Tinnitus and the Negative Mindset

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael Leigh, Sep 3, 2017.

    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Tinnitus and the negative mindset.

      Whether a person is new to tinnitus or has had it for a while, they will know how debilitating it can be when it’s loud and intrusive. If hyperacusis is present it can make a bad situation worse and I fully understand this, as someone who’s had tinnitus for twenty-one years and once had very severe hyperacusis that has been cured for the passed eighteen years.

      I am not going to pretend and say the habituation process is an easy one, although some will find the journey easier than others. My first noise trauma took two years to recover and the second four years. Throughout both ordeals I never allowed thoughts that my tinnitus would never improve or that my life was over to take hold, as I believed negative thinking would reinforce the belief that I faced a future of impending doom. I will admit that occasionally they crossed my mind but just for a fleeting moment and then I’d let them go and direct my thoughts elsewhere. Going out for a walk, playing relaxing music or even doing work around my home brought about the desired effect and helped me to focus on something else.

      2010 was a particularly low point in my life as I was having a lot of difficulty coping with the tinnitus and asked my consultant to be candid about my condition, because I felt I had reached a plateau with TRT and wasn’t making any more improvement. Unfortunately it wasn’t as successful as the first time. My doctor confirmed what I had suspected but wasn’t prepared when told, I was the second worst tinnitus patient that she had met in all her years of practicing Audiovestibular medicine. I wanted the floor to open so I could fall in and all my troubles would be gone. I sensed a feeling of dark clouds looming over my head having been told something that I wish I hadn’t asked for.

      My doctor said she would never give up on treating me and I was prescribed clonazepam. My recovery was slow but determined not to let the cacophony of noise that at times was tormenting, send me on a downward spiral into oblivion. Although my experience is unique because no two people experience tinnitus the same, it will not be strange to those that have travelled a similar road and come through it to tell their story.

      I believe one of the biggest problems a person faces with tinnitus is having a negative mindset. This is completely different from feeling occasionally down or even negative which is something that this condition does to a person as it directly affects one’s emotions but doesn’t take hold or is allowed to fester. Having a negative mindset is not allowing any positive thoughts to come through about your tinnitus. The thought that it will never improve and you won’t respond to treatment takes precedence over everything else. If hyperacusis is present this can be intensified by the overuse of hearing protection, which reinforces negative thinking that even slightly raised sound levels are harmful. If one isn’t careful a fear of sound can develop known as phonophobia, to the point where a person feels scared to leave home thinking environmental sounds will make their condition worse.

      Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there as relationship with people often suffers as a person becomes more withdrawn. This can induce depression and one can start to feel angry about their circumstances and vent their frustrations on those nearest to them. It can become an unhealthy situation to be in. Therefore, if person is slipping into a negative mindset, my advice is to seek help by contacting their GP. Perhaps getting a referral to a Hearing Therapist, psychiatrist or counsellor. Someone to talk to before the situation gets out of control.

      My purpose for writing this post wasn’t to give an account of what I’ve been through with tinnitus but felt it necessary, to give a little background information as some people might think: It’s alright for you but you haven’t lived my life or know what I have to go through daily with tinnitus. I hope the above information will have given you some insight into what I’ve been through, as I know how debilitating this condition can be when severe. I have counselled people with it and continue to do so. Tinnitus has been around for centuries and like many medical conditions, a cure hasn’t yet been found. However, in most cases it can be successfully treated and there are a variety of different options available, enabling people go on and lead a normal life doing everything that they want to.

      I wish you well.
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/inspiration.22894/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/can-tinnitus-counselling-help.22366/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-mental-health.21978/
       
      • Like Like x 9
      • Hug Hug x 2
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. Makrohn
      Supportive

      Makrohn Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss - Explosion - Stress
      Reading this, is like reading my own story and my own feelings.
      On top of this, I have moderate hearing loss and anxiety.

      Thank you for sharing this, providing me with some hope as things have become more and more dark in my life.
      I´ve had T for 20 year, still it bothers me daily, and I am starting to loose hope.

      I hope to find something that will provide me some relief, there must be a way.

      Marius
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Thank you for your kind comments @Makrohn Please talk to your doctor and if possible get a referral to see a Hearing Therapist for counselling.
      All the best
      Michael
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    4. ScienceNut

      ScienceNut Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for this post. I was diagnosed with tinnitus in 2016, and the therapists in the Duke clinic told me to ignore it and don't think about it. I received a sheet of paper with list of apps and link to the ATA along with an article. I'm in process of looking for another otolaryngologist and someone else to give me guiding words for the habituation journey.

      This article helps.
       
      • Creative Creative x 1
    5. Kolisar
      No Mood

      Kolisar Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      birth?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      @Michael Leigh : Another very well written article. It has already been added to the list of your posts I direct people to. Thank you, once again, for your except writing and articulation of these important ideas.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    6. Zug
      Woot

      Zug Member Benefactor

      "Optimists and pessimists die the same way. They just live differently. I prefer to live as an optimist." - Shimon Peres
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @ScienceNut
      Please click on my post in the above link titled:Tinnitus, A Personal View. It is a long post but try to read it in full and not skim through it. It covers treatment and coping methods for tinnitus. Try and get a referral to see a Hearing Therapist for treatment for your tinnitus. More is explained in my article.
      All the best
      Michael
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Thank you for your kind words @Kolisar and for directing people to my posts as I hope they will be of help. You are a great contributor to this forum and I particularly liked your recent post on another thread. Full of optimisim, verve and a zest for life even in your down times which will give inspiration to many.

