How Do I Get Onto the Path of Habituation?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Keith D Mitchell, Nov 1, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Keith D Mitchell
      Worried

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      So I've excepted that the Tinnitus that I have is more than likely temporary and I'm sure i've driven my wife to the point where I have to stop talking about this so much. So my next step now is to figure out how I will go on coping with this, if not for me but for my family.

      That said, how/where do I start? I'm already thinking about speaking with another ENT, but I figured at this point there's not reason. Is there someplace I can go? Do I need to contact my medical insurance company and go from there? I really want to start as I can't stop listening for my T and the holidays are coming up and the last thing I want to do is be a burden on my family.

      Please help, I don't know where I need to start, despite reading the links available here.
       
    2. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Hey Keith. I feel your pain. Being that your T is quite new you still have a chance it is temporary and will go away. It just might take some time. When something is new like Tinnitus, your brain is constantly focused on it and unfortunately, there is really nothing you can do about it. Your brain perceives your T as a threat, so it focuses on it.- It's on high alert. As time goes by it gets less and less important and you think about it less. This is what happens when you habituate. Your mind, your body starts to lose interest and not thing about it so much. Right now however, you are probably thinking about it 24/7. That will change. You can't do much to force habituation, it just happens. Keep reading the forums, post questions and you will find great support here.
       
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    3. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
    4. meeruf
      Badass

      meeruf Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Diving
      Hello @Keith D Mitchell.

      Habituation is a long process for most people. We humans don't like changes we don't have control over. That's just how we are wired. If you had tinnitus since you were born I bet you would never even give it a thought. Just like you don't think about your nose all the time. (You can see your nose all the time, but you never think of it. Do you? :) )

      Here is a list that explains my habituation step by step.

      1. Realize that you have a problem
      2. Realize that your tinnitus most likely will stay. (This one is huge for habituation. I bet that's why so many here go to ENT after ENT. They just can't realize that this 'shit' aint going anywhere. So they continue to go to the doctors for a cure that don't exist. (I did that in the beginning too.)) If you can't accept this truth you will never habituate.
      3. Accept that you are suffering, and be okay with that. It's okay to not always be well. Take your time.
      4. Stop wishful thinking like 'what if' scenarios. Won't get you anywhere. It is what it is.
      When you have this three steps in check. Do this:

      1. Try to accept the presence of your tinnitus as it is in the present. Try to live with it. Ask yourself questions. Is it really sooo bad, or is it just an automatic reaction coming from your subconsciousness? Can you have no reaction to tinnitus for just 10 seconds? Try it. Later you try 15 seconds.
      2. Try to catch yourself every time you have negative thoughts and turn them around to questions. Avoid negative thought-loops. Make up another person inside you that hovers over your negative thoughts constant attacking.
      3. Alternative view on thoughts: You are not your thoughts and feelings any more then you are the photons hitting your eyes, you are the observer behind the show, so, why bother to take the thoughts and feelings any more serious then the photons? This is kind of hard to explain, but read up on mindfulness. It's alternative, but it's all we got right now and it helps. So, why not?
      4. As I said earlier, it's okey to suffer. Use the time it takes.
      5. Habituation will come slowly.
      Bonus tip: Listen to Alan Watts. (I have to be honest, I don't understand half the stuff his talking about, but just the way he is talking is healing itself. He has an incredible calmness.)
       
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    5. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      ^ Brilliant. Like this.
       
    6. Keith D Mitchell
      Worried

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      Thanks for the reply, however this bit confuses me. I was under the impression that once you got it, well it's a done deal and that it;s just learning to accept it. Are there proven cases where T has come and gone on it's own, well other than from drug use or trauma causing issues that is?

      What I find out is that my T now seems to be getting softer/louder on it's own and at times I swear its just not around. Usually after listening to some music or doing stuff I enjoy, I guess doing that time I'm just blocking it out.
       
    7. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      The path to habituation? Yes, I know the way.

