Monday, April 23, 2012

New ASMR Poll: Is there a Negative ASMR?

I came across an interesting if not controversial topic on the ASMR forum a while back, and I’ve since seen it crop up on the Facebook group and Reddit among other places. I think it deserves some attention: is there such a thing as a negative or an “anti-ASMR”?

As has been suggested, there’s nothing in the acronym (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) that suggests that ASMR is accompanied only by positive sensations. Some claim to have had experiences where ASMR was so intense that it actually felt bad; it hurt. Most experiencers out there will tell you that their personal experiences with ASMR have been pleasurable, but there’s a small but seemingly growing number of contributors to the theory that there may well exist a negative form of ASMR, or who consider ASMR to be wholly negative as far as their personal experiences with it go.

I’ve even come across comments where some people surprisingly dislike possessing ASMR, maybe because it is painful or annoying. Some go as far as labelling it as a disease.

So I thought it would be interesting to present this to the community and see what all of you think.

And the options for the poll are:

a) ASMR is accompanied by positive sensations and emotions only – you completely discount the theory that a negative or anti-ASMR exists. You also might think that people who claim it does exist are referring to an entirely different condition or phenomenon instead of ASMR.

b) ASMR is wholly negative in the sensations and emotions it produces – at least for you, you experience nothing positive from ASMR at all. Note that this refers to the physical and emotional products of ASMR that you experience personally.

c) There is a positive and a negative form of ASMR – you have either personally experienced both positive and negative forms of ASMR, or you accept that it may well be a possibility for an anti-ASMR to exist.

So that’s it. You all have 90 days (approximately 3 months) to vote. The poll is on the sidebar to the right, a little ways down. Happy voting!

51 comments:

  1. In times when I had very strong ASMRs there was only one negative thing in it. When ASMR was continuing for too long (10-15 or more minutes) i was becoming tired and exhausted by the feeling (it was kind of a feeling like i was going to puke almost), but it was very easy to stop it, by leaving a trigger person or by changing the whole triggering situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please add me - I experienced that negative feeling too and am still experiencing it. Help!

      Delete
    2. I get the same kinf of tingles but with a negative feeling when i hear sounds like cotton balls or hands rubbing a rough texture like carpet or fabric. Reminds be of fingernails on a chalk board

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  2. Hi: I don't know if this quite apropo since I am new to ASMR. There's been some research on infrasound (sound frequencies below the threshold of hearing, <20Hz) that indicate certain such sounds can cause anxiety and even hallucinations. Would this qualify as negative ASMR?

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  3. Asmr for me seems to be going away. I have found the more I know about it the less it hapens I don't know why though

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    1. Are you watching/listening to asmr very frequently? if so, you may just be getting desensitised to it, your body is so used to asmr it doesn't react anymore. Simply avoid watching/listening to ASMR for a while and you should be able to experience the effects again!

      Delete
  4. Sometimes when certain people whisper, I get REALLY annoyed. It might be the way they're whispering or the smacks they make with their mouths. It gets to the point where I feel angry about it, lol. But others I have really enjoyed listening too like GentleWhispering on YT.

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    Replies
    1. I feel exactly the same!!

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    2. Oh God yes, I hate the stupid whispering. It's completely irrational, but that whispering really gets to me.

      Delete
  5. I think that I experience ASMR when I feel emotionally deeply connected to something and when I listen to industrial metal music. Also when it goes away I don´t know why but sometimes I start crying.

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  6. There are certain sounds that do the opposite of what ASMR does to me. When I hear the sounds, I actually get angry. Sometimes it pisses me off so bad I have to physically harm something to get a release. The funny thing is that some of these sounds also give me the more pleasurable ASMR. Like smacking noises or SSSS sounds. These only annoy me when certain people do it. Like my (late) mother or my brother. When any other person does it, it's relaxing. It's very strange There are certain sounds that annoy me no matter who makes them. Like rubbing/scratching certain fabrics.

    There is a medical term for this '' anti-asmr). It's called Hyperacusis or misophonia.

    http://www.hyperacusis.org/page9.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's called misophonia for the issue discribe, Leeanne. I have both - usually not plesant. I get spine tingles from close whispering. Food chewing, sniffing, coughing, nail clicking - all are rage triggers.

      Delete
    2. I have the exact same, I thought I was going mad! A certain SSS sound makes me have to physically hurt myself to get relief. Is there any cure for it?

      Delete
    3. I have misophonia as well. It drives me nuts. Whispers irritate me so much.

      At first I was really enjoying ASMR. But it quickly got irritating to me and I had to turn it off.

