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Can't stand listening to people eat! (Page 1)

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I can't listen to people eat. I can't be in the room when some one picks up a bag of chips. If I'm in class, and some one begins to chew on an apple or a sandwich or a candy bar, I can't focus. It elevates me to such a level of stress that all the muscles in my shoulders and back tense up. I get irate and generally angry with the people eating, especially if I know them personally. I can't watch people eat or drink. I'm alright in a cafeteria or somewhere else where there's a lot of intense noise, otherwise, I need to have head phones on. Other noises bother me, and when people twitch. A boy next to me in one of my classes jiggles his leg a lot, and it makes me crazy, enough so that I tune out of what the teacher's saying and not matter what I try to do, all I can think of is the jiggling of his leg. If I'm driving with some one (a lot of people in my family are restless) and they start twitching, tapping, messing with a zipper, moving their legs, fingers or arms restlessly, I can't focus. I just zero in on that little thing and obsess over it. It makes me hostile and edgy. Certain movements become invasive to me, like when some one rattles a can of Altoids to the beat of a song. It just sticks out to me like a pin in my side. There is almost no one I've met thus-far that I can eat with comfortably. My own boyfriend makes me want to climb walls. My family now excuses me from the table to eat my diner. If I'm in a room and some one comes in with food, no matter what I'm doing, I get up and leave, right there. The sound of a spoon scrapping or hitting a bowl repeatedly gets me upset. My grandmother has suggested I might have a sensory issue. I'm beginning to think it might not just be that I'm a jerk. Can any one give me some information or suggest who to talk to?
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First Helper stevie_fledgeling
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Users who thank stevie_fledgeling for this post: greenwich  dianna25  emcgowan0112  slandi  JoJo7779 

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replied December 20th, 2007
Experienced User
Well it definatly sounds like somethings going on in that brain of yours. My first thought is that theres a chance this could be a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, if you see some one about this mention that as a possibility if they don't first.
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replied December 20th, 2007
Thanks, really. Maybe I'll ask my school nurse and see if I can go somewhere from there... Do you think it can be medicated or something?
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replied December 22nd, 2007
Experienced User
I'm not sure if it can be medicated, but I do know you can go to groups or specialists that can help you work through that sort of thing, if that is what you're going through.
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replied December 26th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
That's probably more of a cognitive therapy thing.
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replied January 1st, 2009
stevie's post
Hey, Stevie. I know it's been almost a year since you posted this question of yours, but I'm glad it's still here. What you are experiencing totally reflects the way i feel towards people around me. I never talked to anyone about it and frankly,I'm afraid to face the truth. my parents hate me for not being able to sit at one table with them.
Is it gonna last forever or can it be cured? I'd appreciate if you wrote back to me one day.
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replied January 24th, 2009
wow
I've never heard of anybody with this problem before, I thought it was just me. It's so frustrating...if anybody wants to talk about this with me please send me a message.
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replied May 21st, 2011
MENTAL?
yeah i have it as well. i dont know what to do with myself. but the thing is, people close to me, like my brother annoy me most. i cant stand the way he clicks when he plays on the xbox, so i never play it. i hate the way he types. i hate the way he chinks his spoon or knife or fork on the plate when hes eating. whats more, im sensitive as hell to sounds, from upstairs in my room with my door shut and the dining room door shut i still hear them chinking their plates. i tune into that, and get so annoyed. sometimes the only way i can releive the stress is by harming myself in some way or another. like head butting walls, or punching walls. I THINK IM GOING MENTAL. i hate it.
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replied December 20th, 2011
Omg this is exactly how i feel and deal with things, its hell on earth, im 35 yrs old and have sufferes since i was about 5 years old, i have researched this and im pretty sure that we suffer with a condition called MISSOPHONIA read up on it, blew my mind, but still doesnt stop the feelings, but atleast i know im not alone...
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replied October 10th, 2011
Me too :\
I thought I was the only one too. My mom has always said that it's just me and I'm weird. I get so annoyed with how people chew, if it's too loud or fast, if someone is popping their gum, chewing ice, slurping soup or their drink. I get so angry about it and it's all I can think about. I have to leave the room or put on headphones.

