What are the annoying reasons that make you consider cutting ties with your family members? Them stealing your Chardonnay? Telling you one story and your sibling another story so they can sit back and watch all the fun?
This man would “fly into a rage” whenever he heard the sound of his family members chewing or of them clearing their throats. And because of that, he has not spoken to his family in about four years, according to New York Post.
Derrol Murphy gets infuriated by sounds like these and it’s the very reason that has made him walk away from noisy eaters in the middle of first dates. It might some ridiculous to some, but Derrol suffers from a condition called misophonia, which creates a fight-or-flight response in people when they hear certain common sounds like breathing, yawning, or chewing, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Derrol, who was 41 when the report by Mirror came out in 2019, thought he was “just crazy” for several years of his life and has been living with this condition forever since he can remember. Apart from breaking contact with his family and disastrous first dates, the graphic design company production manager has come extremely close to even attacking his colleagues who have the habit of clicking their pens, which fills Derrol with rage.
“I thought I was crazy for many years. Little noises would make me just fly into a rage,” said Derrol. “People don’t understand it and I can’t explain it. It’s affected relationships, especially people I’ve been dating and family members, because you take it out on the people closest to you because you think they should understand. I’m not an aggressive person, noises just anger me. I’ve had to walk out on dates if they are chewing really loudly, my face gives it away – I pull a look of disgust I can’t hide.”
Talking about the sounds that lead to his uncontrollable reactions, he added, “Chewing is a big one and specific voices. I hear everything all the time. One noise can stick out and if I’m in a restaurant, I hear one person’s voice and then I hear the cutlery, it makes me go crazy.”
Another sound that causes rage is something equally common. “The rustling of plastic bags drives me absolutely crazy, and I haven’t been to the movies for more than 10 years because people opening food bags is a very bad trigger,” Derrol said.
The condition of misophonia has “definitely made dating interesting, and I haven’t been able to speak to relatives for years as the throat clearing would make situations tense,” he added.
Despite his condition straining the relationships in his life and taking a toll on his dating life, Derrol broke his 2-year spell of being single and found an understanding partner in his colleague, Kurt Vin.
On his first date with Kurt, Derrol was irked by the sound of his date chewing and knew he had to warn him about his condition. “When Kurt chews, his jaw clicks and when we first started dating, he was eating with his mouth open on the first date,” said Derrol. “I thought there was no way it was going to work, and had to tell him pretty quickly.”
However, the couple came up with a strategy to make things work and Kurt gives a warning signal before making a noise that he knows will get on Derrol’s nerves. “Kurt will shout to cover my ears then I can brace myself,” he said.
It took Derrol a long time to be able to understand how to deal with his bizarre condition. It was only when he reached the age of 30 that he realized exactly what he was suffering from. By then he had grown frustrated and googled his symptoms, which was when he found out he had misophonia, and since then, he’s better able to manage his rage by trying to distract himself from those sounds. One way he does this is by focusing on music or on the TV.
When it comes to the relationships in his life, many were severed before he finally found Kurt who grew to understand Derrol and his reactions well.
“Misophonia contributed to the breakdown of my relationship with my ex, so it’s huge that Kurt is so understanding,” said Derrol. “Most people say they understand but he just has to look at my face to know when a noise is getting to me.”
But life is still challenging as Derrol is forced to wear headphones for three hours every single day in order to reduce the effect of misophonia. He has been opening up publically about life with the condition so that more people are aware of the condition.
“Hopefully, people will get a bigger understanding of it and realise that just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there,” he explained. “It’s actually real and people need to be patient with people who have to deal with it. It’s hard enough for us to figure out what’s going on.”