous things from these kinds of sounds like real danger from this illusion of danger.

Is that for sure there's something, what's happening? That's a great point. Do you wanna, maybe, do you wanna talk about a bit about what kind of, what you do for work? You're, you were receptionist, but now you're, I think, a little bit more independent. In terms of in

[00:25:49] Christina: terms of office spaces.

I, I, my, yeah. My, so receptionist was many moons ago in my early yeah. But yeah, so I, I am. Right now I'm a freelancer, I'm a photographer. I specialize in fashion, beauty, and portraiture. Mostly fashion. And we're gonna have your

[00:26:04] Adeel: Instagram cuz you do amazing work. Amazing

[00:26:07] Christina: work. Thank you.

Thank you. I

[00:26:08] Adeel: appreciate that. I'm a bit of a, I want to be photographer too, so I admire really good work,

[00:26:12] Christina: Yeah. Oh, thank you. Continue. I appreciate that. Yeah, so I, and photography was always with me, but when I graduated art school, I looked down the real world and I was like, Ooh. That seems really harsh.

I got student loans, let me forget about photography and just get like a nine to five job so I could, not be scared of being impoverished. So I could photography for half a decade. I did not touch my camera. Camera was collecting dust and I was just denying this part of myself. And I worked at a corporate office.

I worked at Bloomingdale's, which is owned by Macy's and that was. That period of time was when I was like, Ooh, this is a problem I have, this is definitely a condition that is always lurking in the shadows. Because when you're in an office space, and we were in a dark room cuz I was a photo toucher and you need to have a controlled light situation to match colors of products, all the stats.

Yeah. So I didn't, so you have that extra thing of not really seeing what's around you, but then hearing these sounds. One of the worst triggers to this day was when my boss we're like we're cool at the time. All's good. He so I was typing on my computer. I didn't see him come from behind and he was eating a banana and he just slump like I don't, the slushy chomping of the banana.

He was right next to my ear cuz he was Ooh, what you doing on the computer? And I was working, but like he was just being, , but he said that while he was eating it caught me so off guard that I just said something like, I was just like, yeah, I'm just working. He walked away and literally I was about to throw up.

Yeah. I never had such a trigger that was like I was, I had such a physical reaction of just, I'm gonna vomit at my desk. All right, this is gonna be something like, luckily I was able to just breathe and try my best to calm down. It took 40 minutes. I didn't even wanna get up. My seat to go to the bathroom.

Cause I didn't want anyone to look at my face and be like, what's wrong with you? I'd be like, so many things. But basically, yeah, like that was my worst triggers. Were in like a workplace environment and I don't miss it, . So when I finally made the leap of like, all right actually a photographer and I'm good at photography, why aren't they doing this?

Eventually I made the jump of being a freelancer. It's been a lot better commute, a lot less into the city, into Manhattan and I make my own hours, all that jazz. Photo shoots. I have to be a little bit careful. I do editorials so well. Before Covid it was like larger scale and we have food, so I always have music on.

So it's been okay. It was okay as long as I had music, so yeah. So that's yeah, that's what I do. Yeah,

[00:29:03] Adeel: no that's cool. Yeah, it's great that, yeah, you've definitely gravitated towards having a bit more. Did you get to call the shots on the set? Cause you obviously, you probably can't wear headphones or whatever you, cuz you're communicating with people.


[00:29:13] Christina: Yeah. So basically you're like, yeah, you're like head honcho, like you are the captain of the ship and you have to lot of pressure when you're doing a fashion editorial cuz you have a time constraint and you do need to feed people. Cuz if you're on set for five. I like to feed people because I've had models tell me, yeah, some photographers don't bring any food and I'm starving.

And that really affects the mood of the shoot. Yeah. I always have music and that's, my music is so important to me because I get obsessed with it. Like I have playlists where I very I specifically organize it in such a way, it just, get the feel of the shoot. And so I will, I'll just have a lot of fun with making.

