Intrusive Tinnitus at 28. Where Do I Go From Here?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by theoriginalh, Mar 17, 2015.

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    1. theoriginalh

      theoriginalh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2008
      I've had my tinnitus for a number of years (I'm now 28),which I think is probably down to a series of ear infections in my teens, but up until now I had managed to cope. I was able to sleep in a silent room and rarely noticed it going about my day to day activities.

      Recently though I have had a spike in volume, for reasons I'm not entirely sure - possibly stress, possibly a slight ear infection or may be a combination of both. My T is now a really high pitched which seems to permeate through any background noise (Apart from perhaps a running shower). The bottom line is I'm really struggling to cope. I've lost my appetite, can't sleep, can't concentrate at work and I'm terrified of what the future holds. I had planned on marrying my girlfriend this year and settling down, but now I'm depressed and I'm struggling to see a way forward with this condition, let alone if (when) it worsens over time.

      How can I hope to hold down a job/maintain a good relationship/successfully raise a family over the next 40+ years when I can't even get a night's sleep?! Let alone with my mind in such a dark place and with no possibility of a cure.

      All I can hope is that somehow I habituate, but I don't know if I'm strong enough.

      Wow, sorry for that vent. I realise that's a pretty dark way to introduce myself, but I needed to get all that off my chest to some people who understand what this experience is like.

      Hope to get to know you all better over the coming weeks and that together we can support each other through this thing. I need to get POSITIVE!
       
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    2. RCP1
      Ape-like

      RCP1 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Dublin, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      122014
      Well man. I read you. I was 39 when it started 6 months ago. I regarded that as too young. Its all I heard for months. Just about held onto the job. Just about held my family together. This board has some of the best people on it I've ever encountered. It is good for keeping you from completely losing it and doing something stupid.

      However there is help and you can get to a better place. Your mind is focusing on this sound right now as it thinks its doing you a favour highlighting it to you. Regardless of how your T originated at some point you heard the sound and went sh*t whats that. The brain then got interested in the sound. Anyone can hear T - Anyone. Its those who focus on it that get into the biggest trouble. By telling your brain continually - Via apathy that the sound isn't important it will drift back from your consciousness and you will find it diminishes.

      It's not going to happen overnight - took me a few months to push it back but it can be done and no it doesnt always get worse. Take a look at the survey on this site. 40% of the most afflicted Tinnitus cases don't get worse... Imagine if you included all Tinnitus cases and not just the most affected group - The percentage would be much higher...

      It's not the end - you may need some time off work and you may need to go to a TRT Therapist who can help you on your way to pushing the signal down the chain of importance in the brain.... You can marry your girlfriend - Keep your job and get on with your life. Don't give up prematurely... With the right handling you can live with this condition and the condition itself can diminish in severity over time. Stay away from the bad stories on this site. I put my back out last year - Got a bulging disc - I went online and from what I read I thought I'd never walk again. I was really distressed - I'm fine now - In zero pain and it hasn't been that bad after I recovered. Be careful the Internet can really make a difference - Good and bad. Just look at the success stories on here and have a look at the Drugs which are being worked on. There could be relief quite soon in narcotic form.

      Wishing you the best.

      R
       
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    3. Lena C.

      Lena C. Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi !
      I'm 19 years old and my T is lound but much people arround me (my grand father has T since 20 years, the father of a friend since 25 years and they 're always alive!) The life is really difficult with T but you can livre. Telis, for example, sleep 10 hours with lound T (I believe ?) and Billie48 too. Courage !
       
    4. Shaun
      Tolerant

      Shaun Member

      Location:
      Cardiff wales
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2014
      welcome to tt,

      You sound like your in a negnative place at the moment you need to pick yourself up and try get out of this pattern of thinking,sure it's hard but only you can do it.try not to worry about the future none of us knows what's around the corner so try to go day to day.
      And don't apologize about coming on the forum and venting ,that's what this forum is for let it out,let it all out we understand.
      Have you tried melatonin or something like that for Sleeping.
      if it's get to bad go see the doctor see if they can give you something short term to help with sleep.
      you are stronger than you think so don't give up,let us know how things progress
      Take care
      shaun
       
    5. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Hey when I got loud tinnitus I was thinking the same stuff that go through your head right now.
      I got a tiny bit depressed (its normal) and a little anxious, lost my appetite and my sleep.
      But I tried to move on. Kept going to work even though I had trouble concentrating, married my girlfriend even though I believed I couldn't go through with it (best night of my life) and day by day I have gotten better.
      Don't think about it getting worse over time. You don't know that. Be positive and maybe its gonna get better.
       
