Kevin - Engineer finds solace and coping strategies in confronting misophonia.

S1 E13 - 2/5/2020
In this episode, Kevin shares his journey with misophonia, discussing its progression from his teenage years to adulthood. He reminisces about early triggers, such as the ticking clocks at home and the noise from family meals, highlighting that his father was a significant source of sound triggers. Kevin touches on the challenges of living with misophonia, including its impact on relationships with his wife and potential familial patterns indicating a hereditary component. He explores coping mechanisms like avoidance, using headphones, and sleeping with earplugs, but also delves into unconventional methods such as supplements, discussing L-thionine's potential benefits despite acknowledging it might be a placebo effect. The conversation shifts to visual and tactile triggers, illustrating misophonia's multisensory impact. Kevin discusses trying ASMR videos for desensitization and contemplates the complexity of finding comfort in sounds that typically provoke discomfort. He reflects on the difficulties of requesting accommodations in workspaces, acknowledging the general lack of understanding and support for misophonia. Throughout the episode, Kevin emphasizes the importance of discussing misophonia, despite societal stigmas, as a means to educate others and explore personal coping strategies, concluding with encouragement for others to openly communicate their struggles.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia podcast. This is episode 13. My name is Adeel Ahmad and I have Misophonia. This week I'm talking to Kevin, an engineer living in New York State. We talk about everything from dealing with co-workers, approaching your manager about Misophonia. stress on the job, taking natural supplements to cope, ASMR, having family members with me, so pretty wide-ranging conversation I think you'll enjoy. Remember, you can follow on Instagram or Facebook at Misophonia Podcast, or send me an email about what you think of the show, hello at All right, here's Kevin. Welcome, Kevin, to the podcast. Glad to have you here.

Kevin [0:48]: Oh, thanks for having me.

Adeel [0:51]: Cool. So, yeah, why don't we start by just telling us where you're from?

Kevin [0:55]: So I'm from central New York.

Adeel [0:58]: I live in the Syracuse area. And are you in an office right now? Like, what do you do for work?

Kevin [1:04]: Yeah, so I'm in an office. I work for an engineering startup here in Syracuse. I'm an engineer by trade, but at this point I do more engineering management. Sorry, software engineering or... I've mostly taken a hardware focus, but most of my career has been spent with development of radars and sensors first for kind of government contracts and things like that. And since then, we've struck out on our own with a great group of people to do it commercially. So it's the same types of technology.

Adeel [1:38]: Yeah, I used to be a hardware engineer and doing FPGAs and audio, pro audio stuff. So that's I think the last time I had like an office where I can kind of like close the door and my lab in there, my scopes and all that stuff.

Kevin [1:53]: I have slung a lot of VHDL in my days. Oh, God. a whole separate conversation about. Oh yeah.

Adeel [1:58]: Verilog and VHDL have done all that. So yeah.

Kevin [2:01]: Okay.

Adeel [2:01]: Yeah. That's yeah. That'll be, we won't, we won't bore the audience with the finer details of FPGA timing issues and stuff. But yeah. So, so what's your office environment like?

Kevin [2:12]: So it's interesting, right? So you know, the engineering culture, you know, you kind of always start off typically in like your, I started off in cube farms and things like that, where you're kind of sharing a cube with a partner. kind of moved over to more of office life at the end of my kind of defense contracting career which is great obviously you know kind of have an office all to myself you can kind of shut the door and kind of take that that sensory break whenever you need it at this point now working for a startup we're working in a very open office environment so there is 13 of us sitting in a room all together. No walls, just kind of all coexisting in there.

Adeel [2:55]: So is it like a co-working space or do you guys have your own building?

Kevin [3:02]: We have a section of a floor of a building, but for all intents and purposes, we kind of work really just as an independent, right? It's really just us up here. Gotcha.

Adeel [3:16]: And I remember when I was on hardware, actually, yeah, more back in the day when I was doing hardware, we, especially on a small startup, we all kind of eat together, which I wasn't a big fan of personally. So, yeah, tell me about your coworkers.

