How Bad of an Idea Is It to Just Stop Caring and Pretend I Don’t Have Tinnitus Anymore?

Discussion in 'Support' started by CompostInTraining, Feb 1, 2022.

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What’s the best way to deal with tinnitus?

  1. Fake it till you make it

  2. Take it safe and slow and wait for habituation/don’t make it worse

Results are only viewable after voting.
    1. CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      You can read my history if you want but long story short my tinnitus that I was habituated to for about a decade became a hyper fixation for me again after a period of insane stress and anxiety ~6 months ago and has dominated my life since.

      I want to just say fuck it and stop caring. Just do everything I used to do 6 months ago. Listen to music again, read in silence, watch movies and shows without caring if the volume is slightly too high, stop checking it every damn second. I have some degree of reactivity that I’m sure is just from me expecting and monitoring it constantly. If I just fight through and do everything I used to do would that be a bad idea? I don’t mean being reckless and destroying my ears but just living a semi-normal life again.

      Part of me is terrified I’ll spike it further and end up in the psyche ward but part of me thinks this is the only way through and a few weeks of potential suffering would give me my life back. I see so many people shrink their lives smaller and smaller to mitigate suffering and I am on that path and the idea of having no sound in my life, of giving up everything that was ME sounds worse than death.

      What’s the opinion of the group here?
       
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    2. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      I don't know, we all have different experiences and tolerances.

      Though I know it isn't absolutely true, functionally I can't imagine it really being much worse so I have long ago said fuck it and do the best I can with life. I wouldn't stand in the front row of a death metal concert without ear protection, but shore of that motorcycles, music, parties, who cares. Whatever, if it sucks and hurts too and I can't take it I'll stop, but shit I already have a crazy ass loud (50-55-ish dB) unmaskable multitone fluctuating ultra-high pitch 24/7 screech so I'm not entirely sure what worse would mean.

      Already half dead in a lot of ways so might as well live the best I can with the pieces of my mind that are remaining.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      That’s exactly my feeling. It’s already with me 24/7 so what could really change by living life? At least I’d get some enjoyment and happiness between the misery.
       
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    4. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      And if by some chance habituation is in your future, being happy-ish and occupied would surely accelerate the process. Too often people on this forum are so PTSD-ed by this horrible thing that they become afraid of everything. It doesn’t mean doing something purposely dumb, but hell what’s the worst thing that can happen at this point?
       
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    5. Shelbylynn
      Vegged out

      Shelbylynn Member

      Location:
      Fresno, California
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/lifelong music abuse
      How do you measure your tinnitus by dB?

      Just by seeing if sounds mask your tinnitus and how loud they are?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 3
    6. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      Ear balling it so to speak. I got it measured once but I had to stop because it was too painful when they turned up the volume high so never got a good reading.
       
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    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You have the right approach to tinnitus and I understand your disquiet but unfortunately you're going about this in the wrong way. It is quite possible to return to a normal life and enjoy music as you used to do but some prudence is required otherwise there's the risk of making your tinnitus worse, and believe me that is not a good place to be. Since your tinnitus is noise induced my advice is not to use any type of headphones including earbuds or headsets, even at low volumes, as there's the risk of making the tinnitus worse.

      Please go to my started threads and the posts: New to Tinnitus, What to Do. Tinnitus, a Personal View, The Habituation Process, Tinnitus and the Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset, Hyperacusis, As I See It. These will help you to move forwards with treatment suggestions and learning to adopt a more positive attitude to life and tinnitus. It takes time but a lot can be achieved.

      I wish you well.
      Michael
       
    8. volsung37

      volsung37 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      As someone who has been through this process a couple of times. It’s natural to try and protect yourself during the first few months of onset or re-onset. You hope something you do will help get rid of the noise. After a while you realise nothing helps so what’s the point of depriving yourself of coffee or a glass of wine. That’s when your brain says ‘fuck this, I’m going to enjoy myself despite this condition’ For me that’s usually about the 6 month period. Some might reach that point sooner.

      I am back for my third round with tinnitus after the Pfizer jab and am still in the protecting myself mode.
       
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    9. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      As someone who would kill for a buzz or a hiss, I’d say it’s a very bad idea going through some sort of denial with a physical health condition...

      You can compare it to someone with diabetes not giving a shit about blood sugar levels.
       
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    10. Rainer

      Rainer Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I'd think that's like going to the gym with a broken bone.

