Nina - Herbalist's journey with misophonia and healing.

S7 E8 - 9/5/2023
In this episode, Adeel chats with Nina, a massage therapist and herbalist, about her journey with misophonia. They delve into Nina's childhood in a chaotic home and her strained relationship with her brother, who was a primary trigger for her misophonia. Nina shares insights into her professional life as a massage therapist and herbalist, discussing how she manages misophonia in low-stimulation environments and the benefits of herbal remedies. She details her experiences with different types of earplugs, including Loop earplugs, and how they've been transformative in her life. Nina also examines her struggles with OCD, ADHD, and the pivotal role herbs have played in managing her mental health crises and improving her relationship with misophonia. Throughout the conversation, Nina highlights the importance of her personal growth, understanding, and strategies in navigating life with misophonia, foregrounding her holistic approach to wellness.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 7, Episode 8. My name's Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misophonia. This week I'm talking to Nina, a massage therapist and herbalist. We talk about growing up in a bit of a chaotic home, damage to her relationship with her brother who was her main trigger. We talk about loop earplugs, having OCD and ADHD, and how various herbs and plants have been helping her nervous system. After the show, as always, let me know what you think. Reach out by email at or find me on Instagram or Facebook at Missiphonia Podcast. And while you're online, please head over and leave a quick rating or review if you haven't already wherever you listen to the show. It helps move us up in the algorithms and reach more listeners. Thanks for the incredible ongoing support of our Patreon supporters. If you feel like contributing, you can read all about it at slash misophonia podcast. And I want to mention again that Dr. Jane Gregory and I have a book coming out called Sounds Like Misophonia through Bloomsbury this fall. It'll release in the UK in September and in the US in November. And I'm not sure how it's going to release to the rest of the world, but it will during that time period. You can pre-order now. There are links in the show notes and also on my various social media, or you can go right to Bloomsbury. This episode is also sponsored by my personal journaling app that I developed for iOS and Android called Bazel. Bazel provides AI-powered insights into your journal entries and guides you with new writing prompts every day based on those insights. You can even explore different therapy approaches and philosophies. It's available on iOS and Android. Again, check the show notes or go to All right. Now here's my conversation with Nina. Nina, welcome to the podcast. Great to have you here.

Nina [1:58]: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I'm excited.

Adeel [2:02]: Yeah, so my usual kind of like beginning questions are kind of like, you know, where are you about? Are you located? What do you do?

Nina [2:10]: So I just relocated from Vermont to Asheville, North Carolina. So I do, I love mountains. I'm in the middle of a couple of things right now. So I guess my primary job is that I work as a massage therapist and I'm an herbalist and I do that. I'm kind of building up a business doing that, working with herbal products and yeah. So I work with plants and people.

Adeel [2:36]: you're kind of like i mean in the business of you know relaxing coming coming people down which obviously is a big uh big piece of misophonia or trying to combat misophonia totally yeah calming people down but also like i don't know giving the nervous system space to let whatever out

Nina [2:54]: Like if it comes out.

Adeel [2:56]: Right, right, right, right. That's interesting. Yeah, because I had Cresta on not too long ago and she goes on rage drives, she says, where she just kind of lets everything out in the car.

Nina [3:08]: That is amazing. I love that. Try that.

Adeel [3:12]: So, yeah, do you want to maybe give us a kind of a picture of kind of what your life is like kind of misophonia wise these days?

Nina [3:19]: Oh, okay. Well, yeah. Misophonia wise, I guess right now I'm in a place where I am the least triggered that I think I've been in a really long time. So I'll start by saying that I just moved into an apartment complex, which like I was really unsure of how that would go. But we made sure to get the top floor all the way on the corner so that there's no one kind of enclosing us, no one stomping on top of us. i occasionally can hear my neighbor below us i can hear his tv mumble sometimes but that's easy enough to maybe put some airpods on or some earbuds well the thing with that is that it literally like there's like a reverberation Yeah, you feel it. So it's like one of the worst things, like when you can actually feel the sound. But other than that, like, I'm pretty good. It's funny because I have misophonia and it's pretty debilitating. And my partner has a deviated septum. So he has like a little bit of a whistle. And I'm like, as the face would have it, we're together with these conflicting health situations.

Adeel [4:34]: Yeah. And is he, well, I guess we can get into kind of like how, how does he help you manage that in some way by just not breathing around you maybe?

Nina [4:46]: Yeah. He turns purple.

Adeel [4:49]: He's got an oxygen tank that's pumping oxygen so he doesn't have to operate his nose.

Nina [4:55]: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. He's really supportive. So actually he, I was living with him in Vermont. For the first time. And he hadn't triggered me really ever until we moved in together. And when I moved in in Vermont, I always had these like little foam earplugs in my ear. And I ended up getting these ear infections that were kind of recurrent.

Adeel [5:17]: I've heard of that.

Nina [5:19]: Yeah. Ear infections are the foam plugs.

Adeel [5:22]: Oh, I've heard of ear, well, obviously bone plugs, but I've heard of like ear infections from keeping them in too long, I guess, right?

Nina [5:29]: Yeah, yeah, or just like constantly having, even if I changed them out, just having something constantly in my ear wasn't really going to fly. So he actually discovered the company Loop. I don't know if you've heard of them.

Adeel [5:41]: Yes, right, right.

Nina [5:44]: He discovered them and purchased two sets of Loops for me, and those have changed my life.

Adeel [5:50]: okay okay how are they so yeah i've tried them on and i'm like um it's yeah i mean they i i wasn't sure i mean i didn't have long enough to like be able to compare them against foam plugs because i haven't had foam plugs in my ears too much i usually oh you wear airpods but yeah i'd love to hear kind of like your comparison of them

Nina [6:08]: yeah so the loop i find them so much more comfortable and i can clean them so i can come and clean them and they're really great and i have two pairs one is loop experience and i guess that was kind of the more diesel pair that you can change the decibel blockage or whatever i don't know the fancy terms for it so i can change out the the foaming around the plug or the whatever that's called and i can take them like to restaurants and i can usually leave them in my ear like at a restaurant and still hear people talking to me but i don't hear the people behind me chewing okay and then i have the complete noise cancelling ones which i used to sleep and they work really well, and they don't fall out as easy as the foam plugs do.

