Habituation Question (I am Worried I Will Never Habituate)

Discussion in 'Support' started by Forever hopeful, Sep 20, 2015.

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    1. Forever hopeful

      Forever hopeful Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2015
      I want to start by thanking everyone for all their support. The people on this forum have been amazing.

      I am a newbie and like many newbies totally confused. You read so much conflicting information some of it a bit scary I must admit, but the success stories are vert uplifting. So here is my concern: truthfully, I am afraid I will never habituate.

      First let me say that I am very lucky. I do know this. My T is for the most part only noticeable in quiet environments. It is easily covered by most ambient noise- the sound of my feet on the floor in a quiet room will cover it. It is only when I stop and listen in a quiet room or when the tv is on very low do I hear it. I want to reiterate, I know how lucky I am. As much anxiety and depression as this is causing me, I recognize that people have it so much worse than me so I do not want to be viewed as a complainer even though I fear I am coming across that way. I have had this for 4 weeks now and have given up hope that is will resolve. It seems to be noise induced from a concert I attended on 8/22 , as I noticed it a few days after. Anyway, hearing is normal- no loss via a recent hearing test. One concert. So depressing. I do not have a history of noise exposure so I am so sad that one event did this to me. Now I just have this high electric sound noise in my head when it is quiet. I am going thorough all the things you read that people new to this experience do. Sad, depressed, anxious. Missing the ability to sit on my bed and just read in quiet. That said, I saw a specialist in TRT 2 days ago. I tried on the ear noise machines ( not sure what they are called) and even on the lowest volume, I could not hear my T over them, which you need to do I guess for the treatment to work. So she recommended sound therapy using what she called "table top therapy ". She told me not to worry about whether or not I could hear my T over it. She wants me to immerse myself in sound therapy and give my ears something to listen to and of course, in the process decrease my anxiety and perseveration on the T. She advised me to get a sound machine and a sound pillow. She said the less I focus on trying to hear it the more my brain will push it in the background as unimportant even if I cannot perceive it. She wants me to stop looking for or searching for the T. When I hear it, I still freak out knowing it is there. At work if it gets quiet, I find myself distracted trying to hear it and then am an anxious mess waitng for it to come and often it really doesn't or if it does, it is very faint. So she told me to get a noise machine at work too. So if masking is so bad, why did she tell me to do that? It sounds like I cannot habituate because I do not hear it enough in daily life unless I sit in a quiet room and listen to it and even the TRT literature tells you not to do that.

      So what am I supposed to do?
    2. Steve721

      Steve721 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      It sounds like to me that the TRT specialist wants to you to mask your T in order to help you get over the period of initial anxiety that almost everyone who has problems with T goes through--if you can't hear your T, you can't continually check for it, which is making you freak out. Habituation will come later once the anxiety is reduced; I wouldn't worry about that now.
    3. linearb

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      you have to change the way you think. It's going to be hard. You may be battling deeply-ingrained thought patterns which you have had your whole life.

      It's possible, though. For some people that's CBT, or TRT, or meditation, or tai chi, or primal scream therapy (probably a bad idea for tinnitus sufferers) -- you'll have to find your own path.

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