      Delete
  7. I think I have this "anti-ASMR." Maybe. For me, the head tingles are caused by any sort of negative thought or emotion.
    Some examples: being annoyed at standing in line too long, feeling lonely because it's been months since I've dated, being angry at someone or something. Also, it happens when I'm too cold. Maybe because I'm annoyed at being too cold?

    I once went a whole three or four days without this weirdness emanating from the base of my skull. It was a few years ago, and I was head-over-heels in love.

    This other time I was having a nicotine-fit in class, and the ASMR was OUT OF CONTROL WHOA SHIT. I thought I was going to snap my pencil in half and scream, but I managed to contain it.

    It's isolating enough to have this under-documented condition. I am so fucking glad other people have "anti-ASMR." I thought for sure I was the only one, and that is a terrible feeling.

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  8. This is real,


    I must share my sudden thoughts on this - im going to now BEGIN looking into what the doc says and other people-


    I think the people who question it are justified because they must be less of a less sensitive form or something i dont know- and maybe earlyer on in their lives they did not experience the trances this puts your mind into or not in the sme way as the extemes.

    At the positive end its pure euphoria, all you ace guys writing here are descrbing it, its so weird to me because your describing something ive felt always


    since i was a small child in school transfixed by certain things (sounds) not being able to interact in the same way as school freinds- teachers early life experiences - at best it is these feeling your all describing starting in the scalp going around my back like touch and waves of pleasure, this was from when i was little but it still happens!
    -Also i think there could be other "feelings" related to this ...i could describe looking at the clouds or looking around the room and feel like a ripple for a couple of seconds through my surroundings... or the sky and the surrounding expanse of space would feel otherworldly...Also with different people like some of you have described - like a stranger near you in a certain atmosphere
    as a child this happened STRONGLY -i have never spoken of it, in a weird way i thought everyone was like that, i then have just not ever come across it untill this day!

    this is my offering to share my other sensory weird feelings from childhood- i have not experienced those aforementioned feelings since maybe of the age of 12.

    I agree firmly with the hypothosise of it fading now into later life or becoming more negatively charged causing my repulsion and more and more during teens by other people and most importantly i think with me - SOUNDS.
    hyper sensitivity to sounds, like the whispering it can be eating sounds could make me go into a rage

    others here on this page have said things i share and have never spoken of or even considered to be as far reaching into other areas of my life or personality or whatever.


    I cant/couldnt in the past function when im with certain people as they effect me in different ways not related to how other people around me(us) see it, because of this condition.

    They come still but it rarely gives me euphoria these days but it does still happen and as far as iv noticed can still be harmless and enjoyable and i feel good like a certain person at work or in a shop whith a certain voice or the use of CERTAIN WORDS with certain syllables whithin that produce certain sounds. -positive feelings are rare for me now or they have been- im going to get it back and control it now!

    More often its like they scramble my thoughts or i feel a twitch inside,repulsion, annoyance, (((even hatred and disgust.))) hard to think of it all actually, hard to describe acurately yet,
    this is a revelation to me.Im going to see what else has been understood and analysed by others.


    I appologise if iv sounded patronising - ive stumbled across this tonight while looking for sounds i know to give me a positive trigger and this is the first ive ever heard of some kind of medical or documented "case" or even as some have said -an illness
    The first time ive realised how relevant this is to so many things to me-
    and you guys too
    i think the internet is bringing some things out of the woodwork in amazing ways like this- ive only been online regular since 2009, i reckon maybe this is part of bigger things than a new tagline for moody teenagers.

    ReplyDelete
  9. i think theres lots of different types of this- were different groups within it ,

    for me this is not a sexual thing at all and also predates sexual awareness for me, but it is linked to that for others and maybe a little for me personally too... it seems so we should respect them i reckon.


    I personally am the same as leanne and tracy lynn above, and they have said the same as i have experienced since earlyest memory

    ReplyDelete
  10. The sound of nails on a chalkboard or even the thought of it gives me extremely negative asmr. The sound or feeling of velvet suede etc. the thought of bending fingernails backward.. Extremely negative tingling feeling down my spine!!!

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    Replies
    1. Me too! But i more commonly experience the euphoria and have learned to disassociate the negative asmr

      Delete
  11. I have both positive and negative, the positive being thin card/ paper being cut, Horses hooves walking/running, footsteps on stone stairs. The negative being sweeping brushes sweeping, I get nearly paralytic with goose bumps.I don't even have to hear the sound if I see someone sweeping but can't hear it I know the sound so my body has the same reaction. The same happens with the feel of washing up sponge foam material, I don't have to touch it to get the bad reaction. :)

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  12. I gotta say..I get VERY creeped out by whispering and all this quite talk, It actually creats a hostility in me and hurts my ears. Like, shivers up my spine in the BAD way.
    I feel like I'm being like, molested even.
    Could not get through the NPR story. Had to turn radio off and cover my ears. Makes me feel violent, even. I'm not sure why, and don't care to find out.

