New and Struggling to Cope

Discussion in 'Support' started by serendipity1996, Sep 21, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      Hi everyone,

      Just made an account because my tinnitus has made me reach breaking point. I would roughly estimate that I've had tinnitus for maybe 5 years? I'm 20 years old so this was when I was maybe 15/16. In that time it's been so slight that it's been practically a non-issue and I've not given it a great deal of thought. I recall going to the doctor about it at the time and being told that I had blocked Eustachian tubes although that did not sort out the ringing so I assume it must be noise-induced.

      I didn't really give much thought at all to my tinnitus until a few weeks ago when I came across an article about how increasing numbers of young people face hearing damage due to loud concerts, in-ear headphones etc. Recently my mental health hasn't been great - I've been suffering from anxiety and started having panic attacks a few months ago, suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, and have generally been feeling really low/paranoid/worrisome.

      Anyway, that article has sent me spiralling into a depressive state - I realise that may sound melodramatic but I tend to worry obsessively about things and I've been struggling quite a bit with this. My tinnitus is still at the same level it was 5 years ago and I only really notice it when it's very quiet or I'm trying to get to sleep at night. However, since I've been manically fixating on it over the past week or so it's definitely become more noticeable as opposed to something I was just able to tune out subconsciously e.g when going to bed. I must admit, in the past 5 years I have used my headphones a lot (not earbuds) but not at excessively loud volumes although I appreciate hearing damage can occur at even moderate volumes. Since coming to university two years ago I have been out to nightclubs where the noise level was probably quite damaging.

      Even though my tinnitus hasn't worsened I am still annoyed at myself and actually quite scared. I have ordered myself a pair of earplugs which I have been using to protect myself from any loud noise and unfortunately will probably have to forgo clubbing from now on which I'm pretty bummed about since I'm really into house and techno. Perhaps my biggest fear is that my tinnitus is going to worsen invariably or that I'll suffer hearing gradual hearing loss resulting in going deaf at 30. That would honestly be my worst nightmare. Truth be told, I've been having suicidal thoughts and working myself up into a frenzied state of panic. It's the horrible uncertainty, the 'what if?'. My mind keeps on torturing me with depressing scenarios entailing me being fully deaf 10 years from now, unable to hear my future children say 'i love you' etc. I'm aware on some level that that particular scenario is quite unlikely but it's not hard to get trapped in negative thought patterns like this. I've read so many depressing stories about people whose tinnitus has driven them insane on internet forums. I know that forums like these probably tend to be self-selecting since most people with slight tinnitus that doesn't bother them wouldn't think to post about it on the internet but still. I'm sorry for this mountain of text but I have spent tonight crying and feeling utterly miserable. I'm also moving to Berlin in two days for a university exchange and feel totally unable to cope with the additional stress of that.

      Do you reckon my fears are unfounded and that I should just continue life as normal (although avoiding loud noises ofc)? Does tinnitus generally stay consistent or get worse over time? Lastly, I know it's all individual, but surely my hearing will remain intact? I've probably lost some of the highest frequencies but surely I wouldn't go hard of hearing? I'm praying that if my tinnitus worsens dramatically in, say, 15 years time when I'm 35 there will be some form of effective mass-market treatment out there by then.
       
    2. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006

      Don't worry one bit. Your hearing should be fine. These are your emotions doing this to you. Due to the chronic stress and depression, it has caused you to focus on your T. There are all kinds of ways to treat this. First off, keep praying. Secondly, you can look into combining Valerian Root with Passion Flower to help calm you down if anxiety is the issue. If depression is the issue, try eating more fish like Jesus did. (or you could try fish oil). It might take a couple of weeks, but that should help with depression due to Omega 3 fatty acids. Your T is mild so you should be able to able to get over it fairly well. Don't take Valerian Root and Passion Flower all the time (not a good idea). Just take it as needed. If you are OCD you can look into Inositol.

      If you go to the doctor they might give you Xanax (which probably would help but DO NOT TAKE LONG TERM...Dependance and withdrawals can be a nightmare). They also would probably prescribe you an SSRI. They numbed me out a lot but I might have to take one again at least for a bit. Lamictal to me is a really cool drug and has helped me feel better but you have to be warned about the possible rash people can get. Hang in there man...sounds like the stress has got your brain a little bit over excited and hopefully you can get it calmed down soon.
       
    3. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      Thank you for taking the time to reply! I'm trying to think about the situation rationally and put things into perspective which is helping ease my anxiety a bit. I looked it up and 1/10 people allegedly suffer from tinnitus which is a heck of a lot of people...I bet some of those people don't even realise they have it so tinnitus isn't necessarily an 'issue'. When I think about it it's not my tinnitus in itself that is an issue, it's my reaction to it and the uncertainty over whether it will worsen. My tinnitus in itself is very very mild. Accompanying the tinnitus, my ears do constantly feel full and from what I've read on here I appear to have tensor tympani syndrome too and my ears 'flinch' at everyday sounds (especially cutlery, dishes clanking, rustling etc). I'm not sure if this is the result of noise induced tinnitus or whether I may have a build up of ear wax. It also constantly feels 'airy'. In some ways, this is actually more bothersome than the tinnitus itself. However, all in all, if I were definitively told that this is the extent of my tinnitus and it won't get worse I would be able to carry on with life and be happy and fulfilled. It's the uncertainty that is killing me, not knowing whether my hearing will decline or the tinnitus will get worse or my ears will become too painful and sensitive. And I'm only 20 years old! But I think it's primarily a mental struggle. I'm probably in an enviable position since my tinnitus is very very mild. To be honest, I don't think reading internet forums and obsessively looking it up on the internet is helpful, I reckon it can make it worse since you start thinking of yourself as having an official 'problem' or an 'abnormality' if that makes sense.
      I really hope that in the near future, say 10-20 years, they will have come up with some sort of mass market effective treatment to reduce/eliminate tinnitus and hopefully a way to restore lost hearing although that may be wishful thinking.
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.