Habituated to a Tinnitus "Spike"

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Danny B, Jun 30, 2020.

    1. Danny B
      Wishful

      Danny B Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear syringing
      To make a long story short, I got tinnitus one year ago and took a few months to get 'used' to it.

      Then this covid 19 business started and my wax-overproducing ears plugged up. I used debrox to soften the wax and stop the blockage, but shortly thereafter I became convinced that my tinnitus had increased dramatically. Suddenly sounds that used to mask it no longer did their job, my usual pastimes of playing video games and watching movies with a bedroom fan on were consumed by a ringing that seemed all-encompassing. It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up and the last I thought of when I (attempted) to go to sleep.

      I reminisced on all of the post-tinnitus times when the ringing didn't even occur to me like the golden years. If only I could return to THAT level of tinnitus, I thought.

      It's now a few months later and I'm happy to say I've completely turned the ship around. I decided to take an approach of "if I can't get rid of this, I'm going to improve every other facet of my life as hard as I can". I started exercising daily in a park full of swaying trees and chirping birds. I changed my diet and cut out every liquid but water. I made new friends and started applying for new jobs. When I was focused on something other than the tinnitus, I wasn't devoting mental energy to the ringing.

      Now I'm even questioning if the ringing had actually gotten louder at all or if I had just de-habituated due to the stress. Today I am able to go entire days without even thinking about my tinnitus, it's as inconsequential as the floaters I've had in my eyes since childhood. I don't even use bedroom fans anymore when I'm watching movies - the ringing is always there if I consciously think about it, but I can easily make it disappear into the background of my perception by getting back to the task at hand. It's like I don't even have it. I feel like I have my life back.

      For all of you going through a difficult spike, my advice is to break the cycle of negative thoughts by dedicating yourself to something so challenging it consumes your full attention. I know this may not work for everyone, but when you do get used to the noise you'll be able to enjoy a much higher quality of life than you had before you started improving yourself. I've replaced my dread about my future with a reinvigorated zeal for life. On the fateful day when science does deliver us a reduction or cure, I'm going to glad I spent this time improving myself and keeping my thoughts positive. After climbing the mountain that habituation can be twice over, every other challenge in life feels like something I can handle with ease.
       
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    2. Cris-99

      Cris-99 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I’ve have the same thing. Habituated for 5 years and after a buzzing sound in my ear i used audispray to get the wax losing up and my tinnitus went up. But audispray is salted water so it’s impossible that effected my t. The buzzing is as good as gone but i’m still bothered by the t. I also think it hasn’t gone louder but i just can’t get back to the mental state i was before the audispray and that frustrates me. Nice to read it is possible to un-habituate and habituate again, thanks.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Danny B
      Wishful

      Danny B Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear syringing
      @Cris-99

      Yep, it can be hugely frustrating. The fact that you habituated once means you'll 100% be able to do it again, for me it was a combination of throwing myself into tasks that consume my full attention and time. Eventually my brain got 'bored' of scanning for the tinnitus signal. Another thing that helped me is breaking the cycle of constantly checking to see how loud it is by telling myself "If you have to stop and search for it, it isn't there."

      When you do habituate again one thing that I found helpful is keeping a journal of times you thought you'd lost your grip on it and then got it and your quality of life back again. The next time something causes me to un-habituate for a bit I'm going to go back and read my own success story and remind myself that time will get me back to normal again. It's tricky to break the cycle once you get stuck in it again, but for every valley there's a really lovely hill you'll eventually reach the top of.
       
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    4. Hotspur2931

      Hotspur2931 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/flu
      This is really helpful – thanks!!
       
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    5. DaveFromChicago

      DaveFromChicago Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headcold/Flu
      To Danny B and Hotspur2931:

      I recall that Karl Marx once wrote that equating Philosophy with the Real World was tantamount to equating Masturbation with Sexual Love.

      Regarding Habituation, after six and one half years my capacity to rely on what I regard as no more than a version of this self-regarding, fake-out mental masturbation now has about as much reliability as would a car with over 140,000 miles.

      Habituation vs. Silence has as much cavernous distance as do the two terms quoted by Marx.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Danny B
      Wishful

      Danny B Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear syringing
      I disagree generally, but the quote is apt. Masturbation obviously isn't anywhere near as intimate or pleasurable as sex, but it's used as a way to relieve the natural sexual tension a human being faces when they don't have access to the real deal. It may be a facade, but it's a pleasurable one.

      Habituation works much the same for me. Until science finds a way to deliver me true silence, the ability to tune out and live my life unaffected by the constant sound is the best I can do for right now. It has improved my quality of life considerably and the amount of time I actively devote to listening to the ringing has decreased by a solid 85%. I went from a nervous wreck to someone who is pretty content with their own existence. My perception of the volume is significantly lower.

      I know that all cases of tinnitus differ, so I don't want to be pretentious and imply that anyone can achieve this result and 'tune out' the sound. Obviously I would prefer silence. To go back to the simile, the sex isn't an option for me, so my mental masturbation will have to suffice as a source of pleasure. The improvements in my mood, outlook on life, and day-to-day existence are enough proof for me that I shouldn't second guess it.
       
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    7. Hotspur2931

      Hotspur2931 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/flu
      Really unhelpful. Please try to bear in mind that people are suffering here, as I'm sure you are too. To tell people who have achieved some sort of peace that their positive experience is not real is really shitty. To tell people who are working hard toward that peace that the end result is some kind of sham is seriously cruel. Please stop it.

      I'm sorry if you're going through a rough time right now but it isn't right to destroy people's valid hopes. It isn't right. I'm sure you'll want to come back with some smart arse answer but I'm begging you not to. I'm having a bad day today and I can't deal with it.
       
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    8. Cris-99

      Cris-99 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      @ danny. I know it’s a cycle i have to break. My set back is now for 6 months and month 4 and 5 were getting better slowly. Either last month had a setback again and i don’t know why. I still believe the sounds isn’t any louder but it has my attention again, and that’s the problem. I don’t believe the sound is the problem cause the sound was always there in silence the last 5 years. It’s just so hard to just let it be there and don’t give it an emotion.
       
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