Misophonia and OCD are both neurologically-based disorders with emotional and behavioral components
A person can have both misophonia and OCD
However, not all people with OCD have misophonia, and not all people with misophonia have OCD
The DSM 5 expanded the classification and criterion for OCD to “Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders”
Within this category are obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), body-dysmorphic disorder, hoarding disorder, trichotillomania (hair pulling), excoriation (skin picking), substance/medication-induced obsessive-compulsive and related disorder, and unspecified obsessive disorder
DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both:
Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress.
The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action (i.e., by performing a compulsion).
Differences of OCD and Misophonia
Misophonia includes aversive reactivity to environmental stimuli from outside (not just cognitive)
Obsession with sound is not due to “obsession itself” but due to an intrusion via outside stimuli
Inability to look away from triggers also not “obsession” (related to threat response)
Cognitive behavior therapies and medication are the standard treatments for OCD
Cognitive behavior therapies may help a person with misophonia but only as part of a larger coping skills plan (due to quick reactivity of amygdala which kicks of the sympathetic nervous system/fight/flight)
Misophonia and OCD are not the same
Yet, a person can certainly have both and a person can have symptoms of both
Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout established The International Misophonia Research Network (IMRN) in 2015 in order to facilitate cross-disciplinary research. Disappointed by her own experiences with the state of the field when seeking help for her own child in 1999, Dr. Brout began efforts to establish better research practice, improved diagnosis, and innovative clinical practice related to individuals with difficulties processing sensory information (with a particular focus on auditory over-responsivity). Dr. Brout established the Sensation and Emotion Network (SENetwork) in 2007, and founded the Sensory Processing and Emotion Regulation Program at Duke University in 2008 ). The Sensory Processing and Emotion Regulation Program was renamed the Misophonia and Emotion Regulation program in 2015.