Ben - Screenwriter Champions Misophonia Awareness

S5 E15 - 1/23/2022
This episode features a conversation with screenwriter Ben, who incorporates misophonia awareness into his scripts, aiming to represent the condition in mainstream media. Ben recounts his personal journey with misophonia, tracing it back to early childhood when he first noticed his sensitivity to sounds such as chewing. Adeel and Ben discuss the general underrepresentation and misunderstanding of misophonia in popular culture, emphasizing the importance of accurate portrayal. They share their triggers, coping mechanisms like using noise-cancelling headphones during movies, and the evolving challenges of living with misophonia. The conversation highlights the need for more research and awareness about the condition, as well as Ben's creative efforts to normalize misophonia through his work.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 5, Episode 15. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. Another episode coming in a few days late, but I'm excited to bring this episode with Ben, a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Ben actually reached out to me, as you'll hear, last year, earlier last year, just to chat about Misophonia, off the record. And when I started recording this season last September, we grabbed some time for the podcast to chat again for all of you to hear. We talk about his unusually normal childhood, nothing particularly traumatic of note. When this all started, spreading the word about misophonia and how he writes misophonia into everything he works on. We talk about having other conditions like ADD and anxiety. And you'll hear his earplug recommendation and a lot more. So many great people I've interviewed in LA and I can't wait to head back out there to visit one day. If you can support the show, the easiest way is to actually just leave a quick rating or review wherever you listen to the show. There's also now a Patreon page at slash missafunnypodcast, where you can support financially to help keep the show up, help pay for accurate transcripts, and to get some swag I'm giving away. And of course, you can follow along on Instagram at missafunnypodcast, also on Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes TikTok. All right, now here's my conversation with Ben. Let's do it. All right, well, With that, Ben, welcome to the podcast. And yeah, it's good to get to speak to you again. We spoke briefly earlier this year.

Ben [1:44]: Yeah, it feels like so long ago in 2021 and 2020 have blended together. And I'm positive we spoke this year.

Adeel [1:55]: Yeah, it was this year. I have no idea. Right. I don't even know if it was pre-vax, post-vax or what was going on.

Ben [2:01]: It was somewhere in there.

Adeel [2:02]: What season it was. But yeah, so... I guess, well, for the audience, do you want to kind of talk a little bit about where you are and what you do?

Ben [2:12]: Yeah, I'm in Los Angeles currently. I'm a screenwriter and I have misophonia. And I try to incorporate some sort of recognition of misophonia into all my scripts, whether it's just you know, a side character having it or, you know, just trying to shed light on misophonia. And yeah, every script I've written, I've incorporated it somewhere, whether it was a main point of the story or just a character's trait, I've just always felt I've wanted to allow characters to have that because it's never really been shown before. So I make it a point to just work it in somehow.

Adeel [3:01]: Yeah, that's really interesting. Did you by any chance write for the show Sex Education?

Ben [3:07]: I did not. Is there a Ben movie on there?

Adeel [3:12]: No, that would be weird. But it just came up in a conversation earlier today that I had in a board meeting for, which I'll give a little plug to. But we were talking about... There was on Twitter and Instagram, people noticed that one of the episodes in this show, I've never seen it, but apparently it's pretty popular. In passing, there was a reference to some characters said that they had misophonia, and they defined it as the hatred of people chewing, which is not quite accurate.

Ben [3:49]: Yeah. So somebody didn't quite do their research, I guess.

Adeel [3:53]: Right. So, so, so quiet, like, um, we know we're, we're thinking about writing to the, to Netflix, to the writers, just to kind of like, you know, educate a little bit and maybe it could be written back in later in the series, but, uh,

Ben [4:07]: That's great. Yeah.

Adeel [4:08]: That's kind of the, um, you know, I'm sure we'll not hear anything because nobody cares about misophonia except you, you're going to change that. But, but that's kind of, I just said that to kind of like say that that's, that's kind of the state of it right now. It's like, it's, you know, if it even gets mentioned, it's usually like in passing as a butt of a joke.

Ben [4:26]: Um, yeah. And I try not to, you know, obviously it's, it's, I don't ever want it to be a joke. It's cause it's not. And so, right. I don't want it to come off that way, but more, like I mentioned, shedding light on something that people just aren't aware of. It's definitely not a butt of a joke.

Adeel [4:49]: Unless it's self-deprecating. Of course, yeah.

Ben [4:55]: but yeah you definitely don't ever want to uh bring light to something that people will immediately associate as being like a joke almost and you know yeah so that's that's important but that's actually really i mean the fact that they mentioned it i guess is something so uh okay give them credit for that but not doing the research is it kind of counters it out a little bit

Adeel [5:18]: I don't know, that's kind of sums up our experience. It's like, okay, if somebody mentioned it, we're like, okay, well, I'm glad they at least mentioned it. But we're not really expecting much more, I guess. That's where our expectations are. They're so low that it's like, if you mention it. So is there anything you've written in yet that's available to see yet? Or is it all maybe stuff that's in development?

