Successfully Living with Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Paulanski, Jun 11, 2021.

    1. Paulanski

      Paulanski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concerts, loud headphones, tools
      Hi everyone, just thought I'd take a moment to share.

      I was first impacted by tinnitus back in January this year. I think it had been developing gradually over my 40 odd years of loud music and such.

      Life suddenly turned upside down and I already have high anxiety/depression so I became completely suicidal. No sleep for days at a time couldn't function at work or at home with my family. After a couple of weeks I was making plans to end things.

      Went to hospital for a couple of weeks and was put on AD's and sent home. Felt I was able to soldier on for a while longer... Nearly 6 months later and I can now look back on my achievements in this time:

      1. I can still go to work and even got a new job which I had applied for.
      2. I can still be a good father and partner now that my mood is stable.
      3. I passed a difficult exam which will enable further career progression.
      4. Some days I can have almost no awareness of my tinnitus (though it's always there).
      5. I have developed practical strategies for minimizing hearing damage in future (earplugs, etc).
      6. Kept myself alive and hopeful that there is a cure some day, but either way I know I'll be fine.

      Anyway, just thought I'd share what I consider to be some personal successes.

      As far advice goes, I think antidepressants have really helped me to cope. I often read people's reservations about these medications due to ototoxicity, emotional "deadening" and stuff, but I think they deserve consideration for sure, especially if you've exhausted all other ways of coping.

      Well, all the best. Stay strong. If you're new to tinnitus, just know that there are ways to cope - it's not the end.
       
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    2. Hamsti

      Hamsti Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Rhineland Palatinate, Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Everything, I suppose. Stress, high cholesterol, TMJ...
      Thanks for your story! I also developed tinnitus in January, but sadly I am far away from habituating. Which AD do you take?
       
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    3. cruise
      Relaxed

      cruise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Great to hear that you have managed to adapt. Thank you for sharing your story!
       
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    4. cruise
      Relaxed

      cruise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      You are still in an early phase, the way you react to your tinnitus may change over time. For me, a lot changed in the first year and the way I felt after one year was totally different. My tinnitus was no longer causing anxiety, which for me was the biggest problem.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Paulanski

      Paulanski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concerts, loud headphones, tools
      I'm taking Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) 100 mg, but I would encourage you to discuss with your doctor etc. It is listed as ototoxic, but I haven't let that concern me - my psychiatrist recommended it, knowing about my tinnitus, so I made a conscious decision to leave my fate in the hands of experts, rather than panic and try to control everything.

      I am not sure if the tinnitus has reduced, or if my anxiety has decreased the intrusiveness, but I'm coping fine these days. It seems a bit louder (or more noticeable) over the last week or so, but I don't care - it's still not as bad as when I was filled with anxiety. It will probably subside again, but will always be present if I'm looking for it.

      The thing I would say about ADs in my experience is that the first 3 months could be a roller-coaster emotionally. For me, I feel great after a week or 2, then crash for another 2-4 weeks, when I feel like it's not working and anxiety (and probably tinnitus) increases. Then there's a levelling-off. Prepare yourself with a good support network and some strategies like meditation, hobbies, distractions. Oh and I have some Valium on hand for sleep/panic, but haven't needed any for months.

      And I had crazy, vivid dreams for a number of weeks and a few other mild, temporary side effects, but nothing that has lasted. My life is pretty much as it was before - no harm done.

      I also gave up on white noise apps, etc. and decided to just put up with the sound as best I could. Occasionally I would find some noise was helpful, but I just found that it reminded me that I have tinnitus.

      That's all I can think of, but thanks for reading my words and good luck to you as you also move forward.

      Cheers,
      Paul
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Paulanski

      Paulanski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concerts, loud headphones, tools
      Yeah, that's something that I absolutely realise - it was the anxiety that nearly killed me, not the tinnitus.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Paulanski

      Paulanski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concerts, loud headphones, tools
      Checking back in to my old thread because I have recently taken a dive with regards to my anxiety levels and relationship with tinnitus. I am not sure if my tinnitus has increased, but it is certainly at the forefront of my awareness at the moment. This is affecting my mood and desire to do things.

      This is really a log for me to look back on some time in the future, but feel free to comment.

      Just to note a few adjustments I recently made:

      1. Going to gym classes quite a lot and wearing ear protection (attenuating earplugs). This probably has contributed to a spike, but I am enjoying the workouts.

      2. Came off antidepressants a few months ago in consultation with my doctor, but will go back on straight away to see if it helps, but won't know for a few months, probably.

      3. Work has been very slow and boring, leaving me more or less idle for months. I have discussed with various managers, but they seem happy. I would consider a move, but anxiety is too high right now.

      4. Stresses from teenage kids and a course of study I am completing is weighing on me a fair bit.

      I have a tendency to slide out of control with my mental health, so I hope going back on Antidepressants can right the ship.

      All the best.
       
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    8. BrOKeN_1

      BrOKeN_1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High Frequency Hearing Loss
      Hey @Paulanski!

      Your story is very much similar to mine, it would seem. Family Man as well. My tinnitus started mid October 2020. Those first few months are horrific for sure. But after managing my depression and anxiety with antidepressants, things became much calmer for many months. I even felt compelled to drop a success story of my own. And I went back to living as normally as possible with tinnitus. I never had to leave my job either which was a blessing.

      Come to find out though, this condition is an unrelenting jerk. I'm not sure if it was coming off my meds in April of this year or the continued low-level use of headphones but my perception spiked to new levels in early June.

      As I write this I hope you're managing your current spike as well as possible. Tinnitus is teaching us not to become complacent I guess. It sucks for sure but I managed to get it mostly under control within a couple of weeks this time. Even with the noise seemingly so much louder then before.

      It may feel like it at times but I don't think this negates your success story. You have tools. Keep moving forward and don't let this shit win.

      Best wishes.
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Paulanski

      Paulanski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concerts, loud headphones, tools
      Thanks very much, @BrOKeN_1.

      Yeah I went from being hospitalised and suicidal to really not giving a shit within about 6 months. Managed to remain in that state for 12 months or so and it's my goal to get back to that state of mind.

      My mental health has been an issue for most of my life, so taking medication again is a pretty easy decision.

      I am very lucky to have support and work, family, etc. I reckon I will get back on top of things soon. Thanks again.
       
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