I'm New to Tinnitus & I'm Blown Away by What You Must All Be Dealing with

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Topher James, May 4, 2017.

    1. Topher James
      Curious

      Topher James Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      All of my best to all of you!

      My name is Christopher and though I've experienced very few sad days in my life (not that life hasn't had sadness, of course it has, but I've never not been happy). Not to share too much personal stuff in my first ever post, I really want to make a tinnitus comparison that, just a week ago I would have thought sounded insane.

      After the suicide death of my wife's father and all the fun that went along with that, that believed I could handle anything.. and more than that... stay positive through anything. I have chronic and sometimes severe neck and back pain and I remain happy through that. I had to put my dog of 14 years down and I remained happy through that. I've always felt that... every day above ground is a good day. I don't feel that way any more. Merely 2 weeks after this tinnitus started I can't find a way to find happiness.

      What I have found... a deep deep empathy for all of you here in this forum... all those out there suffering. Suffering in silence (well, anything but silence). The sliver of happiness I'm finding is knowing I'm not alone.

      I've never said this is my life, but, this is as close to "a living hell" as I've ever experienced. I'm not going to waste your time asking you "what can cure this"... etc (though feel free to share any techniques that might help).. but I am going to perhaps ask... does it get better? Not the noise... I know in many cases it never gets better... but does the depression go away? Do you find a way to discover happiness?

      Anyway, thanks for reading. :)

      ~Topher
       
      • Hug Hug x 7
    2. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Everyone's different when it comes to T, first because it comes as different flavors, but also because of the response one has to it.
      I personally believe in a strong correlation between volume/intrusiveness and the distress that it creates, but there is one train of thought that claims that volume has nothing to do with it.

      For me, with what I consider pretty severe T, I'd say the anxiety of the first few weeks/months is pretty much gone, so I'm not in panic anymore. However the frustration and pain remains, and all of the feelings that are derived from the inability to do things do end up putting me in a dark place every once in a while. I'm hoping this will get better with time, but the trend for me isn't very promising.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Hug Hug x 1
    3. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Before tinnitus, I cried only once in my adult life. Tinnitus made me cry every day for over a month (during the second month)...

      There is a high chance that you (with your T being two weeks old) will get better.
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/spontaneous-recovery-stats-over-70-recover-3-studies.21441/
      If the volume doesn't decrease, I have seen research saying that people take between 12 and 18 months to habituate. Of course it all depends on the volume of tinnitus...

      A good one!
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    4. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Topher James
      Curious

      Topher James Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @GregCA I don't have any indication what caused this to come on. The best guess is that I went for a run (relative short, just a bit more than 2 miles) . Before the run I was fine... and after... the T started and has persisted since. Nothing else changed in my life. Also, thank you for the info @Bill Bauer, I'll certainly be looking for that thread!
       
    6. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      Reasonably, for almost everyone it both gets better and you get better at dealing with it.

      90% of the people I know IN PERSON that have this said the first year or so was much more intense than what they have now.
       
    7. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      It may be a good idea to dig a bit deeper. This episode may only be the trigger for an underlying condition.
       
    8. BLane
      Studious

      BLane Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      There's a good chance that yours could go away soon. If you haven't already, go see an ENT asap. If it turns out to be chronic, it gets easier to deal with after 6-8 months, but getting to that point is pure torture. Stay busy and distract if possible. Focusing on it leads to....well, like you said, "Hell".
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Topher James
      Curious

      Topher James Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hey again!

      So, I'm Christopher and introduced myself about 3-4 weeks ago. I posted here but I must have deleted it accidentally?! Or maybe it was deleted because I didn't reply right away? Not sure... anyway...

      I'm am willing to do ANYTHING! 100% anything. If you have something you wanted to try for your tinnitus but were afraid to or couldn't afford to... whatever... Tell me and I'll try it. Want me to shove a pair of Kalamata olives in my ears? I'll do it! Someone told you to snorting kava kava root powder works, I'm your man. Of course, I somewhat jest, but I'm pretty much game for anything.

      Put it this way, if there's a way to get rid of this, Ima find it - then give everyone in the world all the information for free... I had NO IDEA how difficult it is to live with tinnitus. In fact... STORY TIME:

      I took my family to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 the other day. After leaving the theatre, and after about 4 days of horrible sleeping, I broke down crying. In the lobby of the theatre straight up sobbing... and I head someone say to their S.O. "That really was a touching ending, I feel like crying, too" - haha... hilarious, I'm having a public breakdown because I'm not sleeping and feel a crushing sadness and it was assumed I was simply touched by the ending of GOTG2. :) Sort of made my day.

      Anyway, say hi! Tell me your ideas and I'll report back :)
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Topher James
      Curious

      Topher James Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I guess my thread it back! Sorry for not maybe understanding the forum well. :/ But thanks for fixing it for me!
       
    11. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Your doctor won't be able to help you as far as T is concerned, but he or she CAN do something to allow you to sleep better. Taking antidepressant amitriptyline (10 mg) as a sleeping pill was effective for me.

      Work with your doctor - if one pill doesn't work well, try a different dose, or try another medication... Perhaps once your sleep normalizes, your T will improve (if only a little) too.

      By the way, melatonin is supposed to have helped some people with T. It is also somewhat effective when it comes to sleep...
       
    12. Mettafort
      Sunshine

      Mettafort Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Illinois
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 8th, 2017 (a few days after)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Vertigo->48 hours->Deaf in left Ear->Tinnitus
      @Topher James i juat read your posts. First, I am sorry to hear of the suicide so close to you; I have some experience of that, though not as close as yours to home, and it was a deeply emotional process for me.

      It sounds as if, from the life you have had, you have some immense reservoirs of inner resources to meet lifes challenges full on, and show up as the man that you are and carve out your own journey through this world. The question then is, how do you dig deep and reach inside to find your true self that you have lost to this distraction called Tinnitus?

      You mention positivity, and chronic neck and back pain. I agree with @GregCA to dig a bit deeper. When my challenges unfolded i had been asked many times about neck pain before my "event". Why was it chronic? Have you heard of TMS? Some think this is whacky, but from personal experience I know this not to be true. I suffered for many years with chronic back pain. I then listened to The MindBody Prescription audio book on the way to a 10 day Vipassana retreat. I had backpain still at the end of the retreat, and continued listening to the meat of the book on my return home. It took me a week to get through the book. At some point around then, my back pain dissolved and I have never had it since.....something to consider.

      I am moved by your authenticity about your breakdown at the cinema; thank you for being so honest and vulnerable. This again confirms to me that with a change in focus, you will be back to living life on your terms soon enough. As @Bill Bauer suggests, working with your doctor to optimize a sleeping plan is crucial. I started off with T with reasonable sleep. However this past week has been a great challenge, with only 9 hours sleep in 4 days. Such small amounts of sleep is not the foundation for a positive, fully functioning emotional system, and the fact you managed to last as long as you did suggests great inner strength.

      My question to you when you are feeling the negative feelings is, what are you focusing on that is causing your feelings? What beliefs are you dancing with that arent serving you? What ideas about an unknown future do you flirt with that brings on your melancholoy? And what does your tinnitus represent to you now, right now, to you as a person inside experiencing the world as Chris? If its not the experiences of life that define who we are or who we become, but the meanings we give those experiences, then truly consider if the thoughts you are allowing to unfold are serving you or not.

      I have met 3 long term "sufferers" in person, and am coaching one now, and all three have had tinnitus (One has menieres) for more than 15 years, and all three are super successful. One is a company President, another a CTO and the lady with menieres is a vp and CIO of a huge software firm. My point is - yes, their T can be bothersome. But its how they respond to it and what they do with it in their lives that matters. All three I would say are more Type A, goal-setting, goal crushing problem solvers, prepared to get knocked down and simply get right back up. Its not the movies though; some of the process to get back up might involve bad days, or even bad weeks, and thats ok too - a little self love and lots of self-compassion are actions I think everyone should embrace. Its not about being macho, its about being authentic, vulnerable and congruent with our true selves, which as pure as can be and is the essence of who we are. Reaching inside and connecting with ourselves there - thats where the ocean of courage and strength resides. We all have the same resources to tap into a power that transcends these challenges, and allows us to forge forward in life with the same efficacy as before, perhaps,with just a different process. For me, I now need to take a pomodoro nap when I arrive home from work; I never did that before, but now i do. But after my nap my mind is stabilized, i feel less frazzled, and I am ready to spend part of my evening moving forward on my goals just as i did before my event. New routine, same mission, same goals getting crushed, just a slightly different path with challenges that werent expected....

      But this type of process is not just a maladay but a gift too- to be able to know that I crushed the day with my T n H at 10, I feel great inside because I know I am growing. Every day i keep putting one foot in front of the other, and I am shaping the person I am to be better than I thought I could ever be. Yes i flirted with "my lifes over", and other disempowering thoughts, but I havent had many and even my sleep challenge has been turned jnto a great positive process of learning and growing.

