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Being annoyed by loud chewing is a genuine psychiatric disorder

And you’re not alone!

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New Line Cinema

If you can’t stand the sound of someone chewing you actually might have a condition called Misophonia. 

We all have noises that make our blood boil, whether it’s the uncomfortably loud beep the tram makes when the doors open, ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’, or someone shoving their Christmas dinner in their gob.

But most of the time we have a minute of discomfort, brush it off and move on with our lives. Until the next stop at least, anyway.

Some people, however, end up feeling violent anger, disgust and in some cases anxiety. If this is you, you might have a condition called misophonia – which literally translates to ‘hatred of sound’.

Misophonia was thought to be associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but since 2000 has been recognised as its own condition.

Jarritos Mexican Soda/Unsplash

Most common triggers include chewing and throat-clearing, but other symptoms that can produce effects include humming, tapping or pen-clicking.

In some misophonia sufferers, breathing sounds can be highly disturbing, triggering elevated heart rates and sweaty palms.

Some bad news for sufferers is that it could be genetic. 23andMe – a personal genomics and biotechnology company – have found one genetic marker that is associated with the rage felt when you hear other people chew.

The genetic marker is just one of the factors that play a role in the phobia meaning that the environment also matters, though.

Now this doesn’t mean it’s down to bad parenting as the old nature/nurture argument goes, but a field of science does explain that if you’re born with a gene the environment could, in effect, ‘turn it on’.

Another study found that the brain plays a significant role in those with misophonia. Those who suffer from misophonia have strong emotional reactions to common sounds. They also have higher amounts of a fatty substance that wraps around nerve endings in the brain called myelination, however, they are not sure if this is an effect or the cause of misophonia yet.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this disorder but many researchers have provided a long list of tactics to help living with misophonia more comfortably.

For instance, many people dine alone at restaurants so they can comfortably wear earplugs, or noise-cancelling headphones and listen to calming music. Other people find mindful breathing or taking a walk to redirect your attention to something else really helpful.

Misophonia is a relatively new condition that is not fully understood and much more research is needed to help find treatment methods.

Scientists who have recently been working on a new questionnaire to help measure misophonia have added other triggers. For instance, this research found that sources of triggers are usually human, but a number of newer reports now show that all kinds of sounds can provoke reactions in people with misophonia. 

But one things for sure, if you or someone you know has misophonia, just eat with your mouth closed. It costs £0.00 to eat with your mouth shut so do us all a favour.

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Around 20 people involved in mass brawl ‘with knives’ in Piccadilly Gardens

The violence spilled out into the street

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Magnus D / Flickr

A large group of people were involved in a mass fight ‘with knives’ in Piccadilly Gardens last night.

Around 20 people were caught up in the large brawl on Monday evening, and according to reports some were armed with knives.

The fight took place outside Morrisons on the end of Oldham Street, and happened around 9:30pm.

Witnesses reported seeing some of the suspects carrying knives, although police didn’t recover any from the scene, and busses were forced to stop as the violence spread out onto the road.

Peter McDermott / Geograph

Someone who witnessed the fight said on Twitter: “Piccadilly gardens is the roughest place on earth… a lovely night out helping ruined by a group of young kids kicking each others faces in”.

Officers responded to the incident, but no arrests were made or serious injuries reported.

This incident was the third of serious violence in just a few days.

Saturday afternoon saw another incident outside Morrisons in Piccadilly Gardens, in which a man was slashed in the face.

And on Sunday a brawl involving two tables at Barca bar in Castlefield happened, with some involved arming themselves with weapons like bar furniture and a baseball bat.

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Leading scientists call for end of face masks and social distancing by June

Do you agree?

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Leading scientists have written to the UK government calling for social distancing and face masks to be scrapped from June.

In total 22 scientists have signed the communication, saying that these measures should finish on June 22nd – the same date limits on social contact are set to be scrapped in England.

One of the scientists who has added their name to the letter is Dr Roland Salmon, the former director of the communicable disease centre in Wales.

Nickolay Romensky/Flickr

Dr Salmon told BBC Radio Wales: “I am not venting my frustration but I do think some dialogue is well overdue.

“I have always felt that there has been little credible evidence benefit for many of the measures that we take.”

According to him, the letter was written to encourage the government to focus on protecting vulnerable people rather than the masses as we move forward.

Dr Salmon said we need to deal with the ‘here and now’ when asked about the threat of variants, going on to add that the vaccine has shown it helps prevent severe disease and death.

He added: “We can’t stop living forever while we wait for things to happen”.

Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

Scientists who’ve signed the letter include Prof Robert Dingwall from Nottingham Trent University, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG). 

There’s also Prof Anthony Brookes, a geneticist and health data scientist at the University of Leicester, and Prof Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University.

The letter reads: “We are being told simultaneously that we have successful vaccines and that major restrictions on everyday life must continue indefinitely. Both propositions cannot be true.

“We need to give more weight to the data on the actual success of the vaccines and less to theoretical risks of vaccine escape and/or surge in a largely vaccinated population.”



It continues: “Covid-19 no longer requires exceptional measures of control in everyday life, especially where there have been no evaluations and little credible evidence of benefit.

“Measures to reduce or discourage social interaction are extremely damaging to the mental health of citizens; to the education of children and young people; to people with disabilities; to new entrants to the workforce; and to the spontaneous personal connections from which innovation and enterprise emerge.”

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Boris Johnson is regarded as ‘untrustworthy’ by six out of 10 voters

It follows weeks of allegations against the PM

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No10 / Flickr

According to a new poll Boris Johnson is seen as ‘untrustworthy’ by six out of 10 voters in Britain, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer seen as more trustworthy.

The poll from Ipsos MORI was shared by the Evening Standard, and comes after weeks of leaks and allegations about sleaze aimed at the prime minister.

The research found that Mr Johnson is trusted by just 35% of voters and deemed untrustworthy by 59%, while Sir Keir is seen as trustworthy by 42% and is untrusted by 41%.

No10 / Flickr

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said: “On honesty Boris Johnson is clearly trumped by Keir Starmer, so this is an area of potential risk for him. 

“However, his own supporters still trust him, and the public overall have never seen it as one of his strongest attributes … and as previous leaders such as Tony Blair have shown, you don’t have to be ahead on trust to win elections. 

“The key question is whether and if these stories continue and start to change the public’s overall view on him as PM.”

No10 / Flickr

The poll was taken following weeks of reports about murky donations being used to refurbish the prime minister’s flat, as well as disclosures about covert lobbying.

However, it was undertaken before the most recent allegations that Mr Johnson said he’d rather see ‘bodies pile high’ than have another lockdown, so those reports won’t have been taken into consideration by those polled.

Despite all the recent controversy, the prime minister and government’s net satisfaction hasn’t changed much since March, with both Mr Johnson (44 satisfied/50 dissatisfied) and Sir Keir (36/46) having net negative ratings.

Ipsos MORI interviewed 1090 adults across the UK by telephone from April 16th to the 22nd – you can find full details here.

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