Ben [5:45]: Yeah, stuff that's in development. that anybody has seen yet. There are a few projects of mine that we are pushing to shoot in the next, let's see, September, so like the next four weeks. That has, of course, a mention of it. So hopefully we'll start getting the ball rolling on at least shooting these projects and then hopefully getting them out there to people. Yeah, it's funny when people read some of my scripts and, you know, there's never like a question. No one ever, of course, ever mentions, you know, what was the misophonia thing? What was that about? You know, it just kind of is like, oh, yeah, read the script. Good stuff. And so there's no questions about it or anything, which is totally fine. I think it's just more of the idea of spreading the word and making people aware.

Adeel [6:44]: yeah for sure um yeah so i guess it's interesting so yeah so yeah people review and they they kind of well i guess if you weave it in really well or or it's pretty minor either way it's not really yeah yeah i mean if it is like a bigger part of the character or something then uh maybe i would expect them to say something or maybe kind of ask what that is but you know it's never been brought up and

Ben [7:12]: Most of the people who do read my scripts before they get sent out anywhere are people close to me who are definitely aware that I have it. I think they're kind of just like, oh, it's just this little piece of him in there, I guess.

Adeel [7:29]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, gotcha. Yeah, no, that makes sense. Because I think you said that your partner is also in the industry as well. It's probably somebody who reviews your scripts, I'm assuming, before you send them out.

Ben [7:43]: Yes, and so she actually has high-frequency hearing loss. Oh, right, right. Yeah, so she has to wear... hearing aids and uh it's kind of like an interesting match where i you know can't stand certain sounds and if she doesn't have her hearing aids and she can't hear anything so she's you know she's like i i don't know what you're going through uh but she of course understands and um you know is so thoughtful about things and uh you know whenever she has a mr funny adjacent issue yes yes exactly exactly that's a great way of putting it um so yeah she's incredibly helpful and supportive of it, though.

Adeel [8:29]: Yeah, that's great. That's important. That's important to have. What about your, like, other friends? You said people close to you know about it. Have you talked to, like, are your friends aware of it or is it, like, family members?

Ben [8:42]: My family, my family's definitely aware of it. They know, you know, they actually, if I remember correctly, I think maybe back in, like, say like 2014 or 13 i was going to school in college and i remember my mom texting me and saying you should google this word misophonia i think it's what you have i think it's what you're going through and yeah i hadn't known about it at the time and you know my entire life it was always oh it's just it's ocd you know it's just right you'd have ocd which you know, it's an easy thing to write off, but after having a word associated to it and an actual, you know, there's actually something behind it, I started, you know, doing the research and that's it. That is exactly what I'm going through. And I've been going through since I was like seven years old and, you know, I couldn't believe it. So yeah, they're aware and they're, you know, they try to be respectful of it. You know, I tend to have to sometimes wear earplugs when I eat dinner or if I if I'm watching a movie with them or anything they they used to say like why are you wearing earplugs and I you know I it's just just after just kind of something I have to do it's not it's not it's not you guys and you know I never want to make it someone else's problem which I guess I don't know it can be tough because it's like if to me I feel like it's this is my problem it's something I have to deal with so I don't ever want to make disappointing someone else's problem so i tried to adapt to my best ability right and uh yeah that's that they're very aware and very respectful of it and then my my friends come around you know they just kind of they're the last things like why why are you wearing a uh earplugs to a movie theater like it's it's loud i'm like i know it's you're right it's everything is loud in there so uh i'm like i can still hear the movie don't worry guys i caught everything But yeah, my friends and close friends and family, I think are very in tune with it.

Adeel [10:55]: Yeah, gotcha. And then, so yeah, you had your whole life if your mom was bringing it up. Was there like a, was there a change at that point? Like, were you able to take more of these coping methods versus before? It sounds like you did have your plugs on like before, right?

Ben [11:17]: Yeah, I always had some sort of noise cancelling headphones too. I used to, my first year of college, I was living in a dorm with someone and they tended to be quite a loud snore. So I often slept with noise cancelling headphones on. And next year I was like, I have to live alone. I'm so sorry. You're a good friend. It's not you. I can't do this every night. so uh yeah yeah it i i've pretty much been the earplugs came in around college time and i i kind of wished i had them earlier uh but they've i don't know if you see i don't know if you if you uh use them at all or anything but they they have such amazing earplugs now where you can't even see you're wearing them So the ones that used to be these bright neon, which just don't make them, but the big, thick neon ones that stick out of your ear, if you were ever a little, you were just a little subconscious about it, you could always put in the little ones and no one will know. And I think that's really cool that they're doing that, that they exist now. So yeah, earplugs are definitely my best friend.