I hate it.
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replied October 24th, 2011
You aren't the only one. My two sisters and I also suffer from the same problem and so do our children. I am beginning to wonder if it is hereditary or an environmental cause or both. We have all been on different types of medications in some form or another but they haven't worked. Unfortunately from what I've researched and what physicians have told me there is no cure or treatment. I am now past my mid thirties and have suffered from it since age 10. My sisters are both in their forties. I have learned though to keep it under control more as I age and also to minimize my exposure to noises that irritate me. For example, I work as a critical care nurse so I have a lot of autonomy at my job so I don't have to take lunches with people, and i keep myself busy at work so I don't have to hear them eating. My advise is learn ur triggers and avoid them if it means sitting by yourself in a classroom using headphones if u have a desk job etc. Just remember ur not alone in this and ur not crazy as my husband tells me!!!
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replied December 20th, 2011
Im Exactly the same, we suffer from MISSOPHONIA read up on it, blew my mind, and atleast were not just weird
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replied June 16th, 2012
I have totally been dealing with that same issue!!Any little thing like that and I feel like just running!It's lke nails on a chalk board for me.What causes it and can I do anything about it?I never had the issue before until I seemed to be bombarded by great amounts of stress on a daily level.I have been on the phone and heard people eating and wanted to hang up or throwup.I have quit eating because it totally makes me sick to hear it.
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replied November 28th, 2012
I think iv got the same problem, I can't stand it at dinner time with my family and I have to turn music on to drown out the sound, people sipping coffee, tea and soup really winds me up. I get quite angry sometimes if I'm close to someone eating loudly it really isn't something I can help!!
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replied January 27th, 2009
smaking food etc
im the exact same way man I would love to chat I have all boys and they and my husband drive me nuts with that but I have been this way from age 10
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replied January 29th, 2009
listening to people eat
I have the same problem, and it's getting worse. I'm 31 and first noticed the problem when I was in college. I'd come home and would not be able to stand eating with my own family. I think it may have had something to do with the fact that a dining hall drowns out the noise of individuals eating, and when I was no longer in that environment the noises seemed to be magnified. Now I work in an office and the sound of my co-workers eating literally drives me to insanity.

Any advice or insight would be most appreciated.
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replied January 29th, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
this doesn't sound like a mental condition
The sound of people or animals eating is a horrible sound, it's truthfully disgusting, thats the simple fact. there isn't anything wrong with any of you. Who wouldn't be disgusted or agitated by the sound of someone sticking meat or some other substance into there mouths, chewing it and swallowing it down their gullets. ewwwww.
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replied April 17th, 2011
the sound of people eating
I completely agree. The whole act of eating is pretty disgusting if you really think about it. I find forcing myself to NOT think about it, and just enjoy the people around me is the only way I can get through a meal. When I was younger, I was absolutely unable to keep it out of my mind, but I've let it go a lot... except for right now, because I'm at work listening to it from my co-worker in the quiet office and I think I'm going to have to get up and go outside :-/
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replied November 9th, 2011
I suffer from the same problem! I'm 49, been this way since a kid, I thought it was from growing up in a family with disgusting eating habits, and I generally did NOT get along with them.
But, I did see something on TV about it being a form of OCD. I have been living with my elderly mother and think I will just about lose my mind if I hear her "smack" her mouth ONE MORE TIME !!! (let alone eat around her) I want to move out but will feel guilty leaving her alone.
I have earplugs, but she gets offended. I am buying some clear ones I saw at a drug store, maybe she won't notice.
My kids eat just like their dad, and when we were together, I'd wait to see what room he was eating in, and go in the opposite direction. Now that they are adults, thank God, we don't eat together that often.
I've OFTEN said something to people in a store, smacking their gum, especially if they are working! It's a terrible way to live...being hyper-sensitive to disgusting people. God help me. (and those of you with the same "problem". thanks for letting me get this off my chest!
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replied November 9th, 2011
oh...one more thing, I have never seen mentioned....what about animals ??? The damn dog drives me INSANE! AND OF COURSE, he thinks he needs to eat at the same time as anyone else....when my mom isn't looking, I shoo him out of the room! That dog hates me, and the feeling is mutual!
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replied April 22nd, 2012
I am the same way....hearing an animal drinking water drives me crazy. I also hate it when my cats (or dogs) lick themselves...I can't even be in the same room when they are doing that, or I have to put them outside.
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replied February 12th, 2009
how can i get over it!!!
its so nice to hear that im not alone... this has haunted me since i can remember and affects my relationships with everyone. It frustrates me soooo much and gets me upset as well. I want to shout in peoples faces if they are speaking to me with food in their mouths, i feel so rude having to ask them not to do it and why should i? theyr not doing anything wrong, its me that has the issue!! all i want is to get over this because it makes my social life miserable. Has anyone had any help for it or found any solutions to the problem because i think my friends and family would be very pleased if i could cure this!!!! and so would i!!

