Brittany - Navigating Life with Misophonia: A Personal Journey

S5 E3 - 10/13/2021
In this episode, Adeel chats with Brittany from London, Ontario, who discovered the podcast through a blog recommendation. Initially reluctant to delve into misophonia, Brittany found solace and validation in hearing others' experiences on the podcast, which motivated her to be more open about her condition. She shares insights about managing misophonia in her relationship and at work, emphasizing the importance of open communication and understanding from loved ones and colleagues. Brittany also talks about a variety of her triggers, including repetitive movements and noises, such as pets panting and her boyfriend's drinking habits. The conversation also touches on the broader issue of mental health awareness in Canada, highlighting strides in workplace accommodations and the need for greater understanding and normalization of conditions like misophonia.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia podcast. This is season five, episode number three. My name is Adeel Ahmad and I have Misophonia. This week I'm talking to Brittany up in Canada. As you'll hear, Brittany didn't schedule this interview. It was actually her partner after they discovered the podcast. and found that they could really identify with the stories shared here. We talked about Misophonia in relationships, at work, and just how good it is to hear stories of other people. The Misophonia Association Convention is in just a couple days, and hopefully I will see some of you there. I'm doing a session on the podcast, 100 episodes, and I will also be doing something related to Misophonia and creative people. My usual little announcement. You might be listening to this episode on the Misophonia podcast app, which you can find in the iOS app store or Android Google Play store. It's not just a podcast player. There's a noise generator. There's a journal for tracking your triggers. And you can export your journal privately to keep for yourself, your therapist, or HR, or whoever else needs to know. There's also a list of resources with news, research, and whatnot. And yeah, I keep adding more features, and I'm always listening for what people would like to see in it. You can email me at hello at or through the website, We're all on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Hit me up anytime. And if you like the podcast or the app, feel free to leave a review wherever you listen. Now, here's my conversation with Brittany. Let me just say welcome, Brittany, to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Brittany [1:47]: Thank you for having me and taking the time to chat with me. Very excited.

Adeel [1:51]: Likewise. Yeah. Actually, where are you located?

Brittany [1:56]: So I'm in Canada. I'm in London, Ontario.

Adeel [2:01]: Oh, okay.

Brittany [2:03]: Decent-sized city.

Adeel [2:04]: Yeah. Well, no, I mean, so I grew up in Ottawa and I went to Waterloo for university. Oh, perfect.

Brittany [2:10]: Okay. So then only like a couple hours away.

Adeel [2:12]: Yeah. No, I know exactly what you're talking about. Yeah. London, Guelph, all that, all that good stuff down there. Yeah. Cool. So I guess that, yeah. So what do you do there? There in London?

Brittany [2:25]: So I grew up in London and I went to school here for university as well. For Western? No, actually Fanshawe, I should say college. Okay. Yeah, I went to college here for interior decorating and design. So I'm actually a kitchen designer now.

Adeel [2:44]: Interesting. Off topic, I'll delete this, but yeah, we're looking to get our kitchen remodeled. It is funny. This will stay offline, but well, maybe not. But we had an architect last year who it was going to be way too expensive. But one of the first things I told them was I need like a big ass pocket door to kind of block off sound from upstairs.

Brittany [3:04]: Absolutely. I know. People probably wouldn't understand. I would understand that.

Adeel [3:08]: It took me a while to explain, but they finally got it.

Brittany [3:11]: You don't understand. I just need sound barrier from the noisiest part of the house.

Adeel [3:16]: Right, right. Okay, cool. That's awesome. Yeah, interior design, decorating. That's great. So, yeah, maybe do you want to... I think it's worth it if you just kind of like quickly talk about what we just talked about, how you connected with the podcast. It wasn't you who initially signed up.

Brittany [3:33]: No, it wasn't. So, I... I've heard about the term misophonia a few years ago for the first time, and I kind of knew that that's what I had, but I never really wanted to look further into it. It was kind of like a denial thing almost. And then it was starting to get really, really bad a few months ago. I started just kind of Googling different almost topics about it to see if anybody else had ever posted anything or talked about anything is I've never ever met or heard of anyone else that's ever had it. And then I found the blog almost and it suggested your podcast to listen to. And I started listening to it. And I am not lying, I teared up a little bit because I felt like so scene and it was crazy to hear other people talk about these triggers and like how they react because I felt so crazy for so long and to like hear other people say that they want to like set their house on fire if they hear someone chewing loudly it was like so amazing to hear someone else say that and I was reading the description for your podcast and just the fact that you take time to put white noise over it and take out as many trigger sounds as you can was like so thoughtful for everyone who listens because I am a big like lover of listening to podcasts but I can only listen to like the same people probably one or two episodes in a row before something that they're doing with their voice or mouth starts to be triggering to me so I have to like take a break from listening to them if that makes sense but I could listen to like 10 of these podcasts in a row without anything making me feel like icky. And it was so amazing. So I was obviously extremely happy that I found this. And I told my boyfriend because I was listening to it nonstop. I told him that he should listen to it too while he's working to maybe try to get a better understanding of what I'm talking about and going through because I obviously as many people with this do feel like you're harping on the people that you love and spend time with and like nagging them about their sounds and everything. So I thought maybe getting him to listen to this would help him understand that it's not him and that I trying to not make him feel bad. And he started listening to it and he's like, wow, this is amazing. And I think he saw on your socials that you were doing interviews and He surprised me and signed me up for a slot because he knew I probably would never do it on my own. It was very exciting. I've probably never been so excited for something.