Kevin [3:31]: Yeah, so, I mean, we are talking over my lunch hour, so if you don't mind, I'll just go ahead and start eating my lunch as we talk, if that's cool with you. I'm totally kidding, but...

Adeel [3:41]: Well, I was going to say, I'm quite a quick with editing stuff out, so I'd be like, okay. I was preparing my cringe, too. Yeah, exactly.

Kevin [3:52]: No, I mean, my coworkers are great. It's certainly a transition moving into an open office environment. We were kind of... Working with everybody and there's conversations going on and there's keyboards and mouse clicks and sneezing and coughing. So it's certainly a transition that requires some coping. Right. So I'm rarely working without headphones and I very strategically pick what I'm listening to. You know, lunch can certainly be a challenge. What kind of headphones, by the way? I don't do anything special. I just have, you know, little Panasonic earbuds that keep out enough sound. So, you know, I'll often listen to... like a YouTube video of rain falling in the woods. It's like 99% of the time I have that on because it filters out typing and mouse clicks so well. So it's almost like white noise, but it almost sounds just like that, but it all just gets lost.

Adeel [4:52]: You know, I've heard campfire sounds. So yeah, the other thing about software engineering environments is I find startups are more than happy to, at least the ones I've worked at, are more than happy to give give away headphones, even if you don't have misophonia. So I, you know, I try to take advantage of that. Did you say you eat with your, you eat with your coworkers or?

Kevin [5:15]: I do.

Adeel [5:15]: It's like whatever. Okay.

Kevin [5:17]: Yeah. You know, there's usually at least a group of four or five that end up at the lunch table every day. And you know, that's really valuable for me, really valuable time from a professional perspective to be able to kind of interact personally and all that. So it, you know, it's a balance of kind of risk versus reward, I guess, for lack of a better term.

Adeel [5:36]: Yeah, that's interesting. Yeah, a lot of technical issues get solved over lunch. And so that could save you a lot of stress later professionally, which we know stress just makes misophonia worse. So it's kind of like... So is it like a lot of deadlines, like a lot of stress here at your early startup?

Kevin [6:00]: It is, you know, so kind of progression we had here. All of us were working for a defense contractor and after a period of time that that contractor spun off a commercial wing of their company to address some commercial markets. And so a number of us went over and kind of grew this wing of the company. But it went from more of a. you know, government contractor, long deadlines, money is practically infinite to very quick deadlines. You're serving the market, serving the customer more responsibility to the individual, to every individual. So the stress level really went up at that point trying to produce there. And then, you know, certainly that's carried over and to a degree increased, you know, now that we've really struck out on our own for a true commercial startup. So yeah, a lot of pressure, a lot of stress. And I would definitely be lying if I said that didn't affect the misophonia. Oh, exactly. Yeah, that's a huge part of it.

Adeel [7:00]: So yeah, going back in time then, do you remember roughly when your first triggers were and how that came to be?

Kevin [7:09]: You know, it's hard to pinpoint. I think one thing I can say for sure... is that it's gotten a lot worse over time. Um, and I don't know if that's, that's common other people are not, but yeah, not surprising. I think we, we kind of, uh, train our brains almost in it. You almost like encouraging these, these kind of like negative paths over and over. Um, so I certainly remember kind of maybe, you know, teenage years, high school, uh, very early triggers of, um, you know, being one of the first to wake up in the morning and taking the batteries out of the clocks on the walls because of the ticking of the clocks. And I would put them back in and fix the time later. Um, so, so yeah, definitely around that time, you know, eating with family, um, Yeah, almost all kind of at home kind of family.

Adeel [8:02]: Yeah, and that's very, very common as kind of family, in particular parents. And I found more often than not, the father is kind of the earliest triggers. I had never, yeah, I hadn't heard much about like ambient noises around the house, but that makes total sense if you got clocks ticking all over the place. Right, yeah. So how are meals and, you know, how is the interaction with your family?