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    Replies
    1. That's how it makes me feel, too. Whispering and the sound of people's spit moving around when they talk makes me feel like I'm being violated, and makes me want to punch whoever is responsible for the noise.

      I have fallen asleep as a result of whispering and spit noises, but only because there was no other escape but to go unconscious. When you have no option of going away from the source of the noise, your body tries to find other methods in its desperate attempt to escape, such as passing out cold. Happened sometimes during class lectures.

      Some of these videos on Youtube are tolerable, and even relaxing, but mostly I get a really bad reaction to them. It does the exact opposite of what it's supposed to do for me. They also make my muscles tighten, and my skin crawl. I sometimes even get panic attacks, where my stomach or chest even hurt.

      Delete
  13. I have had both a negative and positive ASMR response, and often to the same sounds. As a child I experienced a revulsion to eating sounds that would cause me to feel almost angry. I attributed it to being taught as a child that it was rude to make noises when eating. At a certain point, I decided to consciously shift my attitude, relax, and insist on enjoying those sounds, the way I enjoy gentle voices and the sounds of tongues and teeth when I have a positive ASMR experience (long before I ever heard that term, of course). This has mostly worked for me, and I now actually enjoy the sounds of people eating, but with people who make particularly loud smacking noises when they eat I can't control a strong feeling of revulsion. I also notice that the same gentle voices on podcasts that normally bliss me out will actually give me an excruciating, almost cramplike feeling in my right side if I listen to them with a headphone in only my right ear. I've actually had nightmares about it, it's so unpleasant. I don't experience this when I listen with my left ear or with both ears. Weird, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I wondered if the emotions accompanying the feelings are entirely subjective, therefore whether ASMR is "negative or positive" is entirely irrelevant (I vote C).

    I think the feelings may be linked psychologically to experience, almost like fetishes are. To overshare, ASMR triggers sexual abuse feelings in me. Perhaps if one either does not associate ASMR psychologically with bad experiences, it could be that most people enjoy it?

    I do not, in any way, wish to suggest that all negative ASMR people were sexually abused. This is my subjective connection.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have nice ASMR feelings but some sounds like nails on some kind of fabric give me a nausea sensation.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I get anti- asmr from fingers rubbing harshly... Or ceritan pillows *shudders*

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  17. Well certain noises like really hard tapping of finger nails on objects, it causes the tingles that literally hurt. I don't feel any negative emotions, just the tingles that hurt.

    ReplyDelete
  18. C: I get pleasant ASMR sensations, but there are also some peculiar sounds I cannot stand, such as cotton being pulled apart.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've experienced negative asmr. It's almost like the cringe feeling you get from nails on a chalkboard or scratching unvarnished terracotta pots. Some of the spa role plays where they scrape the mic with cotton wool or a flannel set my teeth on edge.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I feel OUTRIGHT VIOLENT when even attempting to listen to even a portion of any of the videos made for this purpose. I immediately want to punch the person talking/making sounds, I find it wholly obnoxious, and I become so agitated I want to rip my own limbs off. The friend who tried to share ASMR with me LOVES it. She says it's better than sex or drugs (for her). I cannot stand it for any amount of time whatsoever. Not sure the differences between my friend and me, but they sure are pointed out by this craziness (ASMR). So, I'm with whomever else has a TOTAL AVERSION to this stuff. Clearly the technique works, or I would not feel suicidal/homicidal, it's just how and in which direction does it work for any given person. AGH. Keep it the hell away from me, that's all I can say. (But keep making this stuff for people like my friend ;).)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha same. I've fallen asleep to whispering and mouth noises before, but only because I was so desperate to escape them, that the only option was to pass out. It's happened sometimes during class lectures. At least with these videos, I have the option of clicking out of them. Class lectures, you absolutely have to stay in the classroom, even if their voice is giving you a panic attack.

      Delete
  21. P.S. I should have qualified that this makes me feel TEMPORARILY suicidal/homicidal -- it takes a little while to go away after hearing a bit of an ASMR video, but it does goes away. I also want to add that I like the sounds of crunching chips and biting into apples in real life, I just don't like ANY sound played to me via this technique. I even loathe the human voice presented this way. GAHH. Just no. No no no ...