Adeel [6:33]: That's so nice to hear. Thanks for that. I remember our DM exchange with your boyfriend. He was very excited to... to um to be able to get you on and want to surprise you yeah it was so happy it was like christmas came early well then let's get into that story i i guess um so yeah it's interesting so it seems like things really picked up a few months ago like obviously you knew about it for a while yeah um was there a lot more triggers or was it just you i don't know you were just something made you more aware of it um i think it's because um

Brittany [7:12]: I've always struggled with it. I just think, I don't know if it's the stress of the pandemic or my job, but obviously stress makes it more evident. And I think I was just getting to a breaking point where I was like, this is ridiculous. I need to try to cope with this and maybe work through it. Obviously, you can't get rid of it, but I was just getting... frustrated i think and wanted to try to help myself so it didn't it's just sad as i'm sure you and everyone else can understand to feel every single day like some sort of tension and anger towards people that you love so i was just trying to find ways to deal with it almost i think yeah i think it's just stress i don't know like what specifically it was i think i just kind of hit a point where i wanted to try to start

Adeel [8:10]: actively working on things to help it yeah you're right i mean it's interesting it is it is you know the pandemic definitely doesn't help um it adds stress it makes you feel more trapped and claustrophobic i think um and yeah a lot of these things kind of and then every day kind of feels like groundhog day even now when we're kind of getting out of it but it's still i think especially where you are and i think in ontario it's um I heard there's a prospect of another lockdown. So hopefully that doesn't happen.

Brittany [8:43]: I hope not either, but it's been ridiculous. It's been like three now and obviously being stuck indoors and not super miso friendly being trapped inside.

Adeel [8:55]: Are you in an apartment, home?

Brittany [8:58]: I am in an apartment. So it's a very small complex and it's a really... old building so the soundproofing is actually amazing i really can't hear my neighbors at all so solid brick and and everything's exactly so nothing nothing really in my own home triggers me which i am very very grateful for i actually enjoy working from home for the most part now um I still do have to go into the office because we're technically... Kitchens are apparently very essential. So I still do have to go to the office, but my boss is very flexible and lets me work from home a few days a week just to have a break.

Adeel [9:48]: Recovery, yeah.

Brittany [9:49]: Exactly. So my specific office that I'm at now is... pretty segregated. Um, most people have their own offices, which is amazing. Cause I came from a previous company where it was open cubicles and they did not let anyone work from home. So as you can imagine, it's a nightmare listening to everybody chew and talk on the phone in the winter.

Adeel [10:16]: Yeah.

Brittany [10:17]: Oh, the coughing, the sneezing. And it was, it was horrible. I actually invested in Beats headphones, which was obviously, they're expensive headphones, but I was needing something to block out the sounds of the space in the cubicles. And people probably thought that I was very rude or weird for having headphones on for eight hours a day. But I just couldn't sit there and get work done without wanting to rip my hair out. So luckily no one ever said anything. I was allowed to keep them on, but I can assume that people probably didn't appreciate me having them on all the time.

Adeel [11:01]: Did you have to interact with a lot of people?

Brittany [11:04]: Yeah, so working with kitchens, you're meeting with clients every day and talking on the phone and obviously collaborating with the people that you work with. Luckily, I found that I'm not really triggered by people that I meet for the first time. It's kind of more the longer that I know somebody, the more and more that I pick up on what they're doing. So if someone that I've just met makes a mouth noise, it doesn't really, I'll notice it, but it doesn't bother me. It's the longer I know someone and the more repetitive what they're doing is, I think that's when it starts to really, really bother me.

Adeel [11:49]: Yeah, repetition definitely comes up. Maybe it's because maybe when you first meet someone, your brain hasn't, you know, realized that or your brain thinks, oh, this is just a one off thing. Maybe it's maybe after the repetitive where it's like it's kind of like that feeling trapped again. Like it's because your brain starts to anticipate it happening again. Oh, exactly. Warn you of this of this imminent danger.

