Hearing Aids

Discussion in 'Treatments' started by Louise, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Watch Hazel share good news about tinnitus
    1. Philip83
      Jaded

      Philip83 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Moped (2001) Noise blast (2014) Club (2017) Snowboard (2018)
      Ok, this is completely bizzare. After only using the hearing aids for a few hours yesterday evening, my tinnitus and hyperacusis are WAY down this morning, before even putting them in. It’s like my brain has been rewired somehow, almost like I ate an anti-psychotic drug or something... Not sure what to make of this, but I like it :D
       
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    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Please try not to think that the hearing aid with white noise generator will not help ease the tinnitus and make your life easier. This is negative thinking and by continuing to think this way, you will not make any improvement at all. Tinnitus is mostly mental, by this I mean it is an integral part of our mental and emotional wellbeing and cannot be separated from it. Go to my started threads and read the following posts: Tinnitus and the Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset.

      If it is possible turn off the white noise/masking sound and just use the hearing aid. Give your ears and auditory system time to get used to using the hearing aid. I suggest at least 2 to 3 weeks. Experiment using the hearing aid for 1 or 2 hours daily, then take it off for the same duration. After that time put it on again. Do this for about a week. This way you are slowly introducing the hearing aid to your auditory system and thus, lowering the risk of aggravating the tinnitus. However, if you are able to wear the hearing aid(s) for longer a period straight off without aggravating the tinnitus then do so.

      After 2 to 3 weeks when you are comfortable with the hearing aid, slowly introduce the white noise/masking sound. Keep the volume slightly below the tinnitus. Listen to the white noise for just 1 or 2 hours then turn it off as described above. Do this throughout the day and for 1 to 2 weeks or longer. The idea is to allow your ears and auditory system to get used to white noise which takes time.

      Many people are not advised to do this and attempt to listen to white noise straight away for 6 hours or more and find their tinnitus is aggravated. Taking things slow is the way to go and this way you will get results. Over time the brain habituates to the white noise and slowly pushes the tinnitus further into the background making its perception less. It takes time for this to be achieved so be patient and don't look for quick results. Go to my started threads and read my posts on TRT, which explains more about using white noise/maskers in hearing aids.

      Michael
       
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    3. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thank you very much Michael, that's great advice and very much appreciated.

      I have just unpacked the hearing aid (my tinnitus is severe unilateral), it's an in-ear one, so looks really good and discreet.

      I tried it without the masking noise first and it is hard to say what it does to the tinnitus... It's a funny unusual feeling being able to hear things so amplified.

      The white noise settings are good, it definitely distracts me from the hissing, so I'm already happy that it works and I can hopefully go outside for longer distances without fear.

      I will apply your suggestions to get used to the hearing aid. It's a totally different experience for me.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I don't have any hearing loss but have been using white noise generators for many years and have two types. The first looks very similar to a hearing aid and is worn at the back of the ear. A clear plastic tube goes over the ear and enters the ear canal. The second white noise generator is the smallest currently available, MM1 that is made by Puretone UK. These fit in the ear and fitted with a volume control.

      As I explained to you in my previous post, you need to give the hearing aid and white noise time to work, many weeks if not months to see results. The increased sound that your hearing aid is now supplying to your brain will allow it to turn down its internal volume control. A person that has hearing loss and tinnitus, if the hearing is not corrected by using hearing aid(s), the brain will turn up its internal gain to hear sounds from the outside environment. In the process it will also increase the tinnitus and therefore making it louder.

      Once your hearing is at its optimum your brain no longer has to struggle to hear sounds from the outside environment and therefore, will turn down its internal gain which will also reduce the tinnitus. Many people with hearing loss can develop tinnitus because of impaired hearing. Once they are fitted with a hearing aid(s), with time the tinnitus reduces until its virtually gone. Some do not need to use white noise/masker. The white noise has two purposes. It can treat the tinnitus and also hyperacusis if it is present by desensitizing the auditory system.

      You need to give this time to work and don't expect quick results. I believe at least 4 to 6 months should be sufficient time to start seeing improvement. Remember to use low level sound enrichment at night using a sound machine. Keep the sounds lower than your tinnitus. The idea is to provide sound enrichment not to mask the tinnitus.

