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Good evening everybody!

I know people online can not give me an official diagnosis, but if any of you could kindly give me some direction, that would be extremely appreciated.

I am a college freshman living on campus, and within the past months, my misophonia has gotten worse (self-diagnosed since it is not a recognized condition). At night, my roommate and her S.O. whisper and kiss and both are trigger sounds for me. I get annoyed and angry, but ball it up and plug in earbuds. During lunch with friends, some of my friends chew with their mouths open or loudly and I ball up this irritated feeling I get. It is tough to describe since it is not only a hatred for the sound, but a feeling like something is wrong. With certain noises (yawning loud) I have to mimic them to "correct them." My dad laughs when this happens and will purposely make sounds that bother me. Lately this has gotten worse, but being the person I am I ball it up inside, with the exception of my S.O. If my S.O. makes the wrong noise when kissing me I get angry and then I feel terrible afterwards for being mad at him. I forgot to mention this is all worse at night...

I also have OCD (it is mild now). I believe I was diagnosed as a child, as I saw a therapist for it, but I was only a toddler then. My parents said the only way to calm me down was by putting my dog, Shakespeare, near me until I stopped having a temper tantrum. It subsided for a few years, only coming out with specific things (volume being on even numbers, etc). Then in middle school it came back. All the drawers and doors in my house needed to be shut completely before I could leave the house or go to sleep. If I heard a door shut too quietly I would march over and shut the door louder, making sure it was closed. That fizzled out eventually too. Now I have mild OCD (I believe) since I still need my door at home to be closed louder so I know it's shut, specific drawers to be closed all the way, and I always re-check to make sure doors are closed/locked. This affects me at work and when I used to do volunteer work around horses. After feeding them I go back multiple times before leaving to make sure all the stalls are closed. I have even began to leave, then stopped my car and ran out to check that a gate was closed. It brings me stress to think that something "isn't right."

I guess there are a few cross overs with OCD and misophonia. But I'm worried about what will happen in time since I'm having a tougher time coping with misophonia. It has already gotten significantly worse. Has anybody heard of an ESA for this unrecognized condition? Could I talk to my doctor about it? Should I just drop it and move on with life since it isn't a "huge deal" and my OCD is mild at the moment? Thank you for all your advice and assistance.
 

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Perhaps you should direct this to a forum which can offer suggestions for these types of issues.

This forum is focused on pets, mostly dogs.

How is Shakespeare?
 

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ESAs don't require any special training, they're just for when people find having animal companionship and/or something to take care of mitigates their mental health symptoms. So if you know a dog eases your symptoms and your GP or mental health professional agrees it's a good idea, you may be able to get a prescription for one.

However, ESAs don't have the same public access rights as service dogs, and I'm not sure college dorms are included in the Fair Housing Act (the FHA is what guarantees your ESA can live with you rent-free even in no-pet housing, but it doesn't apply to every rental/housing situation. Assuming you're in the US). You may have to talk to someone with more intimate knowledge of the legal side of things and your college to allow for an ESA to live with you.

I wish you luck, and I hope you do find a solution that helps you, whether that's an ESA or not. Talk to your doctor for sure, and see what mental health support your college offers. Everyone is so individual it's impossible to say if an ESA will or won't help in any given situation, but someone who's trained can be a big help figuring out the best treatment plan. I waited far too long to address my own mental health concerns because they weren't a "huge deal", and while I'm getting help and recovering now, I wish I'd had help sooner, so I'm very glad you're reaching out and being proactive. No matter what anyone else thinks, if it's affecting your quality of life, it IS a big deal, and deserves professional support.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Perhaps you should direct this to a forum which can offer suggestions for these types of issues.

This forum is focused on pets, mostly dogs.

How is Shakespeare?
He was such a great dog, but unfortunately he passed away when I was in 2nd grade (he lived a very long life since he was around for a while before I was born). I have two other dogs, Tex (a Hungarian Kuvaz) and Lucy (a Pomeranian x Yorkie). Absolutely adore both the family dogs! Thank you for your insight!
 