Brittany [12:15]: like people that you just meet you i kind of always know that i'll probably only interact with them a few times and then if they're bothering me i'll never have to see them again whereas obviously your family and significant others and stuff you know you kind of you're with them every day right every day so i think that's a big part of it

Adeel [12:38]: Right, right. And so you're saying, okay, so that's at work. And did you switch jobs partly because of miso by any chance? I'm just curious.

Brittany [12:51]: I'm going to sound really crazy. I mean, there was obviously a lot of factors there in switching. It was the same job, kitchen designer. I just switched companies. The company that I'm at now, I love, and it wasn't just miso based, but I'm not going to lie. apply when they said that you get your own office and you can work from home. That was such a relief to me. And I would have switched regardless, but knowing that I will never have to sit in a cubicle environment again and be like constantly tortured every day with hearing noises and being in a place where you have to eat lunch together. That was it was a deciding factor for me. It wasn't the only one, but it definitely was very appealing to me. So that is one of the reasons I did switch.

Adeel [13:43]: Okay. Yeah, no, that's, I mean, that's great. I have more power to you, man. I, I, um, that's, I think it's amazing to be assertive like that or, or just kind of take, take a better opportunity that will make you keep you saner and, uh, and keep things quieter. I think, um, yeah, I'm, I'm all about that. And there is a, it's interesting you're, you're in kitchen design. There is a, uh, I had a previous guest, Olivia, who just finished a master's in, um, uh office workplace design for misophones so just kind of the overall just kind of the you might want to listen to that or get in touch with olivia maybe but uh yeah it's more about kind of the office environment um and things that employers can do um which i think is huge because And yeah, and, you know, the organization, which I'm also involved with, you know, we're trying to do, trying to set up kind of training for like HR to kind of like, you know, build awareness for misophonia, but then also give tips on like, you know, basic things you can do, like maybe even give out headphones or at least be aware that, you know, someone who's wearing, Brittany is not being antisocial. She's just trying to like actually be more productive for you and kind of help your bottom line. Exactly. so then okay so that's at work and then uh yeah maybe this you want to talk about at home like you said luckily you don't have too many triggers at home um but you're mistaking your significant other you know your boyfriend's not he does live with me god bless him he does um he does trigger me i know he does not mean to i mean nobody nobody really does um but obviously

Brittany [15:30]: living with someone and being around people all the time, it's kind of inevitable. And at the beginning, I think he didn't fully understand like how bad it really is. Obviously no one likes people eating loudly. No one likes, you know, just obnoxious noises, I'm sure. But I don't think he realized like to the extent of how much it affected me. You know, I would like think about that noise for 20 minutes after it happened, which is... Do the glare and do the... Oh, I know.

Adeel [16:05]: What was the extent of your... I'd just be like, stop, that's so disgusting, please.

Brittany [16:11]: Oh my God, stop. So you would tell him that? Yeah, but then you'd like feel so terrible after. So I think that's kind of a reason why I wanted him to listen to you and everyone on the show that he can kind of understand it's not just him and because he would obviously his feelings would be a little hurt and you'd be annoyed you don't nobody likes being told what to do or how to live their life but especially breathing and eating i know but sometimes in my head i think you know like oh you just stop breathing but yeah it's so ridiculous most basic human functions bother me It's gotten a lot better since he's kind of understood more and he's more aware to not eat.

Adeel [16:57]: I mean, there are quiet ventilators. I mean, if you want to breathe, just invest in a... Hilarious.

Brittany [17:06]: No, he's gotten a lot better and more understanding. He still does it. He doesn't sometimes even realize it. I think it's going to take a little bit because coming from... family and being around people where it's not even a second thought on whether you like slurp your coffee around them it wouldn't bother anyone but it bothers me i think that just the longer it goes on hopefully um the better it'll get it'll start to kind of be like second nature but it has gotten a lot better and he's definitely been a lot more understanding

Adeel [17:42]: Well, that in itself I think lowers the stress level probably, right? Just having that awareness that he has awareness.

Brittany [17:50]: Exactly, I appreciate it so much and obviously I'm fully aware. I feel like people with misophonia are very self-aware people. So I'm aware of what I'm saying and how hard it must be to live with someone like this.

Adeel [18:05]: Oh yeah, we definitely have some awarenesses.