      Take a right at the next traffic signal, go 10,000 miles until you come to a stop sign. Then wait 10 years, until there's a cure. };-)
       
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    8. Keith D Mitchell
      Worried

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      :(
       
    9. John Duck

      John Duck Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Keith - two of the responses that I've read on this post are REALLY good...
      I'll just add a couple of points to them...
      1.Other than having hearing protection ( musician's ear plugs in my case), for things like concerts that you may go to or operating electric lawn mowers etc...LIVE YOUR LIFE EXACTLY THE SAME AS BEFORE YOU HAD T.
      That would be the quickest way to habituation.
      T. does not deserve to dictate the way you live your life.
      If say , you don't have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine because you are afraid your T. may spike ...T. wins...
      Everyone is different. I know coffee makes my T. spike ( not that I could care less about that ) , but hey, in Canada it's cold up here !
      2. Sleep... If you are not getting a proper night's sleep because of your T. , try all the things the books say " avoid night coffees' , warm bath etc.." but if that doesn't work , you may want to seek professional help. I had to. I was on a prescription drug for sleep for 3 years... It helped and I noticed no side effects and tapered off it slowly....
      3. Trust the people on this site when they say that you can get your life back. You can. It does take time.Take my word on it, I know exactly how you feel.
      If you have any further questions , leave them on this post and I'll look at it tomorrow.
       
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    10. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      The Back To Silence method lets you sidestep the tinnitus and go directly to the problem that plagues you, which is your reaction to it. In a short time you'll not hear the tinnitus unless you "Listen" for it. This works.
      It's a way to actually force habituation.
      There's a mighty long string of posts on this thread. But basically this is what you do....
      STOP describing tinnitus sounds to yourself.
      When T is intrusive, you simply acknowledge the T and state how you feel.
      Like this: "I hear it, I'm calm." or "I hear it, I'm anxious."
      Over time you'll notice that your responses will become fewer and that can only mean one thing - You're hearing it less. I don't know HOW it works but it works. Many people here are now doing it and having success. Personally, it's been my cure. After 40 years of tinnitus, this is the best thing I've found. Even though my tinnitus is loud and constant, I'm only responding once every few days. The method made my responses drop drastically in the first couple months and is still working for me after 13 months. It doesn't require a doctor, money, or even time. It's easy but at the same time, requires dedication.
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/back-to-silence.7172/
       
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    11. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      For now you don't look for the way to habituation. You assume it's temporary and try as hard as possible to believe that. It's been two weeks since the onset ? Patience..If a few months later it's still there, you may assume it will stay..Meanwhile you can read the precious content of this forum. You will find the answer to at least most of your questions. That helped me in the beginning - learning about it gave me the impression I'm doing sth to help myself, knowing that no doctor will do that. Still, first thing to do if you can't detect any evident cause of your T is doing all the standard check ups.
       
    12. eric peterson
      Sporty

      eric peterson Member

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 10/2003 Increase: 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      who knows? who cares?
      Yes, stay off this site as much as possible early on. Get on with your life. You're going to be fine, irrespective of what some people have put in their responses. nearly 100% of all people go on to habituate within a couple of years, and most feel much, much better in just a few months. CBT and meditation can help. TRT if you're a really tough case. These things cost money, however. And for most people, they're unnecessary. Since you're just a few weeks in, I'd hold off on anything like that. Your T could just go away on it's own. If it doesn't, then take solace in knowing that you're going to go on to habituate, and live a perfectly happy life with T. There is no magic potion for habituation. Good news is, there doesn't need to be any.


      Good luck,

      Eric
       
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    13. brotherdday

      brotherdday Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/12/2015
      @eric peterson I know you said that you still mask at night. Can I ask what you use?? I am trying to grin and bear it at night (worse time) to try to get used to it rather than mask it but want some masking advice in case. I do get some sleep but also spend a lot of time awake listening to the sound and doing deep breathing to lower the anxiety. Thanks and keep on sharing your positive advice. Many especially newbies need it!
       
    14. eric peterson
      Sporty

      eric peterson Member

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 10/2003 Increase: 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      who knows? who cares?
      I personally use a small runner's ear bud that I got from Amazon and play White Noise Free on my phone. The app is free and has a million sounds. I doubt I need it at this point. I often knock the ear bud out at night and wake up with it out. But my gf is a really light sleeper, so I want to keep the noise down for her. These are the ear buds I use.

