Lila - Navigating Misophonia as a World-Traveling Environmentalist

S7 E6 - 8/10/2023
Season 7, Episode 6 of the podcast features a conversation with Laila, a musician and educator focused on animal and planetary protection. During her stay in Indonesia, caused by a life reset after losing her home in Los Angeles, Laila navigates the challenges of misophonia in a new, less controllable environment. She discusses the impact of being a nomad on her condition, where frequent relocations to noisy locales exacerbate her sensitivity to sound. This episode also delves into broader themes, such as the intersection of misophonia with climate issues, animal welfare, and sound pollution. Laila, who identifies as an empath and highly sensitive person (HSP), proposes that sensitivity could be a guiding principle for planetary stewardship, tying her experiences with misophonia to her advocacy for the environment. The conversation concludes with reflections on the potential for empathic leadership and the importance of sensitive individuals in addressing both misophonia and environmental challenges.


Adeel [0:00]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 7, Episode 6. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week I'm talking to Laila, a musician and educator whose important work is focused on protecting animals and the planet. She's currently based in Indonesia, although she's there by way of Los Angeles. I have all of her links, her website, YouTube channel, Instagram, in the show notes. We talk about many things, including misophonia while traveling, coping when you don't have your own space in a new place. We talk about being an empath and HSP, shamanism, and some parallels between the state of the public perception of misophonia and that of climate issues. After the show, of course, let me know what you think. You can reach out by email at or hit me up on Instagram or Facebook at misophoniapodcast. By the way, please head over wherever you listen to the show and leave a quick review or rating. It helps drive us up in the algorithms and that attracts more listeners. 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 slash misophonia podcast. And I have to mention, if you've seen my Instagram, I just got advanced copies of the book that Dr. Jane Gregory and I did called Sounds Like Misophonia. It's coming this fall from Bloomsbury Publishers, and I'm very excited to see it getting so close. I'm thinking of some content and giveaways to do over the coming weeks, so keep following and stay tuned. If anyone has any TikTok tips also, please let me know. For now, you can find pre-order links in the show notes or on my social pages. They're for Amazon and have affiliate codes, but you can also just pre-order pretty much anywhere, actually. All right, let's get to my conversation with Laila. Laila, welcome to the podcast. Great to have you.

Lila [2:05]: So wonderful to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Adeel [2:09]: Do you want to first tell us kind of where you are and kind of what you do?

Lila [2:14]: Yeah, well, I'm in Indonesia right now. So that's kind of a whole story. I lost my home in Los Angeles about six months ago. And so I decided to do one of those sort of life resets. So currently I'm here. And in general, I am looking for my new home. So I really don't know where I'll be next. But this is where I am recording live and direct from Indonesia right now.

Adeel [2:42]: Gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah. I mean, your posts are usually very scenic. So I was curious to see where exactly you were. Great. And yeah, I'll see. We'll kind of get into some of that backstory. Do you want to tell us a little bit about kind of, you know, what you do generally?

Lila [3:00]: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. So I'm a musician and an educator. Everything that I do is about protecting animals and the planet. I've had about, I don't know, over 25 of my songs placed in TV shows and trailers and things like that. Basically, I write music for superheroes, you know, people who want to make change, who want to make impact. And now that I'm on the road, I'm not able to teach. So I was also teaching with a not-for-profit. I was the Los Angeles educator with FFAC. So teaching college and high school students about animal agriculture and the effects on climate change. So, yeah, again, everything I do is about protecting animals, you know, animal welfare on our planet, the future of our planet. And now that I'm on the road, I've taken my education to online. So doing content creation and soft launching, very soft launching a YouTube channel right now called Motherfucking Nature. I hope it's a square here. You can always bleep that out. So... yeah trying to sort of compile my music and entertainment and education into one space and that's motherfucking nature and yeah just stop watching that right now and we'll continue to refine that as i continue to on many levels really

Adeel [4:26]: Yeah. I mean, mother nature and then mother. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's got the whole, um, you know, the, the anger and the, uh, the passion.

Lila [4:35]: Yeah.

Adeel [4:36]: That's great. And obviously we'll, um, yeah, I know you're soft launching it, but I like to obviously post as many links as possible when, when it comes down to, uh, comes down to posting this. So definitely, yeah, let's let me know and, uh, be happy to promote that if it's ready.

Lila [4:51]: It's ready. Let's do it.

Adeel [4:53]: Yeah. Um, actually, yeah. Do you want to tell us about it right now? I'll have it in the show notes, but what's, what's the, um, is it just at motherfucking nature?

Lila [5:01]: All of my, all of my handles on socials are X, X, Lila Rose. So that's what it is on YouTube as well. I'll probably change that over to motherfucking nature. Eventually. I'm still testing that name to see, cause having a swear word in a name.

Adeel [5:16]: They might do something about that. Yeah, exactly.

Lila [5:19]: So, For now, just XXLilaRose, that's L-I-L-A. That's it.

Adeel [5:25]: Okay, okay. Well, that's great. So, yeah, I guess, you know, coming back to misophonia, it obviously seems like a lot of change has been happening in your life. Do you want to talk about, like, where the misophonia kind of, like, is situated, I guess, in all the stuff going on in your life right now? Like, how is life for you right now in terms of that, you know, our condition?

Lila [5:49]: Yeah, it is. It's on fire right now.

Adeel [5:52]: Yeah, because it sounds kind of stressful, probably a roller coaster in life in general. And yeah, that's obviously not a good thing for misophonia.

