How to Habituate to Loud Ringing?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Martin69, Apr 30, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi all,

      I know that some of you already gave me support in the past.
      In particular Billie48 who also seem having very loud ringing.
      Dr. Nagler gave me the advise looking for a TRT specialist (I was already in tinnitus clinic and they explained me everything about T). I really don't know if it would make sense flying to London seeing another specialist.
      I also think about if I need to adjust life style changes, but I have a good job, great wife & familiy, hobbies etc.

      Nevertheless the ringing in my head is so loud (99% of the time), I cannot distract from it - whatever I do.
      I know it is just a sound (music of my brain), I try not reacting to it and live my day as I would without T (which is very difficult). I also avoid all kind of stress.

      The only thing that give me a little bit relief is listening to crickets, sometimes music and the neuromodulation DIY sounds. White noise makes it louder. The high-pitched sound is so loud that only the shower (mostly) covers it.

      So is it really just time, time, time until I habituate?
      If I read through the success stories, people speak about 6 months to 2-3 years (I really don't know how I whould make it 2-3 years with this sound).

      Is it that I need staying away from forums and not talk about T? At the moment I think the forums help me more than if I would stay away.

      So is it just living day by day (which is a great challenge) and hoping for the future getting used to it?
      I know that meds like Xanax, Diazepam etc. would lower my T for some hours. But I don't want to take (only taking AD for sleeping). I want to get used to it.
      Sorry for seeking support again.

      Thanks everyone and all the best for you.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Johno
      Dreaming

      Johno Member

      Location:
      Slovakia
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      What starts your tinnitus? Noise, drugs, head injury, stress or unknown cause?
       
    3. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Martin, whether you do TRT, CBT, MBTSR, NTT, TAT, PTM or whatever ... or nothing for that matter, that is entirely up to you. I sincerely wish you well regardless of the path you choose.

      But if the clinic you went to "already explained [to you] everything about T," then why are you asking how to habituate to loud ringing? I mean, if everything had already been explained to you, wouldn't you already know?

      Stephen Nagler
       
    4. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Stress. High-level stress. T was loud like a thunderstorm. My perception is it is lower now, but still problematic.
       
    5. LondonGirl

      LondonGirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Martin, you have said yourself that you are highly anxious. I sent you before details of what I found very helpful, Pregabalin, which is not a benzo and not addictive in the same way. It does not claim to lower tinnitus, but would address your anxiety so that you are in a calmer, more measured state to decide what tinnitus treatment you would like to pursue. I wonder if you are 'cutting off your nose to spite your face' by seeing medication as such a problem - obviously your own doctor would need to assess and consult with you personally.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    6. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Stephen.

      I appreciate again your time you spend for me.

      After all I have learned from you and this board, I think my clinician did really not explain everything. So you are right.
      For example they explained about damaged hair cells, about auditory contex, limbic system etc. They did exercises with us to concentrate on external sounds, gave us hearing aids, WNGs etc.
      My personal clinician also suffered from T, hissing in one ear and tea kettle in the other. She accepted it after six weeks and that was it.

      But what I have learned here on the board was for example that my anxiety caused most stress. They haven't seen this in the clinic. They told me to accept T and that's it. There were many people in the clinic, many with mild T who can only hear in silence. I need to say there is only one pure T clinic in Germany where I had to wait for five months for a place. So I was in a psychosomatic clinic with one main T part. So when we tried comparing our intensity and loudness, I felt being one of the more severe intrusive cases. But as you would say, it is all subjective.

      Most had other problems and T was not that big issue for them. So for example they can only hear in silence, have sleep problems, some were already much better with a hearing aid etc. So there were only some severe cases who hear it over all sounds, could not sleep even with sleeping pills, have multiple tones etc. They did the standard program and after six weeks sent home.

      They also explained to me that one can live with it. Shown me a graphic of ups and downs, but at the end it goes up.

      Maybe I am just not patient enough. Maybe I read too many horror stories on the board. I don't know.
      At the moment I am sitting in a park in the sun listening to birds and feel much better. But the desperation is huge that I will not be the laughing, smiling, joking father and husband again that I was before.

      So coming back to your question. Sorry for so many words taking your time for reading.
      In fact, they haven't told me how long it can or will take for severe, intrusive cases.

