Christos - Finding Positivity and Solutions Amidst Misophonia

S2 E15 - 8/5/2020
In this episode, the guest, Christos, discusses his life with misophonia, including his strategies for managing its impact. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive mindset despite the challenges, adapting life around misophonia, and finding solace in activities and thoughts that uplift him. Christos shares insights into the evolving recognition of misophonia, citing significant research funding and efforts to raise awareness. A notable part of the conversation delves into practical tools like the 'Relax Melodies' app, which helps in masking triggering sounds with more soothing ones. Both host and guest express a desire for openness and sharing real experiences, touching on topics like extreme reactions to misophonia and its broader implications on mental health. Christos concludes by encouraging positivity and activism within the community, highlighting the progress being made in understanding and addressing misophonia.


Adeel [0:00]: Welcome to the Misophonia podcast. You're listening to episode 15, season 2. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week I'm talking to Christos, yet another resident of England, though originally from Greece. We talk about everything from metalcore music, telling our friends and partners about Muso, anxiety attacks, mandatory army duties in Greece, and how to badly injure your hand when punching a door after a trigger. Throughout this chat, Christos brings up past guests he's listened to and gleaned advice from, like Gilles, Claire, and the other guests from the UK. It just hit home to me how great our community is. And after everything that's happened in 2020, I just want to hang out with more miso people as society opens up. I'm already prioritizing making plans to hang out with misophones. Kind of on that note, I'm still thinking of doing some kind of group call using Facebook Rooms. So if you want to jump on the Misophone Misophonia Podcast Facebook group, you can request to be added to the page's group. That'll make it easy to invite you to a call. I want to do a shout out from Misolist again. This week it's Rescue Squad Design, a creative services agency with 25 years of experience in theater production and directing, writing, design, e-book and print publishing, events, artifact crafting, experience creation, and much more. They especially enjoy bizarre and unusual creative projects. So you can find their link on That's All right. Now, here's my conversation with Christos. Chris, welcome. Welcome to the podcast. Good to have you.

Christos [1:47]: Thank you very much for having me as well.

Adeel [1:50]: Yeah, I've had a... Yeah, I guess, do you want to just maybe tell the listeners where you're located?

Christos [1:57]: Yeah, sure. First of all, before we start, I really want to say thank you for what you're doing. Actually, I've actually even emailed you about this and I think it's really good and it's helped me a lot and I'm sure it's helping other people a lot. So thank you for that. I really appreciate it. I really appreciate people like you.

Adeel [2:14]: Oh, thank you. Yeah, that means a lot. Yeah, and it's great. It's always great to hear that it's, you know, just helping people even in a small way, even just kind of hearing other, being able to relate to other people, I think helps a lot. So that's great. And thanks for coming on and kind of, you know, giving back.

Christos [2:31]: Yeah. So I think it's important to actually do our part as well. So it's not only that's going to be people like you that are going to be doing podcasts and stuff like that. It's actually us that need to be talking about these issues to people that don't know anything about it and just spread awareness. That's it.

Adeel [2:50]: Yeah. There's a lot of people who don't know yet that they have it.

Christos [2:52]: Yeah.

Adeel [2:53]: Yeah. So you said you were, I guess, we were talking earlier, you're in London or England or?

Christos [2:58]: So, I mean, so first of all, I'm from Greece. So but I live in England. I live in Cambridge, actually. So I'm just an electrical engineer in Cambridge here.

Adeel [3:10]: Great. OK. Yeah. And, you know, as you've probably heard from other podcasts. There's a lot of engineers that have misophonia. So yeah, maybe we can get into that as well. So you are from Greece and you moved to England for work, basically?

Christos [3:26]: So I moved to England three years ago. So then I did a master's. And when I actually got my master's degree, I started working as an electrical engineer. It's been pretty good for me, to be honest. I'm really happy about it. how my life has turned it's um it's pretty nice i wasn't expecting it when i left greece because it was uh sort of yeah i just don't like it here i'm gonna leave my job and go to england and it worked out great actually which so you left greece was it was it quite misophonia related or just in general like i mean no no it was uh just the situation is in greece is not actually i don't know where you're from when i was

Adeel [4:08]: i was looking up and i couldn't find where you're from oh yeah i mean uh i'm in actually minnesota united states so we're going through crap right now um as we speak but i can see that in the news yeah

Christos [4:21]: and so you said your life turned around for the end did you mean like work related like what were you doing for work or yeah generally so basically it was the economic crisis in greece that made the whole thing happen for me because i had a job as an engineer in greece actually and i just wasn't quite happy with it so i decided to leave and come to england and try to find something better for me So it was pretty out of the blue when that happened. I took the decision within a month and I just left. So it was pretty nice. It wasn't misophonia related, the reason I left. But I think it's a good thing. because it turned out for the best, because I think that I had more problems when I was in Greece, because people, they just are not as aware, I guess. I've seen better things happening here in England, so when I talk to someone, they're just more understanding. So, like, I would never dare to speak to my boss in Greece about it, but I have told my boss here in England that I have this problem.

