Back to Silence

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

    1. Thomas_83

      Thomas_83 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      1 month since my last update.

      I am back to normal again, thanks to this method. Or should I say, even more happier than before tinnitus.

      Yes it's screaming loud today, but it will get more silent again. I can finally sleep without background noise.

      My responses to tinnitus is 3-4 times a week. Yes, I hear it, check it and move on.
       
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    2. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      @Thomas_83, wonderful, thanks for the update.

      Can you elaborate on "even more happy than before tinnitus"?

      George
       
    3. Thomas_83

      Thomas_83 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      Before tinnitus I was depressed and always unhappy with my life. I have bipolar disorder, but tinnitus made me think about how I can live better, eat more healthy food, meditate and just not worry too much.

      I write notes on my phone if I have a depressive day (just like the method for tinnitus) and move on again.
       
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    4. 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, thank you for telling your story.

      George
       
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    5. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Congratulations! I am trying to get to this level again. My tinnitus is so variable that if I dismiss it and live my life, I end up paying, as recently.
       
    6. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      I felt this post. HUGS and LOVE TO YOU.
       
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    7. NickD

      NickD Member

      Location:
      United Kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Menieres
      Do you know just how many times I have listened to your video/advice.
       
    8. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Keep going, you'll get there.

      Regards,
      Phil
       
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    9. 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.
      Here is how I have distilled the information in this whole string of 488 posts into a nutshell if you will. I am thinking maybe you would like to see it if, as it seems to me, you have been watching the video often. Hope you find it useful.

      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.

      See here for the original source of this method:

      Back to Silence
       
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    10. NAPman

      NAPman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concerts / Hearing Loss
      I've had tinnitus two or three months from a loud noise event. Second time I've had it but worse this time. Back in 2003/04 I had it from a loud concert and it slowly went away over time (maybe a year or two). Somehow I habituated.

      This time I'm going to try this method. I'm doing well mentally as I've been through insomnia created by drug-induced (prescription) anxiety. It took me three to four months to sleep again. So I'm not scared of mental challenges. This is is similar in a way. Given my history, this is not new so I'm not depressed or having anxiety. I know what this is. I don't have many different moods or feelings. I have one main feeling every time I hear my tinnitus, and that's something along the lines of "mad at myself for forgetting my earplugs" or "sorry for myself." I was on the road and got lazy and a bar with a band brought my tinnitus back. I've had only a few days of bad sleep because of it but already sleeping ok. I hear it a lot, but my feeling about it is always the same - that feeling of "not forgiving myself" or "mad at myself." The reason I would write on the paper would almost always be the same. I'll try to be honest with my feelings, but there is only one that nags at me.

      Anyone have any thoughts on this? I'm still going to do it.
       
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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
      You should explore your emotions about this and you should examine what happened and think about how to prevent this from happening again. Then you have to forgive yourself and move on.

      Most of us do not intend to hurt ourselves, we just make a mistake. We make thousands of them throughout our lifetime. It's sunk cost at this point, and our job now is to do the very best that we can with where we are today. If you can't forgive yourself, if you can't stop hyperfocusing on what happened then you should explore why that is, why do you need to prevent yourself from being happy.

      As we age we accumulate a number of issues from arthritis, bad backs, bad knees, cancer and for 15% of us, tinnitus. I have all of those things and then some. It's a normal part of aging for things to deteriorate to some extent and in some cases we caused some of it because we stressed that body system through sports, drinking accidents, or the carelessness of others, etc. That's life, we learn as we go. Make the changes necessary to prevent a reoccurrance and then figure out how to get the very best out of where we are right now. Lots of poker players win tournaments with shitty hands because it's not the hand your dealt, it's how you play it. I have a long list of challenges documented in other threads on this site and I have a few down days every month but most days I get up and figure out how to get the very best out of that day. Your emotions about your tinnitus have a significant impact on how the total condition will affect you, we have a significant degree of control but we have to learn how to focus on healing and moving forward. It's all we have, but that's a lot.

      George
       
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    12. 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.
      I would agree totally with what George had to say. I would add this:

      “God (or maybe “My Unconscious”, or “Universe” if God does not work for you), grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

      Whatever has happened in the past is over. The past is something we can't control. There is value in looking at what needs to be done so that past negative event does not happen again or if positive does happen again. There is little to no future or value in holding on to a past negative event. I cannot change that event. So get into acceptance that it happened and forgive yourself if that is what needs to happen. Listening to "self talk" that is beating you up for something one did in the past is counter productive. When I have listened to self talk from my brain about beating me up for something I did I say to my brain something like: "Thanks for telling me. I know you mean well to keep me safe and out of harms way and I have forgiven myself so I don't need to hear that any longer."

      On the tinnitus, having tinnitus is a "head game" in dealing with it to a large degree. It is something one can not control. It is something that can be managed well or poorly. I had to get into acceptance that it was probably staying for the duration. So I used the Back to Silence Method to change the things I can if you will. I also got into acceptance that bad things happen to everyone including me. Almost whatever happens to one, you can look around and see there are plenty of people who have it way worse than you do. I would not trade my tinnitus for a host of sufferings the world can offer. So get into acceptance about having tinnitus and even be grateful since it could be worse. Finely, as I was moving into old age and caring for a declining mother about 10 years ago I started reading about how to cope with the developmental stage of old age. I sure was not ready for adolescence or early adulthood but I was going to be ready for old age. Anyway, the key thing I read about old age was that the primary challenge was adjusting to loss. They sure had that one right. Tinnitus is a process of adjusting to loss.

      OK, end rant. Trust it is of some value.
       
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    13. Nanarchist

      Nanarchist Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus/Jaw Clenching/Anxiety
      I just developed tinnitus two months ago. Mild but distressing. ENT said it was from teeth grinding, and I got a nightguard. After almost a month of nightguard it was doing much much better -- until this past weekend I made the mistake of going out and not using my hearing protection. Seems to be flaring up a bit. I came here because I was feeling distressed, and honestly this whole thread has given me such a better feeling. I just want to thank you, Terry, for sharing, but also for sticking around and coming back to give input/pep talks and share your continued experience. I appreciate it so much that I made an account just to tell you thanks!
       
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    14. Nanarchist

      Nanarchist Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus/Jaw Clenching/Anxiety
      Thanks for this post, George! I also have been struggling after my tinnitus was improving and then I also forgot my earplugs at a loud event. Your post really helps put things in perspective (especially since I've also got the bad knees, the bad back, and am beginning to feel my age overall -- a lot of it from pushing too hard on the exercise when I was young). Glad you're here!
       
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    15. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004/05
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      Well put @Henry Orlando FL, thanks for sharing. The Serenity Prayer by Niebhur wraps it up in such a powerful way.

      Blaming ourselves, and overwhelm the mind with trying to control something we cannot change or control, is of no value.
       
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    16. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      @Nanarchist, thanks, nice to meet you too.

      George
       
    17. Stayinghopeful

      Stayinghopeful Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Has anyone done Back to Silence with bad tinnitus, as in can hear tinnitus all day and found Back to Silence works?

      I can hear my tinnitus in my left all the time, granted I'm only a month in.

      I'm wondering if this can work for louder constant tinnitus.
       
    18. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      This can help tinnitus of all types. Mine is very loud most of the time and now I just don't care about it anymore.

      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.
      My first thought was what does "bad" mean and how do you know your tinnitus is bad?

      I figure at least many if not most people who get tinnitus consider it "bad". There is a way to objectively to measure the level of tinnitus one has but it is not readily available. See this article: Finally, Scientists Have Developed an Objective Way to Measure Tinnitus

      I am not saying your tinnitus is not "bad" as I sure can't know just being a guy on the internet. I sure thought my tinnitus was bad the first time I had a loud sound event that caused mine and then a few years later I had another loud sound event that made it different, louder and worse if you will at least in my perception. So I had to re-habituate from that. It was a good thing that I had been using Back to Silence to get to habituation from the first time as that made the second time much easier. Just so you know for lack of a better way to know the first time I figure it was mild but it seemed "bad" then. The second time that was a significant change over the first and at the time I thought now this is "really bad". Well, I guess would now say mine is moderate since in my reading since those like George who just posted and others I have read with what is called "catastrophic" tinnitus by many is not a term I would apply to mine.

      Well, long way to say the Back to Silence method has been more than helpful tool for me in keeping my sanity and having a normal life. Also to say just thinking about it as "bad" could be a way of making one suffer more than necessary as well. You have nothing to lose by going for it I figure.
       
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    20. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Back to Silence is great but I struggled with it because my tinnitus just reacts and changes so much that it doesn’t let me forget it’s there.
       
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    21. 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.
      I would agree that Back to Silence is at least a powerful tool and I know some have reported that they totally never hear their tinnitus or so rarely that it is as if they don't ever hear their tinnitus from using this approach.

      I have no way to know, nor does anyone else know I figure how many people with tinnitus actually never hear it again after habituation occurs for them. Here again it depends on how one defines habituation. Here is a good model on the stages of habituation (PDF).

      Notice that in this model habituation is never defined as totally never hearing tinnitus sound(s) again. To me if Back to Silence only got someone stage 2 or 3 that would be improvement with less suffering involved. It has helped get me to stage 4 twice so I know it is possible for at least many others since there is nothing special about me. I am at level 4 and I almost always hear it at least 2x per day (morning wake up and getting into bed time). That has been going on for years now so I doubt I will ever never hear it. I am just glad it does not bother me when I do hear it.
       
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    22. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      Like Henry says, what does bad or mild or catastrophic mean? There is no way to measure or compare. Henry cannot hear what I hear and then tell us which one is louder or more annoying. I was in the hospital recently having had major surgery and the nurses come in and ask, “what is your pain on a scale of 1-10?”. I remember thinking, compared to what? One time I answered and the nurse said “oh really” like I gave a wrong answer. How can I give a wrong answer? The whole thing is relative.

