Julia W. - Grad student explores therapy paths for living with misophonia.

S7 E16 - 11/22/2023
In this episode, Adeel Ahmad interviews Julia, a graduate student on track to become a mental health counselor, about her experiences with misophonia. Julia discusses the impact of the pandemic on her, especially given her roommate situation and her own journey with ADHD and being on the autism spectrum. She shares her insights on various therapeutic approaches such as exposure therapy, medication, craniosacral therapy, HSP, EMDR, psychodynamic therapy, and IFS, drawing from her personal experience and her aspirations to specialize in treating people with misophonia. Their conversation also delves into her early encounters with misophonia in elementary school, her evolving understanding of the condition, and her discoveries about the growing body of research and therapeutic techniques that offer hope. Julia emphasizes the importance of thinking about misophonia through a trauma lens and is intrigued by the potential of therapies like EMDR. Furthermore, she has been exploring parts work and internal family systems (IFS) therapy to address her condition. The discussion is enlightening for those living with misophonia, showcasing a nuanced understanding of the condition's complexities and the promising paths towards managing it.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 7, Episode 16. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. Apologies for the short break. This week, I'm talking to Julia. who's actually local to me here in the Minneapolis area. She's a grad student on track to be a mental health counselor. She has misophonia and has spent a lot of time thinking about miso from various angles. This is a really wide ranging discussion. I'm surprised at how many things we covered. We talk about how the pandemic was really tough with her violinist roommates, occupational therapy, having ADHD, and being on the autism spectrum. her experience seeing exposure therapy performed on misos, her experience with medication, craniosacral therapy, HSP, EMDR, psychodynamic therapy, IFS, and I'm sure other things I'm forgetting. After the show, let me know what you think. You can reach out by email at helloatmissiphoniapodcast.com or hit me up on Instagram or Facebook at Missiphonia Podcast. By the way, please do head over and leave a quick review or rating wherever you listen to this show. It helps move us up in the algorithms, which helps us reach more listeners. A few of my usual announcements. Thanks again for the incredible ongoing support of our Patreon supporters. If you feel like contributing, you can read all about the various levels at patreon.com slash missafoneypodcast. And our book, Sounds Like Misophonia by Dr. Jane Gregory and I, is now out everywhere in the world. It was just released in the U.S. on November 14th. I'm very excited. It's a self-help book based on Dr. Jane Gregory's research and clinical practice. And I know there's going to be many things in there that are going to help a lot of people. I'm really excited to have that out there. You can order it or find it and ask for it in any bookstore. This episode is also sponsored by the personal journaling app I developed called Bazel. Bazel is an app that provides AI-powered insights into your journal entries and guides you with new writing prompts based on those insights every day. You can even explore many different therapy approaches and philosophies. It's available on iOS and Android. Check the show notes or go to hellobazel.com. All right. Here's my conversation with Julia. Julia, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here.

Julia [2:24]: Thank you. It's good to be here.

Adeel [2:26]: Yeah. So, yeah, do you want to let people know kind of where you are roughly?

Julia [2:31]: Yeah, I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I've met up with you before, so that was fun. It was great to meet somebody in person and cool to know that there's somebody in the area.

Adeel [2:49]: There's a few of us. I mean, obviously, you know, Sir Byler, Mary Petrie. It's kind of a hotbed of Missophonia people. So, cool. Well, so, yeah, do you want to tell us a little bit about kind of what you're doing these days?

Julia [3:04]: Yeah, right now I am a graduate student in a master's program for counseling at St. Mary's, Minnesota, University of Minnesota. And I am... eventually going to be a licensed therapist i'm starting my clinical internship in january so i'm excited for that i'm hoping to uh hopefully work with some people with misophonia uh it's my sort of my end goal to specialize in that i know there's a huge need obviously i just kind of want to become the clinician i wish i had for myself i suppose

Adeel [3:49]: yeah do you want to tell people because you know there's a bunch of people probably thinking about going this route kind of like um um maybe how do you got to like what did you you didn't get here in a masters what did you do before that and kind of like what was the road road to now sure um so i already have my bachelor's in psychology too so that was my college route i didn't quite know