Lila [6:03]: Yeah, exactly. I keep learning that actually, which is ridiculous. Like I should know that by now. I've had it for so long. But yeah, we all forget exactly. And when it's, you know, irritated or aggravated, I... I'm not thinking clearly, you know, it just feels like there's no end. And so what I will say about my discovery as of late is, oh my gosh, like being a nomad, which I am right now, like I don't have a long term home. um it's like i have a lot less control over my environment so if i have a long-term home like i was living in los angeles and i lived alone and i'm very conscientious about choosing homes where i know i have quote-unquote control so quiet quiet homes now in this case i'm traveling and I mean, I'm moving from place to place. Often, it could be every few weeks sometimes. Right now, I'm trying to stay in this place for a few months. But this particular island that I'm on is very loud. It's just a loud island in general. There's a lot of... I mean, just a huge amount of... Well, I'll just put it this way. A huge amount of colonization going on here right now, so a lot of building. So there's construction, there's loud music. It's just a loud... loud island and it's i'm finding it really hard to escape those sounds and it's interesting because normally for me misophonia is fairly specific i mean there is an overarching irritation just at like repetitive sounds but for me it's in the past it's been mostly around eating But now I'm eating and breathing and things like that, the basics. But now that I'm on the road, it's being exacerbated by not having control over my living environment. So that's been a whole new discovery in how to look after myself while traveling, while on the road, while not having a home. It's just, yeah, I'm learning a lot. I'll put it that way.

Adeel [8:08]: Even though you're in a beautiful environment, you don't have your own personal sanctuary. It's hard to maintain a personal space. Not just physical, but auditory.

Lila [8:22]: Usually that's the most important thing for me. I always have my own walls. I always have my own privacy because that's important to me for other reasons. I can handle... For me... Of course, I like to have a beautiful home environment if I can. But what is more important to me is auditory privacy, to have the option to have a space, however big or small, where I can escape other people's sounds and just have control over the other sonic space around me. And sometimes I don't have that here. So fans, fans have been my lifesavers. You know, I have one on right now.

Adeel [9:00]: um white noise but we'll talk about tools after i've i've been discovering a lot of new tools while being on the road yeah yeah i know i'd love to love to talk about all that but yeah maybe we're doing a rewind to kind of like before a lot of this stuff was going on maybe back to childhood for you i'm assuming that might yeah assuming that that's kind of where things started

Lila [9:21]: Yes. Yeah. Things started for me around the age of 11, 11, 12. And I mean, back then there was no there was no term for this condition. And so my family didn't know what it was. I certainly didn't know what it was. All I knew was that I was. very very upset at the sound of eating so i started i started wearing earplugs at the dinner table uh the dining table rather so for every single meal i would have earplugs in or toilet paper And everyone knew that they had to turn the music on, not just on, but up. And it was mostly, you know, aggravated by my family members. So back then it was, yeah, like I don't remember being irritated by my friends or anything like that. It was mostly just the people in the home, which of course is one of those, you know, common traits for misophonia. Yeah, mostly my brother. I remember coming at him with a knife one time because I was so upset by the sounds, and I just thought I was crazy. I didn't know if I thought I was crazy. I was too young to have that kind of self-classification, but I guess I just didn't realize that there was something... like different about me it was just like this is irritating you suck fuck you like i'm gonna attack you with a knife and my family was moderately my mom was very supportive um and yeah my whole family like even if we went to like cousins you know like dinner or whatever it was like They all knew I would plug my ears. I'm sure they all just thought I was wacky. But yeah, that's the time that I remember it starting. Oh my God, right now I'm just having another realization. I think it may have started sooner. I think that there was stress. I'm actually curious to read some research studies about this. My parents divorced when I was seven and being in my dad's presence at the dining room table was always stressful. Like, he would get very upset by the sound of biting a porcupine. Just even thinking about that just made my whole body tense up.

Unknown Speaker [11:34]: My nervous system.

Lila [11:36]: Yeah, he would get very irritated. So I'm like, wow. Now, in retrospect, I'm like, I wonder if my dad has misophonia. But, like, either way, there was a lot of tension. at the table it was a time where i had to sit down with my dad who was not like my favorite person back then to be around so yeah i think the dinner table was was a tense place part of the time and that may have been um part of the beginning but that was that was earlier than 11 11 is around the time that i remember actively like doing something about the discomfort. So, yeah, pretty fascinating.

Adeel [12:13]: Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of overlap with other folks' stories there. The whole walking on eggshell situation growing up, obviously, a tense divorce, seeing your dad maybe a little dysregulated himself at times, and you kind of maybe observing that pattern. And yeah, there's a lot of interesting things there to think about, which I want to say, I'm not a psychologist, but I mean, these are common things that I've definitely heard in other interviews. That's very interesting. But at least great that... you know you're at least your parents seem to be supportive immediately and not kind of shame you necessarily um let you wear the let you stuff your ears with toilet paper i mean that's i can't think of um you know not every parent would do that so that's uh at least somewhat promising yeah my dad wasn't very he still isn't he still doesn't get it oh my mom okay so it was your mom okay everyone else yeah they're just kind of confusing in itself too yeah i mean if one parent is supportive when the other is not that yeah that probably doesn't help uh yeah it's growing up and so okay um and so you said like yeah friends were not kind of uh uh bothering you too much but did you did you notice it at school maybe with teachers did it affect your your kind of your grades or anything going up

Lila [13:46]: I don't know. I don't think so. I don't remember any of that. And it could have been that I was just unconscious or unaware of the tie-in. Because again, I didn't actually, and we'll talk about this, I'm sure, but I didn't discover that there was like a condition until really just like seven years ago. Yeah, a name and the other people had it, but it was a thing. So like, even if I was aggravated by friends and this type of thing, I...