Adeel [5:29]: And what did they say?

Christos [5:30]: Uh, so he was, he's actually really nice. So, um, I decided to tell him when I start like three months after I started and, uh, I didn't want to get any triggered. And yeah, so basically, uh, I've listened to your podcast quite a lot, so I know that most people wear headphones all the time at work. It's impossible not to wear them, basically. So I wanted to tell him that I don't want you to think that I'm disrespectful or that I don't want you to talk to me or anything like that. I'm wearing headphones for this. And that's the reason I told him what it was called, what this sort of disorder is called. what it does to me and but I didn't have like a one-hour chat about it it was like a 10-minute thing and he said of course you can wear headphones whatever makes you you know like work better I told him that I cannot concentrate and I'm not as productive as when I'm not wearing my headphones. So he was really nice about it, although I was actually discussing it earlier with my brother today that I believe that at some point we should spread as much awareness as we can so that people that have these sort of problems can be diagnosed and have their own private space at work or have the privilege to work from home.

Adeel [6:56]: Yeah, exactly. And as you probably heard, if you've listened to a lot of podcasts, I'd like to get this in the minds of HR, like human resources, so that they kind of look for it maybe or at least expect to have a conversation. I expect to have people come up to them, make people feel comfortable to, employees feel comfortable to come up to them and talk about it and then have some conversation. solutions ready like what you said private space or at least a place to go to part-time headphones is an easy one it doesn't even cost that much

Christos [7:32]: Yes. Yeah, that's the thing is, as I told you, like, I wouldn't even dare saying something like that in Greece because things are difficult, to be honest. And so if you are, you know, that problematic person, basically, it's so easy for them to just sack you and just get someone else, which is very sad. So they would be like, yeah, okay, sure. There are like 15 other people waiting to get a job. Why would I have someone that...

Adeel [7:59]: has a problem you know I'm sorry to say it this way I don't know if it's a you know but we're all the same boat so that's why I'm saying it this way yeah no I mean we have I mean there are you know some countries have legal recourses but it sounds like in Greece it's just like you're on your own and boss can do whatever they want and just kind of fire you for I don't know about any reason, but this would be one that they can sound like they can easily get rid of you for. So, yeah, definitely could be some insecurity there. And so in Greece, you were being triggered a lot and you just didn't have anything. to protect yourself with, right?

Christos [8:41]: Yes, I was quite lucky because when I was in Greece, I was a technician so I wouldn't be in an office as much and I would be working in random places doing installations, electrical installations. So basically, if there was a sound that was triggering me, I could go somewhere else for a bit and do something else and cable something else. but I don't have that freedom right now because I'm stuck at my desk, sort of. So I was quite lucky in that sense, but also, I don't know, it's just a bit weird that no one knows about it. So recently I announced it to my Greek friends that I have this sort of problem and literally none of them had ever heard about it, which is, I don't know, it just blows my mind.

Adeel [9:36]: Yeah, none of them had heard about it. None of them came up to you and said, I might have this kind of thing. It was just completely foreign.

Christos [9:45]: Yes, there was one of them that said that, oh, my girlfriend actually gets triggered by sounds, but she wouldn't even know that it has a name. So it's kind of hard because when I started explaining to people what it is, I didn't have a very good way of explaining it. So it would be like, yeah he just gets he just gets angry but now I did a bit of research of how to actually say to people in a more scientific way let's say so yeah it actually works great because everyone seems to be so understanding and they're like Okay, I'm sorry. I didn't know that existed. Why didn't you tell me for so long? But obviously like if you're with friends that you've been friends since you were a child if you actually say you will get made fun of or they will start mimicking the sound just to, you know, to annoy you, to piss you off. These things happen quite a lot. So I explained them that for a while I didn't actually know how to be calm about it and explain it in a nice way so that, you know, I don't get made fun of. So now I'm feeling a bit more mature, although the symptoms are worse. So like it's getting worse and worse as the time passes by. But actually they were all great. They were really nice about it. So I'm really glad about that. I really appreciate it.