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002R2DCPY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00

      good luck,

      eric
       
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    15. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Hi @eric peterson
      Can you recommend reasonably priced musician ear plugs. Thanks Phil
       
    16. Atlantis

      Atlantis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
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    17. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
    18. eric peterson
      Sporty

      eric peterson Member

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 10/2003 Increase: 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      who knows? who cares?
      Those I'm sure are great. it's just up to you. if I use ear plugs, I use much cheaper ones. not the foam ones or anything... but I'm not dropping 200 dollars either. But I also do not ever go to concerts or terribly loud clubs. I'm fine in restaurants, etc., without ear plugs. So probably better to get advice from someone who regularly uses them. For me, the only concession that I make to my tinnitus, is to mask at night when sleeping. And even that I have on a timer to shut off soon after I fall asleep.

      Good luck,

      Eric
       
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    19. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Hi @eric peterson
      Cheers much appreciated your thoughts. Regards Phil
       
    20. Tha_b_man

      Tha_b_man Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/1/2009
    21. Tha_b_man

      Tha_b_man Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/1/2009
      Also, Pillowsonic stereo pillow speaker works well with iPhone sleep machine app.
       
    22. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Hello :) I am fairly new to this ugly T monster as well, going on about 7 weeks now.. I started off with seeing an ENT, getting an audiogram and following back up with the ENT. Basically, it was no help. I do have mild hearing loss which *could be* the cause, I'm also pregnant which *could be the cause* bottom line is they can't really tell me what the cause is. She basically shrugged me off and sent me with a referral to an audiologist. I myself haven't gone yet because these things cost money and I'm still very new to this. If you haven't seen an ENT or had an audiogram you may find it helpful just in reasurring yourself there isn't anything serious going on. And hey, maybe its somethg simple..

      Like yourself, I find days where my T is almost gone or at least where it doesnt bother me, followed by loud days where it is more intrusive. I had a LOT of anxiety about it in the beginning and still do on bad days.. On good days I think, Hey, I can live with this but I still focus a lot on what I'm hearing and the volume/tone etc. I know this is normal for us "newbies".

      My advise to you and what has helped me is seeing some sort of therapist to deal with the negative thoughts/anxiety that goes with this. I personally cannot take anxiety meds as I am pregnant so instead have been taking classes on meditation which help me during really bad days to gain control of my anxiety which does tend to lower the T volume as well. I've also been taking time out for me for occasional massages, acupuncture and other things to de-stress. My psychotherapist advised me to try and not talk about it too much with my boyfriend/family because they don't understand and it can cause negative affects to relationships to always be obsessively talking about your symptoms.. THis is harder said then done. I really have cut back with constantly describing the noise and my distress level to my BF and instead only say "wow, this is a bad day for my ears today." or "my ears are really sensitive, can you turn that down?". I seek support here because others know what I'm going through and I don't feel my obsessive,intrusive worries are a burden to the group (I've had nothing but support). Some people will also tell you to stay off this site in the early days, which I find almost impossible because it's one of the only places I get support and understanding.

      Also, go on with your life like everyone else says. I'm still going to work, playing with my kids, cooking dinner etc as before I had T just more cautious to external sounds/sugar, salt and caffiene triggers. Its hard but I can tell you in just 7 weeks for the most part I've made improvements as I'm not a blubbering mess like I was when this initially started.. Do I still have anxiety and sometimes "Freak out"? Yeah of course.. It gets overwhelming sometimes. BUT I really try to use my meditation techniques to kick that in the butt and busy myself with something else to avoid focusing on the sound. I also tried the back to silence method listed above and do that periodically.

      Everything I've been told and read here indicates T can vastly improve especially in the early period (up to 6 months) and go away without treatments like TRT/ CBT. After 6 months, it can still go away too but you're more likely to have it last. Even if it lasts, I've been told habituation occurs for most of us within a year to 18 months which, in the scheme of 80-90 years of life is really nothing, right? I can already feel myself improving (or habituating, if thats even possible ) at only 7 weeks in and still trying to kick my bad days. The good days are really really good though and keep me going. Today is a hard day for me, and I've been struggling but the thought that I just had 2 good days is my silver lining. Maybe tomorrow will be better too?..

      Sorry for typing a novel. :) just wanted you to know you are NOT alone.. :huganimation:
       

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