Tinnitus, a Way Forward

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael Leigh, Dec 1, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I wrote the post below a few years ago at another tinnitus forum. It has been amended slightly to fit in with this forum but essentially I’ve left everything as it was. I was going through a very difficult time with my tinnitus and wanted to express how I felt. I was fortunate to have an understanding GP, ENT consultant and Hearing Therapist but most of my family and friends just didn’t understand what I was going through and frankly, I don’t think they wanted to know after a while.

      We all know that tinnitus can make us feel isolated. I learned other forum members experienced the same with people they are close to. Unfortunately, not all of them had understanding healthcare providers. I just want to say: there is a way forward with tinnitus, although it may take some time you will become a stronger person.



      Tinnitus, a way forward


      Many people outside of this forum do not realize that tinnitus can be a very debilitating condition. Even some GPs have a cavalier approach to it but thankfully not all health professionals share this view and are to be commended for their care, time and consideration they give to helping those tinnitus patients that are having a difficult time with their T.
      Someone that has loud intrusive tinnitus there is usually no outward bodily signs indicating their discomfort. Unlike a person with a broken leg, on crutches and wears a cast. Neither can the severity of tinnitus be measured on any medical equipment. So the sufferer endures this torment in relative silence.

      The fact that tinnitus comes in many forms and intensities compounds the issue and just for good measure it can be variable on a daily basis: mild, moderate, severe or acute. However, many people with mild tinnitus are able to live perfectly normal lives doing everything they want to because the condition hasn’t become serious enough for them to visit their GP and then be referred to an ENT department for treatment.

      To people reading this post I ask, how many times have you mentioned to someone that you have tinnitus and the reply has been: My friend, Father, Mother has that but they just ignore it and get along with their life?
      The above comments can be crushing to someone that is distressed by tinnitus. It can make one feel terribly guilty for even mentioning the word. You might feel a failure. That old adage: pull yourself together is still alive and well in 2015.
      There might be times you feel it necessary to confide in someone how your tinnitus makes you feel, there is nothing wrong in this, a problem shared is often a problem halved. Just choose carefully with whom you talk to, as you need support, understanding and a good listening ear. Thankfully, there also people at tinnitus talk who are understanding and wont judge or think that you are inept in some way because you are having a difficult time with your T.

      Over the years I have read in tinnitus books that the condition is not life threatening, I have heard people say it isn’t comparable to any serious medical condition.
      In reply to all those people I will say this: You have never suffered from loud intrusive tinnitus otherwise you would think twice before making such a statement. At the very least I believe such statements are abridged. You have to walk in a person’s shoes to be able to know what they are going through. You have to have been there done that then you are entitled to voice an opinion.

      It is true by itself tinnitus is not life threatening but that isn’t the end of the story. Anyone suffering with severe intrusive tinnitus, I believe it is comparable to any acute medical condition, simply because of what it is able to do to a person’s state of mind. Anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed as treatment for tinnitus. These drugs will not necessarily stop the T but can help prevent a person from becoming too depressed because of the noise in their head and ears.
      People mustn’t be under any misconceptions the depths that this condition can take one to. If tinnitus is left unchecked it has the ability to make a person think and do something irrational that otherwise they wouldn’t contemplate if they weren’t in such a distressed state. One only has to do a search on Google to find this out. So there lies the paradox.

      However, we can move forward and help ourselves by using different coping strategies in addition to such things as anti-depressants, tinnitus retraining therapy cognitive behavioural therapy and Relaxation exercises.
      I have talked about the importance of having a positive outlook on life and how negative thoughts about this condition shouldn’t be allowed to get a hold. Acquiring a positive attitude to tinnitus isn’t something that happens overnight but we must start somewhere. Our mind and thought processes are very powerful.