Brittany [18:07]: Exactly. And I do feel for not even just him, like my whole family, because it's almost you give yourself this complex in your head where you're like putting yourself on a pedestal almost because you're so aware of what you say and how you sound and how you eat. And it's almost like you're always trying to be very proper. So you look down upon people when they're just living their life and they're not thinking about anyone and their surroundings and how they're coming across so it's hard you feel like you're judging yeah exactly like you feel like a very judgmental person but then it's counteracted by beating yourself up constantly for being this person and not being able to just be relaxed and let people live their life and not trying to control how they live but something that i'm trying to work on is just is letting people be and just making them aware that I have this problem without constantly nagging them so hopefully my hope is being more open with people is they'll just know and understand so I don't constantly have to tell them if that makes sense absolutely yeah that's kind of one of the one of the goals of this podcast too is yeah just to get more stories out there and people somehow hear

Adeel [19:34]: Um, and yeah, and if you've binged a bunch of episodes, you've, you've probably heard the, the shame and guilt that gets mentioned of, you know, people, um, you know, being angry, but then feeling bad about it and in that cycle.

Brittany [19:48]: Absolutely. It's not, cause you know that it's not fair to them, but it's also, you have to give yourself some grace because I'm sure if any of us had the choice, we would make it stop.

Adeel [20:02]: but you pretty sure that's a hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah.

Brittany [20:07]: You can't be more gentle on yourself and not beating yourself up about it, but then also trying to be more understanding of people are just trying to live their life. And they've probably never been criticized for how they eat or breathe or the way that they say a word or something. So it probably takes them back a little bit.

Adeel [20:28]: Right. Yep. And I don't know, sticking maybe on the subject of boyfriends, you said that for your workplaces, you kind of switched jobs with the eye on a better environment. Has this ever affected relationships in the past other than your current boyfriend?

Brittany [20:50]: Definitely, unfortunately. And it's kind of, it has never really affected my friends because you don't, necessarily know your friends in the way that you would know a partner like you don't see your friends every day none of my friends have really ever triggered me to the point where I dread them doing something but obviously with a partner like you are more inclined to eat dinner together may live with them or just be around more It's never been the sole reason that a relationship has ended, but it's definitely caused me tension and to look at them a little differently. I've never wanted to end a relationship solely because of the way that they chew, but it causes resentment and I don't know. It's definitely not easy and especially obviously telling them I've never been as open with somebody as I have with this relationship. And I think that that's a big reason why it's been so much healthier and better because I was open about it and not just having people think that I'm nuts for criticizing them all the time.

Adeel [22:13]: That's a great sign.

Brittany [22:16]: I really hope that that's good. But sometimes I think it runs through everybody's mind who has misophonia that it would... honestly just be easier to be alone because it's not fair to the person to have to change how they are and it's also harder on you like sometimes it's easier to just be alone where you don't have to worry about anybody making a sound yeah at all because you're just with yourself but it's obviously not healthy to just force yourself to be alone when you are human and most humans do want human interaction So I think that the best thing to do for everyone is to just try to be open. And if your partner is willing to accept and be open about it as well, then I think that it's something that you're going to have to work through together. But it's definitely affected past relationships. And I'm very happy that this one has been going well and is the healthiest, I think.

Adeel [23:16]: Yeah, from my brief interaction with your boyfriend on Instagram DMs, he sounds like a great dude. So yeah, I wish you both the best. What about the rest of your family? Do you want to maybe kind of go back to the early days? When did things start happening for you?

Brittany [23:36]: So I have this very distinct memory. I feel so horrible because... it's not anyone's fault obviously everybody feels bad complaining about people they love but my mom has um the way that she says her s's is very like pissy if that makes sense yeah and um it's like a very high pitch sound and i remember when i was like six or seven years old i remember noticing it for the first time and then every time she would do it it would just bother me so much i would just like want to run away i would not want to be in the same room i wouldn't want to talk and i remember um my little self like writing in my diary about how much the way that she said it bothered me and as i was writing it like thinking how weird that is um i don't know why i specifically remember that like writing it down. But that's the first memory that I have of it. And that's really all that bothered me for a couple of years. And then I think the drinking and the eating started to affect me. Like on my way to school, I remember just begging my mom to please not drink her tea in the car with me and remembering how crazy that sounded because she would just look at me and be like, why? Why can't I drink my tea around you? That's not normal. Those are the only things I can really remember about being young and they never really looked into it. They just thought that that was weird and we didn't really talk about it other than when I asked them to stop doing things. I'm sure they knew that something was up, but nothing was ever pursued. I never talked to a doctor or anything. And it only really started getting bad in high school when I started dating people. Like my first serious relationship is when I remember it becoming a real problem because obviously I'd never spent that much time with one person before other than my family. So I think it only started getting really bad in high school and then throughout college. And obviously now it's not, not ignorable. But that's really the earliest memory that I have. And my parents, I've just started being more open with them about it. And my mom kind of said, like, she always knew something was wrong, but still don't really talk about it, but they are aware of it now. I don't think that they would change how they would act or be super accommodating about it, but... I don't live with them anymore, so it's not as big of a problem as it used to be.