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  22. I'm still trying to figure out if what I'm experiencing constantly the past several months is in fact ASMR, but it's quite annoying and negative 99% of the time. For me it seems to be completely autonomous, not in reaction to any stimuli I have noticed and it's expressed in a tingling sensation that doesn't always start from the head but is sometimes in a "patch" on my forearm or back or neck.. It makes me want to scratch the spot to make it go away and kind of feels like things crawling under my skin :/

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think a lot of the commenters here are describing misophonia rather than a "negative" asmr experience, but I do get negative asmr very often. It's not misophonia, b/c i don't have any emotional reaction, it's just physically uncomfortable, like being over sensitized. honestly i don't how know asmr relaxes people, b/c i can't imagine sleeping to such an intense feeling, it's to the point where i can't stand still, like i'm being tickled really intensely. i really like to watch asmr videos but i can't listen them with headphones it's just too much...

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    Replies
    1. I thought I was alone in feeling like this! I get so intensely tickled that I literally have to white-knuckle it through a hair washing at the salon! Other triggers are:

      Going through the carwash (when the spinny mop thing goes over the roof of my car)
      hearing abnormally low male voices
      Imagining someone standing behind me

      The tickley feeling makes the muscles in my back spaz out, clenching and involuntarily jerking. Sometimes when my back starts clenching up and I think about it too much, I get even more ticklish, and I can't make it stop. It's never painful, but it definitely isn't relaxing!

      Delete
    2. Yay! Im glad someone else feels it too. I guess we are just very sensitive to it.

      Delete
  24. I've experienced ASMR since I was about 7 (I'm now 63). When I was a child, I avoided ASMR situations because although the head tingles felt wonderful, I would also get a sharp pain in my right front shoulder, right under my collarbone. I remember cringing and saying "OW!" many times, and then trying to explain to a concerned bystander what was happening. It didn't take too many strange looks before I realized I had better keep quiet and get away from the voice (it was always a voice).

    Fortunately, as an adult I get the wonderful tingles without the shoulder pain. The bad news is I spend way too much time on Youtube. (Thanks, Gentlewhispering!)

    ReplyDelete
  25. All of my experiences with ASMR were completely negative. It not only made me cringe and shiver not in a good way, but I also suffered from headaches and nausea after listening to it. And while listening to a "relaxing" video for lucid dreaming it caused painful tingles over my body and actually put me in pain from having to listen to it that I was curled up in a ball covering my head and asking for it to stop. Unfortunately it was gym class and mandatory for stress relief, if only my teacher knew the effects it had on me! But that's my experience and I definitely don't want to try it out anymore. I must be too sensitive to the sounds.

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  26. I am an asmr fan but it has to be the right kind of asmr. For example I hate, hate, hate nail tapping so much. I find it hard to,understand how it's so popular when it's so unpleasant. It goes right through me. There is nothing worse than enjoying an asmr vid and then all of a sudden the tapping starts. It completely ruins it for me. They should warn people in the description box of any tapping. It is so hard to,find asmr with,no,tapping. I surely cannot be the only one who loathes the tapping?

    ReplyDelete
  27. I just learned about ASMR from "This American Life" and I do feel like I have the opposite of it (which seems to be misophonia). Pretty much every sound described as triggers (Slow speech patterns, accents, soft-speaking voices and whispers; Lip sounds/smacking/eating; Clicking sounds, brushing sounds, white noise, etc.) make me feel ill. I would describe it as the feeling when you stick your finger in your belly button (ticking, nauseating, uncomfortable internal nerve sensation) but apparently not everyone is bothered by fingers in belly button either! It was stronger when I was younger and my brother would tease me by whispering and I would scream and run away. Now I just.... scream inside and run away :-)

    I'm with the other posters who say ASMR videos are utterly repulsive and rage inducing.

    It's very interesting. I would hazard a guess that both of these profiles are similar neurologically. After all, most people find these sounds innocuous. I suspect there is a a neurological difference in both those who love it and who hate it and normal people. But I don't know if both are different from normal in the same way (with different reactions) or different in entirely different ways.

    ReplyDelete
  28. While I can acknowledge ASMR is soothing and helpful to many, on a personal level, I find I cannot watch one of those videos for long at all, much to the same response I had from those whispering commercials that were showing up on tv for a while.

    I wonder if the positive response could possibly stem from early childhood experience of being soothed by a parent using that manner of voice? If so, then the developing brain might have acquired a positive response to that sort of stimulus.

    This could tie in with the previous comment mentioning neurological differences, as some would have developed those pathways, while others would not or to varying degrees, nature vs nurture, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I get plesant ASMR, but it is more short-lived than when I was younger (42 now). In the past I've gotten it from certain accents, mouth sounds, chalk board college engineering lectures, etc. There are sounds I don't like (nails on chalk board, lip smaking), but I don't know if its ASMR associated or just a normal displeasure since I don't really get "tingles" with the bad sounds.