Kevin [8:31]: I guess as you would expect, right? You kind of, you cope, you end up being irritable. you know i think dinner time was was always difficult um you know speaking of fathers my dad insisted on you know cutting anything he was eating up into tiny little pieces and he would just always you know chirp the knife against the plate and oh yeah that was kind of an early one too um so yeah you know those sort of thing and just eating noise in general was a little tough for the family um but it didn't stick out to me at that period of time as an issue. It really wasn't until my adult life that you'd start to key in and like... Ah, gotcha. Like, wow, this is really kind of affecting me every single day. So I think it took a while.

Adeel [9:21]: So it didn't affect you in school or anything, and at home you just dealt with it as kind of an annoyance and, well, I guess you... maybe a little bit more than once if you were taking batteries out, but it wasn't like, you probably had a lot of other stuff going on as we all do during those years early on. So you didn't really recognize it as a major problem until your adult life?

Kevin [9:43]: Yeah, I think that's fair. I think it's always been with me since maybe those teenage years and always noticed it. But yeah, I would say that it didn't reach a level where it really affected me day to day until adulthood. I think that's a fair characterization. I feel like it's a miracle that I got through college with roommates and all that without this really standing out as an issue.

Adeel [10:09]: Yeah, I think the same thing. If I had to go through college again, I don't know if I'd be able to pass. Sitting in those exam gyms, basically.

Kevin [10:21]: I think there's probably no better deterrent for crime because I would not last a day in jail i know oh you did not even think about it that way yes i'll think about that next time i want to murder somebody yeah i don't know what would show we were watching with my wife and i'm just sitting there thinking like oh my god i would lose it like i wouldn't last a day in there just the noises of the you know living with somebody and all that oh my god oh god yeah uh okay so you're you were into your adult life um what's oh yeah what do you remember what was going on is it was it maybe your first job was it where you were living I really don't know. It's kind of crept up. Yeah, I think it's just always been there and always been gradual. I think if maybe I put in a lot of thought, I might be able to pinpoint a period of time. My guess would be kind of the stress and responsibility of a of the job increasing and things like that, but I don't know for sure.

Adeel [11:15]: Gotcha. Okay. And, um, so yeah, what are some of your coping mechanisms or that you've kind of, uh, that you've used over the years?

Kevin [11:24]: You know, it's a lot of, you know, headphones and things like that. Obviously it's avoidance, honestly, you know, uh, there is a lot of, um, you know, remove yourself from the situation. Yeah. Try not to engage in a way that is eliciting the triggers that might be bothering you. You know, by that, I mean, you know, maybe you're a little less talkative because of somebody else or something like that, which is really unfortunate.

Adeel [11:51]: Yeah. Have you avoided like other specific like social things that have come up, like people that you've had to avoid or relationships with family or friends that have been affected?

Kevin [12:02]: Um, yeah, sure. I mean, my, my poor wife, she's a, she's a saint and, you know, she puts up with me really well and understands. Um, but, but yeah, there are times where, you know, I'm probably a little less friendly and more standoffish, you know, because she might be triggering me in some way, which is, you know, unfortunate for everybody.

Adeel [12:22]: Right.

Kevin [12:23]: So yeah, decent amount of avoidance. Um, I often sleep with earplugs. So that seemed to help as I'm trying to kind of wind down for the day. Um, you know, I've tried a couple supplements that, um, may or may not work, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's more just kind of a placebo.

Adeel [12:42]: Placebo. Yeah. What kind of supplements have you tried?

Kevin [12:46]: Um, so recently I tried, uh, L-thionine, which is, I think it's a compound that's found in green teas and things like that. And it has been associated with, um, um, kind of, I guess a stress management type, uh, response. Um, almost like a cardiovascular effect. And again, I feel like it helps, but it could just be placebo, which I'm fine with.

