Since Tinnitus Became Louder, It Destroyed My Relationships, and I Can't Sit Still

Discussion in 'Support' started by RichardGuy, Nov 13, 2019.

    1. RichardGuy
      Depressed

      RichardGuy Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/16/17, At Age 20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acute
      Just shy of five months ago I had a major panic attack which saw me checking into the ER and released in an hour with a huge dose of Ativan and instructions for a few more months of the stuff. Panic attacks are highly unusual for me, and I can't even tie it to something like a tinnitus spike (it came purely out of nowhere).

      Since then, however, I have noticed that my general awareness of my tinnitus (and its loudness) has increased significantly, and from late June till the middle of last month I was on an almost constant dose of benzos, with Ativan at the ER and Lorazepam on a slow taper. Even at the height of my dosing however (and especially now) I've noticed that I can barely sit still, especially when I can hear my tinnitus, and that I will unconsciously make quiet sounds (like grunts or groans, soft whimpers) in order to try to cope with or cover the sound I hear in my head. I pace all around my apartment if I am not busy, play with my hair or beard, and if the option to move around to distract myself does not exist (such as eating out, in class, etc) then I'm on my phone to try to get away from the sound.

      My girlfriend, who I knew long before I had tinnitus but only started dating a year ago, has noticed this change in me and is extremely frustrated. She says she constantly sees me pacing and gets so upset by it that she wants to punch me. I even pace in the line at store because I am not at peace.... my anxiety is constantly through the roof. The only places I even come close to relaxing anymore is my apartment, where there is usually some sort of masking like ACRN on a moderate volume, otherwise I am constantly fidgeting like a child in order to cope! I never had this problem before. I would sit still for hours at a time if need be.

      Not helping matters is an ear infection that somehow started from walking in the rain for a half hour (WTF) on the 19th of last month and although it seems to have resolved, has left me with a considerable amount of fluid behind the ear drums, slight sound distortion and another boost in loudness of the tinnitus, on top of the constant discomfort due to the clogged sensation in my ears (it makes even talking uncomfortable, and anything that stretches or opens the Eustachian tube is almost painful).

      I feel like I am in dire need of real support- not strictly because of the tinnitus but because my behavior has changed so radically in the last few months alone. If I didn't recognize myself after I got tinnitus I can't even recognize my self with tinnitus from six months ago. I act like a kid with ADHD and some sort of behavior issue at the same time, but even the medical help in my life (a pair of psychiatrists as parents) tell me I'm fine and I just need to "not pace". Doctors are no good. I've tried explaining that although the tinnitus is bothersome it is not the only problem, the constant anxiety and fidgeting is also part of it.

      No one is helping me and I'm certain I'm on the verge of losing my relationship. I just want to sit back and cuddle my girl without practically walking around the house while doing so. I did it before but now it's extremely hard.

      Thank you for any advice.
       
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    2. Lucifer

      Lucifer Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Clown World
      Tinnitus Since:
      -
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      -
      Have you tried Nicotinamide Riboside?
       
    3. Michael B
      No Mood

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      '11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      Tinnitus can be life altering. At least it was for me. It didn't take long before I sought the help of a counselor. Eventually my wife attended sessions with me. It helped.

      Perhaps counseling might be of help to you. And if your girlfriend wants to better understand what you are experiencing, she might want to accompany you in time as well.
       
    4. Adrianfox
      Happy

      Adrianfox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Tinnitus no longer existing
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral infection
      Sounds to me that you’re really struggling with stress/anxiety issues and the tinnitus may be heightened or even totally from your stressed nature.

      One of the best things I could suggest is to learn how to control your mood/stress levels, I know it’s hard but that will make your days a lot easier and most likely alleviate your symptoms. Try to remove the sounds of your tinnitus with audio masks. I use the app ‘Rain Rain’ at night on about 50% volume to hide/mask the tinnitus. ‘Calm’ is also a great app to use for mentally bringing yourself back in. Remember the thing you’re trying to do is slow your mind down so don’t try to overthink it or question it, just allow yourself to slow down. Showers are a great way to hide tinnitus and relax.

      And the chances are that it will get better and eventually return to usual levels or silence itself out, so try to focus on the long term than the immediate. :)
       
    5. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Is it possible some of this is benzo related? Restlessness can be a side effect of chronic use and withdrawal (if not done correctly).
       
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    6. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      for me, meditation and medication was the path out of the dark space you're in to a somewhat brighter, if changed, life.

      I feel terrible for what you're experiencing and I hope you're able to find your own way through it.

      I take benzos daily, but having them in the mix certainly complicates things and may be a big part of the "restlessness". Though, for me, that's usually just a signal that I forgot to take my pills...
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RichardGuy
      Depressed

      RichardGuy Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/16/17, At Age 20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acute
      Thanks, I already use ACRN protcol during most of the day (quiet enough I can still hear my tinnitus) and during sleep.

      I've been off the benzos for a month now. I was on them for four months, from 2 mg per day, to 1 mg, to .5, then for the last two weeks .25 and .125 respectively. I'm pretty sure I am well off the stuff by now. But this was happening even during my extended benzo use.

      Thank you so much. I'm sorry you're going through that. However in my case I cannot stand to take any more drugs; I have long been concerned about drug otoxicity and recently had to take a Z pack in order to fight an ear infection (the one that is still raging).

      Of greatest concern to me is my mental well being and confidence. The things my friends and girlfriend have told me that it is clear that my problems are out in the open and making it difficult to place as much confidence in me as they once did. Perhaps I should grab one of the baby boomers on this forum and unironically ask them their advice about "being a man".
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. Ctw
      Tired

      Ctw Member

      Location:
      CT
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Can you share what medications you are taking?
       
    9. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I take clonazepam 2mg/day, gabapentin 600mg/day, and then a thc/cbd oil mix probably to the tune of about 150mg/80mg per day.

      This is pretty "heavy", super habit forming, and substantially likely to cause severe dependence and severe difficulties should I ever need to withdraw.

      I have a history with clonazepam for other reasons that predates my tinnitus substantially, and I'd also point out that before I went down the medication route here, I spent about 5 years toughing it out and learning meditation and how to just make it through one day at a time -- and I think, if not for all that, it's likely the medications wouldn't really "work".

      Put differently, I used meditation to build a foundation for myself to feel calm and safe inside, and I was able to do that even though I was substantially unhappy the whole time. Then the drugs have sort of let me build a somewhat precarious house on top of that foundation, which I can live in fairly comfortably a lot of the time.

      I strongly believe that without those years of "trying everything that's not a drug" and building that foundation... the drugs wouldn't "work".
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. Bartoli

      Bartoli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009,worsened 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I can definitely relate to that! The only way for me to forget somewhat about my tinnitus is keeping myself occupied all the time... From the moment I wake up till the moment I (try) to go to sleep. That only works for a couple of days on end unfortunately. There will come a moment where I crash and get really too tired to keep up this high-functioning lifestyle, and that's when depressive thoughts kick in again... That goes on for a couple of days too until I've had enough and my energy level is up again, and the cycle starts again. It's like being manic-depressive with ADHD thrown in the mix.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RichardGuy
      Depressed

      RichardGuy Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/16/17, At Age 20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acute
      Well, one of my worst fears have been realized. I got dumped Tuesday. I knew her for more than six years. Feels like I lost a childhood friend, and a woman I thought I'd spend my life with, because I did. One of the reasons she cited was my constant anxiety over my tinnitus. I can't blame her. I'm not the man I was then.

      To make matters worse my tinnitus has been worse today, both when I woke up and now after I got into a car that had music blasting in it. It's louder and my left ear hurts quite a bit. The ride was only five minutes and the music volume was immediately reduced to a level I felt was "only a little uncomfortable" but I'm being tormented by this new cicada sound and heightened ringing.
       
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    12. GlennS

      GlennS Member Podcast Patron Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      You have to develop a philosophical attitude towards this sort of a thing.

      Tinnitus is (ironically) a "silent" disability. I would think most of us try to avoid admitting we have it and pass as normal as much as possible, but eventually it impacts our social life one way or another.

      Other people are not going to deal with it very well. Most relationships are very much conditional and transactional. If she doesn't get what she expects out of the relationship she's gonna bail sooner or later. Sad but true.

      I view romance as something you earn only after you get your sh*t together. Since my sh*t isn't together, the only women who will enter my life are going to be the wrong ones. And it's better to be alone than to get into something toxic or codependent.
       
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    13. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Severe 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      I’m 50... you are, 23? You have a life of “loves” to sort through. Yes, you knew this person for 6+ years, and then you have a medical issue...and she bails? You are lucky. “For better or for worse.” There will be many “worse” in life than tinnitus. If she bailed because of these small issues... what if you got cancer... got in an awful wreck, etc?
      It’s better to find out now than in 15 years.

      Tinnitus will go up and down, don’t obsess over it.

      Bring foam earplugs everywhere... people are ignorant about noise, and we don’t have a cast, or crutches to indicate we have a medical condition... because that is what we have. Be assertive (I wish I had been many times).

      If someone does anything that makes you uncomfortable, you must tell them. Tell them you have “ear issues,” and turn the music down. Would your friends kick your crutches out from under you I you had an amputated limb?

      My $.02... good luck
       
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    14. GlennS

      GlennS Member Podcast Patron Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      There are a ton of reasons to breakup. Tinnitus is hardly the only one. If you're always on the losing end I can understand feeling like life is unfair, but the first time you experience a situation where the other person wants the relationship more than you do you begin to realize how it's best never to be bitter when either side wants to bail. The other person in that scenario always thinks they know what's best for you when they plead their case. But you don't want to stay in a relationship out of guilt or obligation or because somehow it looks good "on paper". The feelings have to be mutual. It can be cruel but it's the only way.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RichardGuy
      Depressed

      RichardGuy Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/16/17, At Age 20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acute
      Where I am I looking for this stuff?
       
    16. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Good/large health food stores...
       
    17. Lucifer

      Lucifer Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Clown World
      Tinnitus Since:
      -
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      -
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RichardGuy
      Depressed

      RichardGuy Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/16/17, At Age 20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acute
      Ty to both of you. How far out do you think it will be effective?
       
    19. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Nobody knows. But it would seem that it is unlikely to have bad side effects, so you probably have nothing to lose if you try it.
       
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    20. Lucifer

      Lucifer Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Clown World
      Tinnitus Since:
      -
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      -
      Each person is different. I still haven’t even finished the 1st bottle. Each bottle lasts for a month. I would try it for 3 to 6 months to see if it makes a difference.
       
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    21. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles&machine guns, +30 years of loud clubs
      Nicotinamide Riboside does nothing if you have noise induced tinnitus.
      I take quite a lot of this for its supposedly anti aging properties and have been doing so since a year ago but this won't affect tinnitus.
       
    22. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Is there anything possibly useful for noise induced and loud tinnitus?
       
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