Girl’s condition causes her to constantly hear sounds of people chewing, tapping, sniffing and snoring 1 year ago

Girl’s condition causes her to constantly hear sounds of people chewing, tapping, sniffing and snoring

She has to wear headphones, sit exams separately, and play rainfall sounds to block out the noise.

A teen with a rare condition is driven mad by over 100 noises every day, including sounds such as people chewing, pen tapping, sniffing and snoring.


The condition is called misophonia which means 'hatred of sound,' and causes certain noises to trigger strong negative reactions in those who suffer from the condition.

This includes 17-year-old Holly Posluszny. Holly has suffered from the condition for as long as she can remember. She says that she believes she has over 100 triggering sounds that have built up over the years. These sounds range from people chewing food, to snoring, and even the sound of breathing or feet shuffling.

Her condition is so severe that she can be triggered by sounds from other rooms, and she becomes "uncontrollably emotional."


Holly says that she can be triggered between 10 and 30 times a day, and as a result is forced to sit exams separately and wear headphones to block out triggering noises.

The teen said: “In extreme I'll be left pacing and crying uncontrollable to make it stop.

"It was hard to explain to my school why I needed to sit separately, but even an examiner breathing could set it off.

"It's gotten so bad I have to play rain sounds constantly in my room to drown out the noises from the house."


The sixth-form student lives with her parents Nicola, 40, and Paul, 48, in Essex, and says that they have to play music at the dinner table, otherwise the "sound of food 'noshing' makes me storms off in a panic - I know I shouldn't but I can't help it."

“A lot of people don’t understand or think I’m overreacting," she explained. "It can happen up to 30 times a day and my response can be mild or really extreme.

"It’s so difficult to explain the feeling but it’s an involuntary response and affects my everyday life.

"At the dinner table we play music in the background, otherwise the sound of food 'noshing' makes me storm off in a panic - I know I shouldn't but I can't help it.


"At school the sound of my classmates sniffing or tapping could set me off - in the end they let me take the exams in a separate room."

The responses that those with misophonia can suffer from range from mild to severe, with mild reactions being feeling uncomfortable, to more severe like causing anger, panic and emotional distress.

The condition is difficult to diagnose and can sometimes be mistaken or found alongside anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Holly said: "For me it's a physical and mental feeling. It's like a 'fight or flight' response and if I can't get away I start to panic.

"For a long time my family didn't know what it was but they've become very understanding."


The student has been looking into therapy to help with her condition and hopes to help others understand the disorder better. She believes some positives have come out the disorder as her sensitivity to sights and sounds may have helped her attention to detail and landed her a Grade 9 in Art for her GCSE.

She said: "I have a very extreme version and it's hard for people to understand.

"I've definitely learnt to control it better in the last couple years now I know more about it.

"Hopefully sharing my story can help other sufferers or people around them understand it better.

"Maybe it could help parents or family members be more patient and understanding with someone who suffers from it severely."

Holly's mum, Nicola, said that it had been a "long journey" for the family to understand her condition.

She said: "It has been a long journey learning exactly what this condition is and the right way to manage it as parents. "It has taken us many years to truly understand it.

"Holly has done amazingly well in learning different methods to reduce the reaction to her triggers and as a family we have all come a long way in understanding this condition more.

"We will continue this journey together and hope to raise more awareness in the future."