Claire G. - Navigating Misophonia and Bipolar Disorder

S4 E24 - 8/11/2021
In this episode, the guest Claire discusses her journey with misophonia, highlighting a proactive approach towards managing the condition through a variety of coping mechanisms, such as meditation, mindful listening exercises, and seeking support from family and mental health professionals. Claire shares her efforts to demystify the disorder for herself and others, creating an environment of understanding and compassion around her. She emphasizes the importance of educating those close to her about misophonia, which has helped in reducing the stress associated with triggering situations. Additionally, the conversation delves into the intersection of misophonia with other conditions, specifically bipolar disorder, which Claire also navigates. She speaks candidly about the challenges of dealing with both misophonia and bipolar disorder, particularly focusing on how her mood and energy levels influence her sensitivity to trigger sounds. Claire's story showcases not only the complexities of living with misophonia but also the possibilities of leading a fulfilling life through self-awareness, support, and effective management strategies.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 4, Episode 24. My name is Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week, I talked to another Claire. This is probably a success story because she's found ways to work with her family and significant other to help her deal with her misophonia. This episode also is special because after I turned off the recording, Claire talked a bit about her bipolar disorder and how she wonders how it may or may not be related to her misophonia. I know a lot of us have other conditions in addition to misophonia, so I turned the recording back on to catch that bit, with Claire's permission, of course. And I hope that's interesting to some of you. A big announcement this week is that interview slots are now open for Season 5. There are still some slots in September and October, so please grab one because they're going fast. I still have a few more amazing episodes left for the next few weeks, and then I'll begin Season 5 with some pretty well-known names in the Misophonia community. You can find the link to sign up through the website,, or look in the show notes. All right, now here's my conversation with Claire. Claire, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

G [1:20]: Thank you. This is so cool what you do here. Thanks for having me.

Adeel [1:24]: Of course, of course. Yeah, no, it's always a good time. So, you know, I always like to figure out kind of roughly kind of where are you located?

G [1:32]: I am in Cleveland, Ohio.

Adeel [1:35]: Okay, yeah. Not super far in the Midwest. I'm in Minnesota. And what do you do over there in Cleveland?

G [1:42]: I work for a local ice cream company. I manage one of their stores.

Adeel [1:48]: Oh, okay. Interesting. All right. Yeah, well, season's coming up for that definitely around here. How is that then? Ice cream, eating, slurping. I'm thinking, you know, I love ice cream, but I'll probably go in and just run out with my ice cream. But you kind of, you're going to have to deal with that all the time. And you probably have to deal with that age group of, you know, the high schooler, younger people who might not be super, I don't know, super aware of sounds. Polite. Yeah. So, yeah, basically, yeah, how are things at work? You're the manager, at least, so you can tell people what to do.

G [2:27]: Yeah. Well, I've been with the company for seven years, almost, and I love the company a lot and the work is it's actually really nice for me. So something that I would struggle with a lot is having an office type of job where I'm sitting down and it's quiet and there's just other people around me working quietly. And in that environment, you know, the sounds that irritate me really stand out. So in this type of environment, it's pretty loud. There's lots of freezers running, so there's lots of background noise. We've got people coming in and out of the shop and people talking all around me. There's music playing. So I thrive in that environment when there's a lot of background noise. Also, when... there are people making sounds um that irritate me um if i know that there will be an ending to that sound like if someone's eating ice cream loudly, I can say, OK, this is only going to go on for a little bit longer. I can push through this. So overall, things are pretty good at work. There's times when a team member will be scooping ice cream and I just hear them kind of bang their scooper like trying to clean it off. And I can hear it from the office in the back. And I just go out there and I say like, hey, I have, you know, I'm sensitive to sounds. Like, could you please not make that sound with the scooper? And usually that's no problem if I say something like that.

Adeel [4:16]: Do you tell them up front or is it every time you go out there, you're like, hey, I'm sensitive to sound, please don't make that sound. Or do you just kind of like, you know, do they kind of know by now?

G [4:26]: Yeah, so I try to like bring it up in training when I train a group of new team members. Usually there's like some type of sound that will occur during training and I'll just say like, okay guys, do you mind if we like move over to this area? There's a sound, I have a sound sensitivity disorder and there's a sound that's triggering me. Yeah, right, right. If you don't move over here, you're done. No, but yeah, I sort of strategically implant that so people know. Yeah, that's really cool. Yeah, really kind about it.

