Tinnitus Changing Your Personality?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Telis, Jul 10, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Does anyone feel like they are a totally different person after T?

      I don't recognize myself anymore. And not in a good way! It's like I'm a split personality, pre T, post T. Its like somebody flicked a switch, I don't think the same, act the same. I would even go as far as to say I don't even look the same. This after only 7 months.

      I'm scared I'm going to loose myself for ever! Just completely forget or loose sight of the person that I have worked so very hard to become.

      Maybe this just takes time ? Part of the habituation process??

      --**Sorry, kinda strange post**--
       
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    2. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Not a strange question. Sometimes people need professional help to habituate. For situations like this I read letter to a tinnitus sufferer. Check it out if you have not. Good luck. I did fee the same way once as well
       
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    3. Roger

      Roger Member

      Location:
      Perth, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      Hi Telis,

      I used to wonder the same thing. Its not a strange post. I sometimes think about all the things that I used to think about before my silence was taken by the T. I know I'm not the same person. I'm a bit more careworn. A bit frayed.

      That sounds pretty dramatic. However, you're right about the time side of things. I'm nearly at my Tanniversary, and whilst things for me were basically bloody awful at the start, now I go for long chunks of time without thinking about it. Its still there hissing away, but when I do notice it, my emotional response to it is pretty neutral. Fortunately I've been sleeping well.

      I look back over the last year at all the good stuff I've done- having fun with family and friends, going to work, exercising, learning things etc. That I did all that good gear with the T hissing away at the same time actually makes me proud that I must be made out of some pretty hard stuff. Harder than the T, that's for sure.

      Naturally, I'd rather the whole episode hadn't happened to me- but it did and that's what I've been given to deal with. The thing that irks me is the sheer amount of time I've wasted thinking about and noticing the T...but then I remind myself that as you've correctly noted, its just all part of the process. So don't be hard on yourself.

      So, I don't think you'll lose yourself. You might actually find yourself.

      How's that for a strange post? The whole thing is weird.

      All the best, Rog
       
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    4. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Glad you are doing and living what sounds like a full and happy life. The part that kills me is falling so so far down in one shot! Setbacks I've had, but man this all the setbacks I've had in life times a thousand. It's hard not drawing parallels between life with and life without tinnitus. Thoughts like...what would I be doing right now if I didn't have this? Would I be at a party? Would I be sitting lost in a movie or book? Would I be hitting the weights hard at the gym? Would I be looking at cars online vs. sitting on TT? It's the thoughts that drive me insane coupled with this terrible noise that most people won't ever get. Very tough thing. You are right, if you can get through this, you are one tough mo f--ker!!!
       
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    5. Roger

      Roger Member

      Location:
      Perth, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      You're right. In no way to I trivialise this. Its really bloody tough. Full stop. My advice - do those good things you've listed. Do them. You'll feel that you've taken some control back. And achieved something good. Don't let it take over. And, you have to keep on doing that stuff too. Every day, just like you would normally. You know, after telling him my sad Tinnitus story, my twin brother said to me, "Sounds like you're addicted to it." Bastard was right. So, I doubled my efforts to 1: get on with stuff and 2, lay off immersing my self in it so much. The the more attention you give the T the more it wants. Its weird alright.
      Telis, go do something! Rog
       
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    6. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Great advise... Thx Rog. I will definitely try my best to kick this nasty Tinnitus addiction!
       
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    7. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Telis, I understand 100% exactly what you mean.
      T drives your life and you want to get rid of it. You fight it like crazy like you would with any other illness. I guess most of us here did this. I am still doing the same (automatically), although I know I will probably have it for the rest of my life (although maybe there will be a cure some time in the future).
      T took over control and this is the hardest part. You want to have control.
      So what choice do I have?
      I try to live my life as good as possible, with anxiety, depression and a buzzing head.
      But I have hope that there is this habituation thing. I try not to react to T. But you cannot simply control your brain not reacting to it. This takes time to adjust.
      Someone on the yuku board wrote yesterday to me that it took two years for him until he could cope. Dr. Nagler took around 18 months, Billie48, too. So please give yourself more time. And try to go through your day with some activities. I know that every day seems lasting like an eternity.
      But I believe in the time factor.
      Besides that I work on my reaction, distorted thoughts and depression by reading Henry & Wilson book and Feeling Good from David Burns.
      Give yourself more time and write here that we can support each other.
      Stay strong,
      Martin
       
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    8. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yeah you are right Martin, time. That's what I'm told as well. And yeah a person likes to have control, I feel like I'm on a run away train 24 7. I try and take it one day at a time but man it's tough!! I hope time heals us! Or better yet a cure!
       