Adeel [12:37]: yeah yeah and i guess yeah so before college um you're at home what was it like at home um was there a lot basically a lot of triggers a lot of being alone um yeah or yeah a lot of i would i still do and this is i i i gum chewing this is definitely the first one that ever started that was like

Ben [13:02]: around six, seven years old.

Adeel [13:03]: Oh, wow.

Ben [13:04]: Yeah, I was really young. And I remember always having to ask my parents just spit it out. And, you know, when you're younger, you tell them to do that. And then I remember, you know, they obviously didn't know. Of course, they were they they thought it was OCD. I thought it was OCD because they said that. So. You know, they would they would spit it out and then or they would pretend to spit it out and just hide it from me. And I can hear it. That's the problem. It's that I can hear it. It's that's the only reason I don't want you to be chewing is because I can hear it. So they would, you know, try to hide it or, you know, they would they would, you know, we would be at a mall and I'd go off with my mom and. my dad would be chewing it and then he'd come back knowing that it would drive me crazy i'm like why didn't you just spit it out right before you came up oh yeah that that sort of thing i don't know what when what do you remember do you recall what your first trigger was what sound really uh you know came about first for you

Adeel [14:06]: I don't know if it was, I don't know, I don't remember exactly what it was. I think definitely mouth sounds from my parents would be it. Yeah, yeah. The whole mouth, throat, nose kind of sounds. And then I don't remember it in school being a huge problem. maybe in college a little bit but i don't remember any big things but uh but yeah it's for me it was kind of a typical at home mouth mouth throat nose kind of sounds i think there's a isn't there like an ear nose and throat that would be the worst for me worst job for me but yeah worst job That whole area was kind of my thing. Chips, you know, things like chips, never really a huge deal. But yeah, gum. Well, gum, I don't remember it being a huge problem unless somebody chewed it in what I call the classical annoying way where the normal people also find it a little bit annoying. but yeah but you know there are yeah but um but uh i mean the misophonia of uh the sensitivity of that is like anything i've you know there's definitely a lot of people who are extra sensitive to that um but for me it's mainly like natural mouth sounds without um you know without anything else other than food. Also like drinking and sipping and the liquids going down throats and things like that.

Ben [15:33]: Is that something that is still triggering to you now? Oh yeah. I've heard stories of people who have been able to overcome some of these triggers that started early and then new ones formed over them so i could say that that has never happened to me and that i still everything that bothered me back then is still pretty relevant now yeah i have not heard of that uh recovering and then new ones forming on other ones without without bringing back the other ones it's always it always seems like a snowball I remember really young flip-flops, like people wearing flip-flops that would just smack back at their heel would drive me crazy. And now, I mean, it doesn't really bother me as much anymore. I've kind of learned to just listen to the rest of the world and not focus on it. So I guess maybe in that sense, it's changed a bit, but it's still kind of there.

Adeel [16:40]: Yeah, I would hope it wouldn't because you're in L.A. and I think everyone pretty much has like five flip-flops.

Ben [16:45]: They live in flip-flops.

Adeel [16:48]: Yeah, that's right. Yeah, so that's kind of what it was for me and then like a lot of people got more and more and then some people have plateaus. I don't know about you. Like as you got older, did the triggers just start multiplying and multiplying?

Ben [17:04]: Yeah, kind of. Yeah, I think some of the ones that were triggering younger honestly they've gotten worse uh they've gotten they've been exaggerated a little bit and um like i have trouble with breathing breathing is that was that was something that started along with the gum chewing really young and i'm kind of like you know ears e and t with me too ears nose throat uh and um yeah the the the breathing which is you know it's just It's tough because you can't ever tell somebody to stop breathing. That's not, you know, that's just, you can't do that.

Adeel [17:44]: Yeah, it's a little hard to phrase. You're a writer, maybe you can phrase it in a way that sounds like, oh, okay, I'll stop breathing.

Ben [17:54]: Yeah, maybe if you could just stop using the air from your nose, it would be better for me. uh yeah it's just uh that that that has definitely been something that's gotten a little bit maybe worse over time but uh i i try i try to just you know i i i think we kind of talked about this before but i uh amongst my my roommates and i and my partner we try to watch a movie every night and we all huddle around And even at home, whether I'm at home or in the movie theater, I still just put my earplugs in just to cancel out all the noise around me. Everybody's got to breathe. People are usually eating food. So, yeah, I just put it in, and it solves everyone's problem. I don't have to say anything. I don't have to hear it. Everybody wins, and I still get to watch a great movie.