      Best regards,
      Martin
       
    7. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Yes. Thank you so much for your reply.
      I will see my doctor next Monday.
      Maybe it is because I am already 7 months after T onset and I am hoping turning the corner sooner or later without additional meds.
      And I have no more panic attacks, seldomly crying. I have the impression that I seem "to function" for the most part.
      But the T is highly annoying and my mood goes down day by day - at least in the morning hours it is really bad.
       
    8. LondonGirl

      LondonGirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Depression is always worst in the morning - it's well-documented medically and is down to the body's circadian rhythms and is called diurnal variation. Not that that makes you feel better, but you are most certainly not alone. Whatever you choose to do Martin, I hope you start to feel better soon and know that you are supported here. Take care.
       
    9. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Martin, severe intrusive tinnitus changes a person. You will not ever be the same laughing, smiling, joking father and husband that you were before this all started. You can become a better laughing, smiling, joking father and husband than you were before. Yes, it's true. Life for you can be better than before. Much better, in fact. But it will not ever be the same.

      That's how I see it, anyway.

      I'll keep a good thought for you and your family.

      Stephen Nagler
       
      • Like Like x 6
    10. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Stephen, this is so nice and exactly what I needed to hear.
      When I have reached that state I invite you coming to Germany into the Ruhr area.
      Hotel for one weekend will be on my bill - at least.

      I guess I should do this earlier that you can do some TRT with me. :)

      Thanks again.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Picking up on something @Martin69 wrote a few posts ago ...

      I really don't understand this "need" some of us have for life to be the same as it was before intrusive tinnitus - like intrusive tinnitus were something like a little scratch that heals completely in a few days. Intrusive tinnitus is a big deal. At least that's how it was for me.

      My wife is a cancer survivor - major surgery, chemotherapy, radiation. The whole bit. That was eight years ago. She is clinically free of disease at this point, but her life is not the same as it was before cancer. Nor does she expect it to be! Turns out that her life is better than it was before her cancer, just like my life is better than it was before tinnitus. But neither of our lives are the same. "Same" is a fantasy. Last I checked, life is reality - not fantasy.

      Stephen Nagler
       
      • Like Like x 8
    12. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Thank you and also all the best to you.
       
    13. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      I guess it is really ultra-loud today.
      Currently watching a movie (Hobbit II) and even the loudest scenes do not cover my T. :(
      But at least the movie distracts me from it.
      Let's hope it maybe goes down sooner or later.
       
    14. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      Sometimes people simply need reassurance or want second opinions. This is especially true when they are upset. I know sometimes when I am upset over something that I should know better about, I'll ask one of my friends who is in a more stable position than I am, "So remind me why things will be ok again..." and whatever his answer is will be something I already know. But the point of asking isn't to get new information, but rather for comfort.
       
      • Agree Agree x 6
    15. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      You are right, but that was not my point. I should have worded it better.

      Stephen Nagler
       
    16. kevin b
      Fine

      kevin b Member

      Location:
      Hope well junction, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      I can answer that- it is called "mourning". I feel like I have lost a part of me and I have. I certainly understand what you say you need to do to not have this control your life. but in the beginning for some it does, like it has for martin. I agree that you have to move on and build you new and better life and realize that you can do everything that you did before. No my life was not perfect before I got T, but l did not have this challenge before. I applaud the positive direction you and your wife have gone. I actually believe that most people that come on this forum will get better because they are looking for help and support instead of crawling in a hole. I would have never believed something like this would have thrown me for such a loop, but that is life, no promises it was going to be carefree.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    17. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Hi Martin, unfortunately for newer sufferers, T being a new sensation, the brain thinks it is highly unbearable and it tries to reject it but it can. So what happen? High anxiety, depression, sleeplessness or even suicide ideations will be the common reactions. When the brain thinks there is no way out, when it resists the present reality, it suffers. Just the sound alone cannot do so much damage, it is our distorted thoughts about the sound, and the repeated negative affirmations you put the brain through that cause all the sufferings.

      Where are the negative affirmations (or cognitive distortions in CBT)? By suggesting to your mind that if your high pitched T rings for a few years you would not be able to handle that, by thinking you will never be the same again (of course you think you will be worse and not better), by saying perhaps you read too many horror stories on the board, etc. etc. These are cognitive distortions that you need to challenge them like Dr. Nagler suggests in his Letter to A Tinnitus Sufferer. Make sure you write down all the anxious thoughts and challenge them by writing down more realistic or positive ones. I used to have WORD documents after documents on my desktop which I can click anytime to review how I challenged my distorted thoughts.

