Alison s Story

Naperville, IL USA

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"I have never been known to take something at face value. When I was young I would question everything. You name it, I probably had a question about it. Although it was beneficial being a curious child, there were many downsides. I would try to understand something that I couldn’t comprehend at that age. Sometimes my mind would go a million miles an hour just thinking about several different things at once… it still does. I remember having irrational fears about menial things, as well as becoming angry at myself when I was less than kind to others… I still do.

 

I didn’t realize that these intrusive thoughts were not 'normal' until I was about 14 years old. I was suffering from something called Misophonia as well. Misophonia is a disorder where certain sounds like chewing, slurping, and clicking trigger extreme emotions such as anger, fear, or even extreme anxiety. As I felt like my life was spiraling out of control, I found my misophonia was heightened and I was becoming more depressed and anxious. It was a perpetual, destructive cycle.

 

There was one instance where I was lying in my bed, I was so anxious that my heart was racing and I couldn’t breathe. My hands shook uncontrollably and I felt numb. The interesting thing, though, was that nothing triggered my first anxiety attack. I finally went and saw a therapist when I was 16 to try to figure out what the Misophonia was about because at that time I didn’t know such a thing existed. However, when I went into my initial consult, I came out with not one or two diagnoses, but three: depression, anxiety, and Misophonia.

 

I have been living with these diagnoses for almost four years, but I am here to tell you that it does not define me. There are some days where I feel like I can’t get out of bed, let alone do everything that I need to do for the day. Thankfully, those days are becoming fewer and far between.

 

Don’t suffer in silence because you deserve to live life to its fullest- reach out. My counselor has been a saving grace for me, as well as my family and friends. There are people who care and love you so much.  Keep fighting because you deserve to live a wonderful, fruitful life."

- Story and Photo by: Anna Ferrone, North Central College Campus Representative

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