Habituation of “Self” v. Habituation of “Body” ~ c. 58 Years of Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Zimichael, Oct 10, 2014.

    1. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Otherwise tilted: “Why am I on this Forum at all?”

      Then a sub-title of… “After watching much skirmishing and debate over such matters.”

      Oh, and maybe I should add… “plus four increases in T volume.”

      Ha, and then the super obvious… “And why we need a CURE…too!”

      Now to explain this in less than a Tolstoy novel…My oh my! Let’s see how I do. Maybe dissecting the subject will help, marginally.

      1. There is a huge difference between “acceptance” (aka ‘habituation’) of one’s tinnitus and one’s tinnitus’s acceptance of oneself! This may be hard for people new to tinnitus in (understandably) full blown panic mode to grasp. So translation: I have as fully as feasible “accepted” my tinnitus, but my body has not.

      I do not fight it. I do not rage against it. I do not listen to it. I do not perseverate about it. It just is…Indeed it is my “silence”. Thus, in infamous TRT and similar jargon, I have “habituated”. If you question that, do a search of all my posts and see if you can see anything that would imply otherwise. Looking for a cure is a whole different fish. [See below].

      2. Then there’s the “body”…Ah yes, that corporeal vessel harbouring pain, reactivity, motor reflexes and so on. In case you are confused about what I mean by body, I am referring to that part of us that falls rapidly into unconsciousness, despite vigorous efforts not to, when the surgeon says: “Please count to 10 for me” while administering sodium pentothal. Anyone ever lasted over five??? (If so you should not pay the anesthesiologist and get the hell out of there!).

      Well, when it comes to Tinnitus, there are major differences that are too often overlooked and cause much dissertation, needless print, and misunderstanding. It all boils down to “reactivity”.

      3. “Explain!” you demand...Oh, OK, but then this post will get longer. “Do it!”…Cool.

      First off, when tinnitus storms the inner gates for the first time I suspect 99.9% of us “react”. With alarm, despair, and all those emotions we know so well. And for the record, practice does not make it easier! I will loosely call this “self” reactivity as your T may indeed be pretty stable, or become stable after things cool down a bit. Your self though is on a crusade to fix this thing and exorcise it! For a while. Then things mostly do chill out as we realize there are few magic tricks in the hat anyhow and we have to live with this thing. Ultimately 85% of us (or whatever the number) adapt and habituate. Mostly without spending mega-bucks I suspect.

      However, “reactive tinnitus” (aka hyperacusis, aka ‘don’t-ask-me-as -darned-if-I-have-ever-got-a-good-answer-to-that’) is a totally different story. Here, the “self” takes a secondary position to the “body”, which becomes the major player. Habituation???... “Phooey!!!” In my somewhat experienced experience, it is as good as irrelevant.

      4. “Gahhhhhhhhh…You are getting confusing. Spell it out man!”…OK, OK, chill out. So we need some common language then.

      First up some body/tinnitus volume stuff. I am going to use “single tone” tinnitus in my example, because multi-tones get too complicated and my personal experience is with single tone T.

      Now immediately anyone fast of the wicket will say: “But isn’t volume subjective???” (as in not “body”, but more “self”)…Well, yeah, it can be if the self is involved. As in panic, anxiety, fear, new higher T., mother-in-law visiting, etc. That’s not ‘objective volume’. However, if you have yard-sticks to measure against, it becomes more ‘objective’. Like this:

      My Stage 1. volume, for 24 years was only audible to me in a completely quiet room, or when I was trying to meditate to some inane guru in my 20’s. Zero reactivity. Full and rapid self-habituation. Had to focus on it to hear it in a quiet place. Normal idiot-youth lifestyle.

      My Stage 2. volume, for 26 years was only audible in a quiet place (outdoors too). Had given up meditation. Zero reactivity after about one year. Full self-habituation after 2 years. Could rapidly hear it if focused on it, except in a room of people talking, when music playing at low-medium volume, any significant external sounds, indoors or out, etc., etc. Normal life-style.

      My Stage 3 volume, for 6 years was audible nearly all the time and all places except noisy situations and by running water (creeks flowing over rocks etc.). Required extensive protection for about 3-5 years due to reactivity and hyperacusis. Self-habituated after about 3 years, but reactivity meant changes in lifestyle. No loud noise environments, etc. but semi-normal lifestyle possible only after 5+ years.

