Hard Time Coping Today

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lynnette, Dec 18, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      I feel I'm at the end of my rope with the tinnitus in both ears. Some days are easier to cope with then others. I take lexapro for the depression and anxiety - I had a stressful few months and I needed medicine to help get me back to sanity again. I know the lexapro has made the T a bit louder but it's a double edge sword since I need it right now. I'm terrified that as I age it will continue to become louder and louder and drive me insane. How does one cope and comes to terms with the T? I feel like it's a constant battle with me trying to accept it when I don't feel I can. Help.
       
    2. Linds
      Balanced

      Linds Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brisbane Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2013
      Hi Lynnette,

      I don't know you but I know a lot about you just because you have T.
      I am a new member to this help forum, so I don't pretend to be an expert on anything.
      Do you have supportive people around you?
      My wife is very supportive, and her positive talk helps me to cope.
      So I will tell you what she tells me.
      Try not to focus on your T, distract yourself.
      Remember this too will pass, not the T but the feeling you have about it at the moment.
      It cannot hurt you. It does not define you. You are its master.
      I know you have probably heard these things before, but sometimes we just need to be reminded of them.
      Please try to stay positive.
      I hope these few words of encouragement have helped.
      :)
       
    3. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      I do have supportive friends and family but it's hard for everyone to truly understand since it's in my ears/head. I have good days and bad in terms of coping. I really wish I didn't need an antidepressant at the moment since I'm sure it's not helping the loudness of the T, but it's needed at the time being and for at least the next 6 months. I've already looked into TRT but I'm not a candidate yet since loud noise makes my T louder (I assume the noise masking hearing aids would do the same then). It's hard not to focus on the T...it's been since August and you'd think id be able to deal with it better by now. It's always there so it's hard to ignore unless I'm outside or have a noise app on when I sleep. Thanks for your encouraging words. It's hard to accept I'll probably have T the rest of my life.
       
    4. Misery
      Happy

      Misery Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 26, 2013
      @Lynnette,

      Do you know the cause of your T?
       
    5. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      Either stress induced (trauma in August) or taking Augmentin at the same time. I feel like it's here to stay at this point...one can only hope for a miracle though.
       
    6. Misery
      Happy

      Misery Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 26, 2013
      I'm sorry to hear that you too have T. It certainly has it challenges. I've had noise induced T years ago that went away after months. I currently have T that was likely caused by a sinus/ear infection. I'm hoping mine will ago away this time as well. Much easier said than done, but try your best to live life as you were prior as if you didn't have T (just be sure to protect your ears). That's what I'm trying to do and things are getting better, but who knows if there's any correlation.
       
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    7. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Your post reflects 100% of my thoughts also, and most likely a good majority of others on this site. Everyone has told me that acceptance is the key to recovery. But I too, feel like I simply can not accept it as it is now. Alas, we have been given little choice. You either accept it and continue with life as before, or you don't accept it and spend all your time searching for a miracle cure that doesnt exist. If it can be solved, there's no need to worry. And if it can't be solved, then worry is of no use. Easy to write down advice, difficult to apply. I think we all know what we're meant to do, but it's difficult and and the anxiety paralyses you with fear. Don't be like me and stay stuck in a vicious circle.
       
    8. st0rch
      Creative

      st0rch Member

      Location:
      Taylorsville, Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/18/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Technology and medicine develop very rapidly, if anything you can look forward to getting older as it's likely they will have a treatment for tinnitus shortly (many are already being developed with promising results).

      May I ask how long you have been taking the Lexapro? The ototoxicity % was very very low for this drug when studied, but Lexapro definitely can make you more anxious for the first 6 weeks or so, which in turn makes you notice your tinnitus. Eventually it should end up helping you cope rather than increasing it.

      The only way I've been able to cope with my constant electrical buzzing sounding high pitch ringing is to not think about how it makes you feel or how it changes your life (it doesn't). You can definitely notice it and be upset about it throughout the day, and you WILL, but do NOT start asking questions like "I wish I could take this/that back" or "no one else understands, I feel so alone". These thoughts are what prevents habituation and keeps you from the recovery you seek.