      Best of luck,

      Michael
       
    5. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thank you Michael. That's really good news and I'd be happy if it worked for me. It actually makes perfect sense technically.

      I am currently masking (trying not to override the tinnitus volume, unless I have nightly panic attacks) when I sleep and I also run masking tape on my phone when I work from home. All below the tinnitus level.

      My hearing loss is quite similar on both sides, it's mild, although on the right (tinnitus) side I hear the higher frequencies less, even the cricket sounds sound duller. I don't know if it's because of the loss or that tinnitus overlays these frequencies.

      Do you think it'd be sufficient to wear the hearing aid in the bad ear only?

      I have now been running the aid on masking at a very low setting, below my tinnitus. It's working well so far for distraction. My idea of course is not to wear it at home, but only outdoors. I can just use sound enrichment on my phone when I'm at home to give my ear some rest.

      @Michael Leigh, regarding the hearing amplification volume of the hearing aid, are there any guidelines for tinnitus as to how loud to set it? If I set it to max, I really hear every tiny sound, somewhere in the middle it's still quite sharp. My hearing loss is in the mild range in high frequencies.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I am curious as to why you are using the white noise/masking facility? Audiologists usually advise to treat the hearing loss first, that is the reason I advised you to turn off the white noise for now. Are you under the care of an audiologist?
      Your audiologist should be advising you on this. If you have significant hearing loss in both ears then you should really be wearing two hearing aids. When was your hearing last checked?
      It is entirely your choice what you want to do but I don't agree with what you are doing. You should first treat the hearing loss and forget about using white noise/masking for the moment.
      Your audiologist should be advising you on this. I suggest to turn off the white noise/masking and just use the hearing aid for now. Set the volume at a comfortable level so it doesn't cause any irritation.

      I get the impression that you have bought your hearing with white noise without being advised by an audiologist? If this is correct, that is not the right way to do things. You should be under the care of an audiologist because the ear is a very delicate organ. If you are not careful you could make your tinnitus worse. This is the reason I have advised you to proceed carefully.

      Michael
       
    7. PeterPan
      Nerdy

      PeterPan Member Advocate

      Location:
      Sydney
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Heat Exhaustion
      Could very well be due to a placebo effect. It could be that you are anticipating relief from your tinnitus from this new treatment, hence your stress levels are going down, hence your tinnitus is going down...
       
    8. Gb3

      Gb3 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sshl
      @Johan001, if your hearing aids are Bluetooth, you can download a number of apps with white noise and other background sounds.

      If you have an iPhone they now have background sounds built into the phone.
       
    9. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thank you for the reply. My initial idea was to be able to go out in social settings without anxiety. At home I use masking noises for this, so I first got myself MM01 via an online shop. It was faulty so I returned it and they connected me to an audiologist. She suggested this type of hearing aids. My last audiogram was in June 2020, 3 weeks after my tinnitus onset. I sent her this diagram to configure the hearing aids accordingly. She did mention that I should be using the sound amplification first, but I didn't get any concrete directions. I can ask. When running the sound enrichment I definitely get some anxiety relief, which is very welcome. But I obviously don't want to mess things up.
       
    10. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thanks. Yeah it's Bluetooth indeed, I recently switched to an iPhone from Android, so I will check out their built in options.
       
    11. Philip83
      Jaded

      Philip83 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Moped (2001) Noise blast (2014) Club (2017) Snowboard (2018)
      Well, my expectations were actually that my hyperacusis would get worse from using them, so this is a complete surprise. I can agree it’s probably because of a physical stress level being reduced when the brain does not have to strain as much when listening to things. But that this would improve my hyperacusis this much is baffling.
       
    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for the clarification @Johan001.

      If you want to treat your hearing loss and tinnitus, then I suggest you follow the advice that I have previously given on how to use the hearing aid. I suspect your main concern is to use sound enrichment to distract your brain from focusing on the tinnitus. This can be achieved in a variety of ways using your dual purpose hearing aid with white noise generator.

