I am Confused About Habituation...

Discussion in 'Support' started by Kathi, Jul 10, 2014.

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    1. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      I think I'm on the road to habituation but I'm not sure what to expect. My T doesn't upset me anymore and I do 'forget' about it for short time periods but then I still hear it most of the day. Sometimes it gets a lot lower--I don't know if those days are because that's the nature of T or if it's part of habituation. Sleep always makes it come back loud in the morning--a ringing sound. This sound changes as the morning wears on. ..sometimes getting low (about 2-3 days a week) or it becomes a high pitched whiny hiss sound that seems to encompass my head. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat, how much I sleep or what I'm doing.

      When one habituates does one 'forget' about T for most of the day? Will it always be reset by sleep? Will I have to 'listen for it' to hear it? I find that hard to believe--or will I hear it all day but not care? I'm getting there--like I said, it doesn't upset me anymore but I do find it annoying sometimes.

      I'm living my life--I work, socialize--have fun and feel I am coping well. If I have to, I know I can live with it at this level but I would hope it will get some better.

      Anyone have any thoughts about this?
       
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    2. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      @Kathi congratulations! From my experience you are doing great. T is always there but you don't concentrate on it. It will be eventually there but you'll say what the heck. You will say I think it is loud here should I stay or put my plugs in? I am so happy for you. Now don't take life for granted and be a good person. God Bless. Ken
       
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    3. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Thanks Ken! but it sounds like you think I'm habituated...if that is so then habituation is not what I thought it would be. I must've had unrealistic expectations. Like I said, I can live with it at this level--I just thought it would be a little easier. Maybe in 10 years or so I'll get to the 'have to listen for it' stage. :)

      It's true what you say about thinking it's loud and using plugs. Last night I went out to dinner with two of my closest friends. We didn't realize that they would have live music and when it started I couldn't hear my friends at the same table so I put in my ear plug (I have unilateral T). We soon left because we couldn't keep up our conversation.

      I hope that you are progressing on your journey to re-habituate. God Bless you and yours too.

       
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    4. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yeah I'm confused too. I can do things now I couldn't before at the start...sleep, excersise, go out with friends a bit here and there, go for drives, etc. My anxiety is getting better to a certain degree as well, I don't freak if I get a spike, I don't get full blown panic attacks like I used to. I am sitting in this quiet room typing and I am fine, annoyed a bit, but ok.

      I however don't enjoy things like I once did, and I feel I have very little interest in anything that I did before. Also, my personality has changed, I don't laugh a lot, and just don't care about much in general.

      Am I habituated but my personality and way of thinking are now changed? Or will it all come back? Does it all come back to the point where you are 90-100 percent you again? Almost like nothing happened?
       
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    5. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      My brother got tinnitus years 15 odd years ago. He told me he forgot about it until the moment I told him I had tinnitus. He does not know how loud it is, but he told me it is loud enough to hear most of the time (same for me).

      Forgetting about is is probably as good as it is going to get if it comes to habituation. If a 500 euro tinnitus cure would exist and I would give him 500 euros he would definitely buy a new television.

      If there is nobody to listen, does a falling tree make noise? If you truly forget about it tinnitus does not exist. If your tinnitus is roaringly loud, this might not be a reality. But for most people it is. My tinnitus is 18kHz @ about 15 dB. I consider this very mild, although I am able (hyper monitoring) to hear it almost everywhere. I can imagine to forget it until the moment some one reminds me of it. Currently I am myself the person who is reminding me of tinnitus.
       
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    6. Quentino
      Tired

      Quentino Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Decrease of Hearing i presume.
      I think your habituation is in progress. Seems like habituation is also about changing his mind to developping a new "joy of life", for some people ( those who live like before T are lucky in some way)
       
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    7. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      From my experience(s) as habituation is in progress I say to myself I can live with this. Then there comes a time when I stop saying to myself I can live with this. I just LIVE! I had a good ten year run:) now I'm only 7 weeks into this relapse. I get sad but I do not freak as much. I guess I know the drill. I estimate 4 more months before I start habituating, then approx 3-5 month fully habituated. I hope it goes according to my relapse history.
       
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    8. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Hi ken, is your relapse because your your T went up? Or is it because it's just bothering you once again?
       
    9. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      I don't like the word "habituation" because people often use the word to refer to two different things.

      There are two different habituations...

      1) Habituation of Reaction - this is where you hear it but it's of no importance and thus you don't react.

      2) Habituation of Perception - you really don't hear it unless you search for it and if you do occasionally hear it you quickly can forget about it because it's no big deal.

