Scared and alone

Discussion in 'Support' started by amm12, Jan 27, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. amm12

      amm12 Member

      Location:
      Fort Worth, Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Hi, I had posted on the intrduce me foem the other day. I dont know what to do. It's overwhelmingly loud and I'm so terrified. I just woke up from an hour or two of sleeping, and its louder than its ever been before. I'm so angry and distraught that its not easing up, only getting progressivwly worse. I'm alone and panicking. Is there perhaps some sort of hotline for this, where you can just talk about it? I dont know how I'm going to maeke it through the night, let alone a potential lifetime of this. Ah, I hope this is a safe place to vent or whatever, because I am utterly falling apart.
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Catarina
      Old hag

      Catarina Member

      Location:
      Lund, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2006
      I feel for you amm12, it is so hard when you suddenly find this weird sound in your ears. I see that you are having anxiety issues and that is definitely a factor. You don't need to be terrified, it will get better. I am not in the USA so I don't know about hot lines, but you could try to find a local support group near you here http://www.ata.org/support. Keep posting, there are a lot of knowledgable people here. :huganimation:
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    3. DebInAustralia

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Team Research

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      if u have viber we can talk for free?

      Contact the american tinnitus association or an audiologist who can support you
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    4. pef

      pef Member

      Location:
      Georgia, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/16/2013
      Hang in there ammm12. How long have you had T? Have you seen a specialist?

      I got my T on March 16, 2013. I thought the quality of my life was going down the toilet. How will I sleep? How will I work? Will I ever enjoy reading a book again? And so on.

      Less than a year later I can tell you I've slept through many nights with T, I work just as effectively as before T, and in the last month I've read about five or six books, often in a quiet room. I also sleep without masking.

      Right now your mind is focusing on this new sound. It's an automatic response; your mind perceives it as a threat. But the human mind is very plastic and after a while it will realize T is not a threat, just an annoyance.

      Try focusing on the positive things in your life. Realize that many people have physical conditions that are far worse than T and yet lead very productive and fulfilling lives.

      Yes, T is really disheartening at first. But you are not alone. Chances are people you know have T and they may have been dealing with it for years. After I got T I found out my dad, two of my brothers and a co-worker have it. But they don't ever talk about it because it no longer bothers them - their minds have adjusted.

      My T sounds like a sonic needle in my left ear - about 11kHz with some in-and-out beat frequency. My right hear has an odd square wave tone around 7 kHz. I'm not fully habituated yet, it still annoys me sometimes, but the panic is gone, and so is its power to take away my ability to enjoy life.

      You will get there. You will. It just takes time, and at your own pace. Some people take longer than others; do not get upset if you find that it takes you longer than others before your T begins to have less of a hold over you.

      Focus on the positive. You will be fine once you get through the initial stages.
       
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    5. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Pef, I agree with you. It took me a lot longer to habituate this time around. When my tinnitus first started, it was mild and I habituated quickly. This time, it is much worse, and it has taken me a couple years to get to where I am now. I'm able to do things again, and I read 30 books last year!

      @amm12, things really will get better! In the meantime, try playing some white noise (or brown noise or pink noise) in the background so that you can get some sleep. Then, please check around this forum for lots of great suggestions. Some people start out by taking a prescription antidepressant until they begin to feel better. After that, there are lots of natural supplements you can take that will help you cope. I highly recommend magnesium; it helps with sleep and is calming, plus it may take the edge off your tinnitus.

      I'm in the U.S., and I don't know of a tinnitus hot line. But you can check with the American Tinnitus Association in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to see if there are any support groups. If not, you've got a great support group here!!

      Take care, and please update us tomorrow on how you're doing.

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      I have empathy for your suffering ammm12. I was in the same shoe a while back. I thought I never could tolerate my ultra high pitch loud scream in my ears, enough to send me into panic attacks relentlessly. Besides hyperacusis soon attacked me, making all normal sounds glassy in quality, as if someone is scratching glass with metal in my ears. I couldn't stand normal noise, those of TV, driving, social conversation, parties, restaurants, movies. I couldn't even stand my wife's soft voice spoken too close. Ya, I felt for you. Those were my dark, dark days that I never thought I could recover from. I was into tears when my ENT told me the only way to stop my ringing was to shoot me (jokingly). Like you, I thought how could I handle such sufferings for life. But what a mistake. I am back to normal now living an enjoyable, productive and normal life. I can do and enjoy all that I used to do. T still rings but it doesn't scare me any more. The brain hardens to the sound over time, and now it fades T out of consciousness much of the time.

      So never say never. Ammm12, don't worry too much. You are at the most difficult initial phase when your brain is trying to figure out this loud alien sound. If you learn to relax a bit and don't react too negatively, the brain will learn to slowly accept the sound and in time you will be home free. It is doable. Believe it. Just read over the success stories of this forum and other forums and you will know it is not just me or the members posting here. Many people do get better over time and you can too. You just need to educate yourself more and learn some wisdom here. Be patient and be positive. Try some masking as Karen suggests. If your T is very high pitch like mine, you can try download some nature sounds such as rain, waterfall, waves,etc,. Even shower or faucet sounds will help. There should also be apps available to mobile phones using android to generate sounds. If you have a PC, try download a free copy of 'aire freshener'. It has many sounds you can choose whatever suit you. Even if the sounds can only partially mask your tinnitus, it already helps a lot to relieve the harshness of the T shrill. All the best and God speeds your recovery.

      Here is the link:
      http://www.peterhirschberg.com/mysoftware.html
       
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    7. Magpie
      Sporty

      Magpie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/1999

      You might find this which I copied and pasted from TSMB interesting:

      One medical authority on tinnitus was also asked why tinnitus can be louder after a nap. Here is his reply:
      'Lots of theoretical and speculative possibilities here. Dr. Jastreboff feels that the issue is one of neurotransmitters being somewhat dependent on the amount of sleep - especially REM sleep. Me? I see the reticular formation as having a significant role in the often-observed increase of tinnitus perception after a nap. The reticular formation is a primitive structure in the brain stem. It's a "vital sign monitor". When you wake from a nap or from sleep, the RF checks to see whether or not you are alive! It looks for heartbeat, respirations, blood pressure, temperature - basic bodily signs. It does not care whether or not these signs are good or bad - just that they are present. Since tinnitus is part of "normal" body function in an individual suffering with tinnitus, the RF checks to see whether or not tinnitus is present. If it doesn't find tinnitus, the RF seeks it with a vengeance - - especially in the post-nap state, when there has been inadequate REM sleep and when - therefore - the RF is on "high alert" that something might not be quite right. Theoretically - very theoretically - this RF hyperactivity in seeking tinnitus, which it equates with life, results in temporarily markedly augmented tinnitus perception.'
       
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    8. amm12

      amm12 Member

      Location:
      Fort Worth, Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Gosh, thanks everyone for the support. It's something I desperately need at the moment. Haha this forum is becoming my most frequented site.

      But yeah, I've been reading everyone's stories and the majority of you seem to have reacted the same way I am now; panic, despair, hopelessness. I've been crying for days, heartbroken that I may not be able to live a normal life, I'll never enjoy anything, I won't be able to draw, or read, or go outside, or go to college, or have friends. It seems as if there's no stringent timeline for me anymore, like I'm stuck between worrying what my life is going to be like in the future, and how I'm going to survive this here and now moment. I've been trying to keep myself calm, but the longer I stay calm, the harder I panic when I start to think about it.

      I'm going to the ENT and audiologist tomorrow, holding out hope there's something they'll find, but also trying my hardest to accept that there might not be something they can do. Accepting it might be the hardest part I think? I spent the night just doing tons of research, and exploring everyone's posts here, and I suppose I have more hope than initially. I read a lot about habituation? I'm trying to wrap my head around it and just relax and not react. It sucks though, because I feel I may have hyperacusis as well? I'm very sensitive to any noise, I slink around the house and am very careful with interacting with anything. Just placing a dish down on the counter makes me cringe and nearly paralyzes me for a moment. I can't even think about leaving the house. The tinnitus I hear is a super loud pitch, like knife on a plate, or the barely audible ting you hear when dropping a nail on the ground. It's almost more of a feeling, than an actual noise, but enough to make me lose my mind because it's so loud and present at the same time? It's so weird cause I've always been hyper sensitive to that pitch, previous to my tinnitus. I'd hear it on certain tv channels, or for example, there was a restaurant my family and I frequented, and I couldn't sit on the right side of the building because I heard this high ringing sound, that no one could hear. And boy the sound of squeaking styrofoam is enough to basically put me on the floor, so it's just...I don't know ridiculously unfortunate that I'm plagued to ear these noises all the time now.

      Anyways, I also read a lot of things you can do to lessen the effects, maybe. Vitamins, acupuncture, exercise, etc. While I should be doing some of these things anyways, how can I not focus on me hoping it'll make the tinnitus better? Wouldn't that interfere with the habituation process?

      Also oh, I suffer from pretty severe depression and anxiety, to the point where I have panic attacks while I'm sleeping. I've been waiting to go to the psychologist on the 30th for a few months, riding on the idea that the medication they'd give me would help enough to start turning my life around. And of course this tinnitus suddenly appears right before the appointment, throwing a curve ball on the entire situation. I've heard that certain antidepressents can make tinnitus worse. Is there any specific ones I should avoid? Who knows, maybe they'll end up helping.

      But yeah, sorry for the wall of text. I guess all I can do now I try and just stay calm and positive about it, and listen to everyone's advice. I don't want to lose my life to this, even though it's unbearable at the moment, and the pain really clouds having a positive outlook. Gosh thanks every one who has helped me try and quell my nerves, and even if anyone reads this, it'd mean something. I'll keep you updated on what the doctor says tomorrow.
       
      • Hug Hug x 5
    9. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      I just read your post, and I'm so glad all of us were able to help, if even a little bit!

      It's hard to describe how habituation works, but it eventually does work. Yes, you do have to think about your tinnitus long enough to find prescription drugs or supplements, etc., that work for you. But once you do, the next step is to try to relax and live your life as normally as possible. In time, you begin to become absorbed in whatever it is you're doing, so that you don't think about the tinnitus so much.

      Have a good night, and please do update us on your doctor's visit!

      Hugs from all of us,
      Karen
       
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    10. amm12

      amm12 Member

      Location:
      Fort Worth, Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Hey hey, so as promised, an update about my doctor visit. I took a hearing test and he told me that there was no hearing loss, that my hearing actually couldn't be more perfect. So that itself was a huge relief. He told me once I get on some antidepressants that it may go away, lessen, or just that I'll be able to handle it better. He said the hyper sensitivity to noise I have should clear up eventually too, that it's just the brain being defensive about the new noise in my head. I was really nervous about going, because I read a lot about everyone's audiologists not being very understanding, but it turns out the guy I went to see had tinnitus himself, so I felt unexpectedly comforted by that. The ENT found no signs of infection at all, and again, said that the antidepressants may help. He told me there was hope in my case. I know I should be prepared for this to potentially last a long while, but hearing him use the word hope gives me just that. I also asked him about vitamins and he said me being so young, its most likely not due to any vitamin deficiency but he gave me a sample of Lipo-Flavanoid just in case. I am a very unhealthy person, so that may be a contributor. Also, I'm going to see an orthodontist because my overbite may be putting tension there and causing it.
      One thing is, I did wake up this morning, after having an hour of sleep and a bad night, and the ringing didn't seem so bad. I don't know if it was due to pure exhaustion, or me getting used to it? It was nice though. I came home and slept for a few more hours and when I woke up the ringing was back to normal, but maybe I'm handing it better? Idk if it's getting better or I'm just not freaking out as much. It's still scary and annoying and painful as hell but...yeah. HOPE.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    11. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      I'd say your doctor's visit was a positive experience. I'm glad to hear you don't have any other problems, and that things did improve for you first thing in the morning. That is a step in the right direction! Stay positive, and things will gradually improve. You'll have good days and bad days, but I believe you're already making progress.
       
    12. amm12

      amm12 Member

      Location:
      Fort Worth, Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Thank you Karen! Yeah, I'm trying to not get ahead of myself. I'm scared of things seemingly improving, maybe me even thinking it's going away, and then having a relapse. But, I guess that's all part of it.
       
    13. Dan Reagan
      Chicken

      Dan Reagan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      You will probably also find that tinnitus is so relative to other things going on in your life. I know it's hard to believe right now, but there are worse things in life than tinnitus, but like so many comments have noted, it is all perception, it can almost be used as a built in barometer for things going on in my life, sometimes for me. I have also noticed that there is a direct correlation between stress, anxiety, depression and tinnitus, they seem to like each other's company. I'm still relatively a newbie, so I myself have a long way to go but those are just a few observations at this stage in my life with tinnitus (5 months since onset).
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. missZZ
      Wishful

      missZZ Member

      Location:
      CA
      My T is usually louder after sleep. I used to panic a lot when it was all new but I slowly started acknowledging the fact that the thing is making that auditory sensation. Myself I try to keep myself busy so that I am focused more on stuff I have to do rather than on the sensation of sound and all the what ifs I ask myself. I'm glad that we have this forum and we can share our experiences :)
       

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