Back to Silence

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by I who love music, Dec 7, 2014.

    1. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      Just be honest with your emotions towards your tinnitus, how you feel about it even if the emotion is negative. You are replacing measuring, tracking, describing, comparing, monitoring and reporting with exploring your emotions about it which moves the processing to a different part of the brain and changes the wiring which in time will allow you to let go of it and experience a reduction in the impact on your life.

      George
       
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    2. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Thank you George.

      I find your posts thoughtful and insightful.

      As mentioned, just concerned if I repeat over and over that my honest emotional response is 'I feel anxious' that this is going to reinforce a negative pathway...

      How is this technique working for you? Are you feeling any better with it?
       
    3. Thomas_83

      Thomas_83 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      It's been a week since I was in the ER for a massive panic attack.

      Next day I was calm again and looking for another way to cope, and found this thread.

      Just one week in with this method and I get to say it works.

      It's like I put the tinnitus in my pocket and am moving on with my life. Oh yes it's hard, but I am convinced it's going to work for my stress levels and tinnitus.

      Terry, you are an inspiration! Thank you for this video.
       
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    4. Henry Orlando FL
      Balanced

      Henry Orlando FL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Orlando, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud sound via earbuds from a digital device.
      My two cents in the matter.

      I think the whole business of negative emotions are bad for people has gone too far in some circles. You probably saw my previous post on how acknowledging one's negative emotions in the short run, reduces them overall in the long run. Negative emotions are hard wired into our brains per evolutionary psychology. I suggest you read these articles by credible sources on the topic of negative emotions.

      "Why Negative Emotions are Not All Bad":

      https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/mental-health/negative-emotions-not-bad

      "Why Negative Emotions Are Not All that Bad (And How To Handle Them)":

      https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-handle-negative-emotions.html

      Now having written all this I don't say it is totally wrong to think positively and use positive words as well. Just not obsessively like it was some sort of magical cure. Words do matter... to a point.

      An example of one article that critiques "positive psychology" for example is this one, "Critique of Positive Psychology and Positive Interventions":

      http://www.drpaulwong.com/critique-of-positive-psychology/

      I only want to say just give the method a try. Perhaps you are overthinking this one issue that is stopping you. Some of the greatest minds on the planet argue these things. Who really knows. Positive words are not the Holy Grail is my bottom line point so don't let that issue stop you. Go for it.

      Hope this helps.
       
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    5. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      I am glad that you enjoy my posts, I hope that they help you which is why I write them.

      Yes, this approach has helped me. My tinnitus does not bother me as much as it did in the beginning, it has become almost a non-issue. I use a combination of things that have helped me which I have developed since the 80's with other chronic issues. Here are some of the thoughts that I have used to make this better:

      Tinnitus just is, it's part of ageing or life experiences/exposures. It's like my arthritis and it can be treated, it can get better. We have to accept a certain amount of things that come our way that are a challenge in life. That's OK.

      Tinnitus affects 20% of the population and most people are not significantly bothered by it so we must have some ability to ignore this or at least not latch onto it. Most do.

      It's OK that something is out of place, not perfect. Life is not a game of perfect. Every can in the cupboard does not need the labels all facing forward. It's not about getting dealt a great hand, it's about playing the hand your dealt in the best possible way

      It's OK that I have no initial control over this, sometimes you just have to roll with what life throws at you. Control is an illusion anyhow.

      People throughout time have overcome tremendous challenges, we can adapt and improvise. I have been here before and have triumphed over pain and suffering. I can do it again.

      I will focus on the most important things in my life and then decide that I must push this to the back seat so that I can have a better life. This is not my fault, I didn't do anything wrong on purpose. I deserve to be healthy and happy and to be loved.

      Our brains are plastic, they can rewire. If a stroke victim can learn to speak again, I can deal with this. My brain made up these phantom sounds so my brain can also ignore/reprioritize. I have ignored other chronic noises that I don't care about all my life so I can do it here.

      This one is particular to my dark sense of humor and city upbringing and not for everyone. I don't say this often but when I am in a mood ... - F you tinnitus, get in line behind cancer. This is amateur time compared to other things I have successfully dealt with.