Adeel [5:02]: Yeah, there was a previous episode with Olivia and she's doing a master's paper on misophonia in the workplace and how to make environments, typically office environments, but this is kind of interesting how you're incorporating this a little bit, at least in your training. Do you actually use the name misophonia or is it more just kind of your, I don't know, you're suggesting they do things a bit quieter?

G [5:31]: I say that I have a sound sensitivity disorder. I should throw the name in there, you know, so I'm getting it out there.

Adeel [5:39]: More for awareness. Yeah, yeah.

G [5:40]: Yeah, for misophonia awareness. You know, I could say I have a sound sensitivity disorder. It's called misophonia. And yeah, that's pretty much what I say that some sounds I can't tolerate.

Adeel [5:53]: Yeah. Yeah. And yeah, what you said earlier is, yeah, it's also important about how, you know, your customers are, they're going to leave eventually.

G [6:00]: Right.

Adeel [6:01]: If for no reason, you're, you know, you're going to be closing the doors at night and they have to get out. But, but yeah, they, you know, they usually, they end up eating their ice cream and then leaving. So that's, that's an important, and it's good to, yeah, you're telling your brain that, you know, it's going to be over and nothing's going to harm you and try to fight through it.

G [6:22]: Right. Yeah, that's I think one of my only I don't really have many great coping strategies. That's one that I'm able to tell myself and I'm able to get through it.

Adeel [6:35]: Well, that's a great one. If you can do that without, you know, having to resort to some hardware like headphones or, or, or whatever, or throwing nasty, nasty stares at people.

G [6:46]: Yeah.

Adeel [6:47]: Or announcing it on the PA speaker. So it's okay. That's at work. What about maybe like outside of work at home? What's the situation there?

G [7:00]: Yeah. So I live with my boyfriend and, uh, he is so understanding and he's so great like he couldn't handle it better i mean i he knows that i have several things several sounds that bother me several triggers and um he will like Like he was just home and he took chips and salsa out onto the balcony and ate them outside without me even saying anything. So usually I just like we try to make jokes about it, too. Like and, you know, my family was over. We were going to have chips and guacamole last weekend. And. He just went into our room and grabbed my noise-canceling headphones and gave them to me in front of everyone. And I was like, it's just funny. And, you know, my parents and my brother are sensitive to it and very accommodating. So I'm really thankful for that.

Adeel [7:57]: Sensitive to your sensitivity or they're also sensitive to sounds?

G [8:01]: Oh, no. Sensitive to my sensitivity.

Adeel [8:04]: Gotcha. Yeah. Well, that's great. And humor is a good coping mechanism in itself. That's another freebie. So that's good if you can make that work. Yeah, for sure. So when you first told him, how did that go about? I mean, how did you find out it had a name, first of all?

G [8:25]: Oh, Misophonia?

Adeel [8:27]: Yeah.

G [8:27]: How did I find out? Okay. So I know this is a very common age. I was 11 years old in sixth grade. there's i have a distinct memory of the first time um a sound really irritated me i was um i had a friend over we were working on a school project upstairs in my bedroom and my dad every night used to sit in his chair downstairs right below my bedroom so i was working on this project with my friend and because she was over i think i was just like more aware of my surroundings and um I just started hearing my dad clearing his throat like over and over. And I would just get distracted from our school project. Every time he did it, I would get distracted and really angry. Like, and I, I didn't understand it, but, and I just remember that being the first time. Um, and then, you know, I can think about too, and in school just, Different sounds would irritate me in class. And, you know, I have a lot of visual triggers as well, like foot wagging. Like I remember a girl in eighth grade in Latin class who would just wag her foot every day or her whole leg, actually. And I just always had to block it out of my vision. So it wasn't until probably sometime in high school, I... You know, did some research and I found out about 4S is what.

Adeel [10:05]: Right. Yeah. The original OG name.

G [10:07]: Yeah, the OG name. And I was I was just so relieved, you know, like I was seen and I just felt understood. And I was like, wow, I definitely have this. So I remember going to my mom and telling her. And then I just like broke down to my dad because he had always cleared his throat in this way that was so insulting to me. And I never knew, you know, that like I never had justification for my feelings and my emotions on it. So it just felt with such a relief to tell them and to have it be known.

Adeel [10:44]: Yeah. And what was his reaction at that point?