Adeel [14:12]: wouldn't have known or noticed probably well anyway for me no i don't i don't remember that being yeah being an issue thank goodness so yeah then obviously later on like yeah i mean actually that happened to me as well like obviously you know i've experienced it at home don't remember so much at school or affecting too many of my grades i can and i remember final exams being in a giant gym and and you know um dreading hearing the coughing and whatnot. But other than that, it wasn't so big of a deal. It wasn't, yeah, it wasn't until about 10 years ago when you go into the workforce and you start to get into open office situations or you just kind of hear it and you get triggered in cities. I am curious, when you found out it had a name, obviously you must have recognized it immediately. Were you being, did it come back up later, like as an adult, after you finished school?

Lila [15:17]: Sorry, what was the question? Oh, sorry.

Adeel [15:20]: Yeah, I was kind of rambling around there. But around the time when you heard it had a name, what was going on? Were you being triggered a lot?

Lila [15:29]: Yes. Yes, I was.

Adeel [15:31]: As an adult, yeah.

Lila [15:32]: Yeah, very much so, yeah. So the sound of eating, which, again, has always been the big one for me, that was always aggravated by mostly just my partners. So unless someone was just a really, really gross eater, just mouth open, nasty, it was mostly triggered by like roommates or partners, but, or, or family, of course, if I was around my family, but, um, yeah, I was dating my, yeah, my partner at the time and he, he was doing some research on it because I was very aggravated by the sound of, um, my roommates just being in the house. I used to be so aggravated by, yeah, just like hearing other people in general, which sounds extremely, I don't know. I mean, yeah just difficult of course but um yeah I was just like so irritated and we started doing some research and found some interesting articles actually about shamanism and yeah some cool stuff so that started to open things up for me I was like I'm like I was like okay like this is some spiritual like gift or something like that which I still think could be true actually um for people like us but I do think that it is a special gift that just hasn't you know found its place in the world at this time but anyway we'll talk about that later but yeah so we found some articles on this I started to read it I started to feel like oh wow okay like there's maybe there's something to this thing maybe I'm not the only one and then so that kind of opened the door to like oh oh maybe this is a thing and then saw an article I remember it was on Facebook and it was just the image it was a woman with her hands over her ears and said something about like you know just like the pain of sounds or something and I was like ooh that image appealed to me of course clicked on it read this article my jaw dropped I was just like oh this is a thing and then I went on Wikipedia and it was name and a million other people and it was just like okay the onset is usually around 11 12 years old and it's like the sound of tooth brushing and eating and I was like oh my god this is me and just a huge sense of relief to know that I wasn't making well I never thought I was making it up I knew it was a legitimate experience but that there were others and that there was a name for it and so that's when that discovery validating exactly yeah so that's when that started and that was about yeah maybe only eight years ago so I really you know I spent a good oh my gosh I spent a good oh my goodness like 15 years like suffering without knowing like what it was and I still learn about it every day of course now but but yeah like really not knowing what to do about it so that was a huge huge relief that validation. Right, right.

Adeel [18:29]: Yeah. Yeah, no, that's not uncommon and a lot of us go down that rabbit hole and want to learn everything we can about it. So, back up a bit. So, you said something, so yeah, might as well maybe... jump in a little bit into um something there was some shamanism research happening around that time um yeah do you want to talk a little bit about that like um what do you see maybe a link between the two good because it shamanism has come up on the podcast before i don't know if you're on the page no i was left so yeah yeah yeah um she does retreats in south america and she has misophonia as well obviously and uh um and you know there's there's um uh there's links between shamanism and plasticity uh brain plasticity um and trying to kind of rewrite old memories well but i don't want to talk too much i'm just kind of curious um you said something interesting about misophonia maybe being um kind of a gift that has kind of um being allowed to manifest in the world. What did you maybe mean by that? Because this is something along the lines that I've been thinking about as well, where we might be... We kind of have a superpower. We're at a minimum more empathetic than most people. And that could also overlap with HSPs, highly sensitive people. But yeah, I'm curious, I'm very interested by the idea of it not being...

Lila [20:06]: recognized or be able to kind of like really show its full power in the world i'm curious what you meant by that yeah well that there were so many um tabs that you just opened uh i've been doing that a lot but yeah like shamanism and so i first of all would love to hear that episode which episode was it uh page p-a-i-g-e i forget which number that was but i can give you the link after yeah For me, but also your listeners on this episode, that sounds really interesting. So, yeah, in terms of the superpower gift, which I do see it that way, even last night, just feeling my irritation with the sound, it's like, if you think about... When we were living, we're communal creatures, of course, animals, right? We're pack animals and we come from, historically, we lived in tribes and communities and villages where we each played our role. And I think, you know, genetically speaking anyway, for those of us who have very refined senses, whether it be sound, hearing, or even smells or sights, which HSP is, which I am also an HSP. Actually, it's hard for me to tell the difference. High five. Same here. Yeah, high five. And that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, empath, HSP, like all those things. But yeah, it's like if our role in the village was to be on the lookout, to hear things, like to hear the, I don't know, the tiger in the distance, like we know how to alert our community, our tribe, things like that. That would be like a genetic or physiological purpose for it, something like that, just having those extrasensory abilities. So that's on the sort of like, on the one level, sort of more of the scientific approach that I, or the scientific sort of viewpoint. On a more spiritual viewpoint, I don't know. This is going to sound cuckoo, and we've talked to a lot of people, I'm curious if you've heard this before, but when I was younger, before I knew there was a name for this thing. I felt like I could... I love that I can just say this to you and not feel crazy, because I've tried to say this to people without misophonia before, and they're like, okay. I feel like I can read people's energy through the sounds that they make. And so, like, I can hear... I used to think that I could, like, see people's laughs. And just again, I was, like, young, like a preteen. Like, hear their, like... Their past lives are like trauma for sure through this sound of their eating. Actually, wait, that reminds me. You just asked me before if I was activated by my friends in school. I'm having a memory now because I was reading one of my friends' historic traumas because I think she was eating with her mouth wide open, just one of those slappy kind of sounds. won't do it now but you know the one mouth wide open and yeah it's like i could just feel her unexpressed anger her unexpressed trauma like her history her upbringing something and i couldn't put my finger on it but that was something that i for a long time felt that i was tapping into so that might be some like metaphysical thing that's going on there I don't know.