Adeel [26:45]: Right. It's more like those clients that you see a few times. Pretty rare.

Brittany [26:49]: Exactly.

Adeel [26:49]: Maybe your brain's able to separate that, at least for brief periods. Canadian Thanksgiving in October.

Brittany [26:57]: Exactly. Other things like that. Okay.

Adeel [27:01]: Yeah, so they are aware, but you don't see them as often, so they probably don't make any special accommodations for when you guys meet up.

Brittany [27:11]: No, exactly. Yeah, exactly. I probably only see them once a week, which isn't too much. It's bearable normally. I find the more people that I eat around, the easier it is to deal with. Like Thanksgiving, when there's 10, 12 people, because it so many noises it's hard to like pinpoint one to bother me versus one on one exactly exactly do you do the classic tricks of like finishing early and going to do the dishes or pouring drinks for people or I forget who said it on your podcast but someone did say that where they would like get up during dinner to go to the bathroom and I'm like I've definitely done that when I was younger my parents Luckily, I was an only child and both my parents worked a lot. So I was never, and I'm very grateful for this, forced to eat at the dinner table with them. They were extremely okay with me eating. in my room or like at the coffee table while they ate at the dining table. So I could still talk to them and not be right beside them. They were never strict about like not watching TV while you're eating. They were very, very lenient. So I'm very grateful for that and not having any siblings or anything to deal with. Also very grateful for that. right um and do you do that a lot of those uh habits now like just make sure the tv is on when you're having dinner yeah i almost feel bad because i know that it's not healthy to watch tv but like me and my boyfriend will watch a show together um we love chef ramsay to watch together while we're eating dinner that way i can still eat with him and then also have the channel your aggression through ramsey's uh exactly swearing or have music playing cathartic right in the background i can't death metal yeah yeah exactly so i definitely do those kinds of things and then if i have if i'm eating dinner with anyone other than my boyfriend it's no one that i eat dinner with often like if i go to a restaurant with my girlfriends or something, it never bothers me because I don't see them often. And restaurant noises, luckily, don't bother me either. I actually find eating in restaurants the most relaxing way to eat because it's so loud. I can't hear anybody else chewing unless they're being obnoxious.

Adeel [29:50]: Right. So the thing about restaurants is, yeah, the chewing, because there's always background noise, I don't hear so much, but then there's always people who need to cough to clear their throat for some reason. They need to do it above the noise level of the restaurant. At least that's my judging. So, yeah, I've got mixed feelings about restaurants. It really depends, I guess, on which ones. And, you know, I've got a list in my head.

Brittany [30:15]: Exactly. Like there's ones, there's like comfort ones that you know play music and is a nice spread out environment. That's actually a good thing about COVID. When the restaurants opened again, it's capacity and it's so spread out. You can't hear people. who's next to you. Yeah. That's obviously amazing. I find either listening to music or watching TV or being in a louder environment makes it enjoyable for me to eat dinner with people. I do get jealous of people who can like sit at a table and have like a nice quiet romantic dinner. and just like talk while you're eating. I can't do that.

Adeel [30:56]: Yeah. Yeah. No, we're chance. I mean, I'll go to yoga or meditation or something afterwards. And I'm like, Whoa, this is a, such a different feeling than, than what's supposed to be relaxing, which is sitting in a restaurant eating. Like I would think that it's, it's like, it's such a huge difference. And that's when I realized, Oh, there is a lot. Even when I think I'm relaxing in a restaurant, there's a lot of tension.

Brittany [31:16]: Yeah. Oh, constantly. Constantly. Yeah.

Adeel [31:20]: so you said uh you know when you're growing up nobody like there was no thought of maybe going to see a doctor or therapist uh i'm just curious have you ever um had any other um uh you don't have to tell me but have you gone to therapists for any other any any other reasons um other than misophonia and um because a lot of people have like comorbid conditions like anxiety and um

Brittany [31:45]: other things that are kind of related and sometimes it gets misdiagnosed i'm just curious if you've had any kind of um experience with um you know getting any kind of like a mental mental health treatment yeah i like growing up my family they don't look down on therapy or anything but um they're not so much of like a talk about your feelings type of family so that was never brought up that was never an option For me, they never offered to get me into therapy. So it only ever started getting better when I kind of took it into my own hands when I moved out. Obviously, moving out is extremely helpful when you have misophonia because living alone is so much more relaxing than in an environment with other people. But I actually just recently talked to my doctor about a month ago.