      What happens when I tell you not to picture a PINK ELEPHANT in your mind? You do it anyway, it's definitely not easy to train the mind. It takes work and dedication to block the negative emotions that come with any chronic illness before it will eventually come naturally, and it will. Observe it, don't analyze it. If you can do this for a month I guarantee you will start feeling better. Habituation is not something that automatically happens (unless you let it by doing what I described). The second you find yourself thinking negatively or reading too much into that noise in your head, tell yourself "Its just a noise, I could be completely deaf instead!" and start doing something else immediately so you don't keep thinking about it ( You notice it, and then quickly move on... that is key)

      Sadly, I wish I could say I was completely over my tinnitus. The above process is how I have learned to cope with my debilitating anxiety, and multiple other issues with my health over the past couple years. I know it will work with my tinnitus too, but you have to be ready to give it everything you've got. If you can get into a therapist / psychologist that specializes in CBT therapy you can apply it to pretty much anything.
       
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    9. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      Anybody that has this has a right to comment. I can't even think of "the rest of my life", pls don't go there, no. Day to day is all can see,,,,, ahead.

      Whats wrong with my doctor, she doesn't have a cure.
      I'd be happy with a stronger sleeping pill.
      Let me sleep, get this day over with, and I'll try it again tomorrow.
       
    10. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      It truly is a vicious cycle I feel I can't get out of. I wake up hearing it, start worrying and obsessing about it, researching, wondering how I'm going to live with it, etc...on and on and on. I worry about using an antidepressant and possibly making it worse for me, but I truly have no choice since I'm so early in my treatment and need my brain to heal from being depressed. I do hope for t treatment in the future, but it feels so far off. I've been on the lexapro for 6 weeks now and yes, the anxiety has increased a lot upon starting it. I'm hoping to be able to cope with it better without turning into a medicated zombie (another fear of mine with meds!). I am seeing a CBT therapist and it does help...but I need to apply what I learn when I walk out of her office! I feel like I'm dealing with a lot right now...getting on antidepressants (which hasn't been an easy task so far), dealing with the T and other health anxieties, and trying to cope with the lingering depression/anxiety I had from the start. It's a long road for me right now. Thanks for all your posts guys, it helps!
       
    11. jmccombs82

      jmccombs82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 29, 2013 at 10AM
      I hear what everyone is saying. I have have strange ringing/hissing/chirping/zapping in my head/left ear/right ear for about 2 months. I have been to the edge of the world emotionally and probably cried out all of the tears that I would use for the next 10 years of my life. I have also researched and researched but realized that incessant searcing was not serving me. Instead, I worked incredibly hard to watch my anxiety and how I react to the world. I read "Man's Search For Meaning" by Viktor Frankel and it helped to clarify a lot. Here is what I have concluded about my situation and my ability to overcome it:

      First, we do not have control over what happens to us in life. The illusion of anxiety is that by worrying about it and thinking about it...we will somehow be able to cope better with it. That is incorrect. All that we have control over is how we react and think about a situation. I have worked really hard to not panic when I hear the sounds. There are days when my tolerance is jetted and I feel like jumping out of my skin, but I have to remember that in spite of this feeling of loss of control over my body...I realize, I DO HAVE CONTROL OVER HOW I RESPOND AND REACT TO IT.

      It is not easy. In fact, there are days where I have to constantly remind myself to watch my thoughts and tame my feelings. Suffering is only suffering because we attribute a distressing feeling/thought to it. I have ear ringing and no one can in my outside world can understand what I go through. It is isolating and exhausting at times and yes, I still have moments where I cry. I am still hopefull though. I know that I will overcome this and find a way to live with it. I know that the only way to do that is to find a way to accept it in THIS MOMENT. I don't think of tomorrow or next week. I only think about my ability to handle it AT THIS MOMENT. That is the choice that you do still have. Your freedom has not been taken from you. Your ability to enjoy your life is still possible, but you have to stop comparing your life TODAY with the life YOU HAD. Bad things happen, but no matter what happens in your life please know that you always have a choice. You have a choice how you are going to react and respond.

      Second, you have to change your lifestyle. You have to modify your life to accompany the ringing. You have to remember that your state of mind is at sake here. For me, it was welcoming daily walks into my life where I listen to a book on tape. I bought a bracelet with a feather on it to remind me to LIVE LIGHTLY and not fall hard on things that stop me in my tracks. I simply float on with grace and ease. I make sure to practice yoga 3-4 times a week (even if it is just for 10 minutes a day). I started seeking therapy to address the underlying anxiety that was present before the ringing started. Sure, I could take medication but that doesn't fix the problem...it just puts a lid on the symptoms. I stopped drinking and partying. Sure, my social life has slowed down a bit but I am okay with that. I find that sleep and relaxation is much more healing and satisfying AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE. I have also tried to stop worrying. This proves to be terribly difficult as I have trained my mind to always run to the worst case scenario. I have started writing in my journal again EVERY DAY to document my thoughts and feelings. I find this helps to release some of the pain and discomfort that I am carrying with me.

      I have slowed down a lot over the last two months and I will say this. The ringing has caused tremendous strain on my life. I have cried, felt REALLY depressed, moped, thought "why me", even hit my head in a fit of frustration and despair (dare I say it), but I realize today that I can either continue to focus on the negatives or find a way to push forward and change my life for the better. It does not stop the ringing but it allows me to live in peace. In spite of this ringing, I will say that the journey I have been on these last few months has left me more content than I have felt in years. I realize now that for many years prior to the ringing I was simply passive in my existence. I was not being an active participant in my life.

      Please do not give up on yourselfs. Please continue to nurture and love yourselves for who you are TODAY. Not who you were yesterday or who you will be tomorrow. You only have control over THIS MOMENT and remember that you can decide how to live and respond in THIS MOMENT. Keep your head up and believe that you will overcome this. Do not set your thoughts on the idea of suffering forever...please, just remember that you only have control over THIS MOMENT.

      Maybe this is where you search for your personal meaning for today. Your meaning is not going to be the same as mine...as we are two unique and complex individuals with diverse experiences. Niche once said "If you have a WHY, you can bear almost any HOW". If we feel like we don't have a reason to keep going or keep fighting, then we lose and fall into suffering. Suffering is only the emotions and thoughts what we attribute to it. Please know that you are more powerful and capable then you realize. We cannot predict the future...nor can we cannot predict the outcome of our fate or destiny and this leaves many of us hanging. I think the quicker we come to terms with the truth that life is the result of our thoughts and beliefs...then we regain some control and realize that in spite of the challenges set forth....we do have the ability to overcome and gain strength.

      I hope this was helpful for some. Again, I want you all to trust yourselves and remember to nurture, nuture, nuture. Remember that time for healing does not happen when you want it. We have to be patient, kind, and compassionate toward ourselves and our bodies. I hope everyone has a wonderful christmas. Please remember to get outside when the sun is shining and let it hit your face. Hell, let the sun grab hold of those tears and remind you that you will not be stuck in this state of suffering forever :)
       
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    12. Sherri786
      Dreaming

      Sherri786 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      @jmccombs82 , thank you so much love it ! I need to print that out and read it everyday.
       
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    13. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      Thank you so much for your post...I will print this out as well and tape it to the fridge!
       
    14. st0rch
      Creative

      st0rch Member

      Location:
      Taylorsville, Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/18/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma

      Trust me, I know the feeling of having too much to deal with (hopefully it makes you feel better to know you are not alone). Once the antidepressants start to really kick in (which will probably be soon for you), you'll be able to apply the CBT therapy as your anxiety will be masked. If you actively practice it even though you are feeling good on the meds, you will eventually be able to come off of them and still feel in control.

      Luckily for you, you are through the rough part of taking lexapro (I've heard the first weeks can be tough!). I have yet to start mine, and it gives me bad anxiety even thinking about it. Although I know after taking it for a couple months my quality of life would increase significantly, I'm just building up confidence to take the leap.
       
    15. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      Storch yes the first few weeks were rough, I won't sugarcoat it. I think I experienced every side effect in the book but hopefully things will start to smooth out and I can use the CBT more effectively and cope with the T better. I also don't want to put a bandaid on the T either and have it come back in full force and louder than ever after I feel better on medicine and feel it's time to wean off. Every bump up on dosing has made the T increase but it eventually settles back down again. There are bad T days and semi good ones...the busier I stay, the better.
       

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