‘I can’t bear sound of my boyfriend eating food’

Faith Watson with boyfriend Dave scott. Picture by Caters.
Faith Watson with boyfriend Dave scott. Picture by Caters.

A Newmarket model is struggling to date her boyfriend this Valentine’s Day because of a rare illness that leaves her in fits of rage when she hears somebody eating.

Twenty-year-old Faith Watson of Park Lane, suffers from misophonia, a recently recognised medical condition which leaves sufferers with a hypersensitivity to everyday noises, most commonly other people’s eating and breathing sounds.

“Certain noises make me feel like strangling someone and I have different triggers for certain people making it hard to control,” said Faith.

The sound of the slightest chew can ruin dates with her partner of one year, Dave Scott.

“If Dave and I go to a restaurant there needs to be music on in the background so I don’t have to think about the noises he or other people are making around me,” she said.

The neurological condition means that many of its sufferers are limited to where they are able to go and, for Faith and Dave, tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day will probably mean staying in.

“It’s such a difficult and misunderstood illness for people to understand,” said Faith, a former Soham Village College pupil who was later forced to drop out of education after suffering years of torment from classroom noises.

“The class was so quiet that I picked up on every little sound, the tapping of a pen or someone chewing gum would drive me crazy. I would leave college crying every day, I had no choice but to quit,” said Faith.

She was finally diagnosed at 18 after suffering years of depression and anxiety made worse by the unexpected death of her mother, Helen, aged just 52. Now with professional help Faith has gained the confidence to fulfil her mum’s wish and her own dreams to become a model.