Tinnitus Gone For Days At A Time: OCD Still Getting The Best Of Me

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael Jack, Mar 18, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Michael Jack

      Michael Jack Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am about 5 or 6 weeks into my journey with T in my right ear only. It was not caused by a specific loud noise exposure (I have not been to a concert or bar in over a year) and I have not taken any medication besides Advil for a day or two over the past year.

      ENT said my ears looked fine and the audiologist said my hearing is perfect to the 8,000 Hz point (she did not test any higher). Maybe there is some high frequency loss but who knows.

      About two weeks ago the sound disappeared. I could not hear it in a quiet room when actively listening for it. About four days ago (after being gone for 10 days), it returned — along with a ton of congestion in my nose and throat. I literally freaked out and have been monitoring it for the past four days.

      It appears as though it disappeared again yesterday. I even put 33DB reducing ear plugs in my ears and laid down in my bed and waited with dread for the ringing to start. It never came.

      After going to bed last night, I woke up in the middle of the night in the middle of a full on panic attack. I sleep with a fan and cricket noise on my phone app to relax me, and I started questioning if some of the noises were from the tinnitus returning or the fan or phone app.

      I turned the fan off, and the noise which I thought was my tinnitus appeared to go away. Regardless, I could not relax and got no sleep the remainder of the night.

      Since I know the tinnitus can return, I just CANNOT relax. I want to figure out badly what is causing it and receive the proper treatment.

      Does anyone have any idea why Tinnitus can literally disappear for days at a time and return for no apparent reason?

      I probably desperately need to address my anxiety disorder at this point, but I need to address the tinnitus somehow first.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      You seem to be very, very fixated on your immediate sensory experience of the world.

      Is that a new thing, or perhaps something that's been true for a long time?

      If the latter, is it possible that your tinnitus is not actually your biggest problem, and is just serving as a convenient proxy?

      There's lots of people in the world who experience intermittent tinnitus or other unusual sensory experiences as a result of allergies, congestion or illness, who do not obsess or fixate on them. Conversely, there are lots of people without tinnitus who obsess over physical sensations to the point of severe distress.
       
    3. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      I think this becomes a learned response. Its worse when your disease process tends to be intermittent as mine is. Waking up every morning becomes like a spin of the roulette wheel. What's it gonna be like today?
       
    4. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I don't disagree but I'd suggest that it's probably basically maladaptive and counterproductive, and as learned behavior, can be unlearned to some extent through force of will.

      I also don't think it's particularly unique to tinnitus; many basic attention practices emphasize arresting judgemental comparative thoughts and ruminations on past / projections into future. Like many such things, simple, but very difficult in practice.
       
    5. Michael Jack

      Michael Jack Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have honestly been that way since I was a kid. It seems to always be something that I am obsessing over.

      While I do not wash my hands 1,000 times a day like the "classic media portrayed OCD sufferer does, I definitely have real OCD. Most of it involves mental obsessing and checking.

      For example, I will check my alarm sometimes hundreds of times in a night to make sure it is set properly if I have an important meeting the next day. Sounds crazy and I know intellectually that it is ridiculous, but I just cannot help myself.

      The OCD/Anxiety helped me excel in school and in my career, but it is awful in situations like this.

      To give you an example with the tinnitus, I will mentally obsess over it and then do compulsions (listening for it in quiet rooms and various conditions). If I do not hear it, I will feel temporary relieved. The good feelings are always short lived, and I will want to keep checking over and over.

      When I had severe acne for years, I went through this same exact process. For whatever reason, it feels worse with the tinnitus though. I always felt as though there was a promised end with acne.

      I always knew this was my biggest issue, and this tinnitus episode (or whatever it is) may finally be the thing that gives me a kick in the ass to get it treated.
       
    6. RicoS
      Confused

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      I can deal with my T now after almost 3 years, but I am stuck with Sensorimotor OCD.... I notice blinking, swallowing, breathing etc etc... it switch through the whole day. I got this since december 2015 and it is kicking my butt at the moment. I know it is anxiety talking...but it is like.... : You have overcome your T but there must be something to be a problem so why not make normal body functions something weird for you.
      I know now more people have this ...just like T, but it is tuff some days
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    7. Michael Jack

      Michael Jack Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have had all of those obsessions in the past. I think I have been through the gauntlet when it comes to OCD.

      It is definitely relentless and unforgiving!

      This is how I am with tinnitus and my OCD:

      "What if? What if… were constant questions in his mind. Sometimes he felt as if his brain were going to explode because it was racing a thousand miles per hour. He was sure about one thing: he needed 100 percent assurance regarding his thoughts and doubts. He spent countless hours looking for evidence to erase his doubts. It was never enough. He could never arrive at a feeling of peace."

