Habituation... Any Ideas?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Beth, Feb 10, 2014.

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    1. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      :(What is it with this habituation thing?! I understand fully that habituation of reaction has to occur (ie, it bothers you not at all) before habituation of perception can happen. (ie, you don't hear it for most of the time.) So......I try my very, very best not to react to the sound and sometimes I can do this yet at other times, like now, which is why I'm posting this, I have been aware of the noise as I am for every waking moment unless very busy and in fairly noisy environment and for the past hour or so I have been doing deep breathing, relaxation CD and meditation and telling myself that the sound is perfectly normal and is probably just music of the brain and all that but it just seems to fight back and get louder and demands my attention. I am trying not to use distraction techniques but face it and keep calm but it's as if it has a life of it's own and will not let me do it. The calmer I try to be the more it bothers me. Help!!
      Shall I just give in and have a good cry or is that going to make it worse because I've reacted to it? Any advice very welcome. Filling my juicer with yew leaves is looking like a good option; I'm sick of it taking over my life. I don't know what to do next, it's impossible not to be scared.
       
    2. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Are you saying you haven't habituated in the last 5 yrs?
       
    3. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. I took antidepressents for a time in 2008 and they had a good anti-anxiety effect so even though the tinnitus was the same it didn't bother me at all. I thought life was wonderful and I'd be OK so I stopped taking them and after a few weeks I started to get anxious about it again and since then I have had periods of a few days or even a week or two when it didn't bother me but I always go back to thinking all the 'what ifs'. What if it continues to get louder, what if it never improves, what if this is it for ever etc etc.

      Yes, I know I could go back on drugs but I think I'd have to be on them for life which is not a good idea and I don't want to risk being on them again and then having a worse time when I stopped taking them. Also I believe (and this may be hard for a lot of people to accept) that we have things like this to give us a wake up call and make us deal with things in our life that we've probably been supressing for years. I hadn't said anything about the past on here yet because I do not want pity just a bit of reassurance that even people who've had it for years can be OK, but when I was in my 20s, I had a three year old son. I had a baby girl who was a couple of weeks old when my son died in an accident. At the time I wanted to get out of life. (You know what I mean.) Everyone said that I must keep going for the sake of my daughter....which was true, but in a way it was as if my daughter had replaced my son in their eyes so I should focus on her and move forward. He was hardly mentioned in my company for 30 years and I thought about him and still do think about him every single day. It is the supressed emotion from that that I am trying to deal with and my therapist says that tinnitus is just a symptom of the high anxiety I have because of that traumatic event.

      So, I have had good days but generally still find it very difficult to live 'normally' with screaming in my ears and sometimes don't know how it can be done. We all have problems and I know other people suffer in all sorts of ways so hopefully we can support each other through the difficult times. I do sometimes feel like a loser when I see that most people on here have had it for such a short time so I guess most people habituate quickly too or they wouldn't leave the forum but it does help when I hear of others' success and know it can be done. Kind thoughts for everyone.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    4. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      I think that maybe the problem is that you are concentrating on habituating to it. The thing with habituation is that you will stop and all of a sudden think 'hey, I haven't noticed it this morning'. It's that state where you are able to stop thinking about it and it can disappear off your radar.

      Not easy to get there and you can end up back where you started sometimes too.

      I would say that you sound like you're doing the right sort of stuff that will over time help you to habituate, encouraging the right mental state. It's the next step of losing the focus on it that's missing. Distraction isn't all that bad, using broad frequency sounds just below the level of your tinnitus, getting immersed in something so that your concentration is so fully focused you forget most everything else. It's a good tool to have.

      It may be best to use distraction as a band aid until you lessen the negative attachment and are able to convince yourself to relax fully. Have a masking sound playing when you do the relaxation exercises and meditation, and gradually reduce the volume each time you do it maybe? It sounds like you're trying to go fully into it, so if you ease into it things might work a little better.

      When you meditate, the general focus is your breathing. Replace that with sound, something with a bit of interest that you can hold onto, that you can use to mentally lower your tinnitus with. Then in your mind you can visualise it sinking away.
       
    5. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Just an opinion from a fellow tinnitus sufferer - I doubt that your T is a symptom of your anxiety. I think anxiety can increase T volume both from a strictly perception viewpoint (i.e., perceived volume increase but no actual increase), and a real volume increase that is physiologically based. Anything that stimulates the errant neurons causing the T will make it louder (or so I was told by a Mayo Clinic ENT). Anxiety is one such thing, but so is exercise, caffeine, and many medications including antidepressants. That doesn't mean all these things effect all people equally, however.

      My point is, I think even if you get your feelings regarding your emotionally traumatic and clearly tragic event sorted out, I would not expect your T to completely disappear, but I would expect the T volume to decrease and that in itself will make it easier to habituate.

      By the way, I have great empathy for anyone who has lost a child. I'm sorry to hear you have had to endure such a thing.

      Wish you the best.
       
    6. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Beth, i can't think of anything worse than losing a child, my heart feels heavy for you right now ... instead of praying for myself tonight, i will be praying for you!! you really have touched me very deeply, I'm so, so sorry this happened to you. xx
       
    7. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      Thank you for your kind words. I think it may be best if I leave the site. Everyone has been so kind but if I keep posting - especially when I'm having a bad day, it will give all the newbies the idea that they could be stuck with it for a long time too and I think it's best if they see that folks post for a while and then move on, hopefully because they've habituated and I know how important it is for new sufferers to get positive information. I'll always keep checking how people are doing; I feel I've made 'friends' and will always be concerned for people here so I wish you well. My dream is to come back here and tell you all I've habituated!! Take care everyone. XXX
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    8. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Beth, don't leave!!! we need you and your strength ... you've put up with it for so long and you're still here, you give me hope ...
       
    9. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      Use sound enrichment 24/7 you can also check out tinnitus.org and see if any of those exercises help you.
       

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