    9. Freddie
      Worried

      Freddie Member

      Location:
      London,UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      27/11/2013
      Hi Martin and Tellis I think you are both right, I certainly don't feel the same outgoing jolly person that I used to be although I do try hard but surely don't you think it is all in the mind.

      I was at a gathering recently with some neighbours and I found my mind wondering thinking how lucky all these people are that they didn't have this hiss coming from their heads all the time and just wished I could be like them and peace in the head like the last time we all met, I mentioned this feeling of mine when I last saw my audiologist and she was right when she said to me' how do I know they are all ok and what possible problems others may have' which all said and done she is right, it really is trying to get the head in the right place and not thinking negatively as I am sure if we can try and get to a feeling of winning this battle it must help in the eventual goal of habituation no matter how long it takes. ?
       
    10. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Freddie and Telis,
      A depression follows T very often. It is because you lost silence and control.
      I know people with serious issues running around and keep smiling all the time. It is their way of living a positive attitude. Oftentimes it is just masquerade. Everyone has to find his own strategy.
      In modern psychotherapy, cognitive therapy is one of the most successful treatments: What you think, is how you feel. Of course if you think about your T being a friend or what a gift that you have this sound, but others not, you would feel immediately recovered. Since we see T still as a threat, it makes us depressed. We see all other people being much better than ourselves.
      You must reach the "Don't care" state. That is where normal life continues.
      It takes time.
      Prayers, Martin
       
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    11. ampumpkin
      Amused

      ampumpkin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 12/2007 Increase: 04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2007: Meds(Antidepressant) 2014: Meds(Antibiotics)
      @Martin69 you are one special person. Your posts touched me a lot.

      @Telis I understand exactly what you mean. If I can add one thing to what has been said is this: T does NOT define who you are, you simply ARE. You may feel different because of T but the truth is, YOU still exist. You need to take care of you and do the things that you like to do, regardless of T. It is not easy, as someone said, sometimes, I'd rather go lay down and sleep it off, but that is not the answer.

      When this new louder T annoys me, I try to think of the 7 years that went by before that where T was not an issue and where I had 2 other children, relationships, success in my studies and so on. My life was very fullfilling and just because my T is louder doesn't mean that my life is over.

      Hugs xx
       
    12. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Yes, it does take time. I've been through it more than once. So, hang on to that Hope in order to be able to cope. I see that you've had T since Nov. 2013. You are still going through the habituation process. I don't know if you are on any meds to help you during the process but if not then you might want to consult with your doctor regarding them. Don't just "white knuckle" it. If you believe that you are in a downward spiral then get help.

      Good Luck!
       
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    13. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Thank you lady.
       
    14. Denny

      Denny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2013
      I don't think you should place any time limits on when improvements will
      come ; it will just become an obstacle if you have not reached the point you were hoping
      to reach by that time.
       
    15. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      @jimH like you I have had a few relapses. I find the habituation period to be shorter say 6-7 months opposed to 12-16 months at the onset. What is your experience(s)?
       
    16. alifalijohn

      alifalijohn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/14
      Hello Martin69 like you posts , very helpful!
       
    17. daedalus

      daedalus Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Me too i was completely changed by tinnitus. Not for the better. I stopped being interested in almost all i was doing. Plus my abilities such as concentration and sleep were destroyed. I thought i had become some sort of zombie retaining the memories of my ancient self but nothing more.

      Then, little by little my abilities and interests came back. It took some time. All by itself. According myself a long holiday helped a lot. Since i have other issues besides tinnitus i am not completely recovered but i am slowly back to my ancient self. Same interests, same sleep (finally !) i just feel tired and have to go back to my ancient occupations at a slow pace.

      I plan to be fully operational in a few years.
       
    18. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      This time around my T was worse than I had ever experienced previously. It had been moderate most of the years with only brief periods of it being loud. Because I thought that it would always return to moderate after a few hours of it being loud; I was never really shaken by it before. I adjusted rather easily to this cycle.

      This time around I experienced a level of volume that I will refer to as “severe.” I experienced anxiety and fear from my T as never before. The fear came from the thought, “What will I do if it ever remains at this level indefinitely?” I was losing a lot of sleep, my loss of appetite was causing me to also lose weight. In short, I was in a downward spiral. I was caught in what I’ll refer to as a “cycle of misery.”

      By that I mean the severity of my T caused me stress, fear, anxiety and depression. These combined to continue to keep me anxious and depressed which kept my T at either a Loud or even worse, at a severe level.
      My gut feeling was that if I could just reduce my anxiety level then the T level would probably diminish to some degree. My doctor put me on an antidepressant which eventually reduced my anxiety level and depression. I was very relieved when my T volume began to staircase downward. I have not had an episode of severe T in about a month. Right now my T cycles between moderate and loud. I’m hoping that perhaps it will eventually return to what some of you refer to as your previous “baseline.”

      This all began in Feb. of this year. I went on the antidepressant in mid May. I am able sleep and eat normally now and I’ve put most of the weight back on that I had lost. I’m enjoying my life again.

      I have developed a tremendous amount of compassion and empathy for those who live with a T condition that is at a severe level most of the time. How I wish and hope that there will be something in the not to distant future that will give them relief from the hell they are going through.
       
    19. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      @jimH Happy to read you're enjoying life again. I believe this relapse was caused by a virus. I also had dizziness. Amen to 'How I wish and hope that there will be something in the not to distant future that will give them relief from the hell they are going through.'
       
    20. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      40 year T survivor.
      T has done WAY more good things than bad. Through the years, I suppose I would have been content to sit around and relax at times... but... I don't. I'm on the move. I have to be. Who wants to sit around listening to sssssssssss all day?
      Years ago I'd stare in the mirror and want to cry. I hate this damn T.
       
    21. awbw8
      Balanced

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2013
      T has definitely changed me. I think, for those of us who suffer from it, it almost has to change us. It is a huge, life-altering and traumatic event.

      In some ways, I feel just more worn out. In other ways I feel stronger and more purposeful. I think the biggest difference is that my eyes have been opened to something that I can't un-see and I feel it in my bones. I'm only a little over one year older than I was when this happened, but it feels like I aged fiver or seven years in that brief time just from the amount of anxiety, depression and changes I went through as I came to where I am now.

      I think I probably do act a bit older, or more conservatively, or more carefully, because I am hyper-aware that that choices I make now are going to dictate to some degree what living in my body in the future will be like. I'm a walking PSA for sunscreen, earplugs and clean-eating. I do have "limitations" now, but I really see them as choices. Yes, I could go to a loud club with my friends, I am free to, but I know better now and I don't miss it.

      All of that said, while I'm different post-T, I still like myself and in some ways I like myself better. I think I am more empathic, more selfless and I look forward to what I can do for others in the future within and without the T community. I work in the arts, and I feel a sense of purpose to connect, inform and inspire people that wasn't as potent before tinnitus. I am so grateful for each day and below all the trauma tinnitus put me through, I think I have a stronger sense of peace and resolve. I'm not unafraid of growing older or of my T or other medical issues worsening per se, but I am calm about it. If and when those things happen, I will deal with them then. That I've come through this, something that seemed utterly unlivable, and live and look forward, makes me feel that I can do that again if I need to. Life with T is still a daily meditation in some ways, but it's always teaching me. Would I get rid of it if I could, oh hell yes. But since I can't, I guess I try to glean what good I can from it.

      All my good thoughts go out to everyone who is suffering terribly. Perhaps I will be labeled as one of the overly optimistic, and maybe I am that, but I firmly believe there is peace out there for everyone in one form or another.
       
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    22. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      yes
       

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