Never Thought I'd be Here

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by cjb2811, Nov 4, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. cjb2811
      No Mood

      cjb2811 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lamictal & Tegretol
      I truly never thought I would be writing here in the Success Story part of the forum. Take a look at this post from a little less than a year back to see how dire my situation was Considering Ending My Life. This is serious shit.

      I would come on here and write about how the tinnitus has destroyed my life and how I'll never be happy again. And I believed that. Turns out it wasn't tinnitus that was destroying my life - it was Bipolar Disorder (Type II).

      I've been through the wringer with psychiatrists. Probably seen more than almost anyone on this board. It took YEARS to finally find the right one who clearly identified this mental illness, showed me how much havoc it was wreaking in my life, and put me on the right medication. I am almost 31 years old. My entire adult life has been a roller coaster of hypomanic ups and severe depressive downs. Now, it was in fact a medication to treat bipolar disorder from a different psychiatrist that caused my severe tinnitus in the first place. But when I was severely depressed I blamed it all on the tinnitus, not the mental illness, truly catastrophizing it and making me feel hopeless.

      So why am I a success story? My tinnitus isn't gone, so it's not that. I am a success story because my mood disorder has been successfully treated with Lithium and I am under the care of a brilliant psychiatrist. This man has truly changed my life in so many ways. I am neither depressed nor hypomanic. This balanced way of living is such a welcome change, and I am so much better off for it. The tinnitus is there, but here is the important part: HALF THE TIME I DON'T NOTICE IT and WHEN I DO IT DOESN'T BOTHER ME. I am habituated.

      I was considering killing myself because of the tinnitus. Looking back, I realize that it was the depression, not the tinnitus causing these irrational thoughts. I am now such a different and better person now that I don't even recognize myself. I live in moderation. People think Bipolar Disorder is a big deal. I say to them, it is and it isn't. If it's untreated, it's a very big deal, and can destroy lives. If it's treated, it's really no big deal at all. Just take your meds.

      It really makes sense that finding balance in live would lead to good coping with the tinnitus. It truly doesn't bother me, and that is an amazing thing. Maybe one day it will completely fade into the background, as it once did, but I think about it so little that I'm not worried about that. So I consider this a clear success and am very thankful and blessed to have my life back.

      The moral of this story is that some people have tinnitus and it is the clear cause of their suffering. However, others have mood disorders or mental illnesses that exacerbate the tinnitus or cause people to suffer much more from it. I definitely fall in the second group and I encourage anyone else in that group to get the best psychiatric help they can. I was incredibly wary of psych meds but once I found the right ones they were truly life-changing. All the best to those who are suffering, thank you for your support on this board, and please do not give up hope.
       
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    2. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Congratulations!!
      I remember seeing that post a while ago and worrying about you!

      This is great. I'm glad you have the bipolar under control and you have been able to habituate and live your life so much better.
      You are a true warrior.
      Happy for you, and thanks for coming back and posting your success.
       
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    3. cjb2811
      No Mood

      cjb2811 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lamictal & Tegretol
      @Mario martz Thank you for your kind words. My life is about 90% under control, whereas for the past three years it has been 90% out of control for various reasons. Things aren't perfect, but they're pretty good.

      The most important thing is that I no longer see tinnitus as a source of agony. It's rather a minor annoyance at some times, and not acknowledged at most others. I still have a lot to work on, but let me tell you - life is good - that is something I haven't been able to say in a very long time.
       
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    4. nimx

      nimx Member

      I guess mostly everyone who suffer from tinnitus should take a hint from your success story. Because of the strong link between T and limbic system, whether it is bipolar or anxiety or depression, and wether it is tinnitus in first place causing anxiety/depression or vice-versa (because who "suffers" from it has always some degree of emotional disrlegulation), it makes a huge difference in how you manage and perceive tinnitus, and your first goal is to manage or cure (this depends on the issue and its severity, some can be effectively be treated for good retraining yourself, some others can be managed very well without meds or with the right ones) the underlying emotional disorder. It will make a huge difference, rest assured your T could lower, fade away completely, or fade in the background not bothering you so much. At least this seems to be the way to go for most success stories.
       
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    5. cjb2811
      No Mood

      cjb2811 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lamictal & Tegretol
      Yes I agree with @nimx and the main point I wanted to make here is that if you are able to successfully treat an underlying mental illness, then it is very likely your tinnitus will improve. Or at the very least your reaction to your tinnitus will improve because you are at such a better place in life.

      I never realized just how much my mental illness caused destruction in my life in so many ways. It really is a miracle that I'm a pretty successful person rather than either dead or in jail. But my point is that I attributed all my suffering and problems to the tinnitus, which is not uncommon given how all-encompassing it can be, rather than treating the true problem (which is now no longer a problem, just like the tinnitus). I have my life back, and I am living it to the fullest. This can happen for others too, just look to me for an example. For me, it took finding the brilliant psychiatrist whose care I am now under. I truly owe this man my life.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @cjb2811 Great news I am very pleased for you. :)
      Michael
       
    7. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      @Emmi
      Great news and Thanks for posting. Best wishes Phil
       
    8. whale
      No Mood

      whale Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/25/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Myofascial crap Bruxism, a jackhammer, stress who knows
      @cjb2811 are you just taking Lithium and if so at what dosage?
       
    9. cjb2811
      No Mood

      cjb2811 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lamictal & Tegretol
      @whale I'm on 1500mg Lithium as well as 5mg Abilify (for anxiety) and 2mg Xanax (for insomnia).

      Thank you all sincerely for your kind words.
       
    10. Mithrandir
      Ape-like

      Mithrandir Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma + NIHL
      @cjb2811 You take Xanax 2mg each day ? That doesn't help your tinnitus ?
       
    11. cjb2811
      No Mood

      cjb2811 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lamictal & Tegretol
      @Mithrandir I take the xanax at night for insomnia but it definitely takes the edge off the volume. My psychiatrist offered me another benzo that I could take during the day but I didn't want to be popping them all day when I'm able to live in peace as it is.
       

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