Adeel [23:36]: Did you know that the person had a past trauma?

Lila [23:43]: No. Okay, gotcha. Even now, when I pick up on people's sounds of their eating or other unconscious sounds that they might be making, it's not that... I might not know anything about them, but it's like I can feel this, like, this unexpressed, yeah, trauma. Or maybe that's just my own, you know, projection of what it's doing to me, traumatizing me. Maybe it's just by the sound. I don't know. But that's been a space of inquiry. But certainly in terms of just even the physiology of having very turned up senses, that would be a huge asset to a village, to a community, something like that. We would be attuned to things that most others might not be.

Adeel [24:37]: Yeah, that's come up. I forget now which conversation that was, but it has come up where, yeah, I mean, historically, there needs to be somebody, at least somebody who's able to kind of protect the pack, whether it was when we were humans or even before that. That's interesting. And I have thought about, you know, are we also maybe in the middle of a...

Lila [24:59]: genetic shift and maybe our evolution is playing with different variations of the senses to maybe see if this is somehow an asset in the future again I'm totally speculating maybe it's interesting you say that I was thinking about this last night actually I was thinking I was like maybe we would be weeded out evolutionarily because we're too sensitive for what's happening to our planet like it's becoming more noisy like noise pollution is a real issue or hopefully like the hope would be that we're moving in a direction where we would be more valuable because we can be leaders we can be leaders to help direct humanity towards a more empathic future which is very important if we want to survive doesn't look like we want to survive

Adeel [25:54]: Yeah. No, it seems like many of us don't want to survive, but as a species, I think overall, hopefully the optimistic view is that the species we need to survive. And so we would figure it out somehow. Hopefully it's not looking very promising yet, but hopefully people like us can step up like you are. Maybe we can get a little bit into, after you realized it had a name and whatnot, did your coping methods start to shift? What did you learn on how to basically deal with it after that initial aha moment?

Lila [26:28]: Hmm. What a good question. Gosh. I think it took a... Honestly? I feel like I'm just learning those things right now. I'm going to have to think on this one. Yeah. I'm not sure that I've had those, those, those tools besides the ones that I mentioned. So like knowing how to look after myself. Well, yeah. So just the basics of knowing how to look after myself, um, at meals. And so, you know, if I'm in even a public space, like I'm thinking of an airplane where you're locked into your seat, you can't just get up because I, yeah, I normally will. If I'm in a situation that is stressful, you know, like in terms of eating, I'll remove myself. That's a very, you know, overt, that's a great coping mechanism. I categorically know which of my friends I can eat with and which ones are difficult. Like I'm thinking of one particular friend that I have who I love so much, but, oof, wide open mouth. chewing again i hear a lot of unexpressed trauma there but i can't eat the same room with her without like i need to have loud music and the whole thing and um so yeah coping number one would be to the loud music potential earplugs if i i feel comfortable with that and then to remove myself But even, and I know this is true for a lot of other people with misophonia, visual stimulus can also irritate or aggravate. Yeah.

Adeel [28:00]: I was going to ask about misokinesia.

Lila [28:02]: Yeah. Oh, what's it called?

Adeel [28:04]: Misokinesia.

Lila [28:06]: Oh, wow.

Adeel [28:07]: It's a M-I-S-O-K-I-N-E-S-I-A. Yeah.

Lila [28:11]: Misokinesia. Wow. Incredible. Okay. So that's great for me to know. Thank you. Sure. So I will, you know, I have no shame around this. Like when I... This will be an exciting tab to open as well. Like I do, it turns out I surround myself with people who are neurodivergent for sure. And several of my best friends do have misophonia. I just realized this the other day. And like some of them are more polite than I am. And I am very polite as a human being. I'm Canadian and I'm very kind and loving. And I'm fast.

Adeel [28:39]: So you're Canadian?

Lila [28:40]: I am.

Adeel [28:41]: Oh, yeah, me too. I'm a duo now.

Lila [28:43]: Oh, high five. High five again. Love my Canadian people. So, yeah, there's that sort of politeness ingrained into I'm just culturally, but I have no shame in protecting myself. So if I'm on an airplane and my misokanisha, is that it?

Adeel [29:01]: Yeah, right.

Lila [29:02]: If it's aggravated, I'll just shield my face. I don't care. I'll put my hand up. So I'm blocking that person completely. I'll put my headphones on. Oh, headphones are, you're asking, your question was about in the past. So those are the things that I've done in the past and I'm happy to speak to my tools now, but that's always been key is just like no shame, block the view if you need to, put the earplugs in, always have earplugs on me, always, like in every single, everything, like in my makeup bag, in my pocket of the jacket, in my pocket of my other bag, like, They're in my car. There are earplugs everywhere.

Adeel [29:41]: Earplugs are enough for you? Like you don't need the sound on top of it from earplugs, like your headphones?

Lila [29:48]: So it depends. It depends. Yeah, if the sound is so bad that I can't, that earplugs don't block it, then I probably need to remove myself from the situation. If I can't remove myself, well, actually last night, for instance, Now, here's the thing. I have a hard time, like, identifying what's misophonia and what's just being very sensitive. Like, last night, there was very loud music playing in the distance, and I could, like, feel the vibration. So last night, I, you know, and it did aggravate, my nervous system was on edge the way that, not quite, not as bad if it was someone eating in my ear. That would be, like, unbearable. But it did aggravate my nervous system in a very similar way. So then I put my earplugs in, and then I put my noise-canceling headphones on over top of it.