you poor poor people, if you feel the way i do, its a horrible way to feel and i feel your pain!!!!

x x x x x x
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replied March 29th, 2011
Chewing
I have this same problem. I noticed you posted 2 years ago... Have you been cured?
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replied February 13th, 2009
yep, me too!
i found this post amusing yet comforting to know that i am not alone hating the sound of people eating! i'm 25 and this 'pet peeve' seemed to have started about 4 years ago. i work in a really small office where it is very quiet (you can hear the clock ticking!) and whenever someone breaks out some carrot sticks or soup or pretty much anything... i cringe and slump down in my chair... i can only handle it for about a minute before i have to go for a quick break outside or quickly put some earphones on!
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replied February 13th, 2009
Experienced User
oh my god do you know how happy i am to know im not the only one!!! haha, i wa beginning to think i was a complete weirdo!! i can NOT stand listening to chomping, lip smaking noises, it enrages me and i would love to know why??? to me it really is the silliest thing to be bothered by so i dont understand why it maes my blood boil so much, i really do get so angry when i hear it, is there anyone that knows how i can get rid of it???? x
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replied February 13th, 2009
i have had to same problem for as long as i can remember!! i HATE the sound of people smacking and of them eating period! i went to the doctor for anxiety and he told me i had ocd, but i personally think it is a little of that and intense anxiety and a little depression. but my family always tells me to just get over it when it bothers me, but i have tried and it is impossible! i feel so much better that i am not the only one!! anyways the doctor put me on some anti-axiety pills that seemed to have really helped but i had to get off because of the side affects.
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replied February 15th, 2009
Experienced User
oh i am so the same stef!!! i have tried sohard to get over it, it honestly is impossible isnt it!!! and although i have suffered with depression on and off, mostly off thankfully, since the age of 16 (now 25)and since 17 suffered anxiety or rather panick attacks till i was 21, i dont quite understand how it could be classed as an anxiety dissorder??? did your doctor explain this to you??? i mean i understand that you would get anxious about it happening when you know its going to or could do but why does it make a person so angry is what i want to know!! and how could it ever be classd as a form of OCD???? whatdid your doc tell you??? its so great to talk to someone who understands haha xxx
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replied February 15th, 2009
What is the answer....
this problem is about to ruin my relationships.. this is not about being mildly irritated. The sound makes me want to punch my husband in the face.. my daughters have the same problem. I am glad I am not alone but still feel crazy sometimes. Liz
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replied February 16th, 2009
Experienced User
aww im so sorry to hear that liz, does your husband not understand your (our haha) problem?? maybe showin him online the way it makes others feel too may help?? so he knows its not just you being silly!!! it makes me the same, it angers me to the point where i can not stand to be in the same room through wanting to physically punch the person or swear at them!!!! ha its sooooo silly because it shouldnt bother anyone, but it does bother us, its known as misophonia a severe emotional reaction to sound according to dr. jastreboff, maybe look this up might also help?? this isnt just a people eating thing with me, i cant stand the lip smaking noises people make with there mouth when they open it to speak, and when my cat cleans himsel i kick him out hte house!!!! it makes me have that same angry feeling as peope eating!! its a horrible horrible thing to feel but i have no idea what caused me to start feeling like this though i know it started when i was around 12!! (now 25) id love to know how i can stop it as it stops me eating with my family etc!!!! horrible xxx
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replied February 16th, 2009
Torture
I've had this problem since I can remember; my sister as well. We'd sometimes leave the dinner table because we couldn't handle it. It would enrage me to the point of violence, though I never acted on it. But, it has ruined friendships. With new friends and new jobs, I make it known early that I can't handle it. I first ask them "what are your pet peeves?" which gives me an opportunity to tell them mine. I try to be proactive, because when I'm already angry, that's not the time to bring it up...unless I don't mind losing the friendship. I try to always have headphones (white noise) available to keep me calm...becuase this isn't the kind of person I want to be. I'm still single at 34 and can't envision ever getting married to someone who eats! So it looks like I've got a real dilemma:) Lol.
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replied February 23rd, 2009
Can you please stop slurping...
and smacking your lips. DEAR GOD make it stop for Im tempted to do it for you !!! A bit dramatic but you get the point. At least that is how most of us here feel when in close proximity to anyone eating their food. Is it because you weren't raised in a big family or simply your lack of tolerance for others in general. Are we too critical or is it simply a matter of proper etiquette? is it an OCD or narcissism? I DONT KNOW but I can tell you it bothers the %&^ out of me. Call someone on the phone or they call you and guess what-they are talking to you with food in their mouth. This is simply disrespectful regardless of how well you know the person.It is NOT WRONG to be bothered by this. My best friend is one of the loudest eaters/drinkers in the world and I can barely eat my food without losing my temper. In the past Ive mentioned this to those who bother me with their eating style. 'I am annoyed by the way you eat' very directly, but no one taakes me seriously.it sounds like a joke to some. One of the few people that honestly never bothers me is my wife. Maybe that is why I really married her. a very 'proper' and quiet eater. And maybe, just maybe, we are not bothered so much by the sheer act of eating but rather the carelessness and disrespectful ways in which people eat. -one step shy of hungry savages- hope my 2 cents was useful for some
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replied March 30th, 2009
Can't stand the sound!!!!
This was the first time I've actually looked up this little quirk of mine and it surprises me that I wasn't the only one who is tortured by this noise.

