Back to Silence

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

    1. DebInAustralia

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Team Research

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      The idea is to stop monitoring your t and to measure your improvement by the frequency of emotional reactions to your t only.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    2. acharax

      acharax Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for your input. I may be missing something obvious here, but when my T (which is virtually always audible) is especially intrusive, I often say to myself exactly the phrases that IWLM proposed at the beginning of this whole thread, including:

      "I hear the T, it's making me nervous."
      "There it is, I'm not as nervous as yesterday."
      "I hear it, but I'm too busy to care."
      "Yes it's T, but I'm kind of happy and busy right now."
      "I hear my T and I'm scared."

      I often start a phrase with, “I feel…” as IWLM later suggested at some point. Each time I say one of the phrases I make a mark in a notebook, which I always have with me. If I can’t make a mark, as when driving, I try to remember and make a mark later. For the past ten days I’ve made the following number of marks (from longest ago to yesterday): 29-25-31-29-35-32-31-27-29-50. Yesterday, at 50 marks, was a trying day for me, hopefully an aberration. Am I somehow NOT measuring the frequency of my emotional reactions, but doing something inadvertently wrong?

      If I’m going about this the wrong way, or wrong in some detail, then I’m open to any suggestions for improvement. One of the “feelings” I frequently express in this process is “hopeful,” and that’s how I remain, knowing that my experience is part of the community learning process by which many us will regain silence.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Raggs
      Amazed

      Raggs Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      I think I can kinda see a teeny, tiny light at the end of the tunnel. Whether I get to it or not is another thing..:( but it's better then total darkness! I hear it right now, and I feel impatient!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Keep making your marks and reviewing them.
      Improvement comes as bouts of energy and improved mood and sleep.
      This does not erase tinnitus but rather, somehow, teaches you to not hear it. Like habituation.
      Don't measure your success by T volume.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    5. acharax

      acharax Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for the encouragement. I know I'll achieve what you have, it's all a matter of time and attention. After the unfortunate day with 50 marks on my paper, the next day was down to 22 and today will be something similar. I probably haven't paid enough attention to reviewing my progress with the trend in marks, but now I am doing that. Energy and mood are definitely up, and I think I'm sleeping more soundly too. Yay!
       
    6. Sacrumnemus

      Sacrumnemus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Hi there...

      I really want this method to work but I am encoutering several problems with it:

      I have habituated to tinnitus and hyperacusis several times (and with succes). The problem with habituation has been an increase in tinnitus volume and additional sounds in the last years. This has happened to me several times and this month is has increased again. The sound to which I was habituated has changed and increased so much I have to habituate again.

      And allthough I know how to do it...the increase without apparent cause is really starting to scare me...and makes me ask questions: " what am I doing wrong " and it made me come back to this method. Reading about it gives me hope. Yet still I find it hard to trust any method since it has been increasing (even in times when I was habituated and comfortable with the tinnitus).

      It is getting to a point that its becoming really bad and this has been causing me panic.

      I have 8 sounds in total(know I am not supposed to describe it)...but...the high sounds are not a problem for me...the sounds that are within the range of normal human speech are...because it is much harder to ignore since human speech always remains to have a level of importance.

      I am also really hoping someone can give me a bit of hope that this method will help decrease the volume of my tinnitus...because this is my real worry and freaking me out lately.

      So I have a few worries:
      How can I judge tinnitus sounds within normal human speech range as unimportant...is that even possible?

      How do I respond to sounds in my envirement that resemble my tinnitus?

      My ears and enviremental sounds are really truely a mix. Do I treat enviremental sounds therefor in the same manner? Because for me it is often hard to tell them apart.

      Also: its hard for me at this stage to not check my tinnitus. How can I tell if what I am doing is right when at the same time my tinnitus seems to be getting louder and louder...and at the same time freaking me out?

      Does tinnitus first increase with this method? I am not looking for it but I do notice an increase in volume.

      And a question nobody probably has a real answer to. Is it probable and possible the tinnitus will go down with this method? You guys cant tell me because it would tempt you to check your tinnitus but perhaps someone can explain me if the theory behind it makes it probable that the volume of the tinnitus will go down? Looking for a bit of hope.

      I need some sorth of reassurance to really push this method through to the end.

      Love
       
    7. Raggs
      Amazed

      Raggs Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      I've been reading a book about TRT and this is A LOT like it. There is over 80% success rate with TRT so I am putting my trust in this statistic. One of the exercises that the authors recommend for TRT is exactly the BTS method. Here is a blurb from their website: www.tinnitus.org

      *****************************************
      Try and identify your emotional and body reaction to the sound, and reduce this by a small amount each time. This is an aversive conditioned reflex response. It takes a long time to retrain conditioned reflexes (like hand writing, or your golf swing!). Be patient.

      Do all these exercises for only such time as you experience no unpleasant reaction (may be 10 seconds to start with). Do this perhaps 10 times a day only. The rest of the time you maybe reacting as before, with distress, that’s OK in the initial stages.

      ******************************************
      In their book, (I would have to look it up), they say a lot of ppl can hardly detect it once trt has taken hold!
      So, I'm going to trust this big thick text book I got, (ohmygoodnes..they published a huge text book about this..it's gotta be true!) with their big "thick" 80% success rate and move forward.
       
    8. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Wow. You're doing it.
      It's been a couple years for me. If I think about T right now, I'll hear it. Otherwise, I don't. That's what the method did for me.
       
      • Like Like x 3
    9. SickoMicko
      Arsewit

      SickoMicko Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection or the medication to cure it.
      Endlessly at it IWLM. Man, you are getting it out there, the key to the lock that's difficult to open. I think many miss the message sadly. It doesn't go away, it just takes some steps backwards. That key hasn't been found yet. We all would like to wake up to just the sound of the fan sitting next to our beds. You are as good as it gets with the help you offer, and it is good.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    10. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      You're freaking yourself out.
      Trust the method.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. hartje5
      Wishful

      hartje5 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      4 december 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Verapamil, Flecainide, Apixaban, stress
      I've been meditating with an app called Headspace. I've completed the 30 day groundwork course and have now moved on to the 'depression' sessions. (I never would have thought half a year ago I was going to need that!).

      What Andy tries to teach you sounds much like the method :)! You're supposed to sit for 20 minutes doing breathing exercises and whenever a thought or feeling comes up you just lightly (like a feather brushing a glass) note it. Just mentally making a note "ah - that was a feeling/thought" and not to go into the feeling but gently bringing your attention back to your breathing. The method is called 'noting' and it is supposed to create space between you and the feeling / thought so that you can observe more than engage into every single feeling / thought.

      I haven't read al 39 pages :) of this topic so maybe someone else has already brought this up.

      Sounds like the method has roots in Buddism :)!
       
    12. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Verapamil, eh? Me too. I think that's what elevated my T sound a while back. I know it is.
       
      • Useful Useful x 1
    13. hartje5
      Wishful

      hartje5 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      4 december 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Verapamil, Flecainide, Apixaban, stress
      Yes, I think it was Verapamil that turned my very mild T into well... I'm not gonna describe....:(
       
    14. Sacrumnemus

      Sacrumnemus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      You are right. Its working better for me now. This method really gives me the feeling I can do something about my anxiety over this. I also have started using it with other triggers/sounds.
       
    15. acharax

      acharax Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      My very uneven experience with this method continues. I've had improvements in mood and energy and other things, but not in tinnitus. In fact, the tinnitus has been worse than average (about a 6 in my right ear, a 2 in my left one) for the past week. It's difficult to not be discouraged, but I am still trying to see the upside to this after seven weeks of practice. Maddeningly, I know that my mood and energy would naturally improve if the tinnitus went away, so I'm getting the "side effects" without benefitting from the effect.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    16. SickoMicko
      Arsewit

      SickoMicko Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection or the medication to cure it.
      Acharax, if your talking about IWLM's method, or any method, the sounds don't go away. They just take on less importance to your conscience mind. I'm into my third year, and the music plays on, but with variations. You might want to find a thread within IWLM's blog, that describes a technique of something like self hypnosis . The fellow's name is SILVINE. He put up a technique that I use, that has helped me deal with the noises in my head. Check it out, try it, believe in it, and you might benefit from it. The best to you. BACK TO SILENCE , is the IWLM'S blog.
       
    17. acharax

      acharax Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I’m trying to understand my own experience with IWLM’s Back to Silence method. Part of my experience is the same as his—upswing in mood, greatly increased energy level, sleeping better, etc., but there has been no reduction in the volume or frequency of tinnitus sound. The tinnitus is as loud as ever from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep. I don't have to “listen for it” as he does, because it is continuously present. There are episodes when I have been distracted by outside activities to the point that I’m not conscious of the sound, but the sound comes into full consciousness once the absorbing activity is over.

      Below are posts in this thread by IWLM that relate to silence for him. None of the sentences that I’ve bolded below would apply to me, though I’m certainly glad that they apply to him.


      Post #203 from IWLM

      “If you've been working at the 'Back To Silence' technique, I have great news. Please hang in there. Yesterday I had 5 seconds of silence. FIVE SECONDS OF SILENCE !!”


      Post #234 from IWLM

      “Yes, I have tinnitus but I don't hear it and it doesn't bother me and I'm in total control of it. If it appears I can shut it off in a minute.”


      Post #251from IWLM

      “In 4 months I went from being very nervous and consumed with thoughts of tinnitus to now, where I don't hear it and have to listen for it. Also, I've had two short periods of silence which were pleasantly noticeable (maybe more).”


      Three Months into this, I started feeling in total control. The feelings about Tinnitus are all I have, and I only respond to the feelings when they pop up, about once a day. The measurements, my descriptions, and 99% of the SOUND of Tinnitus are gone.


      Post #801 from IWLM

      It seems that T is a million miles from me. I don't even occasionally hear it, until I say "Tinnitus" or come to the forum.

      “And the truth is it's REALLY loud. When I hear it. And lately, I only hear it when I "summon" it up.”


      “Hang in there. This works. Yup my T is LOUD. I don't hear it 99.9% of the time. The truth is that my tinnitus will never go away, I've had it too long. If someone were to ask me tomorrow if I have T, I would hear it. I would finish the conversation, then walk away and do the method and I am telling the truth - In one minute I would be back to silence.”


      IWLM, obviously I’m bringing up things that you wrote months or even years ago, but I bring them up because I’m trying hard to understand the difference between your experience and mine. When you say that the tinnitus sound is “gone,” do you mean that the T sound is literally absent from your internal environment, that you don’t hear it at all, that you have to focus on the T to conjure up the sound? Or, do you mean that, even though the T sound is present, you have been entirely distracted by some outside activity and you are unaware of the T as long as the activity continues?

      I’ve experienced distractions recently when I didn’t notice the T for several hours at a time, but I wouldn’t say that I’ve achieved silence in any sense of the word. Last weekend I drove in an amateur auto race and was intensely involved from about 10AM to 5PM and I don’t recall being aware of any T sound. I was fully aware of the T sound both before the car race and right after the car race. The next day I was at a summer pool party for about four hours and again wasn’t cognizant of the T sound during that time, although I was aware of the sound both before and after the party. In the evening following the pool party the T seemed especially loud. In both cases I was distracted to the point of not noticing the T.

      So, IWLM, when you’ve experienced “silence,” is it because you were distracted from the T sound? Or because the sound itself was really gone for whatever reason?

      Apologies for this long post; I’m trying to understand the nature of the silence you’ve mercifully achieved, so I can get to “silence” too.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. shrinkdocdeb

      shrinkdocdeb Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      I like this idea a lot. But when I tried it today I noticed that since my tinnitus is constant there are long stretches of time when I am aware of it all the time, then other times when I am not noticing it as much. At the times when it is constant and I'm aware of it, I often I don't have a lot of very strong feelings about it so I'm not sure if this technique will move me to the "better" part of my brain?
       
    19. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Hi

      Gone are the days when I can sit in a quiet room and go, "Ah."
      I have tinnitus and this method is not a cure.
      But now I don't even think about my tinnitus because I only really hear it about once a week. Is it loud? Oh ya.
      I guess I'm out of words and I don't know how to describe NOT hearing something that is very loud.
      I hope you'll get there.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    20. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Am I distracted from T, or is it really gone?
      I'm distracted.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    21. Ears Hurt

      Ears Hurt Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Whiplash or Buzzer (abuse from ex)
      Oh how I wish I could get there!!!
       
