New, Could Use Some Advice

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Andrew S, Apr 6, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Andrew S

      Andrew S Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/23/2015
      Hi guys. sorry in advance if this ends up being long-winded. and i figure most of the questions i have are probably answered somewhere on this site but i guess it would just feel good to get some specific feedback and attention right now.

      I went to two loud concerts in the span of a week and did not wear protection for the louder of the two, as i stupidly decided in the moment that since i was seeing a 'noise' band the harshness was just part of the experience and i'd make a rare exception to my normal cautiousness. obviously i feel horrible about this and i'll never do it again if i even go to another concert. the other, latter show wasn't as loud and i wore protection, but the tinnitus started after that one. It's been just under two weeks. Of course it's very recent and i'm still holding out that it will fade, but in the meantime i've fallen into some pretty destructive habits/patterns of thinking and could really use some advice and support.

      i know that objectively my T is not super loud or abrasive. It is a low electric sizzle pretty similar to tv static or amplifier hiss, and there is also a dull wavering tone in my left ear that quite honestly could have predated the concerts as it sounds very similar to what i've always thought 'ambient household appliance noise' sounds like. i suspect that like many people i've had mild tinnitus for a while from shows, guitars, headphones, blah blah that i just never noticed.

      despite the T not being catastrophic in itself i am a bit of a hypochondriac and prone to all sorts of debilitating thought loops. i've been absolutely brutal on myself regarding my decision to not wear proper protection at the aforementioned concerts. i'm normally the person who brings extra earplugs to offer to friends. i really just can't let it go and can't help myself from being extremely fatalistic about never being able to enjoy music/silence/sleep, etc. again.

      the biggest problem is that whatever psychological advances i make in the daytime--i've been hiking and exercising a lot and generally feeling pretty good in the sunshine--are erased when i struggle to sleep at night. i live with my girlfriend and she's okay with a bit of whatever rain/ambient noise clips i've been playing on my computer speakers but i can tell it's interfering with her sleep, which is super important as she has chronic migraines and a stressful job. on the other hand, the couple times i've worn headphones at night i've found that the T was worse in the morning and that freaks me out and makes me think maybe headphones should be off limits, at least for a while? Not knowing what to do to get to sleep i've taken to pacing around the house, muttering to myself like a madman, and generally being depressed/implacable. I could really use some tips for sleeping.

      if you all have any advice pertaining to anything i've said it would be much appreciated. some other random questions i have are:
      --i'm scheduled to go to an ENT thursday... there is also an audiologist in my area who does 'tinnitus therapy', would people recommend making this appointment also?
      --i'm trying to get to a mental health clinic as well, i have a history of depression and it's really in full force. psychotropics aren't necessarily the first course of action but i read somewhere that SSRIs are maybe a pretty good fit for tinnitus? is there any consensus on that?
      --also, sleeping pills are scary drugs and all but have they been effective for the T community, generally?
      --i've read that alcohol isn't recommended but that's like default medical advice for any health problem. the thought of not being able to have a beer after work sucks. what are people's experiences with alcohol and T?
      --regardless of how loud or quiet the environment is, it really seems like the tinnitus is considerably louder at night time. like i couldn't hear it over a tv during day but i can at night. is there anything to that?
       
    2. awbw8
      Balanced

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2013
      @Andrew S

      I think the first thing you have to do, while it is not easy, is replace your negative thought loops of blaming yourself with something (anything) else. It takes a long time to forgive yourself, you can't force that, but put something else in its place. Instead of "man if I'd only worn earplugs - I wouldn't be here, I'm so stupid etc." try "In this moment, I have tinnitus, what positive steps can I take to make myself feel better?" It's not a perfect to solution, but it's just a step and directs you towards something you can actually change. As time passes and after you T either goes away or you habituate, the guilt will recede and forgiveness will have more fertile ground in which to grow.

      Another thought to replace, instead of, "I'll never enjoy music/silence/sleep etc. again." try, "Right now, I'm having a hard time with sleep, but lots of other people with T have felt really bad and habituated - there's a really good chance I'll either habituate or the T will go away. In either case, I'll be able to enjoy music/sleep/silence again."

      You said yourself the T is not that bad and that you're not even sure if some of it just existed before and now you're noticing it. T isn't going to get you - but your reaction to it will. My T is also from a loud concert where I didn't wear earplugs (I wasn't a concert goer and just didn't know to), but I still beat myself up endlessly. That has faded with time. You can get there, too.

      As for your sleep (and other challenges) I would really recommend not sleeping with headphones. If you need a sound-generator to sleep and it's bothering your significant other, maybe you two will need to sleep in separate spaces for a little while. This doesn't have to be forever, but you both need sleep. I adjusted to sleeping without any rivers etc. in time, now I sleep in a quiet room with no issues, the same as I did before.

      Do go see an ENT, but do not be upset if they can't offer you much. If you like the tinnitus therapy person, then fine, but I would look for a CBT psychologist who understands T. Dr. Hubbard (on this board) works with patients remotely. He has T and works specifically with T patients. He is a really wonderful person. It sounds like your issues are more with anxiety and poor thought patterns than with the T itself as you refer to it as pretty quiet in many circumstances (i.e. watching TV) - it's probably not louder at night, that's just a quiet, reflective time that's allowing your brain too much time to think about the T.

      There are mixed feelings on the board for SSRIs, but I would check out the thread on the subject and make your own conclusions: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/antidepressants-ssris-snris-maos-tcas-tecas.768/

      It is unlikely (in my non-medical opinion) that any SSRI or other anti-depressant is going to make your T actually quieter, it might make you calmer.

      I don't think sleeping pills are too scary. I took them for about a month when my T first started, but then I weaned off them through yoga (helped calm my nerves before bed). When I was taking them, I needed them, otherwise I would not have been able to sleep at all. Talk to a psychiatrist you trust and let them help you - there's no shame in taking them when you need them.

      It absolutely depends on your T. It doesn't make any difference for me. All I will say is that you're early in your T which we're presuming was caused by an acute acoustic trauma - your body is trying to heal and alcohol does not help that process. If I were you, I wouldn't drink for a while. That's not based on any kind of medical anything, just what I would do. That said, it's not a "I'll never have a beer again" situation, just giving your body its best chance to heal in the early days. Also, Alcohol interrupts sleep patterns, so if you're having trouble sleeping, it's not a good choice.

      It could just be anxiety as I said above, or maybe it is a bit louder. I know when I first had T, I felt like it was louder when I woke from a nap, but now it pretty much seems the same all the time, save if I have a spike. However, when you're watching TV, you do have something actively distracting you. When it's at night and you're in your room thinking about it, your attention is drawn to it.



      I really do think you're going to be okay with some time @Andrew S. First steps I would take, if I were you, would be to go see the ENT, make sure there's nothing you can do that you're not doing. After that, take care of yourself as best you can. Try to eat pretty healthy, no booze for a while, get as much sleep as you can. Then, go see a psychiatrist, talk to them about your feelings and problems, get something to help you sleep while you adjust, or to help manage the anxiety. Outside of that, work on your own thought cycles, read something inspiring, maybe meditate a little (get one of those guided recordings). It will take time, but things will get better, one way or the other, if you take little steps towards that.

      Good luck and sorry for the long post! We're all here for you :)
       
    3. James Brown
      Sporty

      James Brown Member

      Location:
      Portugal
      Tinnitus Since:
      09-1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposition
      First of all each case is a different case. First of all avoid all loud noises. One of the first things I drop was headphones. Loud noise near you ears it's not good for T. I began with T almost 20 years ago, and one think I thought it was I will never be able to listen to music again. At the beginning was just a little hiss like yours, but with time it has increased until the 10 th year when it get stable, I would say a 4 in a 10 scale. After that just a stupid accident has increased my T, but I believe if not for that my T still was a 4.
      Some things ABOUT T, but not a rule. Like I said each case is a case. First of all normally it's louder in the morning. Normally it's higher when you are stressed or tired, or if you sleep few hours. Never noticed that alcohol was bad. On the contrary it can help you to relax and to forget a little, but that it's me. I am not a heavy drunker.I also take about 2 expressos a day and I never noticed nothing special. All this to say your T, it's your T. What it's good for you can be bad for other people. Don't judge yourself for other people symptoms.
      Other experience I have its the fact that the damage done to your cells normally just stops some days after the trauma.
      If you have just a hiss and if you will stay like that I would say you will cope with it in a few months. You will stop to thinking on it more and more until you can pass days until you think about it. My wife never knew I had T for a lot of years. It's like wearing glasses. They are on your nose but you don't think much about it.
      Back to the first rule:-Dont cause more damage to your ears or you will regret more than you regretted for not using ear protection on the concerts.
      Believe me, 20 years are a lot of experience on this stuff and there's some insanities I have done that I will regret for the rest of my life. I can't go back, but you can prevent.
      There's some things you can do like taking esteroids, but I never had it so read the posts other people wrote about it.
       
    4. James Brown
      Sporty

      James Brown Member

      Location:
      Portugal
      Tinnitus Since:
      09-1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposition
      Just one more thing to say after got T i never gave up on music, and I have more than 2000 CD and even now I have my T much higher I still listen at a moderate level. I just stop when my H is bothering me and it's painful listen to it.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      The advices from above posters are excellent. I don't know if I can add to it. I can only say that your T being so new, there are many things you can do to help yourself and you can't rule out the it will fade or disappear over time. There are many success stories on TT so you can browse through them to have some hope that the future is not all bleak. Also TT has a thread for new sufferers not to panic and it lists things in steps of what you can do to help yourself. It includes also masking sounds as well as a link to the Sleep Thread where members discuss how to get better sleep. So don't panic and check this out:
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/panic/

      Here is link to the Sleep Thread:
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/sleep-thread-hygiene-supplements-medication-etc.4509/
       
    6. Andrew S

      Andrew S Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/23/2015
      Thank you so much for the guidance @awbw8 , @James Brown and @billie48 ! this clears up a lot and i'm already feeling far less helpless than i have been.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1

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