      Buts that me, and I appreciate and respect we are all beautifully unique souls walking our own days through this universe trying to live the best life that we can and know how. Adversity is the oil on the cogs of growth and becoming someone better than we thought possible of ourselves; every day we get to rise one more step up this challenging T ladder, but thats all it takes to build the foundations on which our lives can live a solid and productive existence, T or not.

      The question becomes, how does one make this T the best thing that happened to them?

      Mf
       
      • Winner Winner x 3
      • Like Like x 1
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Topher James
      Curious

      Topher James Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hey again! So I apologize for not being quick to respond, but I'm severely limiting my internet time as sleeping is getting harder and harder with tinnitus and being online isn't helping me at all!

      So, first, @Mettafort - I want to thank you deeply for your detailed response and your provocative questions. I mean provocative - not the bad way most people use the word - but in the sense that it's provoking me to dig deeper. Specifically.... "What beliefs are you dancing with that arent serving you" THIS... exactly. And I've been meditating on that and even as the tinnitus has not improved, my relationship with it seems to be turning the corner.

      I know there's work here to arriver squarely on T being the best thing to happen, but I can at least imagine that framework.

      On the physical side, I'm addressing it from habits... teeth grinding, clenching, etc.... Got a bruixing guard and feel it's helping some. On the emotional side, I get less upset at the noise. I hear the T monster and I ignore him.... ya know, as much as you can ignore it when you're still new to it, I guess. :)
       
      • Like Like x 3
    14. Mettafort
      Sunshine

      Mettafort Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Illinois
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 8th, 2017 (a few days after)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Vertigo->48 hours->Deaf in left Ear->Tinnitus
      Hey @Topher James, I am glad my post was helpful in some small way. That question I asked is a good one; I use it on myself a lot. I honestly feel the fast track to habituation is Acceptance, capital A. I am 5 weeks in with mine, totally deaf, a dentist drill in my head thats these days always above 5/10 and recently been up at 8-10/10 all day long. I also have hyperacusis, which has been a challenge at times, but I am honestly forgetting completely that I have it while I am working. In fact I would actually say my focus has improved.

      Meditating on the T is worth doing. Using it as the object of meditation, even if just for 30 seconds and then back to the breath.

      Another technique I use is CBT and cognitive dissonance: every day I write in my iPad statements like: My tinnitus is getting quieter and quieter. Or I am feeling more at peace with my tinnitus. I try to write at least five statements in the morning and evening, and sometimes I do it in the middle of a stressful day. These little things all help the limbic system reach some peace with the T I think, personally.

      The thinking of positives out of bad situation is from Viktor Frankls Logos therapy. Its extremely effective. Here are some of my original ones that I came up when I did this exercise:

      1. It was a profound wake-up call - everybody thought I had had a stroke, and I had working stupid hours at work. I wont ever put my job in front of my health anymore.

      2. I love the outdoors but have over the past few years stopped doing much because I am always so busy. Over the past 5 days I have so much time out in nature, because it helps with the wind in the trees and the birds singing.

      3. I get to work from home a lot more now because I have a great excuse to not be always in the office.

      4. I get to grow. This is a challenge, but I refuse to not get back up. I m unsure if I have all of the resources, but I have the will. I will find out whatever I need to rise from this, and become a better version of myself.

      5. I have realized how much time I have missed with my wife and children. A brutal wake-up call, but I am utterly grateful for the realization. #Since this happened I have spent almost every free moment with my family - I used to be a workaholic, now I am a familyholic.

      etc..

      And for the record, I think you are doing awesome. That forward progress, doing the meditating, thinking things through, getting that bruixing guard; seemingly small steps, but one foot in front of the other nonetheless. Thats growth.

      You mention the T monster. I understand the reason for the name. I have chosen to just see it as my T or my H now. I used stronger names too, but words come with very powerful emotional associations. A monster for me, was never positive. Befriending it, as nauseating as that might sound, in my view plays a trick on the mind and is a cognitive dissonance hack too. How about your friendly monster. It might sound silly, but all of these things help that capital A; Acceptance, and I honestly think thats the fast-track to habituation and getting on with life.