And just cranking it up to a volume that's not super loud, but enough that people are eating on the side, like I'm not really gonna stress out about it cuz I have that other

[00:30:01] Adeel: noise. Let enough, if it doesn't bother you. People know who's in charge but doesn't hurt their ears. Exactly. The little common people ears.

Yeah. Very cool. Do you have I do so I've talked to some people who I'm actually gonna, yeah probably share some, one or two playlists of people who they've created Spotify playlists where it's all music that kind of gets going right away. The, there's no crescendo into a song so that it's like everything can be a go-to song.

Do you ever think about the miso while you're setting organizing playlists or is it more just kind of mood for a photo shoot to wherever you're at?

[00:30:31] Christina: I'll have so many playlists, so I will have shoots just for mood of the photo shoot. I'll have playlist, I'll have playlists where I'll just have certain categories.

Like I have one called vibes for a young person name, just like very kind of soothing, just lower key. I have music where it's it's rock , I don't quite think about me. So funny. I just intuitively pick music that I know will generate a certain mood and I'm really, I really concentrate on music because it just affects my mood so much.

And usually for the for, for better, especially if I'm having a musical funny. , I have to calm down a bit before I can listen to music. I know some people would just try to ignore their, whatever's going on with them. With music, I can't quite do that, but certainly music could have such a calming effect on me.

So I kind of use that to my advantage when I, so

[00:31:18] Adeel: you need to use it to reset a bit or

[00:31:20] Christina: sometimes

[00:31:21] Adeel: yes. Fact, equilibrium. Yeah. Sometimes. So you're in a, you're in a creative you're in a creative field and Wondering, have you met other people in any of your creative fields that also have miso, misophonia?

It seems like there are a decent amount of creative slash even engineering types that have misophonia. I'm curious if you bumped into others.

[00:31:40] Christina: I only have one friend, acquaintance and sh and she is in the culinary field. So knowing that's like an art, like a photographer or other artist,

And that's why it's so interesting with this podcast. I'm so happy you do it because sometimes, I forget that there are people who deal with this cuz I don't really know anyone else. And I used to send her emails like, Hey, I had this one. Like I, I really ran to her and I'm like, why am I doing this?

This is not fair to her, because but we connected so much with having this condition, so we would talk about it and it was to, for each of us to have someone who understands this. And I knew her for a long time and it wasn't until someone recently that I knew that she was struggling with this.

I just posted something on Facebook a long time ago. She's oh, I have this too, cuz I kind of po I don't know, it was definitely me so funny related, just kinda throwing it out there. And she was like, oh, I have this. Then we got into this huge conversation and for her not to give too much of her story she had, it has it a lot worse to the point where she definitely had to move.

Even her partner at the time was extremely inconsiderate to what she was going through and it really affected her life. And I think she's doing better because I think she moved to a quieter place and she hasn't new, significant other as well. But it really goes to show you that when you have misophonia like you're it could really affect your life, your relationships, where you live.

Yes. And she understood that. So it was really nice. But other than her, I don't know anyone else. And that's what I'm hoping with your podcast and just more information comes about awareness is, I'm sure there's so many people who have this and they just don't have a name for it.

[00:33:23] Adeel: So how about your certificate?

Other so you've been obviously at home, like we've all been and he's got his meetings, you got your stuff going on. And we talked about, I. Pandemic, gets us away from a lot of our regular triggers the subway. But then I think after, but I'm sure by the end of last year everybody Misa are not common people and not we're getting tired of maybe feeling a bit claustrophobic and kind of cabin fever is, was that kind of starting to affect maybe your miso at home, at all?

[00:33:53] Christina: Did that change any kind? It's interesting because I lived in a much smaller apartment . I, the funny thing about me, I move every single summer. So the apartment that I, that was last summer was significantly smaller and there was like this claustrophobic, I can't go anywhere without hearing a meeting or hearing, that was, I just had to adjust.

It wasn't. It was also height of like pandemic stuff. So there's a lot of emotions going on with that. I live connections and insurrection. Oh my goodness. Exactly. And now it's a lot better because we have a little more space and I'm so thankful and grateful that my significant other is understanding, to a degree.

