A man has revealed that he suffers from such a hatred of chewing that he has estranged himself from relatives over fears he might ‘fly into a rage’.
Derrol Murphy, 41, has ended relationships because of the noise his partners make while eating or when clearing their throat.
He even said he has left dates and almost come to blows with colleagues for clicking pens.
Derrol diagnosed himself with misophonia, a condition that makes people irritable about ordinary sounds humans make.
He says he is learning to manage his condition but wants more people to be aware of it.
He said: ‘I thought I was crazy for many years. Little noises would make me just fly into a rage.”
‘People don’t understand it and I can’t explain it. It’s affected relationships, especially people I’ve been dating and family members, because you take it out on the people closest to you because you think they should understand.’
Derrol eventually started to search for answers when he was 30 and became concerned about what was wrong with him.
He can be triggered by breathing or yawning, but chewing is his biggest nemesis.
‘One noise can stick out and, if I’m in a restaurant, I hear one person’s voice and then I hear the cutlery, it makes me go crazy,’ he told the Mirror.
‘The rustling of plastic bags drives me absolutely crazy, and I haven’t been to the movies for more than 10 years because people opening food bags is a very bad trigger.’
He is now dating co-worker Kurt Vin, 41, who he has been with for two years. However, Kurt’s jaw clicks and he used to eat with his mouth open, so he warned him early on and Vin makes a ‘warning signal’ if he thinks he’s about to make a noise that will irritate Derrol.
He overcomes the noises by listening to music, watching TV or putting on headphones. The NHS recommends relaxation techniques such as concentrating on breathing to remove stress.