Adeel [13:13]: Yeah. How long have you been taking that? A few months. And it's still having some whatever effect. It's still something that you can notice is an improvement?

Kevin [13:23]: I believe so. And I fully believe that some of that is mental where it's hey, you know, you took your pill, you should be feeling calm. Okay, maybe I do feel calm. So it's hard to say.

Adeel [13:37]: Yeah, well, I mean, in a fight or flight condition where it's, I would imagine, I'm speculating on everything, I'm not a doctor or a researcher, but I would imagine a lot of it is like training your brain to realize that you're not in danger. And so if taking this pill eases your brain somehow, it probably helps. Yeah. And do you have a visual triggers as well?

Kevin [14:01]: I do. I was interested in talking about that. So, so yeah, I, you know, there's definitely, it's very interesting and I'm, I'm sure there'll be a lot more correlation and segregation of, um, whatever disorders going on as time goes on and things are learned. But boy, for me, it certainly is multisensory. Um, you know, auditory, obviously, uh, visual, um, it is the exact same response for me for something that is visually triggering. Even, I'm not sure what the best word, but almost like a tactile, like a vibration, or if I can, maybe I can't see or hear somebody, you know, tapping on something in a booth in a restaurant, but I can feel my chair moving from somebody else that can trigger me the exact same way. So it's really interesting. It's multisensory like that.

Adeel [14:59]: Got it. Okay. So interesting. Do you think it's your brain, well, the eye sending information to your brain and maybe anticipating that you will hear a sound or?

Kevin [15:11]: Maybe, you know, it's hard to say whether.

Adeel [15:13]: I'm just making stuff up too, just trying to link the two.

Kevin [15:19]: Yeah, it's fun to think about different things. You know, is it, you've created visual triggers because of the negative response from the audio ones?

Adeel [15:28]: I find for me it is, I find for me, yeah, I find for me the visual triggers tend to stem from my audio triggers. So if it's like, if somebody is, you know, if somebody's about to drink some water, I know that I'm about to hear something probably, you know, the water traveling through, you know, through that person's body. So it's, at least for me, it seems like an anticipatory reaction that has turned into my brain kind of maybe, you know, some kind of Pavlovian way being linked to that. So, yeah, that's interesting. But I've heard a lot more about... visual triggers in the past year, whether it's increasing or people are just kind of having more awareness about it.

Kevin [16:15]: Yeah. And like I said, it feels exactly the same. I know I've seen the term mesokinesia. If anybody's looking to check that out too. Yeah, it's an axiom trigger. I think the fact that it is anticipatory has a lot to do with it. And I think triggers that you know about, you tend to latch onto really quickly. And there's that weird connection. I don't know if it's the same for you, but with the repetitive nature of a trigger. You know, hearing something new once that, you know, can become a trigger, you know, usually doesn't have much of an effect. It's kind of, okay, there's a thing. There it is again. There it is again. And it's almost this cascading, like, oscillation of panic. Yeah, something about repetitive nature of things, you know, a foot bouncing. You know, finger tapping, you know. I think I know what you're talking about. And I think that kind of feeds that anticipatory thing, you know. Okay, I know it's coming again. I know it's coming again. Yeah. At least for me, a lot of my triggers are repetitive in nature.

Adeel [17:22]: Yeah. And that's what takes over your focus. Your focus then shifts to when is this going to happen again?

Kevin [17:28]: Yeah.

Adeel [17:29]: Or it somehow calculates it's going to happen, you know, at some time. And then you're just kind of basically your brain just totally focuses on waiting. It shuts everything down and is just now waiting for that next thing.

Kevin [17:41]: Yeah. So it's so funny. It's like the last thing I want to do is hear that again. And yet that's all you're waiting for. You're totally tuned to it.

Adeel [17:50]: Yeah. If we can de-gas hardware engineers, it feels like if you put a scope on my brain at that point, it turns from like a lot of signals to just one sine wave that's just kind of waiting for the next thing.

