Michael (Treatment Tracker) - Exploring Treatment, Trauma, and Media Recognition

S6 E13 - 11/9/2022
In Season 6, Episode 13, Adeel chats with Michael Lawrence, a well-known figure in the misophonia community for his work with the Facebook group ‘Misophonia Treatment Tracker’. Michael shares his extensive journey of seeking treatment for misophonia over the past 40 years, covering his experiences from childhood affecting both his career and personal relationships to trying various therapies including primal therapy, neurofeedback, and ketamine. The conversation also delves into his interest in epigenetic and polyvagal work, as well as the role of memory reconsolidation in dealing with misophonia. Reflecting on his efforts to understand and manage misophonia, Michael discusses the significance of trauma in relation to the condition and highlights the value of looking into one’s background and experiences. Additionally, they touch upon the increasing recognition of misophonia in media and efforts to engage celebrities in raising awareness. The episode concludes with Michael emphasizing the importance of maintaining an open mind and confronting uncomfortable truths for a clearer understanding of misophonia.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 6, Episode 13. My name's Adeel Amman, and I have Misophonia. This week, I'm very excited to talk to Michael. Now, many of you may know Michael Lawrence if you're in his popular and active Facebook group, Misophonia Treatment Tracker. Michael has been pursuing treatment for his misophonia for over 40 years. He's got a wealth of knowledge and experience, and obviously he's had a lot of time to think about this condition and its effects on minds, bodies, and relationships. We talk about a lot of stuff in this fascinating conversation. Obviously, his origin story, his family life growing up, and marriages since then. We get into primal therapy, internal family systems, memory, reconsolidation, polyvagal work, epigenetics, and even how he uses ketamine now. And he's got many great book recommendations at the end. I really can't do it justice with this lame little intro, so I want to just get right into it. A couple of quick things, though. Remember, as always, nothing here is medical advice. Always consult a professional before trying anything. Also, as always, I remove as many of our little mouth sounds and triggers as I can during editing. There are like hundreds, but... Here, there's a couple minutes near the beginning where there's a dog barking in the background. The discussion was too good for me to pause right away, but eventually we got things taken care of, so 99% of the interview is all good. Of course, please, if you enjoyed the interview, leave a quick rating in your podcast app, and it will help get this heard by more people like us. Hit me up on Instagram or Facebook at Misophonia Podcast, Twitter at Misophonia Show, or email at hello at misophoniapodcast.com. All those links are in the show notes. Thanks again to our Patreon supporters for helping with hosting and recording of the show. You can contribute there at patreon.com slash misophonia podcast. And all right here, without further ado, is my conversation with Michael. Michael, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Michael [2:07]: Thank you. It's nice to be here.

Adeel [2:10]: So, yeah, do you want to tell us, I guess, roughly kind of where you're located and I guess what you do?

Michael [2:17]: Okay, I'm retired. I've been retired about 15 years. I live in Arizona. I live in Phoenix area during the cooler months. And I live up in the mountains a couple hours away in Prescott during the summertime. So I don't have to endure that unbelievable heat down there. So I get the best of both worlds here.

Adeel [2:42]: Yeah, for sure. Great. Okay. And you were asking me earlier if I have misophonia. I believe you have misophonia as well, right? You're kind of a somewhat of a well-known figure in the community.

Michael [2:57]: I've had groups for a number of years, Facebook groups. So depending on what treatment I have, I start a group up for that treatment. neurofeedback or whatever I was into at the time. Right now, I guess about four years ago, I started a group called the Misophonia Treatment Tracker. And that was just general. And I wanted to see what other people were doing and if it was working or not working and track whatever treatments were going on. But it ended up kind of like more of my own treatment being.

Adeel [3:36]: Yeah, let's continue, I guess. Hopefully everything's okay on your end, internet-wise. Yeah. Let's say you were talking about how you've had a bunch of communities over the years and the latest one, the Treatment Tractor Group, which I've... That's where I've heard about you from a number of people. That was meant to kind of... uh, track people, different people's treatments, but you've been kind of like, I guess, documenting your own, uh, search. So yeah, I'd love to hear more about that.

Michael [4:10]: Yeah. I enjoy, I enjoy learning because this is just, this is just taken over my life. It's, I've, I've had it for over 60 years, so it has dominated my life and it's affected my career choices. It affected all of my relationships with my, you know, wives and children and friends and social activities and my extended family, it affects everything. It affects how you deal with the world. It makes you more of a, you know, I'm an introvert, but I enjoy being around people and I do enjoy conversation and company, but I have had to limit that at times and I tend to be isolate myself more than I would have otherwise. Because just to avoid avoid the stress. It has affected my life tremendously. So it's about 10 years ago, I found out that it was it had a name. And there were people, you know, investigating it, and looking into treatments and trying to see what they could do about it. I started Actually, let me see. If I'm 70, I was probably 50. So about 40 years ago, I started my first treatments. I moved to 1984. I moved to Los Angeles so I could go to primal therapy. You might be familiar with Arthur Janov and primal scream therapy.

Adeel [5:50]: I've heard of primal scream, but did you talk about that a bit more? It seems like a cool early 80s trend.

Michael [5:58]: Yeah, it was actually 70s and 80s. He wrote the book in 1969, and I eventually moved out there so I could go to primal therapy, and it was really good. It was very helpful. You go back to your childhood, and you try to relive the painful experiences and incorporate them, resolve them. And it was very helpful. It's still, you know, a part of my life. And I, uh, I still think it's a helpful therapy, but it didn't help me particularly with the misophonia. This thing has been so difficult to deal with. And then I went, I lived in Los Angeles and then I went, well, then I heard about somebody about 10 years ago, I heard about neurofeedback helping somebody. Marcia Johnson, who's over the misophonic group, she had a Yahoo group, and she had someone on there that talked about going to a neurofeedback practitioner in Iowa. So I tried for about two years. I lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, and I went to four or five different practitioners there of neurofeedback. And then I ended up going to one in Wyoming, one in California. And I finally went and moved for a year and a half to Iowa to go to this particular neurofeedback doctor who apparently helped this guy completely get rid of his symptoms. And I spent a year and a half there and a whole bunch of money, and it did nothing.

Adeel [7:36]: Wow.

Michael [7:36]: So I came back home with my tail between my legs and started some new ideas. Holistic. I had a holistic... treatment I did vitamin therapy they test you and find out what you're missing and what vitamins you're missing that didn't work I went to Utah I saw another doctor they did all kinds of testing and they gave me all kinds of supplements and I did that I still do a lot of those supplements but it did not help and then what else did I do the GAPS diet which is you know gut health and this is horrible diet where you eat almost nothing and starving all the time and it was supposed to help get toxins out of the brain and that didn't work and then i was kind of about to give up and then but i kept reading and i kept finding new things so i continued with different treatments um and then about 10 years ago uh what's the latest one and then i uh thought it had to do with brain inflammation so i continued with diet and all of those things and none of those worked and then this doctor you may have heard of dr hatch in utah he's a functional neurologist really nice guy so i made three trips up to to see him and uh came home with the exercises and did them over and over again nothing so so i think i kind of gave up for a little while and then i started to uh investigate I don't know how one thing led to another anyway I think it was Chris Pearson and he had the SRT sequent re-patterning you may have heard of that yeah pattern re-sequencing or something like that I'll find it and put a link in yeah that brought a bunch of things in anyway I ended up working with one of the the practitioners, more of a sermon in Scotland. And I still work with her. We do this over the computer. And she's wonderful. And it's really helped. And we're mostly doing IFS. internal family systems. Are you familiar?

