Tinnitus and Negative Counselling

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael Leigh, Feb 4, 2018.

    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Tinnitus and negative counselling

      The onset of tinnitus can be a daunting experience when it is loud and intrusive. Understandably, a strange new sound that hasn’t been heard before can be alarming and leave a person at a loss of what to do. The first port of call is usually the family doctor. The Internet being readily available many people can’t resist searching Google on health issues before seeing their GP, because by nature most human beings are curious and want to know more. Some of the information out there about tinnitus is not good and unfortunately a lot of it is bad and can instil negative thinking. It seems not much has changed over the years that I have had tinnitus and the way that some people view it, even by some healthcare professionals that should know better and hope this improves.

      One afternoon twenty two years ago I was listening to music through my headphones and removed them. At that moment I knew something had been added that previously wasn’t there and thought, the high pitched ringing was coming from somewhere in my home and began searching each room to locate its source but found nothing. This puzzled me but as I listened more intensely I realized the sound was actually coming from my head and ears.

      I had a sinking feeling the sound was known as tinnitus. I had heard of the condition but never experienced it nor did I want to believe that I had it. Everywhere I went it followed me and to be honest the experience was quite frightening. Unfortunately the truth was confirmed by my pharmacist, who I had gone to for help and to buy some eardrops hoping it would reduce the ringing. The forlorn look on his face as I began explaining my symptoms, I took to mean prepare for bad news. It’s tinnitus he said and as his gaze lowered to the floor, I heard those familiar words that many know so well. There is no cure. I stood there trying my best to hold it together and felt completely numb hearing those words.

      Many of you will understand when I say I hadn’t slept that night, for I was filled with anxiety and fear. Thoughts about my future overwhelmed me and knew I couldn’t live with this unwelcome intrusion in my life. The hours went by slowly and I listened to the radio to try and distract myself from the noise, because the more I focused on it the louder it became. The night can seem a lonely isolating place when you’re not feeling well or have troubles on your mind. In the morning I arrived at my medical centre at 8.30 just as the doors were opening and wanted reassurance that something could be done to prove the pharmacist was wrong.

      The young doctor I saw informed me she was a GP trainee and listened as I explained my symptoms for the second time in two days. I was tired, scared and found it difficult to relax. You have got tinnitus she said and casually dismissed it with a wave of the hand. I sat there saying nothing. Perhaps noticing my unease at this revelation she then said, If I had tinnitus then I would ignore it because it’s nothing. There is no cure so you will have to learn to live with it. If this was her attempt at making me feel better then her bedside manner had failed dismally. At that moment all my dreams and aspirations for the future had been shot down in flames again. It was hearing those words: There is no cure. It sounded so final and devastating to me.

      I left the surgery feeling miserable and worse than when I entered. I returned a few days later but was told the same thing by another GP. There is no cure, don’t worry you will get used to it. I went back eight times and eventually saw a doctor who was concerned at the amount of visits and made a referral for me to be seen at ENT. I was prescribed antidepressants that helped after a while. It was a six months wait to be seen at ENT. I habituated in two years but it was not easy. With help, belief and positive thinking I achieved it.

      When a person goes to their GP for help with their tinnitus, the last thing they want to hear is, nothing can be done you have to learn to live with it. I see this as negative counselling and sends out the wrong message to someone that is likely to be under a lot of stress and feeling emotionally vulnerable. It can make a person think there is no hope which is often not he case. I believe the majority of doctors care about their patients and don’t want to see them in distress, although some need to improve their bedside manner. Therefore, an incident that was recently told to me I like to think is rare. An ENT doctor said there is no magic pill for tinnitus and I am not God. This seems to have been said out of pure frustration at not being able to do more and wasn’t meant to be personal. Unfortunately the person on the receiving end of this comment had got very emotionally upset. My GP, consultant and Hearing Therapist, have always been supportive in helping me with my tinnitus over the years and I will always be thankful to them.

      The Internet is a great resource for information on any topic. Where tinnitus is concerned I believe some of it would be better left unsaid. No two people experience this condition the same and each person will respond to a particular treatment differently. There is a lot of negativity online towards some therapies and their efficacy, often by people that have never tried them or are looking for unrealistic goals and achievements. Amongst the worst places for this kind of bias and negative counselling is the tinnitus support forum although some are better than others.

      My advice to anyone seeking help at a tinnitus support forum is not to continuously read postings from negative thinking people. If you do, then you might not realize that you are being conditioned into a negative mindset. Their beliefs will soon become yours and this can be detrimental to your healing process and mental wellbeing. If you are having treatment for your tinnitus, please do not discuss it as negative thinking people will try and find a way to discourage you into thinking that it wont help.

