View Full Version : ADHD and Misophonia?


hattz19
10-20-13, 12:43 AM
So, basically I'm in a state of being pretty ****** off right now...

I was diagnosed with ADHD in July, mainly inattentive, and was prescribed Adderall. Took it originally, it worked really well, then I had a panic attack. Stopped taking it, began back up when classes began in September, I'm a college student. It never worked- I played around with doses, diet, etc, nothing helped. Don't get me wrong, many times it certainly helped, but other times I was sent to the ER because I was so anxious that I began shaking uncontrollably.

Then I did some research and found out about misophonia. Wow, was my mind blown. As a kid I always used to tell my mom and dad "don't breathe loud." Background talking through my wall is driving me mad, I can't focus... as do the subwoofers or even footsteps of the neighbors that live above me. I'm a dedicated student- on weekdays it's kind of forced that I wake up, but on weekends I'll try to wake up on time, which with ADHD is hard to do, eat something, take my medication and go to study. Before, I couldn't focus on anything AND sounds drove me nuts. When originally began taking the adderall, it helped a lot, then I had a panic attack, stopped, and it hasn't been the same since. I kept telling my psych about how little sounds bothered me, but basically thought that was a part of ADD. However, I was quite wrong...

This has happened MANY times, and I've only been medicated/taking medications for a combined period of maybe 1.5 months, but today is simply an example, here is an example of what has occurred many times prior to being diagnosed:

-Noon: Wake up
-12:45: Go to library
-1:10: Have everything organized, ready to go, open book, begin reading
-1:15: Start looking around, getting distracted (ADD)
-1:20: Try reading, can't focus.
-1:25: Check my iPhone
-1:30: "That kid is breathing DAMN loud I hate him."
-1:35: "I wish I could have a quiet room free of any sound then I'd be able to focus."
-1:40: "That girl needs to use her headphones as headphones, not speakers."

Repeat this process until 6 PM when the library closes and realize that I read nothing.

Diagnosed, with medication, exactly what happened today:

-Noon: Wake up
-1:30: Take adderall (15 mg IR)
-2 PM: Have everything organized, ready to go, open book, begin reading
-2:05 PM: Not off the wall distracted or bored, I'm motivated to do my work, even when I'm confused I'm able to persist and read things through. Still have ADD symptoms but to a much lesser degree. Sitting down, trying to focus.
-2:10 PM: CLICK, WHISPER, CLICK. Wonder to myself why I'm always stuck sitting next to the people that breathe loudly and thrash their keyboards, wondering how everyone else can focus.
-2:15 PM: Internally, getting really angry at the kid next to me for breathing so loud and typing so loudly. On and off until I left.
-2:20 PM: In the quiet room of the library, girl and a guy kept whispering/talking and distracting the hell out of me.
-2:22 PM: Kids playing outside, the noise even when slight, will distract me.
-6 PM: Library closes, well... awesome. In 4 hours I read 10 pages of my accounting book and to retain had to re-read a million times. I could only study during the brief moments when it was relatively or completely silent.

Conclusion: I can now focus in a completely quiet area, which I couldn't without the medication, but any little sound throws me off. I can sit still, focus, and get entangled in the work, until that little whisper or loud breath occurs.

I feel hopeless. Honestly hopeless. I have a 3.96 GPA and am taking 22.5 units this quarter... I can't manage daily basic tasks because I basically "binge" study when I find completely quiet areas.

hattz19
10-20-13, 05:48 PM
Bump, anyone?

amberwillow
10-20-13, 05:53 PM
Can you cover those little noises with your own noise and still study?
For example quiet music through your own headphones.

hattz19
10-21-13, 03:56 PM
Can you cover those little noises with your own noise and still study?
For example quiet music through your own headphones.

That's what I want to test, so I bought a pair of earplugs I have yet to use. When I began adderall originally I was able to tune other sounds out, even those that I normally found distracting (loud breathing, etc.) since I was so engaged. Either the medication isn't right for me or misophonia interferes with its effectiveness. I just become insanely jealous of most of my friends who can take one hour out of their day and study while video games, tv, cars driving by, and so many other noises are going on in the background, while I literally need the quietest place and my distractibility regardless still makes me take twice as long...