      We need to cut down the negative affirmations or negative self suggestions so that the brain will not be constantly in highly anxious state. Because when it is in that state, limbic system takes over and you reactions to T will be aggravated much more which affects your judgement. Also when you are highly anxious and stressful, T sounds much louder, at least in your perception because all your attention is on this 'threat'. So, try to remove the fear & stop taking T as a threat, because so many of us here with intrusive T and some even suicidal at one time are showing you with our lives that T is not the end game as your current state of mind is telling you). Keep up a positive but realistic approach. Get some treatments, TRT, CBT etc. whatever helps you. The worst thing is to keep on monitoring T and get anxious. As the Power of Now suggests, flow with life, accept the reality, do not put up painful resistance for things we can't change. If you cannot accept the present condition, ACCEPT that you cannot accept the current condition. You will have less anxiety if you do this.

      This way of practicing acceptance is not unique to the Power of Now. Being a victim of anxiety/panic disorder, I have read often suggestions that we need to learn to accept the horrible symptoms of anxiety & panic attacks. AND if we cannot accept the symptoms YET, we tell ourselves also we need to accept the fact that we currently cannot accept the symptoms, BUT that some time later we can accept the symptoms better. This takes the stress and anxiety off the brain and helps our coping with these symptoms. So I encourage you to be more positive and hopeful about the future so your anxiety level will go down.

      Read the success story of Meeruf and see how he changes his approach to help his thinking process, especially how he talks about being a Watcher of the Mind. This is a powerful concept in the Power Of Now to help control the thought process so you don't keep on taking the negative bait from the mind:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...from-the-tyranny-of-tinnitus-my-journey.2717/

      Also if you read post # 229 by Chrisarti in the Positivity thread, you get the same powerful message of healing by the Being within us, the Self as in Meeruf's post, and these are central concept from what I learn in the Power of Now. Never underestimate yourself in your ability to live with T and overcome it. God bless you, bro.
       
      • Like Like x 4
    18. here2help

      here2help Member

      martin69, Sigmund Freud once wrote that the “cornerstones” of a person’s life are to love and to work. It sounds like you have a lot of great stuff going on in your life: a job you like, a wife you love, and a wonderful family.

      Every so often during this difficult time, please remind yourself of that. And when you take time to consider how fortunate you are to be able to love and to work, remind yourself that these things didn’t happen to you by accident. In the same way you made these things happen in your life, you can put tinnitus in its place so that over time it no longer has the impact it has on you today.

      Don’t be worried that you can’t distract yourself from tinnitus. Habituating tinnitus has nothing to do with distracting yourself from it, so being unable to distract doesn’t decrease your chances to habituate. Habituation also has nothing to do with somehow trying to “make” ourselves not react to it, in the same way that falling in love has nothing to do with trying to fall in love.

      For some folks, the passing of time is all it takes. Other folks may need to take a different approach. I wouldn’t put any expectations or pressure on yourself on how long it will take. I wouldn’t use the success stories you’ve read where people say it took from 6 months to two or three years to habituate as a benchmark to measure your progress. As a rule, there is no rule.

      One thing that can stand in our way is to regard our tinnitus as special or unique. You are unique, and special to your family, but your tinnitus is no more unique than the pavement. Try your best to not get caught up in comparing your tinnitus to someone else’s.

      Try not to buy into your predictions about the sort of person you are going to be from this point forward. Tinnitus is no more capable of turning you into a different person than it is capable of giving a backrub or playing the saxophone. You may not have as much access to the “laughing, smiling, joking father and husband” at this time, but that side of you is still there and isn’t going anywhere.

      I like what MattK wrote about the importance of reassurance. The great majority of people with tinnitus will be fine. This is true whether your tinnitus is soft or loud, if it consists of one intrusive tone or several, if you are alone or surrounded by family, and whether you are anxious, depressed, or love bad 80s music.

      I strongly agree with billie48 on the power our own thoughts can have. Tinnitus distress has as much, or more, to do with what we think as it does with what we hear. We are what we think. If we think tinnitus can ruin our lives, and if we continue to think it and believe it, after a while that sort of thinking can become like a well-worn groove – a way of thinking we habitually return to until the thought seems as real as a bookcase. Our own thoughts can contribute to how anxious we feel.