Adeel [32:43]: Your primary.

Brittany [32:45]: Yeah, I didn't. I haven't gone like I did go to her about going to a therapist, but something about talking to someone about something that's so unheard of is almost intimidating. It's hard for people because they'll listen. But I don't like no one really understands unless you have it. So they can think in their head like, OK, the sound of eating bothers you. I get it. But they don't know. the extent in which it bothers us. So I did finally go to her because I was having some just not great mental health days. So I just kind of wanted to let her know. I didn't really think that she could do anything for me. I just sort of wanted to tell her finally. And I did tell her what it was. And she actually was... very open and interested about it like she got up and immediately went to go get her phone and googled it like right in front of me and started reading some articles about it and i was like this is so interesting i've never heard of this before and she kind of laughed and said she feels better because she just read a sentence saying that like 90 of doctors don't know what it is She's like, oh, I feel like such a better doctor because I felt terrible for not knowing what this was. Yeah. But she had suggested possibly going on medication to help cope with not only that, but just some of the symptoms that like come along with having misophonia. Like I struggle with anxiety and depression as well. And I think the depression is honestly just because living with misophonia is very hard on you, you know, constantly being bothered and feeling like a terrible person. So she put me on medication for OCD and depression because OCD is kind of what they're closely linking to misophonia, just the constant thoughts and need to control your environment. And obviously nothing's ever going to fix it because it's in your head but i do have to say like talking to her and having her accept it and then being on the medication for the past month has significantly improved it um obviously sounds still bother me but um i think the aftermath of it if that makes sense isn't there for the next 20 minutes like i don't feel icky thinking about it constantly so That has been extremely helpful. So she's kind of come up with a plan for the next year of coming in and talking with her and sort of monitoring it. And when I did go up for a follow-up appointment, she actually said that she had spent hours researching it, which made me extremely happy that she was into it enough to take the time to learn about it. So hopefully that's one more person that knows about it. That's fantastic. She was very hopeful, and she's like, honestly, maybe you'll grow out of it. I was like, ah!

Adeel [36:09]: Yeah, okay.

Brittany [36:12]: I love the optimism. I don't think so, but I love the optimism.

Adeel [36:15]: Yeah, keep Googling. No, but that's great. Yeah, I tell people, and I had the glazed look from my doctor as well when I mentioned it, but I kind of like, I just pushed forward and tried to just want to bring it up so that at least it's in some database somewhere that a researcher can maybe search through some anonymous database. Absolutely. And maybe your doctor will be at a conference and then she'll bring it up, you know, in passing. You know, you never know how these things kind of reverberate. I really hope so. And so it's great that you're taking care of yourself. But then also, I think you're helping. I mean, that small act is going to help people, I think.

Brittany [36:56]: Well, the fact that she thought it was so interesting makes me hopeful that she was interested enough to tell her friends and other doctors who might be more into the psychology field. Maybe she would mention it to them. That would be my hope. The more people who can actually do something about it.

Adeel [37:17]: Yeah, you're increasing the odds of that happening. So that's a positive thing. You know, it's great that you're finding that it's helping a little bit. So you're finding that that kind of recovery time, that 20 minutes for you is starting to shorten a little bit or the amplitude maybe is not as great?

Brittany [37:38]: I think so, just because my tendency was to... It's not even just with misophonia, just anything... That would bother me. It would, that kind of relates to anxiety too. Just, I would think about it and think about it and think about it. I would, you know, overthink it and it would just, I wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it. And I would just kind of like word vomit and keep talking about it and it didn't need to be talked about anymore. So when someone would make a noise, I would, it just wouldn't leave my head. Now, obviously it still bothers me, but I can get over it and talk about something else and it's out of my head within minutes like almost like it didn't happen so it still bothers me but it's not it doesn't ruin my whole day anymore and maybe it doesn't maybe you'll hopefully um have a less of an less less of a spiral into depression maybe or less often I've definitely noticed I've been a lot happier as well, which also might be a reason why it's not been as terrible because the less stressed and the happier you are, I think the easier time you have relaxing and being relaxed obviously helps misophonia a lot.

Adeel [38:53]: What are some of the other things if you want to share that you'd get OCD about other than sounds? There might be other people who might relate to similar traits.

