How Habituation Occurred For Me

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by PaulaH, Jul 29, 2015.

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    1. PaulaH

      PaulaH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Health anxiety
      I had heard the word "tinnitus" before but never gave it much thought. At first, it was annoying. I waited for it to stop. When it didn't, I became frightened. I became a nervous wreck. In addition to the ringing, my ears alternately were muffled and I had hyperacusis which compounded the fear. I was terrified of going to sleep because I was terrified of waking up with it! When it didn't go away, I slipped into the darkest depression of my life. I never contemplated taking my own life but I agonized over how I was going to live my life with tinnitus. I read everything I could about it. I was at different times discouraged or encouraged by what I read. Dr Stephen Nagler is wonderful. Julian Cowan Hill was very encouraging. Check Google and You Tube for more on these 2. They helped me more than anyone else. I have had tinnitus for 11 months. I have habituated and most of the time I hear silence. If I keep listening to the silence, I will hear the ringing. It's as simple as that. I can choose to distract myself and get back to living and consequently no tinnitus, or I can stay in that place of distress and play mind games with myself such as "On my God, it's louder" or "I can't stand it; it's never going to go away."

      I try not to beat the drum of what I do not want in my life. I was online quite a bit initially searching for answers and understanding, but what led to habituation was staying off line and thinking about tinnitus as little as possible. I stopped trying to mask it. I stopped asking other people "can you hear that?"

      I believe my tinnitus was brought on by a very signifiant health scare. Mine was distressful and intrustive...I rated it an 8/10. My step-father was in a war and believes the subsequent loud sounds of explosions are what triggered his tinnitus. He rated his a 10/10. He, too, has completely habituated and can hear the sounds of tinnitus only if he strains to hear it.

      Take heart if you are suffering or discouraged. Stop being consumed by the shock and fear of having something happen to you that you feel you cannot control or turn off or get away from. You cannot stop thinking about tinnitus by trying not to. The more you try NOT to think of something, the more you will think of it. What worked for me was disracting myself with a different thought, a new thought. My mind would follow and the tinnitus despair would subside as I lost myself in the new thought. Gradually, distracting myself became automatic. I'm scared - think a new thought. I woke up terrified hearing the ringing - think a new thought. As simplistic as it sounds, for me - it worked. I began to have longer and longer periods when I heard no tinnitus because I truly was distracted. I was gentle with myself as I began to practice this. It's hard at first because you're suffering. If I returned to the fear of tinnitus, I would listen to music or watch You Tube while my ears twittered away. Distraction comes in many forms. As an aside here, unpleasant tasks like balancing the checkbook are major distractors. Physical movement of any kind works like a charm. Basically, anything that requires you to participate instead of just sit and stew. I was going to close by saying Don't Give Up! but the truth is I believe if you do nothing but stop reading about tinnitus and searching for answers and documenting the loudness of your tinnitus at any given time that you will habituate.
       
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    2. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      win.jpg
       
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    3. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      @PaulaH
      Thanks for your encouraging report. I really wonder why T goes into background for many, but for others not.
      Is it your attitude, loudness, frequency? I really don't know.
      My T is like the old CRT TV signal (ultra-high), sometimes multiple tones and loud today.
      Have no clue how this can go into the background and you have to search for it (can hear it even in the shower).
      But good that things are better for you.
       
    4. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      @Martin69 I am sure you have had several moments, short or longer, where your mind was focused on something else and you had 0% thoughts on T -> you were not aware of your T at all? I believe this happens to ALL people with T, regardless of how severe their T is. The more you are habituated, the more you have these moments. This is how I see habituation.
       
    5. melfreeman08
      Blah

      melfreeman08 Member

      Location:
      Orange County, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/26/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sinus Infection
      Thanks Paula! I have not habituated but I have had several days where I don't think about it and I can only imagine that's how I'll feel once I habituate. I do notice the more I do, the more things I immerse myself in the less I think about T. I start a new job soon, and I'm excited at the prospect of it being a great distraction from T! Thanks for your story!
       

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