Julia [4:13]: Back then that I was going to be a therapist, I kind of wanted to be a forensic psychologist for a bit. And then I worked with kids to get experience to get into grad school. And I was like, wait, I kind of like this. uh so kind of followed me towards this route and then even when i first went to grad school i didn't quite think about working with people with misophonia because at that point this was just last summer um 2022 i still was pretty hopeless for treatments And I was like, there's no evidence-based treatment, so I'm a ZSM. So I guess we'll just wait around until research tells us what works. Right. So it wasn't even on my radar until earlier this year. I found So Quiet. I found, I revisited the podcast because I couldn't listen to it. When you first came out with it, I was like, this is the coolest thing that I can tolerate. Even these noises right now. It's too wiggly in your ears sometimes. YouTube, podcasts, that kind of thing. I can do TV just fine. But for some reason, I think it's just a super close microphone. Yeah. Anyways, I... Found a whole lot more research that's been exploding the last few years. And not that it's anything that's like in the research. It's like, yay, we're going to fix this tomorrow. It's not to that point yet, obviously. But that got my momentum going. I found Sarah Beidler. i i met her um that was really cool she's awesome um and she kind of gave me the scope of where the clinicians that are treating it where they're kind of thinking about it from and then everything just kind of clicked for me and then my own misophonia story started making a whole lot more sense with the way that she had explained it thinking about it through a trauma lens too and then I was like wait I could do this too so That's kind of my newest. I mean, it's always been a passion of mine, but I just never thought that we were anywhere close to having treatment for it. So like, oh, why would I go into that? But there's a need and there is hope. And I'm seeing so.

Adeel [7:04]: Yeah, no, that's awesome. Thanks for sharing that path. Yeah. I mean, like you said, you could be doing psychology in in. in your undergrad still not know that you want to do it, but there's still time to move into that space and learn about it. So do you want to maybe, yeah, that's great. I'd love to dive into a number of those points you made, but it might be good to just kind of hear about your misophonia story, kind of like where it started for you.

Julia [7:32]: I first remember it in elementary school. I think around that, like, eight nine age that a lot of people talk about um my mom she was pretty adamant with my siblings about their table manners um and i'm the oldest of us three so i was just really observing like what she was telling them to do and why and then i noticed oh my god like she would always tell them the truth her mouth closed And it didn't, like, I don't think it bothered me before that. And then that repetitive, like, two or three more episodes, and then I noticed it, like, oh, yeah, that's nasty. And my sister, for years, she had these high heels. They were her favorite thing in the whole wide world. She wore them all around the whole house. We didn't have carpet in the house at all. So it was just, like, you know, heels.

