Panicking Again Today

Discussion in 'Support' started by UKJon, Jun 3, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. UKJon

      UKJon Member

      Location:
      Leicestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Prolonged stress followed by bereavement
      Hi everyone,

      Yes I'm panicking again today. I have mild T and sometimes it's only even slight. But I'm SUCH a worrygut and get myself into such a state still. I only really hear T in the quiet and yet I'm still carrying so much stress which of course makes things worse and makes me worry that the T will get worse and stay like it. THEN I'll be wishing I was back as I am now. Round and round I go until evenings when I'm calmer usually as I am ready for sleep again. I can't work at the moment either.

      The last two out of three nights, I've tried sleeping with meds only and no masking sound and managed it ok so why am I still gasping for air as I type this. I try and keep busy but going out only puts me amongst happy people just getting on with life and highlights my current situation. Plus every time I venture out, I'm focussing primarily on what I'll hear when I'm back home again. Sometimes it rings a little louder after going out but goes back down again after a while.

      Breathing exercises help but it's STAYING calm that eludes me. If I listen for it, I get it. People say practice relaxing and don't monitor your T. But surely doing the one must involve the other.
       
    2. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      You seem to deal with an anxiety issue more than a T issue. It seems you have a phobia (irrational fear) for the mild T ringing. If you can only hear it when quiet, then there is no reason to be so stressed out with the sound. You may have misophonia or phobia for certain sounds. A low T sound shouldn't cause so much mental suffering. But then again, Dr. Nagler has always pointed out that our reaction to the T sound determines the intrusiveness and your case is just that.

      Think about it. People of the world deal with sounds/noises all the time. Imagine people living in noisy places having all kinds of noises all day (even all night) around them. With phobia, you may need some counselling/strategy how to deal with your irrational fear. Mindfulness and exposure are some of the techniques to deal with fear and phobia and Dr. Gans on the Doctors' Corner may be a good person to approach about this approach. Mindfulness meditation can help bring something into awareness without all the negative emotions. You create the spaciousness to allow an otherwise unpleasant sensation/feeling into your awareness without judgement. Dr. Hubbard's success story talks about using similar technique to bring his loud T into the object of mindfulness. He says it was hard at first, but it gets better. So mindfulness a gradual and controlled way of exposing the unpleasant sensation to your awareness. I think a mild T ringing and the fear for it can be a good subject of using mindfulness to help erase that fear. Youtube has many videos illustrating how mindfulness meditation is done, or contact Dr. Gans to see if she can point you at the right direction.

      If anxiety is an issue, you can try get some meds from your doctor for that. One experiment you can do is after taking the meds and your nerves calm down, then use mindfulness to bring the T ringing into awareness. If you don't freak out like before, then you know it is the brain which is playing the phobia game on you, and it may have nothing to do with the mild ringing (which is really not a threat). Take good care & God bless.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. UKJon

      UKJon Member

      Location:
      Leicestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Prolonged stress followed by bereavement
      Yes anxiety is a major issue. I'm an obsessive too with mild OCD. Another crippling panic today. Been for a walk but may need a Valium 5mg. Only hear T in the quiet but panic still hard to control. I take 40mg of Prozac per day and 50mg of Quetiapine evening and morning for sleep which works wonders. Sleeping well but think I need to change from Prozac after many years. I'll will be visiting mental health team in July for discussion.

      I know someone who takes Venlafaxine which works well for him but of course there is ototoxicity to worry about as well. I've been trying really hard since my Mum died in December but I'm still having a hard time and not eating enough at times and still ruled by fear of T. Sorry to be negative but I'm hear for as much support as possible.
       
    4. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hi @UKJon, I agree with @billie48: Looks like your tinnitus has kicked your anxiety into hyperdrive. Which is not unusual.Your brain, which manufacturers the tinnitus noise, also is signaling your automatic nervous system that the noise its making is a threat, sending your body into flight-or-fight mode. I know, it makes no logical sense. We are strange organisms, us humans.

      As Billie suggested, appropriate therapy to deal with anxiety and panic probably would help, along with some short-term meds. Mindfulness is a good one. Also, I personally had success with what's called cognitive behavioral therapy.