Adeel [6:54]: Ah, okay, okay, interesting. Yeah. So the complete, is it a different material, or is it like bigger or something?

Nina [7:00]: You have no idea.

Adeel [7:02]: Okay, okay.

Nina [7:03]: Hopefully it's not just branding, but... Right, right.

Adeel [7:06]: No, they do actually... There's definitely some marketing, but... Yeah, they do a really good job. Seems like you're, I mean, you obviously have more, probably have more foam experience than most people I know, so it's good to get your... Foam experience. Yes. Put that on my resume. Yeah. Herbalist foam. Yeah. So, okay, cool. Well, well, that's great that, that, that, you know, he's got, he's got that, that supportive approach.

Nina [7:38]: I mean, I feel bad for him, you know, to have.

Adeel [7:41]: Yeah.

Nina [7:43]: reacting to you existing can't be comfortable um but he's great he's really great about it more so than a lot of people that i grew up around and he's just very very stoic and understanding and that's kind of i guess different and nice did um did you well i guess when did you know what it was did you know when you met him that that you had misophonia oh yeah i've known for a while It's an issue. Like, I clearly have an issue.

Adeel [8:14]: Right, right. I'm curious, when did you find out it actually had a name? And that there were other people, other weirdos like this?

Nina [8:20]: You're right, you're right. Some people don't know that it has a name. Yeah, I mean, you can be aware that you have this thing that's debilitating and feel like it's your fault and feel like there's something that can change. or that should change or that it's in your control to change. I think I learned that it had a name when I was like 18, 17 or 18. I knew that I had accommodations in high school. I had an IEP for a couple of things because I have ADHD. And in my IEP, my individualized education plan or 504, I don't remember what I had, but there were accommodations that I could wear headphones and that I could take tests in quiet rooms. And I remember actually having to switch one of my favorite classes because it was right after lunch and everyone had gum after lunch. So I had to change it. So I knew that there was something like serious enough to be involved in my like legal education plan going on. But I think I learned that it had a name when I was 17 or 18.

Adeel [9:18]: And did you so when you were getting these plans, was it your parents kind of leading that charge? It seemed like or did you know what was going on or?

Nina [9:27]: Well, I knew I had ADHD. I think it's uncommon for young girls to be diagnosed as young as I was, but it's just so, I guess, textbook. And I guess I was lucky. I had a lot of people in my corner. But yeah, it was basically my mom and my aunt and my grandma. So I had like a team behind me making sure I had all the accommodations that I needed to basically get through school. And it was for ADHD. That was the legal diagnosis. Like the... foundation on which they could like make these accommodations for me and then they just weaved in the other stuff because you can get pretty creative once you have your your bureaucratic check boxes checked

Adeel [10:11]: Gotcha. Once you have the ADHD diagnosis, you can... Interesting. Okay. Yes. And so did misophonia or those reactions ever come up when you were getting diagnosed?

Nina [10:26]: Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yep.

Adeel [10:28]: Okay. Totally. Did that maybe play a role in your ADHD diagnosis, or did you have other symptoms that were clearly ADHD?

Nina [10:36]: I had a lot. I had a lot.

Adeel [10:37]: Okay. I mean, many of us do have a lot of comorbid thoughts.

Nina [10:43]: I was wondering, yeah, it seems like that. Like I listened to your podcast and it sounds like a lot of people with misophonia are neurodivergent in one way or another, which makes sense, I guess.

Adeel [10:54]: It's a corkule. ADHD is a big one. OCD, even bipolar comes up quite a few times.

Nina [11:00]: Right, right.

Adeel [11:02]: um so how did uh so i guess how was family life around that time like um you know you were getting diagnosed with adhd what did they think of the the misophonia was it did they people think it was part of the family or they thought it was my other weird thing okay okay yeah i think that you were maybe trying to control the situations

Nina [11:22]: Yeah, or I think it even, I don't know, the rhetoric around the people who were researching misophonia kind of like assuming it was a subtype of OCD. I don't know if you'd heard of that. I think it got disproven. It was disproven, but I think a lot of the... the that idea behind that was kind of like similar to the way my parents and teachers talk to me like okay like you have to deal with this in this way like i know that this is making you feel a certain way but why is that like can we like get to the root of this kind of a thing like this is your problem you it's not other people's problem you have to fix it you have to do the mindset work right It's just like, no, no, that's so wrong. It's so not anything like that. But I think that it was a lot of that kind of. reaction to me it was really frustrating for my family um because no one really knew how to help me and i think that that was frustrating i also my parents have i'm pretty sure undiagnosed adhd and they they're aware of this i wouldn't say it if they weren't aware of this but i think that that contributes to just like having like a low frustration tolerance and then having a very overstimulated child who you don't know how to help like i just imagine that's really difficult

Adeel [12:38]: Right, right, right, right. Okay. Um, yeah, no, that's, there's a lot, a lot there to unpack, but you're right. OCD definitely, the, the, the, I only realized recently that, uh, I guess the, the, uh, the main, uh, or the, one of the main, uh, pathways to treat OCD is like exposure, which is like the opposite of what you want with misophonia. So if, if that gets in the, to the mind of the therapist and they're going to try to get you to be, you know, exposure therapy, which is.

Nina [13:06]: Have you tried that?

Adeel [13:07]: because some people don't some people try yeah yeah of course of course yeah yeah no yeah some people tried but i i've i've rarely heard of um you know it's generally frowned upon now there are things that that are not exposure therapy but they're more like um you know i guess i want to say user controlled um engaging with the sounds to try to kind of like rethink where the sound what the sound is where it's coming from but but yeah I mean but basically exposure therapy to just try to get used to something is not I think it works for OCD apparently but yeah that's not something that's generally yeah considered what you're supposed to do for misophonia right I think well sorry I was just gonna say most of us will try anything but no I've heard the same intuitively that makes no sense so Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, so how far did it go back for you? Like, do you remember kind of around when you were, how old you were?

Nina [14:08]: Yeah, I was 11 or 12. And I remember my first struggle. I was eating at a restaurant with my dad and brother and I was so confused. And I have the visual version of this horrible thing.

Adeel [14:20]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nina [14:21]: I forgot the name of it. But I remember that being the first thing that bothered me was like watching, watching them eat. Yeah. And then I realized I could also hear it. And it was just this snowball of associations. And I was so confused and disgusted. And I thought I might have just been having a bad day or something.

Adeel [14:43]: How did they react?

Nina [14:45]: They didn't know. I kind of kept to myself. I was like, I left.

Adeel [14:48]: I left.

Nina [14:49]: yeah i like left the table or like i looked down at my own meal and then i was just eating at the same time and i think i eventually it wasn't bothering me for that long like i remember looking up and noticing how horrible it was to like be witnessing that and then just go back down and carry it on but i was like why what is going on i remember being really like i don't know confused

Adeel [15:13]: So around that time, yeah, around that time, 11 or 12 or earlier, was there anything kind of unusual going on at home? Like you said, your parents were kind of maybe undiagnosed ADHD. Was there any kind of like, you know, there's a lot of walking on eggshells kind of situations for a lot of us, people who come on the podcast. Just curious if you remember anything unusual.

Nina [15:34]: Yeah. Yeah, I think it's just there was a lot of tension. My parents got divorced when I was five and my brother and they get along fine. Like I never had to split holidays with them. I think I'm really lucky for that. And that's a testament to who they are as people. And they lived right down the street from each other and they split custody 50 50. So my brother and I would go from my mom's house for a whole week to my dad's house for a whole week. And I think like as as ideal as that sounds on paper, I think just like going back and forth and all around was kind of chaotic for me. And also I'm just really sensitive, like I'm sensitive to smells and lights and sounds besides trigger sounds. And being my dad, like always, my dad is like a blue collar entrepreneur. He was always like had the radio on in the garage and would like not even notice it. And we'd fall asleep and I'd wake up at two in the morning to the radio on. Like it was just kind of chaotic, a little chaotic for me growing up, especially with ADHD.

Adeel [16:38]: Right, right, right. Okay. And yeah, you mentioned, I'm curious about the others. Do you remember any, how did the other sensitivities to other senses manifest? I'm always kind of curious.

Nina [16:50]: um i honestly i feel like i'm coming to terms with those more now that i'm older if that makes sense um but yeah i like no overhead lights like that can't be a thing i can't like i think this has always been a thing but especially since the pandemic like i can't wear clothes that are uncomfortable to me like when i shop i'm shopping for comfort only Like, I just really want to, like, minimum input to my nervous system these days. I think that the intentions to, like, have the minimum input is kind of partially why I'm the least triggered these days. It's kind of, like, lowering the overall input.

Adeel [17:31]: Yeah, well, you're able to, as you're older, you'll be able to control a little bit more your sensory inputs. Not everyone can, even as they get older, but I think you're making a conscious decision. Have you heard the term HSP, like highly sensitive?

Nina [17:46]: I have. I have heard that.

Adeel [17:49]: Do you think you're like, that's more than just senses. That's like, you know, really being in tune with the, you know, person in the room, reading the room.

Nina [17:58]: Yeah. I think I am.

Adeel [18:00]: Yeah.

Nina [18:01]: I think I am. I'm really, I'm a huge cry baby. Like if I'm on the phone with my friend going through a breakup, which just happened, she was crying and I started crying. I don't even, I hadn't even met the guy. I'm crying. but i really do i love people though so i don't really limit my interactions i love i love interacting with people even though i'm sensitive i guess but i really do it i think the misophonia makes it harder than anything like being sensitive to other people is like a little like a little draining but not as much as it is like rewarding and fulfilling

Adeel [18:34]: Right. Right. And that's funny. It's not particularly rewarding.

Nina [18:37]: No, it makes me feel sometimes like I shouldn't have people in my life. I'm like, I can't be around people. Like there's just this really conflicting energy. Like I had friends, I moved into this new apartment and I had friends come to visit. And towards the end, I was getting really triggered by like little noises and like just like having them in my house for so long. But like I loved them being there. So, so again, it's just really this confusing thing. that's exhausting sometimes to just yeah so when you when you have friends over do you have your loops in your ears or is it you're just yeah like the whole time it's unfortunate it's kind of awkward like i'm so lucky that i have friends that like kind of know they very much know but i have to be like it's not you like it's me and everyone is so aware of it but i do like it's like you can't sometimes like as conscious as you are and as conscious as like the people around you are it's hard like there's still that like feeling of like shame and like

Adeel [19:33]: yeah being embarrassed about it yeah yeah so that that um do you remember much of that that shame guilt growing up like obviously not knowing what it was um um i don't know like maybe maybe you know confusing or or offending like family members uh was that part of that kind of like the childhood experience for you

Nina [19:57]: No.

Adeel [19:58]: Okay. That's good.

Nina [20:00]: Like, no. I feel like I was really defensive about it. But I think now that I'm surrounded by people who are so understanding, I feel more guilty.

Adeel [20:09]: Right. It was very much, you thought, right, it was other people's problems. There was no time for guilt or shame when you were growing up.

Nina [20:17]: And I think I'm lucky to have that personality. like I don't identify as a people pleaser at all. I never really have, which is great. Like for me, I guess, but yeah, it's taken a lot of growth and maturing to kind of like get to the point where I have the people around me who are so understanding and to the point where I kind of am conscious of the way that it affects other people. Yeah.

Adeel [20:40]: Yeah. Yeah. And so how about for, I mean, for work, like, you know, as a massage therapist, you can't really, you can't suddenly get triggered and go off the fly off the deep end.