      I hardly ever count, check, describe, compare, report any technical details. I just explore my emotions about it. Sometimes they are negative and sometimes they are positive. It's honest. The positive starts to replace the negative because on a day when I feel better about this I spend more time on that emotion, that's when I report. On a bad day I allow myself this time, I am kind to myself. It's OK, this has been bothering you for 9 years. Give yourself time to unwind this.

      When exposures and spikes happen if I start worrying about those I just say that every spike, every exposure has passed, this will too. We have to be sensible and protect from damaging sounds but the world is full of noises so this is part of the process. It's OK.

      I am going to be OK.

      @DebInAustralia, I think that you should just start exploring the process. You are intelligent and detail oriented and like me you put a lot of thought into things like this. Also, like me you probably want to avoid making mistakes, to make a bad choice. This is a process of discovery and change and I don't think you can make a bad choice here. You're not deciding on some bizarre 120 dB violent sound therapy or contemplating a death metal concert with no ear protection. The important thing is to shift the focus into the emotional thinking center of your brain to break the fight or flight, fear pain cycle. You are capable of more than you know. You can get better. I recommend that you just start the process and see where it leads you. Keep us informed.

      All the best.

      George
       
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    6. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      I am happy for you, that you are getting some relief. Please keep us posted on how this is working for you.

      George
       
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    7. aura

      aura Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Romania
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @GeorgeLG, you're everything i hoped to find on this forum and more!

      You really hit the spot!

      Thank you! <3
       
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    8. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      You doing Back to Silence, @aura? I think the hardest part for everyone including myself is letting go. We hold on to every worry and fear with this that we constantly avoid situations and monitor our tinnitus.
       
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    9. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Hi George,

      Thanks for writing,

      Whilst I have had tinnitus for 9 years, I have experienced chunks of time over the years where I am either not aware of it, or it wouldn't bother me when it does come to my awareness.

      I am still in the dark why I have relapsed late last year. I have theories: Quercetin, head injury, stress, loss of job, IV Cefazolin etc. The majority of the year, my tinnitus was a non-issue. I could sit in a quiet room all day if I chose, and simply not be aware of it, or care if I did hear it. I feel like I am experiencing tinnitus all over again for the very first time.

      I am glad that this method has helped you George. Would you say that it has helped you habituate in perception yet? Is that what you mean when you say your tinnitus is virtually a non-issue now?

      My greatest fear is I will never habituate. I am not confident that I have ever truly habituated (at least to the degree that Terry and others have described)

      But, I want to get my life back. I can't imagine living like this forever, so I will do what I need to do to make this work.

      I wake up each morning, hear it, try very hard not to stress about it, state what i am feeling and then try to let it go... but each day is about clawing my way through the days at the moment.

      I think you have attained what I haven't yet: acceptance.

      I am still scratching my head thinking how the hell did I end up back in this place?

      You are also a very positive thinker. I can see how that attitude helps, which is why I questioned whether acknowledging negative feelings without countering it with a positive, was a good idea.

      Is it just me but I feel frightened when I hear it - fearful that it won't get better?

      I have started working with an EMDR therapist. Still in the process of collecting information about me. Very keen to start the treatment. I really hope this along with following the method here can help me (at least) 'not care' about the noise. I am very tired.

      So for now, I will force myself to reinvest my energies into sending the signals far beyond my pre-frontal cortex, and into outer space!
       
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    10. aura

      aura Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Romania
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Not yet, @Wrfortiscue. I don't think i can now, with this spike.
       
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    11. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      I did not make the sounds go away per se. At times throughout the day I become aware of them but I spend more time throughout the day not thinking about or noticing them now. When I do become aware of the sounds, that makes me realize that wow, I have not thought about this for many hours.

      The pain in my left ear from normal sound levels is my biggest challenge because it affects my ability to record music. I can't record and protect at the same time. That is better but still pretty bad multiple times per week. That is what I am working on now mostly.

      I was gripped more by negative and catastrophic what if thinking in the very beginning, scared of how bad this might get. It was quite shocking when all these super loud and crazy noises showed up in my head. My usual positive attitude eventually took over and I decided that this was going to get better, that I could help make it better.