Sometimes he actually, it's interesting cuz he doesn't really trigger me. Only when he sneeze. So when he sneezes, I just have a moment, but I calm down. But other than that, did it come in a

[00:34:49] Adeel: series or is

[00:34:50] Christina: it usually just point? No, not a series. Thank goodness. Oh my gosh. Imagine it made a series of s because I have met people who just cannot stop allergy

[00:34:58] Adeel: around that time,

[00:34:59] Christina: right?

Yeah. Yeah. So luckily, for him, like I explained to him, sho is. He tried to understand. He's I, it's only, see this is the thing, it's, I think there's only so much someone could empathize, because I think for other people it just sounds so ridiculous. Yeah. Like I always think of how the other person is perceiving it.

Oh, you can't hear people chew. What do you expect people to not chew around you? You know what I mean? There's this element of , why do you get triggered over these normal sounds? And I can't answer that. He never asked me that. But I'm just, I always think of like how we sound on the other side.

[00:35:37] Adeel: And yeah, it goes back to our original conversation about yeah, do we even bother?

[00:35:41] Christina: Exactly. Yeah. But for him, , I live with him, so I'm like, you know what, let me tell him. And it wasn't until like someone, I mean I told him about Misa Sonia, I. Probably a year after we were together. And we weren't, actually, yeah, we were living together then, but it wasn't so recently that I have told some family members or a couple of friends.

I've been very private about it for the reasons that we've spoken about before, but he's been understanding and I'm really thankful

[00:36:10] Adeel: for that. What's been the reaction of your of your friends, I guess maybe especially your family?

[00:36:16] Christina: So my mom, she was so apologetic cuz she remembers all the outbursts I would have and she's very conscious of it.

To the point where I feel bad cause we went to visit my brother in Michigan. And we were at his house and we were eating. So I had to have a conversation to everyone being like, Hey, we need to have music. Like we need to have some music. We're gonna eat. And she's yeah, totally. And it's interesting, actually, my sister-in-law, my brother's wife knew Mis so was, she was the only person besides my other friend.

Yeah. So really that was so awesome. But when I first told my brother he was, it was a little hard. I think he's very cautious with anyone's self-diagnosis themselves. He's very educated. He has a PhD. He trusts science a lot, and he's very wary of the internet I think and stuff like that. So I get it.

But when he's oh, you have Meson, and then he would like do a fake chewing sound and I was just like you react exactly how I thought Dad. and that was like my little zinger . Oh. And basically, and bas But he, but I have to say though, like he actually, it's so interesting with him cuz he was so respectful whenever we ate, he always had music.

He like even having even though initially he seemed like he was like dismissing it he, he was actually very respect. So I really can't complain in that sense. But for the most part, I haven't really told that many people. That's why it was hard for me to even be on your podcast because like.

A lot of people don't know. I deal with this. A lot of close friends have no idea's. Gonna know soon everyone's gonna know. The whole

[00:37:57] Adeel: world's gonna know . Yes. There're gonna buy ads on Facebook targeted.

[00:38:05] Christina: That's so funny. Oh my God, that's so funny. No, basically it's it's because it's, you always run through you. You always run into the risk of someone not only dismissing you, but like taunting. as if there's no way you have this. I try to do your triggers. Yeah. Yeah. I hope I, have you ever dealt with that chance to

[00:38:23] Adeel: go?

No. Not that I remember. I hope maybe I've blocked those people out my mind or I've threw them over the bridge or something. I don't know. But I know I don't really remember that anybody doing that. I definitely hear about a lot of that happening, but more so when it's siblings growing up kind of thing.

I've heard stuff like that,

[00:38:40] Christina: Yeah.

[00:38:40] Adeel: . I don't, yeah, I don't, yeah, there hasn't been a problem with me.

[00:38:44] Christina: That's good. I'm so happy to hear I, I know I'm never gonna tell my dad I just don't think he has the capacity to understand. Okay. He's in the dark. Yeah. Okay.