Nina [20:51]: but yeah but please I would love to hear these any kind of like interesting experiences you've had yeah I guess it's so funny because before I was a massage therapist I was like an assistant teacher in lower elementary Montessori classrooms I worked at a few different schools and I think Like the kids eating, it was so gross. Like I didn't want to be in the room, but also it was so many of them at one time that it was so stimulating that like it almost didn't bother me or I would be so completely overstimulated that I wasn't aware of like my trigger noises. And then massage is so the opposite where like this is such a low stimulation environment that like the littlest thing, like I'll notice it. But massaging, I do wear my earplugs or I have them with me just in case like the client has a stuffy nose or something because it does happen. Yeah. Um, and there's always humidifiers in the room or like air purifiers and they have like three levels and I'll just turn them up if I need to drop anything. So it's honestly easier massaging, but I have definitely had days where I just can't handle certain, certain sounds in the massage room. And that's why I bring my loops. I bring both my levels of loops.

Adeel [22:08]: Yeah. Right. Hardcore. Yeah. Okay. and and you know you know you mentioned you're kind of herbalist has has i don't know has has that kind of like have you experimented anything with anything there in terms of just trying to like um obviously you know there's no herbal cure for mesothelioma i guess but more for i don't know relaxation kind of calming that nervous system down yeah anything works well for you

Nina [22:36]: I am not going to say that herbs have not helped misophonia. I'm not going to say there's a cure to misophonia, obviously, but herbs have literally saved my life so many times, especially with misophonia. I think a lot of us have had some mental health situations as well. Most of us are neurodivergent, and a lot of us have had anxiety or OCD, a lot of comorbidities, like you said. that's what was the catalyst to my journey in herbalism was I was having a mental health crisis I was panicking my OCD was off the charts I couldn't eat I had to drop out of school I left my job and went and hid in my mom's basement for like a month and I couldn't do anything like I couldn't eat like with I couldn't hold anything down and if I tried to leave the house like I couldn't hold anything down and I was just so lost and I had had like kind of a weird experience with psychiatric drugs and I'm not against them I've you know I got my vaccines all that but I had kind of a not great experience with ADHD medication in high school. And so I was so scared to go back to that, that my mom was just we kind of just didn't know what to do. So she Googled like natural anxiety remedies near me. That's what she Googled. And we ended up at this place called like the pharmacy with an F, not PH. So I was like, OK, clever. So I get it. yeah yeah like all right all right um from the dirt so we drove like 45 minutes it was my first outing and i figured what i needed was to like be put to sleep basically like i need a sleep like i i had no expectations i think a lot of supplement marketers tell the story of like this is gonna fix everything like this is gonna be the thing i had no expectations i was such a mess And then I got my tea. We went to the sleep section and I got sleepy time tea. And then I got a tincture to go with it, I'm pretty sure. And I drank it at bedtime and I slept. And I didn't even attribute it to the herbs at first. It was just kind of this really gradual relationship building with the plants. And then I learned more and more. And I learned about nervous system tropa restoratives, which are herbs that kind of rebuild and nourish the nervous system directly. And I started working with those and I noticed such huge changes in how often I was triggered, like in my misophonia was triggered, like as I began working with these plants.

Adeel [25:11]: Wow. Okay. Okay. Interesting. Yeah. I'd love to hear more about how were you taking them and kind of like how often and kind of what types of herbs?

Nina [25:25]: Yeah. I hope I wasn't like talking for too long.

Adeel [25:28]: No, no, no, no.

Nina [25:30]: Okay. Um, yeah. So the herbs that I started with when I figured like, okay, what I need is to go to sleep because nothing's going to help me unless I can sleep. Um, the herbs in that formula, I think it was like the traditional medicines or traditional medicinals. I forget. It was the sleepy time tea, which had passion flower as the main herb. And then, and then I got a tincture I think called don't panic and passion flower was also the main herb and those not that knocked me out. supporting herbs had like lemon balm in them and then so I started working with passionflower and lemon balm like after I had like within a couple days I was able to leave my mom's house like I didn't think I was gonna leave for a while within a couple days I was sleeping and like I was leaving I was still really anxious because what I was suffering from was panic attacks and like dissociation and i was able to leave my mom's house and then i kind of like ran out of my tincture and so i had to re-look it up and i remembered the herbs in them and so i started working like alone with lemon balm and passion flower and passion flower is an herb that so if you look at a passion flower the tendrils are looped it's a really beautiful flower and that's what's called a plant signature and it's indicated for people who have like thought loops and ruminations and i think that happens a lot with people with misophonia just kind of like even the way that a lot of us like have to listen to a sound and have to kind of like replay it in order to kind of cope with it Um, or to not get out of the thought loop of like, oh my God, oh my God, I'm, I'm feeling violent. I'm feeling violent. Like it's just a, it's, it's a really nice herb for that. But yeah, so it's indicated for thought loops, rumination, and it's a nervine hypnotic, which means it will kind of shut, like you will kind of shut down. Like you shouldn't take a bunch of passion flower and drive. Like it'll probably help you go to sleep. And then lemon balm is in the mint family and it's called a Nervine Trofa Restorative. So it helps to rebuild and nourish the nervous system directly. And it cuts the edge off so it won't put you to sleep. You can use it throughout the day. and it over time helps your nervous system kind of rebuild and if we're if you're not sleeping like your nervous system is screwed like like that's the thing that's burn out your nervous system so lemon balm is not even only the it's not the best it's up there but the two best nervy and troper restoratives are skullcap and milky oats and then i started working with those and that's kind of when i started to notice like major long-term changes

Adeel [28:00]: Hmm. Long-term changes. You mean just to kind of like your, your, your sleep quality? My sensitivities. Sensitivities. Okay.

Nina [28:08]: Yeah. My perception of reality and like the way, like the outside world was affecting me. Like I had a higher tolerance, like my nervous system, like started to expand.

Adeel [28:19]: Gotcha. And so now like you're saying, you said, you know, you had friends over, you're still being triggered. You're still wearing the loops. But are you saying that before it was even worse? Yeah. So it's not gotten rid of your misophonia, but you feel like it's made a long-term impact in terms of how your misophonia is. It's there, but it's not as bad as it was. Okay.

Nina [28:42]: Yes, and I have a bigger toolbox. I know, like, in moments of being triggered, like, it feels like you're so helpless.

Adeel [28:49]: Right, right.

Nina [28:50]: And, like, nothing is going to help, but I kind of know certain moments. Like, I know that I can reach for certain things. Like, I can reach for my loops. I can reach for my passion flower, you know.