      Yes, acceptance is key. I eventually thought, OK you're here, have a seat and buckle up because my life is a wild ride in general on this bus and I want to get on with gettin' on. I have cancer that is marching on with another surgery coming up this month but I still have dreams that I want to fulfill so I need to get past this as soon as possible and keep living my life as best I can. I am improving my recording space as we speak on the assumption that I will work this out and get to use it properly so I can finish my album, a version of visualizing success. Now I have to improve. I do better with goals.

      The way I see it, it almost does not matter how it happened. This is today's reality and we must find a way to make it better. In investing, the concept is sunk cost. We take the current situation/opportunities and get the best outcome possible. Move the ball forward, even if we lost a few yards on the last play. Sure life can really kick us in the %$^ sometimes but that's true for everyone. We all have our cross to bear and we all have to figure out how to adapt and improvise to move forward.

      EMDR sounds interesting, please keep us informed of your progress and the experience. I hope that it helps you. Keep visualizing a better life and being happy and then decide that you will get to that better place.

      George
       
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    12. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I understand. On very bad days I can’t just shrug it off, I just do my best to not panic and let it run its course. I will say by practicing acceptance and working on my anxiety, the spikes have been less and less. Maybe coincidence, maybe not.

      My brain is conditioned pretty bad from my hypochondriac days. If I believe I have any disease, I’ll feel every symptom. It’s ridiculous. This is why I think controlling fear and anxiety can help with tinnitus big time. Just my opinion anyways. I am not strong willed enough to handle intrusive loud spikes like nothing yet...
       
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    13. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      @Wrfortiscue, I always get the impression from your posts that you are a kind person, a really nice guy. Lol.

      I am an engineer (electrical, not train) and solving problems is in our DNA, it’s what we were born to do. There is a concept in problem solving called the 5 “why’s”. It’s a form of root cause analysis. Statistically, On average it takes 5 why’s to get to the root of the problem so that it can be solved systemically, for good. It can be more or less than 5. When I retired from the company that I ran my staff put a black box on the table at my going away party and said this is what we are replacing you with. I pressed the button on top and a voice said “why”. Lol. An example. “I can’t compete in the race today”. Why? Because my knee hurts. Why? Because practice this week trashed it. Why? Because I changed shoes last week. Why? Because I threw my original shoes in the garbage. Why? Because tinnitus was pissing me off that week... so the person cannot compete in the race today because they have tinnitus. Wait, there is another why? Because I used to go to death metal concerts with no ear plugs? Why? Because I am angry at my parents. Why? ... So you can’t compete today because your parents used to fight when you were a kid? I made this up but I am heading somewhere with this.

      This is a real and deeply personal example of how I applied this to myself in the 1990’s. I am an alcoholic. Why? Because I am destroying myself. Why? Because I am running from painful truths. Why? Because I don’t believe that I deserve to be happy. Why? Because I saw and heard things during a very difficult childhood that made me feel unsafe and unloved. Why? Because my family was horribly dysfunctional and was trying to destroy each other almost every day. So I am an alcoholic because my childhood was very traumatic. When I was 10 years old I had to testify against my own grandfather because he tried to kill my family and we lived in poverty and hiding to try and find safety. I had to work at 10 years old in a gas station so that my mother could buy food and we could afford heat in a bitterly cold Canadian winter. Sure this all toughened me up but it also made serious emotional scars. I later discovered that this was also the root of panic attacks, OCD ...

      I quit drinking in 1998 and I have been 100% sober for 24 years. I met and married the most wonderful woman on the face of the earth and we had 22 amazing and happy years together after I had failed relationship after failed relationship during my 25 years of drinking. Why was this possible, how did I reverse a self destructive trajectory and end up with a happy life? The 5 why’s. After I discovered that my childhood drove my misery and self destruction I worked on that (that would be a long post) and those problems melted away. So did panic attacks and chronic debilitating back pain.

      I am having problems dealing with my tinnitus. Why? I have a tendency towards hypochondria (I had that too by the way). Why? ... You are brave to be that open, to be that honest with yourself. Explore that further, as I believe that this is where the solution is found for you. That is why you brought this up, you already know this, you just need a little help to explore it to a positive conclusion. No judgement brother, I have been where you are. I am here with you now. I am sharing these personal stories because I hope that I can pay forward the help and guidance I received from a few caring people that came into my life at the right time and helped me face my past so that I could heal and have a better life. That help literally saved my life and relieved physical and emotional suffering.