Adeel [11:19]: That's great. And have you gone back to visit them since you kind of came out?

Christos [11:25]: No, not really. But we're talking on a daily basis because we go online and especially now with the lockdown, on a Saturday night, for example, we'll be on Skype or Discord and we'll have a beer and chat. play Pictionary or something silly like that. So sometimes I would tell them, guys, can you stop chewing carrots or whatever you're doing? And the person would do it even louder. So I actually had to sit down and tell them what this is about. I actually told them that I'm going to speak to you as well. Because I really want them to understand that this is not a small problem. This is not something that annoys two people in the world. This is a serious thing that's happening. And it's nice to know that there is money going on research right now and the conventions in October, all those things that are happening.

Adeel [12:25]: So what kind of reactions were it? With your friends, would you just bottle up and kind of glare at them? you know back in the day as you were growing up i'm curious um and we'll go back to your origin story too i'm just trying to go step by step backward what kind of experiences did you have uh were you being kind of teased and uh or were you you know how was your reaction basically growing up

Christos [12:51]: So in general, I am the guy that gets made fun of a lot. So I'm that guy because I don't care too much. So I always laugh when people make fun of me. So people would do it even more to me. So consciously, when they were doing it, when they were actually mimicking the sounds, I was trying to laugh, but you could see that it was fake. And I was actually... shaking like trembling and you know you know so of course but I was trying to hide it and maybe escape it somehow which is basically what most people with misophonia do they just try to escape the flight just instantly leave the place But, yeah, I cannot say that it's happened to me like loads. So I don't want to say that it's been terrible. But it's happened many times, obviously. Also, the weird part is that even to friends that I have explained it to, they would still do it. So maybe... Like I have a really close friend that I have told him that I have this problem and sometimes he will call me and he will be eating. So now I'm straight up, I'm going to tell him, why are you calling me while you're eating? Like, you know, this annoys me. And he might do it for fun or something like that, which is kind of weird to me. Like I don't fully understand it. But I cannot hate the person because it's a great person at the same time, you know. Right.

Adeel [14:32]: So and then going back to your family life, is that kind of where it started for you back in the day?

Christos [14:39]: I cannot really tell but I believe that that's the case so my father would make a lot of chewing noises and I think that's how it started so my brother has the same problem as me but not in that extent so it's not as intense with him so he does get triggered especially by chewing sounds but My problem only starts with chewing sounds. So that's one of the million things that can actually trigger me.

Adeel [15:11]: Okay, so he's got that one trigger. Maybe it's not even that intense, but you've got like the...

Christos [15:18]: the serious trigger for chewing but also like you know all the other stuff that we have that many of us have yes so he he will get annoyed by you know spoons and forks uh on plates and stuff like that nothing very nothing that will ruin his day or his his night if he goes to a restaurant he will just get a bit annoyed but he can get over it after a few minutes and that's it.

Adeel [15:43]: Yeah.

Christos [15:44]: But for someone that has it in a very intense level, it can ruin your whole day.

Adeel [15:51]: It's exhausting. Yeah.

Christos [15:53]: It's exhausting. That's exactly the word I was looking for. It's exhausting. You finish work and you feel like you've worked for 15 hours straight for some reason.

Adeel [16:03]: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So, yeah. So, I mean, obviously, as you know, classic, like your dad kind of being a big trigger there. And did it start to expand to other triggers immediately or did it take a while?

Christos [16:20]: So, I believe that, first of all, I forgot to mention my mother as well because... Yeah.

Adeel [16:26]: I guess I kind of assumed.

Christos [16:29]: So my father does it excessively, like opening his mouth, but my mother doesn't even open her mouth and it's still very loud. Some people just have more echo coming out of their mouth for some reason. So I wouldn't even talk to them, for example, in the morning and I would just go to my room and start swearing. So back then I feel like it was more of anger. that was taking over me. But now there are other emotions that have come into play and physical triggers as well, mental as well. So I think that's when it started. And I think that was at the age of, I remember like at the age of 11, 12 years old, that started happening. But to be frank with you, I only found out that this thing actually exists and other people have it like six years ago. So for many years, I didn't know anything about it.

Adeel [17:29]: And did you just think that you were just kind of like a teenage kind of angst or kind of like rebellion?

Christos [17:38]: I was always thinking it's just going to finish at some point. It's just going to end. One day I'm going to wake up and I'm not going to be getting annoyed. That's going to be it.

Adeel [17:49]: Maybe just a phase or something. You thought you were going through a phase.

