2 Years 8 Months with Tinnitus and No Sign of Habituation, Feeling Suicidal

Discussion in 'Support' started by Angus K, Jul 31, 2018.

    1. Angus K

      Angus K Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      26/12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi All

      I developed tinnitus after a particularly loud club night on Boxing Day 2015. So I have had it for a significant amount of time. It fluctuates a ridiculous amount which is making habituation near impossible I fear.

      In June 2016 I was admitted to psychiatric hospital as I was ready to end it. I had to resign from my job very quickly after the onset of my tinnitus. I now live back with my dad in Edinburgh in the UK. I am on the antidepressant Clomipramine 200mg and I take Chlorpromazine 100mg a day just to cope. I have a great psychiatrist and ENT consultant so I’m very grateful to the NHS we have here in the U.K.

      I’m wondering if there are other people out there who have managed to habituate to fluctuating tinnitus? My life feels like a complete ordeal and I have no idea when I’ll habituate. I have a feeling it could take many years which depresses the hell out of me. I’m only doing slightly better than I was a year ago which shows just how slow the habituation process can be. I hear this hissing noise in my left ear which feels like it’s penetrating to the centre of my brain and I can’t ignore it. I really fear that I’ll never be able to accommodate to this noise.

      I have tried white noise generators but they didn’t seem to help because my tinnitus was constantly changing in pitch and tone meaning I was constantly having to adjust the volume level on the device.

      I’m prone to feeling suicidal after enduring long days of bad tinnitus and I find sleep the only release I get. Are there any other people out there who found it took years to habituate?
       
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    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      @Michael Leigh 's T also fluctuates and it took him years to habituate. I hope that he will be able to help you.
       
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Thank you for alerting me to this post @Bill Bauer

      HI @Angus K

      Your story resonates with me for I too have tinnitus that fluctuates quite a lot. According to my Hearing Therapist and ENT consultant, they haven't seen anyone with my type of tinnitus and regard it as quite rare. My tinnitus can be completely silent, mild, moderate, severe and reach very severe levels.

      I have had tinnitus for 22 years and have habituated twice. The first time took two years and the second four. On both occasions I had TRT treatment that lasted 2 years. I believe habituation is possible for most people but it can be difficult to reach when the tinnitus has large fluctuations in intensity and sometimes medication may be required to help cope with this. When my tinnitus is severe or reaches extreme severe levels and this is sustained for 2 or 3 days, sometimes I have to take clonazepam which helps calm it down to a more tolerable level.

      In order to try and help you I need more information on your tinnitus and detailed treatment that you have had. White noise generators can be very helpful but they must be used correctly and ideally a person should be having counselling also, otherwise optimum results may not be achieved. I will send you a PM and I am willing to talk with you by telephone. I sometimes do this for people that are having special difficulty coping with tinnitus. For now, please read the post below.

      All the best
      Michael

      The habituation process.

      Habituation is frequently talked about in tinnitus forums and probably comes in at second place to the popular question: when will a cure be found? It seems some people have become quite taken with this word and believe it is the most important thing to strive for when dealing with this condition. Everyone wants to habituate as soon as possible and carry on living their life doing everything that they want to and putting tinnitus firmly behind them.

      I can honestly say that I see nothing wrong with that, but wanting something in the speed that we would like it isn’t always achievable, especially with something like tinnitus. A few people that have had tinnitus for a while, have contacted me to discuss just that. They have concerns about the length of time it’s taking to habituate. Similarly, I have heard from those new to this condition that want the habitation process to start as quickly as possible. Both groups tell me they are doing all the right things but it seems patience is giving way to despondency and despair and some are starting to believe habituation might never happen for them.

      It is of little comfort to these people when they hear family and friends say, tinnitus is just a minor irritant and something that can easily be ignored. Occasionally, it might be intrusive but this is never more than temporary and they are still able to carry on with their life unperturbed. I often sense the frustration a person is under when they are relaying this to me. Whether I’m talking to them on the telephone, private messenger or answering an email. It is then that I’m often asked: why is it that the habituation process doesn’t seem to be happening for them?

      Answering such a question isn’t easy because there is no single answer that I can provide but I will say this. Tinnitus is a common condition that comes in many forms and intensities and no two people experience it the same. It can be very troublesome especially in the early stages of onset, but gradually this gives way and the condition settles down and in time many manage to cope with it when it’s mild or moderate. Sometimes this may involve treatment via a hearing therapist or a person achieves this naturally without being referred to a clinic.

      It should be noted that tinnitus can be a complex condition, depending on how loud and intrusive it is for the individual? So what I’ve just outlined won’t apply to everyone. There are other factors that also come into play. A person’s make-up or rather their outlook on life. Whether they are positive or negative thinking can help or delay the habitation process. In addition to this, stress and anxiety are often associated with tinnitus and a person might be taking medication such as an antidepressant to help cope with it. There are a myriad of scenarios that I could relay to you on how tinnitus can affect someone’s quality of life, their well-being and the habituation process. For now I will say this:

      When a person habituates to tinnitus it means they are able cope with it but this doesn’t mean they will never hear it. Although some people habituate to a level where the tinnitus is rarely heard or stays at a very low level. Whether the tinnitus is silent for periods of time or remains low, mild, moderate or is occasionally intrusive, it doesn’t really matter, because it all means the same thing. When habituation is reached a person will know, because whatever the level it will not bother you. However, like everything there are exceptions and tinnitus is no different. I believe there are some limitations to habituation. As I have previously said the condition comes in many forms and intensities. Some people have variable tinnitus that can fluctuate from silent, mild, moderate and severe. When it is loud and intrusive (severe) and this level is sustained for long periods it can become very debilitating and a person might have to take medication to cope with it, which is usually supplied by their doctor. This level of sustained intrusiveness shouldn’t be confused with a tinnitus spike, which usually returns to baseline within a short period of time.