Adeel [18:51]: Actually, with your Apple headphones, are you able to get the sound directly into your headphones? And also, I don't know if you have an Apple TV, but if you do, maybe you can get a direct connection while everybody else listens as well?

Ben [19:08]: I can only do one channel, unfortunately. So it's like one or the other. But yeah, I do. They're pretty much always on my head at this point. It's like... Just going about the house or whatever, I'm always wearing them. They've also been lifesavers. I figured it was an investment. If I buy these, this helps. I always listen to music when I write, so it tunes everything out.

Adeel [19:38]: Oh, absolutely. yeah yeah these these these i mean i've got the sony ones down none of these are are cheap but i mean for us i mean this is like you know crucial this is like water almost it's like a necessity it's uh yeah you know it should come

Ben [19:54]: with, you know, having Misophonia, you should be able to get, okay, you get free noise cancelling.

Adeel [19:59]: Yeah. Covered from your health insurance or just Misophonia insurance. Actually, that might be interesting, Misophonia insurance company. But anyway, I'll put that in the Misophonia app.

Ben [20:09]: Write that one down.

Adeel [20:13]: Interesting. So going, okay, yeah, maybe rewind again around when you were around six or seven. Like, was there anything, did anything change at home? I'm just curious, like, what was the home life like? Did it just kind of suddenly appear? Or was it something, I don't know, tension? Did you guys move? I'm most curious these days of asking, like, what was going on around your home, if anything unusual?

Ben [20:38]: I don't, nothing unusual. had nothing really changed other than a lot of tantrums from me when you know they'd be like why do i have you know they you know you're young and so they would they people would ask why do i have to spit out this gum and it was tough as a child one you just don't even know how to express yourself but two you don't even know why you want them to spit out the gum other than it bothers me and that's all I could ever say so there was at times a lot of blowback when I was younger but I found as I got older it was kind of like okay, yeah, this is never going to stop. So I'll just throw it out for you.

Adeel [21:24]: Right. But there wasn't anything like some trauma from, I don't know, divorce or moving across country or anything that kind of preceded maybe your first marriage?

Ben [21:36]: No, no. Thankfully, yeah. Thankfully, no. That was something that, yeah, didn't happen. too much effect of anyone else's life except myself.

Adeel [21:45]: So, yeah, that's interesting. Cause we, you know, we hear about a lot of, uh, a lot of, a lot of trauma at early age. So it's interesting to hear that it's, that's not necessarily the case that this, this could be completely independent of other things going on.

Ben [22:00]: Yeah. Yeah. Um, and I find myself, uh, now if I get in a situation where it's a little bit compromising and I can't, uh, you know, I can't, you know, you can't just pull out your plugs or whatever. I find it's easier to just kind of walk it off and just kind of walk away. Yeah. If, if that's possible. And, um, yeah, it's, uh, Basically, my whole life has just been like, okay, how can I solve this issue in every situation I'm put in?

Adeel [22:32]: Yeah. So you got the big headphones and walking off, and you're in LA, so you can do that year-round. So that's awesome. Yeah. Which sometimes is faster to get to point B from point A. Yeah.

Ben [22:49]: Where are you at now?

Adeel [22:51]: St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ben [22:53]: Okay. And I think that's where you were when I spoke to you last time.

Adeel [22:58]: Yeah. So it's nice here too. We actually have apparently a really, really good park system. So there's a lot of, yeah, there's actually a lot of green space just in the winter. Obviously it's a bit tougher to walk around, but that's why I got a house with three floors and a basement so I can always, I always do. I always have a floor. Yeah. I can always be in a different floor.

Ben [23:20]: Yeah, exactly. So, um, You had mentioned you had spent a lot of time in San Francisco, right? Yeah, yeah, right. And I think last time we spoke, you had mentioned maybe going back at some point?

Adeel [23:37]: uh no i think uh maybe mentally wanting to go back yeah that kind of like um the work environment so i actually since since we last talked i quit my um my my the job i was at uh there i was working for a giant fortune 50 company um and i got there through an acquisition uh they had acquired a small san francisco startup i was working for so um So, I think what I was probably referring to is I like the energy of a small startup, small company like the ones I was at in San Francisco. Now, what I don't like is they often come with open office plans, but that seems to be hard to run away from these days. But, you know, because of COVID, now remote work is so much more normalized that I can now have even more opportunities to work remotely.

Ben [24:38]: Yeah, and that's kind of been the blessing so far is the available work from home and everything. Yeah.