      The white noise already fitted to your hearing aid can provide this or stream audio via blue-tooth. This should give you the distraction that you seek but might not help you habituate to the tinnitus long term. The reason being, as soon as the white noise or streaming audio is stopped, your brain will focus on the tinnitus. However, there is another way which will provide distraction from the tinnitus and will help you habituate to it with time and hopefully its perception will become less. Eventually you may be able to stop using white noise and just use your hearing aid if you wish.

      It is important to understand: the brain cannot habituate to tinnitus unless it can hear it. For this reason tinnitus should not be masked or covered up with a sound so it cannot be heard.

      Turn off the hearing aid completely. In the morning set the volume of the white noise just below the tinnitus and keep it there. When out on the street or in noisy surroundings try not adjust the volume control. If you keep adjusting the volume throughout the day, it makes it more difficult for the brain to habituate to the white noise.

      Keeping the white noise slightly below the tinnitus at all times, allows the brain to habituate to it and slowly it will push the tinnitus further into the background. Therefore, it is important that you don't stream music to the hearing aid, because all this will do is provide distraction from the tinnitus but will not help you to habituate to it.

      I wish you will well.

      Michael
       
    13. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      Great advice Michael.

      I have tried hearing aids in the past with white noise, but became discouraged when it didn't seem to help with my tinnitus.

      I had read about people who noticed an immediate difference with hearing aids in terms of tinnitus volume. I wasn't one of them.

      I wasn't aware that I would need to wear them for several months in order for the gain to be dialled down.

      Would it be worth a shot again in your opinion?

      Regards.
       
    14. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thank you very much for your advice Michael. I turned off the masking and use the hearing aid at the sound amplification setting only. It actually lowers the perception of my tinnitus quite well too. I used it for a couple of hours yesterday and it was comfortable. I still hear the tinnitus but it's less intrusive.

      I spoke to the audiologist this morning and she basically confirmed that I should try it with no sound enrichment indeed, using it only to take the edge off spiking days.

      Thank you for the advice regarding volume. I found that I needed louder enrichment outside, but with the sound amplification I don't really need it outside at all, which is good.

      I just checked and the hearing aid I am using doesn't allow for streaming music or videos, which is fine by me anyway. I stopped listening to music at all after I got tinnitus, but that's mainly due to depression.

      Thank you once again for your advice, it really helped me.
       
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    15. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for your kind comments @DebInAustralia

      A person with hearing loss can develop tinnitus, due to the brain increasing its internal gain to hear sounds from the outside environment. Once fitted with a hearing aid(s) the brain no longer has to struggle to hear outside sounds, so turns down its internal gain (volume) and over time the tinnitus will decrease, often to the point where it is no longer heard.

      If you have impaired hearing then you should consider wearing a hearing aid(s) to increase your hearing to optimum. Give it at least 4 to 6 months or longer to notice an improvement in the tinnitus. There is a specific way for people with tinnitus, to wear a hearing aid with or without a white noise generator. It should be introduced slowly to prevent it irritating the tinnitus. Wearing it for just 1 or 2hrs then take it off for the same duration. Do this throughout the day and for one or two weeks until you feel comfortable. Once this has been reached, increase the wearing time slowly until you are able to wear it for 6 to 8hrs.

      When using a hearing aid that has white noise fitted, turn off the white noise and use the hearing aid as mentioned above. When you are able to wear the hearing aid for up to 8hrs per day. Slowly introduce the white noise. Set the volume of the white noise slightly below the tinnitus and use if for 1 or 2hrs then turn it off. Do this throughout the day and for one or two weeks, the same as when you were first using the hearing aid. This will help to prevent any irritation to your auditory system and hopefully not spike the tinnitus. This is something that takes time so patience is required.

      You need to be using the white noise for daily for at least 4 to 6 months to start noticing improvement in the tinnitus. Keep the volume below the tinnitus. At night use a sound machine for sound enrichment.

      Michael
       
    16. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      I was wearing the hearing aid yesterday with no masking and only the sound amplification to the maximum level adjusted for my hearing loss.

      It felt ok actually, I got used to it very quickly. It noticeably reduced the loudness perception, and when I went to bed I even lowered my usual masking tape on my phone down a couple of notches. When I was waking up during the night the tinnitus was still quieter too.

