My Positive Story and Insights to Habituation

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by OneTimePoster, May 18, 2017.

    1. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      Thanks, you are very kind. Sadly my mental problems can never be resolved entirely, but I am hoping I will learn to handle them better with time.
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      OneTimePoster

      OneTimePoster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13 september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Who knows how far you can get working on recovery, maybe further then you think possible now.
       
    3. Timothy 87

      Timothy 87 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @OneTimePoster thank you for sharing story. It's very hopeful.

      I am about 4 months in now, and am in the process of picking my life back up even though the tinnitus still bothers me a lot of the time and I am still not calm about it. I trust in time I will.

      One thing I am back to doing is going to the gym, working out. That includes heavy lifting for me, but also some conditioning. I find that it pretty strongly increases my T. I am not sure that is from the actual exercise though, or from the fairly loud environment (my T is also reactive, although it seems less so as time progresses).

      Did your T increase while working out too? I find it hard to decide if I should tone down my exercise or bite the bullet. The spike it creates settles after an hour or so, once I stop working out.

      Thanks
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      OneTimePoster

      OneTimePoster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13 september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Timothy 87 Yes that was the case for me too, in the beginning I was actually scared to workout because of this. I think it has to do with the limbic system again, when you get tired from working out, tiredness can make you more vulnerable to stress, this in turn is closely related to tinnitus of course which makes the brain experience it in a more intrusive way. Just like negative thoughts of all kinds of threats get into your mind easier when you're tired, so too does the threat that the brain perceives in the tinnitus, and in turn it zooms in on this threat (which is what the brain does to threats as a survival mechanism). At least this is my theory based on what I learned and experienced. Best way it to allow it in this situation too so the brain can see for itself that it's actually not a threat at all again, which are more steps towards habituation.
       
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    5. Timothy 87

      Timothy 87 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I do allow it, fully assuming it will settle within about an hour. How is it now for you? Do you still experience this reaction to working out, or has it gotten better?
      I have the hope that in time, it will stop reacting like this.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      OneTimePoster

      OneTimePoster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13 september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Working out does nothing now. Really I can only hear it, far away, softly in the background, when I'm in a completely silent room and actively look for it. The only reason I did this a couple of times was to think about how powerful the brain is, able to make an internal sound about the worst thing imaginable or to make it like it is now, the most unimportant, don't care at all, way in the background thing imaginable.
       
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    7. Steve2212

      Steve2212 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Thanks one time poster - your words keep me sane and positive!!

      Quick question - why are there so many negative stories here and yours seems to be 1 of the only positive ones - i ask this with all respect to you.

      thx:))

      P.s - anyone reading this - I want to say that EVERYONE I speak to who has had T for years says they are Ok about it and never hear it....this also gives me real hope....I hear it now as at a 4-5 but it's kinda in the back ground but Im just getting on with my day and not over reacting to it - yes It bothers me but thats the part I have to learn to get on with..
       
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    8. coffee_girl
      Festive

      coffee_girl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      All my life, but got worse 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced / Concert
      Ignore the haters, you are doing great...keep it up!
       
    9. Steve2212

      Steve2212 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      who are the haters??
       
    10. Steve2212

      Steve2212 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Timothy - one thing I dont do is stop anything i love doing - surfing gym yoga - I keep it up - dont waste your life on this T - hard to say I know but if you do the things you love like gym it puts things into perspective - Im 6 months in bro and slowly slowly slowly slowly feeling better.....was on anti Dep for the first 6 months and am starting to slowly reduce the amount im taking....
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      OneTimePoster

      OneTimePoster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13 september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Our brains somehow categorized tinnitus as a threat, which is VERY scary in the beginning. During this stage people try to find help, in their despair they get really negative, scared, sad, hopeless, frustrated and/or angry. It truly feels like nothing can be done, and the end of the world, which is often made worse by doctors and ENT's who tell you nothing can be done and such. The problem is that in their fear, the negative messages will pull other scared people down into this pit of despair. Best is to avoid them, because you should try to teach the brain that tinnitus is NOT a threat, not the other way around.
       