Adeel [24:47]: It's not just work from home. There's, yeah, I mean, there's like a, there's like Twin Cities Startup Week, which is like a, you know, it's just a week long. A festival is too generous of a term, but there's like events and talks and stuff all week and people are going back in person, but then they also have a live stream. So live streaming is totally normalized. So now... um you know if you want to do career stuff or just special like uh you know extra curricular interest stuff uh it's just so much easier now to participate in anything in the world um yeah yeah and from a from the misophonic point of view it's like you're you're not missing out as much it's just a different experience a little bit but um so i'm hoping this all is good for folks like us yeah i think it will be i hope financially career-wise and all that so yeah yeah um but uh yeah so i guess and then your um your interest in writing did that kind of come up um uh you know maybe as a way to kind of like uh try to write down or process um what you're feeling

Ben [26:05]: Or is it just kind of like from your student? Maybe. So a little backstory. It's kind of funny. My mother was actually my English teacher for my junior and senior year of high school because... So she forced you to be a writer. Okay. Yeah. The funny thing is, well, I had no choice. She was teaching the only class that I wanted to take, so I had to. But... I actually hated reading. I hated writing so much. And I hated it all through high school. And it honestly didn't come until maybe sophomore year of college. And I don't know what it was. It just clicked. And I was like, oh, it's actually really nice to be able to have a voice. And you can actually put your voice into your writing. And it doesn't have to be so bland and black and white. And so I kind of figure that out on my own and just started writing. I had to for school because I was in film school, but we had to write, you know, short scripts and everything. And I think from there I started to realize, oh, OK, cool. This is this is what I love. I love doing this. This is a great way to be able to speak about whatever it is I want to speak. There's no rules. So, yeah, I kind of took that platform and rolled with it but yeah that honestly came kind of late in uh in the whole thing because at first i honestly pictured wanting to do acting and uh had tried it and had done a few things and realized how much i hated it and i think uh my partner she's a she's an actress and i think watching her what she does and what she goes through and how much work she puts into something like that. All I could look at it from the sidelines and say, I can, I can't do that. I cannot do that. So, uh, I, I, there's so many people who want to be actors in the world and I, I think, uh, I'm going to let them battle it out and I'll, uh, I'll stick to what I know because yeah, it's a, it's a vicious business and it takes a lot of work and, um, I prefer the world of writing where you don't have to even communicate with anyone. You can just do it on yourself.

Adeel [28:33]: Yeah, that's one part of the entertainment business that's so behind the scenes that you can work remotely and really not have to interact with anyone.

Ben [28:46]: It's like one of the very few jobs that you can do yourself, work from home, work at your own pace to some degree.

Adeel [28:54]: and uh not have to worry about other people so it's a for a for someone who has misophonia it's a it's a dream yeah no absolutely yeah um interesting okay and uh so so tail end of covid now like are you uh are you going out more around la and stuff or have you kind of like stuck around more at home and working from there

Ben [29:22]: I have not really gone out much. I've gone out for a birthday here and there and things like that. But I still kind of am reluctant. I still feel like it's not quite safe. I mean, it's rough everywhere right now. And so you kind of pick and choose where and when you're going to do the things you're going to do. I'm actually going to the first show. I've been to in since 2019. On Saturday, I'm going to the first concert. So it's outdoors. So I feel a little safer about that. And they require like, you know, the vaccination proof at the door. So I feel pretty good about all that. But I'm excited, nervous, but excited.

Adeel [30:11]: So yeah, yeah.

Ben [30:12]: Yeah. What about you? Have you? Have you been able to experience I mean, I know, Minnesota is beautiful outside.

Adeel [30:19]: uh i don't know how you guys are right now but we're like 100 degrees today so oh no we're yeah we're well we're at a high of i think we're hitting a high of 70 but it's like it's quickly going down like the um you go out in the morning and it's like mid 40s so fahrenheit oh wow

Ben [30:35]: Wow, that's beautiful because I haven't felt that.

Adeel [30:40]: Yeah, no, it's a nice, that's kind of the range you want. You just throw a sweater on maybe a little bit in the morning and then you can keep it on later or not. But yeah, I've been, no, I haven't really gone out that much. I go to, I'm doing some contract work somewhere. So I kind of go in there. I don't know everybody there. It's also very small. They're mostly doing remote work. So I might go in there like once or twice a week. um i have a really great coffee bar downstairs so i don't have to go to another coffee bar to kind of get anything and then i do i i take um piano lessons once a week so i i go there so there's only two places and i'll go to um i'll go to a grocery store whatever but um so i'll get necessities mask yeah these two other places you know i'm comfortable not wearing a mask because i know my teacher and i know my you know boss or whatever so yeah yeah you know you kind of just have to slowly integrate new people in exactly yeah so that's the interesting thing it's the slowly reintegrating i'm taking the time i'm taking this time to uh i don't know if others are doing it to not just not just go back to the normal um you know uh integrate everybody back in i'm kind of recalibrating i'm like yeah yeah where do i really what do i really want to be doing what do i spend my time on who do i want to spend my time with i'm finding that um you know, that circle is not as big as I thought. At least the inner circle is not as big as I thought. And everyone else can kind of stay away until I need them.