Adeel [29:03]: Well, that's key. I mean, just sometimes, like I said before, you don't necessarily need to go for it, but as long as you have it around, your nervous system knows that it's being taken care of.

Nina [29:12]: Yeah, and it's funny. I don't know if you relate to this, but it's worse when I feel trapped in a situation. Oh, yeah. Yeah, well, yeah. It's like, duh.

Adeel [29:21]: No, well, no. It's good to be reminded. Yeah, like if I'm in a car.

Nina [29:27]: But just, like, to your point that, like, if your nervous system knows there's kind of something that can happen to make this better, like, when you're in a car driving with someone eating chips, like, there's really no way that, like, you know it's going to end soon.

Adeel [29:40]: Right.

Nina [29:40]: So, yeah, it is important to kind of have that.

Adeel [29:43]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And do those work, just to talk about the herbs just for one more second, but do they, like, if you, does it take a while to kick in? Is it, like, You mean triggered at a cafe, you can pop one and... So it depends. Okay.

Nina [30:03]: It depends on the herb. So passionflower will work pretty quickly. And then herbs like skullcap have two different ways that you can use it. And for the long-term effects on your nervous system, a lot of people with misophonia would benefit from a long-term skullcap tincture just to kind of like rebuild. reset I yeah so skullcap is one that you can take as a tincture and you'll notice it more long term it'll cut the edge off but skullcap kind of does what it sounds like it does like skullcap it kind of like if your head is everywhere and your energy is kind of leaving your body and you're feeling really scattered and overwhelmed it takes all that back and like pulls you back down into your body And you can get that effect by making a really strong infusion or a tea, and it'll work pretty darn quickly if you make a strong-spoken tea. So yeah, it depends.

Adeel [30:55]: Yeah, I'm sure people are Googling it right now as they're listening. I haven't heard of these yet. And so have you met people who have misophonia in your experiences working? No.

Nina [31:09]: Well, actually, I will say my first herbal mentor has has misophonia. So that's really funny. It's kind of how we initially connected. And I was like just starting to get into plants when I met her. But she's pretty much the only person I know. I mean you probably it feels so good to talk to someone who understands like in the beginning of this podcast and you're like if noises come up like we'll cut them out or something like if something happens like we'll cut out I was like oh my god like you really get it I was like wait what who am I talking to yeah it is it is surreal yeah it's kind of like how it is that like these you know if I go to I mean the idea for this came out of a convention that I went to so I was surrounded by misophones and uh it's just kind of surreal because it's like uh

Adeel [31:54]: you know, you start talking to somebody, you realize like they understand like half of your experiences. And so you don't have to, yeah, there is an annual convention. Yeah. It's, it's, and this year is its 10th year actually. Um, so a couple hundred people show up, there's like an online portion now too. But, um, but yeah, it's, it's been, um, you know, Marcia Johnson who I've had on the show, she, who first coined the term in the, in the nineties, she started the convention about 10 years ago. Um, Why didn't I know that? Well, I mean, it's one of those weird things where once you know, you kind of are really into it. But it's not like CNN is going to cover the convention or anything, right?

Nina [32:40]: Right. Yeah, that's so cool. It's so refreshing to talk to people who get it. It's weird because I don't know if you're in online support groups, are you?

Adeel [32:50]: Yeah, I am. And, yeah, I mean, I'm in the groups. I just don't look at them all the time because they get a little bit intense and a bit ranty.

Nina [32:59]: That's, like, I found that they, yeah. Yeah, I found that they almost, like, trigger me more or, like, make it worse sometimes to, like, read people ranting all the time.

Adeel [33:09]: Usually when you're going online into a support group, you're in the middle of a... you know, you've just been triggered big time. And so that's kind of what you read.

Nina [33:17]: Oh, wow. That's so true. So true.

Adeel [33:19]: I mean, it's good that people are, it's good that people are at least know what it is, but, uh, but yeah, I guess a little bit overwhelming just to read all that. There are some good ones. A misophonia treatment tracker is a Facebook group. Oh, I'm in that one. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So Michael Lawrence was on, he was on the episode, uh, on the show last fall. And that was an amazing episode.

Nina [33:38]: I think, I think that, I think I listened to, I think that was one of the first episodes I listened to actually.

Adeel [33:44]: Yeah. He's been chasing solutions for like 40 years now, you know, so he's got a lot of, a lot of stuff to say.

Nina [33:52]: So impressive.

Adeel [33:53]: It's a good group.

Nina [33:55]: Yeah.

Adeel [33:56]: So yeah, you don't know, so you don't know a lot. So actually, how did you find out about the podcast? Just kind of like.

Nina [34:00]: googling i think i i think i was feeling really bad and like just wanted someone to understand and i just like literally looked it up like misophonia like i don't remember i like looked i was looking for something like it but it didn't come out anywhere like i was doing active searches trying to find yeah so solidarity yeah oh yeah no anyone who's come on the show who's listened uh you know would that would be happy to uh happy to chat about misophonia

Adeel [34:29]: did you um so you say you don't know anybody but but your friends are at least supportive like how did how did you broach the subject with them most of my friends i've known a really long time

Nina [34:43]: and i really like i said i'm not a people pleaser but it's not really a choice like i'm really bad at like masking things going on so at some point it's just really obvious and i have to kind of explain but i don't really remember because like all my friends i've most of my good my good good friends i've known for 10 years or more and there's a lot of them but they all kind of just know yeah um And like newer friends. Okay. So I just started a new job and I had to, when I do couples massages with my new coworkers, I'll have to be like, listen, like I have this thing. Like, I don't know if you've heard of it. Maybe you have, but if you see things in my ear, that's, this is why. So I kind of just like let people know before they trigger me. And then my last job, the people who worked at the front desk at the spa I worked at were so fascinated by it. And they asked a lot of questions. And I'm like, this is so nice. Like, usually people roll their eyes when I'm like, when I like do this, when I'm eating like their lunch or something. But they were really sweet and really understanding too. So I guess maybe I've just gotten kind of lucky recently.