Christos [17:51]: Yes, exactly. Something like that. Because I was always thinking there were those kids playing football outside of my house and the sound of them kicking the ball was triggering me. So I was like, there's no way that when I have kids, this sound is going to trigger me because it's going to be coming from my kids. By the way, I don't have children, but I'm just saying. But now, the more the time passes, I feel more pessimistic about it because the symptoms and the triggers just... They keep adding up for some reason. I don't want to be pessimistic on your podcast. I was actually before we started.

Adeel [18:32]: I want you to be whatever you feel. And what were you saying? You mentioned something earlier about physical and mental triggers. Did you mean physical and mental reactions to triggers? Or are there certain physical or some triggers that you're talking about other than sound?

Christos [18:53]: Yeah. So obviously, like as many people, I have the visual trigger as well.

Adeel [18:59]: Yeah. Music and easier. Yeah.

Christos [19:01]: Yes. So that's the one thing. But when I'm talking about myself, it's not like my heart rate goes up. very quickly when that happens and I've had not not too many but quite a few anxiety attacks which I feel like especially one of them happened for a good reason so when it actually finished I actually felt good because I was with my ex-girlfriend And I'll sort of go through the story quite quickly.

Adeel [19:36]: Yeah, go for it.

Christos [19:39]: So, yeah, I was with my girlfriend. She had a flatmate and we were cleaning her kitchen after cooking. And at some point, her flatmate started eating and she's allowed to eat. So I instantly got the feeling that I have to leave the room. And it was very, very intense. So I was feeling that something bad is about to happen to me, like an anxiety attack. But I also felt like I had it under control. But then my girlfriend, she didn't know by that time that I actually have this problem. She came into the room and she started shouting at me because I left her alone cleaning the kitchen. oh so your stress goes up so yeah so i completely collapsed at that point and i started crying i couldn't breathe very easily and i had like a solid 10 minutes that i couldn't be myself and breathe and not stop crying and uh but the reason i said this happened for a good reason is that This was the time I explained to my girlfriend what my problem was and why I cannot be in that room. And she started being more understanding about it because she realized that it is actually a real problem.

Adeel [20:57]: Wow. And at that point, you already knew that it had a name or were you...

Christos [21:02]: Yes, that was actually last year. But the more the time passes by, especially lately, I started saying it to more and more people because I want people to know. But before that, I was feeling ashamed. So I was feeling like if I get a girlfriend, my girlfriend will think that I'm weird and I'm not fun and she's not going to be around me because, for example, we cannot watch a movie and eat popcorn, for example. yeah so i was scared to say it to people for this reason but um and also one of the other panic attacks i had was again with my girlfriend but she didn't know by that time and because she didn't know she was making noises that triggered me and i had another anxiety attack so sort of helped but i've i also listened to another person on your podcast i think jills was his name he said that then if you do that a lot then the person keeps feeling guilty and you can sense that you can sense that they're overthinking that they don't want to make the noise so you don't feel about that either it's uh it's it's quite a tricky situation actually yeah and kind of the stress kind of yeah i think it bounces back because now you're thinking about

Adeel [22:28]: Yeah, now if they're trying too hard to stop, then it just becomes more of a conscious thing that you can't then get out of your mind.

Christos [22:36]: Yeah, and I also think... Oh, sorry, I interrupted you.

Adeel [22:40]: No, no, I didn't. Go on.

Christos [22:41]: yeah and i also think that even even if you tell them that this noise triggers you or that noise triggers you there's still going to be another noise so i feel like it it loses the point um if you keep telling them noises that trigger you um especially with my as i told you with my ex-girlfriend she was by the way she's she's a great person i feel a bit bad about talking about only saying bad things about her, but she was a kind of person that was making quite a lot of noises and I just couldn't be telling her every two minutes this triggers me, this triggers me. So, you know, you don't want to be that person as well. It's kind of scary, actually. It really scares me sometimes. The fact that you plan your whole life around this thing and sometimes you think that how am I going to have a family or how am I going to be having dinner with my kids and my wife at some point. Yeah.

