Mild But Struggling

Discussion in 'Support' started by mikeinOz, Nov 16, 2016.

    1. mikeinOz

      mikeinOz Member

      Sydney, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003 (spike in 2016 after ear infection)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hey everyone,

      I've been putting off writing anything but I'm having a bad day so here goes. I've had pretty mild T for 13 years now, most likely due to TMJ. Mostly a soft hiss and when it 'spikes' or I've been anxious a solid tone thats only heard in very quiet places. The usual horrible anxiety and depression at the start, then habituated to the point I'd only hear it at night just before sleep. Since then I've had 4 'spikes', each time I think has been precipitated by a period of high stress or some underlying depression. At each time the T has suddenly got louder and more intrusive, and each time I've needed to go on anti-depressants and then it has eventually faded and I've habituated, but each time has taken 2-5 months.

      It's been almost 7 years since my last spike, and it's been so good that I might not hear it for weeks at a time, even at night. But when I put my earplugs in to go to movies etc its hissing away quietly. Recently I got a massive sinus infection, causing fluid to collect behind both drums and my loudness to go through the roof. The fluid has gone for a few weeks now but the hiss has remained as more pronounced and 'sharper', rather than soft. It's caused me HUGE anxiety which I logically know is probably at least part of the problem. I can now hear it when i'm driving and sometimes even outside or over the TV which is strange since its not that loud in a quiet room.

      I guess I just wanted to see if other people found the same, that their 'mild' T could be pulled into the foreground over louder sounds just due to worrying so much about it ? I'm kind of fighting with my own mind at the moment, I know every other time I've relaxed its gone down over the months and I'm really trying to avoid taking anti-depressants this time if possible...
    2. DebInAustralia

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi Mike,

      Nice to meet another Aussie in here.......

      Id say your sinus infection probably brought your tinnitus back to your attention. Now, your emotional brain is responding to your awareness of your t with anxiety. As you note, when you relax, the tinnitus settles down. I reckon it will again when you work on calming down your limbic system.

      My t has never been mild; in that, it is intrusive, but worry as does lack of sleep definately makes it seem even more intrusive for me. I have spent most of the evening not even thinking or being aware of my tinnitus because i was so absorbed in having a good time with friends. The moment they left, I am alone, with the tv on, and my awareness of the noise is back and I am back to masking because I feel so irate all over again.

      If you feel you need something to help you relax, that is ok. if you want to do it without resorting to AD, there are natural alternatives such as 5htp and tryptophan. Other things that help with anxiety are: exercise, mindfulness meditation (free apps headspace, buddhify), yoga, tai chi, massage, talking therapies etc.......

      I am confident that you will rehabituate. Your brain has done it before. Deal with the anxiety, and I think you will be totally fine.
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