Ben [32:12]: And I think sadly that is the truth with a lot of people right now. I think the circles have slowly dwindled through the pandemic.

Adeel [32:24]: Which I think is good if you can kind of like, you can kind of now reevaluate like who's most important to you or what's most important to do.

Ben [32:33]: Yeah, yeah, totally. Yeah, for sure. And it's a bit of a drag, but that's where we're at and got to adapt. So, yeah.

Adeel [32:48]: So, um, I guess, um, have you, um, have you, I forget if we did, have you gone to see like therapists or anything about misophonia in particular or any other comorbid stuff? I don't know if you have any, but.

Ben [33:04]: Yeah. And, uh, in high school I, I saw a therapist, uh, my junior and senior year and, uh, we, we touched on misophonia. It was also at the time, uh, I had a lot of anxiety. which I think for a lot of people, including myself, it was triggered by a lot of sounds for me. And being in school, there were times when the teacher would chew gum, or sorry, the students would chew gum, and there's nothing you can do about that. And I actually just listened to one of the last episodes about one of the professors who had a syllabus about uh, no gum allowed. And I thought, that's amazing. I wish, I wish I could, I wish I could have had that, that guy's my professor, but, um, yeah, there, there, there, there were, they were trying to help with anxiety and a little bit of ADD. And I think to some degree it helped with some aspects of misophonia, but they obviously at that time didn't know what to call that either or what it was. um so yeah they they uh there wasn't much help on that i don't know did have you ever spoken to anyone about it

Adeel [34:25]: no not not me personally um but it's it's just come up where um it's usually if somebody has some other condition which is more quote-unquote popular they'll you know uh they might bring up misophonia but it's such a it can go anywhere at that point it's like nobody it's kind of random if the if the person the therapist or psychiatrist you're talking to knows about misophonia um so and then if they either dismiss it or they kind of get to something else um yeah yeah it's very rare that somebody's like oh you have misophonia here let's work on it um i mean obviously unless somebody's advertising it and uh it's usually like you know someone who's a psychologist who's doing a cbt or anything that that that's that that seems to be the most promising kind of uh therapy these days for it?

Ben [35:19]: Yeah, I've seen that when researching it a bit. I've seen that there's recently popped up a lot of studies asking for participants on things for potential medications. I don't know. How do you feel about something like that?

Adeel [35:40]: Yeah, medication, I don't know if there's a, I mean, there's definitely no cure or... Yeah, of course.

Ben [35:46]: And that's what's kind of scary, which is they don't know where, they don't understand it 100% yet, and they're already, you know, working towards some sort of medication.

Adeel [35:56]: yeah i haven't heard about them that'd be interesting maybe we can fund a link to that i know there's a lot of um studies just kind of put on by um therapists and psychologists like uh the baylor school of medicine and a lot in the uk there's a lot of research in the uk yes yes and duke duke here in the united states um uh dr zach rosenfeld's group um but yeah the most of what i've seen has been um Yeah, I'm more on the psychology side.

Ben [36:27]: Yeah, there's one. I wonder if I still have the link.

Adeel [36:32]: Yeah, I'd like to see that because I had not heard of any company claiming that they're working on medication for it.

Ben [36:41]: Yeah, I'll have to dig it up. I had an email from them about wanting to, it was quite a process to apply for a university. It was quite a process to get in and they wanted a lot. And at the time I just said, you know, I thought it was going to be kind of an easy sign up.

Adeel [37:01]: Like, yes, I give me your address.

Ben [37:06]: But it was a lot. So I remember thinking, oh, I just don't really have time for this right now. But yeah, maybe if I can dig that up, I'll send that over to you.

Adeel [37:15]: Yeah, I'd be curious. Yeah. Yeah. So the, I mean, the Mists of Funny, I don't know, this will be aired a little bit later, the Mists of Funny convention is actually in a couple weeks or a few weeks. There might be some, I don't know, we'll see what the latest research is. Yeah. I haven't already heard, but, but yeah, interesting. Yeah.

Ben [37:39]: So how do you, how is your family around you? How did they,

Adeel [37:45]: react to you know when you're when you have are they receptive of it or or when you have your trigger by a certain they know about it i don't like go and react crazily uh obviously yeah it's hard to like it's hard to like not reflexively do the glare once in a while or whatever but uh i kind of know i mean it's usually like if it's around eating time i'll put on some music or i will uh um you know tell my brain in advance that you know, it's eating time, but it only lasts for about 20, 30 minutes or so. So, uh, you know, if you can just, if we could just think about, you know, engage in the present, but then just know that there is a future 20 minutes away. And then, uh, Also, you know, I might, you know, I might, well, you have, we have another kid now, so we have this bunch of stuff to take care of. So it's not unusual to kind of just try to eat a little bit quicker, then get up from the table, maybe help with the dishes and things like that. So, so yeah. And then other than that, I mean, yeah. Yeah, I mean, I don't know. It's actually generally pretty quiet. But like I said, we have enough space that I can move somewhere for a little bit if I'm hearing something that I don't want. But that doesn't happen that much anymore.