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    12. Steve2212

      Steve2212 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      thanks for your reply one time poster.....
      when you say listen for the T and allow it - does this mean when you hear it you should just relax into eh sound and let it wash over your body like I do when I'm meditating with it - OR just hear it and say 'it's ok' and get about my daily life...??
       
    13. Steve2212

      Steve2212 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      it was really good over the weekend but now at work im hearing it and it's bothering me.......whats the best approach???
       
    14. JuneStar
      Cheeky

      JuneStar Member

      Location:
      ny
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      For me stress doesn't change a thing but that's because mine is noise-induced, not stress-induced.

      Mine is noise induced too, but stress makes it 10000% worse for me. I tighten up my muscles and my jaw and I focus on my T and it gets louder. I wake up in the morning and 9 days out of 10 I dont hear it.
       
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    15. Steve2212

      Steve2212 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      June star - how long have you had T......im at the 6 month mark -
       
    16. JuneStar
      Cheeky

      JuneStar Member

      Location:
      ny
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Three months on Thursday.
       
    17. Steve2212

      Steve2212 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      wow thats unreal - im at the 6 month mark and have just started to feel as though Im 20-30% getting on top of it - there's still a way to go but i feel as though im going forward and not backwards
       
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      OneTimePoster

      OneTimePoster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13 september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Listen to your body. If your focus get's pulled to the tinnitus, then trust that this is what your body needs and listen to it and allow everything that comes up, thoughts, emotions. As soon as you are distracted, or bored, just do something else. Also listen to your body that when you're aware and allowing the tinnitus, and it is really difficult (specially in the earlier days, but I also had moments later on), don't overdo it and seek out distraction, do somerthing you enjoy or can set your mind to. It's all about finding the balance.

      So yeah, not really an answer to your question, but I think both are good. Look for a balance in it, listen to your body, and don't overdo it, be kind to yourself and accept that it can be just too much sometimes.
       
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    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      OneTimePoster

      OneTimePoster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13 september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I think stress is always connected to it, because if it wasn't, you wouldn't be hearing the tinnitus or wouldn't mind hearing it. The brain filters out many things, a lot happens in your body that you aren't aware of, I always like the example of the fact that you see your nose all day long, yet you never notice because the brain thinks it's unimportant. When your brain somehow thinks your nose is a threat, the fear/stress of this would cause you to see it all day long. Sollution is to teach the brain that seeing the nose is normal and harmless and unimportant. This is what our brain learned and knows. Same sollution for bodily sounds.
       
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    20. threefirefour
      Rebellious

      threefirefour Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/15/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pretty much gone tbh
      Should I make a hillfort in my minecraft world? What do you guys think?
       
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    21. threefirefour
      Rebellious

      threefirefour Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/15/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pretty much gone tbh
      The 2 agrees were overwhelming. I'll post pictures when I'm done ^_^
       
    22. Calimike

      Calimike Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 24,2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Docs say virus
      Onetimeposter. My name is mike. I had T for two weeks now. I have a constant 8000 MHz sound in both ears I was told caused by a virus infection to my inner ear. I have had a ct scan and nothing is wrong. I am masking 24/7 I feel like the sound stops me from thinking and painful. I was thinking of buying hearing aid to help with masking. I have no hearing lose. Yes I’m in the desperate fearful stage. Masking helps me get calm. I try and find places where the natural sounds are enough to mask my high pitch that way the world is masking for me. Sometimes one ear is high and the other is low. I don’t know why this is. Yes I’m frighten but I’m just trying to keep myself calm. I have had only a few hours since I have had this that it was low in both ears. I really don’t know what to do. Can you tell me the stages you went through and what seemed to help with progress. I’m trying to stay calm and get my sleeping in order. Yes I’m masking now but think I will in time reduce the volume to let the T come through more in order to adjust. Any daily routines that might help in different stages. All commits are welcome as I am powerless over my condition.