Adeel [8:34]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Julia [8:35]: all day every day at home and they drove me bonkers um and then eventually there were just more and more triggers have coming uh and it was like pretty i mean i wouldn't say it was ever like walk in the park manageable but didn't cause me real problems i'd say like until high school um when it just started to kind of like rule my life i isolated a whole lot in my room i couldn't really tolerate being around any of my family members um so long as they were making any of these trigger noises And I found the term misophonia on Reddit in high school. I don't remember how coy old I was, but I was like, see guys, it's a real, it's a thing. And they didn't care. And putting yourself on the other side, I'm sure we've all thought about this, like how it feels to be told you're doing these normal human things wrong or to just stop. can't stop breathing like we all know that so that didn't like i didn't have a very good time with my family trying to communicate my needs to them uh but and i also did not really understand myself i just as we all knew like right at the beginning like oh my god i just can't do this and explode um and You know, then it got a little bit better when I went off to college. And I didn't... I just didn't think about it as much. I didn't even realize it was less of a problem for me. And looking back now, I can see that, oh, yeah, it was because, like, the people closest to you tend to be the most intense. Their triggers are repetitive just over time. And... You know, then eventually I got in a relationship with a long-term partner that I'm still with today. And I'd say like a year or so into our relationship, which is still early college for me, she started to just have so many triggers. And that was also right around the time of the pandemic starting, but it started to get really bad again. and it has ruined my life. I lived in the noise-canceling headphones, waterfall white noise just blasting all day every day. I don't want to think about what that could have done to my hearing, to be honest. And I live in a duplex, and the neighbors, two of them, they're all really great people, but two of them were in graduate school. um with the violin right i remember that yeah yeah uh and i didn't think i was gonna survive because like all the practice rooms shut down so they were just playing at home like you know however long graduate school violinists play which is i'll tell you all day every day intermittently but uh so that was really hard and i I tried asking them if there was anything they could do to play it less. I asked them to play in the garage. That didn't work because I guess the air humidity for the violin wasn't good in the garage. My therapist recommended I try to hang rugs up on the walls and the doors. I don't even know how I would do that. It's just like anything to like dampen the sound because you hear it in the whole house. And then eventually it got to like kind of a breaking point for me. And I kind of, I called it over text. I called it history being violent. And that was like, oh, wow. Like my behavior is really being impacted by this. I need to really like do something about it. And I got a referral to an occupational therapist that works at a clinic that primarily works with autistic kids and their families, occupational therapy, sensory integration, speech therapy, that kind of thing. And so I went to her and she had me try this brushing protocol where you have this little acupressure brush and you brush your whole body and then you stomp and you press your hands together for joint compression. and that's her she's like it's supposed to like help integrate your senses and they use that with a lot of um kids on the spectrum and it can be helpful uh but i mean we were just like throwing parents at a dartboard right like yeah she was thinking about it through a sensory processing the solar lens um this was before the studies out of University of Iowa with Dr. Kumar came out with the fMRI studies and we tried this like beanbag tapping technique all these things you had to do like every two hours though so like I also had ADHD and I was late diagnosed with that and didn't start medication for it until after I was done seeing this occupational therapist But she also did craniosacral therapy with me, which I don't know if it ever really helped with the misophonia back then. I think I was just having so much continuous hits to my nervous system with the violins and my partner who, you know, we were in lockdown. We couldn't get away from each other. I love her dearly, of course. And it was just a really hard time. I don't think... anything was gonna be enough to be honest yeah um i stopped seeing her eventually uh and i kind of like didn't have much hope anymore and then i worked um got my first job out of college first big girl job working with kids with anxiety and ocd we did exposure therapy with them um and which is what you do apparently for ocd um right exposure therapy yeah yeah yeah exposure and response prevention uh and i was like oh maybe maybe these people know something about misophonia um because i my own individual therapist had originally wanted me to do an exposure hierarchy for my misophonia when I had first started seeing her and something in me just like I was like I don't know intuitively this doesn't feel right and I love my therapist deeply I'm still with her today I just didn't we didn't end up bringing exposures for misophonia which I'm glad we didn't because you come to find what the research much of the research and well some of it does indicate exposure therapy, but older ones maybe. But there are some saying it might make it worse. Let's hold off till we find other techniques that may be more indicated. So I was glad that I never did that. But some of the clinicians where I was working at the OCD and Anxiety Center did try to use exposure for misophonia and that was really upsetting to see.

Adeel [17:25]: They did that on their clients, right?

Julia [17:28]: Right, yeah. On their clients at the clinic. So they were thinking about it through an OCD lens.

Adeel [17:36]: What does that entail? What was a typical fashion?

Julia [17:39]: Oh, yeah.

Adeel [17:40]: Just to make people cringe. Yeah.

Julia [17:45]: I didn't partake in any of these exposures because it didn't feel right to me, but some of the clinicians would put in our clinic chat, can somebody, five people come to so-and-so such-and-such a room and two chips very loudly in there with them this is tiny little cubicle room tiny tiny uh and thought was that the more and more you do these exposures the less and less the response should get that was a theory yeah yeah that's the theory and what age were the kids that were uh these were kids right that uh i thought more with the adult clients uh with the kids they tended to what my supervisor told me to do was um say oh we can't work on those types of things let's stick to these types of things that were like definitely ocd type things to work on and then they're like we typically will refer out to family therapy work on the misophonia right um so that i ended up having to tell a few clients that um which was sad because like i did know slightly more about it but they told me i couldn't really talk about it which i understand in in their interest uh right why that would be

Adeel [19:32]: Gotcha. Okay. Okay. So, um, all right. So yeah, we were talking about, yeah, we're talking about your misophonia story. So around, um, yeah, college, you may be right. Okay. So it got bad in the pandemic. Um, yeah, you went to see a therapist. So has, did anything start to change for you? Uh, misophonia wise, I guess maybe pick it up from, from that job.