      However, after I finally woke up for (maybe 4th time), the annoying high pitch that I had three days ago (before the hearing aid even arrived) was back.

      I hope that I may have more days like yesterday and less like today when using it regularly.
       
    17. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Whilst this is good news @Johan001, you need to be aware that this type of therapy takes many weeks and months until you start to see sustained improvement. Whether you are using sound amplification to increase your hearing to optimum or the white noise or a combination of both, you need to stick to a plan.

      Once this is achieved you need to be using it for 6, preferably 8 hours continuously per day.

      If you are constantly switching from one to another you will not achieve long lasting results. Take things slowly and try not to look for quick results. This is a treatment that takes time.

      Michael
       
    18. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thanks @Michael Leigh. My plan now is to use amplification outside with no masking. It makes outside noises more perceivable, which kind of works as sound enrichment on its own. I really like the idea of helping the brain to relax and register the lost frequencies, which could lessen the tinnitus. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that it lowered yesterday but it gave me hope. However, sometimes my tinnitus changes to a more high pitch eee, which scares me. On the good side, the screeching component seems to fade away.

      So, I’m amplifying outside, masking through speakers at night and at home and maybe running white noise for a short time when I’m anxious outside. So far, amplification works for me outside so I hope I won’t use the masking option that much.

      Both you and my audiologist state it is something that takes time, so I’m trying to not control my anxiety by thinking I’m in process of getting better, so this whole therapy should help somewhat.

      In any case, it’s money well spent so far.
       
    19. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I think you will do just fine @Johan001. Try and direct your thoughts to other things and this will take your mind off the tinnitus. Start a new interest or hobby and when you least expect it, you will only become aware of the tinnitus if you focus on it. Even then it will not bother you because you will have reached that place known as habituation. Habituation is not a myth as some people believe, I assure you it is as real as night follows day.

      Take care,
      Michael
       
    20. DaveFromChicago

      DaveFromChicago Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headcold/Flu
      Karl Marx once wrote that comparing Philosophy with the Real World was tantamount to comparing Masturbation with Sexual Love. (He really wrote this, and you have to admit that he had a pretty damn clever sense of humor).

      After eight years, for me (and I am only citing my own Experience) Habituation has been an acceptable substitute for Silence no better than would a lifetime of Masturbation have been an adequate alternative to Real Sexual Love.

      Once again, for me personally the disappointingly, mammoth inadequacy of Habituation has actually what has been as real as night following day.
       
    21. BuzzyBee
      Bookworm

      BuzzyBee Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      Keep reporting back! It may have been a coincidence. I had a similar experience one evening when I had to wear my hearing aid to listen to an important show on-line. I just wasn't hearing it properly so I wore the aid for a few hours thinking I'd pay later with increased MES or tinnitus. When I took it off to go to bed, I had a quieter night than usual -- less MES and static. I haven't been able to replicate the experience since then, but it's nice knowing that wearing my hearing aid for a few hours won't guarantee increased tinnitus (maybe the opposite!) when taking it off.
       
    22. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thanks Michael. What I see as a progress is that my sense of grief and anxiety in the mornings diminishes albeit relatively slowly. I just realised this morning that today I was waking up multiple times a night hearing the hissing but being able to go back to sleep again. This was impossible even last summer, where I'd get severe anxiety bout. With the hearing aid I can now go longer distances. I was walking 6 hours all the way from West London to London Bridge, just enjoying the scenery and parks. So this is some progress too.

      This morning at first I was a bit upset that my sleep was as usual broken. But then I think back about my 2 hour sleep nights a year ago and I see a big difference.

      @Michael Leigh, I'm using this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas and healthy prosperous New Year!
       
    23. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Karl Marx was a hypocritical schmuck who enjoyed living in the most affluent area of London off his family cash while provoking poor folks into rioting by producing all kinds of nasty manipulative propaganda that poisoned uneducated minds for centuries and led to so much bloodshed that left the crusaders look like saints.
       
    24. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      This is good news @Johan001, and I see steady progress for you. Just continue and try engaging in other things, as this will help take your mind off the tinnitus as you go through the habituation progress. Take things slowly.