      What we can do is assess how we are affected. My brother in law says “oh that, ya I got it in the army 30 years ago, I call it my little friend”. I don’t know what he hears but I do know that it does not bother him. Does that mean he has a “mild” case? Are his sounds lower than mine? Don’t know. It means that the whole experience is a mild annoyance and it does not affect his life. I think of him often because he so easily throws this away and doesn’t care. He’s been hit by a car twice, survived a ruptured colon and has a bunch of stories about tough experiences in the army but yet he blows all this stuff off and keeps on going. He’s not a mild case to me, he’s an inspiration. I figure if he can ignore it and lead a very active life, why not me?

      Our total experience is the sounds + the reaction to the sounds. I have come to believe that I have complete control over the reaction starting today and some degree of control over the sounds themselves over time. Clearly the range of how this affects our lives is mild to severe as is documented all over this forum.

      The whole point of this thread is to learn how to manage our relationship with these sounds and to improve our quality of life in the process. I for one believe that it does not matter how “mild” or “severe” we perceive out tinnitus to be, we can all benefit. As a matter of fact I believe that a “severe” case is a candidate for a much better overall improvement in quality of life, not a bar above which no improvement is possible. If we come to believe that our situation anywhere in life is above a theoretical level that means no improvement is possible then we have placed that limit on ourselves and we should examine why we believe that we don’t deserve to be healthy and happy, why we need this so much. I was stuck years ago unable to improve from chronic back pain but these skills helped me get better. My tinnitus was scary at first, now I don’t care about it anymore. Henry has summarized the back to silence process a few times and one of the most basic rules is don’t measure, don’t compare because this prevents progress. This keeps us stuck.

      There is a bell curve for all processes in nature, a standard distribution and at one extreme end is the 0.1% club as it is called here, a group for which no improvement is possible and maximum suffering will be permanent. This is true everywhere in nature and life but it also means that for any one person here it is almost impossible for this to apply to them. It also means that extraordinary outcomes are possible at the other end of the curve. For those in the 0.1% club, I am sorry for your fate and I have deep sorrow for your suffering which is real and unfortunate. However, for any one person reading this today it is almost statistically impossible for this to be you.

      If you still have the ability to find hope, to imagine a better life less affected by tinnitus then stay out of the negative threads and learn these techniques and really apply them, repeatedly. If you get stuck then examine why, with professional help if necessary so that you can lead a better, happier life. Then change your self talk from fear and catastrophic what if thinking to believing that this can and will get better.

      George
       
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    23. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Solid advice. I am trying to remain hopeful and positive but it seems whenever I push, my tinnitus it pushes back. It's not just the loudness that increases, or the reactivity, it's now shrill and piercing at times. Those changes I eventually get used to, but when I do, it changes again. I don't like that progress lol.
       
    24. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      I wish I had more to offer you to help you push past your specific challenges. I can relate to my experience. Mine changes all the time too and goes up and down in loudness and I just say oh that’s a new one or wow that’s different but then I just say I’m going to ignore this one just like all the rest of them. Maybe it’s really important to accept that you have tinnitus, accept that it’s probably not going to go away completely and accept that it’s going to change constantly but then also decide that eventually you’re not going to care about it anymore even with those characteristics.

      George
       
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    25. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      They're not asking you to compare to anything. They're asking you, if 1 were almost no pain (barely noticeable), and 10 was the worst pain you had in your life (for me, kidney stones), where would your current pain rank. You're supposed to estimate that (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_analogue_scale.)
       
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    26. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      I understand but they don’t know what my 10 is. I had no idea what pain could be till I had kidney stones and even then I have no idea how that compares to a war veteran getting severely injured in the battlefield or a burn victim. I’ve sat and watched people in the hospital say 10 while they’re sitting in their bed me watching TV. When my wife was dying she was screaming in pain and we had to hold her down and she would say an eight. I’m just trying to say that self reporting pain is dubious and comparing is of little value. If someone says they are suffering then they are suffering and we need to try to help them.

      George
       
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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.
      Piggy back from George a bit on the acceptance part. I use this all the time in my life, not just with tinnitus:

      “God (or maybe “My Unconscious”, or “Universe” if God does not work for you), grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

      Tinnitus is not something one can control. It is something that can be managed well or poorly is my thinking.

       
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    28. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      @GeorgeLG, @Henry Orlando FL, thanks for the advice. I can tolerate most tinnitus if I have hope. It’s losing the hope of stability that usually causes anxiety or depression to creep up. I’ve learned to block out a lot over my life but it becomes too much at times.
       
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    29. SamRosemary

      SamRosemary Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      image.jpg

      Started today..

      Here’s my little scribbles in notepad.

      Wish me luck :) I’ll update in a few days.
       
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    30. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      Good for you, I can't wait to read about your progress. Getting pissed off is a good sign, or at least it was for me.

      George
       
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