Julia [19:55]: Um, no, it was still really bad. Um, I'd say it was just better in the sense of like we could get out and do more things because I was like late 2021 right before, you know, the Omicron wave and then we were back in lockdown. No, it didn't really change. It was still pretty bad. I always dreaded having a supervised lunch at work. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It wasn't my lunch time. It was just theirs.

Adeel [20:31]: Wait, so you were supervising other people?

Julia [20:33]: Because I work with kids.

Adeel [20:35]: Oh, okay, I got you.

Julia [20:36]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, the adults, I don't think, need to be supervised.

Adeel [20:42]: Some do, but... Yeah.

Julia [20:44]: Yeah.

Adeel [20:46]: Okay, so what were your coping methods around that time? Was it still the kind of blasting white noise on the headphones?

Julia [20:54]: It was just kind of white knuckling it at work. It was a little bit easier to compartmentalize because it was at work and not as emotionally charged as it would be with your partner or a family member because it's like... oh, well, you know about this, so therefore you shouldn't be doing it that way. Right. That's kind of what goes through my mind. And obviously, yeah, everyone, everyone. Obviously, we all know our family members are usually at least not trying to trigger us. Although my siblings used to do that. But that's what siblings do. We didn't really understand it back then anyways. But I forget what I was doing. Oh, yeah. Coping, you said?

Adeel [21:46]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Julia [21:51]: I would say it's just been really, really tough up until I started learning more about it, reading the studies. And I did a few research projects in school so far about it, misophonia, to A, learn more myself, but B, also I want to spread the information as far and wide as I can and get my classmates. um in the know about it meeting you meeting sarah beidler um i just really started to get the i was feeling some traction all right because the kindergarten writing learning a whole lot and even just those things i would say helped because it was just like there was hope um understand that there's some hope yeah and i kind of like understood what was going on and that and just like understanding that helps a little bit like with the hyper mirroring um the one study that i mentioned um just understanding like oh it could be so aggravating because it feels like it's happening to you and then kind of understanding too therefore like the hypothesis with that could be playing into um mimicking or imitating for me it's like i have to be eating as so long as somebody else is eating just to kind of mask it and chewing this is a mirror on study you were talking about yep

Adeel [23:28]: I just talked to Paris Ash, who's a PhD candidate. And she did a paper just on mimicry with Kumar as a co-author. So that should be out by the time before yours goes out. But anyways, yeah. Oh, I was looking forward to that. But yeah, so you're saying like, yeah, I mean, obviously, like, you're learning about it more, getting a better understanding of it. That's kind of helping.

Julia [23:58]: yeah that does help to kind of like just have some anchor to think about as you're going through triggers yeah and then i did um i started a new medication i started seeing a new psychiatric provider and she put me on something that just in general kind of lowers the stress response the just hyper arousal um and this is obviously not medical advice or anything uh it's just my story but i found that to be really helpful it just takes a little bit of that like shock

Adeel [24:42]: The amplitude of the shock, yeah.

Julia [24:44]: Right, right. Off a little bit. Not that it's any less annoying, but it's more annoying and less aggravating than it was before. So that has been really great.

Adeel [24:56]: Was that prescribed for misophonia or did that come under the guise of something else?

Julia [25:03]: Well, her thought, it's a blood pressure medication. Her thought was that was to just kind of lower the nervous system just a tiny smidge, just to see if it would work. So that was why that was prescribed. I don't know if she had to put any more reasoning in her documentation why she did it, but that's been really nice. I know there was a study about propranolol. It's not that one. But anywho, that's been helpful. And then I did go back to the occupational therapist that I was seeing a few years ago. And I was like, oh my gosh, I know all this stuff about it. And here it is. she was super excited about that and we went back to doing craniosacral therapy again which is just in general like just really relaxing i really enjoy it helps with some of my chronic pain as well um and i would say for sure when pain is up the misophonia response is obviously going to be way up there too so just understanding it kind of through trying to just bring the nervous system response down as much as I can in whatever way possible. Not necessarily, right. Yeah. Not necessarily being like, this is the treatment for my misophonia, but it's like, this is the treatment for my wellbeing.

Adeel [26:51]: Yeah. Yeah.