Kevin [18:01]: Yeah. I almost think of it as like an oscillation to almost like a tuning fork where, you know, you tap it once and immediately the body responds. and you hit it again and the oscillation increases, you know, it's this build effect. The more you hear it, the worse it gets.

Adeel [18:18]: So you were saying, you were kind of describing earlier as like if somebody's tapping, you can kind of feel your chair shake or something in a restaurant.

Kevin [18:27]: Do your body actually kind of move like more than just cringing? So I was thinking more of like, so I have visual triggers, audio triggers. But let's say I can't hear or see the person behind me on a plane, but I feel their knee gently brush up against me, up the back of my chair, and then I feel their knee brush again. Then again, I feel the same trigger in that scenario where somebody is physically moving me in a way or making me feel something that I have a response to. The restaurant, I was just thinking of almost a similar situation. I was thinking of a time in a restaurant and the booths were kind of all up on this. wooden plank and I couldn't hear or see somebody like tapping their foot. And I kept feeling a vibration through my chair so that the feeling of that repetitive vibration had the same response for me. Okay.

Adeel [19:18]: So yeah, it's more of a, yeah. It's a microtactilia. I'll just make up a term. Sure. I like it. Interesting. Okay. Yeah. I hadn't heard that, but I will try to ask people if they've felt that. I'm sure, I'm sure I do too. But yeah, we'll see. I'm going to, I'll look out for that. And now I'll probably have a few more new triggers. Thank you. Sorry. It's all good. You were talking about your, you know, your poor wife. Um, have you, have you talked to other people about misophonia by name? Do you know anyone who has it?

Kevin [19:50]: Um, no, I haven't really. So, um, I said, my wife is kind of, she follows the Reddit subreddit as well. And she'll send me articles and things that she thinks I find interesting. And she, she really does, you know, do a great job of, um, understanding even though as I'm sure you know sometimes pointing out a trigger can be offensive to people and I understand that. So she's great about giving me leeway. I haven't talked really to anybody else about it. I do think that my brother likely suffers the same way I do and I've been meaning to kind of ask him. I feel like my brother probably has a lot of the same kind of like overreactive limbic response to the things, you know, that I do. So you start to wonder, all right, is this like a, is this a nature nurture question? Is this a, you know, is this a result of our environment and upbringing or is this more of a, you know, a biological kind of predisposition to it? Kind of interesting to think about.

Adeel [20:56]: Yeah, I mean, there's research on the neurological side, so there definitely does seem to be a component there. Like a physical, neurological kind of condition? Yeah, like a brain difference in wiring. But, you know, again, I'm not a researcher or doctor, but it feels like there is something that... there is something in the environment that around a certain age when the brain is changing a lot, whatever that neurological difference is, it gets triggered or it gets activated or deactivated, whatever it may be around adolescence for some people. Yeah, interesting. It just feels like a combination of the two to me, but I will let the researchers hash that one out. Okay, so your brother probably has it. That would be interesting. Maybe this Christmas you guys will talk about it.

Kevin [21:51]: Yeah, find a nice quiet corner somewhere. Yeah, exactly.

Adeel [21:56]: I have found just kind of talking about it also helps out. Almost like taking that supplement or something. There's something about it that kind of like relaxes the brain a little bit in this way.

Kevin [22:11]: Yeah, yeah, I believe it. You know, and I think you could say that about, you know, any ailment, right? You know, it helps to talk and have people understand kind of what you're going through and go pot to talk about it, which certainly doesn't help the research or the understanding or the coping.

Adeel [22:29]: Yeah, mental health in general is not valued as much as it should be around here. And then there's an issue with misunderstood disorders like this one, which a lot of people might not think is a mental health issue.

Kevin [22:46]: Right. And I have to imagine there's a spectrum here as well, just kind of reading, you know, different posts and, you know, and I'm sure we'll see more in this podcast, like hearing about other people's, how this goes for them. You feel that it's the same and different and, you know, there's a lot of overlap, but certainly it seems like a different spectrum.

