It's all in the head.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Garden Ring, Jan 14, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Garden Ring
      Mellow

      Garden Ring Member

      Location:
      Moscow
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      Hi there!
      I'm a newbie here, but I've read the forum for a while and would to thank all of you for being there and doing what you do.
      It's a long post, sorry, but I really needed to share my thoughts with somebody.
      So... The T. I got mine less than two months ago. A concert. A really loud one. Afterwards I went to my friends' place, we conversed for some time, then I decided to look some stuff up on the internet. BAM! Loud crack in my right ear, immediately after which I noticed the ringing (probably it was there before but I didn't notice it, don't know, the reason for the crack is also unknown to me, btw). It was in both my ears, quite a normal thing after a concert, but this time I went full paranoid about my right ear (I found out about such thing as T some time earlier on Reddit). I was thinking: - Now it's here to stay with you for the rest of your life... - No, it can't be, you're just being hypochondriac. - It is, and you know that. - Go to sleep already, it will be gone tomorrow.
      Little did I know.
      Next day I got down with a cold, which, by the way, seriously affected my right ear (what a great coincidence, eh?), and I spent the following week home, on medical leave, watching movies and reading. Funny enough, this week I wasn't bothered by the sound. First of all, I'm not sure if it really was there all the time, and even if it was I just said to myself: - It's probably the inflammation. When it's gone, you'll be as good as new.
      So, no sleep problems, no anxiety, no depression. I was just a wee bit concerned from time to time.
      A week later I was finally fit to work. Again, no anxiety, I barely even noticed anything happening in my ear, besides the fact that it ached a little (which was a normal thing during recovery, as the doctor told me). 'Twas a busy week, I had no time to sit in the office and look for phantom noises in my head, I was always involved in heated discussions, was coming home tired as hell. No problem falling asleep again - when you're this exhausted you just fall down and turn off till next morning. All hell broke loose the following weekend. I kept thinking about that 'whistle' that was supposed to go away with the inflammation. I kept looking for it in my head. I found it. I didn't go.
      The next week was a real hell. Now the freaking wheeeeeeeeeestle was everywhere. I couldn't eat, I couldn't think, read or work. I had panic attack at my office, cried in my wife's arms. I hated myself for going to this stupid effing concert. I though my life was over. There was no reason to keep living in such a noisy hell. Suicide thought filled my mind (and I'm a very pro-life person, mind you). I don't know how I survived that.
      But somehow I did.
      The ENT ran a basic hearing test on me (without the highest frequencies), and it showed that my hearing was perfectly normal. It calmed me down a bit. As for the whistle, he wasn't able to give any definite answer, and supposed it would go away itself.
      I turned to my parents for help. They were very supportive, but obviously were not able to heal me :) What they suggested was that probably I had had this ringing all along and just never noticed it before the concert. (Easy for you to say, I thought. How's it possible not to notice this siren?) My father told me that in fact, his ears ring in the silence, but he is never bothered by that. Well, not much of a relief, but still better than nothing.
      During this period I couldn't fall asleep without a noise generator or a music playing. The T was very loud and intrusive.
      Some time later I went to another concert (I know what you might think but I'm not THAT stupid, I'm never ever going to a concert with sound amplification in my life, I guess, but this was a classic music performance, a very good one). My thoughts were that a little bit of soothing classics would do me good. And you know what? I couldn't hear the damn violins over the wailing in my right ear! That was a climax. I nearly collapsed this evening. But a funny thing happened. After this night I regained my ability to fall asleep on my own, in full silence. I don't know how and why, but it just happened.

      Time to sum up.
      What I have now is a very-very mild T. Many of you would kill to have it as quiet as mine, I think. I don't hear it in the street, in a car, or when playing music. Surprisingly enough, my favorite thing to do now is to sit in my room in SILENCE. It gets better when I'm surrounded by silence, can you believe that?! I feel the worst when I'm in my office. Somehow the sound of five PC's around me, which most of you would consider a proper masking, make me hear my T and react to it.
      When I say that my T is so quiet that I only hear it in near silence, please don't think I'm mocking you or boasting. As I read somewhere, the level of distress does not depend on the loudness of T. And I'm very distressed. Even when I don't hear it, I just now that IT'S THERE. I stick fingers in my ears (very wrong, I know, but can't help it) just to make sure that my torturer is here. My only hope is that it would be easier to habituate to it and I still have hopes that maybe it would go away completely, who knows? Or that maybe my parents are right and I had it before, but just exaggerated it by my own reaction?
      I stopped being angry at myself for attending that stupid concert. In the end, I would probably have gotten T anyway, maybe just some time later. The reason is: I love music, I went to a lot of concerts in my life (ear protection, whatcha talking about?), I played in a band (loud rehearsals and even louder gigs), used my headphones all the time, and I'm a hypochondriac and prone to depressions. An ideal portrait of a T sufferer, isn't it? :)
      I guess I'm feeling better now. Not sure if the T is getting quieter, or I'm getting used to it. There are still moments when it's loud and I freak out, but sometimes it seems to me like I can hear the blessed silence. Usually, in the mornings.
      In the end, maybe it's the work which is the problem, not my ears? ;)
      Sorry for the long post again, but I needed to get this off my shoulders.
      Thanks!
       
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    2. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey Garden Ring, welcome to Tinnitus Talk! Feel free to browse around the forums and make yourself at home.

      So I am not exactly sure, but if you are asking what the problem is: You already said it in the title of your thread. It's in your head; it's your brain. Tinnitus is much more of a brain disorder than an ear disorder.

      You brain makes the tinnitus noise, which feeds into your automatic and limbic nervous systems, the center of what we call the "fight or flight" response. That's what triggered your panic attacks. It did for me, too, when I first got tinnitus, and does for many many patients.

      Anxiety (which is related to your brain chemistry and neurological responses), stress and tinnitus do a complicated dance, and feed off each other. Some research suggests that chronically anxious people are more likely to get tinnitus when the right triggers (like being exposed to loud music) occurs. Others think that the tinnitus makes you more anxious. It can be a mix of both, or many other things.

      So what might be helpful now is: Deal with the anxiety, which can be coupled with depression. Find a good therapist, preferably one with experience with tinnitus patients. Cognitive behavioral therapy works well for many with T; it sure helped me. Use some short-term medication under the guidance if a psychiatrist (not a GP), if you must. You also can try alternative medicine and techniques, like meditation or acupuncture. And exercise and distraction really helps.

      Stop beating yourself up about going to the concerts because: 1.) no sense kicking yourself over what's already happened and 2.) you're right, tinnitus very well would have come to you anyway. Oh, and buy some custom ear plugs! You need to protect your ears now, but you don't need to cut music out of your life (although arena shows and loud clubs probably are a bad idea). Wear plugs to movies, even light classical concerts, loud restaurants.

      Oh, and your dad is right: You may have had the ringing all along. In fact, everyone has some form of tinnitus. They just don't notice it until trigger events coupled with risk factors come together. Studies have shown that if you put people with normal hearing and no tinnitus in a completely soundproof room, most will hear a faint noise that is being generated by their own brains.
       
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    3. Garden Ring
      Mellow

      Garden Ring Member

      Location:
      Moscow
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      Thanks for your answer, LadyDi!
      I think I start to grasp the concept of support groups and forums, sometimes it helps a lot just to know than you're heard!
      My anxiety is what I am actually working on right now. Going to a therapist is not a very common practice in Russia, so I'm afraid it might be difficult to find one and that it would be too expensive for me at the moment.
      When the extreme panic kicked in, I started taking http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afobazole and completed a whole course of it. Not sure if it helped, but at least the panic attacks stopped.
      I'm also trying to pick up zen meditation now, and looking for Jastreboff TRT e-book. It seems, though, that buying a hard copy is the only option.
      And I'm putting a lot of effort in being positive. It's always good for one, I guess.
       
    4. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Yeah, sounds like you are up against some additional challenges, given your location. But being positive means everything.

      Here is a thread from awhile ago, where someone was struggling with anxiety. You can read my posts to her, and posts from many others: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/please-help-very-scared.1976/#post-17128

      Not familiar with the drug you were talking, as it appears limited to Russia; at least it appears to have no long-term addicting qualities, which is good. I use very low doses of alprazalam (better known as Xanax) but carefully, as it is a benzodiazapene and cause dependency.

      I also found this book helpful: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0446692778/?tag=tinntalk-20

      It's an oldie but goodie, available on Amazon and in paperback. It guides you step by step through working with your anxiety, and has you do exercises at the end of each chapter.
       
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    5. Jeff M.
      Cowabunga

      Jeff M. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      La Jolla, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct. 2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Welcome Garden Ring!!

      Listen to LadyDi!! She knows her stuff!! I am very new to TT, and have already found resources, info, and most importantly support from people who can actually relate to what I am going through!!

      I am sure as you travel around TT you will hear similar tales, but the first few months are definitely the absolute WORST!! I totally freaked when my T set in!! Don't feel bad! Mine just appeared one morning out of nowhere. No loud noises, no trauma or damage to ear. Just one minute silence, the next an extremely high pitch/volume eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Ruined my life for like 3-4 months. But I slowly started to deal with it. You can too!!
      Re-read what LadyDi posted, great practical stuff in her posts! Ways to positively manage your anxiety. Get lots of exercise and take it easy on the meds (especially the benzos!) Find what makes you happy, gives you joy, and do lots of that (as long as it's legal and healthy!!). You WILL get through!! And remember, you now have an incredible resource to help you through!:)
       
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    6. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Thanks JeffM what a nice thing to say, made me feel good. I think many of us who have T keep coming back here because we want to help others. You made me feel like I am doing that and I appreciate it.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    7. Jeff M.
      Cowabunga

      Jeff M. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      La Jolla, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct. 2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic

      It's the truth LadyDi!! Glad that I made you feel good!
       
    8. Linda Marie

      Linda Marie Member

      Location:
      San Bruno, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/10/2013
      Hi there, I was hit with tinnitus a month ago and have been having a bad time of it. Couldn't sleep my ENT put me on a medication called Remeron 7.5 mg. Slept until 6p but was startled when I woke up. I'm wondering if it is anxiety related. The Remeron is an anti-depressent but use it for sleep. I'm having a difficult time during the day and when watching TV. I'v had my T for a month and am anxious today not sure if I need an anti-anxiety medication. Still tring to find a good night masker fan works but isn't pleasant in the morning. Music under the pillow gets a bit old. Any advice?
       
    9. Linda Marie

      Linda Marie Member

      Location:
      San Bruno, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/10/2013
      Not sure if this posted.
       
    10. Linda Marie

      Linda Marie Member

      Location:
      San Bruno, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/10/2013
      First time to this site. I was hit with tinnitus Dec. 2013. Have been having a difficult time with it. Sleeping is very difficult so was put on Remeron for anti-depressent and primarily for sleep. I slept 6 hours last night but woke up in a startled state. I'm thinking it is anxiety related. Sleep maskers help the fan is nice but gets annoying in the morning. Music helps but haven't found anything that will get me to sleep again for a few hours. I also feel shaky not sure what is causing it. Any advice would be helpful.
       

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