      Lol.

      George
       
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    14. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Bro, it’s people like you that make me realize what I have is nothing. Seeing what you have gone through, and what you’re going through and yet be positive is inspiring. I use posts like yours as therapy. It’s a daily battle, sometimes good, sometimes bad. I am able to function though as I raise a 5 year old and work full time as an IT engineer.

      Before the new onset of unstable erratic tinnitus, I was still dealing with depression and many health ailments. I just kept ignoring everything and eventually kept getting worse. I see that now, it took this bad tinnitus for me to start being more positive.

      I appreciate the kind words, just know if anything your posts have reached out to me. I cope by reading positive stories and interacting with good people such as yourself and many more... they know who they are :)

      I’m fully letting go btw, not logging my tinnitus behaviors, just my attitude. Hope I can get over the next hump.

      <3
      lol
       
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    15. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      This post is the reason why I write on this forum. Thank you. It is my hope every day that I can help someone through my life experiences, something my late wife would want me to do. She was totally selfless and a great teacher for me.

      Carry on soldier, you have more power than you know to discover the root of your suffering and be able to heal. With your self awareness and the help and support that you get here you can lead a better life. You deserve it and your 5 year old deserves you. Your whole family deserves to be healthy and happy.

      lol

      George
       
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    16. Henry Orlando FL
      Balanced

      Henry Orlando FL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Orlando, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud sound via earbuds from a digital device.
      Geez George, you were dealt some tough cards to be sure. Congrats for making it to the other side. Not an easy thing to do.

      Thought I would pass these links along about the "5 Why Method" you talked about that might be useful to others. These articles are focused on applying the 5 Whys to personal issues:

      The 5 Whys for Self-Understanding

      The Why Fives for Personal Development

      Hope this is helpful.
       
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    17. Thomas_83

      Thomas_83 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      It's been three amazing weeks since I started on this method.

      Today I hear my tinnitus, that's why I'm writing here again. Yes, it's a loud hiss with some low tones, but that does not bother me anymore.

      My responses to tinnitus is as low as 2 times a day. And 4 days without even thinking about tinnitus or anything related to my hearing.

      I'm calm, doing some mindfulness, playing with my kids again, and is focused at work again. Wife is also happy.

      This method also work for my bipolar disorder. Great!
       
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    18. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      So glad to hear of your progress, thanks for the update.

      George
       
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    19. Henry Orlando FL
      Balanced

      Henry Orlando FL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Orlando, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud sound via earbuds from a digital device.
      WOW! Really nice to hear of your success. Thanks for coming back to give folks a lift with the good news.
       
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    20. IntotheBlue03

      IntotheBlue03 Member

      Location:
      Philadelphia PA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cervical/TBD
      Wow @Thomas_83, that's really impressive. How was your tinnitus before this? High frequency? Center of your head? Is your anxiety and panic reduced if you had any?
       
    21. IntotheBlue03

      IntotheBlue03 Member

      Location:
      Philadelphia PA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cervical/TBD
      @Henry Orlando FL, @GeorgeLG, @I who love music:

      Can any of you gentlemen advise how you would apply this method to severe anxiety/panic attacks?

      I’m assuming we are just replacing one word with another here.
       
    22. Henry Orlando FL
      Balanced

      Henry Orlando FL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Orlando, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud sound via earbuds from a digital device.
      Hummm IntotheBlue, let me review a couple of things to be sure you have seen them:

      My summary on how to implement the Back to Silence method @I who love music (Terry) created:

      The "Back to Silence" method calls for not measuring the sound(s), not to monitor the tinnitus sound(s) or focus on it, do not describe the sound(s) or compare the sound(s).

      Another way to think about it is to follow the four "don'ts" of the Back to Silence method:

      1 - Don't measure it
      2 - Don't monitor it
      3 - Don't describe it
      4 - Don't compare it

      Do the following:

      1 - STOP talking about tinnitus, measuring it, comparing it, describing it, and thinking about it.
      2 - When you hear the sound(s), tell yourself, "I hear it, I feel .........." (insert your true emotion).
      3 - Make a note of this incidence (just put a hash mark for instance and add them up daily. The total will go down over time) and each emotional response in a word or two on paper is best, review your paper weekly to see the change in your responses.