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    6. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      Welcome theoriginalh,

      At 28, you're at the best age to see a cure, before to long. Have some hope. Modern science, is exploding with unbelievable breakthroughs and T is on the list of issues being addressed now.

      T is an epidemic, that is affecting so many young people, with the advent of louder and louder music, smart phones with earbuds, car stereo's you can hear coming, from 5 miles away, etc.

      Additionally, military soldiers, are returning with T, at a rate of 34% from combat related noise. T has now been moved to the virtual front burner, for getting fixed!

      In the meantime, grab some melatonin, 5HTP and L-Theanine for sleep. Get a sound machine, with nature sounds and put on your bed. Go see your PCP and see if he'll prescribe some short term anti-anxiety med, like Xanax and keep busy! don't sit around worrying about things you have no control over, like the future!

      God bless,

      Sailboardman
       
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    7. theoriginalh

      theoriginalh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2008
      Thanks so much for the support guys. Having a particularly bad t day today. Not made any better by the fact that I'm beating myself up for my hearing loss.

      I need a strategy for desensitising myself. Does anyone on this site have a strategy or is the best way to do this via my ENT?
       
    8. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Yes, there are many strategies and insights shared by people who have gotten better and have written their success stories. You may want to read as many of them as possible. Try to write down on the main strategy or strategies from each poster and see if you can apply those to help yourself. You are not new with T, but you are new with intrusive T.

      Remember when intrusive T is new, it usually traumatizes its victims to the point that the normal parasympathetic nervous system is taken over by the limbic system which functions in 'fight or flight' mode, and things will appear a lot worse than they are. You will be easily scared and the brain will zoom in on any bad or threatening sensation and magnify its significance. You will be flooded with distorted thoughts at this stage, especially 'catastrophic thinking' about the future (like my future is doomed or there is no future), as well as 'all or nothing thinking' (like my life is not worth it with T ringing). Beware of these thoughts. They are called cognitive distortions, a term used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and they can create havoc in people mental suffering if not challenged. Our reaction to T can determine the degree of suffering or its intrusiveness. So we need to understand where these thoughts come from, defuse and counter them as much as possible. By doing so, we gradually remove the fear or phobia of T and then meaningful habituation will begin to happen over time. You can read Dr. Nagler's writing 'Letter to A Tinnitus Sufferer' and hopefully you will learn to counter/challenge your distorted thought:

      http://www.ata.org/nagler-letter-to-tinnitus-sufferer

      Hopefully by reading up the success stories and understanding more how to counter your distorted thoughts, you will become more composed and hopeful about the future, which will calm you down more. You can also try to get masking going so your T sound won't freak you out as much. Try also mindfulness meditation to see if you can handle your emotions better. It is a good technique to handle anxiety, panic and depression. Youtube has many videos on this. Also try to learn proper breathing such as abdominal breathing to calm down yourself. These combined can hopefully help you to desensitize your reaction to T. I also listed 10 points which have helped me get better and they were written in more detail in my success story titled 'From Darkness to Light...'. Take care.
       
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    9. tshapiro

      tshapiro Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Jacksonville Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      - Things get better. I've been exactly where you are
      - Sleep is key to a clear head and lower t
      - Get with your PCP and figure out what meds will help you sleep in the short run
      - Learn ways to mask - you'll get better at this
      - Learn to ween off of masking as your coping skills get better and t becomes less of a bother
      - You will have good days and bad days. Neither is an indicator of the next day.
      - You will learn a lot on the Internet, but, it will make your t worse for a bit of time after going there
      - You need some recovery time... work and family will be fine after some months. I have a very demanding job and struggled terribly at first. Doing great now 5 months later.
      - Did I mention it get's better? It does... slowly
       
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    10. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      Beating yourself up initially, is normal. But unless you have a time machine in your basement, the past is the past. You can't even bring back what you've read, from the beginning of this post. It takes training to forget your past mistakes and live in the NOW! (just use hearing protection!)

      Brother, you're gonna make mistakes in the future and that's just human nature. We ain't perfect.