      Not a good idea, because the fracture will never heal as long as you do that.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Appreciate everyone’s input here but I don’t really understand the point of hiding away like a hermit. Hiding from sound only seems to make me more sensitive when I am exposed to it and nothing about living in the quiet has made the tinnitus any better. I don’t think there’s any actual “healing” to be done. Been doing this for 6 months and literally every “success story” I’ve ever read boils down to “once I stopped caring I started habituating”.

      Looking back I think I phrased my original post in a way that makes it sound like I’m going to be reckless and start using a chainsaw for 6 hours a day without protection but I just mean living a life again. Now maybe you did understand me perfectly and still think that’s a bad idea and you’re entitled to that but I just don’t see this as a life worth living.

      I’ll let everyone know how it goes.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      The ears don’t heal. Once the damage is done it’s done. Besides, my noise trauma was 11 years ago. It becomes a mental exercise at this point.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    13. SR88

      SR88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      • Agree Agree x 3
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    14. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      We are all different both physically and mentally so only you can find your best path.

      This is my take after thinking about what you said:

      The good parts about saying fuck it are to accept this condition, don't obsess about it, don't measure it and count it all day, don't fear it, don't get consumed with catastrophic "what if" thinking. It happened, you can't change that and a more relaxed outlook will help you deal with this and will help with healing/coping. This is a good thing and hard for some to master. This is the most constructive part of your approach.

      However, as mentioned by previous posters in the beginning treat this like a broken bone that you have to stay off of so that it can heal. Use that time to find out what you can handle, listen to your body. A devil may care attitude can be just as unhealthy if "fuck it" is not well managed, particularly in the beginning. Kind of a reverse panic mode. Powering through this at full throttle can result in a worse overall outcome.

      I like you wanting to get back to a normal life and not wanting to let this control you but listen to your body and reintroduce sounds at a measured pace. Listen to the poster with the death metal concert analogy.

      All the best brother,
      George
       
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    15. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      There is no one right way to deal with this. Your attitude to get back to a normal life is excellent. Just make sure that you play the movie forward in your head and be certain that you're OK with it getting permanently worse than it is now if you go too fast as one of the outcomes (of course a totally positive outcome is also possible). If it's that important and you need to try normal right now then you will have made your choice and it will be the right choice for you. Please keep us posted.

      All the best,
      George

      Edit: What worked for you last time?
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      To be honest I’m not sure what worked the first time. It was before the internet was so ubiquitous so I didn’t even think to google it or join a forum. I just lived my normal life (unfortunately at a loud distribution center) until I stopped noticing it every second. It took around 6 months before I started to not notice it all the time if I remember correctly and maybe another 6-12 before I was full on habituated. But it’s hard to remember exactly.
       
    17. makeyourownluck
      Sad

      makeyourownluck Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      It’s a tricky one but I think it all comes down to your personality type and whatever mental health conditions you have acquired in your lifetime. Some people are more able to live with the consequences of their actions, and can push by obstacles/setbacks in life. Seems you are torn here, a happy medium is probably best.
      My dad is like this and it scares the shit out of me. He literally doesn’t care about his diabetes, tinnitus, chronic pain, etc etc. He point blank refuses to modify his lifestyle - “want to enjoy myself while I can”. He is so damaged, while at the same time indestructible. It’s crazy.

      He lives a completely normal life and seems genuinely happy, so who am I to judge. Some people are just hardwired differently.
       
    18. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      The ears can worsen very quick, so I would not risk it by being exposed to loud sounds carelessly. There can be always worse, so I do not play those games.

      I do care and use hearing protection and am careful with noise exposure. For me it's the only way, but other people may feel more comfortable with a different strategy.
       
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    19. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      Figure out what’s the most important to you and go with it. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that being headstrong and aggressive about getting back to normal removes all the risk of further damage. You can ignore reality but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. As long as you thought all that through then do whatever support your priorities.

      George
       
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    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I don’t plan on being careless. I just don’t want to be afraid of everyday sounds anymore.
      I’ll keep y’all posted.
       
    21. Magwell
      Doubtful

      Magwell Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis, noise, stress
      @CompostInTraining, I understand how you feel. I was relatively habituated for 13 years and now am experiencing a major setback along with hyperacusis that has brought me back to the fear and anxiety cycle all over again. I feel like I am completely starting over, completely devastating unable to cope.

      Do you have trouble sleeping? This is one of my biggest problems. A few months back I could sleep through anything and any volume of my tinnitus. Now I don't know how to get there again. I too cannot believe how I got here again and how fast I have slipped down the rabbit hole once more. But I know it took time, and time is what will habituate us again. As I sit hear in knots writing this I think you have the right attitude to get back to normal. I know I am not there yet... :huganimation::(

      Maggie
       
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    22. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      Best of luck on your journey,

      George
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hey, I’m so sorry to hear that. I had a lot of trouble sleeping when this relapse (?) first happened. I actually ended up in a psyche ward because of it. What really helped me was Mirtazapine. Basically the first dose I was back to sleeping again.

