The 63-year-old suffers from misophonia, which means she is unreasonably irritated by certain everyday sounds – such as chewing, breathing heavily and people tapping their fingers - meaning day-to-day life in close proximity with others, including her husband, can be an issue.
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Ruth has spoken about her condition openly on several episodes of This Morning.
During a phone-in where a viewer described how the police were required to get involved as a fight broke out with their partner over loud chewing, Ruth said she more than sympathised.
"I can understand that, I can understand that with my misophonia," she explained.
Ruth Langsford's condition means she finds everyday sounds irritating
"If someone’s breathing heavily near me – I think what happens is I tune in. Certain noises – if someone was clicking a pen over there, everything else around me becomes kind of dulled and all I can hear is that. Even if it’s a stranger, sometimes I have to go: 'Excuse me, can you stop that?' And then I blurt it out and I’m really embarrassed."
Misophonia is a clinical diagnosis and doesn’t have a cure, meaning while there is certain treatment to help Ruth and fellow sufferers soothe the symptoms, they'll have the condition for life. We caught up with Dr Chris George to explain more.
There's no way to cure Ruth Langsford's health condition
What is misophonia?
"It’s a condition in which individuals experience intense anger and disgust when they are confronted with sounds made by other human beings," he said. "For example, sounds such as chewing, breathing and lip smacking may trigger intense anger."
What are the symptoms of misophonia?
Dr Chris added that irritation is the main one, then sometimes turning into disgust, anger, becoming verbally abusive, or sometimes even physically abusive to the person making the noise.
Is misophonia curable?
Dr Chris confirms that misophonia is a "lifelong condition" with no cure.
How can misophonia be treated?
According to Dr Chris, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy in which your brain is rewired to perceive the noises being made in a different way i.e. not as something irritating) and counselling are both good forms of treatment. The goal is to reframe your way of thinking about said noises – they’re not annoying, they’re simply inevitable.
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