I'm writing all this stuff on the off chance that it may help just one person, in which case it will have been worth the time. A lot of what is coming in this post is from books, online t websites and people I have talked to about t. Some of it is my personal experience or views but when I was really suffering I used to 'collect' phrases and quotes from books etc that I knew would help so I hope they help someone else. You may not agree because everyone is different but this is what helped me; 'Remember that if you have tinnitus you are just hearing the normal electrical impulses within your nervous system that have always been there but you are now aware of due to high levels of stress and anxiety. It is this amplification of a PERFECTLY NORMAL naturally occurring process that you must accept and not react to so that your brain will learn to perceive it as the perfectly normal safe sound that it is and will start to filter it out (however loud it is) and it will no longer be heard. You must convince yourself that it is Ok to hear it and never judge good or bad days by the volume and awareness because a good day is one where you are very aware of it but you do not react not one where you don't hear it.' 'How you think about tinnitus is the most important aspect in your recovery and the link between having this symptom and feeling bad is NOT inevitable. The outlook is very good; the vast majority of people get to the point where even though for some, the tinnitus is still there it no longer plays a prominant part in their life and they are mostly unaware of it. The persistance of t is dependent on one thing only; the aversive conditioned response but this response can be retrained and the problem solved. You cannot just think that you will stop responding because it happens at a subconcious level but bit by bit, you can, by not reacting to the sound (however bad you feel) train your subconcious that it is not to be feared and the removal of the reaction will always produce the removal of the perception. In a way it is good if you can still hear the t and not react because complete removal of the signal often leads people to worry about its return so the best position to aim for is occassional awareness with absolutely no concern or reaction and everyone can do this with the right mental approach.' 'Tinnitus is often just a barometer of your emotional state so as you get more anxious and threatened by the events in your life, it appears louder. Try to remember that the point of habituation is not, 'Can I hear it?' but, 'Do I react badly to it?' If you are sitting there waiting for it to go you will be sitting there for a long time. While ever you are waiting for relief in the form of drugs or a cure, you are focused on it and the increased focus just gives you increased volume and therefore increased anxiety about the condition. Never forget that the main object is to retrain the conditioned aversive response and you cannot do this by reacting badly to it. There is no doubt that this is incredibly difficult to do at first but if you gradually increase the time that you can calmly listen to it without reacting, you will gradually block first your fear of the noise and the fight and flight feelings will diminish then the perception of the sound itself will weaken. Most people get to the stage where the sound does not bother them at all even before it goes and that is what to aim for. You will be struggling for a long time if the only outcome you can accept is complete silence because it does not exist for anyone.' 'For the vast majority of people with tinnitus the sound itself is not the problem but a phobic anxiety state probably rooted in past experiences. It is your reaction to the sound and your state of mind that make it louder. This is a concept that some people do not accept yet most tinnitus sufferers cope better on days when they are busy and doing something enjoyable yet days at home doing nothing can be very difficult because the sound is at the forefront of the mind and it is the emotional response alone that dictates the severity of the tinnitus and decides whether it continues or habituates. It's all about accepting the noise and not continually monitoring it. It is essential to understand that the 'music of the brain' is perfectly harmless. Once habituation of reaction is achieved, habituation of perception always follows but it is no good thinking, 'I've not reacted to it for a whole day and I can still hear it!' because that means you are still reacting to it. Over time, gradually increase the time you remain calm when it is at its worse and you are then retraining your brain to turn down the filters which allw you to hear the sound. It always works but be patient. Retraining is slow when a strong phobic reaction has been present but it can always be done.' 'With tinntus, certain structures in the brain have been trained to react very strongly to what is a perfectly harmless signal. Even when you are convinced at a cognitive level that the t is harmless, the reactions will remain for some time so that is why it is necessary to retrain these conections between t and the limbic/emotional system so that automatic reactions of the central nervous system (fight or flight) are abolished. This is done in small steps by reducing your reaction and the time a person has had tinnitus and the volume are of no consequence. This proccess can be applied to everyone regardless of the cause or length of time a person has had this symptom.' 'It is very reassuring to know that even though a person may always have tinnitus, they do not need to suffer from it, in fact they do not even need to hear it. Most people habituate over time by the effort of not reacting to it and this produces changes in the part of the brain concerned with suppressing or amplifying the signal. It may be obvious but obsessing over a sound is not the right way if you are trying to get your brain to ignore it. Anger and anxiety just draw attention to it and make it appear louder as your stress levels rise. Don't let this condition alter anything you do in life. Obviously take care with loud noise (as all people should) but try to live your life as if it is not there and this will aid natural habituation. Habituation of reaction is the primary goal and once that is even partially achieved, habituation of perception will automatically follow. Do not suppress the tinnitus sound as habituation cannot occurr when the signal cannot be heard. It would be impossible to get over a phobia of spiders without facing the object of your fear and gradually feeling more at ease with it and this is the way to go with tinnitus. Don't focus on it but more importantly don't try to get away from it as you cannot habituate something that is not there! The best situation to be in is one where you hear the signal but remain calm and keep your reactions to a minimum. Even if this can only be done for 5 minutes this is a step in the right direction. Be kind to yourself and do whatever you can.' 'Everone hears tinnitus if placed in a soundproof room and most people can hear it if they go into a quiet room and listen for a few minutes but generally their brains filter out the sound but people who are anxious or of a very sensitive nature usually suffer from hypersensitivity so become more prone to hearing the noise and anxious people find it difficult to ignore this noise. People with anxiety or who are under a lot of stress are much more likely to hear the noise and then cannot stop thinking about it which in turn always makes it appear louder than it would do for someone without anxiety. Bear in mind that in very intensive tests that there is absolutely no difference in the volume or pitch in people who experience tinnitus and people who suffer from it. The auditory system is not responsible for your distress but the limbic/central nervous system is. Tinnitus patients in a trial were given anti anxiety drugs and all without exception experienced much less anxiety from the noise and 80% felt they were 'cured' completely yet they still heard the tinnitus at the same volume. This proves that tinnitus is not an ear problem but a brain problem and the problem went when the anxiety went yet the volume remained the same. The only way to deal with it is to alter our reaction to it by dealing with stress and anxiety and learning he real meaning of this perfectly harmless music of the brain.' Well, I really hope this helps someone and I know some folks will agree and some disagree and there is a lot of repetition but that just means a lot of experts or people who have got over it, feel the same. It helped me to read such things and gave me hope that I would feel better able to cope. We all need hope; especially the newcomers. Hugs to all, Beth.