Adeel [23:46]: I mean, as long as you can hear with your ears, like it's, it's, you're always in danger. That's kind of what we, I guess we think. Um, I will say that. Yeah. And the thing about the, the offspring, it doesn't, um, yeah, I have heard from, from people, um, that it can't, I mean, in Jill's case, it became quite a trigger. But that's not in all cases, actually. Because remember, it is kind of a fight or flight. And I think for a lot of people, their brain doesn't make the connection with their children. but uh but yeah there's always that risk um it doesn't you said it doesn't right yeah yeah yeah yeah i mean there's there's there's some sounds that um yeah with uh if if you know if if your kid makes it it's not the same as if some adult made it um you know at least that's my experience but yeah i've seen that it

Christos [24:44]: really has to do with which person is actually doing the sound so for example if you really like someone i don't know if you have the same thing but if you really like someone um the sound doesn't trigger you as much but if you really dislike a person i don't know from work and you really don't like them then it gets amplified for some reason and you just want to do bad things or like swear or all those things but if the person is actually nice you wouldn't mind explaining so Yeah, it's that thin line of actually being mature about it and realizing what this is about and trying to keep calm, at least mentally.

Adeel [25:28]: So how do you try to keep calm? One thing I've been doing recently is just trying to, in advance, basically almost kind of like... a checklist before I walk into a room. I try to tell my brain, okay, nobody's going to hurt you. Whatever happens, just get ahead of the sound, basically. And that has kind of helped in certain situations. Because what I think happens is whenever these sounds happen, I'm kind of caught off guard. And then the brain connections just get into that loop. But if I can kind of get ahead of it and just tell myself, tell my brain, look around. There's nothing here that's going to hurt you. It does make a bit of a difference, you know. So I'm trying to do that consciously more. I probably forget more often than I remember. But I don't know. That's one way I think it might be a good way to calm down. But I'm curious for you, like how do you maintain a situation if you can't just leave?

Christos [26:23]: Yes. So first of all, I'll tell you what I've tried and didn't work. yeah I don't know it might work for some other people it didn't work for me right right certainly so first of all like other people have tried meditation definitely didn't work for me I was actually very bad at it maybe I should have given it more time because I had other issues while trying to do meditation not only the sounds Because I feel like there's always going to be sound. It just never stops.

Adeel [26:55]: Yeah, one of the scenes in the Ricky Gervais show, Afterlife, season two, I think the first episode has a good scene where they're trying to do meditation, yoga, and the instructor is a big trigger. It's kind of a funny scene for misophones.

Christos [27:12]: I haven't seen that one.

Adeel [27:14]: Yeah. I'll put a link to it in show notes. Yeah, it's called Afterlife. It's on Netflix. Okay, yeah, continue. So you tried meditation, no go.

Christos [27:23]: Yeah, then the other thing is that when the sound was actually happening, I was trying to sort of relax my muscles, breathe, and try to get into a mental state that I'm saying to myself, don't worry, it's just a sound, it's nothing else. And That definitely doesn't work. And I've seen, I cannot recall his name now. There's this, what's the name of the person that does the conventions actually?

Adeel [27:55]: Are you maybe talking about Tom Dozier?

Christos [27:57]: Yes, exactly. And I think he says that somewhere, that just try to think that it's just the noise that's happening. That's nothing more than that. But for some reason, that doesn't do anything. It's still there, and it's still in my head, and it's still the only thing that I can hear for some reason. And also, I was going back to my ex-girlfriend because she was actually quite nice and tried to read about this and help me. She read about this and when it was actually happening, she turned to me and she said, Chris, just don't worry. It's just a sound. And I was like, yeah, that doesn't help me. Like it doesn't do anything to me. Like it's still there. I can still hear it and I can still see the person doing it. So I feel like a weird thing that I always have in my head is that if the sound could actually be avoided, but it's still happening. it's worse for me. So if let's say a person is like dragging their feet and I can hear that, I know that that sound like could be avoided because they could just walk. Normally they could just lift their legs enough so that that sound is not there. So if I know that the sound could be avoided, it's, it gets even worse.

Adeel [29:10]: And, uh, yeah, I guess it's just a cycle of anger that kind of like makes it more, makes it more stressed out, I think. And then, yeah.

Christos [29:17]: yeah exactly so um there's nothing that relaxes me really other than just blasting heavy metal music on my earphones and or leaving the place which sometimes i have to admit i've been quite rude about it because i just couldn't control it like my manager talking to me and just me saying okay i'm going to the toilet and i'm out of here yeah yeah do you have a good excuse or you're just like Just the toilet. Yeah. I'm going to, I'm serious. Like I'm polite to say, uh, I'm sorry. I just really need to go to the toilet. That's it. Like, I don't know how polite is that actually, but it works.

Adeel [29:58]: It's like, there's a lot worse ways. That's not that bad.

Christos [30:02]: Yeah. And, uh, other things have happened to me that I actually used violence, but not on a person like on a wall or a door or stuff like that.

