Comments for My Wacko Phobia of Chewing Gum and Eating Food

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Intense anger
by: Anonymous

There are 3 types of eating noises that make me want to KILL the offender- chomping on crushed ice and crunching big bites of pretzels or tortilla chips!!! I think I am divorced over this very subject! I also really hate it when people moan with love over the taste while they are eating -mmmm!

by: Eric

I found this post funny as I too can't stand the chewing sound. It happened after being yelled at when I was 6 or 7 by my aunt for chewing that way! I'm a psycho like all of you! Lol. Anyway, music or TV in the background does help and that's about it! Deep breaths kind of does too! Good much everyone!

by: Dave

I remember when my aversion to eating sounds began - It was after I was punished by my father, and he was eating hard pretzels from a bag. The sound of the bag and the deep bony crunches of the very hard pretzels making a dull noise from his mouth and head were quite unbearable. He ate like this often, and it disgusted me. To this day anyone snacking on a crunchy snack sends me into tension and anger. I absolutely hate that sound with a passion, and all eating sounds for that matter. It has caused tension with my wife, but for the most part I try to hide it by eating when anyone around me is to mask the sound, listening to my iPod, or just leaving the room. It is getting worse, I am afraid, and I hope the suggestions in this thread will help.

We NEED a cure!
by: Chloe

I too suffer from this problem. I have searched many forums and read many comments and like many others that suffer from this condition, I too developed it at a young age and it majorly effected me in regards to my family.

I actually remember the day it developed. I was about 7, 8 or 9 and was eating a sandwich with my Aunt. She told me that I was eating loudly, and made an annoying hand motion like an animal eating and made a loud chomping noise. Suddenly I was totally aware of the sound of eating and it all at once was intensely frustrating to hear my mother or anyone else eat from that day on. It quickly got worse, the sound of someone chewing gum, smacking there lips, crunching, brushing their teeth or scrapping their plate was unbearable and would make me intensely angry! I am normally a peaceful, happy and non violent person - but hearing someone eating food makes me want to actually rip my hair out or punch the person! And I know how crazy and ridiculous this is and I can't help it.

The anticipation that someone is about to potentially eat something also gives me sudden and unbearable anxiety. As I got older, the problem worsened, now at 26 I can't even LOOK at someone eating. The sight of it disgusts me and makes me feel the uncontrollable urge to have to leave the room. This only seems to bother me if it is a family member or a stranger... the sight of my friends or boyfriend eating doesn't bother me.. just the sound!

Going out and eating with other people is fine as long as

The most common name for this condition I have learned is misophonia.

So far there is no cure, but here is a list of a few things I do that has helped me

-Earbuds/Headphones - always have my ipod in my bag wherever I am in case I am in a situation I can't escape from (bus, office, waiting room, ect)

-Telling family, friends, ect about this condition and asking for them to be considerate of it. Most are cool!

-Background noise such as the TV or radio. Having music on makes eating with someone ok.

-Chewing gum. If someone's noises are bothering me, I chew gum and try to focus on the sound I am making to mask theirs.

-Alcohol. I am not a big drinker but I have found that a shot or two helps to calm my nerves in situations where I am forced to hear someone chew, if I can't turn on music or the TV.

What do you guys do to cope??

anger with chewing noise
by: Anonymous

I too am glad to have found this site. I have had feelings of anger and anxiety listening to people chew since I was about 10 (I am now 30.)

I grow especially angry when people seem to chew more with the back of their mouth throat, as though making a wet chewing noise...hope that makes sense. That type of chewing also elicits a sexually arousing tingling sensation. So I am overcome by feelings of anger, anxiety, and arousal. I am so annoyed and confused, and feel extremely guilty.

I have a vague memory of childhood sexual abuse, and have reoccurring dreams of being raped, chased, hurt, abandoned, etc. Also have flashes of memories regarding some sort of trauma, but cannot completely remember. I cannot go anywhere near my uncle, and actually get sick to my stomach being around him (he is occasionally raping me in my dream) but I do not have an actual concrete memory yet. I am in therapy, trying to uncover any potential repressed memories of sexual abuse to determine what the connection is between chewing noises and sexual arousal/anger.