He's in the dark. And to be honest, I'd rather him, because I don't see him that often anymore, so it's, I can handle it. It's one thing if I was like, living across the street from him, but Do

[00:39:02] Adeel: you, yeah. Did that, do you feel like it affect, obviously it affected those road trips, Do you feel like that affected or caused any kind of distance between you and him or any of your family members that would not have been there?

Had you gone?

[00:39:16] Christina: Yeah. You mean like how? No, because I'm actually going through therapy right now, oh, one thing. Yeah. One thing I've already accepted, my parents, my dad for who he is. And I don't really hold any anger or distance from him. , I do distance myself a bit just knowing that the more interactions I have with him, sometimes I, it is more opportunity for him to get under my skin.

But for the most part they didn't know what it was and we still don't know what misophonia really is. And, it's just, I can't change the past, so I just try. I just try to accept them because if I don't want like the resentment or Yeah. The angers to take hold,

[00:39:56] Adeel: did you start to seek therapy primarily because of this, or was there, were there other reasons? And we don't have to get into them, I'm just curious to Sure. How much misophonia affected that relationship and then the decision to go see therapy and whatnot?

[00:40:10] Christina: Sure. And after I answer this, I'm really curious to hear, if you if you have heard any luck with therapy, if yourself has.

Have done therapy. But for me I went to see, I basically was diagnosed with O C D, which is just a label. There's still, basically I was just having certain compulsions and certain obsessive thoughts that were really affecting my life, affecting my relationship. Specifically when it came to cleaning and organization, I thought I was just gonna do therapy for three months.

I'm almost like approaching a. Because one thing, and I used to be really against therapy for whatever reason, it could have been the environment I grew up in. I had very strong family members who dealt with so much more than I feel like I've dealt with, and they seem okay. That, and that's a fallacy too.

But basically I sought out therapy because I wanted to get better and my life was getting really rough when it came to I would freak out if I touched a broom, , I would, I wasn't able to wash dishes. I would just cry hysterically, and I just wanna break every dish that was in the sink. And I'm like, this isn't normal.

Like I shouldn't be. These are really extreme emotions. And I figured, you know what? Let me get some help here because I don't think I could do this on my own. And then Covid happened. I literally had my appointments. On Sunday, the Sunday before the Monday, my lockdown. Lockdown. So that was fun.

So I was there, left with my thoughts terrible time. But then as I went through therapy, of course I mentioned my misophonia and because that wasn't the main thing, my main thing was this thing I had with cleaning and these thoughts. But when I mentioned misophonia, I was very careful.

One thing about Reddit that are for worse, there are many times I've came across where therapists are very dismissive because they haven't heard of it. And psychologists, just to clarify like, oh, because they haven't heard of it. There's a lot of, skepticism. Even my brother who's extremely educated has probably a similar skepticism, but I'm very lucky that the person I'm seeing seemed very open minded to it, and he asked me really great questions.

He's tell me how it's. and now explain to him. And at one point I think he, he may have suggested like, Hey maybe there's a way before you get really angry or you're feeling something, we could just pay attention to that feeling and try to help it. But what I was trying to explain to him is that it's instantaneous.

Like just as you, just as if a glass were to break in front of you. Yeah. You would have like that jarring. It's when I hear certain sounds that is what happens. And my instant reaction unfortunately is extreme anger. And I'm just trying to explain my experience and I'm very lucky that he's been receptive to it, it seems.

But there's not really much that you could talk out of to a degree when you have this because I don't know. I don't, and maybe if I go to someone, Specialize in misophonia, but that's also really rare, or at least around my area. But yeah, that's how my experience so far has been good in terms of the quality of care I've been receiving.

But hasn't really helped with the misophonia. That's still

[00:43:35] Adeel: a problem. Yeah. Seems like it's more, there was an acknowledgement and then there's a, there's, they're probably, he's probably offering some kind of general base. Therapy advice. Yeah. And this is not uncommon. I think most people I've talked to done, have gone into therapy who have misophonia go into it with some other comorbidities like O C D or other anxiety or something else.

