Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Triggered by sound affecting relationships

I just recently found out I have misophonia (hatred of sound). This means that I hate the sound of chewing, breathing and much more. I searched it up and it said that sometimes this is triggered by a parent making noises that you don't like. It sometimes causes me to get very angry or have an anxiety attack. I sometimes blame them for making me this way but I don't want to. I don't know how to sit in a room with my parents without getting annoyed. How can I not get angry at them but still maintain a relationship with them even though I can't sit in a room with them without getting worked up to the point where I can't breathe?

Ask Sam


Hi there

Sensitivity to sound can be distressing and you might feel stressed or angry about noises around you. There are background sounds in most situations but you might feel more aware of noises that people around you don’t notice.

Lots of people feel more sensitive to everyday things from time to time, especially when they’re stressed or under pressure. And they might feel irritated by different things like noise, how other people behave and what others say or do.  Noise sensitivity is also called hyperacusis,  and it means that sounds seem much louder to you and can also feel painful for some people.

Feeling angry when you hear certain sounds is called misophobia and feeling anxious about them is called phonophobia. Both can be difficult conditions to live with and they might affect your relationships, how you feel about being around other people and how you manage with day to day tasks like being at school or at work.

It’s important to talk to your doctor if sounds are causing you to feel upset or worried so you can get the support and treatment you need. They might offer treatment to help you get used to everyday sounds again or to manage your anxiety and panic attacks. You might find that your sound sensitivity is caused by another condition which can be treated, but only your doctor could tell you this.

In the meantime, you could try breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques to help you to feel calmer. Learning ways to cope with anxiety and strong feelings can help you to feel less overwhelmed. And over time you’ll probably feel less like you need to get away from a specific noise or situation , which can build your confidence that you can cope with difficult things in the future.

Although it might be hard to be around other people, remember that if you isolate or try to avoid noise altogether it could make things harder in the long term. And you might feel more sensitive to noises when you can’t avoid them. Give yourself time to prepare for situations that could be more difficult for you, like meal times, by relaxing for 5 or 10 minutes first.

I’m glad you sent this letter to me and I hope it has helped. Remember that no matter what’s happening for you our counsellors are here to support you. You can also find support from other young people by posting on our message boards.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter