Habituation... Do I Have It?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Paul Burdett, Aug 8, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Paul Burdett

      Paul Burdett Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brisbane, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      Hi all,
      I've had T for 14 months now, and have gone down the common path of fear, depression etc etc. I'm at the point now that I have very good days (almost no T) and loud days (but not as loud as the first 4-5 months). Like some others here my day is: wake up...loud T (every morning!)...hot shower...little-no T for the rest of the day...ahhh magic...I can concentrate at school (I teach classroom music at high school). At this point I get 2-3 days in a row of little to no T unless I'm in a very quiet room, and even then it is hard to hear it unless I cover my ears. Other days it's a mild hum in the background...annoying but I can deal with it. Other days, like today, the shower trick didn't work and it's a "bad" day...the weekend seems to figure in here somehow...not at work? don't know. So...is habituation the state of not "hearing" the T?...or hearing it and not being bothered by it? I'm hoping that the 2-3 good days increase over time...although there are weeks where I only get maybe two good days. Still find I'm thinking about T more than I would like to...and not looking forward to the prospect of having it for the rest of my life...I'm a "young" 62 year old. What are your thoughts?
       
    2. Tamika
      No Mood

      Tamika Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One loud indoor concert
    3. Mad maggot
      Breezy

      Mad maggot Member

      Location:
      New zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I think habituation doesn't affect your T and how loud it may be. It seems that it means you are not bothered by it. You're so used to it you just kind of accept it like people living near a train track don't seem to notice the noise of the trains any more or they might notice but don't feel bothered by it.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    4. Paul Burdett

      Paul Burdett Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brisbane, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      Thank you for the replies...great information in the links:)
       
    5. Bart
      Balanced

      Bart Member

      Location:
      Antwerp
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/06/2014
      I think habituation is different for everyone.

      But it basically means that you are not bothered by the sound anymore, regardless if you hear it or not.

      It just becomes a background and neutral sound like the sound of your breathing.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. here2help

      here2help Member

      Paul, in my opinion, you aren’t describing habituation. Here’s what I mean. At this point, and please know that I’m not diminishing it, you are characterizing a very good day as one with almost no tinnitus and contrasting that with bad days when your tinnitus is loud. Someone who has habituated tinnitus would be more inclined to describe a good day as one where he or she was unaffected by whatever tinnitus happened to be doing at the time. Tinnitus could be ringing away, but for that person it would have the emotional impact of bathroom wallpaper in a hotel room.

      In my opinion, taking a hot shower and having little or no tinnitus for the rest of the day are two events that have nothing to do with each other. Since one follows the other, it may seem there is a connection between them, but it is just a coincidence. Instead, I think you are describing the nature of your tinnitus (meaning, for two or three days, you experience little or no tinnitus, while on other days your tinnitus consists of a mild, annoying hum, and on other days it is loud, although less loud than in the first 4 or 5 months).

      Habituation has two flavors; one has to do with perception, where we are unaware of tinnitus regardless of what it is doing (and how loud, variable or unpredictable it is), and the other has to do with response where we are aware of tinnitus but are largely unaffected by it regardless of what it is doing.

      You mention you think about tinnitus more than you would like to. I think you can use this to your advantage and that getting a clearer sense of the content of your thoughts about tinnitus could help put you in a better position to habituate tinnitus. In a way, I’m suggesting the last sentence in your first post (“What are your thoughts”) is an excellent question to start asking. There is a school of thought that our thoughts about tinnitus can be as important as tinnitus itself.

      It is possible that being at work helps you to be less aware of tinnitus than on the weekend. I think that’s a good sign.

      It is a very common experience for tinnitus to be loud after a nap or a night’s sleep.

      I admire a number of things about Beth’s post, although I have a different take on perception of tinnitus, as Beth used the word, and a different view about acceptance of tinnitus. For me, habituating tinnitus, which I did some time ago, has nothing to do with accepting it (which I have no interest in doing).

      Best of luck, Paul. For what it's worth, after reading your posts, I believe you will get to where you want to go.

      here2help
       
      • Like Like x 3
    7. Paul Burdett

      Paul Burdett Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brisbane, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      Hi,
      Thank you so much for the reply...much appreciated.
       

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