Sounds so silly as I type this, but any suggestions would be helpful b/c it completely affects my everyday life and I feel horrible. Glad to know people can relate; all suggestions and/or opinions are welcome please!

by: Anonymous

I am so happy to hear this! i thought i was mental well everyone thought i was mental!! it makes me angry when i hear peple eat! as a matter of fact i have stopped eating dinner because i cant eat with other people. im still young so we have familly dinners and i cant stand it when people lick their fingers or well just chew the sound makes me ill. i get so mad at times that i break things. I always thought no one understood me and i was the only im so happy i found this site!!!

me too!!!
by: ms

I can't stand it! I feel like I am going to go crazy. I have suffered from this all my life. I don't know how to bring it up to my friends (the very few who do it) because I think they are going to think I am Wacko.I can't stand the way certain people drink-swallow-smack their lips etc. Gum chewing really doesn't bother me only the gum smacking popping etc when I am in public. FOOD on the other hand makes me insane! I cannot believe the way some people eat and do so in public. For GOD sake shut your F#*cking mouth when you are chewing. I also wonder if this stems from my childhood. My dad would always say at the table " chew with your mouth shut " but at the same time he would crunch ice which drove me insane. I seriousley thought that when I googled "why do I get angry when I hear people eating, smacking food, talking with their mouths full etc" I would come up with nothing. Guess I'm gonna get ear plugs. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

Totally agree
by: Anonymous

Everything said here is the sweetest kind of vindication.

Although i was interested in reading some of the arguments about its categorization as a phobia.

In my case. The sound of people chewing (even myself when eating at times) enrages me, i dread the sound of chewing.

SOOO Many aggressive outbursts and even physical altercations have been triggered due to my hatred of the dreaded chewing noise.

This is probably the only thing that can cause me to loose my temper.

nope, you're def not alone!
by: Me too

Since I was 5 (30 yrs ago) I have HATE HATE HAAAAATED the sounds of chewing. It happened to me overnight after my mother pointed out to me some people chewing with their mouths open and how gross it was. Since that day I was never the same and never able to live in the sweet bliss of being oblivious to mouth noises.
I also hate the sounds of breathing, swallowing, licking, gulping, spit, scraping of silverware. Even if I cannot hear the person but just see the motion of their mouth moving it drives me SO FREAKIN BATTY.
Sometimes it's not so bad, sometimes it can drive me completely INSANE and make me want to rip my head off while I scream my brains out.

I thought I was the only one for most my life. Several years ago I finally searched for the hatred of chewing and found that an ear doctor had named it "4S" and that there was lots of people with the same condition...

I don't think it's a phobia? I'm not really afraid of chewing and mouth noises - I just HATE THEM SOOOOOOOO SO SO SO UNBELIEVABLEY ABSURDLY MUCH.

by: Puderbaer


I totally agree with so many of the comments here- in fact it is uncanny. As others have said, it is not a fear but an aversion. I feel stressed, ill and even angry when I hear eating noises- or even just see people eating in a way that looks noisy. It really affects my life- I need to commute regularly by train and end up feeling really stressed by all the chewers and/or I have to constantly change carriages. I totally agree with the person who asked when so many people started chewing gum- it seems like an epidemic! I also get really stressed out when my father-in-law comes to visit because he is a vigorous slurper.

I am desperate to get over this- I feel that it is ridiculous that such a thing can affect me so much.

I have decided to try hypnotherapy to see if that improves matters. I will report back!

In solidarity!

