Tinnitus and Mental Health

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael Leigh, May 29, 2017.

    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Tinnitus and mental health.

      Type tinnitus into any search engine and you will see links to thousands of websites. They will explain its symptoms, causes and a variety of treatments that are available in the medical field. It seems everyone is catered for, because there is no shortage of information on alternative medicine or natural remedies for anyone wanting to pursue these routes. Those new to tinnitus sometimes feel isolated by it and therefore, it might be comforting to read, that millions of people around the world experience this condition and most learn to live with it.

      Reassuring as this seems, learning to live with tinnitus and getting to a point where one accepts it and is not troubled by noise is easier said than done for some people. The reason being, the habituation process can be a mysterious one with many twists and turns along its path. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it and a corner has been turned. A spike or the sudden introduction of a new sound can be a stark reminder that you haven’t quite reached there yet. This is particularly true for those new to the condition and similarly, for anyone that has been seasoned to it for a while and noticed a resurgence in intensity for one reason or another.

      Since the majority of people learn to live with tinnitus it is reasonable to assume the condition stays relatively mild or moderate for them most of the time. Therefore, it might not always be necessary to see the GP. If it does, a consultation will usually allay any fears that there is nothing drastically wrong. Providing no pain is experienced in the ears and there is no problem with balance, dizziness or deafness, patients are usually told it’s tinnitus and they will get used to it. However, nothing is for certain as we are all different. It is not uncommon for some people to be feeling stressed or anxious by the noise in the early stages. A light sedation or an antidepressant can often help a person to cope until the tinnitus settles down and one habituates. A referral to ENT for tests might be recommend just to make sure everything is as it should be and there are no signs of hearing loss which can cause tinnitus.

      If there are no additional symptoms as mentioned above, when does it become necessary to seek more professional help for tinnitus if habituation is proving to be difficult? There is no definite time frame for this, although someone new to the condition a period of up to six months perhaps a little longer, is considered an acceptable amount of time to habituate. A lot depends on one’s personality and emotional makeup. If they find coping with daily life too difficult, this can increase stress and affect their mental well being and this needs to be kept in check. Although an antidepressant can help a person not to become too down, some people are averse to taking them and prefer to go it alone, which isn’t always the best choice.

      My opinion on this is that tinnitus and a person’s mental health are integrated. The more stressed we become the more intrusive the tinnitus will be and vice versa. Anything that helps to relax us will usually have a positive impact on the tinnitus and make it more tolerable. Counselling with Hearing Therapist or Audiologist trained in tinnitus management can be of immense help and should be considered.

      The therapist discusses with the patient how the tinnitus makes them feel and how it has impacted on their life. Often people say they have lost interest in the things they once liked doing, which is understandable. Those they are close to particularly loved one’s don’t understand what they are going through which can put a lot to strain on a relationship. Talk therapy can help a person to look at life differently and with a more positive outlook. Over time the negative thinking that is often associated with tinnitus is gradually dispelled and demystified. The therapist does this in a controlled and precise manner so that the patient feels relaxed and not pressured. In many instances the tinnitus is gradually pushed further into the background making it less prominent. I believe tinnitus counseling with or without medication can go a long way in helping a person to have a better quality of life.

      Michael

      PS: When someone with tinnitus is referred for counselling, I believe this is best done with a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist who has been trained in the management of tinnitus. Often these people have tinnitus or experienced it at some time in their life. Therefore, they will have a depth of understanding and be able to empathize with a patient rather than someone who is just a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychiatrist with no experience of tinnitus.

      People have contacted me who have been referred to the health professionals I have mentioned, and the first thing they have been told: I know nothing about tinnitus.
       
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    2. slipware
      Bookworm

      slipware Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Tinnitus. The bane of the known world. I'm accepting mine, I know it will never go away, and some days are intolerable (like Unow as I have a cough and cold), but I will never waste my hard earned cash on so called cures. If the best medics and NHS cannot find a cure, or even a release for us, than at this stage, for now at least, we have to accept that. It sucks, it's horrid, but we are stuck with it. Acceptance is key, however hard this may be.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Twenty one years ago when I first got tinnitus, I read a newspaper article that helped change my outlook on tinnitus and put me on the road to habituation. It read: 19 out of 20 medical conditions cannot be cured. At the moment tinnitus cannot be cured. However, there are treatments available that can help a person to habituate and carry on with their life doing everything that they want to. Unfortunately, some people will accept nothing less than a complete cure of their tinnitus and this can prevent them from enjoying life. With a positive outlook and appreciating the good things that one has in life a lot can be achieved.

