How to Deal with Really Difficult Episodes of Tinnitus, Fueled by OCD?

Discussion in 'Support' started by shiningdialga, Nov 21, 2019.

    1. shiningdialga

      shiningdialga Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      New here, so hi. I've also had OCD since 2008, but it has been well managed. I've also had tinnitus as long as I can remember - primarily a tv static-like sound or a high pitched tone, depending on the day. I had some difficulty initially, but eventually habituated to it and didn't even register it during the day. I could only hear it at night, and even then it really didn't bother me. However, as of late, it's been the center of my attention and it's scaring me.

      I've been feeling down in the last month, for no particular reason. It's most likely the drop in sun, since I live in New England and the days get really short, really fast. Working second shift doesn't help, since I'm practically in the dark the moment I leave the house. What kicked this off was that, for whatever reason, one night a couple weeks ago I noticed a new sound in my ears and had a full blown panic attack over it. Since that point, my tinnitus has been the center of my attention. I keep focusing on it, listening for new sounds all the time and getting upset when I can't mask it completely (the shower gets rid of it, but even general noise partially helps). I have an ENT/audiology appointment scheduled in about a month, and will hopefully be seeing a therapist in short order as well.

      Unfortunately, today has been an all-time low for me in this whole ordeal. The sound felt exceptionally loud this morning, and I just felt desperate, like I was losing control of this and my life in tow. Every time I hear the ringing, I feel something in the pit of my stomach like dread. I'm telling myself that this is going to haunt me forever and will only keep getting worse and worse until all I can hear is this screaming in my ears. However, I think a lot of this is fueled by my OCD. I don't think it's any coincidence that I reacted to the tinnitus like this after so many years of handling it just fine. I really don't think it's physically any worse than before - I recognize all the sounds from before. I've even had some pretty good days in the last week where I blocked it out for almost an hour. I'm just having an extremely hard time right at this moment, and I believe it's in part due to the OCD. I recognize the same type of thought pattern: it'll fade for a bit, then suddenly pop back into your mind for no apparent reason.

      So my long ramble aside, what do you guys recommend for dealing with really difficult episodes, even for just one day? This is the lowest I've felt in years and I just want to be able to handle these lows until I am able to see a therapist to start talking through it. Any recommendations?
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Michael B
      No Mood

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Diego
      Tinnitus Since:
      '11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      If you were able to habituate to tinnitus once, you can habituate again. I can't relate to having OCD, but you asked how people deal with difficult episodes of tinnitus even for a day?
      I have severe tinnitus and need to deal with it on an almost daily basis. I've accepted that I have it and understand that I often need to 'work around it'. I keep myself busy and attempt to distract myself from it. It works, even for someone in my situation. Admittedly evenings are more difficult. I use a sound machine at night which helps distract me from focusing on it. So for me, distraction is key.

      When all else fails, think of tomorrow. That's what I do.
       
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