Physical and Mental Health Problems Associated with Misophonia

May 2022

Dr Hashir Aazh interviews Dr Zach Rosenthal from Duke University (USA) about his upcoming presentation at the 6th International Conference on Hyperacusis and Misophonia which is planned for Friday-Saturday 1-2 July 2022 at Birkbeck College, University of London, London, United Kingdom.
Dr Zach Rosenthal’s presentation will focus on exploring which psychiatric disorders and health problems co-occur with misophonia. This is an important question without a clear answer. In order to understand the possible causes, underlying mechanisms, and candidate treatments for misophonia, it is necessary that rigorous scientific research is conducted to determine which mental health and medical health problems most often co-occur with this newly defined (Swedo et al., 2022) disorder. To date, because almost all research addressing has used self-report methodologies, few conclusions can be made. Collectively, self-report studies suggest that misophonia severity is associated with a range of mental health symptoms and previous diagnoses (e.g., anxiety, mood, obsessive-compulsive, trauma-related, and other disorders). However, the gold standard method for assessing psychiatric disorders is to use structured clinician interviews. One study used the MINI as a clinician interview, assessing rates of DSM-IV diagnoses in a large treatment seeking sample in Amsterdam (Jager et al., 2020). This study revealed important clues about misophonia, finding that most participants had no co-occurring psychiatric disorder or history of medical health problems. Rates of psychiatric disorders were highest for mood and anxiety disorders This study is very important, yet additional studies are needed in other samples. Importantly, no studies have used structured diagnostic interviews to assess lifetime and current DSM-5 diagnoses in participants with misophonia.
The purpose of the presentation at ICHM6 is to examine the relationship between misophonia and (a) mental health problems (i.e., DSM-5 co-occurring diagnoses using the SCID-5 structured interview) and (b) medical health problems in a community sample of adults in the United States. Findings are the first to assess DSM-5 diagnoses in misophonia in a large sample using a structured diagnostic interview, assess lifetime and current disorders, and to find high rates of co-occurrence with anxiety disorders.

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