      Again though, genuinely happy that my response was helpful in some small way; keep putting one foot in front of the other my friend.

      mf
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    15. Zug
      Woot

      Zug Member Benefactor

      Yes! It does gets better. Mine was living hell. I could hear it anywhere, it changed tones, made me crazy. I was on the brink, couldn't watch TV, didn't read a book for 6 months.

      Even if the sound doesn't go away, your mind will get progressively better at tuning it out. It's crazy but it is what it is. I still have freaking Tinnitus but I'm happy now.

      Guardians 2 is a great movie. Keep going to movies, living your life. Eat, sleep, exercise. If you need help with any of these, ask for help. Go to a doctor as any sick person would and ask for help. I used to have a white noise app on my phone and I used it to help me get away from the sounds in my head.

      Best,
      Zug
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. zeroday
      Mellow

      zeroday Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Driving Truck
      Time...was my cure...the mind is a remarkable organ that can adapt to incredible adversity...at one point your mind simply accepts it and ignores it...for me anyway...
       
      • Like Like x 3
      • Genius Genius x 1
    17. vermillion
      No Mood

      vermillion Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neurological damage
      That's the thing that I believe is what pains me more rather then the sound itself. At least to this point. The inability to do things which right now puts me in a really dark place. Will this ever stop?
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    18. Barry098

      Barry098 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      Hi Christopher,

      So sorry to hear about what you are going through...I noticed that your first post was on May 4th...Has your condition improved at all? I developed T and H 4 months ago after a loud birthday celebration jam session. I can honestly say that the last 4 months have been the hardest of my life so I know exactly what you are going through. I don't ever remember crying as an adult and for about a month or two I think I broke down sobbing uncontrollably at least 2 -3 times per week. The only thing that has kept me going is my love for and from my amazing family, friends and students; who have been so supportive despite not truly understanding the depths of despair to which T can drag you. Anyway, I have to say that over time things have improved slightly (a glimmer of hope!)...I have had fewer panic attacks, the H has slowly resolved to the point where I am comfortable in all but really noisy settings where people are talking a lot. T has also decreased in volume a little to the point where I don't hear it in the shower or if I am by running water. I even started playing music again (which is good since it is my livelyhood)!

      We are all learning to deal with this in our own ways but at least on this website we all have each other to lend support during the challenging times. Hang in there buddy! If you ever need to talk with someone, send me a message. I know that friends are well intentioned but often times just don't understand how hard it is to deal with this.

      Best of Luck,

      Barry
       
      • Like Like x 1
    19. Kaelon
      Wishful

      Kaelon Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston, Mass.
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Muscle Spasms
      Christopher,

      I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I wish I could promise you that it is going to go away; during the first 2-12 weeks, there is always a chance of a spontaneous remission. However, almost all Tinnitus is permanent.

      The good news is: it definitely gets better. Habituation is, ultimately, inevitable; neuroplasticity ensures that our brains isolate (and "centralize" in Tinnitus-speak) the sound, and in doing so, can help you basically ignore it. It will still be there, but you just won't hear it in your day-to-day and your life will go back to normal. For most people, if they do nothing, by around 12-18 months, they are habituated to it. William Shatner, for example, suffered severe acoustic trauma on the set of Star Trek in the 1960s, and he has life-long deafening Tinnitus, and for him, he just needed habituation:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/william-shatner-habituation.9224/

      It's also important to note that what little we know about Tinnitus is that it is exacerbated by anxiety, can be amplified by sleeplessness, responds or reacts to certain stimulus or chemicals based upon the etiological basis of it, and everyone eventually becomes their own expert. Just as you are an expert in your own body's aches and pains, and no one can really tell you what you are feeling and just how much it must hurt or heal, so, too, will you inevitably become the foremost authority on your Tinnitus and join the growing amateur medical community we have gathered here and in other Tinnitus organizations.

      I will keep you in my thoughts!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    20. Katvanallen

      Katvanallen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/3/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      It gets better. I believe the more you fight it are distressed about it the louder it becomes. Once I calmed my anxiety and my reaction towards it I am significantly better(time& counseling) :)
       
      • Like Like x 3
    21. Grey Dawn
      Assassinator

      Grey Dawn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I have severe T. I use white noise machine at night, and avoid noise during the day. Even riding in the car bothers me. I tried to see 2 movies, and that was it. I take meds and have been in 2 clinical trials and seen a ton of docs...may have a surgery. My advice is experiment. Oil, cold packs, heat, message, diet, sleep, you name it. Find what gives you some comfort. Hang in there!
       

Share This Page

Loading...