      Hang in there. It is possible to bring anxiety under control. I did it and so can you!
      :huganimation:
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      I agree with @LadyDi that CBT is very helpful for anxiety and hopefully for you, @UKJon. In fact one of the first books I bought for self-help CBT is an inexpensive paperback book "Feeling Good" by Dr. Burns. It talks about cognitive distortions. In fact you don't need a book nowadays with Internet. Search Google and you will find much info about cognitive distortions and how they affect our mood and mental health. Dr. Nagler's Letter to a Tinnitus Sufferer ends with a challenge to the readers to start countering your negative or distorted thoughts, replacing them with more realistic or positive ones. If you have chronic anxiety & panic disorders, you definitely should seek counselling help. A CBT oriented counsellor will do miracle to help you defuse the anxiety stress in your life so you don't end up always erupting in panic.

      But of course, this kind of paradigm shift in the way you approach challenges in life will require time. From birth, we learned as a baby or toddler to exhibit fear when in danger, pain, or hunger. Then our traumatic cries or negative emotions got the attention of the parents and our problems fixed. So perhaps even when we grow up, our residual primordial instinct tends to use negative reactions as the first line of response to our challenges. I have fallen into this trap when young , often in an excessive way of hoping someone will help me when I have problems. But when the help was not there often, I would easily panic. This lead to suffering decades of anxiety and panic disorder long before T & H.

      After my T & H experience and reading up on others' success stories, I realized that whatever mental health skills I had were not enough to deal with the stresses from T & H. So I set about learning & emulating other people's approaches, attitudes, strategies & insights, and I decide to replace the old ways with a new approach. This new approach is positivity, acceptance, flowing, analyzing and studying the problems, making the best choice of actions, planning and taking the actions, then just accepting the consequences, whatever they may be. On top of that, you add regular exercise, even outdoor activities to help nourish and fortify the nerves. There is no need to fear the consequence as I have done the best I can to solve the problem methodically within my human control. This to me is the best way to deal with anxiety and panic. Don't expect overnight miracle. It takes effort and determination to change the way we are used to approach things. It is a paradigm shift so it takes time and patience. But as long as you are on the right track and keeping at it, it will improve over time.

      To illustrate this new approach, I used to panic the minute the doctor suggested something might be wrong about my health. No longer with the new approach. A while ago the doctor told me my prostate PSA reading has been rising and there is risk of cancer developing. Normally I would panic like hell for weeks and pray nothing will be wrong. I would suffer whether there is a real problem or not. But with the new approach, I said I will be positive about this and flow with life. I would analyse the problem (such as what PSA really mean, the mortality rate of prostate cancer, my family history of prostate cancer risk etc.). Then I would take positive actions such as requesting two biopsy tests with 2 labs (for 2nd opinion), eating supplements for prostate health. Then I told myself to accept the consequence, whatever the biopsy tests say. I told everyone in the family that should they find it is cancer, count that as a positive and a blessing that they find this out from the tests instead of not knowing about the reality that I have cancer developing in my body. The 'ostrich' approach of hiding and wishing otherwise does not help if the reality is cancer. The sooner you find out, the better chance to survive it. I even joked that if it is cancer, I will accept my reality, fight it and survive it, and then I would go to cancer support forum to support others as a survivor. That would not be a bad experience in life. But if I die from the cancer, so be it (flowing), as it is probably my fate & destiny (my gene), and I have done my best within my human control. As it turns out, there is no cancer. Life goes on and I didn't waste one oz of negative energy on fear about this prostate cancer scare. My love ones actually told me they appreciate and feel inspired by my positivity in this crisis. If T & H has done something positive in my life, this new approach to life will be it.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. UKJon

      UKJon Member

      Location:
      Leicestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Prolonged stress followed by bereavement
      Thanks so much for the detailed replies.
       
    7. Harold
      Cheerful

      Harold Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1968
      Ukjon getting passed anxiety with having tinnitus works over time...In my 45 years of high whistle tinnitus
      since developing that Tinnitus from fighting in a war with noisy weapons. ive had all the fears etc that you spoke about. Did i get used to living with Tinnitus at spike level ...yes i did , do i have better days yes i do...have i got passed anxiety and fear yes for the most part....and do i get panic , or fear or anxiety .still once in a while and here and there . yes but with much more ability to cope and deal with the bad days , because of the develpment and memory of how i became able to accept and cope...if that makes sense to you....I look for the bright sunny
      days when the T is not so much in my thinking because i am keeping busy....listening to a radio with ear buds at bed time on low volume , does help distract from the T noise and you get used to sleeping better with that help.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    8. UKJon

      UKJon Member

      Location:
      Leicestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Prolonged stress followed by bereavement
      Hi again and thanks again to those that replied. However, found myself back in A and E at hospital on Sunday 7th. Hyperventilating, sobbing and terrified. My T is mild maybe even slight at times. Perhaps 0-3. I hear it only in quiet conditions and I'm luckier than many I suppose. My PC masks it right now. My anxiety is 10/10 however. Perhaps some of you could tell me not to be such a wimp (politely). This is all due to carer's fatigue/stress lasting 3 years followed by bereavement (Mother). I just want to move on but I'm terrified it'll get worse. Sorry.
       
    9. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Sorry you are suffering. After all the advice given by me and others, I hope you will do the following ACTIONS. It seems that your mind is all clouded up by fear and anxiety. So it helps to write down something to help manage the anxiety step by step. Take that as a check list of sort every time your mind feel anxious and panicky:

      1) Accept that, at this point of your life, you have anxiety and panic disorder, and flow with life by not resisting this fact. Illnesses are a reality of life. Some people get it much worse than us. This disorder may fade or be healed over time when your grief over your mother's passing eases.

      2) Also accept that at this point of your life, you are having a very mild T which is really not the issue. It is just a trigger of the panic attack. The T is not the real problem. But the reaction to this irrational fear (phobia) is causing havoc. So keep telling your brain 'My T is not the problem. It is mild. People deal much louder noises all the time and why should I panic'. You can read up the success story 'Back to Silence' by 'I Who Love Music'. It has a simple strategy on how to react whenever you hear T. He has healed himself after 40 years of T. Many people try it and find it helpful. It is the most read success story, so it must be helpful. Here is the link:
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/back-to-silence.7172/

      3) Accept that you mother has passed on. If you believe in after-life, you know that your mother does not want you linger in sadness and emotional suffering because of her passing. This grieving process will take time. So be patient with your situation. Let time heal the wound. But try your best to not let grief becomes an mental health issue. I lost my only son (I have 3 other dauthers) at 5 years old to a freak accident. So I know what it is like to lose a love one. Try to think of the positives of her life, the celebration of her accomplishment. Try to turn that grief into some positive sentiment about her life. In the end. all of us will pass on. Try to treasure the memory of her goodness.

      Since ACCEPTANCE is such a key factor in managing our emotions, if you try to practice it, you will find you will get better control of your own emotions. Acceptance, surrendering and flow are some of the best approaches to deal with challenges in life. You can google about it to be convinced.

      4) Try to follow all the things people advise you by taking ACTIONS. When you know you are doing something to help yourself, the mind will get less panicky. For example, spend time to exercise, go outdoor, enjoy hobbies, learn & practise mindfulness meditation, do abdominal breathing, try yoga, go out do things with friends, etc. etc. These will all help for fortify your brain and relax your nerves, as well as distracting your mind from the things which worry you.

      5) Try read up on Dr. Nagler's Letter to a Tinnitus Sufferer. Try counter every fearful or negative thoughts. Write them down. Then try to counter or replace each negative thoughts with a more realistic or positive thought. You must write them down and go over these often. This is CBT in practice. Do this often enough the brain will slowly fall in line with the more realistic and positive thoughts, and it will cease to react to the negative ones. Consider this as a step to slowly reprogram your mind, building new neural pathways instead of the usual panic route.

      6) If you need it, try get some meds from your doctors to help. The benzos & ADs are temporary fixes but they help you manage your emotions better and you can always phase them out slowly later.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. Mad maggot
      Breezy

      Mad maggot Member

      Location:
      New zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I don't think this has much to do with your T. You are focusing on it instead of your real anxieties which is caused by loss of a loved one and probably wearing yourself out as a carer. I'm really sorry for you. It sounds like you've had a lot on your shoulders. While you were needed to care for your mother you had no time to collapse because you had to keep going since she was relying on you. Now she is gone there may be some relief that you don't have to care for her and then guilt because you loved her and also no one needing you to be strong for them so you have collapsed with all the emotions you were holding in because you had to be strong and suppress it all. Perhaps talking with a trusted friend about all your feelings might relieve a lot of your stress. Well done for managing so long and taking care of your Mum. I'm sure she must have appreciated you so much.
       
    11. UKJon

      UKJon Member

      Location:
      Leicestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Prolonged stress followed by bereavement
      Me and my brother looked after her for three years. We had to be on call in the same house 24/7. We promised her we'd never put her in a home and we didn't want to anyway as she would not have lasted long without her two sons. I also lost my job in Dec 2013 and have not worked since.

      I couldn't have a break away even for one night as she would often call me whilst I was asleep. I ended up losing my temper often at work and at home, head butting the wall and throwing things around, crying in shear despair and guilt that I could not alter things. She was terrified about everything and then had a stroke in 2012 besides being bedridden and doubly incontinent. I was constantly looking for evidence of cancer everywhere for her as that was her major fear although she never got it.

      We paid for carers and had nurses and out of hours doctors coming all the time as she had a bad blistering/bleeding skin problem as well.

      I fed her at night and we had to turn her in bed often to prevent bed sores. She died on 17/12/2014 and I was already very ill. I nearly didn't go to the funeral. Only me and my brother were present as we couldn't face dealing with anyone else. My dad's ashes went in with her.

      I've been ill ever since and trying to deal with (mild) T and thoughts of not being able to carry on and terrible panic attacks. I only hear my T in the quiet or at bedtime but it frightens me so much and spikes when I'm stressed (which is often) or when I'm out but then calms down again in the quiet.

      I have a noise machine which I use that plays a 'brook' sound and I take meds that help me to sleep very well. But I'm going to have to accept that it will take a while yet for me to recover and I'm terrified that the T will get louder and stay louder. 8 months and still not habituated although sometimes it's very small and I can think rationally. I get out when I can but have become socially withdrawn too much.

      In a few weeks, I have an appointment with a mental health team as I wish to review my anxiety medication. And I come on this forum for reassurance although some of the stories are very worrying. I'm such a mess and believe me, I do appreciate all the replies I get. But I feel I'm not there yet and it's very hard to think positively at times.

      Also, I want to do without 'aids' like the machine, but at night, when it's quiet, the T slowly becomes noticeable again as there is nothing to mask it so on it goes. I don't want any masks because I can't accept that I need any (perhaps for good). I feel I'm flawed and it is very hard to deal with right now. Even reading about medication and ototoxicity is frightening.
       
    12. awbw8
      Balanced

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2013
      My dad used to say something along the lines of "being alone in your own brain is not a good thing." Of course there are great ways to be alone with your mind, but he meant it in the sense that spending too much time pouring over worries alone with out any real life seeping in just digs you deeper into a mental hole.

      I know it's hard, I've dealt with anxiety and depression, but try to get out into the world and do something. Go for a hike, make something, feel the sun and the wind...whatever makes you feel nice or distracts you from even being able to think about T.

      If negative thoughts about T, or your mother or anything else come up, do not feed them with repetition. It sounds like your mother was very lucky to have such a loving, caring set of sons. I lost someone recently and in my grief I felt that I had perhaps not done enough, or the right things, though I was dedicated to her. My friend said, "She had people that loved and cared about her and took care of her at the end. May we all be so lucky."

      As for T, you can't worry about whether it will get worse or not, you'll go mad. The best thing to do is try to be present. Right now, it's pretty low, that's great. There are lots of people I know how also have it low (or not low at all) and are completely fine and happy in life. Your T changing doesn't mean you'll feel bad. It's the anxiety about it you have to learn to and get help managing. Other than that, with T, you just have to think to yourself, well, I'm good today, if it gets worse, I'll deal with that when I come to it.


      You're going to be okay. Hang in there.
       
      • Genius Genius x 1
    13. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Perhaps some of you could tell me not to be such a wimp (politely).

      This may be part of the problem... Do you think (as do many people) that anxiety is somehow a sign of weakness, that you should be able to just buck up and get on with it? NOT TRUE! Anxiety is a serious disorder, where your brain chemistry has tipped. Panic and anxiety affects multiple body functions: you can't eat, sleep; your legs feel weak and watery, you shake. Miserable.

      Please please, as @billie48 and others here have said: take action. Many good suggestions here. It could be CBT and short-term medications might be good first steps, just to get the anxiety settled some. It's hard to make major lifestyle changes in the middle of anxiety.
       
    14. Mad maggot
      Breezy

      Mad maggot Member

      Location:
      New zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Good grief! After reading what you've been living with for all that time no wonder you're feeling like this. Any normal human would react this way to the death of a loved one after a long illness and living as a carer for that person. Sounds a lot like post traumatic stress disorder in fact! I don't think this has anything to do with T. sounds to me like the noise you hear is the same normal noise anyone hears when there is no other noise. There's no such thing as silence. But you need help and some people to talk to who understand and can empathise with your feelings. If you like coming here and talking on this forum so be it but I truly think this is something other than T. Read the post you just out here about what you've been through taking care of your Mum and imagine you're reading a post from someone else! You'd be saying: "crickey dick mate!"
       

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