Spaced_In
10-30-13, 04:05 PM
Why not try noise blocking earplugs?

I have the same problem too, sometimes.

I use ear plugs but they dont work very well coz theyre for blocking out water. But I know that you can buy noise blocking headphones from hardware stores, etc.
Hope that helps :)

Nicksgonefishin
10-30-13, 06:00 PM
Can you cover those little noises with your own noise and still study?
For example quiet music through your own headphones.


I like this idea. I haven't tried it yet but when I'm in a quiet room my mind makes its own noise so to speak and I'm lost in my own day dreams!

Problem is I like country music and have associated certain songs with certain situations. I'm thinking something with only a melody(no vocals) would work best for me.

Corina86
10-31-13, 07:31 AM
Earplugs worked for me. I've used them all throughout high-school and university. Background music (no words, nothing too loud, exciting or emotional) or background noise (the ventilator of the PC, the fan, the washing machine, cars and rain are great) also work well.

hattz19
11-01-13, 04:38 PM
Earplugs worked for me. I've used them all throughout high-school and university. Background music (no words, nothing too loud, exciting or emotional) or background noise (the ventilator of the PC, the fan, the washing machine, cars and rain are great) also work well.

I don't know, everything seems to bother me. I don't like studying with music in general unless I'm doing math. I can't really read with music in the background, but I hate these noises. Specifically loud breathing, whispering/talking when trying to focus, and mouse clicking. Just ramps up my anxiety and I end up spending hours in the library to no avail.

hattz19
11-01-13, 04:42 PM
I.e. right now, live, this Indian guy is breathing loud and typing rapidly. I shouldn't care, but I want to go in his face and start yelling. It frustrates me to a point that I become mentally agitated and desire to become physically aggressive.

Hawutwut
11-02-13, 03:01 AM
I don't know what to offer except personal experience is that if I am on too much caffeine (I'm not on ADHD meds so can't offer help there) I get crazy about noises bothering me. E.g., one time I took Jolt cola and was in a cafeteria about to go postal from all the noise (it was like I could hear most of the individual conversations at once... or something like that).

Sometimes it is loud typing. Breathing. Chewing. Taping a foot. Etc., etc. I know how frustrating it can be and how you want to choke the crap out of someone for chewing or whatever. :(

Can you study while music is playing? I find it easier to concentrate with classical / instrumental music, and impossible with vocal music of any kind. Impossible with TV or speaking (talk radio). Maybe just play a recording of white noise? Earplugs may help.

Pingu*
11-02-13, 10:54 AM
I recognise this too, but it depends on other background noise, what I'm doing, how much sound I've been exposed to during the day, etc. So I don't think I'm a serious case, but it's very annoying that it varies from day to day, or minute to minute. I can't say that "this and that sound really annoys me and I just want to punch someone" because the next day I might be completely fine with it.

Thankfully low, constant background noise is usually not a problem for me (it actually improves my concentration compared to absolute silence), so I can study at a café, instead of a library.

I am also very sensitive to loud noise, and my ears hurt from lower sound levels than others do. When I listen to music in headphones and give them to a friend, I have to up the volume a lot or they can't hear anything. You recognise this too?

hattz19
12-06-13, 04:24 PM
Yeah, I actually realized I'm fine with consistent background noise. Right now, for instance, I'm eating lunch in Whole Foods. Background noise is consistent, not annoying. However, sporadic/isolated clicking or whispering drives me off the wall. Instead of being able to tune out other people I end up learning more about their conversation and nothing about my work. I'm in finals week right now, so I can't get off of the med, I finish my last one on Thursday. To me this is a sign that the med isn't working, and it really hasn't. I'm getting off of it cold turkey on Friday, gonna deal with withdrawal over the weekend and see my therapist that Monday.

seraphynx
01-14-14, 08:28 AM
our college library had private study rooms that we could 'rent' (for free) - or is there any way you can use an empty lecture hall (i used to do that) or classroom?

probably not nearly as sensitive as you, but i empathize - i used to try to study, and people would just show up, no matter how 'remote' my location was, and play their music, click their buttons on their laptop, talk on their phones, etc. it made me almost insane, i couldn't think with their noise in my space.

hattz19
01-15-14, 05:15 PM
our college library had private study rooms that we could 'rent' (for free) - or is there any way you can use an empty lecture hall (i used to do that) or classroom?

probably not nearly as sensitive as you, but i empathize - i used to try to study, and people would just show up, no matter how 'remote' my location was, and play their music, click their buttons on their laptop, talk on their phones, etc. it made me almost insane, i couldn't think with their noise in my space.