Ben [39:05]: Do you have anyone in your circle or family that has misophonia as well?

Adeel [39:10]: No. No, no. Definitely. No, not that I know of. And, I mean, they would tell me, obviously. Because, you know, most people know. I mean, I haven't told, like, my... I mean, yeah, I mean, I haven't told, like, I never told my parents. That's the whole other, like, I don't even know how I would approach the subject kind of things.

Ben [39:35]: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Adeel [39:36]: Because that was, like, kind of a big thing growing up. And so it's, like, at this point, then, you know, you get all that guilt and shame and stuff inside you. So I, yeah, probably maybe at some point. um when you were younger broadway musical and you know this is my way of telling you that's kind of a secret plan exactly uh when you were when you were younger did they kind of have like a similar reaction as my parents or was it something no no it was it was like uh yeah i know i would get uh yeah i would get the questions like what you know why are you looking that way why you know why you're not saying anything or um and uh yeah i remember getting you know i remember getting uh know getting dropped off for college and then just i guess i must have been triggered or whatever and just kind of like kind of shutting down kind of what we sometimes do if you can't leave the situation just kind of check out and then uh you know getting a call later asking like what you know why was i doing that and you know it really upset you know one of my other parents or something like that so You know, fun stuff like that. Fun stuff that I'll talk about 25 liters on a podcast. But that's kind of the extent of it.

Ben [40:59]: You mentioned, yeah, like shutting down in a situation that you can't get out of. And I've had instances where people will say like, oh, I thought you hated me or I thought you were mad. Yeah, that's kind of stuff. No, like, yeah, it's like it's such a... Yeah, it hurts because you're like, no, absolutely, nothing to do with you. And even the person who's asking, I thought you were saying, I thought you were mad. Sometimes it wasn't even their sound or anything that they were doing. It was something else or someone else. And it was nobody's fault. And I never like to blame anyone for things that they can't control. They're just living their life. And I hate to put it on them in any way. So yeah, then I shut down. it makes me look like I'm, I'm mad at them.

Adeel [41:48]: And then the crazy thing is like we then, then if somebody notices, sometimes they want to make it a big conversation, but the last thing we want to do is like shine a spotlight on it. And then that's just kind of like makes us feel, make us look even more like we're kind of evading and it just kind of becomes a downward spiral.

Ben [42:08]: So it's, it's, it's very internalized for myself and yeah. It's always been that way. I tried to, but the only people I ever felt comfortable with were my parents, where I could just say, could you please spit out that gum? You know, the only people in life I've ever felt comfortable with telling them to help you with the sound, if they could stop doing it. Even my, there's been times where I've said, you're breathing so loud. Is there anything you can do to not do that? and pause from your air can you pause take a pause from air circulation just for yeah just for one minute just take it we'll give you one deep breath because that won't that won't do anything for me and i think that might solve everybody's problems for a few minutes right right but uh yeah

Adeel [43:00]: Yeah, I was going to ask something about related to that, but I'm sure it'll come back to me. Well, I guess, you know, like to this, like what do your parents say now, now that it's been a few years since they've known about that it has a name and all that stuff? Like when you, you know, Thanksgiving and holidays, when they're coming up, like, is it pretty accommodative? Is it just kind of like, they just kind of just understand if you have to like throw a glare or whatever?

Ben [43:30]: uh yeah they're they're pretty good about it um yeah they they you know they don't they'll you know I got sometimes my father will say you know jokingly like oh that's that's still that's still bothering you and you know but then he'll he'll throw out the gum or he'll stop throwing and I go yeah it's never gonna change I'm sorry you know I always have to say it's gonna be this way forever unfortunately I think so uh it's just something i gotta live with but yeah they're all very accommodating and uh you know if i if i say a certain sound bothers me or anything they'll take the time to to stop you know figure out a solution for it or whatever it might be but uh i think it kind of did mean a lot at the time my uh mother finding the term and what it meant and I think that gave her a better understanding too so she had a little bit of you know she just she could relate a little bit more at that point and it was helpful just putting even just associating a word to something you dealt with your entire life kind of changes the whole dynamic I think it helps that they finally understand like oh this is not Obsessive compulsive disorder and this is not a DD. This is something completely different that right a lot of people deal with and There's not a lot known about it. So yeah, it didn't mean a lot when my mom I think she texted me it remember being in my dorm room late in bed and getting the text about it and Immediately jumping into research about it.