Adeel [10:02]: Yeah. I've heard about that. Yeah. So that's, sorry to cut it, but is it, that's the idea of, um, um, it's not your family, family. It's, it's the parts, the parts of you or person. I don't want to say personality. Your your mind there's like a firefighter there. Yeah, the wounded child and there's the Executive something like that. Yeah, if you could if you could explain that I find that fast.

Michael [10:28]: It's absolutely fascinating was developed by dr Richard Schwartz, and he has a number of books and he found that We all have sub personalities. We have our true self, which is The part that's unchanging it never it's always there and It's the calm, creative part that we tend to lose when we grow up in any kind of situation that causes us stress or a traumatic situation that we have to change ourselves in some way to get our needs met. I'm not saying everybody that has misophonia has had serious trauma, that's not the case. But apparently, we have all had stresses and we've all had things in our life that have caused us to develop different personalities, create different sub-personalities, like a protector part. You dig down into the past and find the parts of you that have been hurt, Now we'll just talk about what's going on in the present. And you find that there are many parts within you that are helping you to function. And when you were growing up, when you were young, say for instance, you weren't, you weren't being held or paid attention to, or you felt that your brother or sister was getting, being favored over you and you start to create different uh little personalities to protect you in some way to get your needs met when you feel trapped or helpless and you don't have someone there to support you you create a personality of some type to protect that that wounded part and and it does uh we all do it anyway this it's a fascinating science and It takes time, and we slowly peel back the layers and find the deeper wounded parts. That's what we've been doing here lately. And befriend them. They were not protected at the time. They needed someone there to support them. And these parts, we find who they are, talk to them, listen to what they have to say, and then give them the support they need and the love and hear them out and help to resolve that past hurt. And as they get, when they're heard and they feel like they can trust you and that you're supporting them, they slowly heal and the healing process goes on and continues, continues on. It's a very popular treatment method and it's the one that I'm mostly doing.

Adeel [13:47]: and uh well yeah i'll go ahead has it um so obviously you're doing it um for the for the obviously the purpose of trying to heal misophonia and something that comes up on the podcast a lot is uh stories from folks this childhood of their having to be no walking on eggshells for some sort of chaotic situation happening at home and this it seems like uh you know a good potential therapy for that that kind of situation where um a lot of us have had something that happened not maybe not everybody but something in the past or periods of the past where um there was like a walking on eggshells moment or a situation or years. It sounds like it is a theory here that as you're working with these doctors that healing that wounded child will help you not be, you know, react to sounds as kind of a danger.

Michael [14:47]: Well, that's the whole thing. I think this condition develops when we don't feel safe. when as a child it's learned either explicitly or implicitly it's learned especially by the you know our our autonomic nervous system or when our brain is developing we learn how to survive and if we're not we don't feel safe when we're not always comforted when we're frightened or we feel our boundaries have been violated or so many little things that can that can create this kind of situation Then we get into a fight or flight or freeze mode. And I think because when we were young, we didn't feel safe at times. It could be chronic stress. It could be particularly chronic, unpredictable stress that apparently can cause inflammation in the body and the brain, which can exacerbate whatever symptoms we have. And it also just keeps the nervous system, you know, ramped up and

Adeel [15:55]: Agitated.

Michael [15:56]: Agitated. And when we don't feel safe and comfortable, and this autonomic nervous system has turned up to be always on the lookout for potential threats, we hear everything. Our ears perk up. We're hearing all the sounds. Our eyes are looking out for threats. And I just think we're just basically looking out for threats because we don't internally feel safe. And it's all about safety, safety and survival. And when our needs are met, when somebody, you know, always, no matter how much a parent loves their child, they're never going to always be there for them. They're never always going to show up when they're scared or when they need them. You know, we do the best we can as parents. But I just think we're, we just get kind of stuck in this fight or flight mode. And we just pick up on potential threats. It's just the way that, The unconscious brain works. It's survival brain. And it's always looking out for the potential threats. So the key is to try to calm the nervous system down, deal with the past, try to resolve those things. But at the same time, the other approach is to try to calm down the nervous system. And I do that. I've been incorporating yoga. and mindfulness and certainly a lot of exercise and anything that helps you to feel safe and calm deep breathing particularly slow deep breathing and strengthening the the vagus nerve i'm sure you the vagus nerve has come up polyvagal theory has come up and they all work together they're all part of the same thing they're all ways of calming down your body and your your response if you can calm down your body then then you won't be quite as responsive so if you try to calm down the body and at the same time you're doing a top-down approach which is to to deal with what's going on in your brain i'm sure you're also consider um familiar with the term memory reconsolidation right yeah this is a form ifs is a form of memory reconsolidation we're bringing up the past bringing it out into the consciousness changing it, changing it, showing the unconscious brain that it's safe now, you're in control, you're an adult, you're not two years old or five years old. Because when I do the IFS with Morvan, I'm three, four, five years old. There's this little part of me that's three or four that's scared, nobody's coming to help me. And I, now as an adult, come in there and take over the role hearing, protecting, listening, and helping that part, that little scared part that is triggered by sights or sounds, and calm him down and hope that he will learn that everything's safe now in the hopes of not having my response be so extreme.

Adeel [19:20]: This is fascinating. And like you said, everyone's kind of dealing with something like this. In your discussions with the people you're working with, is there any idea of something different about what we experienced growing up that kind of puts us over the edge or maybe where... more susceptible somehow to, you know, to having to create these subpersonalities to protect ourselves. That's kind of the second layer I'm kind of fascinated by is if this such kind of, if everyone has a kind of a common experience growing up, you know, parents try to, you know, obviously love us, but there's always something that happens at some point. I'm still always wondering if there's something different about how we react at that age.

Michael [20:09]: That's a great question. And it's one that I've been discussing because lately I've really been, this is what I always thought from the beginning, and then I got sidetracked into other ideas. But I really think it has to do with the trauma and stress. And when I say trauma in the group, people go, no, my child had no trauma or I had no trauma in my life. Everyone experiences trauma to some degree. It's a loaded term.

Adeel [20:38]: I've experienced that as well.

Michael [20:41]: Well, all the science is heading in that direction, that there's something that happened. Some of us may have a predisposition. We may even have a genetic predisposition. But most of the brain wiring happens after we're born, during our life. And certain stressors and trauma, it could be very mild trauma. It could be implicit trauma.

Adeel [21:04]: There's a small T trauma as a term as well, which I think is more what you're just... Yeah, it could just be the small ones.

Michael [21:11]: It could be that your parent favored one child over the other, and you just got the message that I'm not lovable, they're more lovable than me, and it's painful. And that's trauma, you know? That's plenty of trauma. There's so many traumas that can happen. I mean, you have a surgery, you have a major infection. All those things are traumatic, and they can... set this thing in motion as well. But I think most of the time it's the emotional traumas, the little situations in our life, in our family, with our parents and our siblings that seem minor. But I tell you, when you go back and you're four or five years old, the little things that you look at now and you think, boy, that's such a big deal. When you're five years old again and you're emotionally feeling that, They're huge, you know, they're tremendous.