by: 14 year old

I am honestly floored that my symptoms are shared; i've felt like i just insane. The Anger, when i am generally not an angry person, i am a pacifist, but i when i hear the squelching sound, the low frequency sound more than the actually smacking (thats why ice tends to be a killer) from inside the mouth, even if the mouth isnt open... i go insane, I want to break something, not necessarily even the source of the noise, i just want to destroy. and i deplore that feeling, and it lead to a lot of self-loathing even when i was really small. so i just sit there and stare at them, and then will myself to look away. and what i used to do was click my big toe off of my index toe (which sounds like the snapping of fingers) in order to blow of some steam... but that made "an annoying noise" and made my family angry ( angry with my being angry) so i had to stop. you can imagine how i feel about that. they made that stop when i was about 12 or so? they'd been telling me to stop since 6 or 7 i have no idea, almost since it started. i'm half vietnamese, and chewing as loudly as possible is common in my family. meals at my grandparents' house would bring me to tears. im very glad they allow me to leave for the bathroom whenever, and not anchor me to the table or force me to sit next to my brother whose cheeks are so thin, and whose favorite pass time is chewing ice and eating chips, often at the same time. my mother and brother share the philosophy of simply subjecting me to it and my getting over it. my dad apparently had it and grew out of it? i dont generally talk to him about it, since its just something i live with and not necessarily think about. i even forget i have it until, of course, someone starts eating. in fact i neglected looking it up, afraid of what i'd find or not, until today. i had a feeling that i should, that i'd at least find something,( And how!) i originally thought it arose from my obsession with chewing with my mouth closed, mostly induced by my heavy watching of television ( "Never chew with your mouth open, children... its rude") and (i kid you not) the Fairly Odd Parents cartoon and their side-of-the-face chewing thing that the animation lends itself to. (i did not even use my incisors until age 9? side chew. made sense at the time. no my bottom molars dont touch the top set.) I've got this mild case of OCD as well, and so i thought i was just being controlling like comment a couple scrolls down, or all my self righteousness funneled into a single trivial element, or all the anger i suppressed-- in any i thought it was psychological and that im just a hypochondriac.

... as an after thought, could it actually be all those things? or hereditary, as i briefly mention that my dad briefly mentioned having it too?

Certain people are worse
by: Anonymous

I have these exact feelings that everyone is sharing. The anxiety created when people eat or chew gum in meetings at work is beyond comprehension! It seems like torture! Then there are certain people where it doesn't bother me at all? Anyone relate? In meetings I will actually hold my hands over my crazy is that?

by: Anonymous

Its so stupid my family does it constently ! I hate it so much! Not to sound like a jerk but, I go crazy when ever it happens! gum chewing, cutterly, loud breathing ,apple chewing, lip smacking, gargling, spit noises and all mouth sounds drive me absouloutly nuts!

I am so happy I could cry
by: Joyce

I thought I was the only one in the world! I have been picked on and teased since I was 13 about this. I HATE the sound of CRUNCHING. I HATE it. I call it the "deep crunch chew". It has only gotten worse. I now hate every motion and sound involved with eating. I am 20 years old and excited to find out I am not alone. Honestly, you have no idea what this group means to me, and to be able to put a name to my problem. People always tell me to "just get over it"...nobody understands how hard it is. I don't want to get over it. I want to cure it. Let's find a cure!! I'm ready to stop hating the closest people in the world to me because they are eating. I'm ready to stop being ashamed of my anger. I'm ready to put the anger and anxiety aside.

by: Anonymous

Thank you so much. This has been REALLY helpful to read. I am 13 years old and my big thing is my dad'd chewing and swallowing sounds. Other than my dad, not many other people's chewing gets me anxious. But, with my dad, its horrible. At meals, I do whatever I can to get away from the table. I go to the bathroom, get drinks, make tea, etc. At dinner, I actually start to shake or twitch, it is so bad. I think that I have actually lost weight from skipping dessert if my dad is there. It is so bad for me that I didn't want to eat my birthday cake because it was pecan pie and my dad was there. The rest of my family (sister and mom) and myself all do not like my dad too much. He causes tension, he's just... REALLY irritating. Does this have anything to do with my fear? And also, my mom and sister both dont LIKE my dads chewing, but they can tolerate it. I know that they don't suffer from this debilitating problem.

gum chewing, whistling, humming drive me nuts
by: Anonymous

I'm 63 years old and gum chewing brings me to tears and hatred of the chewer. I have beeen this way since I can remember and I can not control it. I
glare at strangers in public and make remarks about cows along with my dirty looks. my family has had to put up with my craziness too.

Chewing gum is gross
by: Anonymous

I have been on holiday with my dad for 2 weeks now and he has not stopped chewing gum the whole time. I honestly feel like crying. I thought I was the only one it's nice to know other people feel the same way too. My sister always tells me off for being rude and says "sucked in".
Everything about chewing gum repulses me
Starting from the smell and honestly leads to a migraine. Well were awaiting a 14 hour flight, this should be interesting.

Ruling my life
by: Anonymous

I am 19 years old and have defiantly suffered with this for as long as i can remember. When i am close to people and they are chewing their gum with their mouths open, i get real bad anxiety. I start becoming fidgety and then angry and frustrated. Sometimes i cry out of anger. Also With snoring, the sound of people biting their nails, even my dad if he is on the play station, the sound of him clicking the buttons. Also, when i am upstairs and i can hear the murmur of the loud television downstairs. It actually drives me crazy i hate it. I sleep with ear plugs in, i eat at the table with people with my ear plugs in, but i can't wear them all the time. Sometimes i just don't know what to do. Even if someone is not chewing with their mouth open, but just generally breathing heavy, it drives me insane :( help :(

Loud Chewing Sister
by: Anonymous

Well i was just sitting here, on the computer, when my sister comes in with a box of milk duds. Of course she chews with her mouth open! I get a weird annoyance and start freaking out. It's scary, really scary. When it gets that bad, you just wanna lock yourself in a closet for 2 years until she stops chewing loudly. I really need to get ear plugs- or some help!!!

Chewing Drives Me Nuts!
by: Anonymous

I found this website while doing research for my blog, where I intend to "out" myself about, what I thought, was my weird phobia regarding gum popping, ice chewing, lip smacking. All of these actions drive me up the wall. It was so nice to find out that I am not alone! I use ear plugs on airplanes and in the car when I am with other people. I try to be discreet, as I don't want to hurt peoples feelings. I really feel out of control and have to move away from the offending noise, such as in a waiting room or movie theatre. It is getting worse and I really don't know what to do. Thanks to all of you who have commented!

Stop it
by: antichew too

Hey I thought I was alone in this. I am 56 and it has seriously affected my life. I have left job interviews, fired people, and been fired all because of a chewing or obnoxious licking sound. I can wait in line for half an hour and if the cashier is chewing gum I will go into another line - that's on a good day. I get so angry that if the person is in a customer service job I straight out tell them to lose the gum. I honestly feel like I could just reach down their throats and pull that gum out. I even hate the jaw movement of a gum chewer. My butt hole gets so tight and my back tenses up. I know, it's ridiculous but so REAL. All these years and it just gets worse. I have an arsenal too, gum, crackers, and ear plugs. Dog licking - no way. I just lose it altogether. I am the first one out of the building. If cigarette smoking can be banned then so should gum chewing - it is hazardous to our health. Thanks everyone for writing in. If there are so many of us maybe we can do something.

Gum Chewing Phobia
by: John T

Guys -

I know this is a problem for many, and I am in this boat.

I am confident this started when I was a child (the comment of between 8 and 14 is right), and I know I had one or two scaring/embarassing situations where I was forced to stop chewing in a public place.

I have sought therapy and other than getting "slightly more comfortable with it", I haven't been able to solve it. I am also a fairly uptight guy, so I always figured until I learned to "relax completely", I would never shed this frustration.

One tip - I have gotten to the point that I tell people close to me on an airplane or at work that "I have an allergy to gum". People smurk, but 99% of the time they agree to shop chewing. Just a temporary fix, but might help.

daughter has this problem
by: Anonymous

I am just wondering if all of you who have this problem also exhibit controlling personalities? My daughter flips out over chewing. She also likes to be in control of how loud the radio is and what is on the radio... anything that is not her choice is noise. She is pretty controlling in all aspects of her life-- the annoyance with chewing seems to be a part of that. And it is something she can't stop, so it REALLY bugs her.

Its a relief to know there are others with my problem
by: Anonymous

Wow! I am 67 and have suffered with this hatered of hearing people eat,it started when I was about 11,I was always in deep water with my parents as I could not escape from the meal table.
I felt I wanted to tear my hair out, bang my head against the wall. any noise with the mouth still drives me to distraction,Sitting on a bus or an enclosed aera with my partner licking his lips all the time I feel like hitting him! I have always been ashamed of my feelings and thought myself an oddball and have tried to say nothing, but have found it very stressful bottling it up all my life which in turn has led to health problems. I am so glad to be able to share this with people who understand what its like
Oh for a cure!

Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome
by: 4S patient

Just like many people here, I always thought I was the only one suffering from unexplainable aversion to oral noises. It turned out to be a medical condition, selective sound sensitivity syndrome or misophonia.

Problems with other people eating.
by: Jo

I am so relieved to find a site like this and to find out other people have the same problems I have. I actually thought I was going mad as the only other person I know who feels like I do is my twin sister. I get so angry when I listen to other people crunch their food. I have had to walk out of rooms to calm myself down as I am worried at how angry I get. Everyone who knows me think I am being ridiculous and just say they are 'only' eating but that's not how I see it. I feel silly telling people about it but I wondered if there was any help out there to control how I feel??? I have had this condition since I was a child and I feel it's just getting worse! It ISA comfort to know I am not alone in how I feel now though.

All of your comments help me so much
by: Marianne

I can't believe I found these comments about chewing food, gum, etc. I have been living in hell with this. I have had this problem also since about the age of 13 or so. I don't remember having it as a child. Although, I was sensitive at a young age to loud noises. But, this is off the charts terrible. It affects your whole life. My poor Mom has had to deal with me for years. We can't sit at a quiet table to eat dinner. I MUST have the radio or television going. I secretly adjust the temperature in the house to make the heat or ac come on just to muffle the noise. It is awful to be on CONSTANT alert to this. I just want to be free. It is really terrible. I can't even begin to tell all of you what a break-through it has been tonight to read these comments and know that I am not crazy! This is a condition and I will start working hard to help myself. Because it has affected my mom for years and now I am suffering majorly in my office environment because, of course, there is an especially obnoxious eater that I happen to sit right next to. I can't ignore it. I have the same symptoms as people that have written in. The chewing noises make me ANGRY. They cause me severe, crippling anxiety. THANK YOU to the person that started writing in. You have no idea how much you have helped me tonight. Take care everyone. I will keep reading and seeing what there is to do.

Hate to hear my mother chew gum!
by: Anonymous

I can tolerate gum chewing, just not when my mother does it. I am now 30 years old and have been dealing with this childhood. Also I can't be around her when she chews food or sips drinks. It drives me INSANE! I wish I could cure this disorder but I've tried everything. Even when she has the gum in her mouth and is not chewing it, I still feel very anxious and angry. I know this is crazy and I just wanted to know if anyone else has experienced anything similar...

know how you feel
by: Anonymous

i am 51 and have suffered from this feeling since i can remember. i have such a strong reaction to people chewing/popping gum loudly that it really effects my life. i have had to leave concerts and movies and classes. i am lucky that my family and close friends understand and will not do this in my presence. when i feel trapped in a situation with someone popping gum i begin to have severe anxiety to the point of heart palpitations, sweating, and nausea. flying and public transportation are usually a nightmare for me. it does help a little to know that others have the same problem. for many years i thought i was the only one. it always amazes me that people think it is OK to make such a rude noise around others. it seems like common courtesy to eat with your mouth shut and quietly whether you are chewing food or gum.

by: lowkow

I hear u on the chewing gum part I also have a phobia have u tried smoking reefer 4 your anxiety I recomend :\

It has a name and it is not a phobia
by: Sydney AU

The hatred of specific mouth and nose sounds does habve a name - two names in fact. Some audiologists call it "misophonia" (Greek for "hatred of sound") and some people call it "selective sound sensitivity syndrome" or "4S".

It is not a phobia, because it is not fundamentally a fear. Also, it has different origins and different outcomes with treatment. 4S is not curable at present - neither drugs nor the current psychological therapies seem to work.