      I want to say that I believe habituation is achievable for most people with time. In some instances a person might need the professional help of a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist, as there are a variety of treatment options available to help one in the habituation process. One should also try to be realistic. There are some people that will accept nothing less than a complete cure from their tinnitus and this is unfortunate, because they could waste a lot of time being miserable.

      I have corresponded with people that have said, their tinnitus is very low and is only heard occasionally or in a quiet room, at night for instance. Yet these people are not satisfied because they want a complete cure and will deliberately seek out quiet surroundings to monitor their tinnitus, checking to see if it has increased or not. It’s as if they have become obsessed with this condition and to the point where is starts to affect their relationship with those that are close to them, and I don’t think this is healthy.

      In summing up I want to say one last thing. Those that are having treatment with a Hearing Therapist, Audiologist, or finding that their tinnitus is becoming less intrusive and they are in the habituation process. Try not to read negative posts or associate with negative thinking people who are not in the same place that you are, as their beliefs can prevent your advancement, if you are not careful.

      I wish you well
      Michael

      PS: further reading on habituation:
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/answers-to-hyperacusis-and-habituation.12058/
       
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    4. JasonP
      No Mood

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Michael, do you think the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems could affect tinnitus? Possibly in different ways? I read about an experiment where these guys tested for heart rate variability and from what I understand, they could tell which was more active, the sympathetic ("fight or flight") or parasympathetic ("rest and digest"). Is it possible for someone's tinnitus to be louder at times when the sympathetic nervous system is more active and lower when the parasympathetic nervous system is more active? I don't know if this makes sense or not, just throwing it out there and see what you think.
       
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    5. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      To be honest with you @JasonP I have never heard of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and thank you for bringing them to my attention. I believe anything is possible so wouldn't say that tinnitus isn't affected by them. Tinnitus can be very complex and I have stopped trying to figure mine out since it changed in 2008, after my 2nd noise trauma to what it is today. It was terribly difficult for me to habituate which took 4 years and pushed me to my limits I assure you. If I didn't have such a caring Hearing Therapist and ENT consultant, I don't know what would have happened to me. A variety of treatments helped along with my positive attitude and resolve which were constantly tested and put under threat whenever negativity came into my thoughts.

      Michael
       
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    6. JasonP
      No Mood

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      I think it is awesome you were able to fight for 4 years to habituate. My T is unmaskable and at times has been tortuous but one time after I took some medication for a few days it skyrocketed to 10/10 in both ears and I wanted to die. Fortunately, it went back down after I discontinued. I can only imagine how tough you had it.
       
    7. JasonP
      No Mood

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Michael I found some very interesting short videos on Youtube that explain it. I'm not sure if you are interested in them but I can post them anyway in case you or others are. :) Don't worry about watching them if you don't want to. Basically, this first video needs to be watched and then the next two.

      Autonomic Nervous System: Crash Course A&P #13



      Sympathetic Nervous System: Crash Course...



      Parasympathetic Nervous System: Crash Course...
       
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    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      These are great and informative videos @JasonP and thank you for posting them. I am pleased to hear that you are in a better place with your tinnitus. Although we may never be completely out of the woods, we find different ways of coping with it and the stresses of life which can have an impact on it.
      Thank you once again the videos are very much appreciated.

      Take care.
      Michael
       
    9. JasonP
      No Mood

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Thank you and you are very welcome! I am glad you liked them. Hopefully things will improve more consistently for me and everyone else on here.
       
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    10. slipware
      Bookworm

      slipware Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Ive had tinnitus since 2012, its forever fluctuating and ive never habituated. However, i try not to let it get me down. It can do for sure, but generally I manage. Right now its on a roll. Very loud, buzzing both ears, headache making, but im still happy.
      Just distract yourself, go walking around beautiful edinburgh, volunteer in a charity shop, do ANYTHING that can take your mind off it. Yes, its intrusive, it's horrendous this monster we have in our brain, but it is what it is.
       
    11. Marlino
      Cowboy

      Marlino Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      @Angus K
      Your story sounds similar to mine. I‘m the 2years and 7month in and no habituation yet.

      My t severity goes in cycles: 1-4 days good, 1-4 days bad.

      Good means I can easily ignore the sound in my left ear or it might even be really low.
      Seriously almost as good as having no t besides the psychological burden.

      Bad means T screams over everything but the shower. No masking possible.
      Not able to concentrate, if I‘m not 100% focused. Even tavor is no help. I cant figure it out, how a sound can be so cruel to me even after many month of enduring it.

      Also I have developed light headache and facial pain on my tinnitus side, which is concerning but tolerable. Besides t and being slightly prone to depression, it seems I‘m perfectly healty, though.

      I‘m feeling like a lunatic, since after two good days I tend to forget/deny how bad this condition can be. After one bad day though, I’m feeling tortured and just want it all to end.
      Its like being traumatized again and again and again....maybe 100x for me.
      100x broken.

      Somehow nothing changes for me. The good days make the unbearable days even more ridicioulosly cruel. So I don‘t think that there will be real habituation for me.
       
    12. JasonP
      No Mood

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      I was having trouble with habitation too but lately I have been taking a supplement called lithium orotate and it's been great at helping with depression and anxiety... It had a calming effect at first but after 3 weeks it has diminished all my intrusive thoughts. I am taking one tablet a day... I don't know if it would help you or not but I thought I would share that with you in case you were interested. I hope it continues working for me.
       
    13. 1000

      1000 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Angus how are you doing now?
       

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