MISOPHONIA: SENSITIVITY TO SOUNDS AND SURVIVING THE WORKPLACE

By Beth Loy: For More Info, Go Here…

Imagine hearing certain everyday sounds that seriously upset you, even make you angry. Understand that these sounds are very common. The sounds of chewing, breathing, yawning, tapping, and keyboard typing are considered ‘normal’ and are often ignored by most people as background noises in everyday listening. However, for some people, these sounds are not only a distraction, but also evoke strong feelings of anger or disgust accompanied by an urge to escape the environment from which the sounds originate.

Misophonia (hatred of sounds) is the name given to the condition marked by sensitivity to a select group of sounds. According to the International OCD Foundation and the NCBI(National Center for Biotechnical Information), misophonia is not a diagnosis found in the DSM-5, but it might be closely related to obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, and specific phobias. Since the sounds that act as triggers in this condition are quite common at home, in the workplace, and in social gatherings, misophonia can have devastating effects on employment, and the social, family, and personal lives of those affected by it.

JAN receives inquiries as to what can be done to assist employees with misophonia in the workplace. So what can an employer do about the trigger sounds at work, considering that they are highly common ones? There may only be so much one can do to escape the workplace and its sounds, right? How can an individual handle the triggers when working with many others in large open spaces or with just a few coworkers in a smaller space?

Consider the following accommodation ideas on how to reduce or eliminate the incidence of particular sounds that cause the workplace issues, or alleviate the reactions to the sounds to help the employee better manage her emotions.

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