      God and a really good bottle of Bordeux, are the only perfect things in the universe, that I know of! (And after saying that, I sure hope God, has a sense of humor?) };-)

      For now, try to keep on, keeping on!

      God bless,

      Sailboardman
       
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    11. theoriginalh

      theoriginalh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2008
      Really appreciate all the responses guys. Thanks for your support. Going to try and implement your tips @billie48 and @tshapiro and try and dig myself out of this hole!
       
    12. MikeA
      Curious

      MikeA Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      Agree. All good posts.

      I endured a spike 13 months ago. Thought I was done. However, once my limbic system calmed, the noise faded back to near baseline. Perhaps slightly higher. Yet, sleep, work, outlook all returned to normal. I notice the hisssssss a few times a day and think nothing of it. In time, you will as well.

      Follow the guidance the good folks here have provided, and best of luck.
       
    13. Kaelon
      Wishful

      Kaelon Member Benefactor Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      Boston, Mass.
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Muscle Spasms
      @theoriginalh - Welcome to Tinnitus Talk!

      Firstly, I'm so sorry that you're going through this. As unbelievable as this may sound to you right now, all of us have been there -- and this does pass. What you are experiencing right now is a neurological reaction to a sudden stimulus that you're unable to move out of the autonomic nervous system and your body perceives as a threat (the so-called "fight or flight" response), and it causes you emotional alarm so your limbic system is fueling anxiety which is making the fight-or-flight response worse, which is causing you to notice the sound, and so on and so forth. It's a vicious cycle.

      It will be broken.

      I've learned quite a bit through my own personal experiences and research on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy associated with this phenomenon. Everyone, no matter how bad or loud their tinnitus is, goes through two general rounds of habituation:
      1. Acute Suppression -- The Limbic System learns that Tinnitus is not some sign of a mortal threat, and de-focuses; the autonomic nervous system follows suit, and you are able to start pushing this into the background.

      2. Chronic Habituation -- After tinnitus rests in the background, your body and mind are able to successfully ignore it.
      It may sound entirely ridiculous that the best advice we have right now is along the lines of "learn to live with it," but in all honesty, it's because this inevitably happens for all of us. Assuming you do absolutely nothing and just continue living your life as normally as you can, acute suppression sets in for people around 10-12 weeks; chronic habituation occurs within 12-18 months. And there are many, many techniques to speed up this process (and also, unfortunately, a few pitfalls that can lengthen it), but the bottom line here is: everyone is different, and everyone's etiology is unique when it comes to Tinnitus.

      There are two reasons for you to be very hopeful right now:
      1. You are very young (and thus, more resilient); and,
      2. You have habituated to your tinnitus before.
      So, you have a choice to make -- and there's no right or wrong answer here, but just a path for you to take to break the vicious cycle that you're in. You can, like many of us, try desperately to find a cause in the hopes that you might be able to diagnose and cure yourself of this particular spike; know, however, that this is a pretty unlikely scenario, unless if you were suffering from a sudden onset of pulsatile (classic whooshing, thumping, clicking) tinnitus, in which case, there's a pretty good chance a vascular or circulatory condition is to blame, and it can be cured. Or, you can accept that this terrible thing has begun to happen to you, and that your body will naturally overcome it. Almost all of us begin with the former for many months, before finally settling into the latter, but there are stories of success here at every step of the way.

      If you do elect to start with the former, I'd strongly recommend you check out some resources on pinpointing the cause of your tinnitus:

      1. Fish's Flowchart for Tinnitus, which is pretty spot-on.

      2. EngineerLA's Protocols and Supplements, which you should read in its entirety (the whole thread), because if you suspect that ear infection or possible inflammation are to blame for either the cause or the aggravation, there are some techniques that you can try (I recommend simpler, non-advance steps) to see if you can help calm your mind at the very least in regaining some control over your condition.
      And finally, tell your girlfriend that you love her and want to marry her. Tinnitus is sometimes hardest on our families -- they who do not really understand, even if we try and play sounds for them to give them a sense of what we might be hearing. No one really understands the crisis unless if they've been in the throes of fight-or-flight and limbic panic, and truly, only a fellow Tinnitus sufferer can truly empathize with you on what you're going through. Even so, it's the love and support of our families that give us the strength to overcome this. And you should not put your life on hold because you've been struck with a condition that, ultimately, affects around 2% of the entire planet at any given time.

      I will be keeping you in my thoughts. Please let us know how it goes.
       
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