Adeel [35:51]: No, that's great. I mean, people are always wondering, like, how do you bring it up to people? Because most people just kind of bottle it up even after they know what it is.

Nina [35:59]: Yeah.

Adeel [35:59]: Because we're used to just the roll your eyes situation, like you just said, that we used to be dismissed.

Nina [36:06]: Because it's kind of rude, like, a lot of the time. Like, can you not breathe or eat? Thanks. It's, like, kind of rude.

Adeel [36:12]: Sounds good to me, but, yeah, I can see how it sounds rude to other people.

Nina [36:18]: Yeah, totally. Yeah, I think I also exaggerate a little because like there's like that shame. And I think when I was like a freshman in high school, I coped with it by like kind of like doing class clown stuff because like I really turned off. Yeah, like I really turned off some of the girls in my class by like. really cringing and they were like who does this girl think she is like so i kind of like really opened up my personality and like made it a point to make them feel good about themselves about other things um that was like a younger version of coping but these days i'll be like this is gonna sound crazy like i still kind of exaggerated a little just to kind of yeah right well part maybe give it a little bit of humor because you know humor yeah if we can somehow if we can somehow

Adeel [37:05]: make the common people find it funny, then they can help us by maybe hopefully being a little bit more aware. But that's interesting. You said you were kind of maybe exaggerating in school and then you tried to compensate by, I don't know, telling them that their shoes look nice or something just to kind of...

Nina [37:24]: Yeah, being really extramated.

Adeel [37:26]: Oh, okay, gotcha.

Nina [37:28]: It's really likable. I was like, this is my really big debatable quality. Here are all my redeeming qualities.

Adeel [37:38]: I like that, yeah.

Nina [37:40]: But I was like 14 or 15. I don't feel the need to overcompensate as much.

Adeel [37:47]: Anymore? Yeah, yeah, yeah, no. Take it or leave it.

Nina [37:53]: Yeah, exactly.

Adeel [37:55]: Interesting. Okay. So, you said you started a new job. So, did you have... I mean, you said you're telling people as you kind of, like, have experiences. Did you go in on the first day or something? Yeah. How did you... Yeah.

Nina [38:12]: It's funny. I actually don't even work there anymore as of, like, yesterday. Oh, okay, okay.

Adeel [38:17]: Wow, you're fast-moving.

Nina [38:19]: I just... I'm really picky, but we'll, we'll stick with it anyway. I also, I'm, I'm working on a lot. I'm just really busy. Like I, it wasn't my favorite job, but we'll, we'll work with it anyway. So yeah, pretty much the first day I went in and I told the person who I like the first time I did a couples massage with a coworker, I would tell them like right away, really not shy about it. Yeah.

Adeel [38:43]: I mean, well, they're going to find out anyway, so I might as well tell them upfront.

Nina [38:48]: Or they're going to tell the owner that, like, I'm listening, like, watching TV or, like, listening to something while I'm massaging because they see something in my ear.

Adeel [38:55]: Right, right, right, right, right.

Nina [38:57]: I just, like, make sure everyone knows not to bug me about it.

Adeel [39:01]: And then at home, well, because you're not living around your family. Do you have siblings and stuff? I'm just kind of curious. Have you seen Misophonia and other kind of, like, other family members?

Nina [39:13]: So I have a little brother. He does not have misophonia or any. He's very like.

Adeel [39:21]: Perfect.

Nina [39:22]: Yeah, totally, totally. Quite the opposite of me and our personalities and like what we deal with. He has a little anxiety, but no misophonia. My mom definitely has a little bit. And I think that's why she was so confident telling me growing up like that. It's my issue and I need to fix it. And like kind of just like putting it all on me because she has a little bit and she'll be like, yeah, when I'm at dinner and I notice someone next to me is chewing with their mouth open, like I just look down at my own food. I'm like, good for you. Like, nice. Congratulations.

Adeel [39:58]: The title of this episode is good for you.

Nina [40:03]: Yeah. And so that's her. And like, I do notice that she gets triggered by certain people in her life. And like, I just, the pattern recognition, I'm like, I know that's what you're dealing with right now. Somehow it's not like she has more control over her reactions to things, which like, yeah, good for her, but it's definitely not relatable. And my dad, I, my dad one time was like, Nina, like classic, like dad being like, Nina, like this is too much. Like, Maybe you're... And, like, he said it with, like, a sense of humor, but it's... But anyway, I was like, do you not have any sounds that bother you? He was like, I really don't like styrofoam. Like, I hate styrofoam. I'm like, okay. Like, he really can't even be around it and, like, won't use styrofoam cups, like, if, like, fast food places have them. Hates it. Hates the sound of it. So, yeah, I guess a little bit, but not to this extent.

Adeel [40:56]: He's just very environmentally conscious, I guess. No styrofoam for him. yeah yeah exactly he's really progressive did i i'm curious so your mom your mom had a little bit did she did she um i mean going back maybe in her life do you remember do you know of any kind of like difficult situation

Nina [41:15]: with her growing up um she was the youngest sibling and kind of her family like gave her a similar a similar similar mixing two words together similar reputation that kind of i do like oh like you're really energetic like no one can control you you're kind of a pain in the ass like oh sorry Bad impulse control. Okay, good. I've been really conscious this whole time of not saying bad words. But yeah, so she, her family kind of like would roll their eyes at her and like in a humorous way, but she had, she had that kind of reputation of being kind of a fireball and kind of like a pain. So, and she was the youngest.

Adeel [41:55]: Okay. And your little brother growing up, did he, how did he, you know, treat you? Was he a trigger? Was he kind of like adversarial about it or?

Nina [42:05]: No, I feel really bad for him. Honestly, this is like a it's like a scar that I carry. I'm sure he does, too, because he was the first person that triggered me. Oh, right.

Adeel [42:14]: At the table with your dad. Yeah.