Julia [26:53]: Yeah. And I do use the, the pressure brush though. I think it's Willer Bogger, something like that. um the protocol i do use that every now and then i do not do it every two hours because you don't have a lot of alarm at night every two hours to wake up i did i didn't have an alarm every two hours during the day for a while and then i just wasn't even following it i'm like this is this is not working out like i i mean i for such a forgetful person so i would forget to bring it with me and i'd be out and then it's like oh well there that goes uh so i just um saying to myself okay i'm just gonna do this when i can uh a little bit more of a self-compassionate approach with it uh self-compassion has been really huge for me too i was gonna get to that yeah yeah since you mentioned yeah yeah just trying to be as kind and understanding with myself as possible and uh we're trying to zoom out and see the big picture about things and consider the stressors that i have going on at school or home life or um work uh in context with when my triggers are feeling unmanageable being like oh wow like i do have really a lot going on and This brings me back to something that Sarah Beidler talked about with me, kind of that it's kind of like an alarm system, like, okay, maybe it's time to pay attention to my boundaries somewhere. And the misophonia is my body's way of alarming me of that kind of like a spidey sense when I might be too busy up in my mind, my thoughts. to um cognitively recognize it's time to reassess something or adjust something somewhere yeah that's that's interesting point that yeah um where

Adeel [29:09]: yeah, that, that's kind of like a, um, um, paradigm shift for me too, is thinking about this. Obviously you don't want this for you, but thinking about it as a, um, something that's actually trying to do something positive for you. Like it's, it's something in good faith. Your body isn't telling you, trying to tell you, warn you something in good faith. Um, now we can think of it as like, Oh no, why does it feel like something's about to kill me? Well, maybe it's part of your body that needs to just, you need to take attention to it. We can't, we haven't been able to interpret it properly, but, um, yeah maybe that kind of i just that just plays into the self-compassion right i mean yeah yeah almost so yeah obviously i don't mean thanking for misophonia and being triggered yeah yeah yeah obviously yeah they're thanking it for acting in good faith it's not necessarily a defect

Julia [29:57]: Right. Yeah. Just using that language with myself as much as possible has been hugely helpful too. I'm not like, don't not considering myself misophonia free by any stretch of the imagination yet. Um, or I just say, yeah, I didn't give up hope that maybe one day that could be. Yeah. But, uh, yeah, using that language has been really helpful. Just being less mad at the world and at myself. for the struggle that it is to have schizophrenia and just understanding okay this is in a lot of ways a disability and it's so draining of my energy therefore i just had less spoons and being mindful of the different things that I take on, responsibilities, taking on more obligations, and often, more recently, taking on less than I would have before. Like, oh, I can just do it all. It's kind of been my attitude for most of my life. And I just get so burnt out pretty cyclically. and then like in the past it's been like triggers get really bad chronic pain gets worse um and i'm just exhausted i'm so irritable just on edge all the time um i think a lot of us have probably been burnt out before um i was like okay well this isn't working for me clearly so i need to take on less uh that's been helpful um i haven't had a job for a while now is taking a break and just taking more classes trying to get through my degree faster and i just find that having fewer things just like it's obviously less to have just school than work and school even though i was taking more classes than i was when i was working but it's still like school mindset versus having to have two brains to switch on and off into. That's been helpful, although I am starting a new job soon here. But being mindful of where I'm choosing to work too and trying to find something that's going to be lower stimulation and just allow me to be a little bit calmer, not sticking myself right back into direct care. right now because i don't have to like i'm already in school i already have a practicum placement and i'm going to be in direct care in january right so uh that's been helpful too um and i've also uh made a friend through that miso match website um She lives in the area. I've been up with her a couple of times. So that's been super cool. Just having support in that and surrounding myself as much as I can with people that are going to be understanding of it because the people that are really, really irritated by it and won't give me the time of day with it. Is this an isolated situation or is this a pattern that this person kind of has with not being too understanding of people in general and being mindful of who I am in general? So I surround myself with people that fill my cup instead of take out or overflow it. Just this semester I also reached out to the Student Access Center at school and I advocated for myself for accommodations for related to my misophonia and they are having tissues in every classroom that I'm in so that If people so chose, they could go blow their nose as opposed to suffering. Yeah, the blow your nose campaign.

Adeel [34:34]: Yeah.

