Sunday night, 14-year-old Taylor Salvatore, who suffers from a rare medical condition called misophonia that makes her highly sensitive to everyday sounds, began a series of tweets that became increasing alarming and erratic. She expressed concern that her disorder was causing her to self-harm and then around 10:30 p.m., began live-updating her followers through her suicide attempt.
By 11 p.m. Sunday night, Salvatore sent her final tweets of the evening — ending with a disturbing and heartbreaking apology to her favorite One Direction member, Liam Payne.
Salvatore’s condition, misophonia, is a neurological disorder that causes everyday sounds and audio stimuli to trigger intense bouts of rage or suicidal impulses. Her favorite band, One Direction, is one of the few audio stimuli that don’t alter her mental state. According to an ABC article, symptoms of misophonia include:
• Presence of “trigger sounds” which evoke strong emotional or physical reactions, generally limited to a few sounds. Most common are eating or breathing noises.
• Onset is often in childhood. Most common time is puberty.
• Preference for louder sounds or louder noise environments.
• Logic or reason does not change reactions to trigger sounds.
• Often misdiagnosed as psychological disorders, but has a physiological mechanism, in reality.
“It’s like an almost undescribable amount of anger and, like, rage that I just can’t control,” Taylor told 20/20.
But perhaps most shocking, as The Daily Dot discovered, Salvatore’s suicidal tweets inspired other One Direction fans to begin posting suicidal tweets and describing their attempts at self-harm.
The One Direction fandom has for a long time been both plagued by online harassment and obsessed with its own predilection for self-harm. It’s not uncommon to see Directioners writing (and sometimes carving) the word “bravery” onto their arms and wrists in solidarity for what many feel is the act of courage it takes to stay alive.
Salvatore was rushed to the hospital and appears to be in stable condition now. She updated her Twitter from the hospital late Sunday night, fighting with Twitter users who claimed she faked the entire suicide attempt for attention.