Adeel [23:11]: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, everyone has their own triggers. Obviously, we know some of the big ones. But then, yeah, I think for at least most of the people I've talked to, there's definitely a spectrum. But at some point, there's a step function where it's like, okay, there's a whole other level. I think that's kind of where most of us are at. Let's talk about, I guess, going back to work, like, have you, well, I guess you've never talked about it. I'm just curious about accommodations at work and school is something that is kind of top of mind to people. I'm wondering if you've ever asked for, without naming this, like, hey, can I kind of have maybe be able to work from home? I guess it's hard where you are, but work from home or I need to, you know, I need to go to a quiet room for a little while. Have you ever kind of asked for accommodations?

Kevin [24:02]: I have, yeah. There was this one time in particular, there was somebody working in my area sitting in kind of a cube farm sort of deal. And this person would just kind of like clear their throat and just cough incessantly day after day after day. And so I had gone to my manager and I... just said, Hey, you know, I know this is kind of, you know, dumb, but, um, I'm kind of losing my mind. Listen, you know, I didn't say misophonia. I don't remember how I quite presented it, but basically just said, you know, I'm really struggling, uh, sitting next to this person. Um, you know, is there anywhere else I could move to? Um, and, you know, manage the time. He's a great guy. Um, he understood and, you know, so do you look into it, but ultimately, um, Nothing was changed to address it. But I think if I really would have pushed it, the employer I was working for, they're typically really good about accommodating people for all sorts of things. So I think if I really would have kept pushing it, they would have done something for me.

Adeel [25:09]: Gotcha. And how did you deal with it afterwards? Did you just put on more rain music? Yeah, I think it just ended up being...

Kevin [25:19]: You know, you really can't work without headphones. Find the right balance of music and sounds to pump in that allows you to focus on your work, but that can kind of drown out some of those external sounds. So that's kind of been like a work in progress for a long time.

Adeel [25:36]: Yeah, I've been thinking about as a way, you know, obviously I want to raise awareness. One thing is in engineering companies, these days there's such a war for talent. I'm wondering if there's a way to pitch to HR departments that accommodating things like misophonia could be like a competitive advantage when trying to hire top talent. They might talk about it with their employees and we can get more people who self-identify.

Kevin [26:03]: Right. I think there is a general issue with you know, a lot of, a lot of corporate disciplines where your office environment is tied to status and position, not necessarily what is going to make you, not necessarily what's going to make you the most productive. You know, there's a lot of research that says software, firmware, you know, graphics designers need quiet focused uh areas that are their own to be creative and do their jobs but again we save the offices for the managers and directors and things like that um so it i think that school yeah it comes from historical yeah so i think i think that's a cultural shift that you you do see being addressed in some newer companies but it's ingrained that hey the office is is for status you know

Adeel [26:52]: Interesting thing is Dr. Marsha Johnson, who's one of the kind of pioneering audiologists for recognizing misophonia. She, she's told me that about 30% of her, her misophonia clients are engineers.

Kevin [27:06]: Really?

Adeel [27:06]: So there is definitely something, there is some correlation, obviously not, not everybody, this is not one-to-one, but there is some kind of a predisposition.

Kevin [27:17]: Yeah. So I guess along the same vein of office coping environments, So I wonder if you'll, if you talk about ASMR with any of your, any of the people you talk to, which.

Adeel [27:28]: Yeah, I think it's come up, but yeah, tell me more about that.