      Once you get to less than 5 or 10 incidences per day, you can stop writing them down and only do it in your head since you do not have to speak it aloud to get the result.

      If you don’t want to write it down then OK, give it a try just verbally and see how it goes. If you do not notice a decrease in incidences over time then begin to write them down to keep a count even it is only a hash mark to keep the count.

      Also this as background:

      Well, a few answers as to the underlying psychology of why it works for people in my opinion. I don't think anyone knows for sure. I think it fits several models of psychotherapy approaches. Here are some in no particular order:

      1. An old saying goes "what you resist, persists". Stop resisting it and it fades into the background. Resist it and that keeps it front and center. This method stops the resisting and focus on the tinnitus so it can fade into the background. I never cease to be amazed at how many people post in great detail on the sound(s) of their tinnitus and can't help but wonder if they are obsessed and doing exactly what keeps their tinnitus sound front and center in their lives. Now I am not putting anyone down saying that. I sure was obsessed and captured in the beginning as well. Seems to be the pattern for a lot of people at least in the beginning.

      2. It could be it is just as simple as the method allows shifting of the brain that is trapped in the "fight or flight" mode with tinnitus a way out of that trap. The brain is taught via the method to opt-out of that trap and into a focus on the feelings instead.

      3. The method is a sort of "mantra" or "pattern interruption" of the reaction of lower levels of the brain (this tinnitus sound is dangerous) so again it changes the focus so the brain is no longer in fear and focusing on the tinnitus (now using the higher logical levels of the brain) and instead using the cerebral cortex.

      4. Human beings like to feel in control. Tinnitus sounds are uncontrollable. The method gives a person at least the illusion of being able to "do something about it" and feel like they are in control and not being run by the tinnitus so they feel better or less threatened so the brain can now categorize the tinnitus as not dangerous and let it fade into the background. After all we actually can control our reactions to the tinnitus sounds so we do have some control over that aspect of having tinnitus. Additionally, with lower anxiety levels about the tinnitus sounds the perception of the “loudness” of the tinnitus sound will decrease if not the tinnitus sounds themselves.

      The bottom line of course is I really don't understand how electricity works but I sure know how to turn the lights on. If it works I sure will use it if I understand it or not.

      Now with that as a background here are my thoughts on your question of applying the Back to Silence Method to anxiety:

      1. Well given my theory on "what you resist, persists" that would play into the notion of not resisting the feeling of anxiety when it comes up. Read up about this one here:

      ‘’What we resist, persists, embrace it & will dissolve’’

      Thus if one acknowledged the anxiety feeling and fully experienced the feeling and being acceptant about the feeling instead of resisting it could over time go down in intensity and frequency if Dr. Jung is correct.

      2. If my #2 above theory is correct then the method is a way out of the "fight or flight" paradigm.

      3. If my theory is correct then #3 seems to apply as well.

      4. Ditto with #4 seems to possibly apply as well at least to some extent. One can get a sense of or at least illusion of being in control of the anxiety and less at the mercy of the anxiety.

      Now, having written all that, anxiety disorders are complex diseases that I have no expertise in. I figure severe anxiety disorders and panic attacks need work by a qualified psychotherapist and maybe medications from a psychiatrist. Keep that in mind. If you are not doing therapy now you probably should get an assessment at the least. If you are now in therapy, you might ask your psychotherapist if the method would be OK for you to use to see what might happen.

      Hope this helps.
       
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    23. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      I dealt with panic attacks in the '90's. I suggest first ruling out any physical cause:

      Reduce stimulants like caffeine
      Be careful with drugs like benzos
      Avoid blood sugar crashes
      Avoid any foods that you are sensitive to
      Take a high quality Magnesium supplement
      Get adequate and proper sleep

      Then learn methods to calm down:

      Controlled breathing exercises
      Meditation
      Light exercise
      Replace anxiety producing activities with calming activities
      Remove toxic elements from your life where possible

      Then learn new ways to process stress and react to panic attacks:

      Mindfulness
      Back to Silence
      Positive imagery
      et cetera

      A panic attack is self-reinforcing feedback loop of fear and flight or fight chemistry and emotions. It builds until you reach the tipping point. The idea is to prevent the cycle from spooling up by lowering triggers, observing your sensations with more of a calm interest, reinforce that this cannot hurt you and will pass as it always does and being much less affected by periods of when anxiety starts to form. You learn that the entire process is controlled by your thoughts and emotions about the initial sensations and you can learn to view this as non threatening and manageable, even unimportant. Ultimately you want the process to no longer start in the first place.