I ended up getting a 3.8 last quarter, an A- and B+ weighed down my GPA. I busted my butt to get those grades, but it actually dropped my cum. GPA from a 3.96 to a 3.91. To update, I began my winter quarter two weeks ago, but am only taking 14 units (3 classes). I don't work, have a nice car, and have all the time in the world. I was prescribed Prozac for anxiety, and have been taking the prescribed dosage since classes began on January 6th.

I was prescribed Dexedrine as an alternative to Adderall, but it had to be authorized by insurance, so I'm still waiting on that. In the meantime, my PCP prescribed Adderall and my therapist suggested to titrate up, which I'm doing (from 5mg). I feel better definitely in attentiveness, the main difference is the Prozac makes me a bit fatigued. However, in the library, I end up being super distracted, this guy was snoring, these two girls were whispering, this guy was using his headphones as speakers again. However, as I look around, no one moves, no one seems to be distracted by these little things like I am... it's so agitating, and as a a serious student I hate seeing people BS around, study the night before and earn a better mark then me, while I haul butt and they just talk in the library and hang out with their friends... so agitating.

Corina86
01-16-14, 10:25 AM
[quote=hattz19;1600161However, in the library, I end up being super distracted, this guy was snoring, these two girls were whispering, this guy was using his headphones as speakers again. However, as I look around, no one moves, no one seems to be distracted by these little things like I am... it's so agitating, and as a a serious student I hate seeing people BS around, study the night before and earn a better mark then me, while I haul butt and they just talk in the library and hang out with their friends... so agitating.[/quote]

I get that too. I understand that it might be a sensory issue, which often comes hand in hand with ADHD, but it isn't treatable unfortunately. I think you should look for another solution: earplugs, headphones (for music or for white noise) or even studying someplace else. I was lucky I lived at home during college, but I know lots of my colleagues would go out of their way to find suitable places to study, like isolated places in parks, hallways or cafe shops.

MX2012
01-16-14, 01:15 PM
That's what I want to test, so I bought a pair of earplugs I have yet to use. When I began adderall originally I was able to tune other sounds out, even those that I normally found distracting (loud breathing, etc.) since I was so engaged. Either the medication isn't right for me or misophonia interferes with its effectiveness. I just become insanely jealous of most of my friends who can take one hour out of their day and study while video games, tv, cars driving by, and so many other noises are going on in the background, while I literally need the quietest place and my distractibility regardless still makes me take twice as long...

Hattz19

Hi, just thought I would add the definition of misophonia.

Misophonia, literally "hatred of sound", is a neurological disorder in which negative experiences (anger, flight, hatred, disgust) are triggered by specific sounds.

Hmm, "neurological" does that also apply to a human hearing system? I say this because it sounds like your hearing ability is finely-tuned, meaning you appear to be able to hear sounds to a greater degree than normal. I think that is biological not neurological. While the outcome is that you are physically and mentally irritated by sound.

Once I went to a hearing lab to get my hearing checked. I do not have a name for my condition, but I do not hear myself well when I speak, so I tend to speak loudly. As I age, my hearing fluctuates, at times I can hear discreet sounds in a wide range of tones at other times, I can not hear well.

I say this because I think you need to address your hearing issue in a more systematic manner.


Think of getting a hat to pull down around your ears. If this has any good effects, you can use scarves in the winter and hats and scarves can become part of your wardrobe.
Wear headphones in the library to see if they buffer the sounds.
Experiment -- sit in different areas of a room to see if one location offers more silence than another.
Experiment with background noises -- recorded noises like the ocean... many people will run fans to get a constant sound that creates a cocoon of a specific sound to reduce their anxiety.
Make note of times when sounds do not bother you. See if there is a pattern -- time of day? Location? Ambient sounds? Diet? Sleep quality? etc.
Make note of what sounds bother you the most.
Make note of sounds you enjoy. See if there is pattern there.


ADD/HD is one thing. Misophonia is another.

Good luck.