Kevin [27:32]: Yeah. So, I mean, on the surface, you would think that, you know, ASMR would be the, you know, the absolute living nightmare of anybody with, with misophonia. I discovered ASMR because I was like dabbling around with,

Adeel [27:47]: you know could i desensitize myself a little bit asmr just just for the uh just for the audience what does that stand for again audio oh yeah boy i don't know anyways it's uh it's basically sounds close up right like very detailed sounds is kind of yeah it's um it's kind of like an um

Kevin [28:08]: an auto response to audio triggers or visual triggers that cause almost like a sense of like tingling and, you know, euphoria in a very small sense. It's, you know, when you see or hear something makes you feel really good, kind of feel this like kind of wave of I guess pleasure for lack of a better word, like throughout the body. So a lot of ASMR videos that you find on YouTube, the things that tend to trigger this kind of pleasure response will be tapping and scratching and people literally chewing and eating into their microphone or whispering or hand movements, you know, smooth hand movements, things like that, which I'm sure as everyone's surmising, right, that huge overlap with a lot of people's right misophonia triggers or mesokinesia um so at one point i i i had delved into a couple of videos again in hopes of desensitizing myself you know hey what if i was just like listening to this stuff in the background is that going to help um and what i found is i do experience asmr which i thought was super interesting because it almost seems like a like like an um an over response to the same types of input, you know, be it visual or audio or, um, you know, having this kind of like a physical response to it, but in this case, positive. Um, so yeah, I was just curious if anybody, you know, if you, if you find that thread of, um, that kind of like dichotomy between this overlap of something that's so terrible yet in some cases can cause, you know, a really positive response. And I think it does delve a little bit into, at least in my case, I know others in some cases, familiarity with the person who's making the sound. Sometimes that has a lot to do with it. You know, I can hear or see a stranger do something that has zero effect on me. But if my, you know, wife or father or mother did it, I would be triggered or a coworker, which I think is a,

Adeel [30:28]: interesting aspect of it yeah that's that kind of like unintuitive when you think about the the fight or flight because you would think that stranger triggering it would trigger you more than someone close to you so i never understood that that part um yeah But yeah, ASMR, I've heard it come up and it always comes up in the context of like, hey, you know, I thought maybe if I just douse myself in a lot of a trigger sound that might, you know, help me out. And then it's always like inconclusive.

Kevin [31:02]: I'd be interested if people with misophonia and misokinesia gave it a shot and just compared it to, you know, to the normal day-to-day. I was pretty shocked.

Adeel [31:13]: Yeah. So I always thought about it as in terms of just like listening to the sound, because you can, I think you can find playlists on Spotify, but I'd never thought about it in terms of like watching it so that you can actually see how it affects kinesia. That's interesting.

Kevin [31:31]: Yeah. I just feel like that's just such an odd juxtaposition, I guess. Yeah.

Adeel [31:35]: If anyone tries that out, please. Yeah. Please let us let us know. Interesting. Cool. Well, so we did talk a little bit about the holidays earlier. Yeah. How are the holidays for you? You have one sibling?

Kevin [31:49]: I have two. Two. Okay. I have an older brother and older sister. My older sister has children who are grown pretty much at this point. And then my wife's family, she's got three siblings and various amounts of nieces and nephews.

Adeel [32:04]: Got it. So big family gets together. Yeah. And you you've probably got a map in your pocket of rooms you can escape to or places down the bars down the street that you can escape to.

Kevin [32:15]: Right. Yeah. So far, I mean, for the most part, it's OK. I mean, I'm able to cope with it. I mean, there's always struggles. Right. And a lot of time it does just amount to a break. you know, just stealing away for a little period of time, you know, make a reason to go see the dog or let the dog out and just take five, ten minutes longer than I normally would.

Adeel [32:36]: There's usually a lot of background noise over the holidays, I feel like. So, and yeah, there's some people around you can get away. It's really just the... If everyone has to sit down at the meal together and or like if anyone's sick because it is a holiday time, you know.

Kevin [32:51]: Or we all, you know, pack into a van and travel somewhere. Oh, God. Yes.

Adeel [32:56]: Road trips. Yeah.

Kevin [32:58]: Oh, yeah.

Adeel [32:58]: Did you have a lot of that growing up where you were kind of confined in almost in kind of the reverse solitary confinement, which is almost worse than solitary confinement for us? Yeah.