      Thanks for any response
       
    23. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      Hi @Calimike,

      I understand how distressing this is for you. If you're open to various spiritual/energetic techniques that I use daily to help myself stay calm, you can check out some posts I've made at THIS LINK. -- All the Best!
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      OneTimePoster

      OneTimePoster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13 september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Calimike It might just be temporary, it's only a very short time since you had it. And if it's not, there is habituation, which is just as good. I was in complete panic for 2-3 months. You seem to be handling it much better already. It's scary, but that will pass. I think masking might be good in the beginning, to get yourself a little less stressed. When you're ready, you can try to reduce it. My way to make progress in habituation was to try to be kind and patient to myself, allow the tinnitus, allow the physical reaction to it, the feelings, the pain, and allow the negative thoughts about it to flow by. Similar to mindfulness (or maybe even the same). Without you noticing, the body will be learning that tinnitus is not a threat, so the focus on it is not needed. It will go back to the background. If you fail at this, and start to fight the reality of it again within yourself, it's ok, just go back to this again when you're able. For me there were so many ups and downs, short term and long term, that even after 1,5 years I still had moments where I thought there was no habituation going on and I was kidding myself. But those are just negative thoughts that come by when you're overstrung by life. In hindsight I see that there was always progress, sometimes small, sometimes big, with ups and downs in between. I hope the insights and tips in my story can help you in this. Eventually you'll come out of it a stronger person. Like I said in my story, I'm happy for the day my tinnitus started, because at the end all the hard times were worth what it gave me. And the tinnitus itself, I never even hear it anymore.
       
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    25. Calimike

      Calimike Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 24,2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Docs say virus
      Thank you both for the response. Onetimeposter it was your story that gave me hope. I’m still having trouble with sleep any suggestions welcome. Sometimes I mask only one ear and let sound through. I find if I don’t mask the sound increases until it’s full volume and it takes hours to get it down. Is this normal ? I do appreciate your response and others. I am trying to be patient and kind with myself. Any suggestions on what to track in a diary? Not sure what I should be asking you or others. I’m trying to do things to get my thinking off of it even when I’m masking. Trying to tell my brain move on. Thank you for giving me hope in this dark hour of my life.

      Mike
       
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      OneTimePoster

      OneTimePoster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13 september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Calimike It makes sense, your brain still sees the internal noise as a threat. When there is a threat the brain will increase focus on it (a lot), to make you get away from the threat. In this case that is impossible, which is exactly why this is so extremely scary. Luckily the threat is not real, and you are fine. Only the brain needs to be trained to truly believe that.

      Some tips that I thought of when reading your post:

      - Of course you want to get out of this situation so badly, but trying too hard, trying to force things, isn't going to work. It adds more stress, which is the opposite of what you need. You need to find moments of relaxation, even if you can find just a little, it all helps.

      - Try to keep healthy. Working out when you manage again and eating healthy can really do a lot in making your thoughts more positive and giving you extra energy to process all the stress. Again don't force this on yourself, small steps, this is not the time to push through in these things because your already working at the limit of what you can handle.

      - Trying to analyse the tinnitus won't give you anything, except that you tell the brain it is important enough to analyse which is not what we want. You won't always be able to stop yourself from doing it, but if you notice yourself doing it, that is the first step to decreasing this. This is the pitfall of a tinnitus diary too, I took a report to the audiologist with detailed descriptions of every little thing I noticed about my tinnitus, and he couldn't do anything with that. With patience and kindness, teach yourself to not give the internal noise any importance or value of something that needs to be avoided or removed. It takes a long while, but this is really helping yourself habituate in my experience.

      - The first period of time your fearful focus get's pulled to the tinnitus constantly. It's good when you're able to find the experience in which you forget about it, even for a minute. At first that might only be when you're asleep. I found it in a hobby of mine, which is gaming. I didn't even enjoy it anymore, but I started again to get some distraction and noticed moments where I got caught up in the game and forgot about it a little while. These little moments very slowly grew into whole days, weeks, months. After which somewhere I "lost" the noise completely.