Adeel [22:02]: These sessions have to be, these sessions have to be, I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, they must be pretty intense and emotional, right? When you're working with your, like even now, when you're going back to that time, I would imagine that it must be.

Michael [22:15]: Yeah. Yeah. They can be very emotional, very emotional. I do a lot of crying. I sit in front of my computer and talk to this wonderful woman in Scotland. And when I go back to being that little child again and feeling the hurt, feeling I was humiliated, violated, not being loved, not being given attention, not being heard, all these little things being less, you know, being less favored from either my brother or my sister or whatever. Those things are huge when you're little. And when, you know, the primitive brain will do anything to survive. And when it feels like the unconscious brain will think, oh, I'm not loved. I'm going to be abandoned. I'm going to starve to death. I'm going to die. It doesn't, you know, it's not a cognitive brain. This is a primitive brain. And it experiences things on that deep emotional level. And there are huge feelings. And I was just thinking about, The ways we deal with anger and rage, that's such a big part of misophonia. And I was listening to somebody today talk about it. And there's three ways we deal with it. One is to act it out, scream and yell, punch, hit somebody, whatever, which we don't usually do. It's not socially acceptable. Or we suppress it, which is what most of us do. We suppress it. But there's a third way, which is to experience it. And one practice that I've incorporated is mindfulness, seeing yourself, feeling yourself. Mindfulness is not just sitting there and being blissful. It's experiencing all of the feelings, being very aware of them, feeling how tense your body is, how angry you are, and actually stepping away from yourself and seeing what's learning to be comfortable with these physical and emotional states. And if you can become more comfortable with them, that's what mindfulness is. It's one way of doing it. Sitting with it in the moment, becoming comfortable, it's not as threatening, and you learn to have more control over it. You're not acting it out. You're not suppressing it. You're actually feeling it and experiencing it, but you're learning to deal with it in a better way. And that's another approach I take, which is a mindful approach.

Adeel [24:40]: Are you talking about taking the mindful approach as your experience and trigger? Or is this kind of like some other time when you're just trying to be more in touch with your mind?

Michael [24:52]: Yeah, it's a practice that a lot of these things require a lot of time and energy and effort.

Adeel [24:58]: Because when we're being triggered, you know, like logic is out the window. So I'm just curious if you've made it to the point where you are able to kind of like pause in the middle of a trigger and catch yourself and try to be more mindful. That would be amazing.

Michael [25:10]: I certainly do a lot of deep breathing when I feel triggered. And I try to step away, almost like, you know, observing myself suffering.

Adeel [25:20]: Yeah.

Michael [25:21]: You can suffer. Suffering is not the hard part. You can suffer, but... It's learning how to be suffering, learning how to live and be comfortable with those feelings and learning that they're not going to kill you. The more comfortable you are, the less out of control, the less control they have over you. And that's all part of mindfulness.

Adeel [25:43]: So this is, you know... And when you're doing, when you're doing the, when you are, you know, trying to be mindful in the moment, are you also maybe blending it with the IFS work? Are you thinking about that sub-personality or is it a separate thing?

Michael [25:59]: I think that's really separate. I think they kind of overlap at times, but it's more of a practice that you do, you know, I just set aside... It's like set aside 10, 20, 15 minutes, whatever. Be mindful and listen to your body. Listen to your thoughts. Let them come and go and don't respond to them. Don't repress them. Don't be afraid of them. Feel them, experiencing them, experiencing them and be in control of what's going on. And it makes a difference, but it's a practice. It has to be something you do on a regular basis.

Adeel [26:40]: Right. And as you've been doing this practice, I don't know how long you've been doing either these, the mindfulness or the IFS, are you noticing a change yet, or is it you just feel like it's in the right direction?

Michael [26:52]: It's in the right direction. It's not a quick fix. None of the things I'm doing at this point are a quick fix. We all want the panacea, we all want the quick fix, but there isn't one. And another thing I'm doing is ketamine. Have you been familiar with the

Adeel [27:10]: resurgence of psychedelic medicines yeah oh yeah so that's funny when uh when you mentioned the quick fix uh you know a friend of mine had uh emailed me who doesn't have misophonia but his wife does and he just asked me isn't there like a you know psychedelic drug we can just take so yeah i'd love to hear uh what you're thinking about because i am curious yeah yeah i just started just recently there's a company called mind bloom

Michael [27:34]: I started it.

Adeel [27:35]: Oh, yes. It's a startup, I think, right on the West Coast, I believe, if it's the same one I'm thinking of.

Michael [27:40]: Where are they? I think they're in Rhode Island.

Adeel [27:41]: It's like a microdosing kind of, oh, okay.

Michael [27:44]: Exactly. And, you know, all of a sudden, well, the people that I listened to, the guy who developed IFS, this is where I started it. The guy who developed Schwartz, who developed IFS, Gabor Mate, who's a trauma expert, brilliant guy. If you ever want to learn more about Misophonia, check out his videos on YouTube.

Adeel [28:07]: Yeah, exactly. I highly recommended that.

Michael [28:09]: Oh, you have, huh?

Adeel [28:11]: That was actually recommended to me from another misophonia therapist.

Michael [28:18]: Oh, really?

Adeel [28:18]: That just blew my mind. That just introduced me to kind of this whole world of multi-trauma and IFS and the body keeps the score. Yeah, I've been kind of just soaking all that stuff up like a sponge.

Michael [28:32]: Good. Me too. It's fascinating, especially if you have misophonia and you want to learn why you have it. and how to try to fix it.

Adeel [28:39]: It's the first thing that really clicked for me. Yeah. I mean, I was like, I'm reading this stuff, watching these videos, thinking about my past. I'm like, oh, okay. Now it's finally something starting to make sense.

Michael [28:49]: That's great. That's great. Because I really believe you're on the right track and I believe I'm finally on the right track. And particularly Gabor Maté is brilliant. He's got a million videos and he's got wonderful books.

Adeel [29:05]: Fellow Canadian, too.

Michael [29:07]: Oh, oh, I didn't know that. Yeah, he is. And anyway, he's the one who stresses that physical, so many of these physical and mental disorders that we suffer with have to do with trauma, not extreme trauma. I mean, he grew up in Hungary during the Holocaust at the end of World War II, and it wasn't him. He was an infant, but he suffered from abandonment, his mother had to give him away to save his life, at least temporarily. But he picked up on all of her stress. And that's how, you know, my mother had misophonia and I picked up on all of her triggers and stress. And I tried to protect her from the sounds. And it's a complex thing for me. And my daughter has misophonia and she picked up on it from me. She learned it from me. She had a lot of stress growing up. with a father with misophonia and, you know, problems in the marriage and all. And, you know, it was very difficult to have a parent with misophonia and you tend to pick up on it. But anyway, I'm getting sidetracked, but Gabor Mate has talked about how trauma is behind the majority of these conditions. Unfortunately, misophonia yet has not fit in there, but I'm sure In time, it'll fit in with the ADHD and anxiety, depression, and so many other PTSD. They all have similar origins, and they all have similar methods of trying to fix them and heal from them. But I've been discussing trauma a lot in my group, and a lot of people, a lot of mothers are like, No, I don't want to hear it. My child had no trauma. But it's not quite the same trauma that you're thinking of. And it's a much more subtle thing. But I really believe trauma and chronic, particularly chronic, unpredictable stress in the home, in the family situations, they cause us to respond the way we are. They put us into this state of fight and flight. We don't feel safe. We don't have a predictable response. world and our senses are heightened and so we start picking up on sounds i mean it's not just chewing it's dogs barking it's clock sticking it's rapid movements and all the things my senses are just hyped up

