Addicted to Researching and Reading About Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Twonks, Sep 15, 2020 at 3:40 AM.

    1. Twonks

      Twonks Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      So, here's my question to everyone...

      How much do you research tinnitus in a week/month/year, and how bothered are you by it?

      I've had tinnitus for 12 years now. Too many spikes to count. Some noise induced, some stress(guessing), and unknowns. I count only 5 long term spikes (more than a week or two) are my REAL spikes. I noticed a difference in what I did at the beginning of the spikes that went quickly, and those that seemed to get louder and louder and stay longer.

      The beginning of all the long spikes followed instances of me deciding to monitor and (lack of a better word) obsess over it. Search histories FULL of tinnitus searches, rereading the same threads on here over and over, putting my fingers in my ears, going to quiet rooms gauging the tinnitus, hearing it and dwelling on it, telling myself that "this time, it's never going to get better. I had a spike,the 4th one this year and barely louder than it usually was, and I only "thought" it was a tad louder than the night before. This has happened countless times the past decade. What made this one different is that I decided to look into reported spikes on Tinnitus Talk. Worst. Decision. Ever... Again. Repeat the volume increase, pitch increase, loss of sleep, weight loss, anxiety, and depression. Luckily, I'm a veteran of this, and quickly got myself out of the loop. Deleted search history, doggedly made myself try to ignore it, and carried on with life like I didn't have it. Every time I went with this approach, my time to get used to it lessened and the volume dropped to where I couldn't hear it in the shower, car, outside, any non-quiet environment (or I was just that hardened to the noise).

      I only break the misery cycle when I basically tell myself "Welp, this isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Better just carry on and improve things I have control over and try and have fun." It's easier said than done when you a ring/hiss/buzz you hear 24/7, but people do it. I stop coming here, stop googling, stop praying for a cure, and aim to enjoy life. I got better 5 out of 5 times. First, I start to have longer periods of time I'm not aware of it, then I get to a point I don't give a F^@% about it, and sometime later, when I'm not monitoring it, it decreases in volume and pitch(or it seems to. This is a phantom noise in our brains, so maybe this helps???). I only notice months later when I have a moment of hearing it and think "oh yeah. This was a problem a few weeks/months ago... glad that's over! When did I turn the corner?" I don't know if habituation really filters it that well or the volume actually decreases, but every time it becomes a non-issue. I would hear it raging while trying to sleep and have no care about it. Literally would go for a proven cure unless it was cheat and easily accessible and didn't interfere with plans I had.

      Getting to my question for everyone: to all of you out there who have had prolonged misery with tinnitus and no good change in the sound or your reaction to it, do you actually give yourself a chance? Notice the real negative people on here that poo-poo habituation or being about to live a happy life with tinnitus are on here almost daily. Hundreds of posts. Desperate. Doom. Gloom. Any chance you may be so addicted to monitoring and fighting against your tinnitus that you aren't giving yourselves a chance to get over it or even get some reduction in volume?

      Seen plenty of people who act like this and suddenly stop coming here, and then show up months/years later saying how they either got used to it (habituated) and many have perceived decreased in their tinnitus. To me, it seems better to just accept it may not be going anywhere anytime soon and make a long-term attempt to ignore it.

      Just looking for input. Like our own study...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    2. Jamesd

      Jamesd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Oh totally. First time I experienced this in 2018 I obsessed for months until it faded to a volume I could barely hear and learnt to sleep with masking.

      As of June this year I developed it again and the vicious cycle of obsession and checking starts again. It's natural I think. I 'm starting to get bored though of the checking and that's usually a sign of habituation. Eventually you just realise it's pointless fighting and you have to begrudgingly accept it as part of you. It has faded a lot since June again so that's helped, but I can imagine those who have it severe/moderate and are emotionally affected by it have a harder time.

      Still, it seems time can either reduce the volume or reaction for most people.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. GlennS

      GlennS Member Podcast Patron Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      It happens with more things than just tinnitus. I think research is part of the grief cycle.

      I remember when I suffered my worst relationship breakup. I went through this really long period of trying to understand it. I replayed the whole relationship, before, during, after. That wasn't even enough. Long after the pain faded and I had a few rebound attempts I decided to dive into studying gender dynamics to the point where I now feel like I've reached arch-druid level. I think it's helped to some extent but you WILL reach a point of diminishing returns where there are no new insights to be had in whatever it is you're studying and you have to sort of get on with life. You know, there's being present and living and there's being lost in your thoughts. There are only so many hours in the day and you don't want to look back and think you pissed away a lot of it running over the same material over and over again.

      I think where it becomes unhealthy is the hope that there is some new insight just over the horizon that will provide some sort of magical solution to life's problems. It's not gonna happen. The world is the way it is and the only question is how you're gonna deal with it.
       
    4. Jamesd

      Jamesd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sage advice Glenn. The way I am seeing things is that regardless of the nuisance this thing is, it can't kill me and isn't physically painful (although emotionally it is). So everyday I think - I could spend time research it - or I could do something else and when I get to tomorrow, I'll feel better having done something else other than obsess. It takes practice and the urge to read these forums is really strong but as you say, eventually there are no new insights.

      There are others with conditions that can kill them, and are painful. That's not to diminish our suffering, but at least there is hope for habituation.

      I have this thought process: If I elect to hear my heartbeat, see my nose, hearing my breathing at any point I can do so. But my brain has filtered that out since birth so you barely notice it, and when you don't its "meh whatever, harmless" and you go back to what you're doing.

      The problem we have is that this is new, but when it becomes old, it becomes the heartbeat/nose/breathing for those with copable tinnitus. I completely understand there are various degrees of loudness, and there are some that argue that reaction is everything despite loudness. I'm not sure about that, but at least with mild tinnitus it's a bit easier to stop obsessing.
       

Share This Page

Loading...