G [10:48]: Oh, just very understanding, which, again, I'm really thankful for. I mean, there have been times like when it. I kind of came out, you know, that I had this. And there were times when my parents and family would be really frustrated with me because, you know, with your closest relatives and friends, like, those triggers often bother you the most. Right. And so they would get frustrated with me, you know, because I was mad at them and always giving them nasty glares. But, you know, as time has passed, they're very understanding.

Adeel [11:30]: They're accommodating. You might still throw the glares, but at least maybe they know it's not personal.

G [11:35]: They know what it means. Yeah, not personal.

Adeel [11:38]: So, yeah, that's interesting. You know, I talked to a bunch of people and it's kind of like all over the board, whether it creeps up in school, definitely, you know, at home, it's always somebody who's doing it. But it looks like, yeah, I mean, at school, you're definitely getting triggered. But also, interestingly, the visual triggers started relatively early for you, I guess. Mm-hmm. for a lot of people that seems to come up a little bit later as things start to really blossom. Well, blossom in a not a good way for misophonia. But did you find that it was maybe also affecting grades at school or were you able to kind of somehow keep it at bay at least in those years?

G [12:20]: I think it did affect my grades. There were other things that affected my grades as well, just Yeah, I mean, I had a hard time focusing in class, definitely listening, you know, retaining what was being taught. And, you know, all throughout college, and I went to grad school, I graduated in 2019, like, I really struggled to, I probably would have performed better if I didn't have misophonia, I wasn't so distracted and angry during class.

Adeel [12:56]: Okay, yeah, so you were just getting, yeah, all through school, just getting really angry in class if you heard triggers.

G [13:04]: probably exams too yeah yeah oh exams for sure like right now just thinking of a psych 101 i was uh sitting in class and my professor he made a comment he was like wow it sounds he actually said like wow it sounds like everyone's doing a line of cocaine in here like he was he was talking about everybody how everyone was sniffling it must have been like a really cold winter day and he was a character that's why i said that but Like everybody, like so many people are sniffling. I'm like, oh, can't wait to get through this exam. Like it's going to be over soon. And that was my tactic is, okay, this is going to be over soon. I wish looking back, I wish I would have, you know, used some sort of headphones or earplugs or some kind of device to block out sound. Yeah.

Adeel [13:54]: Did you ever go to see like a professional, like a therapist or audiologist at all during those years?

G [14:01]: No, I didn't. I've asked doctors about it.

Adeel [14:07]: Yeah. Oh yeah. What have they said?

G [14:10]: They didn't know about misophonia. Yeah. What is that? Yeah. Yeah.

Adeel [14:17]: There's also, then when you try to, you know, when you try to insist that you have it, it's like... you know, oh, did you self-diagnose? And then they kind of tune out at that point.

G [14:27]: Right. Right. Like, this isn't a real thing. I didn't learn about it in medical school.

Adeel [14:33]: And so during school, what about outside of, like, academics in terms, like, socially? Was it starting to, you know, there was that girl, that terrible girl who was giving you visual triggers. But I'm curious if it kind of affected your, you know, social life at all, maybe the types of people you became friends with.

G [14:53]: Yeah. Um, people who chew with their mouth open, um, that is a visual trigger as well as the sound. Um, I could, yeah, that was really hard to, it's for, um, that trigger. It's hard for me not to like attach a negative feeling to that person. Like I really have to like, try not to do that um and i guess socially it's um a lot of it has to do with the environment too like um not necessarily the people i'm with but if we're in a place where i'm hearing these disturbing sounds um i want to relocate or i want to flee um like movie theaters i can't i really don't ever want to go to the movie theater again like if someone's chewing popcorn I just can't handle it.

Adeel [15:55]: Yeah, those are tough. I mean, there's lots of sounds that happen in movie theater. They're just kind of like, yeah. Make it very difficult.

G [16:05]: Right.

Adeel [16:07]: Okay, yeah. But do you tell your friends generally? Like, you know, do you bring it up? I'm curious, like, how many of your friends generally know about misophonia?