Adeel [30:33]: Oh, yes.

Lila [30:34]: So I'll do things like that sometimes. Yeah. But yeah, being on the road, I guess this is speaking to my current my current coping. I don't know.

Adeel [30:44]: Yeah. Yeah. Let's do it.

Lila [30:47]: Yeah. Being on. And I was just talking to my friend about this the other day. She has me as well. And I was like, I just I carry my big headphones around now, like my headphones everywhere. And I wear them a lot on this island because it is a loud island, like I said. And so I just have them on sometimes with not being on, just on my head just to block out the sound.

Adeel [31:11]: Just to cancel, yeah.

Lila [31:12]: Yeah, and it's like a soother for me. It doesn't matter if I'm in the middle of the forest in a cabin alone and it's super quiet. At this point, I need earplugs to sleep because it is a soother. It's very comforting for me. I've been wearing earplugs now since I was 11 for eating purposes. But I do not wear earplugs at the table these days, by the way. If I'm in a quiet space where people are eating, I will just request or demand that music be put on. But I love eating in restaurants. But yeah, I'll put those headphones on while I'm traveling. anywhere everywhere like they're just on me all the time so that's been a huge huge aid which that's not normal for me like when I have an actual like my own home I obviously prefer not to have something on top of my ears and my head but it is like it immediately puts me into my own little cocoon and of course listening to things like binaural beats or theta waves things like that can be very helpful if I want to turn them on. But those have been my main tool while being on the road. Never mind, of course. Oh, you know what? I ordered these. I was really excited to order these loose earplugs, which I'm sure you've seen. They were sold to me on Instagram. Oh, you do? I'm curious to hear your thoughts on that. I was talking to the same friend who also got very excited about them because they're so cute and they're supposed to cancel out certain frequencies, but so far they don't do that for me. I think they're very cute, but not super effective. How about you?

Adeel [32:52]: Yeah, I think I have the same. I did a little Instagram story post about it. I feel the same way. They look good. I mean, I have kind of an audio background. I was in the audio industry for a while, so I was immediately skeptical that, you know, a tiny... piece of material i mean you can't you can't selectively block frequencies from something just a piece of plastic that's small so um but yeah i what i liked about them was that um i had the kind that you know you can kind of twist a bit and then it goes in deeper okay um so i like the fact that you can kind of like go in you know you can go in deeper and block a little bit more sound or you can kind of twist it and then it's not quite it's still in your ear but it's not as blocking for like conversations or if you don't really need to hear your jaw um make every move that's that's the only that's the other thing i don't like about earplugs so much is that you know you really hear your inner jaw movements so my go-to is like you know like airpod pros or something like that or or headphones um the loops oh yeah i wasn't a huge fan of i'm never going to have them as a sponsor i'm sure but uh um yeah i have the same same opinion they look good but yeah well don't help me too much

Lila [34:08]: As a musician, it sounds like you're maybe in the audio world as well. As a musician, I have very high-end in-ears, which are used to listen to music when you're on stage. So you actually, of course, can choose, very much choose, the whole purpose is to be able to choose which frequencies you want to hear or which channels you want to hear more or less of. And I had like a... Those ones, of course, those are like very expensive. But there was a cheaper pair that I ended up with at some sort of music event that I love because they really did take out certain frequencies. They were for shows. So not as a singer or performer, but as an audience member. So to just cut the edge, but still be able to engage in conversations. And those were great. I lost them. But that's the kind of thing. that I feel like we would really benefit from having something like that. But I don't know, man, if somebody's eating next to me, like, I don't, I don't think that any kind of frequency.

Adeel [35:12]: No, you got to remove yourself at that point.

Lila [35:14]: Yeah. Or block, just block, block the ear holes all the way. It's not, it's not, it's not just a frequency that you can like partially block out or something like that. Yeah.

Adeel [35:24]: right right right uh no that's great because you hadn't uh when you were talking earlier you had you mentioned earplugs you hadn't mentioned headphones so i was curious if you were when those became a tool it sounds like those are your tools now what that's your kind of primary tool now while you're traveling yep yeah that's my primary tool now never was before but and they're kind of cute too you know there's no shame in wearing your you know headphones so did you mention which brand you have

Lila [35:52]: I didn't. And I don't want to because I'd be advertising this huge, huge, huge brand. And that I don't actually need to advertise because I wouldn't necessarily suggest them. Well, whatever. They're Beats headphones. And they're fine. They're fine. I think there are probably better ones out there. Do you know of better ones? Like over the year.

Adeel [36:14]: I have the Sony's. There's also Bose, but the Sony, I forget, it's like a bunch of letters and then a number and then there's the Mark IV. They're all, yeah, I mean, they're all around the same price, around the $300-ish. And obviously Bose has theirs too. But yeah, I happen to have the Sony over-the-air ones. And I like them. I usually go for my, if I can, I usually use my AirPod Pros because they're just easier to take in and out. And they just, I don't know, integrate better with some of the hardware I have. But those are kind of my go-tos.

Lila [36:50]: So the thing that I don't love about these gadgets is that they're, you know, they need to be used on Bluetooth. Well, they don't need to, but I prefer that.

Adeel [37:00]: Yes.

Lila [37:01]: And I do not love having like Bluetooth blasting my brain all day. I'm sure people have different opinions on that. But I mean, I've done a bunch of reading on EMS. As a sensitive, as a highly sensitive person, I can only handle so much of that. So it's a bit of a, it's a bummer because otherwise I would have in-ears and all the time, yeah, like wireless earbuds in my ear. The reason I wear over the ear headphones is because I don't, I don't, I just don't want those EMFs like going, going right into my ear. I know it's basically the same thing, but that's another element I try to be conscientious of. Yeah.

