The Question of My Life: Could Tinnitus Destroy My Life?

Discussion in 'Support' started by michela, Jul 23, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. michela
      Dramaqueen

      michela Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      dear members, its now almost a year that ive got tinnitus. it happened four days after a disc in my cervical spine prolapsed. guess its the somatic type of tinnitus. its a high-pitched whistle in both ears, my ears are ok,this must be something neurological because of the spine problems. so actually, if i look back, i know the first 3 months were pure hell. i thought my life is over forever- i cried day and night,for 3 months, thats how sad i was about my lost silence. although it is not very loud, nothing was the same anymore.something changed.and you dont know how precious silence is until you lost it. ok so far. this hard time is over, and the last months my tinnitus tends to get a bit more silent than in the beginning, not much ,but a bit.
      now my question ,i call it "the question of my life" cause i think about it EVERY single day:
      what really makes me anxious and destroys my joy for life is NOT the tinnitus that i have or have had in the past-what destroys my life is always these same questions,: what will the future bring? could it be ,that one day i wake up and tinnitus is so loud, that it forces me to kill myself (although i would never do that)?could it get so loud,that i will not be able to continue to live? you know,all that worst case-catastrophic-scenarios?
      but do they EVER REALLY happen in real life?or just in my nightmares,which i really have by the way? i often have nightmares about my ears since i got this.i dream exactly what i did describe here,that it got so worse that i cant take it anymore. i actually dont have any reasons to think like that-i dont even have any ear or hearing damage! and still this human fear -which i know is not rational-really robs all my energy and joy for life.everybody around me says that tinnitus can not get to the point that you cry like a baby day and night for years because you think you become insane. i know that too! my brain knows that, but otherwise i ve been reading that people commited suicide because of tinnitus!! so why did they do this if it can not get that bad?
      i can live with my tinnitus itself-no problem.-but i can not live with this unanswered question and the constant terror in my head because of THIS question: could IT get so bad and loud that it could destroy my life forever?
       
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    2. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      It can only destroy your life if you let it, @michela. You need to decide. Who is in charge of your destiny? Your tinnitus (which is caused by your own brain)? Or you?

      Many people here at TT have struggled with this question, including me. You might want to go to the Success Stories forum and see how some have answered it. Cognitive behavioral therapy, which tackles negative thinking, also might be a good start.
      (Hugs)
       
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    3. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Your question has more to do with anxiety than tinnitus. I believe this fear has been in the mind of most of us when our T suffering was at its peak. Can we cope with this T beast for life? If not now, what happen later when it increases in loudness? How bad can it get? Will that lead to involuntary suicide? FEAR or better word for this PHOBIA is the driving force behind all these questions.

      For me, a person who has suffered anxiety and panic disorder for decades prior to my ultra high pitch dog whistle T and severe hyperacusis, this unsettling question created nothing but episodes of repeated anxiety and panic attacks. At some point the suffering was so intense I began to question this, "why the heck I was living like hell before I actually get there?" Why I am paying the price before it happens? Then I learned the concept of "NOW" from the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I realize how wrong I was. I realize that the past is history, the future is not yet a reality, but NOW is the only moment in life that I can do something about, something I can have some control to change it for the better. This the only moment I can turn it from negativity to positivity. All the plans, the dreams, even the fears for something in the future may not ever happen the way we envisioned. Just pity those poor passengers on those two Malaysian Airline planes. Their plans & dreams were abruptly cut shot. Their fears for anything else never materialize because something tragic just came and wiped everything to nothing. Likewise so many people died from car and other accidents, natural disasters. No one can predict such things.

      What I am saying is that the future is a total uncertainty nor reality. You can bet that 80 to 90% of people make it to old age with no major disasters nor critical health challenges. They graciously live out their lives with family and friends until their mortality runs its course. So I thought why worry so much for the future to the point of it is hurting my health, such that I couldn't even enjoy the NOW, the very moment in front of me. From such a realization, I decided to choose positivity over negativity in things pertaining to now.

      As I am typing on the subject of T, I can hear it blasting loud. It is over everything in my environment. If I had chosen to monitor it and get sad over such a crazy shrill packed with so much condensed energy like a laser beam, if I had decided my life is unbearable with this incredible high energy scream, and justify this thinking by following it with nothing but sad thought, yes, my moment of NOW will be all clouded up by sadness, by fear, by depression just like the old days.