Adeel [31:47]: yeah and speaking of senses uh in this uh i want to get back to the um uh microdosing oh yeah sorry but i do i know that's fine like i said i love tangents but i there was one one thought there that um i was thinking about recently how like why why hearing why why why sounds I was just thinking that, because, you know, we have visual triggers. I'm sure you have probably visual triggers as well. And some people have feelings and like touch and whatnot. I'm wondering, I was just thinking that sound is kind of the hardest, at least for me, I think it's the hardest one to block away. Like you can close your eyes and avoid visual triggers. Obviously touching. You can just be by yourself, taste and smell. You can hold your nose, but you can hold your ears, but that's not going to completely block away sounds. And I feel like maybe it's the first one, the first leg that falls, and then the other ones kind of come in. I feel like it's bigger than... It's not just a sound sensitivity. It goes deeper than that. And I feel like... um this idea you know the nervous system and trauma these aren't specific to sounds and i feel like um you know hopefully we'll the the understanding will change to um beyond just the sound sensitivity and maybe we can kind of get to that the root problem which i think you know you're alluding to i just think when we don't feel safe especially as a child yeah our brain is developing we pick up we just

Michael [33:21]: pick up on that. And we learned to be on guard for, you know, I used to think there were monsters under my bed and in my closet and stuff. You know, I didn't feel safe. Some of that's normal. But, you know, we all have a certain amount of survival instincts that kick in. But, you know, we don't have the olfactory senses that a dog has. They would probably use scent more than sound. But we don't. And so sound is probably the the one that's the most salient that sticks out and we pick up on. So I think our hearing is our greatest source of first-line survival.

Adeel [33:58]: Yeah. So getting back to drugs, yeah, fascinated by the idea of psychedelics, microdosing, what can you say you're trying and what have you heard? What would you... What are you most interested in there?

Michael [34:16]: The only thing I've been doing is ketamine. There are other ones. I mean, a lot of them. All the mushrooms are becoming popular, and there's a lot of psychedelics, microdosing, and some not so micro that people are doing. And this one in particular was recommended. If you go on YouTube or read any of their books, Gabor Maté, Schwartz with the IFS, Some of the other ones, they discuss it. You can see it on YouTube, but they discuss it. I think Stephen Porges, too, with polyvagal theory. They're finding that this really helps facilitate the process. It helps with depression, anxiety, PTSD. And key in IFS work is to bring out your authentic, true self, which tended to be pushed to the side because these other subparts have to show up to protect you. And something about these psychedelics, they help to bring out your true self. They help the self, the authentic self that was kind of lost in the process of protection to bring it out to the fore. And ketamine does that. Other psychedelics... do that they also it also helps rewire the brain it facilitates and speeds up that process of breaking old neural connections that aren't working well and making new ones that's what memory reconsolidation is all about that's what ifs is trying to do so anything that'll help move that process along quicker is helpful so dr schwartz discussed it in his book so i thought okay i'll check into this and then I found Mindbloom, and I did them for a little while. But then I happened to find a doctor who does online medicine, and I see him every month. He's $250 for a visit for about half an hour, whatever. He prescribes the ketamine. It doesn't cost much. It's only like $60, $70 for 10 doses. So I get 10 doses. I take it every three days. And it's a magnificent experience. I really enjoy the experience. And I cover so much during this experience. I put a sleep mask on. I put on my headphones, and I have this wonderful meditation-type music. And I lay back. I'm on a recliner, and I take it. It takes about 15 minutes to start kicking in, and it lasts about an hour or a and a half about. And I go back to my past. I go through my life. It's a very spiritual experience. A lot of my understanding of God and my spiritual relationship with God and with myself, my inner spirit, they're all touched on. And it leaves me wanting to always be a better person, to be a good person, to do the best I can with this life that I've been given. And it also, it takes me to parts where I go back to the work I'm doing with the IFS. I go back to being this old, this young child who's wounded, and I delve into those areas. And in an hour and a half, sometimes I feel like I've lived an entire lifetime by the time I come out of it. And then one of the important things about psychedelics is, is having support, you know, built a support system, but having some trained therapist that you're working with that can help you to process what's been going on, what happened during the experience and process the experience, not just having a, you know, crazy psychedelic experience, but taking out what you learn and using it and processing it and absorbing it and making sense of it. and using it in a positive way in your life. So you can't just take them and just go on a trip all by yourself. You need support. You need hopefully trained therapists who understands a little bit about this. And at least I know when I'm doing the IFS with Morven, we can discuss what's going on, what happened and treat those wounded parts like I have been doing and what they're doing. They're not all wounded parts, their protective parts. They do a lot of complicated things, but trying to understand what's going on with them. So it's a helpful thing. It's been kind of pretty life-changing, really.

Adeel [39:20]: Yeah, it sounds like it.

Michael [39:22]: And I do it every three days now. It's not expensive. It costs me about $300 a month. That's about $30 a session. And that is a lot of people were doing intravenously. and end up paying about $200 a session or more. And I love the fact that I can take it orally. They're just lozenges that dissolve under your tongue. And you can do it in the safety of your home. You don't have to worry about driving anywhere or having a driver to take you home because you can't drive afterwards. So I found a way to use the psychedelics in a safe,

Adeel [40:06]: cost-effective manner and and use them in a positive way along with all the other things that I'm doing but and so when you when you see you you do the when you do the doses you don't have a professional there with you it's more like you next time you see them you can talk about what you went through maybe do you keep a journal while you're I do well you're going to have a journal it's hard to read my handwriting but I do have a journal

Michael [40:33]: And I do have support. I always have my wife. She ends up coming down, and I talk to her afterwards. I kind of like being alone. There's nothing she can do while I'm going through this. I'm just in my own world for an hour and a half. But having her to be there, hold me, listen to what I have to say, feel loved, feel support, that's a really important part of this. And then I have weekly sessions with Morven. on the computer. So I do feel like I have a support system. I talk about it a lot in the group, but I don't think anybody else out in the group is doing it. I've kind of thought of starting a group. There are groups for people who are doing psychedelics, but nothing related to misophonia. So maybe eventually there will be.

Adeel [41:21]: Hey, I'd be interested in that. I'd be, I mean, yeah, I feel like not enough people are talking about the whole, you know, the Gabramates, a circle, a sphere of, you know, past trauma and, you know, connected to misophonia. And so this is also, I feel like it's part of that. sphere i feel like this uh this yeah all this ifs um all this stuff i think should be explored it all it all makes sense it makes sense i'll be the first person in that group yeah yeah it does it does intuitively you know it didn't you feel like at some point you had this it had something to do with your childhood and some past i knew immediately i knew immediately it had to do with uh when my dad would flip out if we misplaced something in the house and we would have to we would have to be we didn't know i'd be listening very carefully like what you know what mood is he in what floor is he on am i am i searching am i looking around enough yeah in my room oh you're perfect for you that's like you're describing exactly why somebody would have this condition

Michael [42:25]: You're absolutely describing it. I had an alcoholic father who, not physically abusive, but verbally and emotionally and unpredictable, and he got extremely drunk. And my mother drank with him, so she was not there to protect me. So that was not a safe environment to grow up with, with a mother who's kind of out of it, not even aware of you, and a father who got meaner and meaner as the evening progressed, and it was... almost every night as I got older. And a very unsafe, unpredictable, stressful place to grow up. And then with my mother having it as well, I was the perfect candidate to pick this thing up.