Adeel [30:13]: And you've broken anything.

Christos [30:15]: My hand Well, I am my knuckles basically because I yeah, I punched the door really really hard and I actually I didn't actually break it but you know it was injured for like a couple of weeks so it's not ideal to do it but you feel like you don't control it at the same time because I always feel specific parts of my body tensing up especially my right hand and my jaw tensing up and That's the thing that you said before, it's exhausting. So, for example, I never go to the movies. Obviously, I cannot go to the cinema because of this thing. And I tried two years ago, once. I completely regretted it, but I ended up spending two hours watching a two-hour movie, almost in a panic attack for two hours and tensing up. not not very fun um right so i just i just stopped i've stopped completely with that um so you kind of have to adjust your life um to that and do you live by yourself now I have a flatmate. I have one flatmate who is actually... She doesn't bother me at all, to be honest. She's really nice. There's only the dragging of her feet that sometimes... Well, it's... So she's very nice, but every Saturday and Sunday morning that I would like to sleep a bit more... As soon as I hear that sound I completely like get triggered and wake up. I don't know how our brain works and does this. It's like someone smacking me on the head basically when I hear your feet dragging and I think I think that while that happens like other sounds can trigger you as well and they can get stuck in your head and then be one of the sounds that trigger you permanently so kind of like an association with Yeah, pretty much. I'm not very happy to have read that because I read it somewhere and it said that when a sound is happening that's annoying you, so let's say that someone is typing on a keyboard, you're more likely to get triggered by other new noises too, new sounds too. So the first time that I read that and I was at my office and someone was typing, the only thing I was thinking was, is there any other noise that could actually annoy me right now and be triggering me for the rest of my life? So it was kind of a scary thought, mental game. And I was like, I really don't want another noise in there. So that's quite scary.

Adeel [33:17]: Yeah. So you live by yourself. Well, no, you don't live by yourself. You've got a housemate. She drags her feet. You'll break her legs. That should solve that problem. Yeah. that you haven't like, you know, felt the, you haven't taken the step to kind of like run away and get your own place. You're at least managing that somewhat. Being able to live with somebody else, that's promising that you can be around somebody else, you know.

Christos [33:48]: especially since you were kind of like maybe nervous about having a relationship permanent relationship later at least this is somewhat promising I have tried to find ways to deal with it so I play the guitar for example so every time this happens I just full distortion on my guitar it's probably not an acoustic guitar No, just electric guitar, full distortion.

Adeel [34:10]: You have like five PV amps.

Christos [34:13]: Yeah, that's it. So that works really well, actually. And in general, music... Like, it's a weird thing because... Another thing I tried to do is that when it happened I actually tried to put something like a chill music to play but then I was feeling really uncomfortable so I had to put metal music and something sort of angry in my ears. So I don't know why relaxing music doesn't work for me. But if I actually go to the office and start with relaxing music or brown noise, because I listen to brown noise for most of the day actually. And actually you gave me the idea because you have it on your podcast as well. I did an experiment.

Adeel [35:03]: I'm glad it's working. Yeah.

Christos [35:04]: No, it's, it's amazing. Seriously. I'm so happy. I actually listened to your first podcast and you were saying I'm using brown noise. So great idea. Well done for that.

Adeel [35:14]: It makes you feel great. Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. So that's, that's what kind of, yeah. What kind of, what kind of, what kind of bands are you listening to for your distortion?

Christos [35:27]: all right so it's a so they're metalcore bands so quite quite heavy so i listen to the architects it's my favorite band um fit for a king bring the horizon and anything basically that's very heavy metal with screaming and heavy yeah When I go to the office I try to play brown noise instead of heavy metal because if you listen to heavy metal for eight hours you just get headaches constantly which was one of the big problems I had when I was in the army because in Greece the army is mandatory so you have to go to the army for 10 months. And I was in there for 10 months, and it's a nightmare for people that have misophonia because you have to sleep with at least 20 more people. You have to eat with a whole army base, and you're constantly with other people. It's very hard to escape it as well. wow did you get more like yeah what was that was it like the worst time of your life basically it was um because i didn't get any sleep for 10 months because there is uh no much snoring basically um it was the most exhausting period of my life definitely because of all the snoring that was in the room and just did you know about me so before you went in or um yes i did

Adeel [36:55]: You did. Okay, at least you knew that. So at least you were somewhat prepared. I don't know.