      Learning to appreciate the impact of our own thinking on tinnitus, learning how to distinguish between a distorted, untrue thought and a realistic one, and especially learning (over time, but also with practice) how to not buy into distorted thinking and beliefs about tinnitus can make a huge difference. I would wish you good luck, but you don't need luck. The same person who went out and found that good job you have and met and married your wonderful wife is the same guy who can pull you through.

      here2help
       
      • Like Like x 6
      • Agree Agree x 2
    19. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I very much like @here2help's post except for one thing. He says that tinnitus cannot turn you into a different person, and from the thousands of tinnitus sufferers I have known over the past 20 years, I can tell you unequivocally that it can. How one meets and addresses the challenge of severe intrusive tinnitus will largely determine the person he or she will become - but it is rare indeed that somebody comes out of such a catastrophic insult unchanged.

      Stephen Nagler
       
      • Like Like x 1
    20. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      You are an amazing person here2help. This reply brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I love your compassion and understanding. I still read the post you wrote to me in my habituation thread whenever I feel discouraged.
       
    21. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi Martin,
      here2help and billie48 has really said it all and brilliantly I might add!

      I have been a sufferer of T for 24 years now and it has unexpectedly spiked to an almost unbearable level now,
      Because I had little help and advice back in 1990 I intentionally or unintentionally lowered my noise tolerance level by wearing earplugs everyday in a desperate act to rid myself of this horrid noise.
      I was unemployed so it was easy just to wake up when I wanted to and get up when I felt like it, and of course wear my earplugs whenever I went out.
      The T was an annoying hiss that was basically tolerable even with earplugs in, when I took the earplugs out all outside noise masked it and it was only at night that I could hear it.
      I had no trouble sleeping, the sound of my T was like the sound of silence but just louder.

      Fast forward to a month ago and I get a spike which has increased the volume to one I can hear over outside noise and only a running tap seems to mask it now. Got a feeling it may have allot to do with stress and maybe even my inverted wisdom teeth, anyways like you I have to habituate to this new level of noise, the only difference? because I have to wear earplugs everyday at work, (I am a truck driver) I can hear my T at deafening levels all day so only get a bit of relief when I'm at home.

      The important thing for you is support from your loved ones, and the way you think about your T!, I know I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't have support from my partner of 23 years, I keep asking her for reassurance on a daily basis.

      From my experience, the anxiety and panic attacks just make the T even more intrusive and as it's easy for others to say to abstain from negative thoughts, unfortunately or fortunately? it is the natural response.
      Stay strong and keep asking for reassurance, I start each day telling myself "It's just a noise and cannot hurt me" I think it helps, it will get easier and yes, writing this is helping me as well as I go through my habituation for the second time in my life.
      I think talking about it does more good than harm Martin especially this forum, it's full of amazing people who know exactly the right things to say!

      Try and stay positive bro!

      Rich
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Winner Winner x 1
    22. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi all,

      I want to thank you so much for your help and support again.
      It is really unbelievable how you all (in particular billie48, here2help and Dr. Nagler) help people and me going through this. I say it again: UNBELIEVABLE. Thank you.

      I take all your suggestions and continue day by day.

      Normally I never measure my T. It is loud anyway any day.
      But interestingly on Wednesday (when I started this thread), it was super-loud. And the day after, it was low as it was seldom before. It was possible covering it by environmental sounds outside. I have no clue why it was lower and I don't know if it was just my perception.

      In the meantime I found some relief by listening to cricket sounds. This interferes with my T and I can mask it. Gives me some relief - until the crickets drive me crazy. ;) And I still work towards my reaction. Easiest would be staying at home suffering. Hardest is going outside living life. I decided for the second. Really tough going through your day with T in your head and high level of anxiety in your brain.

      But as Dr. Nagler said: I never said it is easy.

      My biggest challenge is still work. Difficult to do with tension and anxiety.

      Thanks again and help us going through this.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    23. Gabrielle
      No Mood

      Gabrielle Member

      Location:
      Netherlands, Utrecht
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, maybe bad syringing
      I am reading those post above and then I saw the last post above from Martin69 and saw the day of writing... May 3, 2014.

      Tears fill my eyes.

      May 3th 2014... the day my T started....
       
      • Hug Hug x 1

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.