Julia M. - High School Senior Tackles Misophonia Challenges

S5 E8 - 11/18/2021
In this episode, ]Adeel converses with Julia, a high school senior and avid advocate for misophonia awareness, running the Misophonia Mindfulness Instagram account. Julia shares her experiences of returning to in-person schooling after 18 months, highlighting the challenges she faces daily, such as dealing with classmates who chew gum or eat during class, which is particularly triggering for her misophonia. Despite these challenges, she finds a silver lining in the use of masks, which obscure visual triggers and slightly muffle sounds, making her school environment slightly more bearable. Julia also discusses her strategies for coping, like positioning herself at the back of the classroom and self-training to focus despite distractions, though she admits to feeling hesitant about requesting accommodations due to the difficulty in explaining misophonia and fearing to burden her teachers. The dialogue offers insights into the lived experiences of a young person navigating high school with misophonia, along with a glimpse into her aspirations for furthering her education in neuroscience to perhaps aid in misophonia research and advocacy.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 5, Episode 8. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week I'm talking to Julia, a senior in high school. I think this is the first person I've spoken to in high school since the current school year started, so it was interesting getting her thoughts on the past 18 months. Julia is also very into advocacy for Misophonia and runs the Misophonia Mindfulness Instagram account. We talk about our therapy and her hopes to pursue neuroscience after she graduates. It's really promising to see young people with misophonia pursue their educations and careers with misophonia in mind as something they want to work on. I want to give a quick shout out to two new Patreon sponsors, Mary and Linda. Thank you so much for your support to keep the show going and expanding. The Patreon is super easy to find at patreon.com slash misophonia podcast. And you can read there about all the things planned for the show and the swag that I'll send you. An even easier way to help reach more Misophones like you is to leave a quick rating wherever you get the podcast, if you haven't done so already. And by the way, if you just want to connect with me, you can always email hello at misophoniapodcast.com or we're on all the social media. Just search for Misophonia Podcast or you can use the links in the show notes. All right. Now here's my conversation with Julia. julia welcome to the podcast thank you so um yeah you've probably heard some episodes um do you want to let us know kind of you know roughly where in the world you are i'm in charlotte north carolina right now and so it's it's like 11 p.m so this is like fun okay cool so um yeah i guess what do you uh what do you do out there in charlotte um i'm in high school i'm 17 and i'm a senior this year so yeah i'm basically just starting my senior year cool yeah it's been i've had a few uh high schoolers it's been it's been a little while so um and that was back when i think everyone was kind of virtual um you were probably i'm assuming you're in person now yeah i'm in i'm in person right now

Julia [2:22]: okay and how's that i think it's how's that been this could go on maybe with a lot of fish i mean i've already run into a few like gum shooters so this one already um no it's been surprisingly okay mostly because i'm very grateful for masks because i don't have to see people chewing i somewhat listen to it but without the visual it

Adeel [2:51]: And I guess the mask, I think, I mean, it's got to have some kind of effect on the audio as well. These certain frequencies have to be kind of filtered out a bit. So, okay, yes, you're back in school and it's, yeah, it's better than, I mean, honestly better than no mask, but was, I guess, well, how, let's go kind of back a little bit. Like how was, what'd you think of, what'd you think of virtual overall?

Julia [3:21]: Oh, I loved it. Like academically, like socially, I thought it was, I thought it was great.

Adeel [3:27]: So kind of miss it, but yeah, I've thought about, I've talked to some people about, about this because, uh, you know obviously in the mainstream talk is that you know virtual is so much worse for for students but there's got to be segments like us where you know as long as you have friends outside of school to kind of get the social stuff like and you can focus stuff better right i mean i mean well in virtual you could focus all better so how was it um let's say before any of this happened was school like a major challenge for you um Like, music-wise and greats notwithstanding.

Julia [4:07]: There's been certain classes where there's a particular kid in the class that just loves to have a full meal. And it's been miserable. And then there's gum chewers. And then it's that, like, chain effect where if one person pulls out a piece of gum, then everyone's like, oh my gosh, wait, can I have a piece of gum? And then it's like hell. So there's been a few moments like that.

Adeel [4:33]: Wait, so you have kids who are having entire meals in class?

Julia [4:37]: Yeah, like, it will be first block, and these kids are eating, like, breakfast. I was like, are you kidding?

Adeel [4:42]: Oh, okay, like, homeroom, and nothing's much happening except just all these people are coming in. Okay, gotcha. Yeah, that's terrible. Yeah. Okay. So, okay, so, yeah, you're, so some, yeah, some classes were pretty bad. But how was it, were you able to manage, basically, and kind of, like, you know?

Julia [5:04]: when it mattered like get get your grades you know where they need to be and whatnot yeah it hasn't affected it like academically like my grades aren't suffering because of it it's just been um i've definitely had to be more focused and like train myself in certain situations like taking an exam what do i do if there's a person behind me do i plug one of my ears while i like write stuff stuff like that i just train myself to do

Adeel [5:32]: yeah so well that's great if you're if you're able to do that and i'm sure some of these skills will be applicable in real life in that post-school life as well um were you able to ask for any accommodations like where you were did you tell anybody at school like teachers or counselors about it um yeah this has been a like a struggle of mine i'm not vocal at all um about the misophonia and everything like that i've

Julia [6:00]: I don't know, mostly because it's just so difficult to explain and like obscure. And even if they do understand somewhat of what it is, they never fully understand and therefore don't give full accommodations. And so I've had one teacher where I asked to move my seat to the back of the classroom because I've felt that if the sounds are in front of me, I'm able to manage it more than if they're behind me. But other than that, I haven't asked for any like stop things. eating in class because a lot of teachers allow that kind of thing.

Adeel [6:36]: That's strange because I know the schools that you can't eat, gum chewing, you can't do that and certainly not eating. Hopefully that'll get to your school soon. Yeah. Did your teacher let you move to the back of the class at one time?

Julia [6:53]: yeah and yeah i need to talk to my teachers more about that and like my counselors but if i if i have a problem like a reoccurring problem i'll try to do that but do you talk about other stuff as well or or is it just gonna it's just been me so and it's been um hard to kind of figure out how to tell them it's been hard to tell them and um I don't know. It's just seems it's hard to validate it. Just saying like, yeah, I have this and can I get all these accommodations for it? Like stop letting kids eat in your classrooms. Let me sit in the back of the classroom. Like I don't want to be like a burden to my teachers. So I just, I tend to deal with it.

Adeel [7:38]: Gotcha. Yeah. No, I mean, that's the kind of thing even people of all ages deal with is like the sense of being a burden. And but it's at least you're able to at least you're so far you've been able to manage through. And I think honestly, a lot of a lot of people are able to somehow manage through through school and not affect their grades. So I'm hoping, yeah, that's the case for you, too. So take that as some. Optimism. Now, after you get out of school and get into the workforce, I hate to break it to you, but it might get rougher then, but at least you'll be a little bit older and be able to control your environment a bit more. Well, let's talk about maybe home life and kind of maybe when this began for you. You're 17, so this starts for a lot of us in that kind of middle school or just before middle school. Am I wrong in assuming that it's probably around that time, so not too long ago?

Julia [8:35]: Yeah, I was around 11 when it happened. And I have my theories on how it happened.

Adeel [8:42]: Yeah, bring it, bring it.

Julia [8:46]: my aunt came to live with my family when i was around that age she has down syndrome and so the way she eats is different because of the way like her jaws are structured and like she's missing teeth and it's just a different way that she eats and i think ever since that it was like a click like a trigger like ever since she started to like live with us i developed it so

Adeel [9:12]: maybe it's just coincidence maybe there's a correlation like i don't i don't know but yeah that's about the time it started for me when she moved in and she still does gotcha has that changed for you are you are you able to i mean i mean is it are you able to eat with her like has it got has it gone worse um your your reaction to it um she's probably

Julia [9:40]: she actually no she's incredible she understands it more than like really anyone else excellent like if she's making her lunch and i come downstairs she's like do you want me to go in the other room it's like it's crazy how much she gets it versus like my friends who don't and it's kind of like i don't know it's kind of nice what do you think that is because uh you've probably told her that it's uh you've told her that it has a name and everything i'm like your teachers you um I think more gets the emotion part of it. Like she's very sympathetic and yeah, she's great.

Adeel [10:18]: Yeah, that's, yeah, that's interesting. I mean, maybe she just is able to sympathize or empathize more, you know, because it's, you know, you're somebody else with a condition, maybe not quite the same as hers. But that's interesting that that's great that she's at least, yeah, empathizing and trying to help out. What about the rest of your family? Usually when it starts with anything, it just kind of starts to spread to other people and other sounds. But in some cases, it stays localized. Has it kind of expanded for you too?