Adeel [45:18]: So the faithful text Yeah did you uh so now you're all the other like during your comorbid stuff like the anxieties that is that pretty much subsided and it's all that's left is kind of the misophonia or uh unfortunately no still deal with a lot of it yeah i have a pretty terrible add that i take medication for and i actually find that there are instances sometimes

Ben [45:51]: Where I think taking the medication, the ADD medication actually makes some of the sounds worse and kind of amplifies them.

Adeel [46:00]: Yeah.

Ben [46:02]: And it's kind of like, what do I want to deal with? Do I want to try to suppress the ADD or do I want to try to suppress the misophonia? So obviously, you know, the only answer is just headphones will... get rid of all those problems but yeah I do find that the medication I'm on and I've tried different ones several different ones and they all kind of seem to have the same problem so yeah and they're supposed to help a little bit with anxiety as well and it does for sure but there are those instances where some sounds will just be extremely triggering when I'm my medication and uh yeah it can be tough it can be tough on those those days where for some reason you just it's everything's amplified but uh yeah yeah that's it's a it's a whole it's just it's the whole thing isn't it

Adeel [47:03]: Yeah, absolutely. Have you seen any movies recently that have been like, gosh, I cannot sit here anymore? Sound designers sometimes are carried away.

Ben [47:21]: You know, I've seen people point out a lot of like certain commercials will be really triggering. And people put out warnings like, if you see this, you know, Allstate, I don't know why I'm calling out Allstate, but... Allstate sucks. Yeah, Allstate sucks, man. But if you see this Allstate commercial, just mute it immediately because there's a sound in there. And I think that's really helpful. I think it's really cool that people do that. I kind of sneak around the Misophonia... of it sometimes and just kind of see what people are saying and try to get advice on there. I think it's always just so helpful to be around people who share the same experiences as you and offer solutions that you've just never thought of. Also, these people test every earplug on the market, so it's always great to have that done for you instead of having to buy them all yourself.

Adeel [48:17]: Right. Yeah, I need to maybe quote-unquote borrow some of that information for the Miss Funny app where I'm trying to get lists of coping tips and businesses run by Miss Phones and maybe some reviews. I'll probably just comb through the Reddit and find all that stuff.

Ben [48:35]: Well, I will give my seal of approval. I don't know if they're on there, but the ring... earplugs uh not to be confused with the uh uh door bells and door cameras yeah uh it's just a they look like a little ring they're so small and they fit in your ear perfectly and they come with a great case i think they're about 20 bucks and at the time i thought two earplugs for 20 bucks is rough but i saw everybody else say they're the best and i stayed by it so okay Yeah, I really highly recommend those. They're kind of shaped like a noise-canceling headphone, like an in-ear one. So they've got that nice plug in there, and I use them every day. So that's my plug right now.

Adeel [49:25]: So it's not just one of those styrofoam thingies. It's shaped like an AirPod Pro kind of thing?

Ben [49:31]: Yeah, like an AirPod Pro, exactly. It's shaped like that. It's really soft in the ear. doesn't protrude at all so uh you but you can't even see them my hair's a little bit longer right now so it's over my ear so you really can't tell that they're in but um i know people get a little subconscious about that and i was definitely just blending behind my ear hair or something yeah yeah so yeah that's my plug definitely check out the ring earplugs yeah i love them they come a bunch

Adeel [50:04]: don't want just plain black they have like gold ones too so okay okay yeah yeah that's nice yeah just i don't know i guess just to kind of wrap wrap up like do you have uh anything else you want to kind of share with with folks uh who are listening in um i'm sure when your stuff goes uh on tv we'll we'll i'll have links to them and i'll announce them but you know yeah yeah for sure uh i mean

Ben [50:29]: Uh, yeah, I, to, to everyone listening, you know, yeah, you're not alone. And, uh, I guess if anybody wants to, you can, I'll plug my website. It's just, uh, Ben, it's just my name, Ben Moody. And then there's an S that's But, uh, that's, that's about it for me.

Adeel [50:45]: Cool. Well, yeah. Thanks again, Ben. And yeah, we'll, we'll be, we'll be in touch.

Ben [50:50]: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me on. Um, this has been amazing. It's always such a treat to be able to speak with,

Adeel [50:57]: someone who has misophonia as well so thank you so much man thanks again ben i can't wait to see your work as it comes out and we'll definitely promote it here on the show 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 you can hit me up by email at hello at misophonia or go to the website misophonia It's even easier just to send a message on Instagram at Misophonia Podcast, where you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter at Misophonia Show. Support the show by visiting Patreon at slash Misophonia Podcast. Theme music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [51:53]: Thank you.