      It is so upsetting how quickly years and years of habitation can just crumble to nothing and you have to crawl back up from it. I know you will though, I don’t know how long but you’ll get there again.
       
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    24. Beep Boop Bop
      Sad

      Beep Boop Bop Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Shock
      I think about this every single day and have yet to come up with an answer. What's worse: Living a shitty life where I'm basically a hermit and have no joy or social interaction, or living a normal life with the risk of tinnitus potentially getting worse?

      I'm not even asking to do loud things like going to concerts or bars. I just want to be able to go to a damn store without having a panic attack. I've read countless anecdotes from people who have had tinnitus for years and haven't altered their lifestyle, and it hasn't gotten worse for them. I also know people who have tinnitus, including my dad, who mows the lawn, vacuums, and uses power tools with no ear protection. He literally doesn't care for some reason. I think we tend to forget how many people with tinnitus must be living normally, because all we hear about online is people who don't leave their houses anymore. But I still can't unsee all of the horror stories. People who drop a fork on the floor and their tinnitus becomes screaming loud. And it's terrifying that there's no statistics for any of this.

      If we knew how many cases actually worsen over time, it would be easier to make a judgement call.
       
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    25. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      Your thread title is "How Bad of an Idea Is It to Just Stop Caring and Pretend I Don’t Have Tinnitus Anymore?" and you've said:

      but then within the same thread you've said:

      The antithesis of caring is not caring. Likewise the antithesis of care is carelessness. So your two statements are contradicting each other, making your own personal distinction of the two very hard to pinpoint for someone reading.

      What exactly is between care/caring and carelessness/not caring in your world?

      Right. In the same way COPD sufferers don't want to be afraid of viruses, air pollution and household aerosols anymore; so they should just smoke em' up Johnny! ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) y-~~

      Anyway, despite the overwhelming warning you've been gifted with in the (current) results of the poll, you seem to have answered your own question, as living like a "hermit", however you're choosing to define that, is obviously the deal breaker for you; so you really can't lose. Either you live as you did pre-tinnitus and it turns out to be a major success for you, or, you f*ck yourself into an unliveable nightmare from which there is no waking (or sleeping, for that matter); makes no odds, because you couldn't have lived with the alternative anyway, right?

      The way I see it, is if you're still asking this question, then you haven't plummeted far enough, the depths to which this condition can take you.

      So yeah, just say f*ck it! Smash a few glasses on your kitchen floor (like @Snake); blast the music on your headphones while you "mix and master", like the man and legend, Robson Healy \m/(`ᗝ´)\m/ !! Because "tinnitus is all in the mind", man. And I'll have a hug emoji waiting for you in the Suicidal thread when I see you there.
       
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    26. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      meme.jpg

      Phil Collins - I Don't Care Anymore...
       
      • Funny Funny x 2
    27. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower, rock band, constr & comp shooting, chemo
      Phil Collins is an interesting choice. I’ll add Clapton, Townsend, Young, Sting, Osbourne, Johnson, Beck, ...

      George
       
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    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I don’t really understand the hostility here, did I do something to you?

      I’m sorry I was apparently so contradictory you needed to write a snarky response to it. I am not going to go to concerts without protection (nobody should anyway), and I specifically said living a life like I did pre 6 months ago, not pre tinnitus.

      I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for my grave transgressions. If not, your energy is probably better spent not attacking random people on the internet for “funny points”.
       
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    29. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      The next Tinnitus Talk Podcast has that data, I think it was something like a bell shaped distribution 15% better over time, 15% worse, and the rest unchanged, but don't quote me on those numbers, they are certainly a little bit off.
       
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    30. kingsfan
      Haunting

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Coolifornia
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      You know your tinnitus by now, yea? You have had it for many years. Are you positive that your loss of habituation is not from your tinnitus worsening?

      If not, and you just somehow got stuck in a negative feedback loop... then if nothing affected you before you should still be fine now?

      I don't know. This forum definitely contributed to my fear of sounds, though some of it had to do with my actual experiencing a life changing worsening from sound just 5 weeks into this whole mess.

      I've been seesawing back and forth from avoiding sound to going back to normal life for the past 15 or so months now. I'm in the same state of mind you are with the whole thing. It's quite a predicament.
       
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