Middle Age Success

Carol is a 50-ish woman whose misophonia started in childhood with her brother eating pancakes and smacking his lips.  At the start of treatment, her worst triggers were all related to her husband.  1) eating crunchy bread, 2) eating Italian ice, 3) scratching his beard, and 4) visual of him scratching his beard.

Carol was treated before the release of the Trigger Tamer, so all treatments were done with Tom Dozier using a sound editor to playthdozier_06_v1 short trigger clips (by Skype/VSee).  The homework was done with prepared audio files created each week by Tom.

Her initial Misophonia Assessment Questionnaire (MAQ) total score was 41, and her severity of each trigger was an 8 on the MPRS.  In 2 weeks, the MPRS on the first trigger was a 2, and her MAQ was 17.

The second trigger was treated the next 2 weeks, and the MPRS dropped to a 2 on that trigger.  Her MAQ total score dropped to 7.  The third trigger was treated in the next 2 weeks, and the MPRS dropped on that one to a 2 also.  The MPRS for the first trigger was not a zero.  This meant that she heard her husband eating bread, and she had no misophonic reaction.

To our surprise, the visual trigger of bringing a hand to the face was very stubborn.  Tom could easily trigger her by Skype/VSee.  Video files were created for the homework.  After 9 weeks, she was no longer being triggered by this.  But is was a lot of hard work to get rid of this trigger.  She did her homework regularly (3-4 times a week) and had her weekly live treatment every week.

So, after 15 weeks of treatment, her first 2 triggers had MPRS ratings of zero (no misophonic reaction) and the other 2 triggers had ratings of 2 (can be ignored).  Her MAQ score remained at 7, which means she is occasionally concerned or bothered with sounds.

This did not eliminate all her triggers.  She has others, but has smaller reactions to those.  She may occasionally leave the room.  She has learned that she should not stay and endure a trigger, because it only makes the misophonia worse.

As for long-term follow-up, that remains to happen (but will)…  Well, I emailed Carol a few months ago, which was a little over 3 years since the treatment began.  She reported that she could not remember the last time she experienced a misophonia trigger.  Part of this improvement may be attributed to us realizing that her initial physical response to triggers was a gasp for breath, with her windpipe closed.  By consciously breathing during triggers, she continued to “repattern” her brain and reduce her trigger response.

For more information on this case, see the article published in Clinical Case Studies, at http://ccs.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/01/20/1534650114566924.abstract.  A copy of the manuscript is available for free at https://misophoniatreatment.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Case-Study-Counterconditioning-Treatment-for-Misophonia.pdf.

*Past client of Tom Dozier who agreed to share their story. (solicited)