Learning to Cope

Discussion in 'Support' started by Dr. Ancill, Nov 16, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Dr. Ancill

      Dr. Ancill Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Well, I have had my tinnitus for two months now. I am learning to cope as many of you have. I understand that negative attitudes lead to anxiety which worsens the experience of the tinnitus so I try to keep positive and use masking sounds - the best program I found so far is Sleep & Noise Sounds for my Android phone. White Noise Lite (the pay version) is also good as you can download new sounds and mix your own 'mixes'. These have made a huge difference during the day. At night I make sure I get 6+ hours sleep with lorazepam (Ativan) 1mg + diphenhydramine (Benedryl) 25mg + melatonin 5mg. Things are usually quieter when I waken but do get louder as the day wears on. After 2 months now, I do find that I am beginning to learn 'to live with it'. My wife has made me try Lipo-Flavinoids for 3 months and I agreed - as they probably can't do much harm, although there is no good evidence that they will help either. I am a physician, a neuropsychiatrist ironically, and many of my patients have tinnitus as a consequence of brain trauma, stroke, infections, etc. It seems to help them that I now have insight into what they are suffering and I try to help them be positive and take steps to take control back from the 'T'. It is the loss of control and the fear of the future that are the worst effects so that is where support has to be targeted.
       
    2. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Can't say I'm happy you have had to land here with us as no one would choose this, but welcome :) Sounds like you are doing pretty well coping :)
       
    3. Riikka

      Riikka Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2007
      Hello and welcome to the forum. The first months with tinnitus aren't easy, but it is actually quite amazing how we are able to adapt to many environments and conditions. It just doesn't happen over night, so unfortunately we need to be patient.

      It is very interesting that you are a neuropsychiatrist yourself. How much did you learn about tinnitus in during your education?

      Even though it is unfortunate that you too got tinnitus, there is one positive aspect: now that you experience tinnitus yourself, you can relate better to your patients and find out what kind of treatments would be helpful.
       
    4. Sybs
      Inspired

      Sybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Welcome aboard! I would definitely agree that you need to stay positive which is very hard sometimes especially if sleep deprivation has been a factor. I feel so manic at the moment - last night I felt so depressed with it, then I had a terrible night because it was very loud in one ear, but today even with very little sleep I feel much more positive which seems to make no sense at all but even though the tinnitus is very loud it just isn't getting me down today which I'm pleased about and feel that it is a step in the right direction. Incidentally, I have started taking St. John's Wort so I am not sure if that has something to do with it.
       
    5. Dr. Ancill

      Dr. Ancill Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      St John's Wort is suppposed to have antidepressant properties but is a natural toxin - an ergot alkaloid, and has some bad drug interactions. I would discuss with your own doctor about a trial of a pharmaceutical anitdepressant, such as Cipralex, to see if this would help - this is much safer than St John's Wort. The anxiety and distress produced by the tinnitus is caused by the limbic system in the brain 'reacting' to the perceived noise so, in theory, an antidepressant will make the the limbic system less reactive. Many of the 'success' stories you read on the forum talk about changing negative atiitudes to positive and caring less about the tinnitus.
       
    6. Dr. Ancill

      Dr. Ancill Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      To Riikka: I was never taught anything about tinnitus in 12 years of medical and specialist training.....not a thing!! I learned about tinnitus through my patients with acquired brain injuries (trauma, stroke, infections, etc) and then having it myself.
       
    7. vickilynn
      Bookworm

      vickilynn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Can't remember
      I tried that Lipoflavinoid but then I went to a routine doc appt and he was a bit upset that my blood pressure was way up. I knew it had to be the Lipoflavinoid so I quit taking it.
       
    8. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      I am treating my tinnitus, which initially sparked a severe panic and anxiety reaction, with very low doses of a benzo commonly used for anxiety (alprazolam/Xanax) vs. antidepressant. My psychiatrist keeps talking about switching me over to an antiD, and they are the more common treatment for tinnitus. But I don't seem to have any of the classic symptoms of depression. In the meantime, the alprazolam has helped tremendously, although it
      certainly hasn't stopped the ringing.
      Interesting your medical training included nothing on tinnitus. Seems like it has taken the medical community a long time to wake up to the fact that this is a brain disorder as much, if not more so, than an ear disorder.

      Curious: Any of your patients ever develop tinnitus (or anxiety symptoms connected to tinnitus) even if they had a stroke quite some time before they developed T? It took me months to figure this out. But a neuropsychiatrist I saw and my neurologist think that my cerebral hemorrhage and stroke that followed, back in 1999, probably are influencing my reaction to the tinnitus, which came post barotrauma from a trans Atlantic flight. Sorry, have tried to refrain from asking you medical questions, given you are here as a fellow T sufferer. ​
       
    9. Owch

      Owch Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Dr. Ancill, is it possible that a very minor stroke could be the cause of more general tinnitus such as the type that many people here seem to be suffering from?

      I'm interested that you are suggesting brain rather than cochlear injury as a cause of the problem... this rather goes against the idea of tinnitus as a result of noise abuse

      Apologies for asking medical questions, and I'm glad to hear that you are accommodating your tinnitus so quickly
       
    10. Dr. Ancill

      Dr. Ancill Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Tinnitus is a symptom and so has many causes. The symptom becomes perceived when the tinnitus rises above a 'normal' threshold. The experience of tinnitus has two components: (1) the actual abnormal electric signal being processed by the auditory cortex, and (2) the emotional importance being given the signal by the brain's limbic system. It would be unlikely that a one-sided stroke would cause bilateral tinnitus but if one became loud as a result of the injury, you might perceive a level of tinnitus on the non-stroke side because you were now sensitized.
       

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