There is a scientific explanation as to why the sound of someone else chomping down on a bag of chips makes you want scream, or the sound of someone breathing heavily drives you up the wall: Misophonia.
Misophonia is a neuropsychiatric disorder defined as the “hatred of sound”.
According to Daily Mail:
“Brain scans show that people who find the sound of chewing, breathing, or numerous other conditions unbearable have a genuine brain abnormality.
People with misophonia – as the condition was named in 2001 – can respond with an intense ‘fight or flight’ reaction.
Researchers at Newcastle University found a difference in the frontal lobe in misophonia sufferers, suggesting it is a genuine condition where medical opinion in the past has been sceptical.
Writing in the journal Current Biology, they found changes in the brain activity when a trigger sound is experienced.
They also found people with misophonia experienced an increased heart rate and sweated when they were confronted by a trigger sound.
The difference lies in the ‘emotional control mechanism’ that causes their brains to go into overdrive on hearing trigger sounds, the authors write.”