Anxiety

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Karen H, Dec 12, 2012.

tinnitus forum
    1. Karen H

      Karen H Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1987
      I have suffered from tinnitus since 1987. It has recently become worse and I am suffering so much anxiety and stress from it that I'm in fear of losing my job. It is effecting my life as a whole. I would love to talk to someone who really understands what I'm going through.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    2. Karen H

      Karen H Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1987
      A little more about me....
      I suffered sudden hearing loss in my left ear 25 yrs ago. I was also introduced to my little evil friend...."tinnitus". I don't know about anyone else....by mine sounds like extremely loud high pitched ringing, that NEVER goes away. It turned me into an insomniac. I have just recently suffered some minor hearing loss in my right ear...and his twin appeared in my other ear. I am now highly anxious and totally stressed out. I am in fear of losing my job over my anxiety and all of it's side effects....mainly: lack of focus & concentration. I feel like my memory isn't where it once was. I just struggle with staying on task. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to talk to other who can support me in my quest to assassinate these evil little monsters from my life. All are welcome!!
       
    3. DezDog
      Angry

      DezDog Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2009
      Hi Karen, nice to meet you. I know how you feel, everyone here does, I think. All I can offer at the minute is this:

      - you can be better; everything will be alright; you are going to be OK

      - you've already learned how to cope with T, since 1987.

      I think you're more anxious now because of the changes in your other ear, and this is causing you to focus on the T, increasing the anxiety and so on.

      What happened to bring on the hearing loss in both cases?

      I drew a lot of strength from reading recovery stories on forums like this one, and from convincing myself that it was worse *because* of the anxiety. I still have the noise, and I hear it mostly when on this forum (ironic and unfortunate!), but it doesn't stop me sleeping. I have used antidepressants (long term) to get stable (sounds drastic, but I'm depressive/anxious naturally), and amitryptiline (10mg) to help sleep in the first few weeks.

      Getting back to work, back to my hobbies, and exercise were key to getting better; it's almost impossible to get started on these things when you're so anxious and want to hide in a corner all curled up, but baby steps, one day at a time. It's all about distraction; it feels forced at first, and you're constantly checking on how distracted you've been, but eventually you start to unwind.

      I hope some of this is helpful, or reassuring, or both.

      DD
       
    4. Karen H

      Karen H Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1987
      DD-
      My hearing lost was sudden with no cause found. The second hearing loss was sudden also. It's a big mystery. I am coping decently with the hearing loss, but not at all with the tinnitus. Trying to obtain a leave from work to have time to get over the enormous anxiety issues. Thanks for taking the time to post a reply. Keep in touch!
       
    5. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Hi Karen, I feel the same way as you so I'm not going to be much help. DD's advice seems right, especially about how hard it is to get started when you just want to curl up in a corner in a ball. I am currently in that ball in that corner so cant offer much good advice. You're not alone though and that is for sure.
       
    6. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Which antiD was it DD? My main problem is sleeping, even with the Amitriptyline (25mg) :(
       
    7. DezDog
      Angry

      DezDog Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2009
      Louise, it's fluoxetine (prozac). I'm still on it.
       
    8. Roger Cloutier

      Roger Cloutier Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 26, 2011
      Hi Karen, I know all about the anxiety. You are able to work which is good. I am on disability from my job due to the anxiety. I feel that my job was too stressful, and in many ways, the source of my depression ergo my tinnitus. Maybe it`s a little more complicated than that but tinnitus is forcing me to look at my life and make some changes.

      I found that taking anti-depressants helped me. It`s up to you of course. Cymbalta 60 mg works for me, I am also taking about 100-200 mg of Picamilon as well. You probably tried that route, if not, be aware that we all have different preferences so to spĂȘak re: anti-depressants. By that I mean, side effects, I couldn`t take Zoloft because it made me hyper, diarrhea, headaches etc., It takes about 3 weeks for the SSRI to kick in. It is because it also takes the brain 3 weeks to make new brain cells. The brain is adapting to the SSRI so to speak. Read Norman Doidge`s book, ``The Brain that changes itself.`` It is transformative.

      I wish you well
      Roger
       
    9. topaz

      topaz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Hi Karen, I read your post and my heart went out to you. Anxiety seems to be the soulmate of tinnitus. We all fear our tinnitus getting worse, and then sometimes it does get worse, and we wonder how we can manage it at its new level. I don't know what I can say to help, just that so many of us are in the same position you are and you are not alone.

      Btw, do you think you can manage on disability payments? You would certainly qualify, and it could remove the pressures of working. The benzodiazepenes (Xanax, etc.) help with anxiety. Ambien can help with sleep.

      I wish you all the best.
       