Adeel [37:40]: I mean, yeah. If that's, if that's a concern, it is different, different frequencies. And I do like being wired because, you know, I don't have to worry about batteries either. And then just the whole, I mean, obviously just the whole connecting and disconnecting.

Lila [37:54]: You're wired. So then you, then you have to carry your phone on you.

Adeel [37:58]: Uh, if you're wired, um, I'm, I'm, I'm not always wired, but if you're, if you are wired, um, yeah, you'd, right. You'd have to have your phone or laptop, you know, with you.

Lila [38:10]: Yeah. Yeah.

Adeel [38:15]: But you could then use your watch to different kinds of way where you have, you can use your watch to control it and just have your headphones connected to it somewhere.

Lila [38:22]: Right.

Adeel [38:26]: So maybe for other tools, like did you ever at some point, I don't know, talk to a therapist or getting into more psychological tools or spiritual tools? I'm curious if you talk to anybody about misophonia.

Lila [38:46]: Definitely. Yeah. Yeah, I took it to therapy. My mom, my therapist, when I was living in Toronto, had my mom come into a session and eat in the room with me. I think I might have done that with a partner. Thing is, it's so difficult because when it's in a spotlight like that, it's not aggravated in the same way because it's more of an unconscious behavior that's aggravating. So that wasn't necessarily helpful. And after so many years of having it and looking at potential, I'm distracted right now because someone is glaring music next door and that is aggravating to me. When I'm in my own room, my own space, I want to be able to decide, wow, this is extremely loud. Interesting. So yeah, fun timing. Live in Jurassic.

Adeel [39:45]: We're witnessing a live trigger. Live trigger, ladies and gentlemen.

Lila [39:48]: Yeah, so what I'm doing right now is... I'm feeling my body from the inside. So I sort of like tie in my training around meditation, which I have been doing since practice. And just like telling my body, sort of just feeling that's where I'm tense, where I'm holding, contracting and breathing into it and releasing and just making sure that I stay relaxed like it keeps getting louder. and the rest of the work is just mental you know besides like trying to calm my nervous system i have to psychologically get myself on board with what's happening because i don't have control over it so to say like it's okay you're safe like this is just music how can we enjoy it here's the interesting thing and there are so many psychological elements to music if i was in the room where this music was happening which i'm going to put myself there as soon as we're off this call so i can like actually recover if i was in the room with it i would be okay with it it's being on the so like same thing with like traffic sounds that's a big one where i am here like that there's just so much traffic everywhere and so if i can hear it in a distance like it grates on my nervous system the sound of like mopeds like very loud bikes in the distance but if i'm driving in traffic and i can hear these loud you know bikes i'm okay I don't know what it is, but it's like I'm... Yeah, it's just different to be in it, a part of it, rather than being on the outskirts of it.

Adeel [41:23]: Maybe it's more of an apparent danger if it's far away, but if you're in the middle of it, you see it. It's almost like you have a little bit more control. Yeah. Your brain has processed it and told you that it's not... Danger similar to the self-soothing you were just talking about I've mentioned on the podcast as well as trying to Tell myself before I go into a meal or something. Hey, nothing's gonna jump on you and attack you and kill you It's okay. Then that kind of you know, that's one way to Compart even your nervous system sounds like you go further with meditation and doing some body scanning Maybe it seems like like yeah for parts that are that are sometimes Yeah, sometimes at this point.

Lila [42:05]: I just it's like I pretty hard for me to calm myself down so I really mostly what I do is just find a way to protect myself like that's my main coping mechanism you know in cases where I can't do anything about it in the moment I'll just protect myself the best that I can so Yeah. But yeah, I'll do my best with meditation. I guess to go back to the therapy and like my mom coming in and realizing like, could I do NLP for years? Could I like do deep, deep therapy? Like could I quote unquote recover from this thing? I don't know. Maybe like maybe, but do, am I interested enough in doing that? No, I don't want to. I don't want to do that kind of work. I want to live my life and just accommodate to this, I mean, I want to say irritating condition, like right now I am irritated by the trigger. So yeah, it's irritating sometimes. It's hard to manage. But it's like I think easier probably just to manage than to try to do like therapy, you know, on this thing. Because I just, from what I've read, like I don't think that there's a...

Adeel [43:22]: cure per se i think there are coping mechanisms and ways to uh reduce the irritation but yeah unless you've heard something different i'm here to announce that no just kidding no yeah yeah you're right there's no cure but you're right there are uh yeah exactly a battery of coping methods not all of them apply or you know might be useful to everybody but um there are There's a wide range and there are more that are being taken seriously. I mean, there's the CBT stuff, which is a lot of that trying to, well, there's many parts of it, but trying to, at least in your mind, trying to take control of the sound. Maybe you're going to make a joke about it or just kind of reinterpret it. You know, think of another sound which sounds like it. But there's also going into your past and trying to process your earliest memories and just trying to reinterpret that from what used to be maybe a scared child that was trying to warn itself of imminent danger. And then just kind of speaking to that child as an adult now and telling it what actually happened. And that can somehow... uh you know release that memory uh and kind of help help your um your modern self um reinterpret it you know sounds um and not warn you of a danger that doesn't exist so yeah there are yeah there are different coping methods um and they apply you know differently to different people hopefully we're converging on something that might apply to more people but um but yeah