      Please keep up the splendid work.
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      @Michael Leigh , thank you for writing such a positive post . It will help lot of people who are in distress .
      I have spike on and off but I know it will get better . If it doesn't I know I will live with it and I am sure after 8-10 years some cure should come up .
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    10. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      @Michael Leigh , what caused a noise trauma ?
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Headphones the first time. I am not quite sure of the second because I had stopped using headphones since my tinnitus onset in 1996. I was listening to a Haydn symphony on my HI-FI one evening and turned up the volume. Everything thing felt fine until the next morning my tinnitus returned with a vengeance. It got progressively louder over the days and weeks until I couldn't stand it any longer and went to ENT. I didn't know that it would take me 4 years to habituate for the 2nd time.

      Michael
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    12. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      I also had spike which started next day after loud exposure (live music).
      It's strange how T spikes next morning.

      How long did you listen to music with loud volume?

      Honestly it's scary how limiting life becomes after getting T.

      Luckily I am self employed so I can avoid a lot of conferences and events but what if we have to go to birthday party where they are playing music? Or get together or a pool party.

      As I had mentioned before, I am somewhat introvert and don't care for these get together. I can meet friends at a restaurant or each other house , but I am 43 and have long life ahead of me. How much can I really avoid?

      Life now is just work, home and family get togethers or go to restaurant /malls. I avoid every thing else because my T is very very reactive to loud noises.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I didn't think the volume was loud being I was listening to classical. I was listening for around 2hrs and my ears didn't feel sensitive. One thing which is particularly strange but I'm thankful for, my hyperacusis did not return and has remained cured till this day.
      Try and help your auditory system to be less sensitive to sound. Please follow some of my suggestions in my post: Hyperacusis, as I see it, in the link above - this should help your reactive tinnitus/hyperacusis.

      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      @Michael Leigh , I actually don't have hyperacusis . My concern is I get crazy spike with some what loud noise .it seems your spike lasted 4 years ..I am afraid that might happen to me if I expose my self to loud events like that .
      I am sure if you were listening to music at home it was not as loud as concert . Home speakers can get loud but I didn't think it would cause spike for that long .
      Before your spike happend ..was your Tinnitus very loud and intrusive ? Or just 4 year spike was very intrusive .
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I believe you have sensitivity to sound which is usually known as "hyperacusis" it comes in different levels of severity. In any case this can be cured using sound therapy. Keeping away from sounds in the way that you are doing isn't helping your situation in my opinion. Just as my post above mentions: Negative thinking reinforces fear and this alone can make symptoms worse as it causes stress. Please try some of my suggestions in my post: hyperacusis. You may not have full blown hypercusis but you definately have sensitivity to sound as your tinnitus spikes and something is causing that.

      Before my second noise trauma my tinnitus was very low to the point I rarely heard it. My tinnitus now ranges from: silent, mild, moderate or severe. It no longer reaches extreme severe levels that would last for many days. I don't need to take clonazepam as often, perhaps twice a month and only for one or two days.

      Michael
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    16. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      @Michael Leigh, are you saying to expose ears to sounds like vacuum cleaner, blender etc.
      What if it causes spike? It always does for me.

      You don't think listening to not so loud classical music causes spike for 4 years?
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Vacuum cleaner, blender and other domestic appliances in the home emit normal everyday sounds. Most people do not find they irritate the ears. However, some people with tinnitus especially when they have hyperacusis find these sounds irritating to the point of being painful when heard. I was also affected by them 21 years ago so I know how it feels. As I've previously said, my hyperacusis was so severe when in conversation with someone I had to ask them to please lower their voice.

      The way to correct this problem is not by hiding and keeping away from normal everyday sounds as it's quite possible for the condition to get worse or remain the same. Not an ideal situation if one wants to get better. Therefore, the answer is "treatment" One can try the suggestions in my post: Hyperacusis, As I see it. Hopefully over time the auditory system will desensitise and normal everyday sounds won't be troublesome anymore. Please be aware this takes time perhaps many months.

      In more severe cases a person will need to be referred to a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist for counselling and sound therapy treatment. This could require the wearing of white noise generators to help desensitise the auditory system. There is no other way if a person wants to get better. Either they try self help or seek help from a healthcare professional. Wearing earplugs and keeping a way from sound is not the answer in my opinion. Noise reducing earplugs can be worn temporarily if a person finds normal everyday sounds troublesome, but I advise this should be for "short term" use and not long term.

      Regarding my second noise trauma in 2008. To this day I am not completely sure it was listening to classical music on my HI-FI that caused the resurgence in my tinnitus. Classical music is not usually played loud as it can sound raucous at high listening levels. Furthermore, when a person suffers noise trauma as I first did back in 1996, one usually develops hyperacusis. Considering my tinnitus was so severe I was surprised that my hyperacusis did not return. I was looking after my father who was very sick for over 2 years. He passed away shortly before my tinnitus increased to severe levels. Now I'm not certain but it could be the stress of my father's death that contributed to my tinnitus becoming worse. As most people know stress and tinnitus are closely linked. I was under a lot of stress sorting legal matters that I won't go into here.

      My advice to you is to try self help by following some of my suggestions in my Hyperacusis post, or get a referral to a Hearing Therapist.

      Hope this helps.
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

Loading...