potential help
by: Tom

I have been researching this obsessively for almost a year now. I know exactly how you all feel. It's horrific. Last year when I realized I was NOT the only earthling w/ this "condition," I promised myself I was going to figure out a way to FIX it for all of us. I had traditionally used alcohol to "fix" this as well.....which is terrible. I have been to shrinks, neurologists, and psychiatrists, ALL quacks; NO help. I felt I had no choice but to fix this myself because no one else was going to help me. I have found that natural supplements and change in diet DO HELP tremendously. The problem doesn't go away completely, but there is significant improvement. The supplements I have found helpful are Skate Liver Oil capsules made by a company in Nebraka, and also a product made by NaturalCare in Provo, Utah called "RING Stop." I got the Ring Stop at my local Kroger, believe it or not. I live in Georgia and have NO relation to either company. Also, google GAPS diet. It helps as well. Again, I am not completely "fixed," but have seen an improvement. Best of luck to all of you!!! <3

by: Sydney AU

The most likely hypothesis, in my opinion, is that this peculiar form of sound sensitivity is an inherited neurological condition, which is then extended by conditioning (habits).

It does not respond very well to psychological therapies, it tends to be passed on to children, and it starts rapidly - sometimes literally overnight - typically between the ages of 8 and 13.

Yeah me too
by: Anonymous

For me realizing that this was a phobia was immensely liberating. It IS a phobia and the fact that it is more anger/revulsion/anxiety than "fear" doesn't change that. It is like claustrophobia--I am trapped unless I can move away, and if I can I do. I rarely go see movies because popcorn anywhere in a radius of about five four rows can set me off. I have to think about it in every social situation I go into: will someone eat? What will I say? Will I be able to leave?
I find that music helps, eating something myself helps, alcohol helps. I carry a flask so that I can take a quick snort of I'm trapped in a bad situation and I am otherwise a light drinker. I carry earplugs an apple and gum so that I have weapons against it.
I have found that it is a kind of litmus test for whether someone is worth my time; if they react hen I tell tehm with compassion and kindness, that person is worth knowing. I usually leave a situation myself, but if if I have to make a request (like when I was trapped doing some work on an office and a coworker decided to eat her lunch next to me) than I know I have met someone not worth my time.
I would love an exact name but there doesn't seem to be one: a kind of weird hybrid of hyperacusis, phonophobia, and topophobia (fear of certain situations).

by: Anonymous

l have exactly the same problem..we all really need some help because is affect ours life to much

I'd love to be cured!
by: Anonymous

It's awful to feel this way because people think that it's silly to have feelings of anger about people eating. It even sounds daft to me and I've felt that way since I was about 9 years old.

I know other people who don't particular enjoy hearing people smacking gum or eating with their mouths open but for me its all that plus pretty much any noise from people eating or drinking down to rustling crisp packets and gulping water!

It makes me so angry and I sometimes clench my fists and feel like bopping whoever is making said noise.

I think my feeling of anger when I hear these noises come from being trapped around the dinner table or in the car with my little brother. He had (and still has) bad sinus terrible which means he has to eat with his mouth open. He also tries to eat as fast as possible leading to even more delightful noises as you can imagine!!

I didn't think about this when I was young but I've noticed that the red mist comes down faster when I feel like the person is being greedy - eating to fast, not at meal times or too much.

I imagine everyone with this problem has comes into contact with people who eat loudly in their youth and probably under circumstances they can't control. i.e I told my parents I didn't like my brother making all that noise when he ate and I was told he couldn't help it! To which I thought angrily - but he can if he eats slower!!!!! - very frustrating!!

I think I've improved over the years and am lucky to have a boyfriend who is considerate most of the time. I think I've learned to work around it by distracting myself with music or games and I do find I'm not nearly as bothered when I'm eating myself.

Has anyone had hypothesis? I'd love to never think about it ever again!!

Fight gum with gum!
by: Anonymous

I've had the same problem for 40 years. Started in my teen years with my mother, still bothers me a lot. The one thing that helps me when I'm stuck somewhere I can't leave, like a train, or a movie, it to "chew" something myself. I'm fortunate that I don't hate the smell and taste of all gum, just the kind my mother chewed, so I carry a pack of something I can stomach- like licorice or cinnamon gum. I don't even really chew it, just clamp it between my back teeth, and it's like an instant release of tension. I have no idea why, but for me it works. I think I figured it out when I would be trapped in the car with my mother. Her chewing would make me so tense I put the cap of a Bic pen in my mouth and bit down to keep from grinding my teeth, and it worked. Not safe, I know, but perhaps a taffy, jerky, gum drop, toothpick, plastic bite guard, coffee bean, etc. For lack of anything better I have even used a small piece of paper napkin wadded up. Oh, and I do not allow myself to continue to look at the chewing person. I look away and count backwards from at least 100. If it's really bad, I start at a higher number and count down by threes or fours to make it more self-distracting.