      There is a saying: belief can kill and it can cure. When my T is particularly troublesome I try to takeaway the attention from my tinnitus by first thinking inwards and acknowledging the positive things in my life and holding on to them - I would encourage you to do the same. Secondly, I project my thoughts outwards away from myself and into the world and look at what’s happening with other people. First in and around my neighbourhood then further a field. How other people’s lives are being affected and the circumstances they are going through.

      It is often said no matter what our circumstances are there is always someone worse off. I am in no way trying to play down the severity of tinnitus but it is my way of trying to be positive in hope of restoring some equilibrium in my life in order for me to carry on.

      Michael
       
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    2. Dana
      Chicken

      Dana Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not known, too many possible causes
      A "Winner" rating from me for reminding us those words of wisdom. So true! By experiencing some things, I can say that I verified this saying myself.
       
    3. Blujay

      Blujay Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/1900
      Michael wrote: "There is a saying: belief can kill and it can cure."

      I would add that it doesn't even have to be a "belief" to have great effect; it can merely be an implanted or fleeting thought.

      That's what makes forums like this a double-edged sword.
       
    4. noisebox
      Loved

      noisebox Member

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      Sadly my implanted brief thought was, I hate T, I can't bear T, I can't live with T, even quiet high high T I cannot abide it. Those thoughts have stuck.
       
    5. noisebox
      Loved

      noisebox Member

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      Oh Michael, I remember you from the useless BTA forum. Has it closed down now?
      You wound me up telling me to be optimistic etc etc. Well oddly my T literally did get better, not me, it. Most days it was gone. But this year a medical error caused huge damage to me. I got bad T and H too. So after over 3 years I'm back moaning, this time fearing the new sound will not go. And guess what I can't get help anywhere, again, for T or H. So I'm alone again with it, with H ruining my life and filling me with fear. And no I can't try WNGs I did in the summer from a private clinic and they put my pitch of T up in just a few hours, now it's horrid high pitch instead of middle pitch.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI noisebox
      You are indeed correct I was on the BTA forum but we parted ways as I didn't agree with the moderator on certain things, which I believe were draconian and archaic - Plus when the forum went private because of a troll it went down hill at an alarming rate and it has become useless. Very Sad really, but it's still in operation. In the early days it was quite a good forum but it can't hold a candle to Tinnitus -Talk. Sorry If I wound you up it certainly wasn't intentional. I hope we can put the passed behind us and move on.

      For white noise generators to work properly they have to be used as part of TRT (tinnitus retraining therapy) which means you have to be having regualar counseling appointment, with a hearing therapist trained in the field of tinnitus, otherwise the treatment wont work. Using white noise generators to treat tinnitus and hyperaucusis can take up to 2 years so patience is required.

      Michael
       
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I am always willing to learn from those better than me Blujay, and a wait your post on a topic to do with tinnitus.
      Kind regards
      Michael
       
    8. Zug

      Zug Member Benefactor

      Hey @Michael Leigh thanks for that! All in all, I went to 5 different ENT's since I started the "Tinnitus Adventure" 5 months ago. The people who helped me most were an Audiologist that tested me and a psychologist. Both have Tinnitus. I already said elsewhere, but people like @I who love music , @billie48 and you are a better resource than most health professionals who just don't get us. Maybe one day will be different, but for now I'm convinced that the best help we can get is from people who know what really feels like to be awaken on the middle of the night by a strange sound coming from our own heads.
       
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    9. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Totally agree with you there, Michael. Being positive can only help and not hurt. If life has to be lived positively or negatively, why not positively? Negativity will make T worse whereas there is a good chance that positivity will lessen the severity of T, at least the perception of it and the impact on our lives. So it makes good sense to try to take a positive stance, even if by faking it (lol), so that the brain will find it easier to habituate to T. Thanks for sharing this. You are speaking the truth.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Thanks for your comments Zug and billie48. I have read some of your posts billie and they are very informative. Keep up the good work.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Yup.
      These guys are on it.
       
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    12. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Hi @Zug
      Experienced 'expert' patients are a great source of information and help. I hear T, I feel optimistic!Best wishes Phil
       

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