    22. acharax

      acharax Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      The mind is certainly a mysterious thing and hard to control, but I'll keep trying your method. It has had some highly beneficial effects for me and hopefully being distracted from T will be the next one to happen. Your letting me know that you're being distracted from the T gives me a tighter target to aim for, so thanks for that insight. At this point I'm convinced that T is a mind-body condition in most cases, not physical damage to the ear or brain, so it is related to deeply buried emotions. The books by Dr. John Sarno MD and the book "Unlearn your Pain" by Howard Schubiner have pointed me in that direction, as has your own experience. Also, the site created by Dr. Sarno's grateful healed patients is very useful for its success stories, including tinnitus success stories: www.tmswiki.org. It provides hope, as does your story. Thanks.
       
    23. Raggs
      Amazed

      Raggs Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Quick update: I'm at work, and I noticed the sound, and am shocked to say it doesn't bother me too much right now! Maybe this method is working!
       
      • Like Like x 2
    24. Raggs
      Amazed

      Raggs Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      I feel bothered and upset right now..had to come back and read my last post to make sure I wasn't dreaming that I was a bit ok there for awhile..hopefully these"ok" spells get bigger!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    25. REDSNOW106

      REDSNOW106 Member

      Location:
      Greenville, NC
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/15/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise at Concert
      I know that it's a scam and everything but I would still like to read the 250 page e-book do anybody have it on Google Drive, that I can download??
       
    26. Zug
      Woot

      Zug Member Benefactor

      I developed T a little more than a year ago. My first "quiet" time was maybe 4 months in, I was doing the method, went to grab something in the bathroom and in a split of a second, I didn't hear it. Since then, with this method and CBT, I've been able to gain more and more "silent" time. Nowadays if I'm in a restaurant, exercising, having an interesting conversation or doing something that grabs my attention, I won't hear it (when watching TV and reading books I still hear it most of the time). Of course if I think "Hey, I'm not hearing it, where is it?" I will hear it for sure. Likewise, I can feel "silence" if I'm doing chores in my room. The moment I stop, T will appear. Maybe someone can sit in a silent room doing nothing and not notice his Tinnitus. I'm not at that point.

      I guess that with time, the more "silence" you have, more natural this will feel, until you get to the point that you stop checking or caring.

      I was very sceptic of all this talk when I began trying. But since I was feeling devastated, I didn't have much choice. I gave it a try, and things started to improve. I must say that IWLM methods feels a lot like CBT. But one big difference is that with CBT you also try some mindfulness exercises and sit around doing nothing while letting your T be there.

      Nowadays, I do a quick response when I'm not hearing it and it suddenly bothers me. If I'm having a conversation, I'll think, "Yeah, I hear it but I'm talking". Even when the sound doesn't goes away, knowing that there are periods of calmness in my days makes a huge difference. I guess the worst part of T is when you're so tired and beaten that you can't catch a break. It feels like torture.

      It gets better. Don't try to overthink it. Don't try to understand. I'm not where I want to be, but the progress is evident. People around me notice my mood is better, I'm working more, a couple of people even told me I lost some weight and look better. T is a very strange condition, the less you freak out about it, the better you'll feel. For me, the beauty of the "Back to silence" method is that it gives you a way to do that.

      Best,
      Zug
       
      • Like Like x 4
    27. Raggs
      Amazed

      Raggs Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      I have finally been noticing some more ok moments..and longer "ok moments" and yes, when it is not ok, (LIKE RIGHT NOW!) just knowing that there will be some ok moments again really helps..I never noticed them before, so I think doing this method is helping me realize that I am improving...of course, there is that tiny bit of worry that maybe I had my last "ok moment" and I will never have one again..When it is really bothering me, (LIKE RIGHT NOW), it feels so permanent. .sigh..
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    28. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Hi @Raggs
      That sums it up how it seems to work. Longer and longer ok moments, less and less pencil marks! and also time. Best wishes Phil
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    29. Angelears

      Angelears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced and severe stress
      Thank you for posting this. I literally just tried this, this morning. I said out loud "I hear it and it makes me feel nervous." Then I heard it a little bit later and said "I hear it and I feel anxious." After only doing this 2 x I heard a moment of silence in my bedroom. I heard nothing. I felt a little better :) Don't know why this worked but it did for a few moments. I felt a little less stuck in my flight fight head. Stopping myself from checking my ears will be a hard habit to break but I am willing to try anything.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    30. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Hi
      It won't be hard when you get in the habit of doing this. The method does it for you when you develop the habit through repetition. I think you have great days ahead.
      Terry
       
      • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.