Kevin [33:09]: Yeah. Right. Not a ton, but enough that I can definitely remember a little bit of a struggle for sure. And I think that's part of the, part of the worst part of it is when you can't get away, you know, it's you, you, if you can't cope, if there's nothing you can do to, you know. Yeah.

Adeel [33:26]: You're being held hostage.

Kevin [33:27]: It makes a lot worse. Yeah. And, and almost the feeling for me is almost like a feeling of like extreme impatience or, you know, like I have to do something, I have to move, I have to say something. And when you can't. Right.

Adeel [33:42]: Have you tried any other therapies? You're trying some supplements, I'm curious if, and ASMR. So, you know, you're obviously, it seems like you're trying different things. I'm curious if you've tried anything else or have you seen therapists too? You don't have to talk about your medical history.

Kevin [34:00]: No, no, I haven't. I haven't seen a therapist about anything like that. I it has crossed my mind. A beer or whiskey is never a bad thing either.

Adeel [34:07]: Yeah. So, Oh, right. So I was going to, when I, when I said bar earlier, I was going to be like, uh, have you used alcohol? Sometimes it seems to make things worse, but, but a lot of times, um, yeah, it kind of, it can take the edge off. So, um, so yeah, beer whiskey works for you a little bit.

Kevin [34:25]: Yeah. Um, thought about you know you know can marijuana help you know just or cbd cbd coming up as a potential therapy as well that's a good idea yeah i could yeah so those definitely crossed my mind um what was i just thinking oh i was wondering about um caffeine so so you know i drink a lot of coffee you know being you know i think a lot has to do with the work environment yeah as well But I do find that I have a limit where if I do drink too much coffee and too much caffeine, it makes it a lot worse. I think it does help. It doesn't eliminate it by any means. I feel like I should drink less because I do think it does put me on edge and does make my triggers a little more apt to come down the pike.

Adeel [35:12]: Yeah, because if you need to take a nap to get away from stuff if you're at home, then that would get in the way, I would imagine. Oh, sure. Yeah. Yeah, I guess we should start wrapping up soon. So, you know, you're on the podcast. You haven't talked about it with a lot of people. I'm just curious if you have any other, you know, you've had some great insights on ASMR and other things that I'm sure a lot of people have not heard about. Is there anything else you'd like to tell people who are adults, it's getting worse for them? Any final words of advice?

Kevin [35:45]: So I think there's probably a lot of people that are afraid to say something because, it can be weird and embarrassing and maybe offensive to the person.

Adeel [35:55]: But I've heard people suggest kind of framing it as like, you know, it's not you, it's, it's, it's, I have a problem with certain sounds and starting it, starting to frame it that way kind of helps.

Kevin [36:06]: Yeah, absolutely. And that is the part of it that makes it hard as you're trying to tell somebody else like, Hey, you're doing something wrong, right? That's what makes it socially awkward. And that's what makes it potentially hurtful to the person or rejected or So, yeah, I'm certain that can only help to frame it a little bit. You know, hey, I'm sorry, but, you know, I'm struggling a little bit with this.

Adeel [36:30]: Cool. Well, thanks, Kevin. This is great. It's good to talk to another engineer. We will start comparing the HDL code after this podcast is done. But yeah, thanks again.

Kevin [36:42]: This is going to help a lot of people. All right. Well, thanks so much for having me. And it's certainly refreshing to talk with somebody about it who understands it. And I appreciate that you're doing this because I think a big side benefit is I think you will be providing a little bit of therapy for everybody.

Adeel [36:58]: Thanks, Kevin. That was a really interesting conversation. Thanks, everyone, for listening. Sorry about the noise at the end. You know, I try to remove all triggers, especially mouth sounds, but there's some situations where it's kind of hard to clean the audio. Once again, please follow us on social at Misophonia Podcast, and you can reach me on email at hello at The music's by Moby, and until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [37:41]: you