Julia [34:39]: um and then i mean or stay home if you're sick yeah ideally um and then all my classrooms are gonna be in the basement um as opposed to the upstairs level so that like you know when people are bouncing their leg it's not shaking the whole floor which shakes you um staying there for three hours that's how long all my lectures are it can get pretty aggravating um so my classrooms are going to get moved to the basement it's on the foundation floor so it's not going to shave oh i never even thought about it yeah okay um interesting so that's gonna happen and then um they're just allowing me to just kind of you know, for my peers, I guess I could stay seated if I wanted to, but, but like, take a throne, take a podium. Explain, uh, misophonia a little bit to them, explain that I struggle with it myself and, uh, ask people if they would so kindly refrain from eating in class. Um, aside from like when we have our breaks and there's a break in every class. so um and then also giving me the chance to take breaks too um just let people know if i'm getting up and walking out that's just i just need a break um and i this is the the one last request that like in my perfect world nobody would have the computers out nobody would be typing um but i know that for some people that's a lot better for their learning um however there's also people that might not be doing anything class related on their computer and they're just packing away um and you know even when nobody else makes any noise and then they're the only one making noise along with the professor speaking um so just ask people if they could type as little as they can unless you like you're really taking notes and i i totally understand that like some people that really is just better for them i'm not asking them to stop altogether um just more just putting it out there seeing what yeah i've never advocated for myself like that before it's a little bit scary thinking about it but My occupational therapist really encouraged me to do it. I deserve to learn just the way anybody else deserves to learn and have a room, a space that's accommodating for that learning. It's my wish that the classroom was a safe and accommodating place for everyone. It's unfortunate that it's not that way.

Adeel [37:46]: gonna try to advocate for myself and see yeah how that goes that's great um yeah i'd love to hear how that how that goes and how that works out obviously yeah yeah everyone everyone listening i'm sure would be pleased too and yeah it's totally behind you um yeah so yeah you mentioned so yeah one thing i would want to mention uh yeah you we were talking a little bit before i mean you have other you know some other conditions and you recently got a um diagnoses. Do you want to talk about some of the other things going on and how you feel like misophonia fits in the context of them?

Julia [38:28]: So I started wondering if I had ADHD several years ago. I first got assessed for it at the end of my freshman year. um they were like oh you're just depressed and a little anxious uh yeah i think that's the story that a lot of people get uh and they go get assessed for it and it's not that everybody that gets assessed for it does have adhd uh but there's just these same struggles that i've had my whole life and that they just went unnoticed and my brother was diagnosed when he was young um so i'm like it's in my family already like i can't pay attention with crap and it's not just trigger related um and i like get a new hobby way more often than I probably should. And then they go to the hobby graveyard to die after a few weeks, a few days. We should open a cemetery. We should. A lot of money goes to die. One consistent hobby that I've had that I also find helpful in regulating in general my well-being, but also I think for my misophonia, too, is pottery. I have a wheel in my garage. I mean, it's been so hot over the summer, so I haven't done much of it. just that proprioceptive input with the clay, pushing it, pushing back on you. It's just super meditative and really calming for me. And just like I said, anything I can do to regulate my nervous system is helpful. So that is one enduring interest of mine.

Adeel [40:31]: Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah.

