Acceptance, Habituation, Perception at 2 Months After Tinnitus Onset

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by donotringatme, Oct 25, 2020.

    1. donotringatme

      donotringatme Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, TMD, CI
      My tinnitus started as a loud piercing high pitch tone in my left ear and immediately radiated to the right ear. Both ears, constant, with sensitivity to certain sounds, sent me to a nervous breakdown I never thought possible. I would rate my tinnitus a solid 5.

      For 45 days, I tried tests, scans, registered here, read, learned, trying desperately to find a cause and a treatment. During that time, I did not have a single hour of deep, healthy sleep.

      Someone here wrote: “if you can sleep deep without aid, you have won half the battle”.

      A week ago, I went to a psychiatrist being exhausted. I could barely stand. I desperately asked if there was a sleep aid available, he responded positively and I cried. That same night I slept 11 hours without taking anything.

      For the past 5 days, I drink chamomile boiled in water with a tea spoon of honey, before sleep. I try to relax and understand how to cope. I have been sleeping for solid 6 hours deep, followed by 1-3 more hours of decent sleep afterwards.

      My tinnitus perception has changed. It feels as though it is a 0,5-1 from a 5. The reality is, it has not changed much. The body may be a temporary modulator of it but the nerves are the true modulator. Calming my nerves significantly reduced my perception for it and habituation seems to be occurring with a steady pace.

      I used to wonder in anger while reading habituation stories thinking “how is it not there when it’s there!?”. Now I begin to understand that habituation is far more important than a tinnitus being gone completely and it is a phase almost all of us have to go through before tinnitus dissipates entirely, if it does. And the irony is even if it does, for some it won’t matter at all.

      Take care everyone.
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    2. Katierachel7

      Katierachel7 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Thank you so much for writing this. I have a similar story of my experience. Acceptance of the sound, when possible, makes life so much easier, and from there habituation can start. It is very possible and in fact highly likely for most people experiencing tinnitus to fully habituate and live at peace even with it there.
      Forums need more positive posts like this and your message will help others to see that this isn’t the end...!
      Life will go on and it will be amazing!
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    3. Fields

      Fields Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma
      Thanks for sharing your story, I'm glad to hear you're gradually starting to habituate.

      Going from a 5 to a 1 seems like a massive improvement, here's hoping it'll drop to a zero soon! :)
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    4. Steph1710
      Old hag

      Steph1710 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antibiotics - I think
      I was thinking the other day how acceptance is a massive part of all this. When you first develop tinnitus, you do everything and anything to try fight it. You mourn your old life and live in the past.

      Recently, I've speaking and going about things and not even noticing my tinnitus.
      But then if I think about it, and stop and listen, it's definitely still there. So I'm guessing I'm finally habituating.

      But acceptance was a big part for me.

      Having this sound and making adjustments like using earplugs when I drive, and not listening to music loud, or using headphones, or sometimes having to use sound enrichment to both study and sleep, is just my life now.

      Also, finding out so many people I know have tinnitus too, was a massive help in my acceptance towards it. Knowing my friends all enjoy and have good lives still, made me know I could enjoy and have a good life even with tinnitus too - it made me feel less alone, knowing I wasn't the only one walking around with ringing in my ears.

      Actually I was camping with a bunch of friends the other week in Scotland, and one of them said, "it's so quiet around here." To which my brother-in-law responded - "is it! Cause all I can hear is bloody ringing!"... I said, "yeah, me too". Haha.

      So even in that moment, knowing I wasn't the only one not able to experience the silence, made me feel so much better.

      Steph :)
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    5. AUTHOR

      donotringatme Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, TMD, CI
      Just wanted to add that chamomile effect was obviously short-lived (don’t wanna give false hope) but my second visit to the psychiatrist was not.

      I finally decided to start taking medication temporarily along with a balanced diet to recover from the shock tinnitus has caused to my brain and body.

      I was always against psychiatrists but it turns out they can help and more people than we suspect visit them frequently. They also unmask other problems that we may have pushed into our subconscious and left untreated.

      Right now tinnitus is no longer the former issue (although I still do hunt it down to prevent it from worsening) and its impact on sleep and hormones is the only issue I need to address.

      TL;DR psychiatrists help.

      PS: thank you for the kind words.
    6. Bill Arsenault

      Bill Arsenault Member

      Anywhere less loud than Boston.
      Tinnitus Since:
      Permanent/Highly intrusive since 2017.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Over Exposure. Worsened by ototoxic Street Drugs/Meds.
      Really good stuff guys.
      Love the positivity.

      Habituation and acceptance are two slightly different things for me and the differentiation is needed.

      When I encounter a quiet environment that I cannot control-
      If will often get a shortness of breath/rapid breathing, adrenaline rush, hyper alert, among other things.

      Basically fight or flight mode/panic.

      Now sometimes my mind will almost automatically and subconsciously go down a mental check list to convince myself that I’m not in real danger.

      Even slight improvements like that are huge for me because they allow me to function that much more in important situations.

      Like when I don’t have much choice but to enter someone’s quiet office and they shut the door behind me.

      If I am able to handle that without making a scene to some degree-
      then I consider that habituation.

      For me and many others it has nothing to do with not noticing it sometimes-
      because those days are pretty much gone.

      I realize habituation is a controversial word around here-
      and I get it for the most part I guess.
      But I’m not about to go out of my way to learn to associate a different word with it now-
      even if could think of a different word to use.

      Acceptance to me is probably similar to what it is for everyone else.

      The time spent thinking and figuring out how to live this way in a positive and productive manner whenever possible.

      And also-
      as Steph put it so well-
      Learning not to fight hearing it.

      Which for me means not always avoiding silence like my life depends on it.
      Not cranking every sound source in every room I enter and not wearing headphones listening to Waterfalls and Cicadas-
      At totally in-appropriate times and places.

      Like at a wakes and funerals.

      I still fight on all day everyday-
      but in a different way than what she means.

      When tinnitus becomes this extreme and keeps getting worse-
      You will either fight on or you will give up on life.

      Happy November.
      Time to break out the electric blankets so I can still sit outside as much as possible when I am home-
      At all hours of the night and day-
      Like a crazy person.
      Who cannot even wear hats and hoods that cover the ears.
      And only go in to thaw out the iPad.
      Wonder how many I will go thru this winter.

      Peace and best wishes.
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    7. Gb3

      Gb3 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      What medication are you taking?
    8. AUTHOR

      donotringatme Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, TMD, CI
      Seroquel 1 pill before bed time 25mg (although one may need to adjust to higher dose)
      Seroxat 1/2 pill after breakfast 20mg (so 10mg)

      First one aids with sleep. Second one is mild anti-depressant to raise serotonin and keep it there.
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