G [16:18]: Yeah, um... I think all of my close friends know about it. I can think of a friend, one of my good friends, we used to work together and she came in my office and ate her lunch and she had carrots. I had to tell her. And I was like, hey, I'm really sorry, but would you mind eating your lunch? Elsewhere, I have misophonia, and this particular sound is really irritating to me. Like, I'm sorry. It's nothing personal. And she's a close friend, so we, you know, she's known this whole time. It's really nice to tell somebody before. the emotion and the anger sets in and the glares start like it's always just so much better to say like hey i have this thing like um and it's nothing personal and i i struggle with like when the sound happens and i react to it like just feeling bad that i am uh angry at this person for something they're doing even though it's not personal um it's a struggle like getting mad at people and it's not really fair that we have this response and this anger and that we have to deal with it socially. It's tricky.

Adeel [17:59]: Yeah, for sure. That's part of the shame and guilt that comes along with it. Have there been situations where you've really hung your head in shame and regretted what you've said or done?

G [18:14]: um or you're able to kind of like keep it keep it to thoughts in your head yeah i haven't ever like i mean there have definitely been times where i've uh turned around in class and like glared at someone multiple times and then i do feel bad because i'm like well i'm not giving them the chance to uh understand like why what i'm doing you know i'm not explaining myself so they're just like what the heck why is this girl just glaring at me um i do have one good um interaction i had with someone in my grad school program uh we broke out into groups and so i was like in a group of 10 where had an assignment to complete had about an hour to do it and so we're all sitting you know in this little alcove working on this assignment and one of my classmates is chewing gum and cracking her gum which is my number one like I can't tolerate it and I said something to her and I was really proud of myself. I pulled her aside and I just said like, hey, Lisa, like, I'm really sorry. I have this sensitivity disorder, misophonia, and the way that you're cracking your gum is irritating me and I'm really sorry, but would you mind like spitting your gum out? And she was so understanding and she like was effusive with her like, her gratitude for me for me like explaining this to her she was like hey i'm so glad you said something like i i'm glad that i can do this for you and that you don't have to like be in the suffering anymore um like thank you for saying something i mean her reaction was like i've never had that reaction before probably never will have that again but um it just I struggled to like come out and talk like say something and so to get that response was like encouraging like I can do this again yeah that's very encouraging I mean to anyone listening too because it's come up a lot where we're like at some point we you know

Adeel [20:39]: at some point in life, we're just like, we just kind of give up on even mentioning it. We just kind of want to not talk about it because of all the potential ways that conversation could go wrong. So it's good to hear a case where it was very positive. And I think you approached it really well too. Just caught it early on, probably after the first crack of the gum and spoke about it in a, you know, made sure that it was understood that it's not personal. But that you would really appreciate it if it stopped. So, yeah, that's great.

G [21:13]: Yeah. And just pulling her aside, not saying it in front of a big group.

Adeel [21:18]: Were you able to get accommodations from any of your schools that you were at? I'm curious if you ever talked to the professors or, I don't know, representatives at school to maybe get, you know, different exam time or, I don't know, some other accommodation.

G [21:36]: um i never pursued any type of accommodation like i never approached a professor and let them know that i had this um issue and yeah i just didn't ever do that i wish i had yeah yeah well what about at work so it sounds like you were you see you're a manager uh of this uh ice cream business um you have you had what have you kind of kind of been your other jobs before that Yeah, I worked for a refugee resettlement agency after college. I was only there for about a year and a half in a social work role, helping refugees come over into the States. and helping with all aspects of that, like helping them find a place to live and get settled and start to look for a job and get in ESL classes. So it was very rewarding but very tough work. Yeah, it was good for my misophonia, I would say, because I spent some time in the office, but then I was also out in the field quite a bit.

Adeel [22:54]: Right. Right, right, right. Yeah. And what about just in terms of, have you met other misophones in any of these situations, like at school or at work?

G [23:08]: Ooh.

Adeel [23:10]: That you know of at least, I'm sure you have.

G [23:13]: I think, man, it's, I can't remember. I know I've met somebody else. It was a few years ago and I can't even remember who it was. But my mom does have some triggers. just a few and I remember her getting upset at a play because somebody was crinkling their like candy wrapper down the aisle and she's just glaring and glaring like mom what's wrong and yeah so she has some triggers but that's the only person I really know this was after your death through the walls experience or actually before or around the same time So I didn't understand what she was... you know, I knew she got mad and irritated with sounds but I didn't really know what she was experiencing or what I was experiencing or... I wonder if like... could I have gotten it from her? I don't even really know the answer to that.