      In contrast to this, there are some very informed people at tinnitus forums. Veterans, newbies and those seasoned to tinnitus. These people will not be too difficult to find and will often make themselves known. Their sage advice can inspire you with positivity and help you in the habituation process and to cope with this condition even in the downtimes should they arrive. Please listen to their words and follow in their footsteps.

      I wish you well

      Michael
       
      Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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    2. monkey legs

      monkey legs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear injury (paintball)

      Very well said. Some doctors and ENT people are complete shit. One doctor I went to said she could cut the audio nerve and make the ear deaf if I wanted!
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Some doctors do need to improve their bedside manner. Please remember doctors and in particular, ENT doctors are physicians. They know about they anatomy of the ear and can treat it medically or surgically and I believe the majority of them do this well. I have much respect for the knowledge and skill in this area.

      However, when there is no underlying medical condition causing the tinnitus, such as Meniere's, otosclerois, glue ear, ETD, Hearing loss, middle ear infection etc. A person should be referred to a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist that specialises in the treatment and management of tinnitus and hyperacusis. A typical example of this is: Tinnitus caused by loud noise exposure. There is not usually an underlying medical problem with this. The treatment can be: medication, sound therapy, counselling, mindfulness, TRT, CBT, relaxation therapy and more.

      Please do not underestimate the important role that an ENT doctor plays. They are highly qualified people and can treat many conditions associated with the Ear, Nose and Throat. By the way, even if the auditory nerve is severed a person will still hear the tinnitus, because the sound is coming form the brain not the ear.

      Michael
       
      Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
    4. monkey legs

      monkey legs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear injury (paintball)
      Thank you Michael.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      You are welcome @monkey legs
       
    6. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      Very wise words Michael. My GP said, and I quote “ I wouldn’t like to have tinnitus, drive you mad”. Also, if you kill yourself you will go to hell!!!! Devasting. Thank you Michael.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Thank you @Nanny chocolate

      I am sorry to hear of your experience with your GP, that should really have known better.
      Take care
      Michael
       
    8. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      Sage medical advice indeed. A priest would tell you that for free. I've seen a lot of posts over time of dumb things Doctors have blurted out, but that's one of the better ones.
       
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    9. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      Been done, doesn't work. He should know that.
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I think the doctor concerned is in the wrong vocation....
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Equalizer

      I knew it wouldn't be long before you appeared on this thread.
      As always it's nice to see you and read your comments.

      Take care
      Michael
       
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    12. Luman
      Artistic

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      I hope that she was being sarcastic, because performing such a surgery for the purpose of eliminating tinnitus, even if the patient signs a waiver, could very likely result in her losing her licence to practice medicine.
       
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    13. Screamin Ears
      Crappy

      Screamin Ears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      .
      TRT therapist told me the same thing, there's no pill for T and you have to find a way to manage your own T.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Your TRT Therapist is correct there is no pill at present that can cure tinnitus. However, there is a lot that can be done to help people with this condition to have a fulfilling life doing everything that they want to with treatment of which there are many. If a person is looking for a complete cure from tinnitus and has a negative mindset, then they will find it difficult to habituate. Tinnitus is just one medical condition in a long list that there is no cure for. In the majority of cases it can be successfully managed with treatment, if a person has access to it.

      Michael
       
    15. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      You are such an encouraging person Michael.
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Thank you @Nanny chocolate I am a positive thinking person. Even though my tinnitus can reach severe levels, I always try to accentuate the positive things in my life and focus on them. If we look at what is going on in the world and how some people live - I don't have to go into details, it can make us appreciate what we've got and this can help us through the difficult times with tinnitus.

      Michael
       
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    17. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      Hello Michael
      How do you cope when your T is raging? Mine is off the scale tonight and filling my whole head. It’s never been this bad before, torture.
      Eve
       
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Hi @Nanny chocolate

      There are a number of things that I do to help me when my tinnitus is loud. It important to try and think positively and it can be done.

      1. Even though my tinnitus can reach severe levels, I always try to accentuate the positive things in my life and focus on them. If we look at what is going on in the world and how some people live - I don't have to go into details, it can make us appreciate what we've got and this can help us through the difficult times with tinnitus.

      2. I use sound enrichment. Either using a sound machine or have classical music playing at low level in the background. I sometimes use white noise generators which I find very helpful and been using them for 20 years.

      3. Sometimes I will watch the television even if I'm unable to follow it completely at least I have it on as a distraction.

      4. If my tinnitus is very severe, then I may have to take Clonazepam which I have on prescription. It is sometimes prescribed for people that have severe tinnitus.