      Now, the process is that once you achieve 1) then 2) will inevitably come about.
       
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    10. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      This thread's been a great help to me as I've wondered the exact same thing. It's as if I wrote it. I never really know how far I'm habituated, as I don't really know what level of habituation I will ultimately reach is this as good as it gets? Or am I only at the beginning? I guess only time will tell.
       
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    11. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      I was habituated (or at least, that's what I would consider it) for about 25 years, and I mostly forgot that I had tinnitus, except when it was quiet at night. But I had no trouble sleeping then, and it didn't affect my life, or cause me any anxiety. That's how I would define habituation: You are pretty much able to live your life normally, and your tinnitus doesn't bother you.

      Now, however, since I took an ototoxic drug back in 2010, I am again in the process of habituating. It is taking me a lot longer this time around, and I still haven't totally gotten to where the tinnitus doesn't bother me. Also, I still feel some anxiety occasionally. But I am so much better than I was this time four years ago! There is hope for each of you that your tinnitus will get a lot better; just give it some time, and find ways to distract yourself and live your life!
       
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    12. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      You asked a question I can't answer. awoke May 22, 2014 morning dizzy and spiked T. Went to ENT and he said it could be a virus? Gave me Steroids and antivert. Dizziness gone working on the spiked T. Just another relapse in 24 years of T.
       
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    13. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      #2 sounds like science fiction to me - i.e. it means that you're cured of the condition. If you don't hear it than it's not there.
       
    14. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Thank you for your thoughts. I must still be on Habituation of Reaction. Somehow I doubt I'll have to ever 'search' for my T to hear it. It seems that everyone I talked to with T at work who have to listen for it didn't have the emotional reaction of terror when they first noticed their T. They went to the doc and learned they had T and then just got used to it. No one seems to have suffered for months/years with it.

      I'm wondering if I had T for a while before the permanent onset. I can remember hearing it a couple of times when I was watching television -- but minutes later it went away. That was before the events that stressed me to the max the last few years.

       
    15. Ray Seddon
      Amused

      Ray Seddon Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Western Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1985
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unprotected hearing damage - highpowered firearm, open-cab tractors...
      Thanks Sunshine - This is uncanny - you wrote your post describing exactly my T journey as well. (I am on my way to my second habituation. Hard going but I'll get there). This time I am using 'distraction' sounds (I prefer 'distraction' to the word 'masking' because I can't mask or blot my T out - it ramps up the louder the distraction sounds get, so now I don't try). I distract myself with sounds, especially all night, before sleep and if I wake (rarely) I concentrate on the distraction and forget about T. I totally agree with you. Cheers.
       
    16. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      Very simple- their volume was low enough for them not to cause an emotional reaction or terror. And they just went on with their lives.
       
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    17. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      It's disheartening that it's been four years and you haven't re- habituated. It helps me realize that my expectations are unrealistic. Thank you for all the words of encouragement! :)

       
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    18. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      @Kathi,

      My habituation may be taking a lot longer than average, for a couple of reasons:

      1) I'm an older person (although I feel younger than my years!) I'm 68 years old, and everything at this age takes longer to heal!
      2) I have both regular tinnitus and pulsatile tinnitus. The pulsatile tinnitus in itself has caused me a lot of stress, because it is supposed to be vascular in nature and may be curable. I've had a lot of tests, but nothing was found. That in itself has kept me focused on the tinnitus/pulsatile tinnitus for longer than I would have been otherwise.

      Please don't be discouraged; I'm so proud of you and how far you have come! I believe you are truly on the road to habituation, and that you will get there soon.

      Best wishes and hugs,
      Karen
       
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    19. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      @NeoM Is right. @inadmin I had that happen. I had 10 beautiful years of it was there just there. Seldom a bother at time just like a fluorescent light that buzzes. Oh there you are that is it. I'm in a relapse why I don't know but will get to 1 and 2 again. Still early in my 8th week. I know it takes time. God bless.
       
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    20. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      @Karen 68 year young! Question from your onset 5/2010 did you ever 'learn to live with it'? or are you still learning? Also how much better is it from the onset? Thanks, Ken
       
    21. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      @Ken219.

      Great questions! My actual onset of tinnitus was about 1985 (can't remember the year), due to loud sound exposure. Yes, I definitely learned to live with it then. I didn't notice it, except in a quiet room, and then it didn't bother me at all.

      From the onset of my relapse (5/2010) --- I'm still learning to live with it. That's because, this time around, I had much louder (roaring) tinnitus, plus pulsatile tinnitus, plus adrenal fatigue, plus anxiety. Also, I got myself off beta blocker drugs in 2010, and it took months for my blood pressure to settle down after that. Now, things are much calmer, and I am on the road to habituation! On a scale of 1 - 10, I was at a 9 to 10 at the beginning, and now I'm mostly at a 4.

