Re: Please help with unusual malady: extreme noise/visual irritation.
Thank you so much for everyone's comments. I have always felt that I was such an odd case of "OCD". I was diagnosed with OCD at age 11, but experienced these exact feelings as early as age 6 (that I can remember). Typical OCD usually includes cleaning obsessions or rituals, and while I do have my specific rituals, I have always had the noise irritations, which never really fit the definition of OCD. My current noise irritations (which I just call my OCD's) are any low hums such as cars passing by the house, the heater/air conditioner, and sometimes washer and dryer. My coping skills have improved tremendously and I have been completely off any medication for 4, almost 5 years now, but I still have these awful irritating and anxious feelings every day. Unfortunately, the only way for me to function is to wear earplugs inside my house. Because I have mentally decided that these earplugs will "muffle" the irritating feelings that I constantly have, I can now function normally. It's just a little embarrassing to explain to guests in our house when they ask why I have ear plugs in...
Growing up (especially in my teenage years) I have also had many visual upsets, such as people crossing their feet, picking their nails, twitching, elbows perfectly placed on air rests...the list was fairly large. The funny thing was it was always specific to certain people. Seeing my older brother with his elbows on the arm rests was extremely irritating to me, while seeing my next door neighbor doing it wasn't nearly as upsetting. You had said that even writing about your irritations made you want to scream or swear, which I could completely relate to since I had tried to cope with journal writing, but this would only bring up the awful feelings as if I were seeing/hearing them at that moment.
Anyways, the point is, I always felt alone and that I was so odd to have these strange irritations to specific noises that are NORMAL and shouldn't irritate someone. I felt like my irritation nerve was made wrong so that it was extremely sensitive to everyday normal noises. The feeling it brings is not only irritation...it is irritation, anxiety, enragement, torment, and thinking "if I hear/see this thing ONE more time I am going to BURST into tears!"
I am 21 years old now and I truly feel that I have overcome a lot of these OCD's or irritations, or as some people have diagnosed it...misophonia. I will definitely look this up. I don't think this will ever go away unfortunately, because I have had these feelings as long as I can remember. In a way it is part of who I am. BUT! It has made me a stronger person. I am a college graduate, successful business owner of an Interior Design firm, a wife, and a mother to a beautiful 4 month old daughter. I think the key to success when you have these sorts of challenges in life is having the support of loved ones and believing in your own inner strength. That is the cure that no pill can provide.