Adeel [43:14]: I think you mentioned something about siblings. What was their kind of... How did they fit into this? Were they also experiencing the same things you were? Did they end up getting misophonia as well?

Michael [43:28]: They're a key part of it. My first trigger was my brother. A typical night would be my parents would go into the living room. They would drink. And my brother and sister and I... I have a loving... family i love my brother and sister you know i've i've always had friction with my father but he's he's no longer around or my mother but you know they loved us they just had a bit of a drinking problem that that i think made things unsafe for me and um i'm sorry i lost your oh my brother and sister my brother my younger brother four four or five years younger he was my first trigger And it was just unbearable when he chewed with his mouth open. It was just, it drove me nuts. And I sat right next to him growing up, you know, watching, eating dinner every night. And my sister wasn't a trigger so much unless she was chewing gum or chewing on candy or something. She became a trigger. But it was mainly my brother. And I just remember we'd gone back there and And then a lot of the situations that went on, I felt when my brother came along, I didn't get as much attention. I was the middle child. I was kind of the whipping boy from my father. I took the brunt of all this frustration and anger for the longest time. My sister always got straight A's. She did everything right. My brother was the little cute little baby that couldn't do anything wrong. And here I was, the one in the middle that took the brunt of everything. And I played that role. Somebody had to take his, you know, it's a dysfunctional family. So you have to, somebody has to make my role in making the family function was to take all of his stress and anger and take it onto myself. And I, I became the whipping boy in the family. That was the role I had. And, you know, you carry that the rest of your life, you learn that and you continue to be that way. So I've something I've had to try to overcome over time.

Adeel [45:36]: How did you carry that forward, even in other family situations, like with your own family, or is just family get-togethers with your growing-up family, like you're still, as an adult, being mentally abused?

Michael [45:56]: I think it just affected my self-esteem. My self-esteem, my ability to... I was very ambitious and productive, and I was always driven, and I was always doing things. But I know that sense of feeling not good enough, not lovable enough, unimportant, less important, and then being always anxious about it. They affected how I acted and probably how I was as a father and how I was as a husband. They certainly didn't have a positive effect. They had a negative effect.

Adeel [46:51]: Did, um, so I'm, yeah, I guess I'm assuming you, well, at least definitely, um, probably before, at least before you had, you knew it had a name, you were probably, there's probably just a lot of reactions and just not a lot of confusion and not knowing how to deal with it.

Michael [47:08]: Yeah. It was only 10 years ago when I found out it had a name. Before that, I knew my mother had it, so I knew somebody had it. And I just thought, well, I picked it up from my mother. And there's something wrong with me. And I've spent a lifetime going to different therapies trying to figure out what's wrong with me and trying to fix it.

Adeel [47:23]: Yeah. Did you have other comorbid situations, conditions that you would go to see doctors about? And did you ever get misdiagnosed for other things rather than misophonia?

Michael [47:37]: Yeah. Just general anxiety.

Adeel [47:42]: Yeah, yeah.

Michael [47:43]: And a mild depression. I was never really deeply depressed. I stayed too busy and was getting too much exercise. I dealt with it when I was young by drinking and smoking pot when I was really young. And I stopped doing that, and then I just became an exercise bicycle addict, an exercise addict. And it is an addiction for me. I mean, very addictive. And it's the way I found that would calm me down, calm down the anxiety. If I don't exercise, I do get depressed. So I think I don't even know how depressed I would be because I'm always exercising. So maybe I would be a depressed person. I know my father was. But maybe I would have depression if I didn't do the constant exercise, you know, morning, afternoon, and evening, you know, I do exercise.

Adeel [48:35]: Gotcha. Yeah. And how did it affect so many different ways we can go? How did it affect, like career choices you said earlier on, like what kind of jobs did you end up taking or quitting?

Michael [48:47]: That's a good question because I ended up becoming a chef when I was young. So I'd be in the kitchen around food all the time, which was insane. So that didn't last too long. It lasted for a while. I moved to Las Vegas, worked in hotels. And then I had to get out of that. So I also loved gardening. So I went back to school and became a landscaper. And I did landscaping for a number of years and eventually evolved into real estate investing. So I did that for the better part of my adult career, adult life. So anything to avoid being in an office, being stuck in a situation that I couldn't escape. You know, I always had to deal with some of it, but I had to do things that would keep me out of a situation where I would have to deal with people eating to minimize it anyway.

Adeel [49:45]: Yeah, so it was really, yeah, even before, long before I had a name, this was really the overarching... um known issue in your life you knew it was a thing a lot of us assume like you said like we're you know we just have an extreme pet peeve or something but for you you knew that it was much more than that and it was special and not special but it was its own thing that just didn't have a name at the time yeah i didn't have a name for it i just only knew like i said my mother had it i haven't

Michael [50:14]: It doesn't make any sense. It's crazy. And even all these top therapists I went to, really, really smart people who deal with all kinds of problems, they didn't have a name for it. They really didn't understand it. I was not the only patient that showed up in primal therapy with this problem because other people had it.

Adeel [50:36]: And that's back in the 80s, right?

Michael [50:37]: No, 70s and 80s. Actually, I went in the 80s. It started in the 70s. But I found out that other people who had this same problem, my situation, my mother used to say that when she finally did admit that she had this, she said, well, my father scared me. We'd sit at the dinner table. He would make a lot of noise when we ate. And I was always afraid of him. He wasn't... I didn't know that part of him. He died when I was young. But she was afraid of him. She was kind of a nervous, slightly timid person. And then there was a girl that came to primal therapy. And this one was much more extreme. Her father would take her in the back room, molest her, sexually molest her, come back into the dinner table. The mother would act like nothing was going on, ignore it. And she sat there and couldn't stand the sound of her father's eating so I think there's a connection there to the little bit of a trauma or a traumatic situation or a stress in some of these some of these situations it's extreme some it's not that's horrible but but my case was not extreme like that but it was an uncomfortable situation I know with

Adeel [51:55]: But it was enough, yeah, to tip it over.

Michael [51:58]: It doesn't take much. It doesn't take much, especially if you're a highly sensitive person. I'm sure you're familiar with the HSP.

Adeel [52:05]: Yeah, I was going to bring that up at some point, too.

Michael [52:08]: Yeah.

Adeel [52:08]: Can you tell me about that? Yeah, I guess I debate with myself a lot. Well, yeah, am I that? Because it would explain a lot. But, yeah, I'm just, yeah, I wonder about that a lot.

Michael [52:18]: I've told the group before about the HSP and other people as well, and I'm familiar with them. Dr. Aaron's books, and I am definitely an HSP. I'm a highly sensitive person. I'm sensitive by nature. I cry easily. I'm very empathetic. Little things affect me. Some little slight that somebody will say or whatever, it'll keep me from sleeping half the night. I'm just sensitive to sound. I'm sensitive to to just about anything. It's a two-edged sword. It can be good, but it can also make life a little difficult for you. But I think, it's just my opinion. I've never taken a poll or anything, but I think the majority of people with misophonia tend to be HSPs, tend to be highly sensitive people.

Adeel [53:15]: Yeah. A lot of us have even labeled ourselves as such. So I'm, I figure there's even, even many more that don't, that don't know it would definitely be on the spectrum. If it's, if it's a spectrum.

Michael [53:25]: Yeah. It probably is a spectrum. It probably is. I don't know if there's a gene. I don't know if there's a gene that, that makes us that way. I don't know if it's ever been discussed, but I did, I just posted something recently that about there's a couple of genes. I put it in the group that I found a book I'm reading that the, They found a couple of genes that make people more susceptible to, more sensitive. There are a couple of them. And when you have that gene and you also have a situation where you have trauma or stress, you're much more likely that epigenetically switch on that gene that will... Yeah, I was going to say epigenetics is something I've heard a lot here as well, where it's not like you're 100% predisposed to...

Adeel [54:15]: to like, you know, something happening like the color of your skin, but it's more, if they're under the right conditions, it could definitely, you're more susceptible.

Michael [54:25]: Right.

Adeel [54:26]: Right.

Michael [54:26]: It's just waiting for some environmental situation to trigger it and for that gene to switch on because I was just listening to Gabor Matej say that very few of these conditions are actually genetic that they're actually in the genes and in the dna sequence they they are just switched on by situations and in the environment and they're they can be passed on uh even the epigenetics tendencies can be passed on through generations but it's not actually in the genes themselves it's more of a switch on or switch off depending on your environment, whatever goes on in your life.

Adeel [55:10]: Yeah, absolutely. Switching back to something you said earlier, you said when your mom finally admitted that she had it, can you talk about that? Did you tell her? Did you guys find out about the name together? I'm just curious how that conversation went and how she maybe reluctantly admitted that she had it.

Michael [55:33]: Another very good question. I went to primal therapy. I told you it was back in 1984. I sold my house. I was living in Las Vegas at the time. I sold my house and moved to Los Angeles to be close to the Primal Institute in Los Angeles. And I was explaining to them why I was selling my house and moving to another city and going to this therapy, primal therapy. And I just said it was about the sounds and the eating. And it's something I grew up with. hearing my mother say, chew with your mouth closed. And, you know, I could see her squirm and make comments about other people's eating. I knew she had it. She just was too embarrassed to admit it to admit it to me, especially when she found that I had it. I think she just felt so bad that she denied it at first. And then finally, I wasn't trying to make her feel guilty. I wasn't trying to blame her or anything. I just I just had to explain what was going on. And I just said, you know, I know you had it too, mom. And she finally admitted it. And then she told me about how her father scared her. And she sat at the dinner table and admitted that. But that's how that conversation came up with my mother.

Adeel [56:51]: Gotcha. And did she, after she, did she take any steps to try to deal with it or just kind of live with it?

Michael [57:00]: The only thing she knew how to do And what most people did in the past, before therapies and treatments and everything else, was to drink. Drink alcohol. And that was how she dealt. And I noticed she could be around people when she was drinking, but much more comfortably.

Adeel [57:27]: Well, the thing about alcohol is it kind of helps to a certain point, but it can also, I feel like, I feel like maybe, I don't know, weaken the nervous system to the point where you're almost... Like, you can get angrier quicker. Like, you're less in control of your reactions. And so... Well, at first, it's just... There's always a tipping point.

Michael [57:50]: Yeah, it is. It's a funny thing.

Adeel [57:52]: Takes the edge off at first, but... Exactly.

Michael [57:54]: You feel good for a while, for an hour or two, whatever, as long as you keep drinking. Things don't bother you as much. And that's what I liked about alcohol when I was younger. Things didn't bother me. I could be around people eating, and it didn't bother me. But, you know, as it progresses, it's terribly addictive, and it's physically harmful, mentally harmful, and makes you depressed. So it's a good temporary fix, but long-term it doesn't work. And my father, drinking, started out feeling good at first. He was much more sociable and relaxed. And then as the evening progressed, he became very mean and critical and turned him into a monster. We used to call him Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde because he was. become a different person and a very angry, all the repressed anger that he had finally came out when he drank too much and he could be volatile.

Adeel [58:49]: Yeah, interestingly, Mia, I refer to Miss Phonia as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well. Because you can definitely turn on a dime if you get drunk.

Michael [58:57]: Oh, yeah. You can have a sweet little... sweet little lady with misophonia sitting there and, you know, being very pleasant and somebody starts chewing in her ear and she'll just go into a rage, you know, or shut down. Since most of us repress that anger, suppress it, and don't go into a rage, we just kind of shut down and get quiet and moody and stuff.

Adeel [59:21]: Yeah. Um, what did your, maybe again, going back to, um, I don't know where we're, you know, like in, I guess an hour and a half since we started, I, I could keep going on for definitely a little longer.

Michael [59:35]: As long as you want, as long as you want.

Adeel [59:38]: So one thing I wanted to, yeah, yeah. Before I forget, yeah. One thing I wanted to talk about, I guess, your, in your family life growing up and how, how you kind of dealt with, uh, or maybe didn't do it as, as well, like your, um, you know, the families that you, that you, uh, grew as you were, as you were growing up, um, did knowing that you had misophonia, uh, help you at all in dealing with, I don't know, did having, did having kids or, uh, you know, being married at least at any point kind of, uh, did you try to temper your, your reactions? It sounds like, you know, there were issues, but, uh, I'm curious if you're mindful of that, um, as as you were you know starting families but i'm not quite sure did i try to temper the my response that's kind of mumbled that question but uh yeah but basically how did you deal with this funny as you were as you were having kids and growing a family like did you try to um Did you try to take stronger steps to kind of like control your misophonia or was it just something that you couldn't control until you, you know, maybe more recently?

Michael [60:54]: You know, having a nervous breakdown is helpful. There were times when I just lost it and I just, I just, I didn't go crazy. I mean, I didn't act it out. I just felt like I was having a nervous breakdown and I was shut down. Or I would leave a situation. I would have to sell a house to move away because of the barking dog next door. Or I would have to get a house, a different house because my kids got older and I couldn't have the kitchen being close to this room or whatever. I had to have more separation so I could eat separately, which I did, you know, growing up. And now I live in, you want to hear something funny? We actually have, we have three homes. We have two in Phoenix. We bought two lots right next to each other. And we have two houses there, my wife and I, and we, we are constantly back and forth. We don't like having two houses necessarily, but it gives me my own space. It gives me my, my place to put music on and have quiet and not be in the same kitchen, not be in the same office. Um, And then in the summer, we have one big home with two levels. So I have the downstairs level, but I have my own kitchen, office, bedroom, bathroom, TV, everything in the lower level. And we're back and forth, and we prefer being in the one house. But we actually have to live in sort of either two floors or two separate houses in order to make it work. yeah so yeah wow it's uh it's a crazy situation and it's been taxing on my wife but she's a saint about this she's just remarkably you know not saying she doesn't get upset about it and it affects her and i hear about it but she's been remarkably loyal and and patient and forgiving with it and has she known about your misophonia yeah well she must have known about it forever right yeah well we've only been married a little over 10 years i was married before so the mother of my kids is but she's been really good for the past 10 years it's been it's been good i have a good loyal wife and and luckily we're able to find and afford to be able to live in in separate places so that we can just overlap when we need to.

