Age of onset

I conducted a survey of 200 people with misophonia in March of 2013. Seventyfive percent of those completing the survey were women. The most common age for misophonia to begin was nine to ten years. Twentyfive percent had their misophonia begin at this age. Twentyone percent had their misophonia begin at age seven to eight, and 20% began at age eleven or twelve years. This seems to demonstrate that misophonia begins at a typical age, but the survey also showed that there is wide variation in the age of onset. In that survey people started having misophonia from as young as age four to as old as age fiftyfive. It became severe from age four all the way up to sixtyfour. So there was really a wide range in the age when misophonia begins.

In the graph below, the dark bars show the ages when people started having misophonia, and the light bars are when their misophonia became severe. Although we have a clear majority of the people whose misophonia begins at ages seven to twelve years, and became severe from age seven to sixteen, about half of the people fell outside of these ages. If misophonia was a purely hereditary condition like puberty, you would find that the age of onset and severity would be more uniform. Also, you would not see a range in age from four to fifty-five years for onset. You don’t find people going into puberty at age thirty, but with misophonia we find a scattering of ages for the start of misophonia.

We conducted a large scale survey with 1,061 participants last year. Because of the larger number of participants, the graph below is smoother. And we found the same result. Misophonia most often develops around age 10, but there is a steady, low rate of misophonia onset in the 20 to 50year age range.
Almost 75% developed misophonia at ages 5 to 14 years. This explains why misophonia is generally thought of as a condition that develops in childhood, but it shows that it can develop at any age.

The rate of onset shown above is the percentage of survey participants that developed misophonia at that age.