Julia [11:01]: Yeah, so my mom and my aunt are definitely my worst triggers. And like ever since everyone's growing in my family, so it started with my mom and my aunt. And then it went to my dad and my brother and then my sister. And so like eventually everyone became a trigger. They're all at different levels though. So like, I definitely cannot eat with my aunt like ever again, but occasionally depending on the type of food I may be able to eat in the same room as my dad. So it's, It's interesting to see that. I don't eat with my family in the same room. We all eat at the same time, but I go into my separate area and eat my own thing.

Adeel [11:43]: Do you understand all that?

Julia [11:45]: Oh, yeah. They totally understand. During the beginning, it was kind of difficult. My mom was probably my biggest advocate. She was looking up names and what it is. She was the one that first introduced me to the term misophonia. Then she was just like, um do you want to get like therapy for this like exposure therapy like doing everything we can like getting earbuds that would fit my ears like stuff like that so my family's very supportive of it they understand completely just amazing and it's really helpful yeah did you pursue any kind of therapies Yeah, I did. It was interesting because when I went in for therapy, the woman was just discovering misophonia. I was her first one that she's been dealing with. So it was kind of interesting to see how she was approaching it because I was like her guinea pig almost.

Adeel [12:34]: So this is like a local place in Charlotte?

Julia [12:37]: Yeah. I honestly don't know how my mom found it, but it didn't help. I didn't go in with any expectations. What did they do? I just talked about like everything like why i may be having this reaction like getting to the root of it was it like auditory was it visual listening to stuff on a computer you know like asmr stuff so it was basically talk therapy kind of thing but with some with her basically trying to learn about it and yeah you kind of expressed it okay and then and then 15 minutes are up and that was it yeah

Adeel [13:17]: Gotcha. Okay. Yeah, not uncommon. I mean, it's fortunate that she'd even heard of it. There is, yeah, there are many cases when it's just a kind of a eyes glaze over kind of situation. Interesting. Okay. So do you know how your mom thought about it? Was it basically just kind of Googling, like, why does my daughter never eat with us kind of thing?

Julia [13:39]: Yes. I used to eat with them in the beginning and it was like a mixture of turning my television on to like a hundredth of volume and then plugging one of my ears and then eating with like one hand. It was crazy. And then like I got to the point where I was like, I can't do this anymore. So I just left.

Adeel [13:55]: Yeah.

Julia [13:55]: My mom just went on Google and was searching frantically like on Facebook groups and stuff.

Adeel [14:01]: So you did try the background noise of TV or whatever. And it just wasn't. Yeah, it wasn't quite cutting it.

Julia [14:09]: Part of the therapy was, like, I had homework where I had to, like, in increments turn down the volume of the TV and see, like, exposure therapy, kind of. It didn't work.

Adeel [14:21]: Yeah, yeah, right. Yeah, that's kind of consistent with what I have heard and what I think. It's not just a volume thing or... um something that's is so linked to volume basically um how does is your sister older or younger what does she think because you know some some situations i've heard where siblings can cause a an extra issue how they how they treat you about it my sister and my brother are both um in college so they're old i'm the youngest in my family

Julia [14:59]: And they all understand and they're all accommodating. Again, if I come downstairs and they're making something, we'll figure out where I'll eat, where they'll eat, stuff like that. But there's a few times where they just, in the beginning especially, they were doing it occasionally to get on my nerves.

Adeel [15:19]: Rile you up.

Julia [15:21]: And it's like, okay, y'all can make fun of me and mock me, but this is an off-limits kind of thing. You can't do that.

Adeel [15:30]: Yeah, that's great that they've learned the error of their ways. Do they also have, I mean, they don't have misophonia, but I'm curious if like your aunt have any kind of other issues that maybe they were able to kind of like use as a reference point to kind of relate to you at least on some level.

Julia [15:50]: Yeah, I don't think they have any clue what it's like. And no one in my family has anything like over sensitivity kind of thing. Yeah. um so it's been interesting trying to explain to them exactly what it feels like and like yeah it's just i can't justify my feelings so it's hard for them to understand

Adeel [16:12]: Right. In the early, um, well, I guess, uh, around 11 and you knew it was your aunt, did you ever, um, it kind of in the early days, did you ever act out in any kind of irrational way or was it just something that you, um, have kind of always kind of, it seems like bottled up, um, well, I guess not with your family, but I guess you have with school, but, uh, yeah, I'm curious if you kind of like threw anything, I guess, or just kind of, uh, um, Because sometimes young people have a hard time kind of understanding what it is. And it takes a little bit to kind of like control those emotions.