Christos [36:59]: Yeah, that was quite helpful to know. But it's just so weird because there are so many people in there that you don't like. Because in the army, it's mandatory to go. And there are people from all parts of Greece. So you don't get to choose, obviously, who you're going to be sleeping next to or who you are going to be eating next to. So none of those things. So you're not friends with them. You cannot explain them. You're friends with some of them, but not with all of them. So it happens a lot. It's not like you can wake people up if they're snoring. You cannot do anything about it. So my solution to it was to have music all night long. And obviously, if you have music playing for six hours in your ears while sleeping, you cannot sleep. Like, you don't sleep. It's just a massive headache. That's it. Right.

Adeel [37:50]: Were there any other parts of the army that were challenging, like the training exercises or, you know, sitting at home?

Christos [37:58]: You mean misophonia-wise, right? Yeah, misogyny-wise. Not really. Like, mostly sleeping was the worst, but that could ruin your whole day, basically. But, I mean, if you don't sleep, that's it. You cannot do anything else. And I don't know if you have the same thing, but the more tired you are, the effect is, like, amplified. Absolutely. So, that's the thing. I... I feel like for example I've had the same thing at festivals and concerts I like going to concerts like literally every week to see live music and live metal bands and I feel like when there's live music like it doesn't bother me as much for some reason which is quite weird even the visual

Adeel [38:53]: Oh, really? Okay. Does it bother you if people are talking in front of you? I know metal concerts, you're not going to hear all the music's on, but I'm wondering if between songs and stuff, I don't know if it distracts me if I hear people talking behind me or not paying attention to the music.

Christos [39:11]: Yeah, the singing bothers me a lot, so I usually relocate quite a lot at concerts. So I'm literally all over the place because of this. But in general, they are almost the only social places that I can have fun without actually getting angry quite often and getting triggered. So I'm very happy. about the fact that i have actually found a place that i can be very happy and not like getting stressed about it because there's so many times that you get stressed about going somewhere or being like okay in five minutes i'm gonna eat with that person and then you get start getting like anxiety and all those things because you don't want it to happen So it's good to know that I can actually go there. Like most of them, I go by myself because it's just a great place to escape, to not deal with sounds and not be with anyone else. So, yeah, it's... I'm really glad about that. So it's good for each person to actually find at least one or two things to be able to escape.

Adeel [40:23]: That's a great job. And how are you, yeah, I mean, also I guess we should maybe start to think about wrapping up here, although we can talk for a while. I did want to talk, I did want to ask about, like, obviously you've had, like, girlfriends in England. Like, are you, and are you, how is it like meeting new people in England, like making friends?

Christos [40:44]: Yeah, it's actually a really nice country. I think many people don't like it, especially people that come from abroad and Mediterranean countries like mine, because the mentality is quite different. The weather is not as nice. For some reason, people are much more sociable. So if you go out, people are great. It's really easy to meet people in general. And I've had a girlfriend for two years and I've met a few other people and I'm really happy. Because it's so multicultural as well, especially in London. There are people from all around the world. So there's not as much racism. Because let's face it, it exists everywhere. Not just in the States that this is happening. Exactly. So I'm really glad.

Adeel [41:37]: You probably know I've had a few interviews with people from London just recently. So there seems to be a... a group of people who are, have misophonia, but are, you know, wanting to talk about it and kind of spread awareness.

Christos [41:51]: Yeah, I actually listened to, it was a girl, actually. I don't remember her name. Yeah, there were a few.

Adeel [41:57]: There was, yeah, Isabel and Lizzie recently, I think. Yeah, I think there's some more coming up, too.

Christos [42:06]: Oh, nice, nice. So yeah, it's a pretty good place to be. I am thinking of moving to other countries as well, just because I want to live in different places in the world, because why not? It's so easy these days to do that, so why not? But yeah, I hope I didn't make this podcast very pessimistic because before we started I was thinking that I don't want to actually be the person that makes other people less happy, if that makes sense.

Adeel [42:46]: So I, well, no, it's totally fine. I mean, I just want, I just want people to like, uh, I mean, it's, it's really just candid conversations about to miss a phone and like real people. So I think the, the most powerful thing is if people can relate to it, I don't, I don't want, I don't want to podcast. It's just kind of like, uh, you know, uh, Rosie kind of like, um, always just kind of like bright side kind of thing. Um, yeah. I want to, you know, I think people will relate to having, uh, you know, breakdowns and, um,

Christos [43:16]: um you know yeah because i remember maybe punching their punching their door with a with their knuckles i mean yeah because you had that girl claire yeah sorry i interrupted you again you had that girl claire that was a quite intense podcast i remember um yeah she talked about suicide and things like that which is um it obviously helps to know that these things happen and for example i can as we were saying before that in terms of awareness that i could play this podcast to a friend of mine and he can actually see what it is about instead of just anger and hatred of sound so it's good to see that there there is the intense level of it and the the the very extreme level of misophonia I'm not happy that a person has it, obviously, but I'm happy to know that as the time passes by, it's going to become more and more known anyway.