Adeel [63:33]: Do you feel like with the current treatments that you've been starting, are those overlapping moments going easier in any way so far?

Michael [63:42]: Yeah, it has helped. It helps. When I was younger with the kids growing up, it was difficult. It was difficult. I didn't have this much space. I was living with the kids and it was hard. And I think it was harder on the kids. I was stressed out, but I was working a lot. So I wasn't home all that much. But with the kids that I know, they were stressed. And I think it's had an effect on them, particularly my younger daughter who has misophonia. She's had a lot of issues, a lot of anxiety, the misophonia, social anxiety, other problems. And so it's had an effect on my family, which is... heartbreaking for me, very difficult. Luckily my oldest one doesn't have it. She has a, just a normal life with kids and doesn't seem to have any of the problems that I had. She didn't pick it up. Only my younger one.

Adeel [64:36]: Is your younger one, are you, are you and your younger one able to, um, uh, bond over it or any way does she come to you? Are you able to be around each other, you know, like normal because you're at least aware?

Michael [64:51]: Not a good question. She lives in Florida.

Adeel [64:57]: Oh, so she's not like young, young.

Michael [64:59]: Oh, she's 45. Okay. Yeah, she's in her 40s. I'm 70. She's 40. Yeah. She, a lot of times, has a hard time being around me. I guess I trigger her. I don't know if it's the sounds I make or if she's just... She's overly sensitized to me and my moods. I'm not a moody person, but growing up with me and knowing all the little things that bother me, I guess she feels it's so stressful that she's so afraid that she's going to... I'm going to get upset. She's going to do something wrong, make the wrong sound or whatever. And so I think it's affected her. So I see her every year, but she says it's difficult for her. And she's on medical marijuana. That's how she deals with it.

Adeel [65:50]: Yeah, so I was going to ask, do you know what kind of marijuana she uses? There's different kinds of Delta-8, Delta-9, or medical marijuana. Do you know what she uses and if it's helped?

Michael [66:03]: It helps her to function and get by and deal with the stress and deal with the anxiety that she always feels and deal with the misophonia. But it's She uses a very powerful form of THC. And I mean, it's a powerful drug. What they've done to marijuana is not the stuff that they smoked in the 60s. It's high bred properly, concentrated, and whatever they do to it. And it's a very powerful drug. I don't think it's good for her, but it's the only thing she says that works for her. So that's what she takes. And while I'm with her, she's like everybody. 10 minutes, she's taking a puff because she needs it for her anxiety. My father drank. My mother drank. I used to drink. Now I exercise like a maniac, but my daughter smokes marijuana. It's how we've all dealt with this anxiety. My father had anxiety and depression, and he found a way to deal with it. Even my grandfather, my father's father, was a nervous person. but he didn't drink or didn't do any of these things. He just could always tell he was kind of a fidgety, nervous person. So I think it ran in the family. A lot of this is probably generational. My father's father was Jewish, and the family grew up in Eastern Europe under pogroms and holocausts, and he lost his family to the holocaust. His parents died or were murdered in the holocaust. And so I think generations of being Jewish in Eastern Europe and the unpredictability of your life and the persecutions and all that they made, that got programmed into us, you know, and it got passed on, you know. You have a nervous mother and father, you're going to pick up that nervousness and it just gets passed on.

Adeel [68:01]: What about your friends, like your social life? Do you tell people around you who are not in your family?

Michael [68:07]: I am much more open about it than I used to be because it has a name. I, you know, I'm involved in the community and people are much more understanding, but I didn't, in the past, I never wanted to bring it up. I'm much more comfortable doing it now. My wife's real good about telling everybody I have it so she can say, explain why you can't chew your ice cubes while at dinner table and people give her a perplexed look, but say, okay, I won't chew my ice cubes, you know, whatever. But they know. And there are certain people that I have unfortunately nice people that they will have some eating habit they chew ice they constantly sip on their a drink they're they're noisy eaters they chew gum whatever i have to avoid a lot of people you know and yeah But I still have a good social life. Luckily, I play pickleball, and it can be social, and it's not a misophonia thing, and I play that all the time. So I can be around people, have fun, laugh, and not have food involved. So it's been helpful.

Adeel [69:17]: And so, I mean, I guess without having to maybe explain them all, but your triggers are the usual, like mouth, nose, throat-related, eating, chewing, all that kind of stuff.

Michael [69:28]: Yeah, all the mucus. Mucusy sounds, throat clearing.

Adeel [69:31]: Mucusy sounds.

Michael [69:32]: Anything mucusy, anything eating, drinking, dogs, ticking clocks. I have all silent clocks in my house. You know, I've just picked up so many triggers over the years.

Adeel [69:46]: Any memorable moments having issues or somebody reacting to you in a perplexed way and just you kind of remembering that?

Michael [69:57]: Well, there's been a bunch of them. Unfortunately, once I was stuck at a restaurant with a guy for an hour, ate a plate of nachos, and I think that was 30 years ago, and I still haven't calmed down from that one. And my wife has a friend, a younger girl that she's sort of kind of adopted, and she just has this terrible eating thing. It's a whole thing that's wrapped up in... She plays with her food. She just takes little bites. Everybody's done eating, and she's got to continue picking on her food for another hour. And it drives me insane, and it just makes me absolutely insane. And I shut off, and I become numb. I can't feel. I can't sleep. I go into this fight, flight, freeze, and flop. There's four different states you can go into.

Adeel [70:53]: Yeah, flop's a new one, but I totally get it. So this is even after the meal has long ended. You're just still in flop mode.

Michael [71:02]: Yeah, well, I mean, you can freeze and just stay there, but you're tensed up. Flop is when your body just goes flaccid. you go completely dead and and you don't feel anything and you just shut off and it's a it's a vagal state you know and it's a nervous system state and that's the lowest state that's really when you get to that lowest dorsal vagal they call it when you get to that low state yeah it's the only way you can survive to shut off you can't even feel anything anymore And that's a terrible way to be. It's a terrible place to be. You just don't even want to be alive when you're human dead.

Adeel [71:37]: It's like emotional hibernation.

Michael [71:39]: Yeah, that's a good analogy, yeah.

Adeel [71:42]: Fascinating. Well, yeah, I guess, well, I guess maybe we can have you on in the future. But any, you know, while we try to wrap up, any recommendations you have for like other books that we've mentioned a lot of things here that I personally find fascinating books or therapies or things that you recommend to people to look into?

Michael [72:10]: Yeah, well, And that group there, I do put on all the therapies that I do. I have a lot of stuff in there, book recommendations, videos and stuff, people to learn. I have been, lately I've been reading anything by Gabor Mate. The body says, when the body says no, it's like he talks about becoming a, not your true self, becoming a person in order to be loved, which is your primary need so you survive, you will do anything you can to please people. And you can't say no. You can't say no to helping people. You can't say no to where you feel people may not like you or love you or accept you. And it has a long-term effect. In this book, he talks about the fiscal. ramifications, a lot of autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, other things that eventually over the years it takes a toll and it'll show up. If you can't say no to people when you feel like you have to be somebody other than you are, your body will say no. Your body will react. So he has so many good books. This one is when the body says no If you want to learn about internal family systems, the IFS, Dr. Schwartz has a book called Internal Family Systems Therapy. It's kind of the Bible on IFS. Fascinating, absolutely fascinating stuff.