And it may or may not be the even known by the therapist in some, yeah. I couldn't, it's honestly, it's I've talked to so many people. I might as well, I should probably write it down or something, but I've had all over the board terms of efficacy and, hey, a lot of people are just, maybe have, like you said, it's new, so they've just started the therapy.

So it's like the jury's still at to how well this is all gonna work. So we're, yeah, we're heading, we're heading, we can, we could keep going on and on, but I know, but it

[00:44:23] Christina: was probably time, right? ?

[00:44:24] Adeel: I do, yeah. I have a day job too yeah. But I should but yeah, I, yeah.

We're up to hour, but is there anything else you want to share with anyone right now? Any insights or anything? I don't know. Maybe you want to ask me before we wrap it up.

[00:44:39] Christina: if you don't, so in your, you're not a medical professional, we know this. However, since you have interviewed so many people at this point with your podcast, what, do you have any just like kind of fun theory regarding what you think mis funny is most likely? What it is.

And I know, again, not a medical professional, but I'm just really curious, anecdotal. Did you yourself have? No, I'm definitely inspired enough that

[00:45:03] Adeel: everyone

[00:45:03] Christina: should take me seriously. Cool. I'm gonna take notes. Go ahead. Go ahead. What do you think? Wait,

[00:45:08] Adeel: my gut my gut feeling is that so there's a couple different things.

There's the debate of whether this is like genetic or learned. I feel like my spidey sense just tells me it's there could be something that. Born with, but it doesn't necessarily get activated unless there is something in your environment that that might be associated with and I'm gonna use the word trauma, but something that it could be like very obvious trauma or it could just be something that bothered you and then the sound kind of always associated with that thing or that person that kind of misophonia.

I feel like there's a combination of something that you're something that's in your brain that you might be born with and that, or, and or gets gets activated by some association with something that happens to you around the age of, and I think you're most susceptible around the age of, of puberty.

. And then what that thing is, I think is what that activates. It feels like it just activates something. From our lizard brain that that is meant to warn us to danger. And I feel like we , we get this cause this is what feels like it is. It's like we're hypersensitive to something that feels like it feels dangerous to us.

So I think somewhere in, that's what it feels like to me. And as to whether what we should do about it beyond wearing headphones, I'm not. , but and talking to people about it and trying to convince our, this is why I try to tell people to if we can lower stress, cuz stress is an exception.

Definitely. And remind our minds. But maybe before we sit down at a restaurant or at a meal that, okay, look around, there's nothing here that's going to attack you. The sounds are not going to hurt. If you can do that in advance, and we never remember to, because we try to not think about it unless you know that that glass breaking sensation happens. If we can try to do that's maybe our best, cha, best hope for now. But, so those are my thoughts as to what, where it might come from and what and why certain things help us and how we can best manage it. Does that make sense?

[00:47:11] Christina: That totally makes sense. I agree. And I do personally think that there is a genetic component to it. My grandmother, I. That she has. Lisa. So funny. Actually, she's always made such a big deal about people chewing with their mouths open, didn't connect and until I read up on this, so I I grieve everything you're saying, but I also do think, yeah, like a little sprinkle of genetics is probably some factor, is my guess. Sprinkle of dna. Yeah. Yeah. And it's just yeah. And for people who are dealing with this, like the best thing, hands down with any issue, sleep. Eat. Yes, and stay hydrated because personally, I am at my worst.

When I'm dehydrated or if I'm really tired I do notice a huge sensitivity. Than normal. So yeah, definitely just try to try your best to just take care of yourself and yeah. And I'm so glad that you have this podcast and we have a bit of a community to at least share tips and support.

[00:48:06] Adeel: Absolutely.

Christina great to have you on and yeah, good luck with her for.

[00:48:11] Christina: Thank you. Take care.

[00:48:13] Adeel: Thank you, Christina. Fun chat. Make sure to please check out her Instagram at Dre Christina Dre. Christina, if you like this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to podcast music, as always is by Moby.

And until next week, wishing peace and.