Julia [16:52]: Yeah, I definitely balled it up and like tried my own little like quiet ways of trying to cope. like plugging my ears. And then I remember at the very early, early stages of it, like when no one understood what it was, but I was starting to vocalize, like, I can't stand it. Like, I don't know what it is, but I can't like deal with it. I was forced to sit there and like cope with it. Cause apparently, I don't know, like they, we all understand our mistakes now, like forcing me to be at that table while people were eating was not a good idea, but like, just remember like bolting upstairs and just running away pretty much is my method i always used was just running the flight part of fighter flight yeah definitely and so did you say you said that i don't know what it is but i can't stand this

Adeel [17:43]: yeah like i yeah i mean that is self-aware yeah that's that's i mean that's showing some self-awareness at a pretty young age i mean that's kind of that's really what i wait that was the truth i mean you don't know what it is but you can't stand it so um that's kind of a an honest cry for help i would say uh what about you like your friends did have you ever kind of mentioned to your friends at school or otherwise um

Julia [18:09]: Like one of my best friends doesn't know what it is. I had I think I was traumatized by one experience where I'm always very cautious about like parties and stuff and go to a party like a birthday party. There's noises and everything going on or eating. But there was one time I was at a party with my friend and I told her about it because I knew like there wasn't going to be background noise kind of thing. And she was just like okay yeah yeah i got it and then she proceeded to like eat ice in front of me i was like okay ice like out of all things yeah it's just that like she wasn't purposely trying to do it it was just that like ignorance like forgetfulness not knowing exactly how severe it was kind of thing so after that i kind of didn't tell people so right now i'm still pretty closed off But it's interesting because I'm writing like, so I'm applying to colleges right now. So like all my essays and like common app, like personal essay that I'm sending to all my colleges is about misophonia. So I'm like, how do I get peer edits on this? Like, it's literally revealing such a, like, I don't know, personal thing about me to my friends.

Adeel [19:28]: yeah i've been trying to oh okay yeah okay there's a few things to talk about here interesting okay so uh well first okay i think i've got got her all in my head but first uh the the friend with the ice how did her standing change after that is she do you hang out with her anymore or is it kind of like she's not even in the country anymore like okay okay i haven't had we won't ask why but uh we'll just say she's not in the country anymore okay and uh but and then but so it sounds like after that you just don't bother telling your friends because and this is not uncommon because you're probably just exhausted from like you really you don't know what's going to happen and it's just like extra grading probably when um you know you think you're coming at you you think you're kind of revealing something important about your yourself and then it's just not taken seriously and it just happens over and over um so sometimes we're like just like why bother when we can you know run away if we have to um so does that kind of sum up kind of like your your current kind of right feelings with your friends okay

Julia [20:40]: Right now, like my friends are the people that affect me the least. So my family is like the worst. I would say strangers are right under them. And then friends somehow don't affect me as much. It's like minuscule almost. And it's kind of nice to have... I kind of get a glimpse into what it's like to not have misophonia when I'm with certain people that just don't trigger me at all. And it's like, Oh, this is nice. Like I can actually eat with people like sometimes. So it's that like, if I go to these people that I can eat with and say, Hey, I have misophonia. Like I have a fear of chewing noises where they're going to bring up like, Oh, but we just like ate lunch yesterday. Like it, it doesn't make sense. I feel like.

Adeel [21:29]: yeah right doesn't make sense to them it's also like if things are okay why why uh why rock the boat kind of thing um let's talk about your uh so this essay that you're working on is your uh application essay for for college Do you want to talk a little bit about this? I went to school in another country in Canada, and so I don't think I did essays, but I'm curious, like, what's the significance of the essay? And, like, is the whole essay on misophonia? And kind of what angle are you taking with that? And why did you choose misophonia? This is, yeah, very interesting.