As far as I can remember, I never really found myself irritated by anything in the noise category until about 18 months ago. At my old job I sat across the aisle from a woman who would literally SLAM her thumb down on the mouse button (she used one of those trackball mice because of some "tendonitis" that bothered her if she used a conventional one) and it was so loud and so grating on me that it brought me to the brink of snapping. Every day I would go in there and have to endure that noise over and over and over again. I told her about it and she said there was nothing she could do as the only way she could click her mouse was with her thumb and not her index finger as it was designed for. I got nowhere with her so I spoke with my lead clerk about it and all that did was bring down upper management on me because I was "making a big deal" out of it. They told me that I was acting immature and unprofessional to obsess on something as "innocent" as a mouse click. I repeatedly asked to be moved to another cubicle and was denied every time. So I endured it...there was nothing I could do.

Fast forward to about a year ago. I was up eating dinner with my folks when out of nowhere the sound of the sloshing of the beverages, the crunching of the chips, the grinding of the meats, the chewing, chewing, chewing sounds...they were REALLY bothering me. Since it had never been an issue before I figured it would just alleviate itself so I ignored it. Until the next time I ate with them. Same thing. Chewing ice, just chewing food in general...they made so much noise that I had to get up and leave the room because it was bothering me SO much that I couldn't concentrate on anything other than the chewing, swallowing, and the relentless guttural "mmm...mmm...mmm..." that escaped the throat of my stepfather as he chewed his food. To this day it haunts me. I simply cannot be in a quiet room with someone who is eating because it will make me crazy. My only "escape" is to leave the room or, if I have no other choice, I put on my iPhone's iPod and throw on some headphones to block out the noise.

Other noises like forks on plates make me feel like my skull is going to split but rarely occurs but once in a blue moon. There are other sounds that bug the hell out of me but nothing is as bad as eating sounds others make. I no longer work at the company with the woman who clicks the mouse so that is one less annoyance in my life.

How does one treat such a condition? I'll freely admit that I obsess on it but only because I let it get so out of control...what can I do?
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replied March 27th, 2011
I am glad to find this. I have the exact same problem. I absolutely cannot stand the sounds of people eating. I don't remember it being an issue when I was very young but sometime around the age of eleven or so I think it began. I don't know why but it really frustrates me. Not only that. It makes me very, very angry. I honestly hate it. I have to leave the room. I cannot even eat with my own father. Like the original poster (and many of you) I often have to leave the room just because it makes me so angry. I have wondered if it is obsessive compulsive disorder, Asperger's (I heard that those with Asperger's syndrome pick up on noises that hardly anyone else even hears)...

The worst for me is gum. It drives me crazy. I've had to leave both class and Church before to get away from the sound. I've noticed it only getting worse with time. I'm now at the point where it makes me angry just to see someone chewing gum even if I cannot hear it. I cannot watch anyone chew gum or eat food.

Some people even make extra unnecessary smacking noises when they talk and that gets under my skin as well.

When this happens it feels like something is crawling under my skin and my emotions go absolutely crazy.

It also makes me frustrated with myself because I know none of these people are doing anything wrong at all and it's just some problem within myself. I just don't know where this problem originated from inside me or why. I wish there was a way to cure this for me but as I said it seems to only worsen with time.

Sad
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replied April 19th, 2011
Here's help
I'm replying to this one because it's recent... I have the same problem, and was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder because of it (irritability is a major symptom). My medication seems to help me quite a bit (Prozac). Try seeing a psychologist, especially if you have any other symptoms of anxiety.
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