I seriously dont know how much I can stand it anymore...
by: Anonymous

While it may not be as big a problem to me as it is to others, this is one of the biggest problems I have with anything.
Being that I'm in middle school,people constantly chew their gum obnoxiously and while it may not bother me the first few seconds, it drives me insane once I listen to them after 2 minutes or so.
My bigger problem is with the chewing food loudly. My mother does it, my father does it, my brother does it, a friend of mind does it (in the most disgusting way possible), another friend does it, nearly everyone I see in the school cafeteria does it. I would think people would take just TWO SECONDS to take into consideration common courtesy and manners and just chew quieter or, more respectfully, with their mouths closed.
This has been a very big problem of mine for the longest time and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with it.
There's my two cents.

I have same prolem
by: sam

I have same problem I prefer hell rather than hear some one make sound or opning mouth when eating food or chewing gum or drinking hot drink I realy hate those people .sory about my english .

Me Too...So I'm Not Crazy
by: Stefani

Wow, its nice to read this. The sound of people eating with their mouths open or chewing gum has gotten on my nerves for about five years.
I just realized how much I hate it since I've moved in with my mom&stepdad-- he chews loudly at all times. A couple of weeks ago I ran upstairs and busted out in tears because I couldn't stand it anymore. My mother has gone off on me when I've tried to explain to her that I REALLY CAN'T TAKE IT, and I'm not trying to be rude. She also pops her gum and will not stop when I kindly ask her to, as does my grandma. When I can't tell people to stop (like when they're across the room from me) I just want to SLAP THEM, cry, or fight them. Every class I go into, it's "Who's gonna be chewing in this one?"
It's good to know I'm not the only one who stesses over this. How can I tell them to stop, kindly?

It does have a name - more than one
by: Sydney AU

This distress at eating sounds has a name - or two.

A number of audiologists refer to it as "misophonia", which they usually see in people with tinnitus or similar hearing problems. This condition can be treated along with the tinnitus or other hearing problem.

One audiologist who has seen many people with this hatred of eating sounds - but no other hearing problems like tinnitus - refers to it as "selective sound sensitivity syndrome". It usually appears in late childhood or puberty.

Thank god I'm not the only one
by: Sophie

I am absolutely ecstatic that I am not the only one that feels this way. It does affect everyday life for me. I cannot stand to be around people eating with their mouth open. Especially chewing gum and crisps. It's disgusting. I actually well up with tears.
Cinema is nearly impossible for me. Listening to someone eating popcorn for 2 hours is not my idea of fun.
I would love to tell my friends how bad I hate it but it would sound like I'm crazy!!
Is there actually a name or condition for this?!!!

Yet another sufferer
by: Sydney AU

I am another person with this problem. I am now 55, but I have had this intense aversion to chewing and sipping noises since I was a teenager.

It hasn't got any better over the decades. It just continues to aggravate me to the point of distress whenever I get stuck with someone chewing - like on a train. I try to sit in the last seat so that no one can stand or sit behind me and eat or drink. Wearing headphones and listening to music can mask the sound. I do this at work too (right now I am wearing headphones because a colleague is drinking loudly).

I would love to know the name. Until today, I never realised that anyone else in the world suffered from this. I just thought it was one more unique and embarrassing secret about myself. I guess it is a relief to know that it is a real syndrome - is it "phagophobia" (fear of eating)?

One other thing. I am not "afraid" of eating sounds, I just cannot stand them. I am seriously distressed by them, but not afraid in the sense that I might fear poisonous spiders or heights. I would describe it as much closer to anger than fear. So I wonder whether it is really a "phobia", or something else?

OMG me too
by: Caroline

i wish i could find a phobia name for it but i can't. anyway whenever i am eating with other people and they are chewing, making the slightest amount of noise or a big amount of noise it drives me crazy! whenever it is my parents i squeal "PLEASE chew quieter" though when i chew loudly it doesn't bother me.