      I didn't realize you are a Londoner like myself, born and bred, but now reside in Brighton. I will be travelling on the M23 to London tomorrow.

      Wishing you a Merry Christmas too and all the best for the New Year.

      Michael
       
    25. DaveFromChicago

      DaveFromChicago Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headcold/Flu
      If he (and all of his writings) were so thoroughly worthless and dismissable, did you ever ask yourself why he is still published in his entirety (especially by, for example the Oxford Classic Series) for the last 165 years to this day?

      I don't think I can morally communicate with someone who so unconditionally objects to "poor folk" expressing a refusal to accept conditions of brutal, abject oppression.
       
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    26. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      My main objection to Marx is his hypocrisy. It’s the same kind of behaviour as Meghan Markle preaching from her millions mansion to single mothers who lost their jobs, about how they need to go and get a job interview.

      I am surprised that someone from the US can be fond of such character as Mr Marx, but that’s your personal choice of course.

      What does disturb me though is that people on this thread discuss technicalities of hearing aids and Michael has given great advice on their use, which is also totally in line with the advice of my audiologist who has 20 years experience of treating tinnitus patients; then you just go off-topic by posting a quote from some historically dubious character to attack Michael’s statement on habituation.

      This is exactly the same as telling one legged guy who talks to another one legged guy that having a prosthetic leg is an “unacceptable substitute”. No one is saying it’s the same, of course they want a real leg same as all of us want tinnitus to go away completely. But we need to survive somehow today to be able to work to feed ourselves and our families.

      I don’t want to attack you personally because I understand that you have been suffering a lot, which, trust me, I still do as well. Three days ago I was in tears and sleepless. I just want to reduce the sufferance as much as I can with whatever means I have available. Bringing up so much negativity in threads like this one just adds anxiety to people like myself and those who read it as well. I hope this is not what you want to achieve by posting it.
       
    27. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thank you Michael! Yes, I live in North-West London. Hope you have a good journey tomorrow. I will keep you posted on this thread about my progress with the hearing aid.
       
    28. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thanks @Johan001. Give it at least 4 months to start noticing improvement and work towards using the hearing aid everyday. I'm originally from South London.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    29. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for your kind comments @Johan001. Whilst I do not have hearing loss I have some knowledge of it, as a good friend of mine is an audiologist and she works for the NHS. This coupled with my experience with white noise generators, has enabled me to help people using white noise generators with or without a hearing aid.

      Unlike the person you have refered to in your post I try to keep on topic. I wasn't aware he was still berating me, as I placed him on ignore some time ago.

      Thank you again for your kind words,
      Michael
       
    30. DaveFromChicago

      DaveFromChicago Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headcold/Flu
      You must understand that Michael Leigh has behaved like a thoroughly obnoxious bully whenever I even asked about or made the most minor criticism regarding his commentary.

      One example among many: His pig-headedness is very evident whenever he insists that there is no such thing as reactive tinnitus.

      I in fact know that I really do have this, and his insistence that I deny the reality of my very own experience is indicative of his asinine, know-it-all gaslighting attitude.

      And, what is up with you regarding this unbelievably hysterical reaction to any mention of Marx (and in fact to my commentary as a whole?)

      And what's with this weird Non Sequitur reference to Meghan Markle; I wasn't aware that she was discovered with a Che Guevara Black Beret with a Red Star.

      Did it ever occur to you that Michael Leigh is utterly uncredentialed regarding advice on hearing aids? Why are you regarding him as an expert when he has no formal training whatsoever?

      If my commentary is worthless, then why don't you just dismiss it without all this crazy rancor?

      Let me make something absolutely clear. Characters like you and Michael Leigh are not going to gas light-bully me into denying some quite obvious truths.

      And, if Michael is so accomplished, why don't you undertake his TRT Regimen and forget about posters like me?

      You should, by the way, know that it costs over $6,000.00. (Does your NHS cover this? No Health Insurance Carrier or Medicare in the US will provide anything, which in itself makes his Recommendations utterly, financially infeasible.)

      As a matter of fact, instead of this painfully neurotic attack against me, why don't you become a Full Adherent to Michael Leigh so that you can attain Total Habituation and thereby have no further use for this Forum?
       
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