    10. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Karen,
      Another Karen here!! All of us at TT certainly understand how life-changing tinnitus can be. It sounds like I have the same type of tinnitus you do, but only in one ear. I have hearing loss in the high range in my right ear, and my tinnitus is a high-pitched, constant hissing tone that never waivers. I also have pulsating in the same ear, which has been driving me crazy.

      I want you to know that I took a leave of absence from work when the tinnitus first started, and it really did help. I'm now back at work, but working reduced hours. Work actually helps me, because it is a distraction. It is hardest for me when I first come home from work to a quiet environment, where I cannot escape from the noise. For me, it always seems to get better, or at least calmer, after dinner, even though the ringing is really the same. So, I try my best to stay calm until then, and can usually manage better in the evening.

      I wish you the best. You're welcome to vent to us any time!!
       
    11. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Hi Karen H.

      As others have said you're not alone. Keeping in touch with others with the same or similar condition is helpful. Personally, I've found this forum enormously helpful in coping with my tinnitus.

      I thought I'd chime in with my own thoughts about anxiety and tinnitus, and what I've found helpful in dealing with both.

      First let me say that I fully empathize with your concern over losing your job. I had great difficulty focusing on work when my T first started. I was working on some pretty high profile projects at the time, and I was very worried that I would be unable to carry on with them. I went to my boss and told him what was going on before things got to a state where my underperformance was noticeable, or jeopardized the success of the projects. My boss was very understanding, and that relieved a lot of my anxiety. Just getting that relief made it possible for me carry on.

      I think anxiety is the cornerstone of what makes T debilitating, and finding how to relieve it is important. I think Confucius said, "Pain is unavoidable, but suffering is optional." It may be a bit trite, but recognizing that I think is key to living with tinnitus. Anxiety is the suffering part, and tinnitus is the pain. Finding how to live with the pain but avoid the suffering is the task to focus on. Focus less on relieving the tinnitus and more on relieving the anxiety.

      Anxiety is fuel for tinnitus and tinnitus is fuel for anxiety. Its a vicious cycle, and while I don't think that cycle can be completely broken, I do believe it can be mitigated, or kept in check. Antidepressants help, and so do benzodiazepines, but I would steer clear of the latter if you can get things under control without them. If you need them, then I'd recommend keeping the dosage low. (I had a horrible experience with Xanax, but there is no question that it helped me get the anxiety in check until the antidepressant kicked in).

      I've found that the best medicine is to keep myself occupied. I wish I could say I always find that easy to do. Much of the time I don't find it easy at all, but there are times when I get in a groove, so to speak, and I do find it easier. When I find myself wanting to curl up in a ball like Louise mentions, I give myself the talk ("Its painful, but do something to avoid suffering"), and make myself do something other than wallow in my T. I don't always succeed, but most of the time I do. Sometimes I still get paralyzed by the cycle. My method for getting out of it is to let my mind drift until the paralysis subsides enough that I can latch on to something to absorb my attention. I wish I could say it is a perfect solution. It's not, but it is better than nothing.

      When I get absorbed in something, the T becomes less noticeable. I still hear it, but it doesn't bother me as much. And when it doesn't bother me as much, the anxiety lessons, and so does the paralysis. When I get on roll, I can get feeling pretty good. It is kind of self re-enforcing - as I get absorbed with something the tinnitus fades a bit, which makes me feel better, which makes it easier to get/stay absorbed. At times I reach a point where I feel pretty much like my old self, and that is when the tinnitus really fades. Unfortunately, so far I've been unable to sustain that state indefinitely, but I think it is possible to do so, and that is my goal. I think they call that state habituation, and most people get there (you were probably there with your original tinnitus), but it doesn't happen overnight.

      Hang in there and it will get better. Seek to relieve anxiety. Come to this forum for support and good info.

      mick
       
      • Like Like x 3
    12. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Mick,
      Beautifully written! I love the Confucius quote "Pain is unavoidable, but suffering is optional". And I agree that keeping one's mind occupied is really the best medicine. Habituation is a long, slow process, but we can get there. You're definitely on the right path. Thanks for an extremely helpful and well-written post!
       
    13. stantheman

      stantheman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/25/11
      Hi Karen - I have had bilateral tinnitus for 15 months and all the nasty afflictions that come with it including anxiety. I believe I have mostly recovered from most all of it except for anxiety. I do not have a job to worry about since I am retired. But this is not the retirement as I had envisioned it. Anyhow, I believe staying busy does help to place the T in the background and to alleviate the anxiety. However, I do like my downtime to read or watch TV.

      Trying to stay busy is a chore for me since most of the time I feel so drained of energy. Was not like that before the T. Usually pretty optimistic and looked for things to accomplish. I hope to get back there but do not know exactly how are when.

      Karen, I can't give you any advice but I can at least say that I empathize and understand what you are going through. We just have to hang tough and hope that time will ultimately heal us.
       

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