Also something else similar is licking. especially dogs licking, i have a pet pug and she likes to lick her crate for some reason, whenever she does i fell like i am going to EXPLODE! i scream "lilly" (her name) and she stops. One time i was over at one of my parents friends house and we were watching a movie. they had the UGLIEST dog and it was licking this guys leg, (gross i know)! anyway it would not stop, i started freaking out, my leg was twitching and i felt like i had to escape or KILL that DOG! i felt horrible like i was going to scream any minute. i told my mom to make the dog stop and she ignored me then i told her again and she did. after that i was in a really bad mood, unlike me. as soon i got out of that house i was ok though. if anyone else has something similar please tell me.

it bothers me too!
by: Anonymous

I've been afflicted with the same thing for as long as I can remember. I'm 27 now and still have to wear an earplug when I have dinner with my father and grandfather (the worst culprits).

I used to throw temper tantrums, cry hysterically, ruin everyone's dinner. I've broken up with people who chew too loud. It affects my opinions of people. When it's really bothering me, I've had some very violent, scary thoughts.

I've noticed that when I'm already annoyed with a person, the sound of them chewing is even more pronounced. Most people who know me well understand this about me and are cool with it, but I'm always embarassed to bring it up to someone I don't know well -- problem is I end up glaring at them throughout the meal.

I don't know what to do, my mother used to suggest hyptnotism, but I don't know about that. Suggestions?

Me too
by: Anonymous

I cannot stand people chewing gum around me. I can't stand seeing it and hearing it. I want it to go away! It keeps distracting me and it's terrible! Fortunately my family and my boyfriend understand it but I can't look at my friends, boss, or even the lady at the grocery store...the problem has really gotten out of hand...I'm happy I'm not the only one but does anyone know how to beat this?

You're Not Alone
by: Anonymous

I'm afraid of gum too. I'm teased constantly and I know how you feel. People even spit out their gum and show it to me and it almost makes me puke. You're not alone.

severe case of chewing gum phobia
by: Anonymous

Hi all, I chew gum without being disgusted by it but I knew a kid who would literally vomit at the sight of chewing gum if you stretched it apart into a strand using your teeth and a free hand. It was just senseless. He didn't have any bad experiences involving chewing gum, it was just a wacky phobia.

Same Problem Here
by: Anonymous

I have been going through the same problem and im 13 so it is affecting the way i react to people. I have to say far away from the person eating otherwise i get really anxious and annoyed. Even when people breathe its the same problem. Is there a cure for this?

I'm not the only one
by: Anonymous

I understand what you're going through. Mine is not a phobia per-say but I just can't stand hearing/see people chomp gum. It's an annoyance that drives me nuts and is almost the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard for me. I thought I was being over sensitive about people's habits or it was me with my AA type personality.

I was glad to see that I wasn't the only one who just couldn't stand hearing gum chewing. The whole sound and watching people incessantly "chomping" grosses me out.

Growing up I would turn my face and cover my ears when my mother would chew gum. She would tell me to grow up and stop being so anal retentive about things. I got into many fights with my mother and sister about this issue.

My mom tries to not chew gum around me but my sister still doesn't care. My sister says I'm being mean and rude and need to "get a grip." Is there any way you have learned to cope with your problem? How has it affected you with your family?

me too
by: Anonymous

I go through the exact same thing. I wish so badly I could get rid of this problem. Its unbelievable how much it affects my life. And it seems like every day MORE and MORE people chew gum EVERYWHERE.

I share your pain
by: Anonymous

I've dealt with the same phobia for many years. I feel ridiculous, but it is a geniune problem for me. Although it directly affects my every day life, and strains my relationships with family and friends, I can't seem to get the courage to explain my problem to them. Sometimes my boyfriend will wonder why I'm being pissy with him, or why I'm so quick to run off to do the dishes after lunch, but I can't seem to say to him "it's because you chew". So far it rarely bothers me when my two year old daughter chews, even with her mouth open. But, increasingly, I don't like her to chew too close to me.

Anyway, I would be happy to talk to anyone with a similar problem - it's easy to feel like you're the only one! You may e-mail me at: antichew at

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