Adeel [24:19]: Ding ding ding! No, no... no uh well i mean i was joking there but uh it um it's not it's not the first time that that a parent or somebody else in the family has has um has also had misophonia and then to some to some like lower almost lower extent because they just it's not talked about as much especially kind of quote unquote older generations but um yeah juries out on totally out on that stuff but uh um that is interesting it's yeah i wonder if it maybe subliminally activated something where you're in a part of your brain was starting to look out for similar danger sounds uh signs more because i do feel like and here's where i start to speculate is it is kind of like some related to some dangerous sense of danger or um looking for danger that we had like through evolution yeah and maybe kind of misfiring a little bit but if you um pick it up from i don't know somebody who was you know for a large part of your life in charge of making sure that you were not in danger maybe it is something that gets picked up or or activated somehow i don't know needs to be more research but you can see how you those dots can maybe be connected somehow yeah

G [25:43]: she activated something and I just took it to a whole new level.

Adeel [25:46]: Yeah. Yeah. Oh man. So, um, okay. Okay. Yeah. And, and so day to day, so these days kind of like in where you're at the office of me, uh, you know, um, in the, in the ice cream, in the ice cream. So you've got, um, you're generally not triggered, but do you have, uh, you got headphones on and whatnot and, um, or, or it's manageable there.

G [26:12]: Um, at work it's manageable. Um, yeah, there's just the people, um, who are like really just chewing gum while they're ordering. And I'm like, okay, I'm going to get them out of the shop as fast as possible. Um, right.

Adeel [26:28]: Yeah.

G [26:30]: It's really, it doesn't affect my work. Uh, that wouldn't be a reason for me to, I have, I have no reason to bring it up with my boss or reason to look for another job. Um, Yeah, I'm thankful.

Adeel [26:44]: Have you thought about, so you said, you know, doctors and whatnot have not known about it. Have you, I don't know, is it to the point where you feel like sometime in the future you might consider going to see somebody about it or... or not or just kind of like deal with it since there is really no cure at this point.

G [27:07]: Yeah. I would like to... I would love to see someone about it if I knew that it would help. I'm afraid of exposure therapy and I really don't think that that's a good route for me. But I'm open to seeing someone and getting help. I also... I can do more... I could look into getting better earplugs or it would be nice if there was some kind of device you could put in your ear that would emit some sort of white noise but that you'd still be able to hear everything you need to.

Adeel [27:53]: I might want to check out an audiologist because they can prescribe these devices. I think Widex is one company where it's basically tiny, tiny, tiny hearing aids looking things that emit white noise or whatever program it is. uh in into your ears um to kind of take the edge off a little bit i'm always like might as well just you know put a white noise track from spotify or something through earbuds but uh yeah but they yeah those there's those things too um uh i think i'm sure i'm sure in the future they'll be like customized to noise cancelling where it uh in real time will take out you know

G [28:38]: gum smacking or what have you like your custom triggers you can exactly program it to take those out exactly that'd be nice i do have um a white noise machine i turn it on in the morning when my cat uh likes to groom himself on the bed and it's the licking over and over and over i want him there so i just turn on the white noise machine and it's worked wonders it's great

Adeel [29:05]: Yeah. Do you use that also for other purposes? Getting to sleep or anything? Did you say snoring is a big trigger for you?

G [29:13]: No, I don't really struggle with snoring. I do use it to help me get to sleep and just to block out some noises outside. I'm not sure. I would imagine everyone is annoyed by the lawnmowers that go off in the morning.

Adeel [29:30]: Leaf blowers, lawnmowers, yeah. I'm about to do renovation of my house soon, later this year, so it's going to be quite a...

G [29:39]: Oh, yeah.

Adeel [29:40]: Thing. But, yeah. So, what do you do with that then? You just throw in the white noise or you move to a different part of the house?

G [29:48]: White noise and, well, the grass is just starting to grow. So, I got to figure out my strategy here soon. But I might, one time I did lay in the closet because it was dark and quiet and I just made a little bed and it worked out. yeah whatever works yeah yeah i also use the white noise machine in the morning um if i'm having breakfast with my significant other and there's bacon and toast and it's crunchy and i'll just put that on and we'll put a show on and then i'll put one of my earbuds in the ear that's like facing him right and that's plenty of sound to block out the crunchiness

Adeel [30:34]: I wonder if there are groups in Cleveland for misophony. It's kind of crazy. I was telling somebody I did, as a joke, I kind of started a next door group for misophones here in where I live and like 20 people showed up or are in the group next time I checked. So I'm sure there are people out in Cleveland. who have missed the point. It might be interesting once all this pandemic stuff is over to have little meetups around the country of people who are sensitive to sounds.