Adeel [73:52]: Yeah, yeah.

Michael [73:53]: I've been reading... Oh, go ahead, go ahead.

Adeel [73:58]: Well, I was going to say, near the beginning, you said that IFS is kind of a popular therapy. I had just heard about it in the last year. So I don't know, like, I feel like it's not well known. It's not well known enough if I haven't heard about it. And I'm 46 years old. Who claims to be somewhat, you know, enlightened on the kind of health and mental health stuff.

Michael [74:21]: it's yeah it might be popular but only maybe in some small circles it's definitely something i feel like should be shattered from the rooftops it is and it's growing in popularity and and people are realizing wow it really does have validity it's really helping people yeah and it's a form of memory reconsolidation and you know utilizes neuroplasticity and changing the brain and and uh updating it and helping with helping the nervous system eventually and and um and it's extremely popular and it's growing in popularity but uh in order to get training which is essential to become a certified there's three levels of training in order to become even get to the first level the waiting list is like two year three years long every every therapist people that are in the in the in the field are learning about it, wanting to do it, wanting to get trained. So it's huge. It's huge.

Adeel [75:21]: Is it related at all to somatic experiencing? I think that's another something in that realm.

Michael [75:27]: Yeah.

Adeel [75:28]: I think Peter Levine is kind of the proponent of that.

Michael [75:31]: Right. Bessel van der Kolk and Peter Levine. Those are the other two guys that I would definitely recommend reading their books. Van der Kolk, luckily, his book is on the bestseller list, so everybody's reading that. But Levine, not as much. But luckily, Peter Levine is becoming more and more popular in his book. It's popularized now.

Adeel [75:54]: Yeah, I've got The Body Remembers on my desk right now by Beth Rothschild. Great. Which I was told is like a smaller version of it, basically a shorter version of The Body Keeps Its Core.

Michael [76:09]: Right, right. So you can see how this intuitively makes sense And all of the things that they're talking about, the trauma and the stress and the treatments, to you, don't they seem like they apply to misophonia?

Adeel [76:26]: absolutely 100 and i felt that from as soon as i heard about gabber mate and yeah body keeps the school yeah but yeah but you know i wanted to kind of like let it kind of absorb in my human me because i know you know i could definitely think of experiences but i'm trying to be um take a i'm sure yeah i kind of want to wait and wait wait and see do some research because uh I just want to make sure that, well, I wasn't sure, does this affect everybody? Is this universal? And so, yeah, I'm just starting to ask more and more people about their backgrounds and do they have these similar issues? And yeah, I mean, I hear about the walking on eggshells kind of experience almost all the time.

Michael [77:10]: Well, unfortunately, misophonia is not in the DSM yet, so it's not recognized, but I think it'll eventually fall under the rubric of all of these other conditions that that are anxiety, depression, PTSD, and it'll eventually fall in with them. We just don't know what to do with it now. It's just like an orphan child that doesn't have a home right now, but it eventually will fit in as it becomes. I would love to contact. I'd like to find a way to contact somebody like Gabor Mate. I know we're in contact. with Bruce Ecker, who wrote the book about memory reconsolidation. He's very familiar with this. The woman I'm working with, Morven, is in contact with him. She works with him and discusses it with him. So he's aware of misophonia. There was something else I was going to say. Anyway, another book that I've been reading, more fascinating stuff, is by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. She has a book that's been out. She has a couple of them. This one's Childhood Disrupted, and it's a very similar, it's called How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Can Heal. So she's got a lot of great information in here. So she's another good one. We've got Kibor, we've got Van der Kolk, we've got Levine, we've got Schwartz.

Adeel [78:35]: Rothschild.

Michael [78:36]: Rothschild, yeah. So there's a lot of good reading to do.

Adeel [78:39]: There's a lot of stuff out there, and I feel like it's still... I was like, why did it take me 45 years to find out? So hopefully this is just on the up and up. Oh, and speaking of other than nonfiction, have you seen these kinds of things addressed in fiction or theater or film or music?

Michael [79:00]: Somebody just mentioned... I was watching a Netflix... program the other day and they were talking some guy was chewing on nuts and this woman was saying have you heard of misophonia and he's like oh yeah I forget that was uh right yeah now I forget what the name of that I did I did go in to watch that scene I think it was uh I think it was on FX or something yeah it was something I was watching it old man or something oh yeah you're right you're right that's right that's the one it was yeah yeah I was surprised when I hear that I was like oh my gosh people know about this now And there are celebrities, and I know there's somebody in... I'm forgetting her name.

Adeel [79:40]: Sarah Silverman? Who? Well, Sarah Silverman has it, and she talks about it on our podcast. Oh, yeah, she does. Kelly Ripa.

Michael [79:47]: Kelly Ripa has for a long time. But we're trying to get in contact with them so we can discuss it with them, maybe even have them come to the convention. I'm not part of the convention, but... The more you can get a celebrity involved, the more exposure you'll get and the credibility you get. So it'd be nice to get to some of them out there talking about it. It's just a matter of time. Over time, people will know more about it. It'll be accepted. We'll try to figure out what to do with it, where it fits in. It's a long process.

Adeel [80:25]: Well, Michael, yeah, you're doing a lot. I just want to say thanks for everything you've done and are doing and are sharing here and in the Facebook group. I definitely will get off and try to find it again and try to get in. But yeah, I think... This is a mountain of information here in this episode, and I'm glad to finally talk to you and hope we can keep in touch.

Michael [80:48]: Good. Oh, for sure.

Adeel [80:50]: It seems like we have very similar thinking in terms of where this is going. I feel validated.

Michael [80:56]: Good. I'm glad because I feel validated. I feel like I'm not the only one that thinks trauma has something to do with this. I've got a lot of kickback when I'm accusing people of being terrible parents, and that's not the case at all.

Adeel [81:11]: I've been getting that recently too. And, and it's, it's memorable, but it's, it's, yeah, it's, I mean, I remember those moments. And so I, so it gives me pause, but then, but then I feel like where, so I kind of watch my language a little bit, but I feel like it is definitely, there's something here.

Michael [81:28]: you know, we have to, we have to be, not take it personally. We have to look for the truth, even if it might hurt at some point, you know, whatever, you have to face this, this with clear eyes and, And not take it personally. And whatever it is, is what it is. We have to face it honestly.

Adeel [81:50]: Wise words on many regards. So, yeah, thanks again, Michael.

Michael [81:53]: Well, it's been a pleasure. I appreciate you having me on. And I hope you can filter this, edit this thing down to something presentable for your podcast.

Adeel [82:02]: Oh, I will. Thank you, Michael. This was another classic that I'll be listening back to for a long time, I know. If you also 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 helloatmissiphoniapodcast.com or go to the website at missiphoniapodcast.com. It's usually easiest to send a message on Instagram. at Misophonia Podcast. Follow me there, or Facebook at Misophonia Podcast, or Twitter at Misophonia Show. Support the show by visiting Patreon at patreon.com slash Misophonia Podcast. Theme music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [82:47]: ... ... Thank you.