    After reading these comments I do wonder if ASMR is more associated with certain personalities. I am an introverted engineer and would be interested if outgoing extroverts get ASMR less often?

    I do search for videos to trigger my ASMR. There are very few that I've found and it doesn't work if the video is intentionally recorded to trigger ASMR. I can only get it if it is unintentional. Maybe that is best because otherwise I may zone out to ASMR vidoes all day!

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  30. I know that since I was a child, I've been experiencing ASMR. But, unlike most people on the internet, I hate it. Mine is extremely powerful, in that if someone whispers to me or if I hear a certain noise while wearing headphones, it feels like icy cold bubbles are running up and down my spine and into my ears. It's also extremely hard to get it to stop once it starts. I think that some people probably do have postitiv ASMR, but mine is more of a curse than a gift.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think I respond negatively to ASMR. Mouth sounds, people whisper-talking near my ear... those irritate the hell out of me. It's irrational, but when someone's producing those sounds I hate them. I just want terrible things to happen to them. I hit the closest thing to a blind rage I've ever felt. I can generally restrain myself from doing or saying things I'll regret later when I'm like that, fortunately.

    It's gotten better as I've gotten older too. It used to be that the stupid vocal fry most pop singers do when they're trying to sound sexy would set me off, but now I can handle it. I still think it's stupid and irritating, but it doesn't make me want to hurt someone anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Loved ASMR before it was cool and there was a name for it, lol - but yes, also add me to the negative ASMR camp: My "neg" ASMR all stems from forced or what I call "fake" ASMR. Like, when people make an ASMR video - on purpose. I absolutely can not stand that. It's not "right" in my head, it's too formulated. Part of the pleasure I experience from my "true" ASMR experiences are when the subject of the video (or radio program or tv program or instructor in a class, etc.) is truly "doing whatever they are doing" and I happen to get the ASMR tingles. For me, it can't be forced. Which means I have a terrible time getting my youtube fixes now because my "go to" vids that I used to search for (painting, massage, makeup, hair, facials, - anything instructional like that, etc.) now are overrun in searches by PURPOSEFUL ASMR vids which is negative to me.

    I understand it's not negative to others, and I'm not judging it, just stating the problem I have with it. I need a more authentic experience to get my tingles, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  33. What you are describing is called "Misophonia." I have ASMR to some sounds and misophonia to others.
    Here is an article about it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/health/06annoy.html?_r=0

    ReplyDelete
  34. C. I have experienced positive and negative sensations/emotions

    ReplyDelete
  35. Absolutely hate fake ASMR (people intentionally attempting to create ASMR sounds or videos)
    Some of these recent Youtubers use accurate sound equipment which only magnify the annoying sounds they make.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have been researching asmr for a while now and still cannot figure out if it is what I have been experiencing since a child. I love back tickles but if it is to sensitive I get this intense tingling feeling down my spine that makes me stop the person who is tickling me and I have to itch at it to make the tingle feeling go away. It doesnt hurt but the tingle feeling is so itchy and intense that its no longer enjoyable. It happens mostly with light touches and I can remember being little telling my mom to scratch my back instead of tickle to avoid that feeling and sensation. Is this ASMR?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Fascinating. I am so glad I was able to find some information on this. I experience all three phenomena - Positive ASMR, negative ASMR, and misophonia with some sounds. I get the regular ole head tingles with a variety of triggers, including whispering - which is funny, cause before I found ASMR, I thought I hated whispering and wet mouth-sounds.

    And I did, but for a different reason. Some mouth sounds trigger misophonia in me. This is definitely a completely different type of sensation, as these sounds make me ANGRY. Kissing sounds are usually what does it, but only in a certain context, or coming from certain people... mostly my family. This tells me there is a deep emotional reaction happening somewhere causing it. Anyway, that's misophonia.

    The "negative ASMR", I experience with whispers. And blowing/breathing, but I think that's all. That feeling is a purely physical sensation; an unpleasantly sharp tingle. It feels like a tickle, an intense nerve pulse going down my body, and it happens ONLY when the sound is in just my left ear. My fiance getting too close to my left ear and just *breathing* will cause me to spontaneously curl up as if tickled.

    Seeing others' experiences with these phenomena was so interesting. There is so much I identify with, that just doesn't really get talked about normally. Thanks for the post (oh... 3 years ago).

    ReplyDelete
  38. B. I can almost never get ASMR to work, but when it does it feels like needles in my skin and like a stranger is breathing down my neck. Can't stand it.

    ReplyDelete

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