G [31:10]: Yeah. Yeah. And we can all find some way to interact with each other where we won't offend each other with our sounds.

Adeel [31:18]: It works surprisingly well at the convention that happens roughly annually. Yeah. But, okay, cool. Like I said before, you're not the only person who, you know, has probably not spoken about it with another misophone very often. I'm curious, do you have any kind of words you want to share with people about things that, you know, I don't know, have worked for you or things you've learned?

G [31:47]: Yeah, I guess I would just say... Or not, or I don't want to put you on the spot. Yeah, no, I'm just thinking... I don't think there's any harm in telling someone about your condition, telling someone about vasophonia. And there's always a way that you can phrase it so that you're just being clear and just saying like, hey, this is a disorder, not making it personal or emotional and just saying like, I hope you can be understanding of this. And I just think that coming out and saying that to someone, you know, whether it happens before or after the trigger, it can just do a lot for you. It can be of great help for you. And I think it's better than not saying anything because then there's, you know, you can get irritable and the person who is making the offensive sound has no idea and they might get upset with you because you're glaring. So I think just approaching it in a gentle way and just being clear. I feel like there are... It won't go wrong, I think, if you handle it and approach it in a gentle and clear way. That's what I'm trying to say.

Adeel [33:25]: Yeah, no, this is great. I think you're a great example of somebody who's found a way to kind of express it in ways that have gotten great responses. Plus, you've been very fortunate to have people, the people closest to you seem to be very sensitive. So that's been great.

G [33:45]: yeah and i think if you um oh here's another coping i can't believe i didn't bring this up but like yeah um my family and i will like you can tell someone here's something you can do that will help me um if i'm having chips like my family loves salsa and guacamole um if I'm having that with my family, my mom like was teasing me, you know, it was just all in good nature. She was like, okay, let's have a bite at the same time. So if I am crunching something with someone, I can't hear their crunching and it sort of cancels each other out. Um, so that's something that helps me greatly is like, um, just making this come up.

Adeel [34:31]: Yeah.

G [34:32]: making the same noise at the same time and you can do it with like sniffling too um if someone sniffles and i just do it right after them it's weird but somehow i distract my like me making the sound myself distracts my brain from being angry at the other person for making that sound yeah it's a real weird phenomenon yeah and then one other thing that helps is Um, if I know the sound is coming, so my boyfriend will say like, okay, Claire, like I need to clear my throat. She doesn't do it often, but he'll say, I need to clear my throat. And I say, okay, great. I just plug my ears. He does it. And then everything is fine. I don't get annoyed at all. Um, so if I know it's coming, um, and you can kind of train the people you love and who love you, um, you know tell this this is really helpful for me can you please help me by doing this i think is a good way to approach it i also think if you are triggered and angry and upset at all these sounds around you and you aren't getting that out of your body somehow that it will stay in your body and manifest itself in another way like i think You either need to communicate how you're feeling to someone or maybe you need to go out and exercise or you need to meditate or just let those feelings leave your body because I think it's harmful to just keep things bottled up.

Adeel [36:09]: Wow, yeah, great flurry of chips at the end here from Claire. Yeah, these are all great things that, yeah, I've heard of these as well, the whole mimicking the sound, somehow taking it away. I feel like it just comes down to like... uh the stress and and the kind of um danger or just the uh the the aware uh interpretation that there's danger around and if you're causing the sound and or you're being warned of some event then that removes that uh sensation somehow there's gotta be something there yeah i know it's bizarre Yeah, it's got to get it into a pill and then we'll all just take it and it'll all go away. Well, Claire, yeah, again, thanks for all this. It's been great to hear what's been going on with you and these great tips. And it's really great to hear a success story. Sometimes there's a lot of dark moments. And so, yeah, this has been great. And I wish you more success in being able to manage it at some level, at least.

G [37:19]: Thank you so much. And I wish the same for you.

Adeel [37:22]: Okay. Now here is that extra bit of my conversation with Claire that happened after the main interview ended.

G [37:30]: And I didn't really know like where to throw that in or, but I know that a lot of people with misophonia have like another type of

Adeel [37:41]: Yeah, you know what? When I asked about therapists, I was going to ask if you had had any other kind of comorbidities. But yeah, I didn't want to try to pry or anything.

