Tinnitus for 8 Years Possibly from Long-Term Alcohol Use and Stress — Looking for Support

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by morfsnz, Jan 17, 2020.

    1. morfsnz
      Hurting

      morfsnz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi all,
      My name is Geoff, I live in New Zealand. I developed loud, intrusive tinnitus in 2011. It came on suddenly and traumatised me. I don't know the cause but I suspect it was partly related to the cessation of long term alcohol use and stress. The first year or so was the hell that people describe. I had very bad anxiety and sought counselling over Skype. It changed my life but I eventually found a way to function, primarily by throwing myself into work and moderate daily alcohol use. I don't think I ever habituated in the way some people describe and I always found it annoying but I was functioning in a reasonable manner, working and maintaining family life and social connections.

      About 3 years ago I had some external traumatic circumstances which caused my tinnitus to ramp up and I quickly sank into a deep depression and anxiety. I made somewhat of a recovery after about 6 months (or so I thought), but just over a year ago, my tinnitus (or reaction to it) spiked badly and everything fell in a huge heap again. I view my tinnitus as severe (to me anyway). I hear it over everything, including the shower and it is 24x7. I now have a deeply ingrained automatic fear reaction and some hyperacusis also. The accompanying depression is serious and I have isolated myself.

      I have so far mainly avoided forums as I thought it best for me, but my situation now is bad and I am seeking some support. I have no hopes of tinnitus changing now and at times I really do wonder how I will find a way to carry on for the long haul. I am 59 and have a wife and 2 teenage daughters. Tinnitus and depression has put a huge strain on my marriage, and affected everything. Somehow I need to find some hope that I will be able to live with this and that things can improve.

      Geoff
       
      • Hug Hug x 10
    2. Jeebs
      Depressed

      Jeebs Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      Dear Geoff,

      Welcome to Tinnitus Talk. I have had tinnitus for only just over three months now and from what I can read about yours it is not as severe, but have found this forum to be very compassionate and supportive. I hope, you will have the same experience. If I can do anything for you or you just need someone to talk, drop me a PM!

      Best wishes to you!
       
      • Like Like x 3
    3. friend74
      Doubtful

      friend74 Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      1994
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      I feel you and you are not alone. It's basically the same with me apart from the amount of time.
      Hopefully the next years bring some relief out of research.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. exguitar
      Depressed

      exguitar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Mine has a lot to do with stress and anxiety also I think and I can sympathize. I am sorry, Geoff. I hope it improves.
       
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      • Creative Creative x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      morfsnz
      Hurting

      morfsnz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for your replies folks. I am wondering if there is anyone out there that has experienced the condition worsening after many years and found ways to cope again. The first year or so after onset were awful, but as awful as they were I had an underlying hope that things would improve, I would habituate etc. Things did improve eventually. After the spike a year or so ago (which has become the new normal), combined with other stress and the passage of time, I am having a very difficult time finding hope that I will cope better again, or that I will ever get back to where I was with it 3 or 4 years ago.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. Tweedleman
      Depressed

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      Hey and welcome, I'm fairly new myself. Don't feel bad for joining, these forums are what you make of them. Talking to others suffering with ear problems has been the only comfort I've gotten lately.
       
    7. Rogi Cetpla
      Frustrated

      Rogi Cetpla Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      T 2010 / IT 2015 / VIT 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure / Head trauma
      Hi Geoff,

      I share your pain and fully understand your situation as, I now also, suffer from loud intrusive tinnitus. I have had tinnitus for a bit longer than you have but have only recently upgraded to this level of insanity.

      This is unfortunately an individual battle which, to this day, has no miracle "one fits all" solution. The only thing we all have in common in this forum is Tinnitus itself. Its origin, intensity and tonality (or varieties) is not equal...added to the fact that we are all very different... health, character, age, history...

      I have unfortunately already had flare ups in the past and have always dealt with them in the same manor… dissecting the recovery in different phases... and dealing with these phases one at a time.

      The first phase, whatever your level of intrusiveness, is what I would describe as the "survival phase"... basically doing your utmost to get through the day after the initial trauma of this (new) intrusion but also, and as importantly, getting through the night. This time around, I, like you, was very depressed and actually suicidal as I could no longer function during the day and not sleep at night... driving me close to the edge. During this critical phase, for the first time in 10 years, I had to stop working and resort to medical assistance to get through. If you are having difficulties in dealing with this flare up on your own my advice would be to consult various medical specialists... from psychiatrists to ENT's to explain in detail your situation/history in order to set up a game plan for your recovery. I would also include your family in this process as they need to fully understand your situation but also realise that you are willing to put some effort in addressing and resolving it.

      Once the first phase completed and you are able to function again you can move on to the second phase. This phase is what I would describe as the "reconstruction phase". This is where I am today and although the intensity and level has not reduced since the onset of my latest flare up I am doing better and have accepted that this is going to be the new me. I have elaborated strategies to work around my new condition...like always having a radio application on my mobile phone turned with me and avoiding silent places... I have now resumed work, started eating regularly, started to take out the dog, exercising... things that I was unable to do in the first phase. I am now able to do things that I enjoy and which give me pleasure...which, for me, is essential.

      The third and last phase, in my view, is the "recovery phase" which is resuming your life as close it was before the latest trauma whilst leaving Tinnitus out of the equation... in essence habituation. This would include re-socialising, going on holiday... whilst, obviously, adapting and protecting your ears as much as possible. As you will see on my profile, I have always habituated in the past and believe strongly that it will be the case again... although I also accept that it may take longer this time around.

      There is also a lot of progress being made in the tinnitus field (as you will see in this forum) and I also hope that there will be a cure/solution soon... but also realise/accept that I could end up being 80 years old before they find a solution/cure... then what... no more noise but poor eyesight, poor mobility... and all this time wasted. We only get one shot at life (to the best of my knowledge) therefore I want to continue to live and do as much as possible whilst I am physically able to do so... I will not let my noisy ears get in the way of my legs, my arms, my eyes...

      I am not saying that this journey is going to be easy... but with some determination and some help you can make it through... as long is there is life there is hope...

      Stay strong and take good care,
      Rogi
       
      • Like Like x 3
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      morfsnz
      Hurting

      morfsnz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Rogi, thanks for your response, I only just saw it. When you were in your survival stage, did you use any medications to help you through?
       
    9. Flyingsheep
      Sheepish

      Flyingsheep Member

      Location:
      Cleveland, OH
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      My tinnitus also started from one night of being stupid and drinking too much alcohol at high altitude in Colorado. No one else here as far as I know has gotten tinnitus from drinking, besides myself and you. Mine also fluctuates from mild to severe for no apparent reason (I know what severe feels like, it makes you want to scream and cry at the same time). Lately I've been theorizing that it's some kind of chronic inflammation that got triggered. But the best thing you can do for yourself is have your hearing tested first, and ask them to be thorough and test word recognition in noisy backgrounds as well. If you pass everything with flying colors, then perhaps it's related to inflammation. I feel your pain in being confused and frustrated by not understanding how you got it, but I think there is hope.
       
    10. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
       

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