      It sucks but I really want to make an effort to finally treat it.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. liquefact
      Balanced

      liquefact Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Seattle, WA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/25/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Indoor Rock Concert
      Hi Michael, here's my two cents.

      My tinnitus disappeared 2 times after onset (T0);
      1st disappearance : T0 + 1 week, gradually disappeared in 1 week.
      1st comeback : T0 + 3 weeks, in one morning i found a slightly different T in the morning.
      2nd disappearance : T0 + 4 weeks, gradually disappeared in 3-4 days.
      2nd comeback : T0 + 5 weeks, had no T before sleep, come back in the morning. I attribute it to the noisy IKEA furniture assembly i've done and a bad dream following that.

      And it's here for good. I believe it's all about the hearing thresholds. The temporary shifting of the hearing threshold (TTS - Temporary Threshold Shift) can cause your T do appear/disappear as all the sound intensities below the threshold are just not heard, brain discards them. The exact science of this threshold shift is not known, there are theories, but in my opinion brain tries to position the threshold to a safe place. Shortly after the onset, it's unstable it goes up/down but after some point it settles and it becomes a PTS - Permanent Threshold Shift. Depending on the new position, you have T and/or H, or not.

      So, do your absolute best to avoid noisy environments and stress. In your case, i believe the T/H is looking for an opportunity to come back to the stage. Do not allow another TTS and hope that this threshold level becomes permanent.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    9. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      Absolutely. True in so many aspects beyond just tinnitus.
       
    10. notquiet!
      Doubtful

      notquiet! Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress, Noise, Allergies, Activities, Dental, Diet?
      Hello Michael Jack. Warm welcome to the tinnitus talk support forums. I feel the same ways you do about my tinnitus. I am very sorry about your pain and struggle with it. I too also have Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I also have Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder mostly Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Fibromyalgia. Needless to say I am a neurological waste of space and an emotional wreck! I think my schizophrenia heightens my already insanely loud ringing! My P.T.S.D. makes me freak out about this evil tinnitus! My Fibromyalgia increases my pain by making me way too hypersensitive! I have panick attacks and wake up in fear of this evil t as well. Tinnitus makes me depressed and lonely and isolated forcing me to stay in my own mind and gets worse. I have no friends and most of my family deserted me because of my mental illnesses. I am the "crazy" person and the "weirdo" out of my estranged family and friends. No one wants to be caught hanging out with or associating with a crazy like me. It hurts bad and causes more ringing, pain, and isolation! So I really do feel for you and empathize greatly. May I please suggest you maybe see a Mental Health Therapist, or a Psychiatrist, or join a local support group, or join a mental health forum too? I see a psych dr. and I am going to start seeing my counselor again too. I am also trying to get into a support group for those with mental health issues. I am also a member of a mental health forum and I am going to start posting there again too. I plan to create a youtube and facebook page dedicated to mental health, neurological health, spiritual-physical health awareness and support. I also want to maybe in the future if I can start my own meetups locally. I need face to face interaction and support like we all do as social beings. Too much technology keeps us away from other people way too much and that makes our human hearts ace and writhe in pain and agony. We suffer loneliness. I also have a fear of other human beings thanks to my mental sickness. I have anthropophobia so bad. But I know that I need other human beings which is very depressing. How can I find the strength to go out there and get what I fear so much?! I need to just get up the courage and go out their and try to form positive relationships with other human beings I guess. I need a stronger spine though. Anyway sorry I digressed and veered off topic a little bit. My main point was to just tell you that I empathize and can totally relate to you, and to ask you to please seek help from others who can empathize with you too. Please choose your mental health workers wisely. Please choose your support groups wisely, especially those that are face to face. You don't want shouting in your ears, or pranks, insensitivity, and mocking. Some people kill themselves over this evil t. Seeing you do have O.C.D. and Anxiety you may be more prone to that than a person who doesn't. I was suicidal when I first got this tinnitus! Please don't let that be you! Fight your tinnitus with the empathy and support of others. Get outside support and fun. Please feel free to message me if you want. Anyone with the evil t should seek outside support! Please take care of yourself physically and mentally! Please keep me posted!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    11. Regardless of your tinnitus situation, it seems like it would be a good thing to find a therapist to help with the OCD. Can't get good sleep before an important meeting if you are checking your alarm hundreds of times!
       
    12. RicoS
      Confused

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      I also went in therapy for OCD now... but I am doing better already. My anxiety regarding the OCD is less and I do not think negative cause I do not want to go into depression mode anymore. It are just normal body functions that I am aware of due to anxiety and it is nothing to be afraid about. So I try to stay as calm as possible. I also try not to talk to much about my T and OCD anymore because I want to put it back in my subconscious. I notice that the more I talk about it the more it stays in the front. I just try to play with my son and wife and do fun things and accept that it is just anxiety that is kicking me. I know now that I have to break the circle of negativity and I have to do that myself and I notice that my OCD backs up.
       

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