Brittany [39:05]: Kind of just, um, honestly, it's everything. I wouldn't, I don't like kitchen design as a, yes, as a controlling person, but like I have a very all or nothing type attitude. Um, like I'd love to control how my house is, how events go, how, um, just that kind of stuff. And when something happens, goes wrong like if i'm cleaning and i notice after i've spent so much time cleaning my house if something is out of place or um like if my boyfriend leaves socks or like just stuff all over the table that i've just cleaned it's almost like well that was all for nothing the house is a mess again i quit i'm never cleaning again like just yeah very overreactive and just constantly i can't be a chill person that doesn't care about how her house is and just goes with the flow that's not me and that's right it's more than the average person i would say gotcha gotcha feeling the need to control everything yeah and so you you you pursued um you so you you pursued professional help for this first right um gotcha okay okay it was related and yeah um it was more just like for the depression part because i have so much to be happy and grateful for and i was having a hard time like i recognize it but i was having a hard time actually feeling it And I think that's the main reason that I went to my doctor for it because I had a feeling that it was related to this. And I think my suspicions are right because I've been feeling a lot better regardless if the misophonia is there or not. I've been having an easier time enjoying every day instead of worrying about when I'm going to be triggered next.

Adeel [41:03]: Yeah. That's great. That's great. And has your boyfriend been noticing this difference as well in you?

Brittany [41:12]: Yeah, he said that I seem a lot more cheerful and chipper and I've been needing less time alone. I think just having Musophonia, being an only child and kind of an introvert, I will always enjoy my time alone. But it was to the point where I would need like hours by myself every single day talking to anybody. Whereas now I can actually enjoy time and spending time with people. And I'll just need like a me day every once in a while. But I would like to think that most introverts need that. And it's not just me.

Adeel [41:48]: Yeah, absolutely.

Brittany [41:51]: I think that he's definitely noticed it making a difference.

Adeel [41:55]: Yeah, and then the introvert question is another one that comes up sometimes. It's like, does having misophonia kind of turn you a little bit into an introvert or vice versa? Do introverts, are they more sensitive to things in general? And maybe sound is one of them. That's for somebody else to study, maybe. Yeah.

Brittany [42:18]: No, but I would agree with you. I'd probably say that... I think a lot of us are introverts. Exactly.

Adeel [42:23]: I mean, I've had a lot of theater people and musicians and whatnot, but I think even they are probably at their core a little bit more introverted than others.

Brittany [42:34]: I would definitely agree, whether that's naturally introverted or, like you said, kind of forced introverted just to get away from triggers. Yeah.

Adeel [42:44]: So what are some of your other coping mechanisms? So obviously headphones. Are there other, I don't know. Well, actually, I don't mean to jump around. Maybe that's one thing I do. You probably noticed on the podcast. But mesokinesia is something. I don't know if you've gotten to any of those episodes. But being triggered by visuals. So like looking at people eat or cough or make sounds. certain gestures, has that started to affect you?

Brittany [43:14]: Absolutely. And I honestly, that was a very, very recent thing. And that's kind of part of when it started to get bad. Because in my head, I was like, are you kidding me? Like, this can't be bothering me, too. Like, this can't be a thing as well. But I've noticed, like, it's becoming worse and worse. Like, I don't like when people pick their skin over and over again. Like if someone's just sitting beside me, like picking at their skin. Right. One, I think it's just like hygienically kind of gross, but just that repetitive movement, obviously leg shaking. I'm a huge dog person. I love dogs. Me and my boyfriend actually foster dogs and obviously constantly have pets in the house. But I find that if a dog is panting a lot and like shaking the bed and just like moving their head a lot that bothers me and then just the classic leg shaking just anything repetitive noise or movement i find very triggering um one that my boyfriend does and i feel so bad because every time i say it like it sounds crazy but he drinks like when he takes drinks it's like multiple in a row before he puts it back down And I don't know why that bothers me. I think it's because I know that he's drinking something and I can see it. And it's like constant. It's not a quick thing. It's drawn out almost. I've noticed that that's starting to bother me as well. It's not amazing. It's not great.

Adeel [44:58]: Yeah, right. I think as you become familiar with people, their drinking habits are ripe for judging. That's so terrible. Yeah. That's interesting. Pets will trigger you sometimes, but it's not enough to be like, I'm just not even going to bother with this anymore.

Brittany [45:21]: No, it's not something that totally... I love dogs, and I think that that's my calling in life is to help them, but it's mostly just, um, like we have two little dogs right now that we're fostering and they're so sweet, but they get so excited to see me. They just, when they pant, they get themselves so worked up that they pant so heavily for like an hour and the, just the noise of it and the emotion of it. Sometimes I try to like calm them down and get them to not be so worked up about it but it's definitely nothing that like bothers me to my core because i still think that it's adorable that they're that happy to see me um do you know if um if they sense discomfort in you i think they must honestly they must sense like tension because they can tell when you're sad and um just feeling down so i think that they can tell if i try to like pet them and calm them down they normally just like go to sleep mm-hmm So I think that they can definitely sense it. I find dogs, I love rescuing older, more calm dogs because they are a huge stress relief for me and a huge source of happiness. And also older dogs are very chill. They don't make a ton of noise. They don't bark. They're just like little couch potatoes that keep me company. So the kind of dogs I like to keep in my company aren't very energetic and loud. I think that's also a big part of why it doesn't bother me.

