Habituation Clarification

Discussion in 'Dr. Bruce Hubbard (Psychologist, CBT)' started by Lisa88, Jul 26, 2014.

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    1. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Hi Dr. Hubbard,
      How would you describe the state of habituation for a tinnitus patient?
      Is it when the brain no longer is irritated by the noise, or no longer perceives it?
      And can habituation be confused for tinnitus actually going away?
      I have heard those saying habituation can be the first step for tinnitus going away.
      Maybe you can explain habituation more fully in your terms.
      Thanks so much, Dr. Hubbard.
       
    2. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Hi Lisa

      Habituation is a natural neurological process in which the brain determines that a particular signal is not important and tunes it out of awareness. It occurs with all types of sensation (like touch, smell, vision). Tinnitus is such a signal, because it's not truly dangerous (even though it may feel like it).

      Once you've fully habituated, noticing the tinnitus no longer carries negative emotional weight (irritation, sadness, anxiety).

      Habituation is not the same as tinnitus "going away." The tinnitus is still there if you "look" for it, and you may spontaneously notice it when changes occur in the background noise (like turning off a fan). However, if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound? If you don't notice your tinnitus, don't think about, are not distracted by it, is it still "there"? Many would say, for most intents and purposes, you're cured!


      Best Wishes!
      Bruce
       
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