      Michael
       
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    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      This is true for "back alley cures". But what about monitoring scholar.google.com, for research on possible cures? Once something that helps a reasonable fraction of patients is found, I am sure that it will take years before most of the doctors become aware of it. Then again, I guess people on this forum will become aware of it pretty soon. So the least one can do is monitor this site.
       
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    5. Mettafort
      Sunshine

      Mettafort Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Illinois
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 8th, 2017 (a few days after)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Vertigo->48 hours->Deaf in left Ear->Tinnitus
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    6. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      Tinnitus totally affects our mental health, it is beyond horrible and even Vets like me , still have my moments with this garbage. All of us are different, my tinnitus is never low, but very loud and today I had to put my hearing aids on, just to get a few hours of white noise therapy. This is my last resort and sometimes I use it.

      It is a struggle, i cannot lie. I handle it quite well and its very crazy, but non the less, I feel for all that suffer from this horror. Just keep living your lives and never give up :)

      Stress + tinnitus, do go hand in hand. When I am stressed, i know my tinnitus is way louder and I cannot explain the hell it unleashes. Being relaxed and being positive (although it's very tough), coping is the key to this.

      Bless you all and happy memorial weekend :)
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You say it like it is @fishbone. Tinnitus and mental health are interlinked and cannot be seperated. For this reason is vitally important that one keeps this is check and seeks help whenever they need it, to prevent themselves from spiralling down into the abyss...
       
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    8. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      Yes, i agree! Tinnitus is no joke, it has changed all our lives and seeking help (if needed) is a good idea. When i first got tinnitus, I would ask my folks and my audiologist questions and tried to better understand, what was happening. There were no sites like this 30 years ago. There are lots of experienced people here , that come here just to help those that have tinnitus. I wish i had that 30 years, but it is what it is....

      avoiding loud noises and remaining as calm as possible, goes far with tinnitus. Stress just makes my tinnitus go through the roof and it creates HELL for me. Tinnitus is very difficult and i'm glad i got it early on. It took many years, to adapt and cope and i wish the same for all that deal with this....

      It's hard, but we can adapt...wish the best for all :)
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I haven't taken my clonazepam in months but needed to over the weekend as the tinnitus was very loud and intrusive. It calmed the tinnitus down considerbly to silent. My tinnitus ranges from silent, mild, moderate severe. It used to reach extreme severe levels that would last for days but has reduced from that high level now for some years. However, over the weekend it was quite intense but fortunately I had my meds. I encourage people to seek help if you're unable to cope.
      Michael
       
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    10. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      You are lucky, to at least have had silence. I haven't had silence 1997, i had 10 seconds of silence and it has been garbage eversince..... My tinnitus started in 88-89 and in 97 i had that 10 seconds of silence and i thought maybe i could be at peace again.....I was so excited, but after that noise came back was heart broken.....

      it's tough, takes a strong person to handle it........
       
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    11. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England,
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease


      I strongly believe emotions and mental health play a big part in how we cope.
      I came up with teaming up with Mental Health Week and @Markku made it happen.
      It was put on Twitter, Tinnitus Hub Twitter and Facebookhub.
      Great video.....
      Love glynis
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      A great link and video Glynis.
      Michael
       
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    13. TuneOut

      TuneOut Member

      Location:
      El Dorado Hills, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Worsened 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      Hi Michael. Do you find that there are certain things that trigger the increase/decrease of your tinnitus?
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @TuneOut
      If I am very stressed it can make my tinnitus more intrusive and this seems to be the same for most people. I find alcohol, taken in moderation tends to decrease it. I occasionally drink it for medicinal purposes when my tinnitus is intrusive but only during evenings. My tinnitus is variable. It can be silent, mild, moderate or severe. It no longer reaches extreme severe levels that used to last for many days.

      Michael
       
    15. EWS1981

      EWS1981 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      8 years working on/around helicopters in the Army
      I never thought of seeking therapy for my Tinnitus. But a lot of what the OP referenced is like looking in a mirror for me. It is so great to me to know that the things I feel because of my Tinnitus, I am not alone there. I often feel like I've got depression because of it. As I read some of the posts on this thread and others, it brought me to tears to know I am not alone.
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Very true @EWS1981. Tinnitus is very much a personal experience and it can help to know you're not in it alone when you hear of others going through a similar thing. The help and support that many bring to this forum, can be uplifting and give someone a purpose to carry on when they might not be feeling their best.
      Michael
       
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