Is a Second Habituation Possible for Me?

Discussion in 'Support' started by jadebug, Jun 26, 2017.

    1. jadebug
      Depressed

      jadebug Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial-Aug 2011 Increase- May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; possibly antidepressants
      Hello everyone! I really need some help right now I feel like I'm going crazy and that there's no way for me to deal with my tinnitus. I feel like I'm trapped in a nightmare and there's no end in sight. Every day is such a fight and I'm afraid I'll never be happy or normal again. I just want my old life back and I would give anything for it.

      I first got tinnitus in 2011 for no reason whatsoever with perfect hearing but it was very mild and although it turned my world upside down I was able to habituate within 6-9 months and then rarely ever thought about it. I really forgot I even had it.

      Then this year I went through the most difficult year of my life in college with a ton of setbacks and issues and became really depressed and my anxiety seemed to take over still none of this was related to my tinnitus.

      Finally I gained the courage to ask for help and saw a therapist but after taking lexapro my tinnitus got so much worse it's now super high pitched and because of the pitch nothing will drown it out it's there constantly and I can only completely escape it in the shower.

      I'm scared this is going to drive me crazy I don't think I'm strong enough to handle this I'm so young and I feel like my life is over I don't think I can get past this or habituate the way I had been before.

      Anyone with a high frequency tinnitus that seems to lay on top of other sounds were you able to habituate to it and not hear it? I've been going through this for over a month and think about my tinnitus constantly. I don't know what to do.

      Is a second habituation easier? I don't remember much about the first time I did it other than one day I just seemed to forget about it and it basically wasn't a problem anymore.

      I'm so scared and just want to be happy again.

      Also do you think if the lexapro caused this it could go away or am I stuck like this forever? I've been trying to stay active but it nothing I do makes me stop thinking about my T.

      Also sleeping has been just fine for me it's just every hour I'm awake I'm completely miserable.

      I also got tested by an audiologist and she said I have no hearing loss.

      I just really need some support right now no one understands and I feel like I'm losing it.
       
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    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @jadebug
      If it is the lexapro that has caused the increase in your tinnitus, then you might want to have a word with your doctor, as changing to a different medication might reduce it? Tinnitus doesn't usually get worse without something causing it. If it isn't the lexapro, and not not an underlying medical condtion that's responsible, then it's likely to be exposure to loud sounds. Before the increase in the tinitus, did you listen to music through headphones regularly or attend places where loud music was played? Or work in a noisy environment?
      I suggest using a sound machine at night by your bedside, instead of sleeping in a quiet room.
      Michael
       
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    3. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Wait 3-5 months. Chances are it will get quieter. Hopefully it will be quiet enough to make habituation easy...
       
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    4. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      I am going to say yes. It just takes time, I'm sorry that your volume is louder. Obsessing over the new volume, only makes things worst. I fight my brutal and loud tinnitus daily by doing my martial arts, walking and smiling. Hell I even listen to my iphone at a very low volume. I am aware of my tinnitus, it never goes silent and the volume always sucks bad.

      My mind is trained not to obsess with the loud noise, I do a good job 90% of the time. There are rare days that my tinnitus might get to me and for those days I use my hearing aids that have a white noise machine built in.



      I have other health issues that make tinnitus not an issue for me, it's how we look at things in life and how we act. There are some days that I cannot even walk for 1 hour, I have to stretch out my quads and hamstrings to walk. Life is a grind and it's never easy....

      Don't lose hope, keep moving forward...

      This is just my view, on this matter and i been fighting it for almost 30 years. You do not have to follow any advice I give...It is all up to you....

      Everyday for me is a gift and a blessing, Tinnitus will never take that away from me.....
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jadebug
      Depressed

      jadebug Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial-Aug 2011 Increase- May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; possibly antidepressants
      @Michael Leigh
      I talked with my doctor about the lexapro and she told me to stop the medication and upon stopping it the sound did seem to go down a lot it was unbearable initially but it still has not gone down to my normal level. She told me that it should go back down to the normal level and that there is no way for the lexapro to cause any permenent damage especially with only being on a low dose for two weeks. She wasn't very concerned with the ringing and just brushed it off and told me I'd get over it since I already had it I can't blame the medication. She tried to prescribe me buspar for anxiety but that also lists tinnitus as a common side effect so I haven't taken it because if my T gets any louder my depression and anxiety will only increase. As for the loud sounds no I don't work in a noisy environment haven't been to concerts in over a year and when I did go to one it didn't effect my ringing in the slightest and I actually had been using my headphones much less when this all started. The only thing different in my routine was the lexapro and when googling lexapro and tinnitus I found many horror stories about how the T is permanent and that has really freaked me out.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jadebug
      Depressed

      jadebug Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial-Aug 2011 Increase- May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; possibly antidepressants
      Thank you very much for your reply! I'm hoping it will go down too I just thought if it was related to the medication it should have happened already. Initially the increase/ high pitch tone seemed to be coming from my head/both ears but now it only seems to be coming from my right ear so I hope that's a positive sign.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jadebug
      Depressed

      jadebug Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial-Aug 2011 Increase- May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; possibly antidepressants
      Thank you very much for your advice it is much appreciated! Im so sorry to hear that you have such loud T this condition is truly awful! Has your tinnitus been the same loud volume for over 30 years or have you had multiple increases that led you to this point? Im terrified that my T is just going to keep increasing as I get older and that I won't be able to handle it. All I want is to habituate and get over this difficult part of my life. I know that it takes time but I'm so scared I will snap or this sound will drive me crazy. I've also really been trying to tell myself that it could be worse and that people have it much worse than me but then I see my friends and people my age just enjoying their lives and going out without a care in the world and I feel regret that I didn't appreciate how easy I had things in the past when I had fully habituated to my T and never thought about it. It seems impossible that I will ever get to that point again with this new level of T it just seems so loud and even when I can't hear it much I'm still always thinking about it.
       
    8. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Turns out ears take forever to heal. "Forever" usually stands for "months"... Knowing how long ears take to heal, the fact that they haven't healed yet does not mean that it will not happen. Normally, you are not going to see progress on a daily or even weekly basis. If you compare how you felt a month ago to how you are feeling now, and you think there has been an improvement (and I believe this is true for your case - the volume has gone down, and now it is only in one ear), then that means healing is taking place. Give it time...
       
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    9. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      I was young when i got tinnitus and i made choices, that has increased my tinnitus and it has made it horrible. I didn't have a mentor or any guidance, when it came to tinnitus or music. That's why I come here to help and hope people..especially the young folks don't do what i did :)

      I had no forums to seek advice, if i did...then I'd be posting and seek guidance from those that have experience. Tinnitus is horrible and we are all here to help.....
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jadebug
      Depressed

      jadebug Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial-Aug 2011 Increase- May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; possibly antidepressants
      Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my post! It has definitely brought me some ease. Do you think the fact that I don't have any hearing loss also increases my chances of the volume lessening? I will be sure to update if the sound eventually goes away or lessens any more!
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @jadebug

      Thank you for the detailed information. Although your ENT doctor is trying to be helpful please understand that the majority of them don't know much about tinnitus other than it's a noise that's heard in the head and ears. It is the Hearing Therapists and Audiologists that practice tinnitus treatment and management with tinnitus patients that know about the condition. I believe it will help you if you're referred to them for some "tinnitus counselling" if your tinnitus doesn't improve. Please click the links at the end of this post that I think will help you.

      Consider taking St John's Wort. It is herbal and used to treat stress and mild depression. It won't increase your tinnitus that I'm quite certain of and doesn't usually have any side effects. Have a word with your doctor before taking.

      It possible to habituate to tinnitus for the 2nd time. I did when my tinnitus increased to severe levels back in 2008. The fact that you already have tinnitus will enable you to draw on that experience to help you through the habituation period for the 2nd time. I strongly advise that you be referred to Audiology for counselling with the health professionals that I've mentioned, if your tinnitus doesn't improve and you feel stress and anxiety becoming overwhelming.

      I wish you well
      Michael
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/can-tinnitus-counselling-help.22366/
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jadebug
      Depressed

      jadebug Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial-Aug 2011 Increase- May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; possibly antidepressants
      Thank you for all your advice and the time you took to respond to me and make me feel a little better. I really appreciate it. I had an appointment with a wonderful audiologist who spent an hour with me going through all of my fears that I had with tinnitus and told me that I had no problems medically and that the lexapro would not cause any permanent damage. She seems to think that the lexapro caused an increased sensitivity/awareness to my tinnitus because often ADs make individuals more anxious before they take effect and I have become much more aware of my tinnitus and started obsessing over it again. She matched my sound to around 12khz and helped create a sound on an app that will help me mask it. It has helped a little but I still feel like I am in distress and cannot relax. She advised me to try masking with the app when I get too stressed about it and wait 6 weeks to see if I'm any better and if not then she talk to me about the TRT and the counseling. Thanks again for taking the time to answer me!
       