Nina [42:16]: Yeah. He was the only person that triggered me for years. And the poor kid just loved me so much. And I, like, didn't know why I couldn't be around him. And it's really sad. He was a really cute kid and he's still a cutie. He's still my little brother, but it kind of like did some damage long-term to our relationship. And it's actually funny because now that we're older and like, I kind of am conscious of how damaging that might've been to him to have like me not be able to be around him. growing up like i'm kind of aware and like really really horrible guilt about it and now he doesn't like he can't trigger me like no like i can sit in the car with him while he's chewing gum and like i'm really like only a little triggered if at all yeah and which is so funny how contextual it is sometimes

Adeel [43:05]: Did that just crossfade over time? Or was there kind of a period where it just kind of disappeared?

Nina [43:10]: There was a moment where he just didn't want to talk to me. Like, when we were both in high school, he just, like, wanted nothing to do with me. Or, like, after he was, like, 17 or 18, he just kind of wanted nothing to do with me. Like, had this, like, whole, like, hate campaign.

Adeel [43:24]: Because of the way you... Yeah. Oh, wow. OK.

Nina [43:28]: Yeah. So ever since then, like I've been in repair mode since then, like I've been kind of like really conscious of like repairing my relationship with him. And that was years ago. I'm 26 now and he's 23. And I think we're on we're on OK terms now. We hang out sometimes like we do, you know. He lives in a different state, but we have a pretty good relationship now. Again, it's evolving and growing. He's like a slower kind of emotional processor and I'm really quick. But yeah, ever since I realized how far back he had pulled away from me, kind of ever since then, like he can't trigger me.

Adeel [44:02]: Oh, interesting.

Nina [44:03]: I know, it's really weird.

Adeel [44:06]: Did that pushing away happen with any of your parents or any other family members too? or cause a lasting effect. No. Okay.

Unknown Speaker [44:17]: Yeah.

Adeel [44:17]: No, I mean, cause they, they weren't really your main triggers, I guess it was kind of mainly your, your brother. And then, and then the world.

Nina [44:25]: Yeah. My, yeah. My dad also, I think started to, um, yeah. I remember there's not really been any. I mean, they're my parents. So if they hold any like resentment or anything towards me about that, then they don't tell me. They kind of will just like make little comments. I remember when I first started dating my current partner, he had built a van and he wanted to go camping in it. And we had just started dating. Like my family hadn't really met him, but I was kind of like teasing the idea with them. I was like, so I met this guy and he built a van and we might go camping. Like I might go in it with him for a couple months. And my dad's reaction, like never met the guy, never heard me talk about him. His reaction was, does he know you're a little quirky? You know you're a little quirky. And I was like, he's worried about this guy. And he was referring to the misophonia.

Adeel [45:18]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nina [45:20]: He was like worried for this guy.

Adeel [45:22]: Maybe a fair question. Maybe a fair question.

Nina [45:26]: Like, I'm glad you're worried about me. Yeah, right.

Adeel [45:31]: Right. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, well, that's great. That didn't affect any, I don't know, any previous partners.

Nina [45:40]: Yeah. I remember, honestly, I have this fear. I don't have this fear anymore, but after the honeymoon stages of relationships and what I'm 26. So prior to this, I've been in maybe three long-term relationships and the honeymoon stage is like, I can't get triggered. Like they can snore and I think it's adorable. And then when we move in or get serious, like I start to get triggered and right around the time that they start triggering me is when we broke up in the past. and i don't know if it was connected but i was really really worried about that being a moment in my current relationship but it hasn't been and he's been happily triggering me for like a year and a half now yeah yeah what do you think the difference is it just kind of like communication um just being chill and supportive yeah i think it's like i think we're really compatible in so many ways and I'm really... I don't know. I don't know. I think it's part of... I don't want to jinx it. No, no. I don't think so. He's really, really patient and really, really like... calm and I'm really really the opposite so I think even the subconscious part of me like kind of understands that to appreciate that part of him and I think honestly like my friends don't trigger me as much because they understand I don't know if you've had this experience I think I've heard a few people on your podcast talk about like context but when I know someone is aware that they're triggering me like I almost feel bad and like I feel less triggered just knowing that like they're being careful

Adeel [47:17]: right yeah absolutely yeah that makes a big difference uh context context makes a big difference yeah as long as it's because i think your your brain isn't doesn't assign that threat level to that sound if you know that that person has stated or that they're trying to you know not trigger you yeah it's like it's like if it's like if your children usually if your children are making sounds your brain realizes that that's not a threat to your life.

Nina [47:43]: And so it's triggered. I've been worried about that too.

Adeel [47:47]: Yeah. I can tell you most in, yeah, pretty much in most cases, it's like the kids won't trigger you until maybe they're around the age where you started to have this point. So like into late, you know, really single digits. Yeah.

Nina [48:00]: Yeah. I'm surprised because toddlers are so messy.

Adeel [48:03]: Oh yeah. It's terrible. But, uh, I think, I think, I think it's context. That's like your brain doesn't, uh, your brain kind of is able to not just go hair wire from that. But I don't know. I mean, you, you said you, you worked in, you know, teaching at like young ages, but you said that kind of the sound, like a lot of the background noise just made you not, not get triggered so much. I think it's, it's a slightly different context, but yeah. And I think in a different way, your, your brain, especially if it's coming, if the child is coming from you, it's able to not assign a threat level to that.

Nina [48:38]: Yeah. That makes sense. It makes sense.

Adeel [48:41]: I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Nina [48:44]: No, I'm not there yet. But yeah, it's such a weird, weird thing. I wanted to ask, can I, am I allowed to ask?

Adeel [48:50]: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Now actually, yeah. Now it's time for you to preform.

Nina [48:55]: I've never been able to ask anyone this cause I don't really know anyone in this company, but have you in your adulthood developed new triggers?

Adeel [49:03]: Yeah, I mean, I don't know if any... Well, I can't... Like, I don't know if there's any particular sounds that are necessarily new. I just feel like... I mean, I feel like it has gotten... I think it's gotten a little bit worse. Or maybe it's just because I know about misophonia. I can kind of remember these things more. I'm trying to think of just... So I don't have a list of triggers and then I just kind of keep adding to it. I've heard from other people anecdotally that, yes, they get more... The number of things that trigger them increases. So I'm kind of just kind of like... going with that and saying I'm probably getting more triggers but I don't know like because my main trigger sounds are throat clearing coughing kind of that those mouth sounds so um I just focus on those so I don't know if necessarily like you know slapping my hand on a table is that's still like a new trigger maybe it's just something I don't know I didn't notice before and I'm not really keeping count but I have heard that yeah people tend to get more triggers because mesokinesia I didn't even actually know about until you know several years ago so I feel like that has added to my number of triggers.