G [37:56]: It's okay.

Adeel [37:57]: I mean, is that something you're comfortable talking about or... Yeah, I'm comfortable talking about it.

G [38:03]: I just... I don't really know how it relates to misophonia. There may be ways that you know how it could relate. I know that it affects, like, my mood in the morning. I'm very groggy and sleepy and irritable in the morning. I don't really know how else they are connected, but if you, you know, had any sort of questions about that, I would be willing to talk about it.

Adeel [38:35]: Yeah, I did hit record again just in case we, just in case we, yeah, you know, while we're here, but yeah, I mean, I don't have any particular insights on how these are related other than it's definitely not uncommon to hear about, you know, like, diagnoses for anxiety, OCD, bipolar, I believe, too. And then because you're... One reason is you're just able to get diagnoses for these things much easier than misophonia, which just doesn't get you anything usually. And so in terms of links, yeah, I'm not sure. I can't say if there is a link, but... Directly, but it's definitely not uncommon to have some kind of overlap. Do you find they affect each other in any way? Like, if you're going through episodes of one, it kind of affects the other one? Yeah, I...

G [39:37]: Well, like I said, in the morning, I take medication every night and I take medication that makes me sleepy. So in the morning, I'm a little groggy until like the early afternoon. And but even before I took medication or was diagnosed bipolar. I have always just been so irritable in the morning. I don't know why. Like I wake up and I'm just the angriest person. There's probably one day out of the month where I wake up and everything's fine. Um, and I feel great. I'm like, wow, I won the lottery. This is my one day a month. But, um, so in the morning I am especially irritable with sounds like almost anything will set me off. Um, interesting and what gets you out of that uh just getting along with getting a coffee or just getting a quiet time um i just want to be in solitude and um maybe listen to something pleasant some calm music um coffee um laying in bed for an hour or so

Adeel [40:50]: This sounds very familiar to me. So I'm wondering if I need to worry about here. Yeah. And then on the other side, so bipolar is bipolar. Do you feel the other side of bipolar disorder as well? Yeah.

G [41:09]: So the morning irritability, I don't know how much that relates to actually bipolar disorder. Um, it's just like morning grogginess and irritability that I don't know where it comes from, but, but regular. Um, but I do get highs and lows occasionally. Um, I'm thankful I don't, I've been very stable and high functioning, but, um, I do have times where I've been hypomanic, just not full blown manic, um, but almost, you know, like halfway there. Um, where I just have heightened sense of self and everything around me is exciting. And, um, I would say I am more irritable at that time as well. And sounds do trigger me more when I'm in that state. Um, when I'm on, yeah, I think I'm just hyper aware of things that are going on around me. So I am more aware. And for the flip side, for being depressed, I don't think I'm any more irritable than I am to sounds when I'm depressed. So that's been my experience.

Adeel [42:23]: Gotcha. Yeah, okay, so there's kind of three states. There's manic, depressed, and then morning groggy, or morning groggy is kind of like a morning depression kind of thing.

G [42:35]: Yeah, I just kind of have to shake it off every day. Thankfully, I have a job where I work maybe one morning out of the week, and a lot of times in that morning, I'm able to be by myself, and I can listen to music or... or not listen to anything. So I have a job that works well for me where I have most of my energy in the afternoon and evening and I'm not irritable. So that's good.

Adeel [43:05]: Did you get a, when you got the diagnosis for bipolar disorder, did you bring up the misophonia as well?

G [43:13]: No, I did not. So when I was diagnosed bipolar type one, which is a little more severe than type two, it was all that. It was the focus of everything that was going on. I mean, I was hospitalized and misophonia has always just been kind of like a side disorder that I deal with.

Adeel [43:39]: Gotcha. Okay. But yeah, I am hoping to address it. All right.

G [43:42]: with a doctor in the future. I'd love to.

Adeel [43:46]: Yeah, okay. Yeah, no, well, I mean, yeah, best of luck with all that. Sounds like you're getting help for bipolar and are able to manage it. But yeah, it'd be great to get some more help on that as well. Yeah, thanks for sharing that because I know a lot of people have comorbidities. I don't think bipolar has come up as much, so it's good to hear your experiences with that.

G [44:09]: Okay, yeah, I'm glad I could share it.

Adeel [44:11]: Thank you, Claire. That was really helpful. I'm glad I hit record again. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this podcast. Music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.