Adeel [46:59]: Gotcha. Okay. Okay. No, that, that makes sense. That makes sense. Um, well, cool. Um, yeah, we're getting, I guess getting close to the, close to the hour, but, um, Yeah, I'm just curious if you had any, yeah, if you have anything else you want to tell folks. I mean, you just heard about the podcast recently. You've, you know, you've had it for a while, but it's kind of really ramped up the last few months. And maybe it's kind of, hopefully we'll be kind of leveling out a bit with some of the medication, the treatment plan you're on. But yeah, anything you want to tell other people kind of going forward?

Brittany [47:40]: Just But I guess like no matter how crazy it might sound or you may feel, it's always, I've found lately to be, it's better to be more open with the ones that you love about having a problem so they don't have resentment for you. I found that it's helped me feel less guilty knowing that they know, if that makes sense. So just try to be open. I feel like people who try to bottle it up and pretend like it's not there, it's going to get so much worse. So just trying to be open and accepting and doing what you need to do to get through the day, like me wearing headphones. If it helps you, don't feel weird about it, I guess. And just accept that that's kind of part of who you are and it's okay. Nobody asked for this. Nobody asked to have misophonia. So just doing whatever you can to make you happy and talking to people about it and trying to bring more awareness to it. And hopefully, you know, one day it will be more normalized as like a workplace thing, being more accepting and just more known, especially with stuff like the podcast. Like it's honestly, it's probably helped not only me, it's probably helped so many people just not, feel alone like the only reason I started being more open about it is because people on the podcast being like hearing them be so open about it really inspired me to stop being embarrassed about it and actually tell people I can't tell you how much better my life has gotten since listening to it

Adeel [49:29]: Oh, that makes me feel great. Yeah, I hope it continues. Yeah, and actually, the one question I had was also, I mean, I haven't been in Canada, I have not been in Canada for 20 years, like living there. But I'm curious, like what, like... I don't know how often you tell people, but, you know, you say you're trying to be more open about it. I'm always curious, like, how misophonia is understood in different countries. I mean, Canada is so much the U.S. Yeah. But I'm curious if there are any, I don't know, Canadianisms about it. Like, is mental health talked about as much as it seems to be here in the United States?

Brittany [50:04]: It's still never enough, but... Never enough, but definitely, I think... Canada is very much like the US, especially as of recently, like there's been a huge push, not only for this, but just every mental health.

Adeel [50:19]: Right.

Brittany [50:20]: Yeah. Like there's just been a huge push to have it more talked about and taught in schools and be more accepted in workplaces. Like I know a lot of workplaces are going to start to implement like building in sort of like vacation days but you get like three mental health days a year like paid mental health days if that makes sense yeah yeah and having more check-ins saying like how are you doing how's it going and more team building exercises is that being mandated i'm pretty sure yeah i know a lot of places obviously more like hipster run places younger smaller businesses they're already doing it but i think for larger corporate places um i think that that's what's being talked about and i think that would be amazing because i know a lot of people feel guilty and like calling in sick because you're having a bad mental health day isn't justifiable to them hopefully having it normalized and being an option will help people make it feel like it's okay for them to take a day for themselves

Adeel [51:25]: I think once employers realize for specifically about misophonia, like if you just give somebody some damn headphones or let them work from home like yeah just it can make a gain of productivity yeah yeah don't shame them just think about the gain and productivity that you you'll you'll get i mean you'll get your normal productivity you won't be losing any um and that's that affects the company's bottom line for such a simple gesture so right the less time that you have to spend hiding in the bathroom is the more time you can work Right. Right. Yeah. Hiding in the bathroom with all the other people who are crying in the bathroom for other things. Seriously. On that note, both positive and yeah. Brittany, yeah. Thank you for coming out. I'm glad your boyfriend connected us. Please tell him thank you. This has been super helpful. And let's keep in touch if you ever need anything to reach out or reach out. let me know and maybe we'll all get together in Canada when I visit.

Brittany [52:26]: That would be wonderful. Thank you again for talking with me and doing the podcast. It's amazing.

Adeel [52:33]: Thank you, Brittany. That was great. And yeah, like I said, maybe we'll all meet up up north. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you're listening to this podcast. Music is always by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.