Julia [22:04]: Yeah. So there's a bunch of prompts for the essay. mine is answering like a few of them almost mostly identity and like how his identity like i don't know uh changed your like activities behavior stuff like that anyway so i was reluctant to do misophonia at first because i thought i could only write it in a way that was like sappy and like i didn't want to write a sap story i wanted to have like optimism stuff like that so I have been like, I'm very, very into like misophonia activism. And I, I love to go to college and do like neuroscience in some way and actually like be involved in misophonia. And I've participated in as many minor friendly research studies as I possibly can. And when I turn 18 in March, I will be doing so many more. Um, so I mostly talk about like, how I turn my like uncertainties at first into an interest in misophonia and my fears of it into like a passion and how I'm trying to take active steps in the misophonia community. And I also have a very small Instagram account, like just talking about misophonia and it's just nice to post things and seek other people commenting.

Adeel [23:38]: I was going to ask if you had an account or something that you wanted to promote. I'll put it in the show notes. What's your account?

Julia [23:51]: It's misophonia underscore mindfulness, I think. If you search up misophonia mindfulness, it'll come up.

Adeel [23:58]: I'm probably following it. I try to catch everything that comes across.

Julia [24:02]: I'm following every account. It's not many of us. um yeah so we were talking about yeah your essay right yep so my essay is pretty much about like first discovering misophonia explaining what it is and then how i'm like into the advocacy of it and like activism um yeah are you trying to apply to uh newer science type fields um yeah definitely okay the site that the science is okay gotcha

Adeel [24:34]: Yeah, I had applied. I wasn't in, I went into engineering, so that's probably why I didn't have an opportunity to say this would not have made sense, but it totally makes sense for what you're trying to do. Yeah, that's great. And wow, yeah. I mean, so many, I want to wish you luck on everything there and just getting into the college that you want to get into. And then all the research and the Nobel Prize you're going to win for the cure for misophonia.

Julia [24:58]: Oh, 100%. Yeah, I'll be there. I'll be there.

Adeel [25:00]: I might have both my hands there. Yeah, I'm knocking on, so um okay yeah very cool um so yeah so it's interesting because you're you know you're you're okay with your um so this must affect your um your home i mean it must affect your life quite a quite a bit that you're um so passionate about uh misophonia so you said okay we talked a little bit about family sounds like it obviously affects family well okay let me back up let me summarize here so it doesn't affect you and your friends so much yeah i know it affects uh your family around eating what about like other activities with families is it kind of a pervasive thing in other activities as well like in the car or anything um i would so for certain people certain things have they have different triggers so my aunt just her heavy breathing sometimes triggers

Julia [25:58]: Other times it's really weird, but my mom brushing her teeth, I don't know why, but something about that also triggers me. And then my dad, when like, I don't know if it's such like a dad thing where they put like peanuts and cashews in their hand and they just like shake it. Like, not knowingly, like, they just shake at church.

Adeel [26:20]: As a dad who loves peanuts and cashews, yeah, I'm sure I've done that before. Yeah, you're right. I do like mixing things, and maybe that's what it is. I like both of them, but I don't want to have to think about which one I'm putting in, so I'll shake them, just kind of make sure they're all evenly spread out.

Julia [26:40]: Yeah, that's what my dad does.

Adeel [26:43]: Okay. Interesting. Yeah. I've never talked about peanuts and cashews on the podcast. So that's an interesting one. Okay. Yeah. So, I mean, these are just a lot of, like, not just eating at the table. There's a bunch of, like, based on the person, there is different sounds that will trigger you.

Julia [27:00]: And different people have foods that are the worst. Oh.

Adeel [27:04]: there's like baked chicken is the worst thing that my mom can eat in front of me i see popcorn something about the moistness probably there yeah okay it's just bizarre like everyone has their own little things so has it affected um so it affects in the moment what about like uh how what do you feel like how does it does it affect kind of your your relationship with them like how close you you your uh your family is

Julia [27:35]: I honestly don't think it is because I feel like if they were understanding of it, if they weren't accommodating of it, then I would see problems.

Adeel [27:46]: It might be resentment.

Julia [27:48]: I have to just remind myself because every time someone eats in front of me, I don't know why. I take it as a personal offense. They're trying to hurt me even though I know they're not. It's just that constant reminder. They're not trying to do this to annoy you. They just have to eat because they're humans, this kind of thing.

Adeel [28:06]: Right, right. Until you invent the thing that makes people eat quietly and not have to use their mouth.

Julia [28:15]: Yeah, when I invent them.

