Mental Health Difficulties in Children who Develop Misophonia: An Examination of ADHD, Depression & Anxiety

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2023 Jul 28. doi: 10.1007/s10578-023-01569-y. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Misophonia is a sound sensitivity disorder characterized by unusually strong aversions to a specific class of sounds (e.g., eating sounds). Here we demonstrate the mental health profile in children who develop misophonia, examining depression, anxiety and ADHD. Our participants were members of the birth cohort ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children). We screened them for misophonia as adults, then analysed their retrospective mental health data from ages 7 to 16 years inclusive, reported from both children and parents. Data from their Development and Wellbeing Assessments (7-15 years) and their Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaires (9-16 years) show that our misophonia group had a greater likelihood of childhood anxiety disorder and depression in childhood (but not ADHD). Our data provide the first evidence from a large general population sample of the types of mental health co-morbidities found in children who develop misophonia.

Keywords: ADHD; ALSPAC; DAWBA; anxiety; depression; mental health; misophonia.