      Hope this information helps!

      Karen
       
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    22. alifalijohn

      alifalijohn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/14

      Hello Karen , like your post!.your are very encouring! God bless!
       
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    23. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      @Karen thank you I'm glad you are getting there. Why did you get off the beta blocker? I'm on toprol xl. 25mg
       
    24. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi,@Ken219

      That's the one I was on, too --- Toprol XL. I had a lot of bad side effects from the blood pressure drugs, including pulsatile tinnitus, nervousness, aches & pains, and the worst one --- pounding heartbeat about 1 hour before it was time to take the next dosage. I don't know how common that is, but it was a real problem for me. Also, I felt like a zombie on the medicine. My blood pressure went up back in 2010 because of a lot of stressors: My job, my mother's death, my daughter's wedding, etc.

      Now, my blood pressure is back under control again. I'm not on any blood pressure drugs, and I take natural supplements, including fish oil, magnesium, and COQ10. Also, I discovered a supplement that works for me (for blood pressure) called CardiTone. I take one tablet per day; it has taken many months, but my blood pressure is now normal. I don't recommend that for everyone -- it's just that it works for me.

      I hope that the Toprol XL is effective for you, with minimal side effects!
       
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    25. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      @Karen after heart attack and stents 2005, I take beta blocker, ace inhibitors, cholesterol medication, Plavix, 81mg aspirin. I started these medications many years after I got T. I don't think any of the medications changed by T. I guess I was lucky.
       
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    26. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Kathi don't try to define habitation. As long as you stop reacting negatively the rest may or may not follow. I remember always thinking to myself this must be habituation. Then more time went by and I thought well no this is it. And it kept going. I got to a point where t was so boring to me that I couldn't focus on it no matter how hard I tried.. none of it was done purposely it was like breathing very natural little I had no control. Don't worry how long it takes every one else. Habituation of perception is no myth, not to me anyway and my t is not maskable even even in the shower I have moments when I hear it. Good luck everyone. (

       
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    27. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      @Karen,
      I didn't realize you have pulsatile tinnitus also. I don't know how you cope. You are truly an inspiration! I am not a spring chicken myself, I just celebrated the 22nd anniversary of my 40th birthday! :) At onset of T, I had no choice but to keep working for the wonderful medical benefits I have (I work for a healthcare org.)--not to mention the salary --so I think that is aiding my habituation. I have to get out in the world everyday. I still get a tad anxious on Mondays--knowing the office is so quiet--but I play the blue noise on TT's Audio or some soft music to help. When I find myself worrying, I just make myself realize that I've done it for over 8 months now and I can do it. I also have an IPod and play audio books or Mozart. :) Usually when I get into my work the T gets pushed to the background or I forget about it for short periods. I'm also very grateful that my mind is sound, so far my body is sound and I have many good things in my life. I almost lost my spouse twice and he's fine now--a real blessing.

      Warmest regards and hugs back at ya!
      Kathi
       
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    28. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      @cullenbohannon --that's good advice--not to compare it to how long it takes others. That's not really what I was trying to find out. It seems like habituation is something different for everyone and I was trying to find out the answers to my OP.

      I'm so happy for you! You really have made wonderful progress. :)

       
    29. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Cullen, your words are very encouraging for all of us.
      Of course sometimes I think why has this guy already habituated, but I am not.
      But I remember stories where people took years to cope.
      Today morning I was crying because of this BS in my head.
      Then I pushed me starting the day. Was outdoors the whole day and had minutes where I did not concentrate on this sound. Also was very relaxed and my T was not a big issue. Maybe it was quieter, I don't know.
      Now being home again having time and no distraction, T has my full concentration again.
      A goog thing today was that I did not do any masking, not even a second. Masking is not really possible anyway.
      I am sure that there will be a time in the future for everyone here where you no longer care, no longer react and simply live your life. T will become more and more a non-issue.
      At least this is what I aim for.
      Body and brain need much time adjust to this.
      All the best for everyone.
       
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    30. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Oo sorry I get off track with a lot of my posts but I think you can forget about it for long periods eventually. I had a week where I did most of the time. For me I will hear it and quickly put it in the background background. I don't go all-day without hearing it but the better I get at doing that the more I seem to forget it. Your right habituation does seem different for everyone. Everytime I think I am habituated and think I understand what it is it seems I don't. I think you can keep getting better and habituated to a higher degree
       

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