      The similarity to tinnitus is to stop hyper focus, monitoring and reporting and take more of an observational position about your emotions and eventual lose interest and move on to something else.

      George
       
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    24. Thomas_83

      Thomas_83 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      My tinnitus is still a loud hiss, which it has been since the beginning. I’ve had multiple panic attacks, my body was in fight or flight mode 24/7 because I was very afraid of the tinnitus getting worse, shift sides and I plugged my ears every day to measure it.

      Some days it’s in the center of the brain, sometimes just in the left ear. The day I was in the ER for a horrific panic attack I decided to take action. Terry’s video did make a difference. His voice and the way he opened up himself, helped calm me down so I thought, what am I afraid of? I’m not going to die of tinnitus.

      So everytime I hear my tinnitus, I write notes on my iPhone:

      I hear it- I feel depressed or

      I hear it - I feel happy now.

      Then I put the phone in my pocket.

      This helps with the anxiety and panic attacks so the tinnitus fades to the background. I do not have panic attacks anymore, but some anxiety periods 3-4 times a day. Maybe it’s because of my bipolar disorder.

      I hear it loud today, maybe because I stretched out my neck muscles yesterday, or maybe I’m focusing on it. So I wrote a note now, "I hear it - I feel stressed and a little sad."

      But tomorrow it will be better.

      Hope you find a way out of the anxiety. This is the key to get the tinnitus in the background.

      Breathing properly with my stomach also helps me a lot, so you can do that.
       
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    25. PhyllisC

      PhyllisC Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2008
      OK, so, late tot the party, but just wanted to say I really needed this today. The hope, the something else to focus on, the positivity. I just recorded my story for TT, and I'm needing to connect. Thank you so much for sharing yours. And FYI, my response to my T today is a lot of expletives and feeling sorry for myself. So, that's what it is. The truth. Will keep at this as my new practice.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    26. SDazzle

      SDazzle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have been on this journey for 9 months. I read about this technique at the start of my journey but didn't understand enough about tinnitus for it to make sense for me. It now makes complete sense and I am going to do it!

      For anyone with tinnitus, it is so important to understand what keeps tinnitus going.
      I follow a Facebook/YouTube blogger called 'Vacate Fear'. It isn't specific to tinnitus but follows the same premise. You acknowledge/accept the sensation and then get on with your life. The theory is that this tells your amygdala (the bit of your brain responsible for emotions and fear) that the alarm bells are misplaced.

      It goes like this...

      1. You become aware of the noise.

      2. Your amygdala reacts by giving you a fearful response which feels horrible, you know it, pit of your stomach lurching.

      3. You then process that feeling and think "Holy Cr*p! What the hell is that noise? It's so loud, it's going to be forever, I am never going to be happy whilst I have this."

      4. Your behavior changes, you go back to bed, you jump on internet forums, you sit and cry and focus on the noise.

      5. Your brain thinks "This must be an important noise if it's changed behaviours. There must be something to worry about!"

      6. Your brain turns up the volume of the tinnitus so it can monitor the threat more effectively.

      7. Go back to step 1 and repeat.

      Pretty miserable.

      This is what this technique does...

      1. You become aware of the noise.

      2. Your amygdala reacts by giving you a fearful response which feels horrible, you know it, pit of your stomach lurching (you can't help this part... it's OK to feel scared).

      3. You then interrupt the process and say "I hear the noise and I feel (scared).

      4. Your behavior does NOT change. You get on with what you were doing before.

      5. Over time, your brain thinks "Ah, there is obviously nothing to worry about as there has been no change in behaviour. The noise must not be a threat."