Lila [45:04]: Well, I think so. I actually had therapy about misophonia like two weeks ago. I'm still in therapy, but with a different therapist. I highly recommend therapy. It's so great. And my misophonia was just like really, really, really fiery because I had just moved into the space and there was way more sound than I thought there was going to be. And I was very stressed out in general. It was about life things. And I told her I got to the bottom of the stress. The stress, it's like, look, in this moment, there's music playing in the room next to me. It's irritating as fuck. My whole system is very contracted right now. I wish I had control over it. What actually is the most concerning to me, and this is what came up in therapy, is that I'm concerned that the stress or the cortisol levels are going to basically shorten my life or give me a heart attack and early death or something like that. Are these cortisol levels unhealthy for me to manage in the long run? That's my concern. Can I handle these loud sounds in the moment? It's irritating, but life has irritations all the time. We don't have... full control over our lives and so we have to deal with all sorts of irritations and as my therapist said humans have genetically have the ability to handle stress on a regular basis. Our bodies are built to be able to withstand regular and constant stresses, perhaps historically speaking in terms of potential predators or dangers like that. It just really helped me to hear her say... You're okay. You're not going to die. Your cortisol levels are okay. You just need to manage the discomfort temporarily. So that really, really, really helped me. It helps me to hear science. I need to hear the explanation for something and to understand that I'm not going to have a heart attack or something from this. I'm going to be okay in 15 minutes or something. So that really, really, really helps me. Otherwise, I get into this concern bubble of this being something that is very, very dangerous to my entire system on a long-term basis or something like that. Does that make sense?

Adeel [47:41]: Yeah, that makes total sense. Yeah, I've had similar thoughts. I mean, I even remember having a conversation here on the podcast with somebody who I guess he was also misdiagnosed that he was basically heart failure was imminent if stress levels got too high. So that kind of really added to his stress, as you can imagine. But yeah, this is not definitely not unusual for a lot of us who you who obviously are very self-aware we think deeply about how we're you know what's going on with us and we're not given a lot of answers from the outside world actually I'm curious you said you started therapy a couple weeks ago you know you're in Indonesia I'm just curious in general like what is the misophonia awareness there or mental health awareness there is your therapist there or no no yeah she's remote I've been seeing her for five years

Lila [48:38]: Um, yeah, yeah. So she knows me very well inside and out. And, uh, yeah. So in turn, wait, what was the other part of the question? Oh yeah.

Adeel [48:48]: So I rambled again. It was, um, basically miss plenty of mental health awareness in general in Indonesia.

Lila [48:55]: Oh my gosh. I'm sure there's like no awareness of that. Maybe for travelers, maybe for, maybe for, you know, tourists or travelers or nomads or expats. Yeah. Like there's so many different categories. yeah so like for instance one of my best friends here that I met here she also has misophonia you know so yeah you know there's a definitely a community of conscientious folks who understand what HSPs are and empaths and things like that I'm also in a very yeah you could say alternative on a very alternative island but in terms of like the local people here no I'm sure there's no there's probably no awareness around misophonia and mental health awareness gosh I do not doubt it which is so interesting and actually I mean I think that you're much more attuned to the research since we have podcasts about this and I've done my best to avoid misophonia being the forefront of my reality just because I feel like the more I talk about it the more it is exacerbated but to your knowledge what are the demographics for misophonia like is it more men more women is it Are Caucasian people more affected? Is it prevalent in other countries? Do you know anything about that?

Adeel [50:13]: No, I'm interested to know. Great questions. Definitely more women identified, but I feel like that it's definitely not exclusive to women by any means, but more women identified, I hear that anecdotally, but also just looking at the statistics on my social media followers, listeners. But I think part of that might just be because this is such a weird and shamed condition that men are less likely to speak up about it or take it seriously. I talked to friends of mine who are still in the uh oh you know people can just snap out of it kind of kind of situation so um so you know men are not going to speak up if if that's what they're going to hear usually um yeah so but i think i don't think it's necessarily anything particular about um but women that makes them more likely i think it's just unfortunately how we're socially wired these days to to not speak up about it um in terms of um yeah other demographics i don't i don't know like obviously it's just more even though it's you know we don't we still don't take mental health as seriously as we should i think it's taken more seriously and in the west still um but i've had people uh yeah i was just talking to uh a college student at uh karachi university in pakistan who was doing a research project done and she was interviewing me and she wants to make it um you know more uh let's raise the awareness in pakistan which you know i'm half pakistani i know there's no awareness there and it's uh and it's um but it but i feel like it's just the information is spreading and i feel like it will take some time to go around but i don't think there's anything specific about the west that makes us more misophonically prone. I think it's maybe just identified as something else in other countries. I know, and I won't ramble on much more, but I know in some cultures, like I was growing up, I grew up in a very Muslim religious household. A lot of the times in religious and religious upbringings, if anything that's kind of like out of the ordinary is considered um fixable by god basically just kind of being being more pious right being more religious and so um i feel like probably a lot of it gets kind of like you know thrown under those kinds of blankets and uh and i think if more people hear about it they might be able to separate the two um and get some real help So I don't know if that answers your question, but I don't think it's, I don't think it's, yeah, I don't think it's anything biological about certain cultures, but I feel like, yeah, it's cultural why some are identified more than others.

Lila [53:10]: Yeah, I think this would be really great research because, unfortunately, our condition is still seen as being made up. And, you know, and starting to hit the mainstream, I've seen, you know, several... Actually, it's been mentioned in the news a few times. You know, friends of mine will always send me, you know, articles and things like that. So there are articles. More people know about it. So... I think that it would help a lot if there were studies done in other countries because it would help to, yeah, the idea that we're like, I don't know, there's this sense of like, oh, it's a privileged condition.

Adeel [53:49]: We are privileged. First world condition, yeah.