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ESAs don't require any special training, they're just for when people find having animal companionship and/or something to take care of mitigates their mental health symptoms. So if you know a dog eases your symptoms and your GP or mental health professional agrees it's a good idea, you may be able to get a prescription for one.

However, ESAs don't have the same public access rights as service dogs, and I'm not sure college dorms are included in the Fair Housing Act (the FHA is what guarantees your ESA can live with you rent-free even in no-pet housing, but it doesn't apply to every rental/housing situation. Assuming you're in the US). You may have to talk to someone with more intimate knowledge of the legal side of things and your college to allow for an ESA to live with you.

I wish you luck, and I hope you do find a solution that helps you, whether that's an ESA or not. Talk to your doctor for sure, and see what mental health support your college offers. Everyone is so individual it's impossible to say if an ESA will or won't help in any given situation, but someone who's trained can be a big help figuring out the best treatment plan. I waited far too long to address my own mental health concerns because they weren't a "huge deal", and while I'm getting help and recovering now, I wish I'd had help sooner, so I'm very glad you're reaching out and being proactive. No matter what anyone else thinks, if it's affecting your quality of life, it IS a big deal, and deserves professional support.
Thank you so much for your reply. I have done a lot of research on the difference between ESAs and service animals. My college allows ESAs to live in the dorm rooms, but they are not permitted to attend classes. Again, thank you for your advice! I will be sure to discuss this with my doctor.
 

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Ah, then you get it! There's just so much confusion between the two that I like to clarify things when people ask.

If you're up for it, volunteering to do some dog walking for a local shelter/rescue might give you some idea of how the presence of a dog might help your symptoms? I know it's not the same as having a dog you're bonded closely to, but at worst you'd be doing a good deed.
 

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Ah, then you get it! There's just so much confusion between the two that I like to clarify things when people ask.

If you're up for it, volunteering to do some dog walking for a local shelter/rescue might give you some idea of how the presence of a dog might help your symptoms? I know it's not the same as having a dog you're bonded closely to, but at worst you'd be doing a good deed.
Such a good idea! I have looked up some local shelters and it would be perfect because I am in a Civic program for college where I need service hours. Would help me see if an ESA is right for me and I could get hours. I also have two family dogs at home (Tex, a Hungarian Kuvaz, and Lucy, a Pomeranian x Yorkie) and they definitely calm me down.

Thank you for your reply! Last night was pretty rough. My roommate came back super late and woke me up, then played on her Nintendo Switch and the clicking sound drove me nuts. I couldn't fall asleep because I couldn't stop hearing the clicking. Finally I thought to turn on the fan which helped to drown out the noise. (I don't have ear plugs.)

Again, thank you!
 

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Can't help you with the dog issue -- whether or not you think an ESA would help is something only you can decide -- but I suggest picking up a white noise machine to mask your roommate's annoying sounds. I use this one because I like a real fan noise instead of a digital noise (which can repeat and become distracting), but there are tons to choose from. Are you stuck in the same room or do you have a separate bedroom?
 

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Can't help you with the dog issue -- whether or not you think an ESA would help is something only you can decide -- but I suggest picking up a white noise machine to mask your roommate's annoying sounds. I use this one because I like a real fan noise instead of a digital noise (which can repeat and become distracting), but there are tons to choose from. Are you stuck in the same room or do you have a separate bedroom?
Thank you for your input! We are in the same bedroom. Her bed is about four-five feet from mine. She woke me up again last night, lucky not making trigger noises, but I tuned in to what she was doing to see if she would make any (uncontrollably listening attentively). I wasn't able to sleep until she turned on our fan, drowning out what she was doing. Sigh

I signed up for therapy provided by my college. I have my first appointment on Monday, but I'm a little nervous because when I went yesterday to sign up, they did not seem friendly...
 
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