      - Your brain/body is your best friend. It does the best thing possible to get yourself in balance. This might sound a little weird, but it can help to talk to it like father/mother talking to a child scared of a monster in a closet. Explain to it that it's not real, without getting angry or frustrated. Love yourself. The only reason for this fear, is your brain believing it is something to fear, and this is within our control to change. It may take a while, but it will get better and better. All that is left to say is that I have seen that habituation is real, and when the brain is tought that internal noise is the most unimportant on the planet, it won't be bothered to put it in your conscious focus even if you'd want to.

      Mike, I have been where you are. It's so damn hard, but the saying that every hardship in life is a blessing in disguise sounds very true to me. When it's behind you, you're going to see how much it strengthened you.
       
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    27. Calimike

      Calimike Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 24,2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Docs say virus
      This is Mike and my update. My T level same. I got my sleeping to improve by listening to just fountain water noise. I am masking daily except Saturdays. I’m trying to get use to it. If Saturday’s become easier then I will go Saturday and Sunday. If that becomes easier then I will keep adding days. I still taking vitamins and eating healthy but I already eat healthy. I know im still depressed about it but I know in time my depression will not be as bad. I don’t do a diary anymore. I’m trying to find new things to do and go places so I am not alone as much. I find that I don’t like talking about it maybe this is my way to forget it as much as possible.
      I will report back in a couple of weeks for those who are interested. I just passed the month mark. Take care everyone. Mike
       
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    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      OneTimePoster

      OneTimePoster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13 september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sounds like you are on the right road!
       
    29. Calimike

      Calimike Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 24,2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Docs say virus
      My two week update from my last post
      T start date 11/24/2018

      Im still sleeping with the waterfall noise and a fan on every night. I don't mask during the days on the weekends now and for part of the time during the week before or after work. I wear my headphones behind my ears so that i still hear my T. Sometimes a fan at work seems to be enough for me to focus on my work. I find that I can handle my T better in the morning but after lunchtime it is more difficult. I work in a very quiet office environment so in the afternoon the fan does not seems enough but im still trying to make it enough. I had a food allergy test done by a alternative doctor which the results say i should not have any dairy, eggs, and tomatoes. So beside taking Lipo-Flavoniod (B vitamins) and a Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc tablets i cut the test result foods out of my diet for simple health reasons. My T loudness is still the same but there are times that i seem to handle it better for a few hours. Yesterday and today i have been depressed, some days are just that way.

      I am still trying to follow the path of OneTimePoster. I try and be kind to myself and not afraid. I try and listen to the T as if it is just another sound like all other sounds. It is not easy but im trying to have hope that this is the right path.

      I have a question. What is the definition of habituation? Is it you can hear the noise but dont care or your brain no longer listens to the sound so you only hear it when you think of it or your brain doesn't hear it anymore?

      Also mindfulness. Is it being able to think beyond the T sound or being able to control your thinking to think of something else?

      Has anyone ever used a Still Point Inducer?

      I am not happy with my situation but there are moments that i feel that i am making progress. Im not seeking out any more doctors for this condition but i do have a lot of blood test results if anyone want to compare yours results with mine. If so let me know and i will post them. I do plan to increase my B-12. My results for B-12 came back at 223 pg/mL. Which is low in the normal range of 200-900.

      Anyways my goal is my understanding of habituation.

      I will post again in a couple of weeks. All are welcome to make a commit on my posts.
      May peace be with you, best of luck. Mike
       
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    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      OneTimePoster

      OneTimePoster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13 september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Calimike I've read and experienced two types of habituation, one comes after the other. At first you don't care about it anymore, then you actually don't hear it anymore unless you try to hear it (which you won't do often because it's too unimportant). At some point you can not even "find" it anymore, I can only "find" it with some effort and in a really silent room, but I don't care enough to even try most of the time.

      Mindfulness in my experience, is about allowing everything in the current moment without judgement (yet also allowing the judgement if it's there), to become an observer of yourself, let every feeling and thought just be and let it go again.
       
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