Julia [40:34]: um yeah adhd that was diagnosed i guess reassessed actually twice had three assessments um and the second one i had too much other stuff going on in my life for them to rule in adhd with complete confidence um so i understand why they didn't rule in at that time um but they were like do this one year of dialectical behavioral therapy which is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy it's not exposure related at all it's very skills based and yeah I did that for like six or seven months but I had to leave my regular therapist to do it because the way that Marsha Linehan who developed DBT intended was for it to be very like strict and to the book and not to be working on other stuff with a different therapist at that same time which I completely understand why but I really missed my regular therapist so I left DBT went back to my other therapist I'd say that was I mean there are skills that are definitely helpful in DBT and that was helpful a bit not for the misophonia but just my general mental health um And then for a bit, I was doing EMDR too with my therapist, not directly for misophonia, but I think that was helpful. And anything that just gets me feeling better in general is going to be helpful for my misophonia. And then I was officially then diagnosed with ADHD just last November 2022. and medication has been really helpful and I thought I like figured everything out I'm like I'm on top of the world now I understand also just more reason to not take on more than I can actually handle and then a couple months ago I started reading Unmasking Autism by Devin Price Um, and I was like, hold on. A lot of this is, a lot of this is resonating, um, with that like high, high masking, um, autism, those traits. Um, and I have always just felt like a little bit like different, I guess, than a lot of the people around me. Um, you know, I just kind of had a little bit of a hard time making friends growing up and such. um so i brought up to my therapist and then she did kind of a deep dive into like developmental history and i took some um assessments there's like the cat q which is about masking traits in autism and um then a few other just like ones i found online and they were all showing like high possibility of being on the spectrum so brought those to her with the developmental history she's like yeah i definitely think um you're autistic and this was just like two weeks ago but i got that diagnosis which has just been also in general making a lot make sense for me um i was always very sensory sensitive growing up um i like refused to wear pants as a child I would only wear my denim dresses. That was all. I actually have a tattoo of that dress now. I got it a year ago before I even was thinking about it. So I just was like, haha, my denim dress. What if I got that? And I was always a really picky eater growing up. Pretty stuck on my routines. My mom was, she ran a pretty tight ship. So there was a lot of routine just built into my everyday. Come home from school, which is a routine. Back to at home, which is a routine. So the masking, I just kind of, it just never got caught that maybe I was on the spectrum. And... Life just got a lot. I mean, for anybody who, you know, leaves home to be an adult, life is hard. But, like, life was really, really hard. I was having a hard time, like, adjusting. I could not keep the same sort of sets, like, routine or anything that, like, my mom had. Because, like, the ADHD and autism traits are kind of battle with one another. But... I have them both, they definitely show up for me. And just like, yeah, very sensory sensitive. So that, along with the misophonia, makes a lot of sense for me.

Adeel [46:08]: And would you definitely think, you know, for people who are asking about, is it autism or does it have to do with autism? How do you kind of think about them differently? Oh, sure, sure.

Julia [46:21]: definitely different for me uh for instance like lights like especially fluorescence bright fluorescence they're just way too bright the white I can't tolerate um I can like hear the humming of electronic things um texture certain textures still like clothes or food wise I like can't eat applesauce or watermelon um or eggs And all of those things are definitely way different than auditory or visual triggers. I get just like pretty overwhelmed really easily with, I mean, both types of triggers. But it's like overstimulation still feels really different to me than a misophonia trigger. what about uh hs did we talk about hsp at some point oh yeah yeah yeah yeah that was what i was that's what i really identified with especially before i started reading unmasking autism and i still think i mean i am a highly sensitive person and i have a lot of those types of uh traits too um But for me now, it's just kind of all blurring together just as neurodivergent. Yeah.

Adeel [47:47]: Yeah.

Julia [47:48]: Yeah, I definitely identified a lot with that, though, when I first heard about that. And I was talking to Sarah Beidler about that.

Adeel [47:57]: Yeah.

Julia [47:59]: Which resonated how she was describing it.

Adeel [48:01]: Yeah. Did you, so you mentioned, you did mention EMDR briefly. Was there... I think usually used for trauma. Was there trauma events that was your experience targeted towards some kind of events?