      A very good person that can give you advice and has many years experience with tinnitus is: @fishbone Hopefully, if he see's this post he will give you some help.

      All the best
      Michael
       
    19. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      Thank you Michael
      I work as a Counselling Therapist but I’ve not been able to patients for two months. I’m trained in CBT but don’t seem able to use it for myself. The worsening T caused me to have a breakdown as it’s painfully loud it seems.
      It doesn’t seem to react to sound but it’s so loud it hurts. I have an appt at a tinnitus clinic on Monday and I’m going to beg for maskers.
      You are very kind
      Eve
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Hi @Nanny chocolate If you would like a chat on the telephone then please let me know as I sometimes do this. It may help and have done this for a number of people in this forum and elsewhere.

      Sorry you are going through a difficult time at the moment. I would prefer you to be treated under the NHS. You will get the best help and long term aftercare with them.

      Michael
       
    21. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      That’s so nice of you. My appointment is at a NHS Hospital in fact, I live in beautiful South Devon. What I can’t get to grips with is why it’s become so bad, I’ve had T since 1992 and eventually habituated.
      Meds were changed, Consultant says it’s stress related and not ADs. This level has changed everything and my normal has gone.
      I’ll certainly bear your kind offer in mind, I’m having hypnotherapy to try to help with the inevitable low mood.
      Eve
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      You are welcome. I know what its like to have severe debilitating tinnitus. Tinnitus gets worse for a reason. I don't know what originally caused your tinnitus? Exposure to loud noise is the most common cause. If it was by this and you have been around loud sounds or using headphones, then this could be the reason for the increase.

      The next thing is stress and as you're a Therapist you'll know all about this and how best to manage it. If you have changed to a new medication and in particular an Antidepressant? This could have caused the increase in your tinnitus. Antidepressant can make tinnitus worse but this is usually temporary.

      Since you have habituated for quite a while and noticed a sudden increase something has caused this. Hearing loss is another factor, so tests on your auditory system including and MRI scan I think is required to find the cause.

      Michael
       
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    23. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      There was no loud noise, I suspect setraline but who knows.
      I have had a lot of personal stress but there doesn’t seem to be a definitive cause yet. Thank you for your very positive responses.
      Eve
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      If there is no underlying medical condition that has caused the increase in your tinnitus, and loud sounds or headphone use are ruled out. It is likely to be Stress. If you have changed to a new AD it might be a good idea to have a word with your doctor about this.

      Take care
      Michael
       
    25. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      Why is your tinnitus much louder tonight? what have you done lately that has been different? Tinnitus will not just get louder on it's own for no reason.There is an cause n effect situation here. I highly suggest that you start keeping a diary of your activities and see what is helping you and what is bothering your tinnitus more.

      If your tinnitus is very loud right now, just know that the stress of observing the spike... can make it worst. try to remain calm and at peace. Yes, the new spike is horrible, but it can settle down. Maybe drink a glass of warm milk (if you don't have lactose issues) and just settle that mind down and be at ease. Playing nature sounds and sounds of relaxation only work if you LET the mind wind down.

      If your baseline is usually much lower, then you are probably just experiencing a spike and it will settle down, if you let the mind be at peace.

      My PMs are always open to those that suffer :)
       
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Thank you Fishbone, great advice as usual.....

      Michael
       
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    27. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      Thank you Fishbone and Michael
      I accrued new noises, previously only had T in one ear, at the beginning of December. GP up dose of sertraline and after one 100mg tab the new noises began. My usual T is not one note, more like a hurdy Girdy but I’d got used to it. This final straw caused a breakdown from which I’m still trying to recover. I can’t work out why it’s become so horrendous, it’s not just perception, it really is. I’m so battered by life, no longer suicidal, I just need to find a way to live with this.
      I take a milk drink to bed and listen to a relaxing tape - No head phones!
      Thank you gentlemen, you both really are.
      Eve
       
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    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I hope that you are able to get some help soon @Nanny chocolate

      All the best and take care.
      Michael
       
    29. Jake007

      Jake007 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Nebraska
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      hearing loss for long time, chainsaw, infections
      I try to stay positive about the things in my life, whenever I get down about it, I remember when you said it took you 4 years to habituate. Then I tell myself, time. Just take your time. I know the details you're talking about, so I won't say anything about it either. I'm a little over a year into my intrusive tinnitus now. So time is on our side.
       
    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Hi @Jake007

      Tinnitus can be challenging to cope with when it is loud and intrusive. Although my suggestions above to Nanny chocolate can be helpful. Sometimes a person needs help with medication and talking (counselling) with a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist that is trained in the management of tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      Michael
       
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