'Quiet Please…' Documentary Humanizes Misophonia, A Lesser-Known Disorder

08/05/2016 05:37 pm ET Updated Aug 11, 2016
Jeffrey S. Gould, Action Media Productions

Misophonia, a disorder that causes an aversive reaction to audial and visual stimuli, has had some good and some bad press in recent years. “Quiet Please…” takes the conversation away from the media and puts it back in the hands of the lives it impacts. 

Jeffrey S. Gould started “Quiet Please…” around the same time I started advocating for Misophonia. It has been a pleasure to watch our efforts intertwine, and our disorder start coming to the light.

Unfortunately, many Misophonia sufferers are unaware that there is a name for their disorder. The awareness efforts of film-makers like Mr. Gould is an opportunity for human beings to feel validated and understood. In an interview for Misophonia International, Jeffrey explains the impact the disorder has had on his personal life:

I only learned that this was an actual condition and had a name three years ago after a segment on 20/20 aired and a friend said “this sounds like what you have”.  I just thought I was super sensitive to specific types of sounds and never really gave it much thought…but inside it was torturous when I was subjected to these trigger sounds.  I would ask people to chew quieter, to stop tapping, or to please get a tissue and blow their nose.  I always tried to ask nicely, but sometimes, misophonia just controls you. You logically think to yourself “this is only a sound, why is it destroying your fun time or productivity?” Growing up, until my late 30’s, it was somewhat tolerable, but it has increased considerably in the past 10 years to now include visual and vocal triggers. It takes a toll, but it doesn’t rule my life completely.

Making a film on misophonia has had its own challenges. Since this disorder has a large impact on social-situations due to many triggers being bodily related, it is important to note the particular challenges. As for the film itself Jeffrey notes, “anyone who has misophonia finds it very hard to watch videos/films with triggers in them and up to this point, most news segments and online videos showed them either for sensationalism or to get the point across to someone who doesn’t have the condition.” 

That aside, the documentary has the power to take away from memes and jokes. It is an empowering message about Misophonia that bypasses all of the jargon, the fights, and the debates on names. “Quiet Please…” is about the people that suffer every day. It is about a disorder that has the potential to break relationships. It is a film that humanizes a disorder that has little voices advocating for it. Mr. Gould is a pioneer when it comes to championing for Misophonia, and his voice, along with others, is much needed.

This film has one major purpose. Awareness. Jeffrey talks about his hopes for his film: 

The number one goal of mine in producing this film is awareness. Once I found this was an actual condition affecting thousands of people, I started to educate my friends and family and found that, through their understanding and willingness to compromise, the quality of my life improved. Beyond raising awareness, I would like the film to show that: understanding, compassion, acceptance, and compromise are all keys to any relationship, regardless if you have misophonia or any condition or disability. If we could incorporate those four things into our daily lives, life would be better for all.

“Quiet Please…” is a particularly interesting project as it has been crowd-funded, with several of the donations coming from Facebook communities that have banded together due to a common interest, their disorder. In the era of modern-media, it is important that we realize that each and every one of us has the power to advocate for our selves and push forward projects that we truly believe in.

In June, the film had its first premiere event in NYC. Updates on the availability for viewing can be found on the film’s Facebook page and personal website.

The trailer for “Quiet Please…” features a number of sufferers and shows the emotional journey that accompanies this disorder, and its impact on their lives.

Subscribe to Must Reads.
The internet's best stories, and interviews with their authors.

CONVERSATIONS