My Story with Tinnitus and Mental Illness

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by delumo71, Nov 4, 2015.

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    1. delumo71
      No Mood

      delumo71 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Early 2015.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I wish I knew.
      It has been about 4 months since tinnitus (T) decided to attack my life and stick around, apparently for good. I have suffered from depression, panic attacks and a mood disorder for over 20 years. I do not know how to explain what triggered the sudden ringing one day. I will never forget it. No exposure to loud noises, no hearing loss, no external trigger, none of that. I simply live everyday now with a ringing in ears that I cannot explain the cause of. Obviously my depression and quality of life have been tremendously affected and at times it is scary where my mind wanders of to. When it first appeared, I felt I was going to lose my mind for good and let me tell you, that is real easy for someone with a pre-existing mental condition!

      Nevertheless, I am still here. I did what most of you have done when you first get. I went to the ENT, I got a hearing test. No issues there. The consultation gave me NO answers and NO hope, nothing. Doctors are quick to dismiss you and walk you out the door. Basically "deal with it". My tinnitus constantly changes in pitch and intensity. Right now, I am at what I guess I should consider a "stable" stage with T with "Acceptance" but I always wake up hoping that today would be the day I wake up to complete silence. I miss silence. I never thought I would one day hate quietness and stillness. I feel as though it was unjustly robbed from me. A quiet room is like a torture chamber. My iPhone deep calm app help with noise masking. I notice my "T" gets louder when I am most anxious. It is a vicious cycle. If you get anxious, T gets loud and you get more anxious when T get louder so it is a self-feeding vicious cycle. My heart goes out to everyone out there suffering and living with T. I would love to find others that have my same situation, where no obvious triggers were there to cause or explain why. The not knowing is what plagues me everyday. Living with it everyday, I can do and I am doing but not knowing what changed in my brain to suddenly develop this is my heartache.
       
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    2. eric peterson
      Sporty

      eric peterson Member

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 10/2003 Increase: 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      who knows? who cares?
      @delumo71 , I can only imagine how you must be feeling. I can remember the first few months of my T. I am a two time sufferer of T, once in 2003, and I relatively easily habituated, and then I had a nasty spike in noise about 6 months ago. It's certainly a distressing disorder, to say the least. And for whatever reason, there seems to be a correlation between suffering from T, and prior issues with mental illness. (at least I've read a few medical articles suggesting this connection) Even though it seems like doctors are just telling you to 'live with it' and there isn't anything you can do, I don't really believe that is true. There's plenty that you can do. You can go and live your life, and not give T any more attention than what is warranted. This isn't easy in the first few months. But it gets easier with time. Softening your attitude toward your T and acting toward it in a more open and accepting manner are two things that CBT taught me about dealing with my own T. It's going to be with most of us for a long time, so we might as well do our best to make friends with it. This might all feel like psycho-babble nonsense, but it has worked for my own habituation (still in progress) and it's also got actual science behind it (counseling and CBT are used widely in the medical and psychological field to help people deal with T). You probably don't believe it now, but there is a day coming when T affects your life much less than it does not. And there is a day coming after that where T will no longer play any real role in your life. Having a positive attitude and believing this will go a long way toward getting you there.

      Good luck,


      Eric
       
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    3. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Welcome @delumo71 I am someone with history of anxiety and panic disorder for decades prior to T & H. I am no strangers to depression and mental struggles. I can feel for your struggle. I have ultra high pitch dog whistle T and severe H. My T also came out of nowhere. One night I just shot out of bed with this T screaming. Then H soon followed and all normal sounds appeared too loud and piercingly hurtful to me. I was in a mess initially but no I have turned around and wrote my success story. If you have time you can read it through. Also read many other stories to give you some more support and hope. Take care & God bless.

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...w-i-recovered-from-tinnitus-hyperacusis.3148/
       
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    4. delumo71
      No Mood

      delumo71 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Early 2015.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I wish I knew.
      @billie48 thank you so much for kind works. Your success story gives me hope. Finding this forum appeases me as I realize I am not alone in this. As you know, our pre-existing mental struggles can worsen when you throw T into the mix. I am currently trying to find a good CBT provider but it seems next to impossible right now. I just relocated and it just seems that no one is taking new patients so I find myself online looking for support and hope both for my T and my mental illness that has plagued me for over 20 years. I have to be honest with myself in saying I am doing nothing to find a hobby and that is on me. Relocating was supposed to be to finally close out a bad chapter and to start fresh but somehow the change and new surroundings are making me feel vulnerable, panicky and lost. Lately, my depression has been "winning the rounds" and I feel like I am drowning... The T is not happy so I have to use masking for hours during the day to maintain an "acceptable" level of anxiety without crumbling into complete utter mess. Is too much masking counterproductive? I just wonder...

      ...one day at a time... one day at a time..
       
    5. Garye
      Confused

      Garye Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ??
      Stress anxiety/depression can work on people so differently it seems. I'm 59 ...prior to this T starting I was actually starting to feel a little better after a couple of life events....have dealt with stress and worries etc for years but have always managed to deal with it and get on with life.I have never been on meds. no apparent noise trauma,except for a little low frequency hearing loss in affected(right) ear everything checked out okay.?And yet...without warning...this high pitched whine( started a month ago) is with me now . And the past 2 days it seemed like it was getting better. Positive vibes...feeling optimistic ...and then wake up this morning to the noise again. I totally understand what you and everyone else experiencing this, are feeling !!
       
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    6. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      In my worst time, I had no choice but to mask the whole day, because my panic prone brain would cave into anxiety and panic attacks on auto mode the minute I woke up with the T screaming so loud. I had to mask at bed time with sound machine and PC speakers, with an ipod nano for masking on the go, and at work I had permission to use speakers on my PC which I had download a free generator 'aire freshener'. So I have masking non-stop in my waking hours. Just make sure the masking sound is slightly lower than the T ringing so your brain can learn to face the T sound without panic. Gradually you can cut back on the masking so your brain can harden to T as time goes by. Be positive and calm as this will reduce your stress and anxiety. They are bad for T. Focus on living and not on T. It may be hard at first but if you keep at it, it will slowly improve and sooner or later the brain will learn to tune out T when it doesn't consider T a threat.
       

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