Tag Archives: 2020makeitstop

Thoughts on the 20/20 segment on misophonia

A few weeks have passed since the misophonia segment aired on 20/20, and I have been reflecting on the episode. Overall, I thought it was thorough and accurate, but I always think there could be room for improvement when it comes to media coverage of this condition. Because we don’t get much coverage, it’s crucial for the pieces done on misophonia to be particularly informative and fair. If you missed the episode, here’s the link to view it.

THE GOOD:

* Massive audience: 20/20 reaches a huge audience, and one that’s different than those who read the New York Times or who watch morning talk shows.

* No-trigger version: How thoughtful was it that the producers made a version that eliminated all of that torturous background sounds of people chewing? I watched the “trigger” version live with my partner, and I had to yell out from time to time because there were so man horrible sounds. Now I can go back and watch it again online with less trouble.

* Johnson interview: They interviewed audiologist Marsha Johnson and pieced out some good quotes from her about the condition. Johnson is doing a great service to us by articulating the facts about misophonia in a respectful and honest way.

WHAT COULD IMPROVE:

*Visual triggers: The segment makes no mention of visual triggers that exist with misophonia. Yes, we seem to all have certain sounds as triggers, but many of us are just as bothered by repetitive visuals, such as foot tapping, nail biting, or watching someone eat. (At least those are my experiences with visual triggers, anyway.)

* Generalizations about violence: The 20/20 segment opened with, in my opinion, an extreme case of misophonia. The father of this teenage girl with misophonia played a recording of her blood curdling screams following a trigger. The mother of this girl said she feared for her life and had been physically abused by her daughter. Then, a voice comes on to preview an upcoming part of the show by saying viewers should expect to see “the violence of a trigger caught on tape.”

Yes, misophonia does trigger a “fight or flight” response, and fighting is violence. Yes, this teenage girl used as an example has misophonia and has been violent. I just wish 20/20 could have pointed out that not every person with misophonia is violent. Many of us choose the “flight” route, and many of us might have angry thoughts but are still able to refrain from acting upon them. I would hate for the general public to get the impression that all people with this condition should be considered a danger to themselves and others.

What were your thoughts on the 20/20 segment? Is my critique fair?

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Did you watch? Misophonia featured on 20/20 tonight

  1. All right, I just got done watching the 20/20 segment on misophonia. My family and partner watched too. What did you think about their coverage? I made a quick Storify thread about what I saw on Twitter as the segment aired.

    I’ll try to write a post with better analysis of the segment later. If you missed it, you can watch a version of it here. In this version, the trigger sounds have been stripped from the segment.

    First on Twitter, a link is revealed for the show, with the hash tag for the Twitter conversation:

  2. ABC2020
    Do you think you have misophonia? Here are the major symptoms: http://abcn.ws/Ko8JCx #2020MakeItStop
    Fri, May 18 2012 22:20:02
  3. SutherlandPhD
    RT @EVargasABC: So many people seem to relate to those who struggle with misophonia. Very happy to bring awareness to this impt condition #2020MakeItStop
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:20:30
  4. Several people react with happiness that the show is spotlighting their condition. Others are realizing that their personal hell has a name.
  5. LouTomsAndSwag
    @chrystallclearr omg I just read the symptoms for this and it described me exactly like spot on I think I have this omg http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misophonia#section_
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:06:28
  6. starkidriddle
    Apparently I have misophonia. Didn’t know until today. #2020MakeItStop
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:29:20
  7. missodessa
    watching 20/20 & I forreal think I have misophonia hatred of certain noises eating, smacking, breathing heavy, coughing & certain ppls voice
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:25:11
  8. Joejoelle
    Thank you, 20/20. Thank you so much for doing an episode on misophonia. No one takes it seriously and it’s so frustrating and I hate it.
    Sat, May 19 2012 00:49:53
  9. DanJohnsoninc
    @KellyRipa: Wow! The Misophonia piece was a HUGE eye opener! I just thought it was my OCD. THX! (Don’t listen to the Kit Kat commercial. 😉
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:23:11
  10. berrydelicious
    Yes! I hate the sound of chewing, sniffling, and coughing!!! #2020MakeItStop I’m so glad 20/20 is doing a segment on misophonia.
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:05:46
  11. neurp
    omg, i have misophonia. seriously. a very mild case. but mouth noises really freak me out. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misophonia #2020makeitstop
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:17:09
  12. Others are shocked at the existence of the condition. Some doubt it exists or think that everyone has the condition.
  13. KellieKells86
    I’m bored….. Watching 20/20 this shit suuuuper cray! People with misophonia. Wooooooooow
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:07:18
  14. AshRagutero
    Omg @ this episode of 20/20. I feel so bad for these people’s friends and families. #Misophonia #2020MakeItStop #2020
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:19:13
  15. JennsAdventures
    Watching Medical Mysteries on #abc — I’m going to diagnose EVERYONE w/Misophonia. Google it. We all suffer from it to some degree!
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:26:50
  16. aeiouandalsoy
    I think this girl is bull shitting. She says she has misophonia and that One Direction is the only thing that makes her feel normal -_-“
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:08:41
  17. juliedemdam
    Misophonia and Pica. I’m all types of baffled
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:09:15
  18. pdxali
    #2020MakeItStop is .. interesting. I’d never heard of this before. #misophonia
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:09:34
  19. DAElaSOUL
    I have misophonia… I hate the sound of stupidity leaving a person’s mouth.
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:20:34
  20. karvisais
    Your lesson for today: Misophonia, literally “hatred of sound,” is a form of decreased sound tolerance. It is a… http://fb.me/1DCFibbxC
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:21:47
  21. Other notable tweets sent out as the segment aired. The misophonia segment was followed by a segment on a condition called Pica, in which people are compelled to eat objects such as rocks.
  22. CaptainDMo
    Wonder what the misophonia people would do about this lady eatin rocks #2020makeitstop
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:29:10
  23. eLmONd310
    #2020makeitstop y would they put a person that eats rocks don’t they know I just found out I have misophonia
    Sat, May 19 2012 01:28:47