      My Stage 4 volume, for nearly 2 years…and ongoing. Audible at all times, in any situation except sitting in a bath as the water pours in from the faucet. *(Incidentally, for those on the Retigabine thread, I could hear my T in that bath situation when I got that one day spike! Not cool). Currently 95% of normal life activities outside my door compromised. However, 99% of my self governed activities inside my house not affected. So I use subtitles on movies sometimes instead of turning volume up. No big deal. Like I said way back… “My ringing T is my silence”.

      So are we seeing the pattern here??? Are you seeing where habituation is totally a red herring? (For non Brits, that means “an almost useless side-track”). Are you seeing that Stage 4. is a whole different thing, volume, quality-of-life issue than in stages 1. and 2.? However, all are called "Tinnitus".

      “Score!” If you get it that the “self” has everything to do with habituation, but almost zero to do with “body T reactivity”. The part the self plays with reactive T (and like I said most of us are “reactive” at the first onset of T or a new level of T) is to be a super sleuth and sniff out where you are going to get blasted in the world out there, and avoid it. That is what the self can do that is useful. Being hyper, and paranoid, and freaked out does not make for a good Secret Service agent protecting your T. (Ummmmmm, bad example seeing as they did not do a very good job with the White House either).

      To the “body” with reactive T, sound is an OBJECTIVE THREAT…Anyone who does not know this does not have “reactive T” in my not so humble opinion on this. Loud sound blasting me unexpectedly, and “Wham!” The self = irrelevant. The body = traumatized, semi paralytic, dazed, confused, freaked audile nerves, screaming, T volume above all else. BODY STUFF!!! Big difference. Habituation has ZERO to do with it. ZERO!!!

      I could go on. But I think if you follow this you will see that much discussion and foibling could be avoided if these distinctions were more clear. Understandably, those who do not have T at all, or have non-reactive T may have a hard time grasping the lack of nuance here. Lucky them I say! You do not want reactive T just so you can find out.

      You will also find out that the only real solution to this situation IS A CURE!!!

      Enough…way too long as usual. If you want more detail and pundit wisdom on this “dilemma” you know where to ask.

      In peace and all that… Best, Zimichael
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    2. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Intersting post ..did you go to loud events during first 24 years ?
      I am 40 and hopefully my T remains to my base line level . I just don't see how any one can be at peace when there is freaking siren going on in your ear .
      I am protecting my ears by nlt going to loud events ..I do get spike when I am v v tired or due to lack of sleep .
      also , accidental exposure to loud event is the real pain for me . I don'tomd avoiding loud events ( parties ,bars , wedding receptions ,movies concert etc ).
      I wish and pray my T volume subsides and doesn't increase .I am sure in next 10-15 years we should be able to get some type of cure or a way to manage the volume .
    3. mmacabre

      mmacabre Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Yeah, when the reactivity is set off, there's a whole cascade of tortuous sensations and feelings that you really can only just "brace yourself" for...but when the sensations don't quit and you can't brace anymore and you're shaking and shivering, well, you know the rest... Some "reaction" indeed!
    4. bwspot

      bwspot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Great post.
      I am 39 and t just started.
      I wonder if this could be a stage 1 for me?
    5. AUTHOR

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Hell...well that post did not work???!!! Wash, recycle and repeat...

      @Sean ... Yeah, certainly. Now remember, I was a kid when I first got T right (6 years old) and kids have incredible resilience. However, I do remember bugging my mom for maybe up to a year that sometimes it bothered me. On one occasion I was really pissed off that she kept "forgetting" to take me to a woman who supposedly had "healing hands". Somehow I felt that this strange healer would cure me. Then the swirl of youth pushed my T into the background.
      I was 100% normal around sound...Screaming my head off in a crowd of kids at rugby matches to slaughter the opposition; going to loud parties as a teenager and university; firing guns (but fingers in ears if in a vehicle); and so on. No reactivity. Constant volume and pitch. "E flat" on musical scale.

      @bwspot ... Well, if you are smart about stuff, you could stay at stage 1. I sure hope so for your sake. If you take the knowledge on this forum to heart (diverse as it can be) you are well ahead of the game, with the two key aspects being:
      1. Always, always, always assume that any med could be ototoxic for you and do due diligence on it before taking it. Oral, dermal, IV, no matter. It is absolutely irresponsible and naive to assume that ototoxic drugs are not an issue 'unless IV administered'. Total dung...and not just from my unfortunate experience either. [See many posts on how to evaluate potential ototoxicity].
      2. You know this one..."Sound"! It's your friend and your enemy. And always remember that it's a dual equation of not justvolume, but also exposure time!...And yeah, it is darn easy to blow that one. I did, and who should know better right?!

      @mmacabre ...Indeed. You have the "body" part well illustrated.

      Good luck... Best, Zimichael

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