Adeel [28:17]: Interesting. Okay, yeah, well, you're right. I mean, compared to some others, your family seems very, doesn't give you a lot of reason to resent them. They seem to be trying. Um, so, and then you mentioned in between friends and family strangers are, you know, she said strangers are just under, uh, your parents, uh, talk to me about, have there, do you, are there any memorable moments with, uh, Julian and strangers that, uh, that have caused some strife?

Julia [28:48]: I feel like I've been in a Panera once and you know how Panera has like, that's all you have to say.

Adeel [28:53]: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Julia [28:56]: I don't know why, but their potato chips are still crunchy. Anyway, I was in a Panera once and I feel like I had a really bad experience with some stranger. And then there's been people in my classes that I just see as strangers that are eating. yeah the the meal maker so they don't they probably don't uh aren't they probably don't end up being high in your list of new school friends oh no i don't like one kid at my school like my whole family and some of my friends i only refer to him as the nasty man because all he does is eat in class and i don't even know his name i just know him as the nasty man yeah

Adeel [29:35]: Yeah, yeah. We don't need to learn things like his name.

Julia [29:40]: No, I don't need to know his name.

Adeel [29:42]: Yeah. Interesting. Okay. Okay. So, yeah, strangers. Do you do anything? Are you kind of out there at post Panera? Have you been just wearing earbuds a lot or anything? Or did you just kind of avoid certain places?

Julia [30:02]: Yeah, I definitely avoid. certain places you have earbuds that i wear but i don't know i i feel like even though i'm if i have earbuds in i'm like i'm still on high alert so if there's only so much it can do and plus i can't help but like look around and like see people eating it's like watching a car accident like go by like you you know you shouldn't look at it but you want to

Adeel [30:31]: ah the miso kaniji rubbernecking okay yeah that's yeah it's an interesting point is that uh right we can't sometimes we just can't help uh just looking do you find that that um do you know how um like have you heard of mirroring as kind of a coping mechanism for some people yeah like really obnoxiously yeah yeah yeah i wonder if wonder if looking is is like that or is it is it maybe part of the judgmentalness of it where we have to we have to give them the glare yeah yeah okay um you're just like yeah i glare everyone just yeah i mean that's just yeah normal normal for us um have you ever been caught like somebody's like what the you know what the hell are you doing i i don't think i have um

Julia [31:21]: And we're good at hiding them. Like just give them a look. But also for my family members, if like they don't know I'm there or I just turn my head and I just stare at them and they don't, they know they're doing something wrong with my stare.

Adeel [31:40]: Did the Miso Kinesio, the visual triggers for you kind of pop up pretty quickly after Miso? Or some people it starts kind of later than... I feel like it was simultaneous.

Julia [31:51]: I've always never liked the way people ate. And ever since my aunt started living with me, with the sound, I was also looking at her. And so I think just both of them developed.

Adeel [32:06]: yeah i can see how that association would have what could happen pretty pretty quickly yeah um interesting okay and um so what do you so what do you think so your um miscellaneous part of your um you know big part of your passion and your it's even in your college application have you thought about like what uh um miscellaneous might be like in college like maybe i don't know have you talked to other college students like your your siblings or anything about how life might be like there do you have any kind of like uh um anxieties around that or yeah because they're pros and cons there's um you know a lot more people in some classes but then you're you know you have more autonomy so yeah i'm just really scared about like my roommate

Julia [32:55]: and, like, how that would work out. I don't know. I feel like at college, I don't know why, I feel like I'll develop a new trigger. Like, something about my roommate's grieving, something will happen. I don't know. I'm just scared of it growing. And I know that it can get worse with age, but... Yeah. I, and so like with that, with getting worse with age, I can see how it started with my family. Then it went to strangers and I feel like slowly, but like eventually my friends will be the ones that trigger me. So I'm just like always on the lookout, like being a very aware of how I feel to see there was a slight change. It was like, Ooh, this friend, I can't eat with her anymore. Kind of thing.