      But instead I am spending time here helping some T sufferers, a meaningful task in my life, and after this typing I will be setting up for tomorrow morning's fishing trip with a friend and his two sons, all newbies to king salmon fishing. I am going to help them have the thrill of their life with a 20 to 30 lb fish dancing on their lines which they never had before. Their happy moments will be my motivation. And 2 days after that will be our family bbq day. Oh I forget I will do some u-pick blueberry before that to give my children and grandchildren the best and freshest berries they never have before. And I will be on these T forums as well as NBA forums about my favourite teams and players. I will be on all my favourite shows and movies. Last night just watched the Transformer 3 again to witness the wonder of modern day CG, the special effects that make these fantasies so real, ya, the Autobots Bumblebee, Optimus Prime etc kicking butt the Decepticons. So good and so fun and truly amazing how technology can make these cartoon characters so real. In a few days I need to brush up my ballroom dances so I can take my honey to join my daughter and her husband on a dinner and dance evening.

      The heck with T. The heck with the future. I don't know about others, but for me, the current moment, the NOW is all I can control. I will pack it with so much meaning & positivity that T and its negativity will be overrun or buried. Who knows Heaven forbids my next flight will be some disaster like the MA flights, or that any time in the next 50 years Vancouver will be hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake, or that I will be a road statistics sometime in the future, or that my T will be so loud I prefer to doze myself out of reality. The heck with these uncertainties. The NOW is the only certainty I can deal with and change it for the better. I have learned to not let the future ruin the present. That is just me. May you find joy in life regardless of T, high or low, now or future. Try finding joy amid the pain, try living life abundantly in the NOW. Life is short. Don't let T rob us of the joy of life.
       
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    4. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Worrying can be a powerful motivation for many people. For example, if I never worried I would never have made it to the Uni because I would have been to lazy to do anything. However, there is a line between useful worrying and useless worrying. For example, it is natural to be careful when crossing the road, however if you are too scared to even go out you've got a problem. If we all worried constantly about what could happen we would literally be crazy.
      I dont know if you have noticed but a lot of people start worrying less with age. That is because the more experience you have the more you see that life will continue anyway, even if it will not be exactly what you expected. I would seriously advise you to analyze yourself a bit. Have you always worried? How have you dealt with unexpected problems, diseases before? Do your worries sometimes have nothing to do with the reality and you seem to create your own negative world inside your head? If it is like that, I would advise you to speak to a specialist and deal with that.
      In conclusion, don't think the anxiety its T specific - most likely you would have reacted to that to any negative experience. Nobody will ever have certainty in life in any aspect. Just as well you could worry about becoming paralyzed after an accident, losing your loved ones, living with a job, the III WWW breaking out etc. We all have to find a way to enjoy life and accepting nobody knows what is going to happen to us.
       
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    5. michela
      Dramaqueen

      michela Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      i agree with all of you and thank you for your answers,special thanks to billie!
      yes, i even talked to a doctor years ago about my generalized anxiety disorder, i know that is a problem in my life,not a big one, but i do always create"worst-case-scenarios".but wait: most of the time these fears were really not realistic.but in this case-tinnitus-i ask you: am i not right to worry about the future? i mean for me this specific case of worrying has nothing to do with that anxiety disorder, its just really like someone with cancer would ask himself if he survives it,would you really tell him in THAT case : this is all anxiety. live now and not in the future? :). you know what i mean?there is fear and fear,i agree with you,some fears are just here to steal our energy (generalized anxiety disorder) but this tinnitus fear is something real!so the only thing that could REALLY help me calming down are numbers and statistics: how many people in the world have really such a hard case of tinnitus that they can not live with it any longer?that they commit suicide NOT because they are depressed,but JUST BECAUSE !!! they can no longer live with the noise.
      if statistics say only 1 percent, i will stop worrying today immediately-i promise.you know what i mean? in this case, more than calming words or a positive attitude towards the future,what i need even more are numbers and statistics,cause im acutally still new to this "tinnitus-world" and this fear of mine is still the fear of the unknown-unknown numbers and statistics.this is why it would really help to hear long -time tinnitus sufferers tell me : its not easy, but it will NOT drive you insane.you can still live a happy life cause tinnitus can not get to the point where it does not let you live your life anymore.
      i have been reading in another post from a 60 year old member here, that he had a mri. during this mri, he said his tinnitus was louder than the sounds of the mri machine. we all know these machines are 80db loud or even more.
      what should a tinnitus "beginner" like me think if he / she reads such a statement?:(
       
    6. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Michela.
      Who really has any reliable statistic about Tinnitus? No one. Because no one in the world can compare one T with another. I myself don't worry if my T gets louder or if I have a spike. Because I see my T as a permanent spike, so loud it is. But who knows. Maybe someone else would like to trade with me because of additional Hyperacusis, pulsatile T or whatever - which I do not have.
      I only worry about living with this for the rest of my life.
      But it is to early to give up. It is a battle, a journey. Giving up is something for later.
      So don't think about the future. Enjoy your times wher you can live with your T.
      Take care, Martin
       
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    7. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      I don't want to get into the tinnitus/suicide debate.
      But if statistics will help calm your catastrophic thinking: The American Tinnitus Association says about 50 million people in the U.S. ALONE (not to mention those in other countries) have tinnitus. Of those, about 16 million have it so severely that they need medical attention, and 2 million are so debilitated that they struggle to live normal lives.