      6. Your brain stops focusing on the noise and begins to filter it out. It's not a threat and it is boring.

      7. Your sensations (both noticing the noise and the feelings attached), begin to subside.

      EVERYTHING I read reinforces this. If you can bring yourself out of fight or flight, things will settle. Regardless of which support group I visit or which professional I talk to, everyone who has experienced a successful recovery has focused on calming their system and breaking the anxiety cycle.

      I am very hopeful I can do this. I have nothing to lose. Even if the noise stays, my perception of it will reduce as it begins to mean less to me.

      Thanks for sharing this technique.

      Sarah
       
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    27. Henry Orlando FL
      Balanced

      Henry Orlando FL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Orlando, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud sound via earbuds from a digital device.
      Really great description of how Back to Silence works. I also like this aspect that seems complimentary to what you have written:

      “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” Carl Jung

      Read up about this one here:

      ‘’What we resist, persists, embrace it & will dissolve’’
       
    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      That's it in a nutshell, Sarah. I'm convinced everyone can have success at this as long as they follow the rules and don't give up. I guess not following rules and quitting is the way for a lot of people because I see they continue to describe and gauge the sounds, and they want to combine this with other methods, and they worry it won't work before they even start.

      It comes down to this - how bad do you want tinnitus to go away? I couldn't stand it anymore and the day came I was very desperate. It worked for me. Good luck!
       
      • Like Like x 4
    29. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      I agree with this. I think that a lot of people get stuck. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Unable to grasp the minds role in all of this. Fear of giving up their identity with this. Fear of losing the attention, the badge. I'm no shrink but i am 67 and I have dealt with many rounds of addiction, chronic illness and pain for myself and others that has this emotional feature, where the mind body connection is a key component. I had a rough life for the first half and I have been all of these things.

      The key for me is to concentrate on something important that I want more of in my life that is a positive such as more time with loved ones or more music production. One example was wanting to do better for the kids I married into in the '80's. Then with this driving goal of getting out from under this cloud I use techniques such as this to push it back out of my life, to start to ignore it. I have solved panic attacks, chronic back pain, addiction to drugs and alcohol and now this. I have been completely sober since 1998 after 25 years of memoir levels of craziness and self destruction. My son (former step son actually) took the week off from work, and drove 22 hours alone to spend the week with me getting me through cancer surgery last week and told me how much he loved me and how much I meant to him, that I am his real father. That goal and its outcome was a spectacular success and I was a mess when this opportunity came along for me. Out of addiction and a life heading to ruin with chronic pain came this grace and love.

      Your mind made up this non existent phantom sound. Its real, its suffering, it can have a large negative initial impact on your life. This same brain can push it back out of the front seat in your life so that you can go on to have love, joy and purpose. The question for those of us who get stuck when this happens is why? what do we need to face and solve that was there before tinnitus showed up? Then get on with kicking tinnitus out for not paying rent. You don't need a traditional medical cure which has a zero percent chance of being available today. You have a 100% chance of having this available to you today with a significant chance that it will help you if you can figure out how to let it. Almost everybody here can get better, I am sure of it.

      BTW, admittedly I have a leg up when it comes to adversity because I am 50% Ukrainian and the world is watching how tough my people are. I saw this my whole life growing up. Ukrainians walking up to Russian soldiers telling them to put flower seeds in their pockets so that something grows after they are buried and then making them call their mothers. Reminds me of how I was raised. Tough like steel. The other half? Polish.

      All the best,

      George
       
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    30. KotaDomowa
      Dreaming

      KotaDomowa Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Februar 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I do not question the point of the "Back to Silence" method. I believe some people benefit greatly from it.

      But, answering your question...

      Before tinnitus showed up, I was in the best moment of my life. There was nothing to solve.

      1. For a few months I have been studying my dream field (I went there late, because right after the secondary school-leaving examination, I decided that this field of study is for people more intelligent than me xD).

      2. I loved studying all day. In silence. I was very interested in what I was learning.

      3. I loved spending time at university and going to lectures.

      4. For the first time I was satisfied with the way I look ;)

      5. I often felt pure joy just because I was healthy and strong (yes, seriously, I appreciated my health).

      6. I was very happy and enthusiastic about the challenges of the future.

      So it's not always the case that those who are stuck for a long time had any serious problems before getting ill.

      In fact, that's probably why it was such a shock.
       
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