Julia [48:18]: yeah um so you don't have to like describe you better in general just wondering yeah yeah i i consider um mostly myself just having like developmental trauma um just those like little t's over time that build up there's not been any like really huge event that like qualifies me as like with ptsd specifically right um but I mean, there was so many things that we were going to touch on. We just didn't get to them all. We recently did go back to doing EMDR work, but it was so recently that we only had a few sessions of it before I was like, wait, am I autistic? And that took up some time. Yeah, absolutely. We'll get back into it, but just kind of we're going to take it from a standpoint of still trying to down regulate that nervous system in general and my therapist is pretty psychodynamic based too so we're not even like on the bilateral stimulation part of EMDR yet or the resourcing that happens before. I know lots of stage of EMDR, but right now we're doing this technique where like I invite all the like parts of myself like into this meeting room and we're putting them in conversation with each other uh to kind of like get everything on board kind of before diving in to some of the more like um trauma-based things um and it's not ifs internal family i was gonna ask you that yeah yeah it does it does yeah it does um And I was considering starting internal family systems therapy. But then the more I thought about and read about EMDR versus what my therapist is doing with me right now, like, preemptively to EMDR, I was like, hold on. This is, like, really similar. And it's not like Richard Schwartz that came up with IFS, like, pulled it. out of nowhere like it all comes from somewhere is this was the psychodynamic model is the one about the meeting table or um so i'm pretty sure it's um known as the dissociate dissociative table um technique um okay that is psychodynamically based but psychodynamic therapy is just like it's more of like a theory versus yeah how we're gonna do it's like really related to psychoanalysis but yeah um really digging into like childhood stuff and which is going to be us which is right oh yeah like kind of a hundred percent yeah um and yeah cbt kind of just like rolls over all of that uh like gestalt which is just about now right right the present moment yeah gestalt is like can be like pretty experiential too um and they have some different like really kind of like for the shock value techniques almost with that one um but yeah um okay yeah you're talking about the table yeah the table Yeah, it's pretty similar to IFS. And I was reading about how EMDR in general, they don't use that technique at all. Just pure EMDR with either the light that goes back and forth, or what my therapist has is these two little vibrating egg-shaped things. I just hold them in my hands. there's like as long as you're just like getting stimulation on one side of your body and then the other like it apparently is kind of all the same in that sense um but um i was like oh okay so there's this dissociative table thing and i was comparing that to what i know about ifs um i'm like this seems really similar so i talked to my therapist about it and she's like yeah honestly like shorts didn't like reinvent the wheel um and this stuff is all like super related and i was like yeah like maybe we could just like call these parts of me that were calling to this table like my firefighters my managers my exiles um because and then like there's still the idea of the self in this um table model like i me am at this table with parts of myself um so it's very very similar i was like okay it's just kind of language that's a little bit different here um so i decided to let's stick with this i don't need to like start over with someone brand new who doesn't know me uh i like i still could but um I think it's similar enough that I'm just considering it my IFS type therapy.

Adeel [54:12]: You can do it later. I can do it later.

Julia [54:16]: If I don't get the results that I'm hoping for. We're bringing in Misophonia this time kind of in this context of almost a firefighter. Not... quite but it's just like the idea of okay there's this alarm and it's telling you you need to change something or make a boundary or take care of yourself better or something like that um and then tracing back times when my misophonia was really bad or with certain specific triggers in the past um and trying to identify why was that trigger so bad um and working with those memories around that as opposed to the misophonia part of me right yeah so that's what we're going to try to do with that yeah interesting okay yeah i was curious about how i'm doing ifs too and we're doing a more like a strict office model um

Adeel [55:25]: But yeah, no, I'd love to talk about maybe on a part two or so. Yeah. We're hitting about an hour because I have to have kind of a hard stop around two o'clock. But yeah, I'd love to. Oh, see, I want to connect and get you the book and maybe we can kind of hear a little bit more about, compare notes a little bit about our thesis.

Julia [55:44]: Yeah, I would love that. I would love that.

Adeel [55:47]: But yeah, no, in the, in the remaining few minutes, I mean, and yeah, anything else you want to share? I know you have tons of stuff.

Julia [55:55]: I have you on again, but I, I mean, I think we covered a lot.

Adeel [56:02]: Yeah. Yeah.

Julia [56:04]: Oh, I, this was lovely. I just hope for everyone to gain hope and

Adeel [56:15]: um know that there is healing out there to be had whether it be for misophonia specifically or not anything you can do to take care of yourself is gonna help yeah no it's great yeah you're right we covered a lot of ground and part of it is like how you you're a student and how you you're kind of like you know um got to the path of like focusing on misophonia and obviously you're gonna probably deal with other stuff than just misothonia, but it's good to know how people are moving in this direction. I hope more people do that. And yeah, I've covered so many things. How you deal with school, how you're dealing with your other conditions, kind of your upcoming therapy. So yeah, good luck with everything. And yeah, thanks.

Julia [56:59]: Thank you for having me.

Adeel [57:00]: Thank you again, Julia. I'm really excited. So that you're in the area and good luck finishing your grad program. And I know you're going to help a lot of people. 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 hellomissiforniapodcast.com or go to the website, missiforniapodcast.com. It's even easier to send a message on Instagram at missiforniapodcast, follow there, or Facebook at missiforniapodcast, on Twitter or X, it's missiforniashow. Support the show by visiting the Patreon at patreon.com slash MrPlayerPodcast. The music, as always, is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [58:07]: Thank you.