Nina [50:20]: Whoa.

Adeel [50:22]: You know.

Nina [50:24]: interesting not a not a clear question not a clear answer to your question no there's not there's not i'm just curious of like if it you know i don't know it's just like a really weird thing that happens and yeah because i guess i also wonder like if you can make new triggers can old ones go away like i don't know like how how malleable they don't right like how malleable that much i know Yeah.

Adeel [50:49]: So I think, I think, I mean, I think you're well on your way of like, at least from a relatively young age, you're able to, I mean, I don't know what this point was when I was your age, but at least you have some, you have a toolbox.

Nina [50:59]: And I think, I think you knew something.

Adeel [51:02]: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. But, and, but it was mainly just throw on some headphones or something, but I think, yeah, if you, if you have a toolbox, just keep it always within reach and add things to it. that's the best you can do but as you already know I didn't even know what a freaking nervous system was until a couple years ago so as you know how connected that is to misophonia it doesn't matter what number of triggers you have like that's really the core of it so if you can just kind of like focus on that don't worry about specific triggers

Nina [51:37]: Totally. It's fascinating. I remember when I first kind of was like I was in massage school and I the person next to me, I kept swallowing tea and I was like, I have to do something like I have to do something. I have to fix this. And I didn't really wear headphones or earplugs yet. And I like brought in some herbs and I was like, let's just see how this goes. And I remember looking back on the class and like noticing the sound in my brain and not in my body. And I was like, that was one of my like core experiences with herbs helping. I was like, okay, like I'm noticing the sound. Cause like, obviously I'm noticing this horrible thing that like I've been perceiving as horrible for years and years and years. And I'm aware of it, that it's happening. My body isn't like getting hot and fiery and like, you know, that feeling. Yeah. It was, it was just like a, it was like my brain was like, it's kind of annoying, but I wasn't feeling flighty or fighty.

Adeel [52:29]: That's great. That's progress. Yeah.

Nina [52:32]: Totally.

Adeel [52:34]: Well, yeah, we're kind of heading close to an hour. I mean, first of all, do you have any other questions or things you want to talk about? But also any kind of like final things you kind of want to share with people who are listening and maybe binging it like you were doing?

Nina [52:50]: Yeah, I did binge it. I don't know. Yeah. I mean, I'm really curious about these conventions. I know you just had a book come out. Is that true?

Adeel [52:58]: yeah yeah yeah so uh it's it's not out yet i mean it's it's available for pre-order but yeah so jane gregory yeah dr jane gregory who uh who's on like a couple years ago like she's at oxford she's one of the world's leading research she has misophonia too um she's a you know she's a therapist and so yeah She, yeah, she and I worked on the book. It's mainly her. I kind of actually helped out with getting people like you to be kind of case studies to go through some of the exercises that she came up with that she uses in her office. So there's a lot of quotes and experiences from those kind of case studies. And actually, I have my own experiences thrown in there as well. So I've got like, you know. like really personal stuff from my childhood is like now gonna be in this book all over the world and so it's um yeah so i'm hoping that that is uh it's really first of all it's the first book published by and i'm turning this into a sales pitch for the for the i'm just kind of talking about it but it's uh it's gonna be the first book by a major publisher like bloomsbury is like that's harry potter's publisher um and so um So I think it's going to be a big deal. And the other thing is, it's not just about, it's not just explaining misophonia as like a cognitive behavioral thing, which is, so a lot of the exercises are come from that kind of cognitive behavioral background, but applies specifically to misophonia. There's a few chapters that are specifically about like childhood experiences and how that affects, you know, how that affects you later. And so... I think these kind of ideas, like most people who hear about misophonia, they don't know about that. They just think of it like, you know, some kind of variation of OCD or ADHD. And so I think it's going to, I'm excited to have it kind of like really open up people's understanding of misophonia. So, yeah.

Nina [54:46]: Yeah, that's so cool. Congratulations.

Adeel [54:49]: Oh, yeah, yeah. Thanks. I think it's going to be exciting for the community. It's, yeah, it's coming out in the UK in September and then the US in November. So. yeah i'm looking forward to it yeah yeah yeah um so yeah that's cool yeah and the conventions are there's a convention i guess in november too so um yeah you can just you know see how see you know follow that if you like but yeah it's interesting to kind of like uh i think it's gonna be in albuquerque but there'll be online component too but uh but like i said i mean the the it's just for people who go in person, it's just so weird to be like surrounded by people who kind of like get, you don't have to like explain it.

Nina [55:29]: Yeah.

Adeel [55:29]: Like this thing that affects you all the time. You don't have to explain it. So.

Nina [55:34]: Oh, it's so comforting.

Adeel [55:35]: And hopefully, you know, that can be that, that kind of like awareness will spread and hopefully in the future, it'll just be something like, you know, ADHD or you don't have to, or autism. Like you don't have to like explain it. It's just like people are generally sensitive.

Nina [55:52]: Right, right, right.

Adeel [55:55]: Well, yeah, Nina, I mean, it's been great talking to you. Thanks for coming on and explaining everything about herbs. I'm going to be Googling some of that. But yeah, hearing about your experiences and I'm glad that, yeah, as you're kind of moved into your new place that you feel like you're less stimulated in general. That's great.

Nina [56:15]: Yeah, thank you so much. I'm really excited to be here doing this. I appreciate it.

Adeel [56:22]: Thank you again, Nina. I'm enjoying my herbal tea that I got on her website, and I'm excited to dive into the medicinal mocktail recipe book. 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 or go to the website, It's even easier to send a message on Instagram at Missiphoney Podcast. Follow there or Facebook at Missiphoney Podcast on Twitter or access Missiphoney Show. Support the show by visiting the Patreon at slash missiphoneypodcast. Music is always by Moby. And until next week, wish you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [57:38]: you