Adeel [44:15]: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and stuff like things like you coming on. So you've heard a lot of podcasts and gone a lot of them. Is there, maybe as we're wrapping up, is there anything you'd like to tell people who are listening to your story?

Christos [44:31]: Yeah, I'm not a mentor or anything, but what I would like to say is that it's good to try and keep a positive mindset. I know it's very difficult and you sort of have to change your whole life and like adapt it around this thing. But it's really important to keep the mindset and being like, OK, but I know that when this finishes, I'm going to do something good and I'm going to feel better. about myself and about the situation because this is not my whole life. I can do other things and evolve as a person instead of actually having to deal with this my whole day, like the whole day, sorry. So, yeah, just trying to stay positive. That's the thing. That's great. And what's happening actually makes us feel more and more positive with all of these, with the conventions and the research. I think there was like, I might be completely wrong, but there's like $8 million in research right now for misophonia. Am I mistaken?

Adeel [45:37]: Yeah, there's a foundation that's been that I don't know what the number is and forget the name of the foundation, but I'll try to find links for the notes. But yeah, there there's been millions of dollars unlocked recently and they're accepting applications. So, yeah, there's going to be a lot of interesting stuff coming out over the next two or three years. And I try to pass along any kind of studies that are looking for participants.

Christos [46:06]: yeah yeah and also i don't i'm not sure if someone has mentioned this to your podcast or if it was a another website i read about this app that i'm using a lot um it's called relax melodies um i don't know if you know it i yeah people have mentioned stuff like that i don't know if it's the exact same one but yeah why don't you tell me about it Right, so this app is called Relax Melodies and it has all sorts of sounds like brown noise sort of sounds like rivers and rain and waterfalls and you can basically add these sounds on top of each other and mix them to levels that you like so you can have a river and rain but you can for example turn down the volume of the river and just listen to the rain a bit more and it has like all sorts of noises and sounds in there so you can have anything you want um it also has some like asmr stuff which i don't think that anyone is fond of

Adeel [47:10]: on this podcast some people have been but yeah but overwhelmingly i think it's a no yes but uh there have been a couple people who've liked certain sounds but

Christos [47:19]: Okay, that's interesting actually, because I don't know, I just hate it. I don't know how people listen to ASMR. But it has seriously so many sounds and you can make something really nice. So for example, going back to what I was saying about my flatmate, in the morning instead of playing brown noise, I prefer listening to rivers or a waterfall. It's nicer, it's more natural. Oh, interesting.

Adeel [47:47]: So you have it on the app on your phone and then you just stick your headphones on? Yeah, and I think... I wonder if you can set an alarm or something where it's like when you wake up, it just kind of plays and then maybe throughout the day, maybe it matches your routine.

Christos [48:02]: Maybe. That's actually a really good idea. You should make an app. I think I will. But, yeah, I just put it on my earphones, basically, and I keep sleeping. And it helps a lot. That's it, yeah. It's pretty helpful. And I think you can also customize your profile when you actually set up the app in the beginning. But I'm not sure because I downloaded it a few months back and I don't remember. But I remember something like that. Gotcha.

Adeel [48:33]: Yeah, I'm going to look for that and, yeah, see what sounds.

Christos [48:36]: Yeah.

Adeel [48:37]: See what sounds are on there, see if it helps. Well, cool, Chris. Yeah, I want to say thank you again.

Christos [48:43]: Yeah, thank you so much as well. And I will keep listening to your podcast and sort of like helping out and try to do what you're doing from my end. And I hope you will keep doing what you're doing because it's great, actually. Absolutely, yeah. Yeah, I'm going to actually post your podcast so that more people will see it because we're really...

Adeel [49:08]: have to start doing this like if we can to start sharing it and so that more people can actually see what's what's going on thank you chris like i said at the beginning of the show i'm prioritizing miso friends from now on and chris if you're around here you would definitely be high on my list of people to hang out with Look in the show notes for lots of links about things we touched on. You can email me at hello at or find us on Instagram and Facebook at Misophonia Podcast or Twitter at Misophonia Show. Don't forget to check out The Misolist at Music as always is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.