Adeel [33:39]: right right yeah i wouldn't i i'm just gonna step in where i don't need to but i wouldn't maybe i wouldn't try i would try not to like over analyze and just kind of just yeah see how because yeah you're right in all likelihood things will start to expand but um you know i've tried not to put too much of a spotlight i'm just going to enjoy your college years at least um i know definitely like you know if you happen to if you're you know when if you get a job and that happens to be in some kind of an open office environment you will definitely find some new triggers there but uh but i'm hoping the next few years will be okay or i don't know what you plan to be you'll probably be like in a lab 24 7 like getting this getting this cured uh tested but uh i'll be great um interesting okay um yeah because and also in college i think i think professors and lecturers are are more apt to um you give accommodations just i think there's more leeway there um so hopefully hopefully that'll work out um so you're um so you said misophonia underscore support or i'll have the the link to whatever it is in the show notes and i'll see when i when i um push this podcast live but what are some of the things you've been posting about and do you have any other kind of advocacy outlets that you've been trying out?

Julia [35:10]: So on my Instagram account there's one post that I researched the connection between creative intelligence and misophonia and how people with misophonia are I don't know, their brains are like wired, certain connections are faster, like they have greater creative intelligence. So I just researched that and put that out on there. And I like to think of it like as a plus side of having misophonia, like, oh, look, I'm better than everyone. Like, oh.

Adeel [35:41]: We are, but it's good to have proof, right?

Julia [35:45]: Like, I just need that, like little small validations, like, oh, okay, here's a plus side. of possibly having misophonia yeah do you have any creative uh um outlets yeah music or i i like to do art and so one of my in art classes at my high school and for one of our projects it was about exploring identity and so i'm like oh well i'll just do misophonia so i did this misophonia piece and it was really like a cathartic experience just putting all my feelings in this artwork and pouring everything out on this artwork and then do you know the scholastic art and writing competition

Adeel [36:29]: I don't think I've heard of that. Is it part of Scholastic, you know, the book company or?

Julia [36:35]: I don't know. I just know it's like this national like art thing. Well, it got an award for it. So.

Adeel [36:43]: Oh, your misophonia work.

Julia [36:45]: Yeah.

Adeel [36:46]: Is this recent?

Julia [36:48]: This was a year ago. It was back when we were still in person. So it was two years ago.

Adeel [36:52]: I'll have to try to find it. Okay, cool. Do you have a giveaway artwork?

Julia [36:56]: Oh, I posted it on the Instagram.

Adeel [36:58]: Okay, okay.

Julia [36:59]: I'll definitely feature that.

Adeel [37:02]: Yeah. Yeah, that's very cool. Okay. Yeah, I'll take a look at that. But you're right. I mean, there are... Yeah, there's... There are people who... Yeah, you're not the only one who's noticed that there's some kind of link between... There seems to be more people who... have miss phonia are creative i don't know if i said that right but uh yeah uh and actually uh chris edward the uh founder of so quiet he runs the uh so quiet um instagram account is trying to do a study to kind of try to prove that or or get some more information about that um link as well. Actually, the Misophonia Convention that's coming up, which may have passed by the time people hear this, there's actually a couple of sessions on dealing between creativity and Misophonia in a couple ways, like how Misophonia might make people more creative, but also like... how does Misfunny affect people who are trying to do creative things? Like, cause you know, this thing could be super distracting and you really want to be in flow state when you're doing creative stuff. So, and when you do your art, do you have like a, are you in like the zone in some like bunker? Oh yeah, no noise.

Julia [38:19]: Anywhere I work, it has to be silence.

Adeel [38:21]: How do you ensure that? How do you ensure that?

Julia [38:24]: I just work in my room. I'm trying to think like in art class when I was in person. I usually do most of my work.

Adeel [38:33]: Just got lucky.

Julia [38:33]: Yeah, just got lucky. And also my art teacher allows us to put in like earbuds and stuff. So that's nice.

Adeel [38:41]: Gotcha. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That helps. Yeah, well, that's great. I mean, yeah, sounds like, I mean, things will get interesting. Hopefully you'll be pursuing some kind of misophonia in college. I mean, I'm sure in the early years, it'll just be general kind of stuff, but hopefully you'll, it'd be great to have you on in the future if you start getting into some more misophonia related stuff. Are there any schools that you maybe applied to for, you know, being known to have uh maybe some research in that area or or more sympathetic to that yeah um my top choice is duke solely well i know you know why have you do you know dr rosenthal

Julia [39:34]: I listened to the podcast like he was on and I've listened to him talk and stuff. And I've emailed so many people there saying like, hey, how can I be involved? I think that would be the dream, like working so close with such like a prestigious research group. Oh, my gosh.