Lila [53:51]: First world condition. And, I mean, I've asked myself that question. Like, yeah, it's a privilege to be able to put myself into a safe space, right? Into a room that is private and quiet, which I actually can't do in this very moment. But when I do have... Like, when I was living in Los Angeles in my little cabin on the mountaintop, like, that was a privilege to have that kind of sonic security, you could say. And so... I've asked myself that question, is this a privileged condition that was like psychologically, you know, maybe it is more psychological, which of course a lot of people who don't believe that misophonia is a real thing, they'll say, oh, it's just psychological, you're making it up, which is 100% not true. I just want to be like, you want to step inside my body and like feel the, like there is a real, happening physiologically. One of my best friends who has it as well, she feels nauseous. She gets nauseous when she hears the sounds. But anyway, sorry, I digress. The point is that those research studies would be interesting for so many reasons. I would be curious to see the results. I'm okay if it is true that it is... you know, more psychological, not psychological now, but like there was some sort of trauma when we were younger and that has affected us psychologically. That would be very interesting. But also, of course, what those research studies would do, as you said, would help to support people in other countries who would need that kind of support. And I don't know, maybe. maybe I'm ready to since I'm already so such a public figure with like everything that I do I'm like maybe I'll maybe I'll start talking about misophonia publicly more um there was something else I wanted to say about uh sharing about misophonia and It'll come back to me, but I do think that it would be very fascinating to have more studies done internationally. Oh, I know what I was going to say. I was talking to my friend because everything I do, especially public-facing, is about protecting our planet, the future of our planet. I just don't really see anything being more important because if we don't have a planet to live on, then we're bye. You know, like there's just no more no more living. So I was saying to my friend, well, if I put more energy into misophonia, like if I was to be more public about it and share about that. Um, I'm afraid that I would be like, first of all, off brand. Cause I've built everything around being like motherfucking nature. It's who I am. Right. So she was like, no, it's not off brand. She's like, that's totally connected. Like it's, it's sound pollution, which is so true because like, I'm sure, you know, too, that, or maybe, I don't know, but maybe some of your listeners do, you know, don't know about this, but. We have species going extinct due to certain frequencies in the air, certain birds. Sound pollution is a real issue, not just for us, but for many animals. Ooh, this is actually some pretty juicy information that's coming up right now. Yeah, so that's an interesting tie-in, too, is sound pollution just in general and how that affects the ecology, the ecology of our surrounding environment.

Adeel [57:16]: yeah there's another uh there's another podcast called the rest is just noise by a bunch of like um phds who are working on studying sound and i think they've got a number of episodes on yeah ecology and noise pollution and the real effects of sound it might be interesting i'll try to dig up a link i subscribe i would be i'll send you a link to that will you please that would be wonderful i'll post you there were a few things i'd love oh yeah yeah yeah after yeah no for sure And then the other thing, the other way it's not, I don't think it's off-brand at all, is just because obviously climate change is something that, you know, a lot of people take seriously, but a lot of people ridicule and think it's, you know, we don't have, you know. Shouldn't you be more concerned about increasing the GDP and then saving a bunch of trees? In one way, people are painting it as a privileged thing to be worried about. Like, hey, you're in the West. You don't have to worry about a bunch of stuff. Now you're just looking for things to complain about. um where so there's some i feel like there's some parallel with misophonia where again people just don't take it seriously and i think we're just kind of like looking for things to to whine about or complain about so yeah yeah it is and i just i guess i i'm coming back to um i know we're closing out here soon oh yeah sorry no no you need to get into that other room as well but um it's calm right now and it's incredible

Lila [58:53]: incredible it's incredible that i can feel my entire body just relax when there's the quiet i'm like yeah oh it's such peace i love it so much it's just such relief um yeah uh i was gonna say yeah i just in terms of tying this into climate change and being sensitives in the world like i just i i and and for your listeners to just say obviously anyone probably anyone who's listening has misophonia Or is, you know, in a relationship with someone who has misophonia, I do believe, yeah, a parent or a partner, you know, my partners or lovers are definitely affected by the fact that I have misophonia. Oh my God, I'm dating a guy right now who eats like, I mean, he's a giant first of all, like an actual, like he's almost giant sized. And so he's just like... very like heavy breathing and just this kind of thing. And it's, it's really, it's challenging. But anyways, so for anyone listening, just to say, I truly do believe that the way forward as a planet, as a species is to allow sensitive to lead the way. Some senses, a lot of sensitives aren't as vocal as someone like me. You know, I don't have any problem. I love being on stages and I'm a public speaker. Like that's great. A lot of sensitives may not be that type of a leader. But if we want to, you know, literally survive, we're going to need to start listening to each other, not just as humans, but to the millions of other species that we share this beautiful planet with. We need to start listening. And some of us have these refined tools, these ears of ours that... hear things that maybe others don't and I just want to encourage us to take care of ourselves I'm talking to myself too giving myself a pep talk to take care of ourselves and to honor ourselves and to realize as you said at the very beginning like It's a superpower. Let's change the conversation around this to nurture and to take care of this very beautiful skill. And if we can do that, flip the switch on the conversation and really step into leadership as sensitive people and take a stand for... For those who need to be spoken for, you know, I think that this is a really important time for empathic leadership. And a lot of people with dysphonia probably are empaths as well, or HSPs, whatever. I mean, there's just so many different categories. Right. Yeah.

Adeel [61:28]: No, that's great. I can't think of a better way to kind of end this on. Yeah, thanks very much, Laila. And wish you the best in Indonesia and all your life changes.

Lila [61:42]: Thank you so much for having me. It's been a real pleasure just talking to other people about a condition that has been, I've had so much shame around it most of my life. It's just really satisfying and comforting to talk to people like you. Thank you so much.

Adeel [61:58]: Thank you again, Lala. I hope you got to find a quiet space away from that music. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this podcast. You can hit me up by email at hello at misophonia podcast dot com or go to the website misophonia podcast dot com. It's even easier just to send a message on Instagram at Misophonia Podcast. Follow there or Facebook and on Twitter or X. It's Misophonia Show. Support the show by visiting the Patreon at slash Misophonia Podcast. The music as always is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace.

Unknown Speaker [63:06]: you