Fake It Until You Make It

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by YungLean, Jan 4, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. YungLean

      YungLean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      I'm Zach. After living with T for almost 3 months, I can now honestly say I don't care about it anymore. Most of the time my brain tunes it out now and recently I find it harder and harder to concentrate on the sound or even give it my attention unless it's really quiet. When I first got tinnitus, I felt like a part of me was stolen in the night and all I could do was crave the sound of sweet silence. I looked for every possible cause of the problem with not much progress. I'm pretty young so I was also pretty pissed that I had gotten this so soon in my life. I would compare it to buying a brand new iPhone 6 plus and then dropping it to crack it on the sidewalk on the way out of the door. I felt like I had so much more life to live that I didn't want tarnished by this godforsaken sound in my ears. You can try to run from the sound or you can confront it. Instead of dwelling on it and feeling sorry for myself I decided do something about it.

      If you're like me, you probably clicked on this hoping I would say something like my T is completely gone. Definitely not. I know, bummer. However, I think mine may be getting quieter (possibly as a result of my acceptance of it). Also, I am only 17 years old. Because I'm so young, my brain is more susceptible to rewiring itself so I'm trying to influence my brain to rewire to tune the sound out by not giving it my attention and I've also noticed success with notched music. I downloaded this app called Tinnitus Pro I think for $5 and it has been totally worth it. Just from playing notched white noise on my T frequency (which is about 5 kHz) for around 10-20 minutes every few nights, I have noticed decent improvement.

      I've also positively been impacted by @I who love music 's strategy of shifting my attention from the loudness of the T to my emotions every time I hear the sound. I've taken this strategy and sort of tweaked it a little to fit what works best for me. My key phrase I would tell myself is "I hear it and I don't care." It's as easy as that. When I first employed this strategy, I would tell myself this phrase possibly a hundred times a day because the sound was all I could focus on. The more you tell yourself that you don't give a damn, the more you will actually believe it, which brings me to my main point: even if you don't actually believe that the sound doesn't bother you, it's good to fake it until you do believe it because after a point your brain can't tell if you're lying or not. It just accepts it. He doesn't care about it? Ok then we don't care about it. And that's how you habituate. Tinnitus feeds off of your attention. It is a nasty little whore like that. The more attention you give it, the louder it gets. Think of it like a little brother. If he is annoying you, it's probably to get your attention so that you will react. If you stop reacting to him and act like you don't care, soon he will give up because you stop giving him the gratification he wants. T is the same way, oddly.

      I can't say I have complete success because the sound is still there but every day is a step forward and you gotta just keep influencing your brain in the right direction. Believe me I was mortified by the idea of habituation. I thought "who in their right mind would settle for getting used to this instead of getting rid of it?" But I don't see this as merely "getting used to it," it's actually influencing my brain to make neuro-plastic changes that will empower me to not care about my tinnitus. And if I don't care about it, it's about as good as gone. I now hardly ever need to tell myself my phrase.

      If I had the option to have never gotten T in the first place, I now don't know if I would take it. T has forced me to become a better and stronger person. It's crazy how for 17 years I took silence for granted and then all the sudden it was gone and I had nothing to explain it. It's true what they say that you don't miss something until it's gone, and that's what makes T hurt. It's forced me to realize so many other things in life that I may be taking for granted. My other senses I've come to value more in particular. Take eyesight for example; there are many people throughout the world that are blind. I'd prefer T to that.

      So if there's one thing I want you to take away from this post, it's that if you have the inner power (and I know you do) to overcome a constant screeching noise in your head that nobody can hear but you, then you should be able to overcome anything. Use T to make you a stronger person. Influence your brain to rewire it out. One day you will if you keep at it. By then you will be accepting of any challenge.

      Lastly, I'd like to say that in the initial stages you should find out as much as you can about tinnitus and surf this entire forum for answers. Read as many success stories as you can and keep an open mind. But once you feel like you know enough and have the resources needed to beat your T, stop looking online for answers asap. At this point, looking online will only make you think more and more about your T and your will be frustrated that you can't make it go away. Eventually we all have to get off this forum and live our lives the same way we did pre-T in order to successfully habituate. I believe this forum is an amazing tool to educate and unite everyone so they do not feel alone with this disease. However, you don't need this support group forever. Live your life, and get back to the things that make you the most happy.

      Thanks for reading my success story and have an awesome life I hope you all find the answers you need for your T.

      -Zach
       
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    2. Lena C.

      Lena C. Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Grande sucesss story ! Moreever, you're suffering from T since only three months ! Just "Whaouh" !
       
    3. PhilB

      PhilB Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Manchester, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      That's quite a subtle point and I think you make the point very well. For someone so young, you have a very mature and intelligent outlook and I am sure you will continue to make excellent progress.
      Not wishing to be overly pedantic but I would dispute your use of the word "disease". T has so many different etiologies that it probably makes more sense to describe it as a "condition" rather than a "disease".
       
    4. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      I agree it is amazing for a 17 years old to display so much maturity in handling your T. I like the I don't care wording in IWLM's approach which you apply in your case. It reminds me of Dr. Nagler's attitude towards T. He often says that whenever people ask him how he deals with loud ringing. If you repeat this thousand times, the brain will believe you and then it will not treat T as a threat anymore. Your story is a must read for younger T sufferers. Congrats.
       
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    5. YungLean

      YungLean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      @PhilB Thanks! I agree by the way it isn't a disease. Cancer is a disease. Tinnitus is an annoyance at most but on this forum it's easy to forget that lol.
       
    6. YungLean

      YungLean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      @Lena C. Yeah I know! Although I've only had it for 3 months it seems an eternity and I feel as though I've come to terms with it and somewhat habituated quickly. There's no reason it has to take my happiness away from me, it already took my silence and that should be enough.
       
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    7. YungLean

      YungLean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      @billie48 thanks for the response! I agree with the Dr's approach. It's all about making the brain believe you don't care about it.
       
    8. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Thanks for sharing your wonderful success story, all the best to you.
       
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    9. Gabrielle
      No Mood

      Gabrielle Member

      Location:
      Netherlands, Utrecht
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, maybe bad syringing
      How do your brains do that, 'tunes it out' ?

      My brains won't do that.
      My fear is gone and I am doing much better than 8 months ago but my brains cannot tune it out.....

      Maybe it's because I always loved silence so much?
      And so I am too much thinking of the lost of silence....
       
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    10. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      Your brain will tune T out, if it's attention is focused on to something else. The trick for many of us is to find what that is and start to do that with focus and attention. Starting new hobbies is a great way to habituate with T.
       
    11. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      If your fear of T is gone, then the brain will slowly switch to treating T not a threat. It will take time for the traumatized brain to rewire and build new neural pathway to process the T stimulus as a neutral sensation, like the plane noise. The brain can tune out loud noise if it is treated as neutral stimulus and not a threat. How so? Remember the flights you were in, how many times when you were deep into watching a movie that your brain was aware of the jet noise. It was loud but not threatening. So the brain fade it out from your consciousness when it is too busy watching an interesting movie. Just imagine the pilot suddenly announce that there is a problem with one of the jet engine and the plane needs to turn back for emergency landing, instantly your brain will zoom on that jet noise to make sure it is not shutting down. It is now considered a threat and now it will get all the attention of your brain. So the sooner we accept T and treat it not the threat, the faster the brain will fade it out of consciousness when your brain is busy with something else, especially meaningful things or interesting hobbies as Soundwave suggests. Hope that makes sense.
       
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