Really Struggling

Discussion in 'Support' started by Ed209, Aug 19, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      I've had my tinnitus increase from what I believe to be noise damage for around 5 weeks now. Initially I was really depressed and found it hard to just get out of bed, but in the second week I really picked up to the point where I actually forgot about it somewhat and thought I was over it. I was kind of distracted with other things to be honest which took the focus off the T.

      Since then I've had good days and really bad days, but also days combined where I've literally been over it again but I keep going round in circles and now I'm back to rock bottom and I don't know how I've got back here mentally from where I was last week. I feel awful again and it's putting a strain on me just enjoying life. I'm aware there are more serious issues, but when you are in this state of mind you simply can't help it.

      One of my main fears is the fear of it getting worse as I'm a musician and music is my life. Obviously ear plugs are gonna be with me at all times now but I still feel uneasy and annoyed with myself for letting this happen. I just simply can't understand how I'm back to square one emotionally when some of the days/weeks prior have been almost completely normal, if not as normal as I was before the spike.

      The other thing is is I simply cannot remember what my old silence sounded like. Because I had mild T that I had habituated to, I'm not fully sure now if it had gone away completely or if I was just really adjusted to it. I'm sure if I could go back in time I'd be as to listen for it and hear it, but I'm beginning to doubt it was there and starting to that maybe it had gone away.

      The stress I'm putting on myself right now is raising my obsession with it which I wasn't doing a few weeks ago, and I've no idea why I'm suddenly focusing on it so much. If I could live happily with it for more than a week why am I now really unhappy again. T is a nightmare.
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Mad maggot

      Mad maggot Member

      New zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Everyone has ups and downs. You also could be over tired or have some other stresses in your life and so it becomes like the straw that broke the camels back. When your health is very good then it's easier to cope with things like T. But if you are a bit run down or unwell it becomes harder.
      Try not to dwell on it. Fake it til you make it! Some times that's all I have left - I just have to fake being well and happy and push through it until it finally isn't fake any more.
      Sometimes you might need to just give yourself a little pep talk. Or sometimes you need to give yourself a bit of a break and not expect too much. Often we are harder on ourselves than we are on others. Or maybe you need to have someone just listen and have a bit of a cry? Talking with someone face to face, not just messages on the internet where you don't really know who you're talking to. Talking can make problems seem not so large and scary.
      Hang in there.
      I see from your profile you're a man. I'm married and understand men may not be great talkers. But that can also make coping harder for them.
    3. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      To be honest my mrs is sick of me talking about it now and I don't really feel comfortable talking to anyone else but my mom really. The problem is my mom doesn't know because she has just gone through counselling for severe depression which has really done wonders for her. I don't want to set her back with the weight of my problems.

      I saw an ENT in the second week and he did a hearing test. He said my hearing was fine and that I should rest my ears. He told me there's a good chance it could go down in volume over the next 3 months. Now I'm not so sure as it's been 5 weeks and there is no difference. I'm taking the usual NAC, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B etc but it's not doing much.

      The good weeks I had give me hope, but as I'm typing this I've got a severe cicada type sound. I feel like I'm sitting in the middle of a jungle. For me the cicada sound comes and goes and right now it's raging.
    4. Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      I was in the same boat this time last year mate. I'm also a musician. It will just take time and patience. A colleague at work (fellow tinnitus sufferer) told me in 6 months you will be a different person and won't care as much about it. It's been a long year, but she was right!

      I'm pretty much back to doing most of the things I enjoyed beforehand and have even started hitting a few shows again.

      Be patient, go easy on yourself and take things one step at a time as far as your music is concerned
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    5. Engineer

      Engineer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely acoustic hearing loss
      Please remember that progress with T occurs over months, not weeks or days. It takes time ... Once the outright anxiety is overcome, habituation occurs ... Slowly. If you can't get beyond the anxious reaction see a Heath care professional and or consider TRT as options.
    6. here2help

      here2help Member

      Ed, I’m sorry to hear you are having a tough time. I hope the following suggestions are helpful to you. From your description, you have a few things in your favor. One thing in your favor is that you went from finding it difficult just to get out of bed in the morning to being able to distract yourself with other things and keep tinnitus out of your thoughts to some extent. If you could reach that point once, especially early on, there is a good possibility you can reach it again. It may not feel possible at this time, but it is.

      In your post, you mentioned you don’t understand how you went from feeling somewhat on top of things to feeling the way you do now. Maybe learning more about that could be helpful to you. A good way to try to do that is to pay attention to what is on your mind about tinnitus. For example, you wrote one thing you fear is your tinnitus may get worse and have a major impact on your love for music.

      Perhaps you could unpack that thought a bit, and explore it. In other words, has anything happened that leads you to believe your tinnitus may get worse? Has your tinnitus actually become worse or is it possible your fear has more to do with feeling less on top of things than you did?

      Another question to explore is why you are annoyed with yourself for feeling as you do and why you feel you “let” this happen. Instead of judging yourself harshly, could there be another way to look at it where you can go a bit easier on yourself like @Greg Clarke suggested? It does sound like you are putting a lot of stress on yourself, and self-blame, and perhaps those things are keeping you engaged with tinnitus. Perhaps you are focused on tinnitus because of the fear, stress, and self-blame.

      I’m suggesting that you start to take the measure of what is on your mind about tinnitus and about yourself, rather than just accept what is on your mind. Pay attention to your thinking and air it out a bit. See if your thoughts about tinnitus are true. Ed, I’m suggesting your thinking may have as much, or more, to do with how bad you feel right now as your tinnitus. Perhaps distracting yourself from tinnitus will only get you so far and it may be helpful to consider another approach where you walk up to your thoughts about tinnitus and see if the stuff on your mind is standing between where you are now and where you want to be.

      As for losing the silence, I felt the same thing at one time, but now I can sit in a perfectly quiet room and enjoy the silence regardless of what my tinnitus happens to be doing.

      It isn't clear why your ENT felt there was a good chance your tinnitus could reduce in volume over time, but one explanation is that he isn't very well-informed about tinnitus. It is possible it could reduce in volume, but it is far more likely that the volume will remain the same but you will spend longer and longer periods where you will either be unaware of it or simply won't care what it is doing.

      Paying attention to the content of your thoughts about tinnitus and about yourself could really be helpful. Doing so could help you overcome the anxiety that @Engineer referred to in his post. I think it's possible your own thoughts could be contributing to your anxiety. And if that's the case, it is good news. You may not be able to do anything about the volume of your tinnitus, but you have the opportunity to do a great deal about your own thinking.

    7. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Great advice from @here2help. He was my mentor during my darkest struggle. It is post like this that challenged me to explore my thinking process about T. Sometimes, it is our own distorted thoughts (called cognitive distortions in CBT) that contribute to our mental suffering. In CBT we are advised to recognize these distorted thoughts, write them down, challenge or counter each thought, and replace it with a more realistic and perhaps more positive one. I followed this advice and wrote down all my distorted thoughts on a lot of WORD documents on my computer. I read them repeatedly daily to remind me how these thoughts are challenged and dissected, and read the more realistic replacement of the thoughts.

      This in turn will reduce the anxiety and stress level of the brain, allowing the normal nerves to return instead of subjecting to the limbic nerve system which functions in fight or flight mode and we tend to easily worry and panic about any irritation. When you have less stress, it is more likely you can handle T better, and your T may be perceived as less intrusively loud. CBT is a powerful tool against tinnitus. Many people report having benefited from CBT treatment or self help by applying the principles of CBT. Dr. Hubbard wrote his own success story stating that CBT has saved him from T. Dr. Nagler also wrote his famous 'Letter to a Tinnitus Sufferer' which basically asks us to look at the reaction side of T management. It ends with challenging the readers to recognize the distorted thoughts. Write them down and challenge or counter them with a more positive thought, and this is the essence of self-help CBT. You can google it to read the letter more. Hope you will get better. God bless.
    8. Remital

      Remital Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi everyone, I'm a musician, my tinnitus just popped on loud about a month ago. It's up and down loudness wise. My fear is I don't want this to drive me crazy. I played in a bar last night with pro musician earplugs. My ringing shot way up, so I left after a set and a half. I play fiddle, it was great to be playing again, but I looked at all the people in the bar without ear plugs, now felt envious of them.
      AnywY, I don't want to let this drive me crazy. I'mooking at a mindfulness site online. Would like to avoid drugs if possible, but sleep can be difficult. Have read about Zen audio and Neuromonics, not sure they actually do anything except mask the sound.
      Thank you all for your hope and encouragement.

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