    13. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      You can try using nature sounds (from YouTube, or buy a sound machine). This gives you something (somewhat nice) to listen to besides T, as you are trying to fall asleep.
       
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    14. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @jadebug
      It sounds like you have a good Audiologist. Please remember that tinnitus must not be "masked" covered up so that it can't be heard. If you do this then your brain will never learn to habituate to the tinnitus. Are you listening to the app sounds through headphones? If you are it is something I don't advise but it's your choice. It is better to use a sound machine or play the app through a portable player keeping the sound level slightly below your tinnitus. At night use the app or sound machine by your bedside. Set to play throughout the night until morning keeping the volume slightly below the tinnitus or at a level you can comfortably ignore. Music is the the best source to use, as it drawn attention to itself.

      Michael
       
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    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jadebug
      Depressed

      jadebug Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial-Aug 2011 Increase- May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; possibly antidepressants
      Thank you for the continued advice! I haven't been masking it to completely cover it up much just when I am extremely distressed by it. Is this okay? Otherwise most of the time I just try and deal with it and sometimes I sit in quiet rooms for a bit to try and get used to it too. I'm not sure if that helps.

      I have been masking using my phone without headphones. I have kept the headphone usage to a minimum. Only using them when FaceTiming my boyfriend and listening to music on a very low volume occasionally when I use the treadmill. Using headphones did not really affect my T the first time I had it but this time I will definitely only use headphones when I have to.

      I will definitely try what you have suggested. I have been sleeping with a fan on so far which is what I've always done but I think the soothing music or nature sounds will help keep me more relaxed during this time that I'm feel so distressed.
       
    16. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I advise you to be careful of running on the treadmill and hard ground @jadebug as running can make tinnitus worse for some people. If you can use an elliptical machine that's better, as your feet won't come into contact with the floor, so no impact will travel up through your body into your auditory system.

      Listening to tinnitus in a quiet room is not a good idea as you are allowing your brain to become more focused on the tinnitus. This can make the tinnitus louder and more intrusive. The rule of thumb: try to avoid quiet rooms and surroundings especially at night.

      Please try not to cover-up your tinnitus with sound. If using the headphones doesn't bother then continue but it's something I don't advise anyone to use even at low volume. More is explained in my article: Tinnitus, A Personal View.
      All the best
      Michael
       
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    17. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      I cannot find a study suggesting running makes tinnitus worse. However, this one indicates a link between balance issues and high impact aerobics:

      http://www.nytimes.com/1994/04/06/us/inner-ear-may-take-beating-from-high-impact-aerobics.html

      So maybe avoid high impact aerobics since balance issues and tinnitus are a horrible combination. This study did find a connection between loud music at aerobics classes and tinnitus, but that's a risk you're likely already aware of.
       
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jadebug
      Depressed

      jadebug Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial-Aug 2011 Increase- May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; possibly antidepressants
      I don't run much on a treadmill I typically do a fast walk just to get my heart rate up and get some exercise. Is walking okay? I definitely prefer an elliptical as well but currently I don't have access to one.

      I will definitely stop listening to it in quiet rooms I was unaware of this!
       
    19. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      If the running doesn't bother you @jadebug then continue. Quite a few people have contacted me that run on treadmill and on hard ground and said their tinnitus has become more intrusive so had to stop the running. Other people have said they are not affected by running so each person will have a different experience. I just wanted you to be aware. I try to do a 40min walk each day and haven't noticed an increase in the tinnitus. Just see what works for you. Some elliptical machines are large and mine nearly takes up a whole room, but I'm pleased I bought it.

      Michael
       
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    20. Kayla L
      Depressed

      Kayla L Member

      Location:
      MASS
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 13, 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD/TMJ/Anxiety/Stress
      Has your spike gone down @jadebug ?
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jadebug
      Depressed

      jadebug Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial-Aug 2011 Increase- May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; possibly antidepressants
      Thanks for asking! It has gone down a little more since I've last posted, but it is still very variable on a day to day basis and I have been experiencing more fullness and my ears being unable to pop at times. It still seems to be worse than my old T, but I'm trying to remain positive especially since it has been going down a very small bit every few weeks. My attitude seems to be better about it and I have been having more good days although I still am struggling a great deal. I am just trying to take one day at a time and stay as positive as I can. I will come back and write a success story if this spike (if it is even still considered a spike) goes away or when habituation hits me and I feel like I have my life back.
       

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