Scottsdale man copes with condition that induces rage to common - New York News

Scottsdale man copes with condition that induces rage to common sounds

Posted: Updated:
  • Special ReportsMore>>

  • Some Arivaca residents upset over Border Patrol checkpoint

    Some Arivaca residents upset over Border Patrol checkpoint

    A battle is brewing in one Arizona Border Town over what some residents say is taking over their way of life. They're not talking about migrants crossing the border; their fight is with Border Patrol.
    A battle is brewing in one Arizona Border Town over what some residents say is taking over their way of life. They're not talking about migrants crossing the border; their fight is with Border Patrol.
  • Family turns to a psychic to help solve son's murder

    Family turns to a psychic to help solve son's murder

    A family continues to search for answers in the death of their son.Kevin Ore was found shot to death in North Phoenix, just months after he survived cancer.Now his family is asking the public for information to end this investigation and get a killer off the street.
    A family continues to search for answers in the death of their son.Kevin Ore was found shot to death in North Phoenix, just months after he survived cancer.Now his family is asking the public for information to end this investigation and get a killer off the street.
  • Software company aims to map and preserve the USS Arizona wreck

    Software company aims to map and preserve the USS Arizona wreck

    This December will mark the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It triggered America's entry into the second world war.A symbol of that attack has always been the U.S.S. Arizona, which almost 73 years later remains at the bottom of that shallow harbor, a memorial to the men who died there.
    This December will mark the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It triggered America's entry into the second world war.A symbol of that attack has always been the U.S.S. Arizona, which almost 73 years later remains at the bottom of that shallow harbor, a memorial to the men who died there.
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - There are sounds that are universally offensive; someone scratching their fingernails down a chalkboard, static on a TV, car alarms going off, the buzz of a dentist's drill.

You hear those sounds -- you want to run the other direction.

But there are people who have that same reaction or worse to everyday sounds that most people do not even notice.  They are filled with rage at the simple sound of someone drinking water or eating chips.

It's a condition only recently given a name Misophonia. Meet a Scottsdale man who has been dealing with this condition his entire life.

"I have a few of these white noise machines; they make a nice soothing noise," said Michael Lawrence.

Soothing sounds are really important to him.

"I have one by the bed, we have one by the table over here, and we have four or five of them around the house," he said.

Why so many of these machines?  Because the simple noise you probably never notice fill Michael with rage!

"It drowns out the little subtle sounds you hear. The chewing, sneezing, clearing throats mostly the eating," he said.

Sounds that aren't just annoying to Michael -- when he hears them he's seething.

"That bowl scraping just drives me insane. I just hate that it's piercing sound," he said.

So instead of nice dishes, he and his wife Lynn use paper plates.

"Plastic as much as possible, sometimes we'll eat out of Tupperware," said Lawrence.

He knows it's not normal, but he has misophonia. Made up of from the Greek word misos which means hatred and phonia which means sound. A new name for a condition that's been around for a long time.

"They have a strong dislike of that sound. It greatly annoys them, and they feel a sense of rage or anger," said Phoenix neurologist Dr. Mike Robb.  "They feel like they want to strangle the person or they want to do something violent, but their higher brain controls them, and they don't lash out."

Michael hasn't attacked anyone.  He's learned to live with it.

"It upsets you more and you want to run. So the only best way is to just run away from it," said Lawrence.

He's run from sounds for more than 50 years.

"I can be in a crowd of 100 people and if somebody's snapping gum, that's all I will hear is that gum snapping, and that'll drive me nuts. I won't hear anything else, any other sound.. just that gum snapping that the one person is doing," he said.

Running from jobs, neighbors, and loved ones. "Ironically when I was young, I was a chef. I was around eating all the time and I had to change careers," he said.

Was there a point where he had relationships fall apart?

"I've been married a couple of times before," he replied.

Lynn, his third wife, didn't know all this when she married Michael -- he started getting frustrated with her.

"Everybody has specific noises they make that are unique to them. And you start oh it's that same noise again. And it starts bothering you more and more and more," he said.

Exercise, and lots of it helped him cope, but it was driving Lynn crazy.

"For him that extreme exercise that pumping and working hard was an escape valve he really didn't explain it to me. And I'm ranting and railing and I'm going, this exercise program is getting in the way and it's frustrating me," she said.

"About six months in Lynn, said I cannot do this, I want a divorce, I love you but I can't live with you. I can't live with you. I can't do this. And I wanted to die," said Lawrence.

Misophonia had already cost him so much. "You kind of spend your life running and that's difficult," he said.

"I didn't understand that the misophonia sounds.. all the triggers throughout the day began to accumulate. It's like putting pebbles in a glass and the glass is full. And this is the way people with misophonia feel.  By the afternoon, their glass is pretty full of triggers," said Lynn.

After a lot of discussion and a really understanding wife, they have stuck it out.

"I feel so lucky to have her. There's very few people that would put up with this kind of thing, and I tell her that all the time," he said.

People with misophonia do not have sensitive hearing. As a matter of fact, Michael says his hearing is not all that great; it just hones in on certain irritating sounds and cannot let them go.

Exercise is a great help to Michael in living with misophonia as well as sound therapy, like using white noise. He's going to do a month long treatment with a neurologist in Iowa that will focus on neuro-feedback basically changing his brain waves. There's been some success in this treatment. We'll let you know how it works.
Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Congressman's ad includes Soviet medals

    Congressman's ad includes Soviet medals

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:38 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:38:06 GMT
    A New Jersey congressman's office is red-faced after a Facebook ad about veteran benefits that appeared to feature Russian military medals.
    A New Jersey congressman's office is red-faced over a Facebook ad about veteran benefits that featured Soviet military medals. Rep. Scott Garrett's spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that the office was sorry an initial review did not catch the use of the stock photo. Maggie Seidel says the ad was produced by an outside vendor and is no longer running. The ad asked people to like Garrett's page to learn what he's doing to support veterans' benefits.
  • Torture video leads to kidnapping convictions

    Torture video leads to kidnapping convictions

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:00:26 GMT
    A jury shown the videotaped torture of a kidnapping victim has convicted the two men who held a man captive for 17 hours at a Buffalo home because they thought he was a police informant. Authorities say the two men kidnapped a 25-year-old crack addict they accused of being a snitch. Video from Dawson's cellphone shows a gun being shoved into the victim's mouth and the victim being forced to lick his own blood off the boot of a captor.
    A jury shown the videotaped torture of a kidnapping victim has convicted the two men who held a man captive for 17 hours at a Buffalo home because they thought he was a police informant. Authorities say the two men kidnapped a 25-year-old crack addict they accused of being a snitch. Video from Dawson's cellphone shows a gun being shoved into the victim's mouth and the victim being forced to lick his own blood off the boot of a captor.
  • 17,000 red light camera tickets dismissed

    17,000 red light camera tickets dismissed

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:39 AM EDT2014-08-22 11:39:23 GMT
    A technical glitch in a red light camera operating system means that some 17,000 motorists in New Jersey will not have to pay a fine for running red lights. Computer problems between May 28 and June 30 resulted in motorists not receiving notices of violations. New Jersey law requires that if a ticket hasn't been served within 90 days, it must be dismissed.
    A technical glitch in a red light camera operating system means that some 17,000 motorists in New Jersey will not have to pay a fine for running red lights. Computer problems between May 28 and June 30 resulted in motorists not receiving notices of violations. New Jersey law requires that if a ticket hasn't been served within 90 days, it must be dismissed.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices