STOP "Checking" Your Tinnitus Level!

Discussion in 'Support' started by jeanoroid, Apr 28, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. jeanoroid
      Yeehaw

      jeanoroid Member

      Location:
      Nashville
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / headphones
      This was the single greatest bit of advice ever given to me in regard to my T problem.

      When my ears blew up it was a bad period in my life. I was working with a record engineer who I shared that I was struggling with Tinnitus. He stated he had it as well - for many years and went to some real dark places in his mind early on. He explained that the biggest step toward habituation was to physically stop the obsession with "checking" the volume of his T.
      The usual stuff:
      - hands over ears,
      - can you hear it in the shower?
      - how much louder than traffic is it right now?
      - is it louder than a bath faucet today? How much louder?
      - how many clicks on the TV volume today?



      And of course I was doing all of these - throughout the day. Pretty much obsessively.
      Once I stopped doing that and had acknowledged to myself that I had the permanent type of T it cut a good portion of my T related stress almost immediately leading to the earliest bits of habituation.

      I consciously recognize highs and lows but I also have faith that the bad T days will give way to better days at some point.. If I catch myself "checking" I recognize it and stop..
      There is no value in it..

      T is a ball and chain no doubt - but it helps to stop weighing the ball so much..
       
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    2. Jamie m
      Loved

      Jamie m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/13/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music
      Thank you for posting this! I have had this for going on 7 weeks... I don't check it that much but when I'm home I do it more! You're right I need to stop checking it. Thanks! :D
       
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    3. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      The basis for the "Back to Silence" method.
       
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    4. HiThere

      HiThere Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/01/1975
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Delivery by forceps? Childhood ear infections?
      The "Back to Silence" method has helped me as well. There is an actual therapy that has been around for a long time known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy aka ACT. Used for anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, etc. Cooincidentally, it seems Back to Silence shares much of the same basic approach as ACT.

      ACT is different than the even more traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy aka CBT in that ACT teaches a person to accept, just acknowledge or even embrace the issue. Not try to fight it, change it, etc. In effect, acknowledge, but not give attention to and move on.

      I self studied with ACT to help with some anxiety issues, public speaking fears, etc. I didn't take to some of the mental methods used to diffuse. Back to Silence works for me with T because it's even simpler. More of a "yeah, I hear ya... (to the T) " and then move on with whatever I'm doing.

      I agree with @jeanoroid:

      Fighting a thought makes for a losing proposition. Try this exercise: Set a timer for one minute and, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES allow your mind to either think of the word YELLOW or see the color yellow in your mind during that minute. No exceptions! Pretty hard to do, eh? Perhaps you found yourself having to actively suppress the thought or you found yourself analyzing how many times the thought was popping up?

      Trying to stop perceiving T, fighting it, is a losing proposition. Acknowledge it (Back to Silence), let your awareness pass on by/float downstream.

      Chris
       
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    5. jeanoroid
      Yeehaw

      jeanoroid Member

      Location:
      Nashville
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / headphones
      Dang it, now I can't stop thinking about yellow!
      :woot:
       
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    6. matt89
      Studious

      matt89 Member Benefactor Team Tech Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I'm not checking if it's there nevertheless it's hard to ignore/not to take notice of it because it's just there when I'm sitting at home watching TV or whatever.
      The problem is that you have to recognize this as your new silence.
      That's the hardest part of the game and there are some major reasons why your brain doesn't accept this as your new silence.

      1. You believe that there will be a cure one day. Hopefully within the next years.
      So you're kinda waiting for this cure and tell your brain instinctively that the noises you hear will be away one day.
      In order to let your brain habituate to the T noises you have to give up that hope. That's extremely hard because it's like a give up in a boxing match. A lot of time is needed to give up that fight and hope to win against T. I watched a clip on YouTube where a T sufferer said he gave it up after 7 years of T. Before he was still looking for news about tinnitus cures, tried new therapies from time to time and stuff like that.

      2. Silence means relaxation to most of the T sufferers. Only someone who has T since his birth doesn't know what real silence is and his brain doesn't know any other kind of silence. You have to tell your brain that this disturbing T noise is now the new silence and relaxation for you (the back to silence method is the way to support this process). But this is the much harder part compared to point one because the human brain is not prepared to recognize and evaluate noise as silence. To teach your brain that noise is relaxation is kind of a revolution in the human evolution. You are changing the whole attitude of the human brain towards noises.
       
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    7. Sara_Bond
      Cool

      Sara_Bond Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      28.10.2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure

      That's what I told to the therapist yesterday (I try to recognize just as a sound and not a noise). But I told her that humans are not supposed to live with a noise in their ears, humans are born like that so, it is difficult for us humans to accept it. Unless the T is very mild. And I can acknwoledge it cause that's the case : in my left ear I have a very mild T, only heard in silence in my bed on my pillow. So of course it doesn't bother me and its like silence for me cause I'm not disturbed by it. But my right ear is heardable, and I'm just fed up with hearing it. I still have the angry of not being in silence and what I used to. Honestly it's a lot of problems that we have to deal with on top of the life's problem (like it wasn't enough). I'm not here to discourage people, but people who have mild T, be "grateful" that you only hear it in quiet places. Believe me, I would trade a lot of money for that.
       
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    8. NineNails

      NineNails Member

      I wish I had such a T.
       
    9. jeanoroid
      Yeehaw

      jeanoroid Member

      Location:
      Nashville
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / headphones
      I don't think isolating the T is exclusive to a low level. On my worst days I still tended to isolate..
       
    10. NineNails

      NineNails Member

      @jeanoroid ,

      I never had to plug my ears to hear my T. Essentially, and especially for its reactivity, I can hear it anywhere. So yes, it cannot be masked. Nor is "checking" an option. I genuinely wish it was.
       
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    11. jeanoroid
      Yeehaw

      jeanoroid Member

      Location:
      Nashville
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / headphones
      Not what I was implying but yeah, same here.
       
    12. NineNails

      NineNails Member

      Fair. My point was I think "checking" is something for patients with minor T and/or OCD.

      Nevertheless, I get your message: try not to consciously concentrate on the noise for it won't fix it. But you see, some have no choice at all. For volume and reactivity matter.
       
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