      So: If 1 percent (the percentage that you said would make you stop worrying) of those United States citizens with the life-altering tinnitus committed suicide -- that means 20,000 Americans with tinnitus killed themselves. That obviously is NOT happening. Suicides exist but they are rare, rare events.

      So if it helps you, next time you start that catastrophic thinking, say to yourself: "I should not worry that I will be driven so far as to harm myself. This very rarely happens and it will not happen to me. I am getting help, am going to get better and be okay. If I stop worrying about this, it will help my anxiety pass for now and I will feel better. I look forward to my anxiety passing and calming down."

      Write it down on an index card, carry it around and read it to yourself, if it helps, when you start the catastrophic loop. It's a cognitive behavioral therapy technique and it works for many. It redirects your anxiety and helps calm you.
       
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    8. Teri
      Artistic

      Teri Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/2014
      Your feelings are VERY normal. I have lived your anxiety, panic, depression with onset of my T as well. It has gotten better for me. I try to read positive posts in this forum (which have been great for my acceptance of T). I have good days and not so good days. I keep reminding myself on the bad days that a good day is just around the corner and I can "power" through the bad day. I have additionally been diagnosed with Meneires Disease as well and gosh the "what ifs" can destroy a perfectly good day. I am working on that. LOL

      Hang in there. Keep posting and work on ways to stay positive.
       
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    9. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Indeed, thanks to billie!
      I'm usually not one to quote smart people but
      “Fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself.” - Daniel Defoe.
      It is normal to raise these questions as a sufferer without generalized anxiety, yet consider how the anxiety makes you react to normal situations/worries, and now consider how an anxiety disorder will affect your reaction towards tinnitus. Don't ever dismiss it as not being a big problem :)!
       
    10. This is my struggle as well. I can take it as it is for now but the anxiety that is left in me is regarding the future. Before T i never had real anxiety in my life and i guess that it´s the knowledge that you can go down so fast and so hard to the rock bottom as i did that scares me the most and still does. I really understand how fragile your mental Health is. Before T i thought i was able to resolve every problem with half a bottle of whisky or a hard workout. How wrong i was about that:bag:

      Wonderful Words Billie and my common sense knows that you are very right in what you are writing. Guess i have to bring on some more CBT sessions to get this straight.
       
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    11. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Nick, this is so true. Anxiety that this is forever, that we will not cope, that we suffer endlessly. The uncertainity if we ever habituate, if we ever live a normal life again. What if another illness joins T, which needs all our strength already. This makes a big part of our struggle. We must fight those thoughts with realistic thoughts. But it is so difficult. But I am sure we will all make it.

      And yes, Billie is an inspiration. Indispensible on our journey.
       
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    12. kevin b
      Fine

      kevin b Member

      Location:
      Hope well junction, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Tinnitius sucks, no question about it and I understand the suffering, but just open the newspaper or read the internet to see the amazing struggles people go thru. (planes getting shot down, loss of child, homeless, cancer, ect). Hopefully none of us are experiencing any of these tragadies, we need to keep things in perspective and work on getting better because we have that chance. I believe everyone finds their own way- thru God, family, this forum, friends, whatever you need to do. Great phrase to remember- Don't give up, Don't ever give up!- Jim Valvano
       
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    13. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Thanks for your kind words. We are all inspirational in our unique way. Each of you contributes to the collective wisdom of this board. TT is a magnet of newer sufferers because all of you are so willing to help others and contribute to these new members' well being. I salute you all.

      Jim Valvano, thanks Kevin for bringing up this hero, one of my role models of unyielding belief in optimism as well as a wonderful coach of NC State Basketball. He was such a wonderful motivator and his team believes in him enough to power their way to the NCAA championship in 1983 against all odds as a no name underdog to the powerful Houston Cougars which had the Dream and Glyde both future hall of famer basketball players in NBA. His players just never gave up hope and never quit. But his greatest moments actually were about how valiantly he battled his cancer. Even cancer cannot rob him of his unyielding spirit of optimism and inspiration. I really admire this giant of a man.
       
    14. Amy
      Tired

      Amy Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      This thread has been really helpful for me. @michela , I've been experiencing the same anxiety and "what if?" thoughts, which seem to get worse after a particularly bad sleepless night. I also have generalized anxiety disorder so it's incredibly hard to avoid the negative thinking and worrying about the future. But I'm trying so hard to stay positive and power through the bad times; I don't want T to take over my life. But I also wish there were statistics or hard numbers that could provide guidance. Oh well.
       
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