Adeel [39:51]: Did you apply to Baylor as well? Baylor is Dr. Storch is also doing research at Baylor down in Houston. But I mean, Duke is probably close. yeah well he came on he came on too so so you can listen to that episode um and they've got you know they've got stuff going on and then if you want to go like i don't know what uh i mean there's a lot of stuff in the uk but you know that's overseas yeah okay so um but yeah no you've uh yeah you could you've got a lot of stuff and uh yeah you might want to reach out to uh the baylor baylor school as well they're they've always got some research going on I'm trying to think if there's anybody else.

Julia [40:36]: I know Northwestern. Someone did a study recently that I was... Okay.

Adeel [40:43]: We'll take a look also at the Misophonia Convention that's coming up in a few weeks. You can at least look at... I would try to go, but if you can't go, it's virtual, but... But at least check out the list of presenters and see if any of them come from an institution that you might be able to apply to. yeah i'll look at that and then the other thing is yeah so i don't know if you've heard the um natalie at ucla she's not doing anything i don't think she's doing anything misophonia related for school but she started a uh misophonia student group at ucla and so you know wherever you go that might be an interesting thing like it just started as like a two or three people i don't know where i know how big it is now i need to catch up with her and see how things are going in person again, but, uh, um, that, you know, I think that would be a great, I would love to see that on every campus, but that might be something interesting to start. And that could lead to, um, you know, that you never know how serendipity works. That could lead to something else, maybe an idea with some researcher or maybe just some connection that, uh, you would not have thought of otherwise, but at least it gives you a center, you know, some, it's another advocacy, um, um, tool that you're already like, uh, like you said um i'm really interested in advocacy i think that would be a great thing for you to just start there yeah yeah wherever i go i'll try to make misophonia known because you know we're everywhere and and uh people just don't know or they bottle it up um yeah so well cool um yeah you know we're heading around three quarters of the hour in. But yeah, I wanted to give you a chance to talk about anything else you want to share with people. I'm curious, actually, what are some of the um you know you got your miss the miss 20 instagram account uh you've already posted some interesting things uh anything else what are the kind of the main messages you want to get across to people and maybe that would be a good way to kind of start to wind things down and kind of like do you have any other um things you want to try doing for advocacy um

Julia [43:01]: I really enjoyed like my colleague kind of called it art therapy with the misophonia artwork that I did and I feel like anyone regardless if they're an artist would just um they would benefit so much from just putting all of the feelings and bottled up emotions that I know a lot of people with misophonia have like onto a physical thing onto paper, anything. So I really want to encourage creative expression, especially with this little theory that misophonia, people with misophonia have a higher creative intelligence. Use that. Take all the bottled up stuff and put it down on something. Because it really helped me. So I don't doubt that it will help other people.

Adeel [43:50]: Do you, when you're going through triggers, do you think about like, oh, I got to go back. I want to, I can't wait to just go back to the canvas again. And is that something you do regularly? It's just, if you have like a rough week, you just hit the canvas and then things start to feel better.

Julia [44:07]: I don't do a lot of work dedicated to misophonia, but I think just like having something.

Adeel [44:11]: Right, just doing something.

Julia [44:14]: Anything, regardless of the subject. Good. But yeah, I do a lot of art and yeah. It is really helpful.

Adeel [44:22]: Yeah, I could not agree more. I also encourage people to do that. Look at art as an outlet. I mean, it's great therapy. A lot of people, it's funny, have other comorbid conditions as well, and I think it helps everything. So that's great advice. cool well um yeah julio yeah thank you thank you for coming on and kind of sharing your your story yeah of how things started um and you're you young so you got a lot of experiences ahead of you but it sounds like um Yeah, very optimistic with what you've got going. I wish you the best in getting into the perfect college, Duke. Please, yeah, let me know if you hear about anything interesting, any new cutting edge research. But yeah, thanks for coming on and sharing your story.

Julia [45:14]: Thank you so much.

Adeel [45:15]: Thank you, Julia. I hope you get your top choice for college and look forward to hearing how that goes, especially if and when you get into some research opportunities. 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 hellomissifunnypodcast or go to the website, missifunnypodcast.com. It's even easier to just send a message on Instagram at missifunnypodcast. You can follow there, Facebook, or Twitter. We're actually missifunnyshow.com. And don't forget to support us at patreon.com slash misophonia podcast. Music is always by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.