Perception, Anxiety and the Emotional Response

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Chris Alexander, Jan 7, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Chris Alexander

      Chris Alexander Member

      Location:
      Glasgow
      Tinnitus Since:
      31/05/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      Hi everyone

      I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year.

      So basically I wanted to share something with everyone who is suffering with all sorts of crazy thoughts and my opinion of emotions and Tinnitus.

      Mine started in May 2015, started VERY loud and calmed down - aside from when I am blocked up I dont really hear it during the day (but can if I want to), can always hear it at night. So I would say that I have mild to occasionally weeks of moderate Tinnitus.

      Thankfully 90% of the time I don't ever bother with it - I am so used to it ( as you will be too eventually!).

      So yes - I was going to share something.

      My anxiety ( have a disorder ) over T only really occurs when I think ' will it get worse? will i go deaf? ' in the future. The current noise does not bring out anywhere near the emotional response that the questions of the future bring.

      So I glanced at a headline today about a man who committed suicide because of T. Immediately my fight or flight kicked in and I started to panic ( even though I couldn't hear my T! ). I thought I would just skip over it and try to forget I head read it.

      I then decided that this avoidance would do no good - I read the article and immediately felt MUCH better.

      The reason for this is because within the article (the headlines are always sensationalist) it documented his other mental issues, the fact the NHS failed to bother helping him after 3 months and he was just left on his own etc.

      The reason I think this is important is because for me, the perception of tinnitus is MUCH worse than the actual tinnitus itself. This is so so important to understand and I think that subconciously this is what I realsised when I started to get used to mine. I have only just seen it clearly tonight.

      What I am trying to say apart from that is that we could all read horror stories and feel terrible - however our perception only makes us see what our anxiety tells it to (all the negative bollocks!).

      Hopefully I did not scare anyone with this as I am trying to be helpful to anyone who's T has just come on and they are here for the first time.

      Emotions play a huge part in this for me - when I am not anxious, I dont even hear my T, even when I am in a quiet room. My attention is elswhere. So yes, emotions play a huge part in your perception of T. Anxiety is the real battle and in time I am sure you will realise this yourself!

      With a positive attitude, the correct help and perhaps some medication, you can over come anything life. I still have my off days where my T is a bit louder and bugs me but you know what? If it was T bugging me it would be something else! The important thing is it does not bring out the original panic it once did ( what you may be getting just now ).

      Stay in the moment, take each day as it comes, live your life and remember - your emotional response to T is EVERYTHING.

      It will get better! :)

      Here is to a fu**ing awesome 2016.

      Chris
       
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    2. Charlie396

      Charlie396 Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      As a dude with generalized anxiety disorder, I can totally attest to the incredibly awful things anxiety can do to your body, convincing me I have either diabetes, MS or some kinda of tumor a few times a year.

      I believe what you're saying in that I'm sure the anxiety just amplifies it extremely, but as I'm still relatively new to this tinnitus world I'm still wallowing in the 'dark' period.
       
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    3. Chris Alexander

      Chris Alexander Member

      Location:
      Glasgow
      Tinnitus Since:
      31/05/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure

      Hey Charlie

      Yeah I totally get it. The initial period is to say the least very brutal. It took me about 6 weeks of constant panic each time I heard the noise (most of the time) and sleeping for 1/2 hours a night before it started to settle and I started to adjust. You will get there though, we have all been through it. Gradually the good days will be the odd one and then become more or less the norm.

      Biggest peice of advice I was given was to live your life as normally as possible - do everything you would have done before. It will make things worse for you if you don't!

      If you have trouble sleeping, find out about 'phenegran'. Not sure the US name for it. It's an over the counter anti histamine which on prescription is a sleeping pill. None of these addictive sleeping ones you get normally - it's awesome.

      Good luck!
       
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    4. JohnK
      Lonely

      JohnK Member

      Location:
      San Francisco
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/26/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      Anxiety has done wonders for me this year...
      • Insomnia
      • Muscle spasms/fasciculations
      • Exploding Head Syndrome (not nearly as cool as it sounds)
      • Joint pain
      • Eye floaters (not sure if caused or just perceived)
      • and I'm sure it played no small part in my getting T (first hints of it came after the worst panic attack of my life)

      Got tested for Lyme 4 times and been working myself into a nervous frenzy over the possibility of cipro/fluroquinolone toxicity.

      Worst. Year. Ever.
       
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    5. Andersson
      Worried

      Andersson Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2012
      I agree with everything you said.
      Anxiety and depression which I am in right now increase my perception of Tinnitus a million, it just screams over everything.

      If I take a Sobril ("lightest" benzo) I feel much better and my perception of T is lower and I can relax better, but I am trying not to use them to often, trying to work through it but its hard to get out of a depression with high anxiety.
      My whole body feels off, stomach aches, tired, no joy in things, cannot enjoy food etc, I stay in bed for 10-14 hours just feeling bad about tinnitus (but its other things as well deeper down, but T is the first thing that comes up so it gets the focus)
      And with this T is just so incredible loud.

      I am still leaning towards trying anti-depressants because I started to accept I am in a deep depression, I tried to lift it with natural supplements like 5-HTP, l-tyrosine and doing som exercise (or well walking mostly) but It just does not work.
      If I did not have T it might have been easier to get through it, but when you have a depression, anxiety problem and tinnitus drives it even more into a higher gear it gets to much :(
       
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    6. daniel1111
      Shitfaced

      daniel1111 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, repeated exposure with loud headphones.
      I've had the same experience as you. My anxiety, and worrying about my tinnitus was worse than the tinnitus itself.

      When my tinnitus was detectable over loud TV volume I was getting stressed and kept thinking thinking thinking about it. It actually helped me sometimes to go into a quiet room and reassure myself that my tinnitus was mild!

      All in all, I've tinnitus to be a vicious circle. You have tinnitus, this makes you depressed/anxious and worried about your tinnitus, this makes your tinnitus worse... And so on.

      This is especially difficult when you are new to tinnitus, it just seems to get worse and worse for a while and you are left desperate and without hope. I managed to break the cycle by not analysing my tinnitus, no more "Is it quieter?, Is it lower pitched? Is it better or worse than yesterday? Did coffee make it worse? Did alcohol make it worse? Did exercising make it worse?".

      Really trying to keep busy with fulfilling activities and going for long walks were keeping my tinnitus at bay by keeping myself too busy and distracted to be depressed.
       
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    7. noisebox
      Loved

      noisebox Member

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      If I did not have T I would not feel depressed or anxious about noisy environments or the future.
      T has caused my depression for certain.
       
    8. Cazb78

      Cazb78 Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No idea - yet!
      I suffer with health anxiety. It's completely debilitating when it occurs. People laugh and think I'm a hypochondriac but have no idea what it's like and the awful symptoms it produces. I know it will never go, I just deal with it. But what I have learned is that worrying about what ifs gets you nowhere. My tinnitus is pulsatile in the left ear and some high pitched noises and I only tend to notice it in complete silence, at night or when bunged up with colds. Occasionally it can bother me much more. Anxiety also increases it. As with anxiety, the less attention you can give your tinnitus the better. This works for me. Try and focus on a day at a time- the future is not yet here. I also recommend the headspace app for mindfullness. It makes you realise you only live in the present, not the past or the future. Good luck everyone.
       
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    9. Rob 207
      Artistic

      Rob 207 Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music, noise.
      Right on, Chris. I always appreciate your posts, which I find positive, helpful, and to-the-point. Thanks, man.

      You are totally correct that the T itself is not the problem, it's the body's reaction to it that causes distress. Now that you've come this far, do you still have trouble sleeping or staying asleep?

      My first few months of T were equally brutal. I'm happy to report that 6 months in, my T has become much easier to deal with. I sometimes notice T during the day and when I do, it's merely an annoyance. The place I'm still having trouble is with sleep. I'm really looking forward to the day when I can enjoy a full night's sleep without medication or nature sounds! Until that day, a mild prescription for xanax has done wonders for me. I only take it at night and it reduces my anxiety enough so I can sleep naturally. It's not a perfect situation, but it makes the long path to habituation much easier.
       
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    10. Chris Alexander

      Chris Alexander Member

      Location:
      Glasgow
      Tinnitus Since:
      31/05/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      Rob
       
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    11. noisebox
      Loved

      noisebox Member

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      Look up medical medium, he recommends a lot of very healthy food and supplements for Lyme etc. His book is very cheap and thereafter dies not try to get people to buy anything from him, but gives daily online recommendations on various foods that are healing.
       
    12. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016

      i realised about this yesterday at my therapy,
      you are such a wise guy :)
      i hope you are doing great...
      The t im living with its similar to yours, really mild, with a few spikes every now and then,
      thanks for your support :)
       
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